Puberty blockers and hormones for transgender youth

Puberty blockers and hormones for transgender youth can be extremely positive options, both for the teen's health and mental state. Clinical psychologist, Diane Ehrensaft, advocates for helping adolescents "match their bodies to their minds and identities."
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Puberty blockers and hormones for transgender youth

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What happens if we tell our youth, "No, you can't have cross-sex hormones?" You have to go through the puberty of an unwanted gender, which could have been avoided if you had cross-sex hormones, you could have had puberty blockers, which would stop the puberty from going forward until you could take the cross-sex hormones, more like the gender body that you want to have. The harm done is that it can create trauma in living in a body that is so alien to you and spoils any of your chances of moving gracefully in the world in your affirmed gender, increases the chances that you will always feel like a freak. For example, a girl's Adam's apple. Girls are not supposed to have, which could have been avoided if you had first done puberty blockers, and then added the hormones of the gender you identified as being. This is the kind of harm. I would ask any of you to imagine this, suppose you grew up and one morning and you saw you were growing an elephant nose. You were horrified. What am I doing with an elephant nose? I want a people nose. That's how a lot of Transgender youth feel about their puberty. When Transgender boys start to grow breasts, when Transgender girls start to grow whiskers; this as if they had an elephant nose on their face. Some kids are so horrified that they try to kill themselves. We would never want that for a child or teen. So if we can avoid that by offering them services to match their bodies to their minds and identities, that will be a harm reduction.

Puberty blockers and hormones for transgender youth can be extremely positive options, both for the teen's health and mental state. Clinical psychologist, Diane Ehrensaft, advocates for helping adolescents "match their bodies to their minds and identities."

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Diane Ehrensaft, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD is a developmental and clinical psychologist in Oakland, California. She is a parenting expert and also specializes in gender studies and psychotherapy and consultation with gender nonconforming children and their families. She is the author of Gender Born, Gender Made:  Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children; Mommies Daddies, Donors, Surrogates, Building a Home Within (co-edited with Toni Heineman), Spoiling Childhood, and Parenting Together. Dr. Ehrensaft has made many media appearances, most recently the Anderson Cooper Day show, and has presented and published both nationally and internationally on the subjects of parenting, child development, assisted reproductive technology, and children’s gender development and gender nonconformity.

Dr. Ehrensaft is the Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center, a University of California San Francisco-community partnership offering interdisciplinary services to gender conforming children and youth and their families, as well as the psychologist at the UCSF Gender Clinic.

She serves on the faculty of The University of California and is a founding member of A Home Within, a national non-profit organization serving the mental health needs of children and youth in foster care.

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