With Bruce Jenner’s recent confession about being transgender on last night's interview with Diane Sawyer, you may begin to ask yourself, “What do I really know about being transgender?” Dr. Johannah Olson, the Medical Director for the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, explains it’s hard to know how many children and adults are transgendered, but it has shown to be as high as 1 in 100 people in some studies. It could be possible that one of your own children is transgender and Kids In The House wants to help you as you raise and support your child. We interviewed transgender experts from across the country to improve the sentiments around this topic and help you better understand the biology of transgender youth
“Transgender is kind of an umbrella term that really describes a person who has an internal gender identity that is different than the one they were assigned at birth,” explains Dr. Olson. “So, some people, as they grow up, they recognize in different ways, that they actually feel that they have a different gender that they identify with internally, that is not aligned with their body.” In a recent blog post, Dr. Olson explains, "We don’t know what causes someone to be transgender, but what we’re learning as we’re putting the pieces together is that there are likely many factors. Genetics, hormones or other elements likely play a role. The information that is being discovered now is indicating that the neural wiring in a transgender person’s brain looks more similar to their gender of identity rather than their gender of assignment at birth."
If your child is transgender, clinical Psychologist, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, explains that the most important thing to do is to listen to what your child is trying to tell you. If your son starts telling you he is a girl, don’t tell him he is wrong. Listen to exactly what he is saying and then seek professional help to see if what your child is saying could mean they are transgender. "If your child is transgender, then we will find ways to support your child the best they can be, as the gender they are,” says Dr. Ehrensaft.
To learn more about transgender individuals, watch interviews with these experts on KidsInTheHouse.com.
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