In progress! I am bullet note-ing at the moment.
Discourage friends and acquaintances from trying to "figure out" androgynous people's genders. When people are faced with someone they can't classify as male or female at first glance, they sometimes resort to staring and speculation, which is not acceptable. A person's gender is that person's private matter, and they can choose to share it if they like, but they can also keep it under the radar. It's a privilege to know how someone identifies, not a right.
Movies and TV shows often portray trans people in one of three slots: either they're perverted psychos (e.g. Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs), or are shown as tragic victims (e.g. on crime shows like CSI), or are objects of comic relief. Seriously, you'd have to be pretty dense not to get why these are transphobic motifs. A lot of people flare up defensively on the subject — and, yeah, an individual movie may be good — but it still might also perpetuate stereotypes, not bringing in much content that's new or fresh or human. Be conscious of it.
Many movies and advertisements use the idea of a "manly man in drag" — a burly, hairy guy pretending to be a woman — as an easy laugh. Hmm. How come we view this as funny?
The easy answer is a dude! in a dress! It's just incongruent, weird, and that's what makes it entertaining. Well, yeah, but if you followed that argument you'd have to agree that a woman in men's clothes is "incongruent" too. And that reversal isn't often meant to be humor. The main substance of the dude-in-drag laughs is this: femininity in men is supposed to be amusing. It's kind of crappy to make a gender presentation into the butt of a joke. And it's a weird double standard that male femininity is so humiliated in this culture, while female masculinity rarely receives similar attention.
Since medical transition's earliest beginnings, various forms of gatekeeping have been placed upon those who wish to make the changes. Doctors often have preconceived notions of "people who should transition" and "people who should not," and act accordingly. The ideal trans man, according to this theory, has known of his trans status since he was small; is masculine and heterosexual; hates his breasts, genitals, hips, and other sex characteristics. He wishes only to be absorbed into society as an average male, and wants to leave all trans communities once his transition is complete. Similar standards go for women.
The reality is, of course, that there are many trans people who fit this framework very well — and there are many who definitely do not. It isn't that these others are less trans, less deserving of whatever treatment they request. Some trans people's stories happen to face more resistance from the cis medical community, and cissexual doctors are less likely to give them what they need.
Why would physicians deny someone treatment? Arbitrary and transphobic standards, that's why.
But those standards go beyond just removing someone's access; for lots of folks, you still can't pass Go and steam ahead. Many clinics want a trans client to undergo months of psychotherapy, evaluating and re-evaluating their genders. An endocrinologist may overcontrol hormone quantities, prescribing much less than is wanted, even when a higher dosage is safe. Some places will only intervene medically after extensive "real life experience" (social transition), which can be traumatizing for someone who doesn't pass without the correct hormones.
letters, psychiatry, overcontrolling hormone dosage, RLE requirements
As with homosexuality, misguided doctors have tried to change a trans person's identity using reparative therapy. These techniques are particularly common in treatment of gender-variant children. Some psychiatrists encourage removing "cross-gender" toys, restricting "cross-gender" play, and disciplining the child for not following gender stereotypes. An adult woman may find that, if her medical practitioners don't believe she's actually trans (or don't believe she can pass as female), they'll encourage her to amp up the masculinity.
Suppress these instincts that come to you naturally, as they are disordered; change who you are; line yourself up with a narrow group of gendered behaviors.
Being transgender is not a condition that can be removed, only repressed.
Vast amounts of insurance policies don't cover anything that's related to sex transition. Some of them describe sex reassignment surgery as "cosmetic," refuse to pay for hormones even in part, and so forth. Transition is medically necessary — it is, if you want to think of it this way, the only effective treatment for a chronic pain condition. That pain (called body dysphoria; "dysphoria" means "severe unhappiness," roughly) often goes unrecognized by society. But that doesn't make it any less real. If anything, it makes more of a sting.
Trans people are underemployed and often underpaid compared to the rest of the population. We are, as a group, in great need for insurance; we are, as a group, less likely to be aided in fundamental areas of our healthcare. This is backwards and inside out, and it needs to change very soon.
General practitioners of medicine are often surprisingly undereducated about trans-unique needs, and even trans people's fundamental rights, like correct pronouns and dignified treatment. A physician needs to know (at least) how to behave respectfully towards and regarding trans people. He or she should grasp the definitions of "transgender," "transsexual/ity," and "gender identity"; understand what hormone therapy is and how it works; also understand, albeit less in-depth, the basics of sex reassignment surgeries. Medical transition isn't an issue most doctors think about every day, but it's not some once-in-a-career thing either.
If you are responsible for the creation of a form, used in research or for profiling or some other reason, think about the way it describes gender. An ideal form would avoid asking "What gender are you?", if at all possible, or not require the answer to be filled in. If gender selection is necessary, the choices should be along the lines of "Male/Female/Do not wish to specify/Other (explain below)"; it may be helpful to phrase the question as as "With what gender do you identify?"
It is not appropriate to present "Male/Female/Transgender" as three choices, as some people identify as transgender men or transgender women, and would have to check two boxes. Worse still is "Male/Female/FTM trans/MTF trans," which implies that trans people are not real members of their own genders, and must instead have special categories that segregate them from the cissexual.