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Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. And for some people, gender identity can shift or be flexible. There are a variety of terms that people may use to describe their gender identity. For example, people whose gender identity expands beyond the categories of male or female may use the term "gender-diverse."
For some people, their gender identity doesn't match the sex they were assigned at birth. Many go through a process of coming to know, accept, and express their gender identity. This is called gender affirmation. There are many ways to affirm your gender. There are medical and nonmedical options.
Medical options for gender affirmation include:
Nonmedical options for gender affirmation include:
Children form their gender identity early. Most children start to identify their gender around age 3. For some, their gender identity doesn't match the sex they were assigned at birth. Many transgender and gender-diverse adults remember feeling at a young age that there was a difference between their bodies and their gender identity. Others didn't feel this way until later in life.
Children and teens grow and develop quickly. Before and during puberty, they may feel more like one gender some of the time, and more like another gender at other times. That's why it's important to explore nonmedical or reversible options for those who are transgender or gender-diverse. One example is helping your child live as their identity. They may want to wear the clothes of their gender identity. Or they may want to use a different name or different pronouns.
You can also talk to your child's doctor. There are reversible hormone therapies that can help a transgender or gender-diverse child affirm their gender.
Current as of:
November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
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