Understanding and Supporting Transgender Youth
Transgender individuals, particularly youth, face a unique set of challenges in society. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, nearly half of all transgender individuals reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace, and one in four reported being fired, denied a promotion, or experiencing other forms of mistreatment on the job.
In addition, nearly one in three transgender individuals reported experiencing discrimination from family and friends. These experiences can be isolating and make it difficult for transgender individuals, particularly youth, to feel accepted and valued.
However, it is essential to remember that transgender youth are not alone, and many people and resources are available to support them.
One way to make transgender individuals feel more valued and included in society is by creating a trans-inclusive workplace. This can be achieved by educating employees on the importance of using the correct pronouns, creating a safe and inclusive environment, and providing access to resources and support for transgender employees.
The Human Rights Campaign offers a variety of resources and training materials for employers looking to create a more inclusive workplace.
Another way to support transgender individuals is by being an ally. This can be done by using inclusive language, listening and respecting their identity, and standing up against discrimination and prejudice. The National Center for Transgender Equality offers a variety of resources and training materials for allies, including a guide on how to use inclusive language and a guide on how to support transgender friends and family members.
It is also important to acknowledge that transgender individuals may face unique mental health challenges. Research indicates that transgender people are more likely to have psychiatric diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and dissociative identity disorder.
According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 40% of transgender individuals reported attempting suicide in their lifetime, compared to 4.6% of the general population. However, it is essential to remember that these challenges do not define them and that support is available.
Transgender youth should not have to face these challenges alone. By creating a trans-inclusive society and being an ally, we can support transgender individuals and help them feel heard, understood, and valued.
It is important to remember that being transgender is not a choice, it is who they are, and they deserve to live authentically, free from discrimination and prejudice. We must strive to create a more inclusive and accepting environment for transgender individuals, particularly youth.
Transgender youth are robust and resilient and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. With the support of allies and the community, they can overcome challenges and thrive in their true selves.
It is also important to note that being trans is not a mental disorder or illness. Being transgender is a normal variation of human diversity, and it is essential to provide access to culturally competent and affirming health care to trans individuals.
This means that healthcare providers should be trained to provide sensitive and appropriate care to transgender individuals and that transgender individuals should have access to gender-affirming hormone therapy and surgeries if they choose.
Additionally, it is crucial to support and amplify the voices and experiences of transgender individuals, particularly youth. This can be done by amplifying their voices, listening to their experiences and perspectives, and creating platforms for them to share their stories and advocate for their rights.
In conclusion, we must take steps to create an inclusive and accepting society for transgender individuals, particularly youth. By educating ourselves, being an ally, and creating a trans-inclusive environment, we can ensure that transgender youth are supported and valued for who they are.
By providing access to culturally competent and affirming healthcare, amplifying their voices, and listening to their experiences and perspectives, we can help them to overcome challenges and thrive as their true selves.