Policy Regarding Transgender and Intersex Participants at MaleSurvivor Recovery Events

MaleSurvivor is committed to healing the sexual victimization of boys and men. MaleSurvivor also recognizes that gender exists on a continuum and that many survivors of sexual assault may identify anywhere on the gender continuum, including identifying as transgender or intersex. MaleSurvivor wants to honor this diversity while also preserving the Weekends of Recovery as a space to heal in a community of men. It is our belief that the design of the Weekends of Recovery can best be utilized by any individual who is a self-identified male (or identifies closer to male) and who wants to heal in a male-identified space. Therefore, self-identified male transgender and intersex survivors are welcome to participate in our healing events.

For more information for transgender sexual violence survivors, see the resources provided by FORGE, an organization that provides peer support to people on the transgender spectrum.

“Male identified” does not require any medical transitions, such as hormones or surgery—only clarity of identification at the time of attending an event.

Transgender/intersex survivors who identify as female (or closer to female) may want to check out the Taking Back Ourselves for female survivors to determine if this resource fits better for them.

Any questions or concerns about the above policy should be directed to our clinical director via our contact page.


FAQ’s About Transgender or Intersex Survivors

1. What does it mean to be transgender or intersex?

Transgender is an umbrella term for individuals whose gender expression and how they feel about themselves do not match typical societal norms for their biological sex. For example, this may include men who act more feminine than what society says a “real man” should act. Another example is cross-dressers, which is a term used for men who identify as men and who desire to wear women’s clothes. Those who are transsexual want to change their body to look more male or female to match how they feel inside.

This means that there could be participants at an event who were born female but who have experienced themselves for all or most of their life as male and masculine. They have suffered considerable anxiety/pain because of the difference between how they feel and how their body looks. It’s different from having a negative body image. They may or may not be taking hormones and/or have had surgery to change their bodies to better match how they identify inwardly. They now live life as a man and/or identify closer to being male. Sometimes their gender can’t be summed up by either of the two polarized gender options of being male or female.

Intersex is a general term used for a variety of medical conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person may have the chromosomes of a woman, but external genitals that appear male. Or a person may be born with genitals that can’t be easily classified as male or female or have some male and some female sex characteristics.

2. What are the reasons MaleSurvivor has put this policy into place?

Our events have included gender diversity since the beginning; however, as our programming has evolved, we have recognized the need to reach out to clarify how broadly our invitation for inclusion extends. This new policy is meant to formalize that we are now inviting male-identified transgender and intersex survivors to register and attend.

3. How do trans/intersex survivors fit within the MS community?

We have a deep commitment that all survivors need to have a safe place for healing and recovery. Because our work focuses on male survivors, we feel it is beneficial to clarify that our events are welcoming to any survivor who is male-identified.

4. What can/should I do if I feel uncomfortable around trans individuals?

Feel free to ask any questions and express any concerns with the event’s leader(s). Our events are a place to explore and examine personal fears, prejudices, and needs and to consider reaching out and offering understanding and acceptance to others, which is typically denied survivors.