Does making transgender children wait to transition make it harder for them in the long run?
In a story set to be published in the New Yorker on Monday, author Margaret Talbot tells the story of Skyler, a teenager from New Haven, Connecticut, who began his physical transition from female-to-male at the age of 14. As Talbot explains,
Skylar is a boy, but he was born a girl, and lived as one until the age of fourteen. Skylar would put it differently: he believes that, despite biological appearances, he was a boy all along. He’d just been burdened with a body that required medical and surgical adjustments so that it could reflect the gender he knew himself to be. At sixteen, he started getting testosterone injections every other week; just before he turned seventeen, he had a double mastectomy … No matter what people thought they saw when they looked at him … he knew that he “was nothing along the lines of a girl.”
According to Newser, with transgender issues taking more of the center stage in recent years, “Parents and doctors are embracing transgender surgery for children at younger ages.” Some as young as elementary school in fact. The argument behind this new practice is that, “Early surgery and puberty-suppressing medication will make kids better looking and mentally stronger as they change genders.” However, some parents are truly struggling with these decisions concerning their children, and some medical experts caution that early treatments such as these can carry significant risks.
What do you think?
Would you allow your child to have transgender surgery before he or she is a legal adult? If so, how young?
What would you factor into the decision?