Connect with us

Diversity

Help for the community

Published

on

Representative Geraldine Roman welcomes the opening of the center with couple Ice Seguerra and Liza Diño.

Despite regularly ranking well on several international surveys on gay friendliness, in terms of religion, health care and human rights, the Philippines still has a long way to go before we can be regarded as a truly accepting and compassionate society. With the recent launch at the ManilaMed of the first Gender Diversity Center in the country, which was graced by LGBTQ+ rights advocate Ice Seguerra, things might just get a little better. The center offers a broad spectrum of services, many of which Filipinos could previously only get abroad.

The science is not disputed in the medical community: Most sex-related conditions are medically verifiable and have observable, documented manifestations. While the most obvious presentations of these conditions are often behavioral, more often than not the root cause of the atypical behavioral manifestations is multi-factorial.

When it comes to human beings as a species, and in fact in all mammalian species, medical science has been clear on the topic of sex distinction for some time. Sex is not determined by outward appearance, but by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome. However, chromosomes are not the sole determinants of sexual function and sexual orientation. It can be the case that outwardly, a person appears to be a man or a woman, when in fact he or she has the opposite sexual orientation. Hence the phenomenon of transgenderism, which is essentially a person not identifying emotionally or psychologically with the sex assigned at birth.

A number of disorders or conditions can also lead to atypical presentation of genitalia. Such conditions, which used to be called Intersex, now fall under what are referred to as disorders of sex development (DSD). In layman’s terms, these can result in males who have breasts and visibly female seeming genitalia, or females who have masculine looking genitalia. These are caused by variances in the way bodies respond to hormones. These biological conditions can profoundly affect the sexual orientation (what sex a person is attracted to sexually), the gender identity (whether the person regards himself or herself as a man, a woman or neither), and to a degree, that person’s gender expression (how a person dresses or presents him or herself outwardly). These conditions prove that hormonal imprinting on the fetal brain has a role in the determination of one’s sexual orientation. DSD, however, accounts for only a minor percentage of cases of gender dysphoria.

The LGBT Community will no longer need to travel abroad and to spend too much to get badly needed help.

 

Services include psychiatric services for all ages and adolescent pediatrics.

 

IT offers the most comprehensive spectrum of medical and psychological services to those in the LGBT community of all ages and inclinations.

The roots of gender-related confusion can be genetic, psychological and hormonal. The issues that those in the LGBTQ+ community face are still societal, ubiquitous, inhumane and deep-seated. ManilaMed decided to make an assistive stand, to be the first hospital in the country to open the Gender Diversity Center.

It is not the Center’s aim to “fix” those who consult with them so that they conform to what society or even their families are comfortable with or accepting of. The aim is to help each person work out his or her own gender identity, assess his or her biological sex, allow him or her to choose his or her sexual preference and help them transition to that gender role. Equally important, the Center aims to help people and their loved ones accept and embrace whatever the outcome turns out to be.

The center offers a comprehensive array of services and handles inquiries with the utmost discretion, respect and compassion. Each person is thoroughly assessed by a multi-disciplinary team that includes an adolescent pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, endocrinologist, surgeon, reconstructive surgeon, urologist and family therapist.

Going far beyond the clinical and the medical, the Center’s approach is both comprehensive and holistic. It involves not just treating a person, but journeying with the person, and also the person’s family and loved ones. Ultimately, the aim is not just to empower people with an improved sense of self and self-worth, or even just to help their families be more accepting and compassionate; the aim is to be a catalyst for change in Philippine society. ManilaMed’s Gender Diversity Center’s services include psychological services, hormone therapy and eventually surgical management.

ManilaMed’s medical director Dr. Susana Padilla Campos shares that the decision to open the center was not made lightly. On a personal level, it was the many conversations with both her patients and their parents in her practice as a pediatric endocrinologist that opened her eyes to the atmosphere of fear and intolerance towards those in the LGBTQ+ community. That atmosphere is still prevalent in the world and in this country. Loss of the life of a patient she was seeing for a thyroid condition, whom she suspected had a gender identity problem which she discussed with the mother but was not well received, was very frustrating and disturbing to her. Yes, depression and suicidal ideation is five times more common in the gender dysphoria group then it is in the general population. This may largely be due to the struggle with non-acceptance, derogatory attitudes towards them and stigmatization that are all very difficult to live with.

Dr. Campos shared that when she first spoke to Ice Seguerra about gracing the opening, Ice was very generous and candid about sharing the struggles even he has had to face, despite his celebrity status. This reaffirmed the hospital’s decision, most especially when Ice expressed how happy he is that such a facility now exists to serve the Filipino LGBTQ+ community.

Dr. Campos feels that with the atmosphere of fear, judgement and intolerance still so prevalent, that it is our moral imperative as a society to be more informed, enlightened and compassionate. And it is ManilaMed’s responsibility as healthcare providers to make the services the Gender Diversity Center now offers, not just available, but attainable.

ManilaMed is committed to keep pricing as affordable as possible to ensure that the center does not cater exclusively to the affluent. The Gender Diversity Center also promises that all cases will be handled with the utmost discretion, respect and compassion.
To inquire about the Gender Diversity Center of ManilaMed, you can call 523-8131 to 65 local 3008.

Advertisement

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Advertisement
Advertisement