Transfigurations – Pages for Trans Women

More on what it entails to transition from male to female

gender dysphoriaGender dysphoria can affect any child, any adolescent or any adult. There is nothing that you can do to prevent it happening just as there is nothing that you can do to prevent your child from being born blind, or having spina bifida, or a host of other conditions. Would you reject that child because of what your neighbours, friends and family would think of you? No, of course not (unless you are totally devoid of compassion), yet so many parents reject their child because of their gender dysphoria – often evicting them from the family home leaving them homeless and destitute. This leaves many trans women and trans youth prone to prostitution, drug taking and worse in order to survive on the streets.

Societal pressures on confirming to gender stereotypes can wreck havoc on the lives of younger transgender people as they grow up. How a parent reacts to media reports on transgender children will tell that child what to expect if they divulge their feelings about themselves to a parent – whether they will be accepted or rejected with the consequential loss of the love of their parents. If parents react in a very negative way to trans women ot trans men in the media, this can have huge repercussions on how transgender women or transgender youth feel about themselves and lays the groundwork for the deep sense of shame that many transgender people have about themselves. It will also have tremendous repercussions on the mental well-being of the child as they grow up and can cause mental health problems further down the line which can last all of that person’s life. The deep sense of shame can lead to suicide ideation and perhaps even self-harming or actual suicide attempts. Would you knowingly drive your child to commit self-harm or suicide? I sincerely doubt that any parent would – yet for some reason it happens far too frequently with some parents of transgender children.

Fortunately things do seem to be changing, thanks to increased media coverage and the advent of the world wide web, search engines and a generally greater tolerance by society (but we still have a long way to go).

To learn more about the transgender condition, please have a look at the e-learning module which was jointly developed by GIRES (the Gender Identity Research and Education Society) and SABP (the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)

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