Supportive, Affirming Care
We know that visiting a health care provider can be stressful for anyone, but for some of us, that feeling can be magnified due to fear of discrimination or being misunderstood. The Health & Counseling Center strives to provide affirming health and wellness services, so you can be treated well and stay well. HCC clinicians are committed to ensuring that LGBTQIA+ students receive the highest quality medical care in a safe and respectful environment. We continue to educate our staff and improve our systems and communications to better welcome, understand, and serve all students.
College in general can be a significant time to explore your values and identity. It is not uncommon for students to question, explore, and embrace their sexual, romantic, and gender identities as a part of that experience.
Identifying your gender identity or sexual orientation as anything other than cisgender or heterosexual does not mean you are mentally ill or need counseling. Often, LGBTQIA+ individuals seek counseling due to negative external reactions from others, which contribute to marginalization and discrimination. Sometimes these attacks become internalized and result in feelings of isolation, guilt, fear, loneliness, and anger.
Counseling can specifically address issues related to your gender/sexual identity (coming out, transitioning, dating/sex, marginalization/discrimination, the impact of an intersex identity, exploring polyamory, discovering you are asexual, or the intersection of these identities with others you hold). It can also provide a safe space for LGBTQIA+ individuals to address unrelated mental health concerns (anxiety, depression, grief, ADHD, etc.) in a non-judgmental, affirming environment.
Our counselors provide therapy and documentation that meets World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care (SOC) for gender confirmation surgery and gender affirming hormone therapy if requested by a treating physician.
We also offer a confidential LGBTQIA+ support group for those seeking peer support around these identities. This group meets weekly for 1.5 hours in the Pride Lounge during the academic year. The day and time changes based on the quarter. Please email Dr. Anand Desai, our group counseling coordinator, for more information.
For Survivors of Sexual Misconduct
Separately from our medical services, we offer supportive, confidential care to survivors who have experienced sexual misconduct of any kind.
Medical Forensic Exams
After experiencing a sexual assault, you may choose to have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) perform a Medical Forensic Exam (MFE) within five days. This will not require you to formally report the assault or participate in any law enforcement investigation.Learn More
Survivor Advocacy & Healing - CAPE
The Center for Advocacy, Prevention, & Empowerment (CAPE) supports healing by providing advocacy and support to survivors of sexual assault, gender or relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment.Learn More
For Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Students
The Health & Counseling Center is proud to provide affirming, supportive services designed to meet the unique needs of our trans and gender non-conforming students. From preferred personal pronouns and gender-inclusive restrooms to hormone regimen management and gender affirming surgery referrals, we are committed to inclusive, understanding, and non-judgmental care.
Gender Designation and Preferred Personal Pronouns
Your name will appear in our system as it does in your official DU record. If you’d like us to update your health record to reflect the name and pronouns you use, you can notify the HCC. Once our electronic health record is updated, your preferred name and pronouns will be used in all future verbal communications and visits.
Due to various software systems in use school-wide, we cannot yet guarantee that every communication will reflect your choices, but the University is working toward this goal. More information, including how to update gender designation and personal pronouns in your official DU record, is available from the Registrar.
All HCC services are confidential by law. This means that our providers are not permitted to disclose your gender identity or sexual orientation without your express written consent. See Patient Rights for details.
The Health & Counseling Center provides gender-inclusive restrooms at our facilities. For a complete list of DU's gender-inclusive restrooms and their locations on campus, check out the interactive campus map.
Medical Gender Transition
If you are considering medical transition, the HCC can provide counseling and documentation that meets the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care (SOC) for the health of transsexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming people seeking gender affirming surgery and/or hormone therapy at the request of their treating physician.
For students who wish to initiate gender affirming hormone therapy or surgery, our providers refer to the following providers in Denver:
HCC clinicians can provide medical management for patients on established hormone regimens, however they cannot currently initiate hormone therapy. For students interested in receiving ongoing medical management for established hormone regimens, please make an appointment with the medical provider of your choice. Please bring the following with you to your first appointment, if possible:
- Note from a qualified mental health professional indicating the diagnosis of gender dysphoria that meets the WPATH Standards of Care.
- Medical office visit notes from the last six months of treatment.
Many insurance companies have certain requirements that must be fulfilled prior to providing coverage for gender affirming surgery or hormone therapy. Before proceeding, we highly recommend contacting your insurance company for information on any specific requirements, costs, or fees.
If you are covered by the DU Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), you will need to obtain a referral from the Health & Counseling Center prior to scheduling a medical transition appointment with an outside specialist. Detailed information regarding SHIP benefits and limitations for gender affirming surgery and hormone therapy can be found here. Please call the HCC at 303-871-2205 if you have any questions.