Transgenderism is something that seems to be a new term for many people. Individuals may feel as though this is something that they’ve never encountered before or even heard of. However, transgenderism is actually as old as the world itself and it is something which is experienced by over 700,000 Americans every year. It is a natural part of self identity that is not at all new to the 21st century. In addition, mental health professionals have been specializing in transgenderism and studying the advancements in the understanding of this condition regularly for quite some time.
However, because it’s just now being spoken about on a regular basis, many people are curious regarding what exactly being transgender means and how it is expressed. In order to understand what being transgender means, it’s first important to look into what gender dysphoria is, as that is currently the underlying condition associated with being transgender.
What is Gender Dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is a condition which is characterized by a feeling of disconnection with your gender and overall physical appearance. In particular, your genitals and other gender-specific features may not feel as though they’re suited to you or appropriate for how you feel on the inside. A lot of people who experience gender dysphoria will describe the experience as simply knowing that they’re meant to be the other gender.
Additionally, this condition often starts very young. In general, people who experience true gender dysphoria will say that they started experiencing the phenomenon as early as their toddler years. There are many cases of very young children expressing the fact that they feel as though they’re in the wrong body as young as 3 years old.
Because gender dysphoria is so well documented, there are many people who accept this as the standard for transgenderism. Additionally, the medical community currently requires gender dysphoria to be established in order to establish transgenderism. Thus, if someone is looking to obtain hormones, hormone blockers, or to undergo gender reassignment surgery in America, they must first be diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a mental health professional.
However, keep in mind that there is a fair amount of controversy surrounding the idea of gender dysphoria. While it is accepted by the medical community that this is a prerequisite to being diagnosed as a transgender individual, there are people out there that dispute this as a hard and fast rule. In particular, there are individuals who feel as though they are transgender, but also feel as though their gender is a fluid construct. Thus, they may subscribe to the belief that they are transgender but not feel disconnected from their body in the same way that someone with true gender dysphoria does.
Because this is an ever-evolving topic which is constantly being investigated and updated, it’s important to remain educated. Additionally, you must understand that there are no set rules when it comes to transgenderism. Rather, it’s important to consult with the individual on a case-by-case basis in order to fully understand the way they’re experiencing their transgenderism.
However, there are a few tips that are important to keep in mind if you or someone you love is feeling as though you’re not in the correct body. In particular, teenagers who are dealing with transgenderism can have a very difficult time. Thus, they need to be treated with care and understanding. Continue reading to see what you should consider if you or a teen in your life is experiencing transgenderism.
Important Tips for Transgender Teens
1-Seek Out a Professional: First thing’s first. If you feel as though you or the teen in your life is dealing with transgenderism, it’s important to consult with a professional. There are many mental health professionals out there today who specialize in this condition. Thus, you no longer need to be afraid that no one will understand you. Even mental health professions who aren’t specifically specialized in transgenderism have the ability to evaluate and understand this condition.
There are many mental health professionals who have dedicated their professional life to an understanding of this condition, so it is likely that you will be able to find a specialized mental health professional in your community. Remember that there is no need to be ashamed or afraid when it comes to transgenderism. People, especially in the medical community, understand that this is a real and important condition and will work to understand your specific situation. Your mental health professional will guide you through your evaluation and will continue by offering you with options to alleviate your stress and fears.
2-Speak to Your Family and Be Honest: Additionally, it is important that you take the time to discuss your feelings and concerns with your family. Again, transgenderism is now on the forefront of mental health innovation, so it is very possible that your family will be accepting and understanding. Oftentimes, family members can be a huge help when it comes to receiving the treatment you require in order to feel like your proper self.
However, there are certainly situations which are less than ideal. Sometimes, family members simply don’t understand what transgender teens are going through. Thus, it’s important to understand that if you are a teen who is experiencing transgenderism, sometimes you must be patient with the people in your life before they will accept you. This may be a new concept for them, and they may have trouble adjusting. Don’t let this get you down. It’s still important to take the time to talk to the people you love about how you’re feeling. Even if they don’t understand right away, it will feel good to get it off your chest.
Moreover, keep in mind that if you are the loved one of an individual dealing with transgenderism, you must take the time to listen to them. Understand where they’re coming from and withhold your judgment. Recognize that it took a lot of courage to come to you with this realization, and seek out the help of a professional to decide what step to take next.
3-Don’t Be Ashamed: It is essential that if you are dealing with transgenderism, that you don’t feel shame. There is absolutely nothing wrong with evaluating your body and mind and determining who you really are. In fact, it takes boldness and courage to even approach this topic. While transgenderism is becoming increasingly more accepted by the world, there is still stigma surrounding it. However, this should never keep you from expressing yourself.
4-Find a Community: A large part of avoiding shame and other negative feelings is by finding a community of acceptance. In today’s world, this is easier than ever. In particular, there are many online communities which are widely accepting of transgender individuals. In addition, these groups may not only be accepting but may contain a large population of self-proclaimed transgender individuals. Thus, you may not only obtain acceptance by joining one of these communities but may also encounter individuals who are dealing with the same things as you.
In particular, check out online communities such as YouTube in order to seek out individuals who are dealing with transgenderism. In addition, forums such as Reddit can be very accepting of this kind of condition and can help you to clarify your thoughts and unload your ideas and concerns.
5-Have Realistic Expectations: Finally, it’s important to understand that all good things take time. Many teens who are experiencing transgenderism may find themselves desperate to make a change right away. However, that is not always something that is possible. Rather, it takes time to understand your condition thoroughly and come up with the correct plan of action.
Remember that, while you are going through your evaluation and possible treatment, integrating yourself into a community that will accept and support you will be extremely important. There will be tough times ahead, so the sooner you can find a community that will accept and understand you, the sooner you will feel equipped to deal with the trials ahead.
Conclusion: Guide for Transgender Teens
Transgenderism is something which may be foreign to a lot of people despite increased visibility lately. However, for individuals experiencing this phenomenon, it is familiar as ever. There are many personal issues that come along with this kind of identity, and it can indeed be extremely upsetting and disruptive for those dealing with it. However, luckily, due to the fact that this condition is becoming more widely accepted and understood, there is an increasingly large number of mental health professionals who specialize in this condition. Thus, if you or the teen in your life is dealing with this condition, there are many people you can turn to who will help you understand what is happening and what your next steps are.
Remember that you are not alone in this condition. There are many people around the world who have been dealing with similar situations all throughout time. If you or someone you love is dealing with feelings of gender dysphoria, remember to not panic and to reach out to a mental health professional. They will be able to guide you on your journey and ensure that you are making the right decisions for yourself and those you love which will help you for the rest of your life.