Chicago hospitals will give transgender patients option to identify as ‘x’ instead of male and female

A Chicago-area hospital system announced that they will give its patients the option to choose “x” as an alternative to identifying as male or female.

Northwestern Medicine said that the decision was made to accommodate transgender, nonbinary, or intersex people.

Dr. Sumanas Jordan, director of the Gender Pathways Program at Northwestern Medicine, explained the decision in a press release Monday.

“Northwestern Medicine hospitals and outpatient centers affirm every patient’s gender identity. The new medical record designation will enhance communication with patients, align with best practices and help our staff better meet the needs of the diverse population we serve,” wrote Jordan.

He went on to claim that the “x” designation would help prevent depression and anxiety.

“Research has shown that people who are nonbinary often experience more discrimination than people who identify as male or female,” he added. “That discrimination can cause psychological and social distress that makes them less likely to seek the healthcare services they need. If we want our patients to be proactive about their health, we must make it clear we welcome them and affirm their gender identities.”

Northwestern Medicine offers numerous medical services for transgender patients, including “masculinizing” and “feminizing” surgeries. It lists “vaginoplasty” and “phalloplasty” as well breast augmentation and mastectomy under those surgeries.

“We believe that everyone deserves high-quality health care that respects and validates their gender identity,” says a statement on the website. “Out of respect and to meet your needs, we may ask what pronouns you would like us to use. Only you can choose your pronouns.”

Northwestern Medicine includes 10 hospitals and about 200 locations in Chicago and northern Illinois.

Here’s a local news report about the decision:

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