At least that is what it looks like. Middlesex hospital has their gender clinic, then came Yale-New Haven and now it looks like Hartford Hospital group wants to join the two.
Unlike many things for youth – questionable fashion choices, outlandish hairstyles or the withering stare - gender identity is not a phase, an assertion reinforced by a recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In its journal, Pediatrics, the Academy examined the gender identity of teens five years after they socially transitioned to the gender opposite of their birth gender to address concerns that youth making early childhood social transitions might later change their gender identification, or retransition.
The examination of almost 400 transgender youth showed that at the end of the five-year period, 94 percent still identified as transgender.
Kind of put holes in the Republican mantra that it is only a phase that children go through.
He [Derek Fenwick, PsyD] stressed that it’s important to understand that every person’s gender journey is unique. Some youth may choose social transition only while others opt for such medical-affirming treatments as puberty blockers, gender-affirming hormones and/or surgery.
We are on our own journey in life, to paraphrase Smokey the Bear, only you know when you are ready. Not the doctor, not the therapist, not your friend online, only you know.
Back when I was first testing the waters I was at a trans conference and a speaker was telling us how to plan our transition. The speaker had a whole time line for us to lay out, and the whole thing was bull! I found that the whole plan needed to be thrown out, that this is seat-of-pants flying. You do what is right for you when you feel it is right to do.
“I strongly believe that we as human beings are constantly evolving, changing, learning about ourselves. As such, we need to also view gender identity and sexual orientation in this way,” Dr. Fenwick said. “We should allow people to feel comfortable and open in exploring and understanding the various dynamics and nuances of identity.”
I think that for the parents it is worst, they love their child and want best for them but don’t know where to turn, clinics like the three in Connecticut not only help their child but also the whole family.
“Parental thoughts that the child may transition and then later feel comfortable identifying with the gender originally assigned at birth may come about from different factors. It may be lack of education around gender, fear about how society will perceive the child, fear for the child’s safety or their own anxiety related to the transition,” Dr. Fenwick explained. “I always find it important to say that this period of change is also new for parents and they are also going through a transition that needs to be discussed and addressed.”
Remember you do not want a healthcare provider who says, “I think that you are ready.” you want a provider who asks you what you think and then discusses why you think that. They are a guide not a leader.