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Watchful Waiting

Last updated: January 22, 2023

Watchful waiting is an approach to a medical problem in which time is allowed to pass before medical intervention or therapy is used.

Why does this require education? This term is used against interventions for the transgender community by those opposing the transgender community’s needs and wishes. 

When the community needs to have an social, medical, or legal intervention available for the health of the individual, the opposition will state that we should ignore their needs and perform Watchful Waiting to see if the gender dysphoria persists.

This ignores the proven dangers of not having interventions available and also the extremely low rate of desistance. As Watchful Waiting is used for medical issues, like a rash, the impacts of having Gender Dysphoria are in the mental health realm and require care that is timely and appropriate. The World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care (SOC) are specific on the treatment being a cohesive effort of medical and mental health person and if it is a youth, the parents. This provides a well processed path to receiving proper interventions for the health of the individual. By ignoring the need for these interventions, harm is caused to the individual potentially resulting in rejection, depression, anxiety, and suicidality.

Articles and Studies

September 22, 2022WPATHWorld Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care (SOC)
October 1, 2020Julia C. Sorbara, MD, Mac
Lyne N. Chiniara, MD 
Shelby Thompson, MD 
Mark R. Palmert, MD PhD
Mental Health and Timing of Gender-Affirming Care
February 21, 2019Dr Florence AshleyWatchful waiting doesn’t mean no puberty blockers: Anti-trans researchers misrepresent academic literature in recent article
October 1, 2018Dr Jason RaffertyEnsuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents
World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care (SOC)