Origins of Gender Affirmation Surgery: The History of the First Gender Identity Clinic in the United States at Johns Hopkins

Charalampos Siotos, Paula M. Neira, Brandyn D. Lau, Jill P. Stone, James Page, Gedge D. Rosson, Devin Coon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background Gender-affirming care, including surgery, has gained more attention recently as third-party payers increasingly recognize that care to address gender dysphoria is medically necessary. As more patients are covered by insurance, they become able to access care, and transgender cultural competence is becoming recognized as a consideration for health care providers. A growing number of academic medical institutions are beginning to offer focused gender-affirming medical and surgical care. In 2017, Johns Hopkins Medicine launched its new Center for Transgender Health. In this context, history and its lessons are important to consider. We sought to evaluate the operation of the first multidisciplinary Gender Identity Clinic in the United States at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which helped pioneer what was then called "sex reassignment surgery." Methods We evaluated the records of the medical archives of the Johns Hopkins University. Results We report data on the beginning, aim, process, outcomes of the clinic, and the reasons behind its closure. This work reveals the function of, and the successes and challenges faced by, this pioneering clinic based on the official records of the hospital and mail correspondence among the founders of the clinic. Conclusion This is the first study that highlights the role of the Gender Identity Clinic in establishing gender affirmation surgery and reveals the reasons of its closure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-136
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • gender dysphoria
  • gender identity
  • interdisciplinary studies
  • sex reassignment surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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