All Articles in the Category ‘LGBTQ’

Transgender Teens, Part 12: “Understanding Your Teen,”A Guest Post from Irwin Krieger

Irwin Krieger, LCSW, is a counselor in New Haven, CT who works regularly with transgender teens and their families. In addition to his clinical work, he is also the author of “Helping Your Transgender Teen“, an excellent guide for parents and families of transgender teens.

Irwin has written two excellent short pieces for this blog, one of which I will be sharing today. This post looks at some feelings parents may encounter when discovering their teen is transgender, and how to talk to them about what they’ve just shared with you (or shared with you a long time ago, if you feel you haven’t had a good discussion with them.) It’s a simple, eloquent, thought-provoking entry, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did:

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Transgender Teens, Part 11: Real-Life Role Models

Last week we talked about role models for transgender teens in the media. There are plenty of real-life transgender people out there for teens to look up to as well, and in this post we’ll be discussing a few of them.

It can be difficult, in a historical sense, to figure out who was transgender. Men’s and women’s roles were so rigid  that it can be hard to tell exactly why a person switched genders. Perhaps they were truly transgender, or perhaps they wanted access to the privileges, rights, or customs of the other gender, or to love someone of the same gender more easily. For example, a woman might dress as a man to join the military and fight in a war, while a man might dress as a woman to avoid it.

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Transgender Teens, Part 10: Role Models in TV & Movies

In comparison to 20 years ago, there has been a huge rise in the number of role models for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. There are gay, lesbian, and bisexual actors, musicians, authors, journalists, artists, politicians, athletes, CEOs, and plenty of gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters in movies and TV.

Where are the transgender role models?

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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 »

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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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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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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Transgender Teens, Part 5: Suppressing Puberty

When a teen who truly feels they are the opposite gender- a biological female who feels male inside, or vice versa- going through puberty can be quite traumatic. To feel like a young man who has breasts and is menstruating, or a young woman who has a low voice and chest hair, can be jarring and miserable. And yet a teen who is 12 or 13 is usually not considered mature enough to decide to transition their gender permanently. Read full post »

Transgender Teens, Part 4: First Steps

So your teen is transgender. We’ve spent the last 3 posts talking about what that does and does not mean. But what do you do now? What does your teen do now? How do you make sure that your transgender teen is able to continue living their life?

Let’s start with the basics. Read full post »

Transgender Teens, Part 3: Myths and Misconceptions

The following are common myths and misconceptions about transgender teens and transgender people in general.

#1: Transgender teens are just experimenting/ confused/ trying to get a rise out of people.

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