What does SEGM do?


Young people with gender dysphoria deserve respect, compassion, and high-quality, evidence-based care. The first and most fundamental principle of evidence-based medicine (EBM) is that medical decision-making must be based on the best available evidence, which comes from systematic reviews of evidence. Once quality systematic reviews of evidence specify what is known about the benefits and harms of a given treatment, understanding how the patients themselves weigh the benefits against harms should inform treatment decisions. 

SEGM was formed around in response to a proliferation of treatment guidelines that promote medicalized youth gender transition without the benefit of systematic reviews of evidence. Instead, the prevailing guidelines rely on a limited selection of studies that suffer from a high risk of bias, and have low applicability to the current population of gender-dysphoric youth. Such non-evidence-based guidelines risk promoting suboptimal and harmful care. 

From our inception, SEGM's mission has been to promote evidence-based principles in the field of youth gender medicine. To date, we have collaborated with hundreds of researchers and clinicians from over 20 countries. Our objectives include critically appraising primary studies, translating, analyzing, and disseminating international practice guidelines and society position statements, and, importantly, developing new quality systematic reviews of evidence in partnership with major research universities. In addition to evaluating the endocrine and surgical intervention pathways (known as "gender-affirming care"), we support the development of non-invasive approaches for the care of young people with gender dysphoria.

SEGM is free from political, ideological, religious, or financial influences. Please join us in our mission to promote evidence-based care for gender-dysphoric children, adolescents, and young adults that prioritizes long-term outcomes, is rooted in ethical principles, and is based on fully informed consent.

SEGM is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Contributions to SEGM are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. SEGM’s tax identification number is 84-4520593.


2024 Advisors

William Malone, MD (US). Co-founder and founding board member.

William Malone, MD. Co-founder and founding board member (US).

Dr. William Malone is a board-certified endocrinologist. He is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A., Human Biology) and New York University Medical School. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center. He’s been in clinical practice since 2008 and holds an appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Endocrinology from the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Julia W Mason, MS MD (US)

Julia W Mason, MS MD FAAP. Founding board member (US).

Dr. Julia Mason is a board-certified pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois (MS in Nutritional Science, MD). She completed residency training in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Mason has a busy pediatrics practice; in the past several years she's encountered increasing numbers of gender dysphoric adolescents, most with neurodevelopmental challenges or psychiatric comorbidities. Dr. Mason contributes to KevinMD on the topic of gender dysphoria.

Roberto D’Angelo, PsyD, MMed, MBBS, FRANZCP (Australia)

Roberto D’Angelo, PsyD, MMed, MBBS, FRANZCP. President and founding board member (Australia).

Dr. Roberto D'Angelo is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He is a training and supervising analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles. He has written and contributed to publications raising ethical questions about gender-affirming therapies. Dr. D’Angelo has an interest in non-medicalized approaches to gender issues and has written about the psychotherapeutic treatment of gender dysphoria. He is in private practice in Sydney and Byron Bay, Australia, where he sees adolescents and adults with gender issues.

Zhenya Abbruzzese

Zhenya Abbruzzese, Co-founder and Senior Advisor (US).

Zhenya Abbruzzese is a healthcare researcher, co-founder of SEGM, and the author of widely-read peer-reviewed publications in gender medicine. Her landmark publication, The Myth of "Reliable Research" in Pediatric Gender Medicine, mounted a significant challenge to the claim that youth gender medicine is based on a solid scientific foundation, contributing to the international debate about how best to care for gender dysphoric youth worldwide.

Before co-founding SEGM, Abbruzzese led analytics efforts for a major insurer to identify low-value care, misuse, and overuse of invasive and non-beneficial interventions.  She also developed and led a venture-backed healthcare startup to help patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Prior to 2004, Abbruzzese conducted research for high-tech companies. Today, she continues to use her skills to champion and advocate for safe, evidence-informed, effective medical care, especially for vulnerable, marginalized, and underserved populations.

Jane Wheeler

Jane Wheeler, JD. Senior Advisor (US).

Jane Wheeler is President of Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME) a non-profit education and research corporation dedicated to promoting optimal ethical care for gender non-conforming children and youth. She practiced law for many years in California as a corporate regulatory healthcare attorney in licensing, standards of care and informed consent. She was a board member of Lawyers for Human Rights (now the Los Angeles LGBT Bar Association) and served on GLAAD/LA Women’s Committee. Prior to COVID-19, she worked as a consultant in New York for non-profits in the area of funding for health and education-related programs focused on improving care provided in nursing homes. 

Richard Byng, MB BCh MPH PHD MRCGP (UK)

Richard Byng, MB BCh MPH PHD MRCGP. Advisor (UK).

Dr. Richard Byng works in Plymouth in general practice and in a mental health team for young people. He is also a Professor in Primary Care Research at the University of Plymouth, leading the Community and Primary Care Group and specializing in the development and evaluation of person-centered care for individuals with complex health and social needs.

Michael Biggs, PhD (UK)

Michael Biggs, PhD. Advisor (UK).

Michael Biggs was born in New Zealand, took his undergraduate degree at Victoria University of Wellington, and then pursued doctoral study at Harvard University. Currently Associate Professor of Sociology and Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford. Biggs’ research focuses on social movements and collective protest. The transgender movement first attracted his attention for its extraordinary success in changing social norms and government policies. When he looked for empirical evidence to justify medical interventions on children and adolescents, he was surprised that there was so little and it was of such poor quality. His research on Britain’s experiment with puberty blockers has been widely reported in newspapers and on the BBC.

Sasha Ayad, LPC (US)

Sasha Ayad, LPC. Advisor (US).

Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked in the field of behavioral therapy and mental health since 2005. Sasha promotes and provides developmentally appropriate, individualized treatments for concerns related to gender identity and gender dysphoria. Sasha has also served populations with autism spectrum conditions and domestic violence victims. Sasha developed and ran the first counseling program at a state-supported residential facility for adults with intellectual disabilities and concurrent mental illness. Sasha Ayad has been in private practice in Houston, Texas since 2016.

Lisa Marchiano, LCSW (US)

Lisa Marchiano, LCSW. Advisor (US).

Lisa Marchiano is a clinical social worker and certified Jungian analyst. She consults with parents of trans-identifying teens and detransitioners. She is the author of “Outbreak: On Transgender Teens and Psychic Epidemics” (Psychological Perspectives 2017). Lisa contributed chapters to two books about transgender children, adolescents, and young adults published by Cambridge Scholars. Her writing has appeared in the online magazines, Quillette and Areo. Lisa Marchiano has a private practice in Philadelphia.

Anastassis Spiliadis, psychotherapist (MSc, PGCert)

Anastassis Spiliadis, psychotherapist. Advisor (UK, Greece).

Anastassis Spiliadis is a psychotherapist (MSc, PGCert), a psychologist (MSc, Doctoral C.) and an organisational consultant (MSc) based in London & Athens, working with individuals (adolescents and adults), couples, families and teams. He currently works clinically in independent practice and as a trainer for the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in the UK. He has worked for many years with people of all ages affected by eating disorders, gender-related distress, relationship challenges and often enduring mental health difficulties in world-renowned clinics and hospitals, such as the Maudsley Hospital, King’s College London Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Anastassis worked in the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at The Tavistock Clinic as a psychotherapist, a supervisor and trainer between 2015 and 2019 where he also established and led the first Family Therapy & Consultation Service. There, he witnessed and reported unethical clinical practices alongside some thoughtful work by other therapists. He disagreed openly with the service’s non-evidenced medical model and in 2017 coined the term Gender Exploratory Therapy aiming to develop a therapeutic approach away from conversion and affirmative polarities before leaving the service.

Anastassis continues to work with gender-related distress across the lifespan alongside his generic practice and supervises and trains clinicians and University students from different modalities internationally.

He is particularly interested in the development, adaptation and evaluation of psychotherapeutic approaches for eating disorders, gender-related distress and co-occurring difficulties holding on to a systemic family-focused and developmental lens.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed by SEGM advisors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of their respective employers or institutions they are affiliated with.