Issues facing the vulnerable population of gender non-conforming youth

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Issues facing the vulnerable population of gender non-conforming youth

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So transgender youth have a set of challenges that they face, they are distinctly different from a childhood challenges. Many transgender youth are rejected of their primary family of origin because of their gender. Either those young people have come out as gay, because they don't know another way to talk about their experiences or they gender in congruence and their family rejects them fro that reason. Or they do come out as transgender and their family rejects them for that particular issue. So many transgender youth end up in the foster care system. They are additionally challenged to make it in a foster home, because they may be rejected from a foster home or have difficult getting along there because of the foster home environment. So many youth end up in group homes and then consequently end up on the streets. Or they graduate from the foster care system onto the streets, which you could imagine leaves you to even more hazard, because there are environmental hazards but there are also a subject to illness, increased HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, drug use. In addition to just not getting the advantages that youth who not on the street would have. So gender adolescent are too accepted by their parents and are able to transition in adolescence also face bullying and harassment in the school environment. But they also have to face some challenges that we might not think about. They have to understand how they are going to disclose the information that they are transgender. They have to understand when they are going to disclose it if they get involved in intimate partnerships. What should they disclose, how should they tell people? And what should they tell people. And these are thing that would take a lot of their brain space and a lot of their emotional energy thinking about these things. This is why we feel so strongly about having a therapist involved in their care, while they transition in adolescence.

See Johanna Olson, MD's video on Issues facing the vulnerable population of gender non-conforming youth...

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Johanna Olson, MD

Medical Director, Center for Transyouth Health and Development, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Johanna Olson, MD is a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Medical Director of the hospital’s Center for Transyouth Health and Development.  She specializes in the care of transgender youth, gender variant children, youth with HIV, and chronic pain. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. She has appeared on ABC's 20/20, The Dr. Phil Show, CNN, Dateline NBC and The Doctors to educate audiences about the needs of transgender youth.

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