When parents don't support their transgendered child

Johanna Olson, MD, Transgender Youth Care Specialist, shares advice for parents of transgendered youth who have difficulty allowing their child to move forward with the transition process
LGBTQ Youth Advice | Parents Of Transgendered Youth
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When parents don't support their transgendered child

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One of the most difficult situations that arises for transgender youth is when they would like to move forward with the transition but their parents don't think they should or are really against it and don't understand what they are going through. This is one of the hardest things I face in my practice because now I have really two sets of patients. One is the young person and the parents become another set of patients that I have to rally around and find community members and therapists who would work with that family to help them understand how important this is for their young person. They really need to understand that you are born with your gender identity. It's a immutable characteristic in part of your core being and that your gender identity is not a choice. The choice piece of it is the choice you make about how to live authentically. The choice that you make is what you are going to express to the world around you. They are not making a choice about their internal gender, they are making a choice about what to do with that incongruence.

Johanna Olson, MD, Transgender Youth Care Specialist, shares advice for parents of transgendered youth who have difficulty allowing their child to move forward with the transition process

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Johanna Olson, MD

Medical Director, Center for Transyouth Health and Development, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Johanna Olson, MD is a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Medical Director of the hospital’s Center for Transyouth Health and Development.  She specializes in the care of transgender youth, gender variant children, youth with HIV, and chronic pain. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. She has appeared on ABC's 20/20, The Dr. Phil Show, CNN, Dateline NBC and The Doctors to educate audiences about the needs of transgender youth.

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