San Francisco Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Depression, Gay, Queer or Transgender Men, Polyamory, BDSM
San Francisco Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Depression, Gay, Queer or Transgender Men, Polyamory, BDSM

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Gender Specialist

About Me
I am a Gender Specialist of long standing, having worked with Trans and Gender Non-conforming clients since the mid-90’s.  As such, I have a wealth and variety of training and expertise for a wide range of experiences related to gender, and can help you to find the path that’s best for you.  I myself am a cisgendered queer/gay male, but have always had a passionate interest in how gender is socially constructed and the incredible diversity in how it is lived and experienced.  By now I personally have been a member of the extended LGBTQ community for over 30 years.

San Francisco Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Depression, Gay, Queer or Transgender Men, Polyamory, BDSM

The Work
In my work I mostly specialize with those on the trans-masculine scale and those who are non-binary and/or gender queer.  For those who are trans men / trans masculine, one of the challenges of transitioning is often figuring out what sort of man to be, or of how to embody masculinity in a good way.  Some of the questions might be: “How do I explore my masculinity without contributing to patriarchal oppression?”, “What does it mean to be a man in today’s culture / society?”, “Am I still queer if I’m now seen as a man attracted to women?”, and so on.  There is a whole spectrum of manhood out there that is possible, and ways of being that don’t necessarily lead to toxic masculinity or to the abuse of power.  For those who are gender queer, non-binary, agendered, or other-gendered, I was one of the first to support non-binary approaches to gender exploration, and remain committed to supporting people in whichever way they relate to gender in a loving, non-judgmental way.

Additionally, I have many years of training in somatic and experiential approaches to working with trauma and anxiety.  Many of those who are TGNC have experienced multiple layers and levels of oppression, discrimination, physical threats or violence, and even occasionally fear for their lives.  These harmful experiences can sometimes lead to trauma, and cause you to remain stuck in ways that keep you from living the life you’d like to lead.

Navigating the complex intersections of these (and other) factors can be confusing, scary, exhilarating, lonely and sometimes even transcendant.  I can support you and assist you in figuring out what all this means for you as you journey forward toward who you are meant to be, and in the ongoing process of living your authentic gender identity.  And of course sometimes you may just be looking for someone who’s aware and affirming to work on non-gender-related concerns with, and I’m here for that too.

In terms of my professional career, in addition to my 20+ years of clinical experience I have attended at this point well over a dozen conferences for working with TGNC populations, belong currently to the Advanced Gender Specialists consultation group led by Lisette Lahana, and have maintained my WPATH membership since 2006.  While I am capable of working within the WPATH standards of care guidelines (and often do so, especially with surgeons who require such for gender-affirming interventions), I personally take more of an informed consent approach than WPATH currently promotes (though they are getting better), and have concerns about the gate-keeping role that therapists have historically been forced to take in order for clients to receive necessary and life-saving medical interventions.  I am here to assist you in finding out for yourself what’s right for you, not tell you what that might be.

Myles Downes, MFC 48178

3646 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110