Dealing With School as a Transgender Teen
High school is hard. It is essentially a popularity contest and if you don’t fit in, you may even get picked on.
One thing that can make this experience 100 times more challenging is being a trans person in high school.
The stress of all the curveballs high school throws at you combined with the hurdles that every trans person must get through, can make this a particularly difficult stage.
However, there are things you can do as a trans teen to make this experience slightly better for yourself. Let’s look at some of those here.
First things first, remain focused. School work must be your top priority.
This is undoubtedly easier said than done, especially when gender dysphoria begins to seep in. However, academics should not take a backseat, particularly because of the discrimination that the trans community already faces when it comes to finding jobs.
Your academics will determine the rest of your life so it is important to not take them lightly. In fact, when being a trans teen is getting particularly challenging, distracting yourself with studies might actually be helpful.
If you have already come out and started transitioning, you may have to miss school sometimes for doctor’s appointments.
However, the focus must be on catching up as soon as you can. It is understandable that what you have to deal with as a trans teen may seem insurmountable.
However, you must consciously work to ensure that these challenges do not get in the way of your success.
Next, as a teenager, it is natural to worry about other peoples’ opinions. Validation and compliments are often effective drivers of behavior at that age.
However, it is important to take some time to determine if a statement is a constructive criticism or if it is merely intended to offend you.
Especially as a trans teenager, it is impossible to please every person you meet. Prejudice against the community is still rampant and in both real and virtual worlds, you might encounter discriminatory statements.
Even in this scenario, focusing inwards, and paying attention to your own life, school work, and assignments can go a long way in alleviating your stress. Consciously make an effort to not be labeled.
Do a lot of things- join the choir, paint, score great grades. Engage in activities that can take the focus away from your gender identity.
Third thing to do is to focus on your friends group. Spend more time with people who like you and are accepting of you.
While drama is inevitable at this age, staying with a close group of friends will at least keep you protected from the opinions of others.
While these tips may help to a certain extent, on some days it can all get too much.
In such a scenario, it is important to talk to an adult- your parents or a trusted teacher might be able to help you out.
Trying to deal with this overwhelming situation can be taxing and impact your mental health. In fact, even adult trans people find it difficult to navigate past these challenges without seeking any help.
Thus, as a teenager, it is recommended to ask for help.
Next, try not to direct excessive efforts towards your appearance or spend all your time trying to pass. Ten years down the line, nobody would remember how you looked.
Instead, focus on important aspects of high school life like making memories with your friends and scoring good grades. Passing or not passing has no impact on your womanhood.
You have the rest of your life to look a certain way or dress a certain way. Everyone has good days and bad days when it comes to their appearance so it is important not to stress over it.
If possible, try to find a local LGBTQ group and partake in their activities and their events. Having a community that understands what you have been through can be a great support system to have.
Try to connect with other LGBTQ teens from your high school, form a community, and lean on each other for support.
If you cannot do that in school, attend events held outside. It can help to find your space in the world and such events can help you do exactly that!
We hope this article helped. We know being a trans teen comes with a host of challenges that others cannot imagine. Remain focused on what’s important and sideline problems that you cannot actively deal with right now. Good luck!!
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