The Transgender & Non-binary Support Committee exists to build, support, and unite gender-diverse members as part of the greater LGBTQ aviation community worldwide.
We will achieve this mission via three main goals:
CREATE a hub of resources, best practices, and educational material for our membership.
ADVOCATE for progress to government bodies, industry leaders, and general aviation communities on behalf of transgender and non-binary people in aviation.
PROVIDE confidential support and foster a community for peer-to-peer mutual support for gender-diverse members of NGPA.
Every year, typically mid-May, the NGPA Transgender and Nonbinary Committee host our Transgender Social. The NGPA Transgender Social is an annual event for our Trans, Nonbinary, and Gender-diverse members, as well as their partners. This event is a space to share community with one another, to safely play and experiment with gender, and to build out your support system. The Transgender Social includes planned dinners: one with the local NGPA chapter in our host city, and a private dinner function just for us. The weekend will also feature planned group activities, as well as free time during the day and night to explore the host city and experience its queer scene. Come make new, lifelong friends, get plugged into resources, share your experiences, and learn from the experiences of your Trans siblings.
Advocating for Progress
The NGPA Trans & Nonbinary Committee is actively working on several initiatives to create a safer, more inclusive aviation industry for Trans people. Our top advocacy goals are:
Streamlining the medical application process for people diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria.
Expanding insurance coverage for transition care.
Ensuring that aviation workers are able to designate chosen names and pronouns at work without updating their ID documents.
Pressing the FAA to begin issuing Pilot and Medical Certificates with X gender markers, alongside the State Department and Social Security Administration.
Establishing Uniform Policy Best Practices to help airlines update outdated uniform policies.
One of the most common questions we receive is how to start HRT as a pilot.
The FAA requires that all ATP and Commercial pilots hold a current Medical Certificate. For people with a prior Gender Dysphoria diagnosis, which is sometimes a part of obtaining a prescription for HRT, the FAA requires a few extra steps to apply for any class of Medical. During the application process, the FAA will require a few different documents from a few different care providers. One is an FAA form called the FAA Gender Dysphoria Mental Health Status Report. This must be completed by, “a board certified psychiatrist or licensed psychologist.” The other document is a letter from your treating physicians describing (for HRT), "the length of time on the medication and side effects, if any.” This form is not required if the applicant started HRT over five years ago.
Some people start HRT via Informed Consent and do not have a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis. Whether or not HRT without such a diagnosis is still evaluated under the same guidance is unclear at this time. Applicants may still be asked to complete the same paperwork as above. However, it is important to discuss with your provider any other diagnosis they may have written in lieu of a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis, as the FAA may still require additional documentation or tests for other diagnoses. Discuss these diagnoses with your PCP and AME.
Regardless of how you were prescribed HRT, the first step in the process is to start HRT. If you currently hold a medical certificate, it is best to begin this process with 6 months validity remaining on your certificate. It has been widely disseminated in the community that there is a need to self-ground once starting HRT until a special issuance is obtained. This guidance is based on an interpretation of 14 CFR 61.53(a)(2), which states that grounding is necessary when a pilot is “taking medication or receiving other treatment for a medical condition that results in the person being unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation.” Since the current Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners lists conditions where starting HRT would require your AME to defer the issuance to the FAA, many pilots self-ground while waiting for a reply with a special issuance. Consult your AME regarding the necessity and the duration to self-ground after starting your new medications. After starting HRT, begin collecting the documents outlined on the Guide for Medical Examiners, and submit them to the FAA either directly to the FAA in Oklahoma City via mail, through your FSDO, or through your AME. Most ATP certificate holders receive a response from the FAA after about 6-8 weeks. Pilots holding other certificates can expect to wait closer to 8-10 weeks. Once the FAA sends a response, take the response to your AME, and apply for your new medical.
For more details on the process, reach out to a trusted AME. That said, not all AME's are familiar with this process or are friendly to Transgender pilots. NGPA maintains a growing list of AME’s who are both Trans-friendly and familiar with this process. NGPA also has a partnership with Aviation Medicine Advisory Services (AMAS), an aeromedical consulting firm. Their services are available for free to NGPA members.
Trans-friendly AME List
NGPA Aeromedical Resources
Aviation Medicine Advisory Service (AMAS)
We Provide services for members through the Aviation Medicine Advisory Service (AMAS). This program, widely available through most pilot and ATC unions and companies, is available FREE to NGPA members here. Dr. Quay Snyder, President/CEO and co-founder of Aviation Medicine Advisory Service (AMAS) has been an invaluable resource for several of our members as they navigate Aeromedical challenges.
Free, confidential mental health referrals and guidance available here.
For NGPA Transgender membership support
Contact [email protected]