Adolescent Healthcare Needs of Trans Children and Youth
The needs of transgender youth are often lumped together with the needs of lesbian and gay youth, but the safety of their journey relies even more heavily on the cooperation of adults. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child’s gender identity is stable by age four. By age eight, many children can articulate that their assigned sex at birth does not match their internal gender identity. With the onset of a wrong-gender puberty, trans youth become incredibly vulnerable to depression and anxiety. For youth who grow up without having their gender identity affirmed, the rates of substance abuse and high risk sexual behavior are triple that of their supported gender non-conforming peers, and in surveys from as recent as 2010 over 80% of trans identified individuals reported thoughts of suicide, with over 40% having attempted it at one point. With healthcare providers assisting families in a proactive and affirming approach to a child’s gender identity, these negative outcomes can be avoided. This workshop will address common issues relevant to serving pubescent youth, including the right to access healthcare without parental consent, cross-sex hormones, and addressing potential self destructive survival behaviors.