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When is it too early and too late to start transitioning?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by Driftr, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Driftr

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    I'm not transgender myself or have any sort of gender dysphoria but I was just wondering about one day if I ever had a kid who kept telling me that they want to be the opposite gender than what their sex from birth was (sorry if I'm using the wrong terminology). Of course, I'd let my kid dress like the opposite gender if they want.

    But after how many times that my kid tells me that they want to be the opposite gender should I actually look into helping them to transition? At what age should I start taking them seriously? Cause I don't know if it would be a phase for them so I wouldn't want to risk putting them through that so early only for them to regret it later on.

    Are there any studies on if (and how often) transitional regret happens to transgender people who transitioned early in their childhood? Do scientist have a specific age that they've determined to be too early to consider for young transgender people?

    Also is there an age where transitioning was long overdue so (cause I heard of a story of a young transgender who, if I remember correctly, was suicidal because she thought her parents were holding her back too long from transitioning and if she was in her 20's her hormones wouldn't make her fully pass as a woman)?
     
  2. jam93

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    So I am also not trans, so my knowledge on this is all second hand and thus potentially flawed. However, I know a bit, so I'll offer up what knowledge I do have.
    For the first thing, how to know it's not a phase, my understanding is that it's a question of persistance. Let's say you have a kid, for the sake of argument let's say they were assigned male at birth. They decide that the want to wear dresses, play with dolls, and maybe even say they are a girl. If they do this for a while, but then stop, go back to wearing boy cloths, playing with trucks, and say they are a boy again, then you son just went through a phase where he liked girl things. However, if they keep doing this, keep wanting to wear girl cloths, play with girl toys, and keep saying they are a girl, then your daighter is trans and you should help her transition. I don't know how long is long enough to know, it probably caries a lot from kid to kid. My understanding is that it is plthe persistance, not the lenght of time, that matters. As for when you begin transitioning, I have no clue what to tell you there. You can let them socially transition (aka start wearing cloths that corispond to thier gender, change thier name and pronouns, etc.) as soon as you know they are trans. As for when to start hormone treatment, that would be a question for someone who is trans, or better yet a medical professional who specializes in these things.
    For the second thing, when it is to late, I guess the answer is "when your dead." You can transition at any point in life, however, the older you are the harder it is. A big part of that is that once you go through puberty as one sex, there is no way to reverse it. Cross sex hormones can do a lot of things, like give a transwoman breasts, or deepen a transman's voice and let him grow a beard. However, there are some things that they can't fix. They can't git rid of that transwoman's adams apple or make her voice higher, and they can't give that transman narow hips, or take away his breasts. Now, surgury can help with some of that, but surgury is expensive and painful, so obviously it is not ideal. Basically, what I'm saying here is that there is no time that is to late, short of death, but it does become more difficult if you wait till after puberty. I would assume this is what the woman you mentioned was talking about, that since she transitioned in her twenties she would have to deal with certain masculine features she wouldn't have had if her parents had let her transition in her early teens, before male puberty set in.
    Anyway, I hope this helped answer your questions. Like I said, I'm not trans myself, so this is based on what I have been told by those who are and what I have read on the subject. Hopefully it isn't to inccurate, and if it is I appoligize and would be greatfull to learn where I am wrong.
     
  3. HM03

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    Yet another non-expert here. But just wanna say hormone blockers are a non-permanent (?) way of preventing secondary sex traits , that doesn't seem as "drastic" as surgery.
     
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  4. jam93

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    My understanding is that hormone blockers are a temporary fix. Basically a way to give a kid more time to decide if they really do want to transition or not. You can't just stay on them forever because that would seriously mess up your body's development since you would never go through puberty. Not sure how much time they can buy, but you do eventually have to stop them and either let nature take it's couseor start cross sex hormones and transition.
     
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  5. Loves books

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    I'm not trans and I don't know any trans people but from books and other media trans is being born in the wrong body and I don't think there is such thing as being too young to transition.If I had a child that kept telling me they were the opposite gender, as soon as they could talk I would have them in a shrinks office to get an actual diagnoses and then do whatever I had to to make my kid happy.
     
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  6. SimonSaid

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    I'm kinda non-binary myself (keep in mind that trans and non-binary can be different). Looking at things from a sciency standpoint, I wouldn't want to get into things like hormones too early. A kid needs time for their brain to develop before messing with their body like that. Because their brains are developing, they are going to go through a lot of phases, that's how it works. You can let them dress how they want and things like that but actual physical transition should be held off until mid-teens I think (so like 15/16).
     
    #6 SimonSaid, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  7. Earthfae

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    It's never the wrong time to be who you are. That being said, I don't believe in anyone using hormones for that reason. My opinion tho does NOT have anything to do with sexuality. I'm a nurse and I just don't like to see medically unnecessary use of any type of medication. That's all. SO... for THAT part, I'd say the person should at the very least NOT be a child. At least old enough to vote... just MY opinion.
     
    #7 Earthfae, Jan 27, 2018
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  8. Harjus

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    In my country you can't get hormone blockers or transition if you are underage. Also studies say that most gender dysphoric children actually grow out of it when puberty comes.

    If I had a child who felt like they were transgender I would of course let them be who they are but don't think you should make decisions about medically transitioning if you are very young. These kids need all the support they can get though. It's hard to be transgender. Even if everybody treats you well you still got body that's not you.

    I don't think you can be too old. Surgeries suck. I have had surgery because I am trans. Being trans just is horrible and of course my life would be easier if I would have started transitioning before puberty did any damage to me but (it isn't even possible here) it would also be horrible for someone who really wasn't trans and they got hormones too early. It isn't great to develop breasts, hips, grow some beard or get a deep voice you don't actually want. Also hormone replacement therapy for transpeople makes you sterile eventually. There are people who make wrong decisions and the risk of making a wrong decision is bigger if people making them are very young.
     
    #8 Harjus, Jan 27, 2018
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  9. Assassin'sKat

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    I think you should wait till they are 17-19 to start letting them take hormones and stuff, but they could still dress like the opposite sex until them. There really isn't a too late I don't think unless someone is elderly, maybe. Maybe it's not even too late then.
     
    #9 Assassin'sKat, Jan 29, 2018
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  10. Aberrance

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    Personally I don't believe anyone should be allowed to start medically transitioning (other than blockers) before they're 18. In the UK we're lucky that the NHS regulates peoples medical transition. You have to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria before you have access to hormones or surgery on the taxpayers money. However people can still go private and pay thousands out of pocket to get the same treatment.

    Social transition should be done at any age the child wishes. Start off cross dressing at home etc. and if they're consistent and showing immense distress then start letting them show their identity to the rest of the world. There's a very bast majority of children and adolescents that grow out of gender dysphoria and it is in fact a phase for them, giving them access to hormones at such a young age where their identity is easily maliable could be detrimental to their health both physical and mental. I'll see if I can find the stats if you're interested.

    There's never an age too old to transition. What you're probably thinking of is the fact that if someone goes through male puberty then a lot of the changes are irreversible. Hair growth, facial structure, voice drop etc. so because of this a trans woman may find it more difficult (but not impossible) to pass in society. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't transition. I've seen many stories of men and women transitioning in their 50s/60s and finally living their authentic life, that's what's important.
     
  11. looking for me

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    I am Trans, and in my opinion; never to early or to late. always with a doctors care of course, but I know children as young as 3 and 4 who are trans, and others like me who started HRT the day before their 50th birthday. and some friends who just starting on questioning and such who are in their 60's. some who have started at 70+. as I say always with the supervision of a medical team including medical doctors, and mental health professionals trained in Trans* issues.
     
  12. anthracite

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    Think of it that way:

    When can an intersexual kid know what they are? Usually they are asked fairly young.

    So somehow intersex kids can know what they are and others can‘t? Pretty weird.

    Hormone blockers do no harm other than making it harder to be stealth later since classmates and others will know. And this matter should be disussed a lot. I would not let my child decide if he/she wants to be stealth or not until they know for sure what job they wanna have later. I think this is a much bigger matter.
     
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  13. BradThePug

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    I think that you can socially transition at any time. The hormone blockers are a good option for kids, but I think that they need to have a full evaluation by a therapist specialized in transgender people before starting those. I don't believe that there is a too late to transition. I've seen stories of people transitioning in their 80's before.
     
  14. anonmember

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    I believe it's okay for transgender people to transition at any time. I am personally cisgender, so I might not be much help, but I fully support transgender people and I know a trans girl (who started out as a guy) that goes to my school and she's only 16 years old and I believe (I don't know for sure) that she is taking hormones already. I also know a trans guy (started out as a girl), that's pretty young and he's already taking hormones too.
     
  15. Spot

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    Okay, honestly, I think it's okay for kids to transition socially (as long as there's no legal changes) but I think they should wait until at least 18 to physically transition. I'm not sure about puberty blockers, I've heard that they actually can have permanent effects on the body. Of course, some people say all effects are temporary so I don't know. I'd definitely see multiple doctors before allowing my kid to take blockers because I'd want to get their opinions first and be sure of any risks. I don't think kids should make any permanent choices because their brains are still developing and it's possible they'll grow out of it.

    I don't know if there's any such thing as "too old" unless maybe physically transitioning would somehow be life-threatening? I don't even know if that's possible but that's the only way I could see you'd be "too old." Again, I think anyone can transition socially.
     
  16. JaimeGaye

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    I am an intersex male gendered effeminate with a twin sister and I displayed as a female much more than a male in every way from a very early age.
    I considered my sister as my equal and we did everything together while prepubescent.
    At six my parents began to realize this wasn't a phase I might grow out of "Without help" so began a long trail of therapy and doctor visits.
    At one doctor exam when I was seven he asked me if I would like them to "Cut my penis off"
    This so horrified me I said no and everyone decided right then I was nothing more than a confused boy who simply identified with his sister more than other boys.

    If that doctor had asked me if I would like to have my testicles removed (Orchiectomy) and allowed me to keep my penis rather than making it sound like they were just going to hack my genitals off and leave a gaping hole down there I would have jumped at the chance to say yes, please do.
    If they had offered me female hormone shots and explained the benefits I might receive from the shots I would have also readily agreed, even at that young age.
    Had all this been done at that age I may well have elected to complete elective vaginoplasty later having been allowed to present as a female rather than a sissy male in my formative years.

    Would I have been happier as a sterile female later in my life?
    I don't know, can't answer that question because I was not given the opportunity to find out.
     
    #16 JaimeGaye, Feb 27, 2018
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