Care providers are often the first people parents of gender non-conforming and transgender children and youth turn to for guidance, reassurance and supportive medical care for their child. As first responders, it is vitally important that up-to-date, accurate and gender identity-affirming services be offered.
A physician, counselor or nurse practitioner armed only with rudimentary or trans adult-centric knowledge of gender dysphoria or transgender identity might, with the best of intentions, send a parent off in the wrong direction with regard to her child's immediate and short-term needs. At worst, sharing information based on trans adult stereotypes, social challenges, medical and psychological care might lead a parent to shut down completely and decide to just "wait it out" when it comes to dealing with their child's gender non-conforming identity and self-expression.
When providing care, treatment, or services to a trans child or youth, it is important to understand that they are not simply "shorter/younger" versions of adult trans people; many aspects of the adult transgender patient/client model do not apply.
Transgender and significantly gender non-conforming children are the people many trans-identified adults were before much of the long-term and often irreparable physiological, psychological or sociological damage was done.
Taking a passive, "wait and see" approach can lead to irreversible damage. Using a transgender or gender non-conforming child's growing anxiety, depression, negative self-esteem and social isolation as a diagnostic tool is not only ineffective and misguided clinical methodology, it is inhumane.
content for this page was provided by TransActive Education & Advocacy