What Transgender Teens Desperately Need From their Families


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – The number is sobering. Fifty-two percent of transgender youth in the U.S. have considered suicide. As a result, Stanford Children’s Health recently conducted a study to understand how families can better support their children during this journey. Those results are already making a difference in the lives of many transgender teens.

Things haven’t always so easy between 17-year-old Rose and her parents. When she was 15, she revealed to her parents that she was transgender.

“I think it was, probably, one of the things that I was most scared of,” Rose explained.

She was the ideal child with top grades in school, and a promising future in science.

Rose’s mother, Jessie said she knew Rose was suffering, she just didn’t know how to properly help her.

To better understand Rose’s journey, the family met with doctors at the Stanford Children’s Health Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Clinic. There, they found guidance from a new study that revealed how parents can best support their trans child.

Tandy Aye, MD, said, “We had the parents come and be interviewed. We asked them about the pivotal moments from their child disclosing. We, then, asked the child about their perception of that.”

(Read Full Interview)

Dr. Aye uncovered some surprising results.

“For the patient, the most important thing that we found was they just wanted to be respected for their name and their pronouns,” said Dr. Aye.

The findings also revealed that the teens believe that their parents are doing a better job than they give themselves credit for. Trans youth primarily want someone to listen, and not necessarily medical intervention, yet.

Rose says being able to get support from your parents is a big deal. Rose and her parents are now closer than ever.

“All we care about, at this moment, is her happiness,” Rose’s mother, Jessie, added.

Dr. Aye also says that it’s okay to admit to a transgender child that you don’t have all the answers. She suggests taking the time to learn what you don’t know with the teen. The most important thing is to listen and keep the dialogue open.

Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer, Producer; Joe, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:      MB #5030

BACKGROUND: Transgender people are people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were thought to be at birth. According to the Williams Institute of UCLA, there are almost 150,000 transgender teens in the United States, which is about 0.7 percent of the population of teens ages 13 to 17. About 30 percent of trans high schoolers report being the victim of sexual violence within the past year, three times the rate of cisgender peers. Being transgender means different things to different people. The best way to understand what being transgender is like is to talk with transgender people and listen to their stories.

(Source: https://transequality.org/issues/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-transgender-people#:~:text=Transgender%20people%20are%20people%20whose,what%20our%20bodies%20look%20like.



ESTABLISHING GENDER IDENTITY: Many people know that they’re transgender from a very young age — even as young as age 3. For others, it may not be something they fully understand about themselves until later in life. According to Russ Toomey, PhD, a professor and the program chair of family studies and human development at the University of Arizona, parents should believe what their child says about their own gender identity, though they should keep track of how persistently and consistently they identify as that gender and then get support.

(Source: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/transgender/how-do-i-know-if-im-transgender


NEW DATABASE: The Youth Tech Health announced the launch of a new technology called they2ze. It is an inclusive, trans-focused medical database intended to connect trans-identifying youth with access to health-related services and support. they2ze, which will be launched as a mobile application, can be used to locate, rate, and suggest transgender friendly resources, services, and doctors. The app functions as a crowd-sourcing review and networking site (much like Yelp), although the developers say usage is much more meaningful than simply leaving a review.

(Source: https://yth.org/they2ze-latest-tech-innovation-trans-identifying-youth/)


Elizabeth Valente-Pigato

(650) 269-5401


For Additional information visit: www.Gender.StanfordChildrens.org

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Doctor Q and A

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