Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
121 - Practical Advice for Managing Gender Identity in Schools with Dr. Kate Goonan

121 - Practical Advice for Managing Gender Identity in Schools with Dr. Kate Goonan


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Episode 121 - Practical Advice for Managing Gender Identity in Schools with Dr. Kate Goonan

In this episode, Sasha & Stella spend time with Dr. Kate Goonan, an advisory and advocacy specialist with Genspect. Together they discuss the importance of building a strong support system for young individuals experiencing gender dysphoria. Kate shares about her approach for navigating gender dysphoria compassionately, grounded in realism, and offers clear, practical advice to parents.

Dr. Kate Goonan is board certified physician who graduated from University of California at Davis School of Medicine and completed her residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Primary Care Internal Medicine. After several years of practicing primary care and women’s health, her career focus moved to evidence-based medicine and quality improvement. 

Two years ago, she started studying the evidence base around gender dysphoria. She took a role in Genspect advising parents on how to manage their specialists, psychologists, and schools. Now fully retired, Kate continues to advise families on their strategies with schools and caregivers. She leads Genspect’s team developing model school policies and educational resources for school personnel and parents. Her goal is to apply her skills and expertise to ensuring parents and schools approach gender non-conforming children with a fully informed and open-minded approach. 

Her extensive background serves her work with Genspect well, as Dr. Goonan spent time serving as medical director overseeing medical policy and quality for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. She has also authored two books on quality in health care and was appointed as a judge for the U.S. presidential award for performance excellence in business, health care, and education (Baldrige Performance Excellence Award 1999-2002). Kate grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a family affected by another dysphoria: anorexia.


Comprehensive Gender Identity School Policy - USA 

Transparency in Education Newsletter

Dr. Goonan’s Advocacy Work w/ Genspect

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases, Diaz, S., Bailey, J.M. RETRACTED ARTICLE: Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases. Arch Sex Behav 52, 1031–1043 (2023). 

Please note: this episode was recorded prior to the June 2023 retraction of the above cited paper (referenced in the discussion). We discuss this paper and the context of threats for its potential retraction with one of the paper’s authors, Mike Bailey, directly in Episode 116. And we have him back again to follow up in response to the retraction announcement in a future episode (scheduled to be released mid July 2023).

If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting:

Episode 80 — Desistance Part II — Advice for Parents

Episode 106 — Detransition Awareness: Beyond Identity & Political Narratives

Episode 108 — Genspect Vision: The Bigger Picture with Joe Burgo & Alasdair Gunn

Episode 113 — Gender A Wider Lens LIVE from Ireland 

Gender & Schools | GWL Episode Playlist 

This episode is the second full length episode added to this playlist, so if you’re tuning in soon after its release, this playlist will seem sparse - we encourage you to bookmark the playlist for future reference as more episodes are added.

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Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender's psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.