Hello! And good work reaching out for what you need!
I am able to provide an assessment for a letter of recommendation for surgery (yup, the whole thing’s pro bono, and yup, I’ve done a couple hundred of accepted letters) if you reside in the state of Pennsylvania and if you’re over 18. (I personally don’t have the requisite training to work with people under the age of 18, although many clinicians on the GALAP’s list are competent to work with minors.)
An assessment can take up to an hour, depending on the requirements of your insurance (if using) and your chosen surgeon. (If you don’t have a surgeon yet, I’m still happy to do an assessment, but just know that we might need to meet again after you find someone you like and they tell you they require, for example, a particular kind of mental health assessment, particular wording in the letter, or something else). During this assessment, we’ll go over your reasons for choosing surgery, your plan for the recovery period following surgery, to ensure you meet WPATH’s criteria for people seeking surgery, to discuss informed consent, and to consider any questions or concerns you’ll have about the process.
I am not available for in-person sessions at this time. Assessments can be done via telehealth or phone call. (Examples of video platforms that would not be HIPAA-compliant include FaceTime, Google Meet, and Zoom, as I do not have paid accounts with these services. I do have a free account, and will meet with you via one of those platforms if you’d like.) I usually schedule these sessions on Saturday afternoons, and can also accommodate weekday evenings. When you email me, please let me know what times work best for you.
I cannot guarantee that at the end of our session that I will provide you with a letter of support. If I am able to provide this, you have options for how you’d like to proceed: 1) I can email you your signed letter, with the caveat that no one can guarantee that anything transmitted over the internet is definitively confidential, because the internet is a wacky place, 2) I can mail you your letter directly, or 3) if you’d prefer not to see your letter, I can mail you a form you can sign that says you’re ok with me mailing the letter directly to your chosen surgeon.
Often, people I meet with are curious about state-specific resources. As these are very common questions I receive, I’ll link here to information for Pennsylvanians seeking to update their gender marker on their driver’s license or state ID card, information on places (here or here) that offer pro bono name change support for TGD people, and information around affordable, affirming hair removal (in Pittsburgh or in Philadelphia). If you’re in need of additional resources, feel very free to ask. I’m sorry that I cannot recommend particular surgeons nor particular techniques, because these are very personal decisions; I can help you figure out the kinds of questions you’d like to ask your surgeon when you see them for your surgical consult, if that’s helpful for you.
You’ve got my email – let me know how I can be of service, ok?