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InevitablePuzzle30 karma

Using a throwaway ... thanks for taking the time to answer questions.

I'm a middle-aged parent, in the U.S., in a very liberal community. When one of my kids was 13, her close friend decided that he wasn't the girl he had been born, parents and doctor delayed puberty and he fully transitioned at age 15. That same year, my 16 year old had a close friend who transitioned in the other direction, mtf. In both cases, it was new to me, but I loved the kids and thought their families were great and just tried to be as supportive as possible. I know there have always been trans people around throughout history and I read the reports that kids who transitioned before puberty had much better mental health outcomes. In the three years since then, we know 3 other teenagers who have come out as trans. I am not kidding when I tell you that we have received TWO different Christmas letters this season from friends letting us know that their kids are transitioning, so 7 kids just within our immediate social circle. Again, all great kids, great loving families. But ... but ... I don't know, I can't help but wonder if we aren't serving these kids well. The reason I'm using a throw away is because in our community it is totally taboo to raise any kind of question about whether delaying puberty and then transitioning is the right course of action. And I know the families who have gone through this, it's been gut wrenching for the parents to decide on this course of action, and so then to have others question it, has been very hurtful for them. My own kids think I'm woefully old-fashioned even questioning whether this is the best way to handle the pain these kids are feeling, and so I have just kept my big mouth shut.

But I do wonder if maybe there aren't other things going on sometimes that wouldn't require such drastic physical action. Couldn't these kids be figuring out their sexuality and gender in ways that when they came out the other side might not mean that required surgery and hormones? Puberty is such a crazy time! And homophobia and societal gender roles can really restrictive and harmful, but are they really all trans kids who require transitioning? I remember seeing the pictures from one kid I had seen grow up and who I thought was so quirky and fantastic, and he had posted pictures from the hospital after having his breasts removed. He was very happy but I felt so, so sad.

So I guess the question is, how can doctors really be sure that transitioning is the answer?