RESOURCES: For Healthcare Practitioners
TYFA works with physicians, mental health professionals and other healthcare providers to ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming children get the specific services they need. No child is the same, so we have collected a wide range of materials to assist healthcare providers seeking information for working with youth in this population.
TYFA board member Joanna Olson of Children's Hospital Los Angeles is a leading figure in treating trans youth, and she has published key research in this emerging field. While younger children may wish to express gender variance or make a social transition that does not require medical intervention, some of your patients or clients will benefit from tailored healthcare services.
Abstract: Transgender individuals are people whose self-identification as male, female, both, or neither (gender identity) does not match their assigned gender (identification by others as male or female based on natal sex). The phenomenon of transgender is uncommon, but as more media attention is directed toward the subject, more adolescents and young adults are “coming out” at an earlier age. Transgender adolescents are an underserved and poorly researched population that has very specific medical and mental health needs. Primary care physicians are in a unique and powerful position to promote health and positive outcomes for transgender youth. While not all transgender adolescents desire phenotypic transition to match their gender and physical body, most do. The process of transitioning is complex and requires the involvement of both a mental health therapist specializing in gender and a physician. Finding comprehensive medical and mental health services is extremely difficult for these youth, who are at risk for multiple psychosocial problems including family and peer rejection, harassment, trauma, abuse, inadequate housing, legal problems, lack of financial support, and educational problems. This review supports and describes timely medical intervention to achieve gender/body congruence paired with affirmative mental health therapy as an appropriate approach to minimize negative health outcomes and maximize positive futures for transgender adolescents.
An official APA policy concerning Transgender, Gender Identity, & Gender Expression Non-Discrimination, adopted by the American Psychological Association Council of Representatives in August, 2008.
Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline (PDF)
Published in June, 2009, this lengthy set of protocols for the treatment of transgender persons is the current standard for use by endocrinologists in the U.S. Archived in the Practitioners and the Parents Resources sections of this website.
A protocol on psychological and paediatric endocrinology aspects — Treatment outcome in transsexuals is expected to be more favourable when puberty is suppressed than when treatment is started after Tanner stage 4 or 5.
TYFA Resource Documents
Our materials are available as both web pages and printable PDFs. You may print, link to, or distribute these documents by mail or electronically (without additions or modifications per our copyright notice).
An essential part of a family’s “Safe Folder” is a letter from the child’s physician confirming the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID). This file is a guideline for the medical professional in composing such a letter.
A compilation of questions and answers frequently asked by parents, educators and practitioners.
Other Resource Documents
These resource articles have been published by various authors and are provided here for your convenience. Please print as posted here and give credit to the original source/author.
This resolution by the AMA House of Delegates advocates for removing financial barriers to care for transgender patients.
Researchers in The Netherlands have concluded that in the field of treatment of young adolescents, it may be that the adage “in dubio abstine” (when in doubt, abstain from intervention) needs to be reconsidered. Particularly when there are research opportunities to lessen this “dubium” to the benefit of those who suffer from gender dysphoria.
This document is excerpted from “Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5-12″, Bantam 1999. It was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and briefly illustrates that by age 4, children’s gender identity is stable, and they know they will always be a boy or a girl.
Excellent introduction to gender variant and transgender children and their families. Feature article by TYFA Executive Director, Kim Pearson, published in The Bottom Line (San Diego, CA), November 2, 2007.
Written by TYFA Advisory Board Member, Reid Vanderburgh, MA this piece addresses the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation as well as the joys and challenges of childhood gender transition.
Source: Contemporary Pediatrics, By: Ellen C. Perrin, MD, Edgardo J. Menvielle, MD, Catherine Tuerk, MA, RN
“A child who is truly ‘gender-variant’ is one who exhibits an ongoing pattern of behavior, not merely a passing interest in the clothes or the preoccupations of the opposite sex.
Source: Journal, Lahey Clinic Medical Ethics. This article highlights the ethical concerns of providing treatment for transgender children.