The Child & Adolescent Gender Center (CAGC)

The Child and Adolescent Gender Center (CAGC) is a unique collaboration between the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and community organizations dedicated to the health and wellbeing of Transgender and other Gender-expansive children.

Our Mission

The young people we serve feel a strong conflict between their gender (inner sense of who they are as male, female, or somewhere on the gender spectrum) and their physical sex characteristics. They represent an often misunderstood and marginalized population facing a high degree of risk of psychiatric and social challenges, including depression, drug use, isolation, discrimination, and suicide.

In 2010, a unique consortium of professionals specializing in gender issues came together to form the CAGC. Each came with a singular purpose: to provide these vulnerable young people and their families with comprehensive services grounded in notions of affirmative care and support. The Center offers patients and their families an integrated and coherent set of services– medical, mental health, educational, legal and other forms of advocacy –across the span of childhood and young adulthood, empowering families to more effectively plan for the current and future needs of their gender diverse children. Through a unified network of multi-disciplinary professionals, the Center serves to develop and provide best clinical practices, create greater acceptance of gender diversity in schools and other institutions, provide advocacy, influence public policy, and conduct research aimed at enhancing the healthy development and wellbeing of transgender and other gender-expansive children, adolescents, and young adults.

The centerpiece of the CAGC is the CAGC Clinic, housed in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Our clinic brings together experts from within and outside of UCSF to provide comprehensive care and support to our patients. The CAGC Clinic is one of only a handful of such programs in the United States, and the only program in the country that offers comprehensive medical and psychological care as well as advocacy/education and legal support to gender expansive/transgender children, adolescents, and young adults. A steady increase in referrals has led to a quadrupling of services in the last 2 years. Even with an expanded clinic schedule, we remain pressed to meet the growing needs of this unique and diverse population. Patients and families have sought our services from throughout California, and from as far away as Florida, Egypt, and Australia.

Our Partners

The CAGC Clinic represents a partnership between UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Mind-the-Gap Mental Health Network, Gender Spectrum, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

The UCSF Beniofff Children’s Hospital Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, ranked among the top 10 such programs nationally in the 2014-15 U.S. News & World Report, provides comprehensive endocrine/medical care in collaboration with Adolescent Medicine and Primary Care. Stephen M. Rosenthal, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrine Program Director, serves as Medical Director of the CAGC. Ilana Sherer, MD, UCSF-trained primary care pediatrician, serves as the Assistant Medical Director of the CAGC and is developing comprehensive tools to educate primary care providers in the nuanced care of gender diverse youth. Meredith Russell, NP, and Molly Koren, MSW, provide sensitive nursing and social work support, respectively, to our patients and families.

Mind-the Gap is a network of mental health/gender specialists in Northern California dedicated to the care and support of gender diverse youth. Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, internationally known child psychologist/gender specialist and widely recognized author, created and leads the Mind-the-Gap network and serves as Mental Health Director of the CAGC.

Gender Spectrum is the leading national advocacy group for gender expansive youth whose mission is to create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens. Serving hundreds of families throughout the world, they provide an array of services–from training in schools to direct services to parents and caregivers. Joel Baum, MS, Senior Director of Professional Development and Family Services, is the Director of Education and Advocacy for the CAGC.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has been advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education since it was founded in 1977. One of the nation’s leaders in securing the rights of transgender and gender-expansive youth, they have been involved a range of precedent setting cases across the country. Asaf Orr, Esq., NCLR Staff Attorney, serves as Legal Director of the CAGC.

Regional, National, & International Impact of the CAGC

In a relatively short span of time, the CAGC has already demonstrated wide impact at the regional, national, and international levels:


–Invited state-of-the-art reviews in the leading peer-reviewed academic journals in pediatrics (Pediatrics—Vance S, Ehrensaft D, Rosenthal SM) and endocrinology (the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism—Rosenthal SM), and in primary care (Pediatrics in Review—Sherer I, Rosenthal SM, Baum J, Ehrensaft D)

–Widely cited books –e.g. Gender Born Gender Made by Ehrensaft, D. , The Transgender Child by Brill, S. and Pepper, R (Gender Spectrum), Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (Advisory review: Sherer I)

Clinical Practice Guidelines & Health Care Policy

–Appointed to the Task Force for the 2014-15 revision of the Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guideline for the Endocrine Care of Transgender adolescents and adults (Rosenthal SM), co-sponsored by the leading international endocrine societies and by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH)

–Appointed to the WPATH Task Force to the World Health Organization for International Classification for Disease (ICD)-11 pertaining to transgender youth and adults (Ehrensaft, D, and Rosenthal SM)

–Founding member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on LGBT issues (Sherer I)


–Led the way in establishing the 1st national network of academic centers (with pending NIH support) providing multi-disciplinary care for transgender youth with the goal of attaining long-term safety and efficacy outcomes data to optimize medical and mental health care (Rosenthal,SM, Ehrensaft D)

–Optimization of mental health approaches for the care of gender diverse youth (Ehrensaft D)

Community Outreach

–Support of the annual Gender Spectrum Professionals’ Symposium and Family Conference (Baum J, Ehrensaft D, Sherer I, Rosenthal SM, Orr A)

–Parent support groups: e.g. Gender Spectrum (Baum J, Ehrensaft), PFLAG (Ehrensaft D, Rosenthal SM)

–Lecturing for the 2014 Kaiser Transgender Symposium (Ehrensaft D, Baum J, Sherer I, Rosenthal SM)

–Numerous invited lectures at University Grand Rounds, National and international Symposia (Rosenthal SM, Ehrensaft D, Baum J, Sherer I)
–Leaders in organizations involved with passing the nation’s first state law affirming the rights of transgender students in California’s public schools (Gender Spectrum and NCLR)

–Hosted gathering of representatives from Gender Centers throughout the United States and Canada focused on development of guiding principles characterizing gender-affirmative practices (Gender Spectrum)


The CAGC is actively involved in the training of medical students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows in the comprehensive care of transgender and other gender expansive youth.

The CAGC has also trained numerous professionals in educational institutions throughout the United States and beyond regarding best practices for creating gender inclusive school settings (Gender Spectrum), and has trained numerous mental health professionals nationally and internationally in the care of transgender and other gender expansive youth (Mind-the Gap).


CAGC team members have won numerous awards–e.g. UCSF Chancellor Award for GLBT Leadership for a trainee (Sherer I) and for a faculty member (Rosenthal SM), Scholarship Award from the American Psychological Association (Ehrensaft D), GLBT Advocacy Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (Sherer I).


To Make an Appointment

Child and Adolescent Gender Center Clinic
Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Appointments: (415) 353-7337
Fax: (415) 476-8214 (Attention:
Dr. Stephen Rosenthal)

Hours: Tuesday afternoons