American Trans Kids

milkboys News & Opinions 6 Comments

As the debate continues over which bathroom transgender people should use, a more complex question is emerging about how early the medical transition begins for trans kids. Families and doctors are rewriting the rules as they decide when and how to start medical intervention before transgender youth hit puberty.

About 2 percent of American youth identify as transgender, and that estimate is conservative since the population is likely underreporting. “I feel comfortable saying that any survey of LGBT identity likely underestimates the full population because it only accounts for one part of sexual and gender minority status, ‘identity’,” said Bianca Wilson of the Williams Institute, a national think tank at the UCLA School of Law that advances sexual orientation and gender identity law.

In addition to fighting for acceptance, transgender children and their families are faced with medical questions that could be life-changing. These decisions are even harder for those young trans and gender nonconforming people who don’t have family support. Estimates show that about 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

This documentary explores the emotionally charged and rapidly evolving issues faced by trans youth and their parents in a time of drastic political and societal change.

Comments 6

  1. 2 percent seems too high for trans identity. I’d bet money that the 2% figure comes from a question that includes other identity categories, such as ‘non-binary’, which is not the same thing.

  2. I have an ideal. In one [complete] TV show or movie, instead of hiring high school age girls for this TV or movie, hire instead, m-f transgenders to replace them and not tell the press about it and then experience the post reaction of … 1) the press … 2) the public that watched or are watching it [out of curiosity] … 3) the inevitable fans that accumulate for the numerous actors [particularly the younger teens, etc.] … and … 4) the industry profession (TV, movie, theater). This would be even more interesting if they were middle-school aged.

    With very good selection of actors, no one would/[could?] tell the difference while in production if it hasn’t been “leaked” out — and even more difficult if they are middle-school aged (real, not older actors hired to “be younger”).

  3. If I had a kid who was a “transgender” kid, I could handle anything except for the “hormone” therapy. Too many of our recent “wonder drugs” have been found to be “dangerous” or cancerous later on, so I couldn’t agree to allow him/her to have the hormone shots. I would be too afraid of “signing a Death Warrant” for my child. He/she would have to wait until turning 21 to get those shots. I just couldn’t do it. But for those that can, I support the choice.

    1. “so I couldn’t agree to allow him/her to have the hormone shots. I would be too afraid of ‘signing a Death Warrant’ for my child.”

      You could be quite correct — because his/her death might just be suicide. The problem may not be the hormone treatment, it could be the doctor and not examining the child enough to determine what, when, how much, how often to administer it.

      I don’t know enough about it, but isn’t it so that the child won’t go through a “normal” male puberty and to keep the child from growing body hair associated with male puberty … as well as larynx/voice changes … and others? For a m-f Transgender, I wouldn’t think ‘he’ would want to experience all that and if you don’t do it, ‘he’ will end up looking like a bad drag queen.

      .

      ” He/she would have to wait until turning 21 to get those shots.”

      Hmmm. Since the legal adult age is 18, you wouldn’t have a choice after 18 if (s)he seriously wanted it.

      Authoritarian much?

  4. Our child, now over 18 years old, is trans and struggling with how to navigate the choices, or lack thereof, for counseling, hormones, surgery, etc. As parents we are completely supportive of our child’s feelings, desires and struggles on how to define identity to self and others. What we have discovered is that navigating the healthcare system is fraught with problems. We have encountered a transgender clinic in a major hospital that was in a complete rush to carry out non-reversible treatments after only a few token “counseling” sessions. In the better program that we found afterwards, the counseling was still not a requirement before starting hormone treatment. Information available online and from experts is inconsistent. Our real concern is that in the name of supporting trans people, medical guidelines are being ignored. Treatments that have not been approved and for which there are no long term data, are not allowed for the general population, and yet being given to trans people at younger and younger ages. No one knows the long term results, for example, of hormone treatments for decades and decades of life. I hope it will turn out to be relatively harmless. But, as a parent concerned for my child’s health and wellbeing, I do worry that trans people are being used as the test subjects. I hope in future years there is not a huge outcry that all of this was unethical and that someone ought to have been safeguarding people’s rights. It is a razor edge: many in the “trans community” are pushing for not following these safeguards!

  5. About 2 percent of American youth identify as transgender, and that estimate is conservative since the population is likely underreporting. “I feel comfortable saying that any survey of LGBT identity likely underestimates the full population because it only accounts for one part of sexual and gender minority status, ‘identity’,” said Bianca Wilson of the Williams Institute, a national think tank at the UCLA School of Law that advances sexual orientation and gender identity law.”

    This AGAIN, demonstrates exactly what I’ve been saying for years: LGBT persons have always been grossly under-counted and under-estimated because of rather obvious various factors, not the least of which is pointed out in the above statements.

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