Being born in the body of the opposite gender can be hard enough for a teenager. You feel trapped in your own body and wish that the people around you would be more understanding. Transgender youth go through many challenges on a daily basis but through compassion and understanding, they can live their life as normally as anyone else.
Transgender youth go through incorrect or disrespectful use of names or pronouns.
There are people who either purposefully or accidentally call someone who is transgender by their birth name or use the wrong pronouns. It could be based on their appearance or the way they sound that by accident a mistake is made. Others do it out of spite or do not want to accept someone as transgender so they use the names or pronouns that they prefer. Transgender youth have the right to be recognized for who they see themselves. It is important to call them by the name they have chosen and their prefered pronouns as well as to apologize if you have used the wrong name or pronoun.
Transgender youth lack the access to the appropriate bathroom or locker room.
Transgender youth do not know which public bathroom or locker room to use; either the gender they were born in or by their gender identity. They could be assaulted if they use a restroom or locker room that conforms to their gender or be forced to use a restroom or locker room that does not conform to their gender identity. Transgender youth can explain to staff and other students that they have no interest in spying on other people and just want to use the restroom or locker room they are comfortable with. If it is possible, they can use a gender neutral restroom so that no one needs to worry about gender.
Transgender youth deal with lack of support.
There are parents and other classmates who do not understand what being transgender means or feels it is a stage. They are more concerned about the anatomy of the teenager than about the gender they identify with. Parents and students need to be educated on the differences between sex and gender by joining support groups such as PFLAG. Parents need to let their child be as comfortable as possible by letting them look the way they want, be called what they want, and to be who they are.
Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.