Archive for July 2012

Monthly Archive

Transgender Teens, Part 9: Keeping Transgender Teens Safe

While I wish I didn’t have to talk about extra or special precautions for transgender teens,  it’s a topic every transgender teen needs to face. While a gay, lesbian, or bisexual teen’s identity may not be visible to those who look at them in passing, a transgender teen may not be able to (or want to) hide that they are transgender. Transphobic people may react negatively to this.

We can’t always tell who is accepting of transgender people and who may respond to transgender people with fear, dismissal, or even rage. Here are a few tips to share with your teen, to ensure they stay safe on their journey through adolescence. Read full post »

Teens and Participating in Sports

Teens may participate in sports for reasons that range from an excuse to see friends, to significant talent in a particular area. In this video blog, Dr. Monique Burton provides tips for sports participation.

When thinking about whether or not your teen should participate in sports consider the following points:

  • Sports provide a fun way to fit in physical activity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week for teens. This can be broken up into 10-15 minute intervals.
  • Participation in school sports usually requires teens to keep a minimum grade point average. For some students, being able to participate in a sport is all the motivation they need to turn in homework assignments and continue with academics.
  • Sports can positively impact self-esteem. Self esteem has been linked to decreased rates of depression, drug use, and sexual activity in teens.
  • In order to participate in sports, a visit to your teen’s health care provider is necessary for a pre-participation physical exam. During the teen years, visits to a health care provider are often few and far between. Use this physical exam as an opportunity to catch up on teen immunizations and guidance on everything from driving safety to acne!


Transgender Teens, Part 8: FTM Hormone Therapy

“I stared far back into my past and remembered the child who couldn’t be catalogued by Sears.  I saw her standing in front of her own mirror, in her father’s suit, asking me if I was the person she would grow up and become.  Yes, I answered her. And I thought how brave she was to have begun this journey, to have withstood the towering judgements” –Leslie Feinberg 

In our last post we discussed MTF transgender people, people born male who feel and desire to appear female, and hormone treatment they can receive as teenagers that moves them closer to this goal. This post discusses FTM transgender people, and the hormone treatment available to them.

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Teens and Dangerous Games – Rope Swings

We had a recent post on teens and dangerous games where we highlighted a game called ghost train. The purpose of the post was to emphasize how teens will forever invent new ways to push limits and often act impulsively. That post inspired one of our readers to have her son share his story about the dangers of rope swings. Elliot is a 16 year old who was trying to impress friends one day by swinging on a rope swing attached to a tree. The consequences were very unexpected: he had a long hospital stay and rehabilitation. Elliot graciously shared his personal story with teenology101.

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Transgender Teens, Part 7: MTF Hormone Therapy

This morning I was walking across a hospital lobby when I saw a lovely young woman walk through the doors. She was quite tall, fashionably dressed, with platinum blond hair. I wish I was that tall and/ or blond, I thought, and went on my way. I was two feet away from her before I realized with a start that this was one of our transgender patients. I hadn’t seen her for a few months, and in that interval she had started hormone treatment. She looked confident, cheerful, and beautiful.

Biological males who are transgender can physically transition to being young women and not only find significant improvement in their mental health, but also a new pleasure in being in their own skin. Society tends to think of a MTF transgender person as looking like “a man in a dress”- which is a fine option for MTFs who wish to appear that way. But MTF people who want to “pass”, or appear fully female to an outside observer, may have that option as well.

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The Importance of Physical Activity in Teens

During the warmer months teens often take advantage of great weather to get outside and be active. Dr. Monique Burton, a Sports Medicine specialist, has helped to provided us with tips for why physical activity is important in teens. We know it’s important for health and for maintaining a normal body weight, but physical activity can have other benefits as well. Check out the video for more information!

Transgender Teens, Part 6: Preparing for Major Changes

If you have a transgender teen, they may desire to shape their physical body to reflect their inner gender more closely. It’s important to remember that not all FTM transgenders desire to look “exactly like a man”, or vice versa. There are different hormonal and surgical options for people who want to alter their physical appearance in terms of gender, some of which are available to minors and some of which are not. If your teen is interested in exploring them, it’s vital that you find an experienced provider who works with transgender youth. While any provider should be open and accepting of transgender patients, not all providers are experienced with their specific medical and psychological needs.

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How to keep your teen busy this summer

There’s a saying in the Pacific Northwest that summer doesn’t start until July 5th. This summer of 2012 is living up to that saying in Seattle. The weather is forecast to finally hit above 80 degrees. Now teens have been out of school a couple of weeks, so while the weather is just getting warm enough for summer fun, teens may already be going a little stir crazy if they haven’t made plans to occupy their time this summer. Read full post »