Building Bridges to Inclusivity

In support of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we want to explore ways the healthcare industry can bridge a critical divide that is preventing transgender individuals from receiving essential medical treatment available in clinical trials. Participation in clinical trials by transgender individuals remains low despite an urgent need, with only 0.06% of 116,057 reported trial results mentioning transgender patients over a four-year period (July 2018 through February 2022). Part of this challenge has been measurement; if gender identity is not assessed in clinical trials, transgender people may be misclassified as male or female, leading to a barrier in understanding the extent to which transgender individuals have historically been included.

Leading With Kindness

Inclusivity in clinical trials starts with comprehensive education for healthcare staff. This involves learning how to better address and treat the specific needs of transgender individuals, including understanding pronouns, life experiences, preferences, and health practices.

Essential training includes:

  • Transgender-specific medicines and treatments.
  • Considerations for hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries.
  • Updates on evolving standards of care and inclusivity practices.

Improved education will foster better connections and enhance the treatment experience.

Updating Processes and Protocols

Regular reviews of processes and protocols ensure that all aspects of clinical trials are inclusive and dignified. Key steps include:

  • Revising intake forms and questionnaires with non-gendered wording.
  • Assessing sex and gender identity to ensure that transgender people are counted and the outcomes of clinical trials for transgender people can be reported.
  • Creating safe spaces in treatment areas.
  • Ensuring patient touchpoints, like bathrooms and patient rooms, are gender neutral.
  • Using trans-inclusive language in clinical trial narratives.
  • Providing accommodations for trans-specific treatment needs.
  • Removing exclusionary and offensive language.


The improved assessment of sex and gender in population-level research, together with the passage of transgender non-discrimination protections in many states, has enabled more and more people to disclose their transgender identity in research and be counted. Despite this progress, gaps remain regarding the inclusion of transgender people in clinical trials. Xavier Creative’s recommendations on how to expand the enrollment of transgender people into clinical research should be implemented to enhance health equity and improve health outcomes for transgender people across the US

Jaclyn White Hughto, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health

By embracing kindness, enhancing education, and updating processes, healthcare professionals can bridge the gap and foster inclusivity in clinical trials.

At Xavier Creative House (XCH), our commitment to inclusivity and diversity is unwavering. As a women-owned B-Corp agency, we pride ourselves on our ability to challenge the status quo and make a transformative difference in the world. Our innovative approach, driven by unmatched expertise and a deep-seated commitment to sustainability, sets us apart as leaders in healthcare marketing. We believe in creating a more equitable and inclusive world, starting with the way we conduct our business and the impact we make on the communities we serve. Together, let’s make a positive impact and build a brighter, more inclusive future for all.


Castaneda R. Overcoming obstacles in trans and nonbinary participation in clinical trials. Clinical Trials Arena. https://www.clinicaltrialsarena.com/news/transgender-clinical-trials/?cf-view. Published June 29, 2022. Accessed June 2, 2024.

Making clinical research inclusive: strategies to include the LGBTQIA+ community in research trials. WGC Clinical. https://www.wcgclinical.com/insights/making-clinical-research-inclusive-strategies-to-include-the-lgbtqia-community-in-research-trials/. Published June 10, 2021. Accessed June 2, 2024.


About Xavier Creative House

Founded in 2013, Xavier Creative House (XCH) is an award-winning healthcare creative agency specializing in pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device. XCH’s global team of brand builders and healthcare marketers, tech-savvy go-getters, and innovative dream-vetters are passionate about the big idea that changes behavior in the healthcare marketplace. They believe life is about connections and that healthcare is about life. That is why XCH delivers bold and evocative creative solutions, amplified by meaningful technology, to energize brands and authentically connect with patients and HCPs.

Where Healthcare Brands Live®

For more information, contact

Sunny White
Founder & CEO of Xavier Creative House