It was not easy. For days afterward, she had dry heaves. She lost weight from her already frail frame. She did not seem empowered; she seemed regressed. Emma is her black and white cat, at home outside Syracuse, N. Her childlike reaction was, perhaps, not surprising. Kat, whose side-parted hair was dyed fire engine red, is just 18, and about to graduate from high school. It is a transgender moment. They are characters in popular TV shows. By Anemona Hartocollis.
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Rebirth of a Transgender Teenager
Your child might identify as cisgender. Or your child might use another term to identify their gender. And your child might discover or understand more about their gender identity over time. This might mean they express this identity in new or different ways.
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How children and teenagers express gender
Adolescence is a time of radical transformation. Teens develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. They form their own identities, distinct from their parents. They engage in an evolving, instinctive process of trial and error to learn about themselves and find their place in the world. Through a series of successes, failures, and everything in between, they create a vision of who they are, who they want to become, and how they want to live their lives. One area of adolescent development parents often have difficulty watching and understanding is sexuality. Teens develop an individual sexual identity much the same way they develop other aspects of their personality — through exploration, experimentation, novelty-seeking, and risk-taking. The time when teens develop a sexual identity is also when they may begin to question their gender.
In the last 10 years, there has been an extraordinary increase in teenagers seeking to transition from female to male. What's behind it—and has the NHS been too quick to find a solution? It is commonly acknowledged that while biological sex is genetically determined, gender is a social construct. A human being cannot—and should not—be reduced to their biology, or indeed their genitals, because psychologically we are as much a product of the way that other people treat us as we are of our genetic inheritance. Homo sapiens are social creatures: our ability to cooperate is what gave us the evolutionary upper hand over our stronger Neanderthal cousins. You would notice the physiological differences. But as to interpreting those differences, where would you start?