Digital Transgender Archive

Interview with Dr. Katie Spencer

Download the full-sized image of Interview with Dr. Katie Spencer

Dr. Katie Spencer identifies as a female identified cisgender woman and femme assigned female at birth. She lived in Farmington, Missouri as a kid with her parents and two brothers. As a little girl she was super feminine, refusing to wear anything but dresses. She was a chubby kid growing up and dealing with fat phobia in a primarily white middle class, midwestern town. When she was about 18 she discovered feminism. In college she studied gender and feminism, becoming an activist and coming out as queer. She graduated college in 1999 from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin after transferring from Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. During one of her psychology of women classes, her teacher brought in someone from Transsexual Menace to talk, which was quite the experience for Spencer. Spencer has a PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. She critiques the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder and Gender Dysphoria along with the notion of heteronormative gatekeeping within the medical and psychological fields. She also talks extensively about Harry Benjamin’s Standards of Care, The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, clinics that support trans issues in the Twin Cities, and becoming gender literacy. She’s involved in transgender health as a therapist and researcher for the Center for Sexual Health Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota. She worked on the Insurance Task Force in Minnesota to put together a policy stating that the health care needs of trans people, such as hormones and surgery, are medically necessary, and, therefore, should be covered by insurance.

Item Information: