Feb. 24th, 2012

ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael
There is a poll on this site, near the bottom of the article, asking 'Should kids who believe they are born in the wrong bodies be offered a medication to block puberty?' Please go and vote!


More transgender kids seeking help, getting treatment
By Diane Mapes

When Aidan Key was a little girl, he didn't realize he had gender identity issues. He simply knew something was off.

"I didn't necessarily become aware that I was trapped in the wrong body," says the 49-year-old Bellingham, Wash., native who had gender reassignment surgery at the age of 33. "I became aware that people didn't perceive me as I felt myself to be. It was just odd to me to have to wear a dress the first day of kindergarten. It didn't make sense."

Photo of Aidan Key today with short grey hair, a beard, and glasses on the left, and a childhood photo of him with long hair, possibly a school photo, on the right
Aidan Key, left, was born a girl named Bonnie.

Today, Key might have received counseling -- and perhaps even puberty blocking drugs -- at one of a handful of U.S. clinics designed to help adolescents with what’s now called gender identity disorder or GID. The psychological diagnosis is used to describe a male or female who feels a strong identification with the opposite sex and experiences considerable distress because of their actual sex (the word "disorder" refers to the distress the person feels, not the fact that they identify with another gender).

According to reports published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics, a small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are now getting support from parents and from doctors who give them treatments that could eventually help them change their sex.

Some estimates say about 1 in 10,000 children may have GID, Dr. Norman Spack, author of one of three reports published Monday and director of one of the nation's first gender identity medical clinics, at Children's Hospital Boston told the Associated Press. And that number does appear to be on the rise, experts say.

The number of people treated at Spack's Gender Management Service clinic, also known as GeMS, which was the focus of a study, increased fourfold between January 1998 and February 2010. The clinic now averages about 19 patients each year, compared with about four per year treated for gender issues at the hospital in the late 1990s.

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