Our daughter in college just announced her/hir intent to start taking Testosterone. What should we do?
April 23, 2015
Request for advice and guidance from a concerned parent:
Our almost 21 year child just announced yesterday her/hir intent to start taking T and said that she was considering top surgery eventually as well but “that’s all”. Ze has been wearing men’s clothes for a couple of years now, hates having a period, and appears very butch. Seems most interested in/connected with other butch/lesbian individuals. We have tried to understand and have asked if hir intent is to transition to a male, but she claims not; stating that she’s just tired of being seen as a female, despite the butch clothes etc but does not want to be a “full male”..more like androgynous or “non-binary”.
It’s a long story, like many, but it started when she went to college and found her “place/home” in the LGBTQ community, and then changed her major to “Gender & Women’s Studies”. We are so concerned about whether this T medical treatment and surgery is truly what will make her happy versus being pressured by the environment she is currently in. She wants to change her name legally this summer. She seems attracted to other lesbians from what I can tell which may not be much! I know this may not be PC but what we’ve seen develop in her school experience feels “cultish” to us. Maybe we’re in denial? We are so very concerned about the permanent nature of this “transition” and that it is being done without any in-depth psychological evaluation or counseling. There is a possible history of abuse from a male babysitter when she was 4, but it was never possible to establish exactly what happened..she was examined and no physical evidence of anything was found. We did take her to counseling of course. She was also bullied in both middle and high school. She does suffer from anxiety and has trouble handling “stress” She has done extremely well academically and is very bright. She has always been quite nurturing and wonderful with babies and young children and even thought about becoming a preschool/elementary school teacher up until fairly recently.
What should we say to her about this upcoming transition? Should we give her any advice or information? We have tried to be accepting/loving parents but we are so afraid she is making a mistake that she could seriously regret later in life once the changes are permanent and that her decision to do this is encouraged so much by the community she is now involved with.
Thank you so much for reading this and any suggestions you can make would be very welcome.
From comment left HERE.
Insurers struggle to justify the sex discrimination of legally mandated “transgender care” while surgical providers continue to decline
October 30, 2014
Less than 50 physicians worldwide are willing to provide transgender surgical “sex reassignment” or “sex change” procedures, and as the few existing practitioners retire, no one is replacing them. Modern cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons at large are opting not to do these procedures, even when they are state mandated and funded.
Now, insurers are struggling to fulfill state mandates covering transgender surgical procedures for men that are excluded for women based on sex discrimination. Transgender state medical mandates pushed by lobbyists insist that procedures such as breast implants and “face lifts” are medically necessary for men who wish to look more like women, while denying coverage for those same procedures to actual women. Transgender advocates have successfully lobbied for such government provided “care” on the grounds that without such procedures men may become depressed or abuse alcohol or other substances, and that such men have a state-protected right to avoid being mocked or socially ostracized for their appearance. Males must declare a “transgender identity” to receive coverage.
From the Boston Herald:
Four months after the state Division of Insurance put health plans on notice that denying medically necessary treatment to transgender people is prohibited sex discrimination, insurers are still grappling with what constitutes medical necessity, and patients are struggling to find doctors who’ll treat them.
“We were concerned people were having to go all over the country for this surgery,” Dr. Joel Rubenstein of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care said yesterday at a Division of Insurance informational session. “We’re hopeful somebody would step up to put together the surgical piece so it could all be in one place.”
On the other hand, he said, Harvard Pilgrim does not want to approve procedures such as facial feminization for transgender people if those procedures would be considered merely cosmetic for other people.
But Ruben Hopwood of Fenway Health said facial feminization is not about wanting a “cuter nose.” A transgender person’s appearance is more likely to be the difference between getting a job or not getting one, and walking down the street unafraid or being attacked, Hopwood said.
Getting the proper treatment also can save money that might otherwise be spent on treatment for alcohol or substance abuse or depression, said Pam Klein, a nurse at Boston Health Care for the Homeless.
[bolding by me-GM]
October 22, 2014
From a reader:
I just wanted to make you aware of something that is going on a lot in the various trans communities on reddit: they are falling all over themselves encouraging underage kids to order and take puberty blockers/hormones without doctor supervision and without their parents knowing.
“Just do your best to get a job, or ask your parents for allowance and order meds online. You probably can’t buy much with the amount a 14 year old would make, but it’s better than nothing, since you’re that upset about it.”
A fourteen year old kid (same kid that is featured here btw: http://bbrightstar.tumblr.com/post/98511520156/thirdwaytrans-atranspaige-does-anyone), is encouraged to get puberty blockers without his parents knowing about it.
In this post, commenters tell the kid that “puberty blockers have no side effects” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jitun/im_not_allowed_to_transition_even_socially_im/clchmu1)
They also tell him to “Just DIY secretly. Make friends with a transgender who lives near your area and ask them to help you get hormones.” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jitun/im_not_allowed_to_transition_even_socially_im/clcacyk)
Telling 14 year old kids to befriend random adults for favors is absolutely appaling.
And lastly: yesterday, that same kid made a post titled “What’s the safest way to DIY hormones(mtf, age 14)” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jx9hm/whats_the_safest_way_to_diy_hormonesmtf_age_14/)
And again, the posters are being very “helpful”, telling the kid to go ahead and import presciption drugs illegaly and behind the backs of his parents. Some posters tell him that it is dangerous, but they are downvoted. The kid also explicitly says that his pediatrician has advised against blockers and hormone treatment, but that is apparently not relevant to the good posters at r/asktransgender.
I’ve read a lot of this kids’ posts, and not surprisingly his parents are extremely rigid enforcers of gender stereotypes. He’s not allowed to grow out his hair or paint his nails.
September 8, 2014
In the UK, Children as young as three years of age are now being admitted to state medical clinics for “corrective treatment” of sex-role noncompliance, with the aim of upholding social norms of gender and to prevent the development of “visibly transgendered” adults. Such treatments involve administration of drugs which halt normal child development (“Puberty Blockers”) followed by the lifetime administration of cross-sex hormones, resulting in sterilization. In the US, the first federally-funded state eugenics program in over thirty years will be launched in Oregon on October 1, 2014, specifically targeting pre-pubertal children deemed by parents and providers to be “transgender”. Surgeons now routinely perform complete “Sexual Reassignment Surgeries”: removing the genitals and reproductive systems of children as young as sixteen.
The following are excerpts from an interview featured in this month’s issue of LGBT Health Journal, discussing the “Current Practice and Future Possibilities” of sterilized transgender children:
“Dr. Eyler: So there are treatments for trans adults who want to become parents. Would the two of you like to discuss the needs of transgender youth, particularly children who may not complete pubertal development in the natal sex, and possibilities for future fertility for them?
Dr. Pang: My experience has been only with postpubertal individuals. The youngest transgender person whom I have treated was 22 years old, so I do not have any experience with children who are either early postpubertal or prepubertal. I think that more transgender young people are becoming interested in potentially being parents. Last year, I was contacted by the mother of a transgender teenager, a 15-year-old transgender son. Her son is interested in fertility preservation; they had questions so I explained to them what it would involve. The technologies that I have to offer are useful only for postpubertal youth, such as someone his age, but I am sure that you, Anderson, might have ideas about how to help prepubertal children.
Dr. Clark: In the trans community, more and more trans youth are being treated at younger ages, such as at Dr. Norman Spack’s clinic at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Some gender variant children are treated with puberty suspending medications, GnRH analogs, similar to the treatment of children who are experiencing precocious puberty. This keeps them from going through the full puberty of the birth sex, spares them from developing secondary sex characteristics that are misaligned with their psychological gender, and gives them some time to mature.
Dr. Eyler: Cognitively and emotionally.
Dr. Clark: Yes, to be able to decide, when they get older, whether they want to medically transition. Some gender variant children are not actually transsexual or transgender as such, and will eventually decide to stop treatment and experience the puberty of the birth sex. Others, with the support of their parents and clinical team, find that they need cross-sex hormone treatments to proceed with the puberty that is aligned with their gender.
The Endocrine Society Guidelines1 support puberty-suppressing treatment beginning as early as Tanner (sexual maturity rating) stage 2, so this can precede significant hormonal and sexual development. Some adolescents, therefore, don’t develop the ability to produce viable gametes (eggs and sperm). Adolescent trans girls may lose fertility from estrogen treatment, even if they developed the ability to produce sperm before this was started. When they reach the age of majority, trans youth may also proceed with gender-affirming surgery that includes removal of the gonads.
For children and young adolescents, it is often the parents who are thinking about future reproductive capacity, because they would like the possibility of grandchildren, and because they are looking after the future interests of their children. When I speak at community conferences, they often come to ask about reproductive options for their children.
Dr. Eyler: Yes, and as a biologist, you are prepared to discuss the significance of the gametes not maturing and what future reproduction might involve.
Dr. Clark: Yes. The most applicable research has been performed on behalf of children who are treated for cancer and are rendered infertile. The Society for the Preservation of Fertility focuses on the needs of both postpubertal and prepubertal youth who may experience sterility from cancer treatments.
August 22, 2014
Denver State Women’s Wellness Center now to offer cervical cancer screenings to men who feel like they are female
April 3, 2014
“DENVER — A state-run women’s wellness program now provides breast and cervical cancer screenings for transgender women, announced the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Wednesday.”