First Event provides resources and bonding opportunity for transgender community

transgender and lgbtq flag
PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

It’s natural to have health questions — especially if you or your child is transgender. No matter where you are in your gender affirmation journey, you may wonder whether surgery is an option, how to tackle insurance-related issues and how to navigate the health care system. For nearly four decades, First Event Conference has provided transgender and non-binary people and their families education, support and resources for addressing these and other topics affecting this community.

As a sponsor of this year’s event, Boston Children’s Hospital will be participating in several different informational workshops, with experts from the hospital’s Gender Management Service (GeMS) and Center for Gender Surgery in attendance. “We expect to see a full range of attendees, from kids and their parents to senior citizens,” says Dr. Elizabeth Boskey, the Center’s social worker.

Questions, answers — and fun

Dr. Boskey and her colleagues Maria Semnack, Dr. Oren Ganor and Dr. David Diamond will be discussing gender affirmation surgery in two different sessions during the conference. In addition to eligibility guidelines, they’ll share information about preparing for procedures such as phalloplasty and vaginoplasty, what to expect, and insurance coverage concerns. Both interactive workshops will include ample time for questions and answers.

Another workshop will cover more specific insurance issues as they relate to trans and LGBTQ youth. Dr. Jeremi Carswell, director of GeMS, and Dr. Boskey will partner with representatives from Tufts Health Plan to explore these and other topics. And Dr. Boskey is also participating in a workshop aimed at parents of trans kids about their changing sexual feelings and activities, as well as the risks of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

But the conference isn’t just educational. The three-day event also includes a fashion show, dancing, parties and a job fair. “The best thing about First Event is that it’s by the community, for the community,” says Dr. Boskey. “It’s a great chance to spend time with other trans kids and adults in a really supportive environment.”

First Event runs January 30 through February 3, 2019. Click here for more information or to register.