Transgender rights have been in the media quite often lately, sometimes used more for political gain than to obtain equal rights. While it would be nice to say that the opinions of opponents would change if their own child experienced gender dysphoria, the technical name for transgenderism, there are too many examples of parents turning their children out as a result of feelings that are completely outside of a person’s control.
Let me reiterate that, for any readers that do not know: gender dysphoria is totally outside of a person’s control. A person with gender dysphoria may feel distress and discomfort because their biological sex does not match their gender identity. It can cause significant depression and self-hatred, and that is just internally. The prejudice and judgement they then receive from others can be severe, even deadly.
People with gender dysphoria can manifest it in a number of ways, some of them very well hidden. While that might be relief to family who do not need to “deal” with the opinions of others, it can also hide the negative psychological effects and mask the need for professional help to deal with their emotions. Sadly, attempts at suicide and incidences of substance abuse occur frequently.
This disorder is very rare and is thought to be the result of hormonal changes in the womb. There are two options for treatment. The first includes therapy and treating the emotional effects gender dysphoria produces. Family therapy often will be included in the treatment of younger people. The second option is sex reassignment, which can be accomplished either through surgery or hormones. This is generally not recommended due to long term complications.
Parents confronted with gender dysphoria in a child should think before reacting in fear or judgement. Remember this is your child and they are coming to you because they are afraid of their own body, of themselves. Do not force them to deal with that fear alone.