Trans teens

 

Some young people  identify themselves as trans; but what does that mean? 

‘Trans’ means different things to different people. It is a term that can be used when someone is transgender; when there is a mismatch between your physical sex (i.e. your sexual organs) and your gender (your identity in your head). The term  includes transsexual young people. Transsexual defines a person who has undergone treatment to acquire the physical characteristics of the opposite sex. ‘Trans’ is sometimes used to describe cross-dressing; when a person wears clothes associated with, and takes on the appearance of someone of the opposite sex.

Some children and young people find that how they look on the outside does not fit with who they are on the inside. Although it is uncommon for a girl to want to be a boy or believe they are a boy, or for a boy to want to be a girl or believe they are a girl, this is a natural variation of normal human development.   It is also natural for some young people to feel as if they are both a girl and a boy at the same time.

If how you are inside your body does not fit the gender you are on the outside, (your assigned gender); you may feel that other people expect you to behave according to your assigned gender.  Adolescence, the time when your body is maturing and changing into it’s adult form, can be a torturous time for any teen who is trans. It can create feelings of discomfort and you may feel you cannot be yourself.  It may be that you feel the need to repress your natural feelings and behaviour.  Gender identity (how you feel about your gender) and sexuality (your sexual preferences) aren’t the same thing, but they’re both linked.

Because of all of this, trans teens are at a higher risk for depression,  poor mental health, self-harm and suicide.  If you are struggling with your gender identity, you are not alone.  It is important to be able to share how this is impacting on you and your mental health.  Talking to a trusted adult can help and you can explore these issues with your CAMHS worker.  There are specialist support websites such as Mermaids for teenagers who identify as trans and their families.

 More information for trans teens click here .

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