Everyone should be able to express their gender without fear or shame, even young people. Choosing your clothes, hairstyle, activities, and so on is part of what makes life fun!
The same is true with your gender identity. More and more young people are coming out and making a social transition at school with help from their families, healthcare providers, and educators. This may include using your preferred name and pronouns.
Most experts agree that the affirmative model of care is the best model. This model allows you to express yourself as you wish. Experts have shown that this is a healthy way to treat young people.
In cases where you have distress or questions about your gender identity, your family or caregivers may seek out healthcare providers for you to explore these feelings.
Mental health services are the most common medical option for distressed children and teens. A therapist works with you to explore your feelings about gender and any related distress. In cases of distress, a harm reduction model may be used to reduce your distress.
If your gender identity and expression is consistent, insistent, and persistent, you and your family may request to begin medical transition. This is usually via referral from a primary care provider or pediatrician and your therapist.
You will probably get medical care at a children’s hospital or pediatric unit of a regular hospital. This will probably be in a large city or a town with a large university.
Medical options for youth
- Therapy is for youth age 3 and up.
- Some children may also make social changes to their gender:
- New names and/or pronouns
- Some may switch back and forth
- Social transition (how they look and act) is flexible and reversible.
- Offered to qualified youth age 8 and up after they have:
- Hormone blockers are reversible and have been safely prescribed for decades to children whose puberty starts before it should.
- Offered to qualified youth around age 12 and up after they have:
- Some hormone effects are not reversible and have been safely prescribed for decades to mature minors who understand the risks, burdens, and benefits.
- Generally only offered to adults.
- In some cases, offered to mature minors around age 15 and up after they have:
- Surgery is not reversible and has been safely performed on mature minors who understand the risks, burdens, and benefits.
- Most do not have surgery until they are able to give legal consent.
Note: This page is for young people ages 13 and above.
Disclaimer: This is medical talk, not medical advice. Some of this may not apply to you. It is presented without warranty. It may contain errors or omissions. You must do your own research.