You identify as both or no gender. I like being in the middle. Androgynous. I love Pete Burns and Boy George. As a kid I grew up as a masculine boy. I just wanted to wear heels, but not be a girl. I started doing drag at 7. I was a performer for 10 years. But I would get off stage and still want to wear the clothes. I am androgynous. I’ve never cared if I am called a girl or a boy. I had to determine what I felt like.
Many trans individuals express that even though they came out as trans later in life, they knew early in their lives that they were trans. Society and culture have often made individuals who are trans feel as though there is something wrong with coming into their true selves. Every person, trans or not, has the right and deserves the freedom to be who they feel inside. So, what does it mean to be transgender?
TRANSGENDER is a far-reaching definition that is often used when describing people whose gender identity is different from the assigned gender they were given at birth. Transgender can describe a wide range of individuals who are on the spectrum of gender identities. The way that people describe themselves may change over time.
This is a list of some, not all, of the gender identities that people of trans experience may distinguish themselves as:
Trans, Transwoman/Transwomen, Transgender, Transman/Transmen, Transfemme, Transfeminine, Transmasculine, Genderqueer, Gender Neutral, NonBinary, Gender Nonconforming, LelimLelur, Queer, Woman of a Trans Experience, Man of a Trans Experience, God/Goddess, Two Spirit, Ambi gender, gender fluid, bigender.
GENDER EXPRESSION is different than gender identity.
Gender expression is often taken in the context of cultural “norms” of male and female expressions of behavior, mannerisms, appearance and interests. This expression may or may not be the same as a person's gender identity.
LANGUAGE: new terms and words you may use:
Language is an important part of any group of individuals and how they find cohesion and sameness. People of trans experience often have a very strong community and have words that are used regularly that you may hear and use yourself. Here are a few of these words and quick definitions:
- Mones: the hormones that some trans people may take in the short and long term for their transition
- Chosen mother/father/aunt/family: In some situations trans people create a new family group for support and nurturing.
- Sil: Silicone and other fillers that some individuals may choose in their transition
- Top/Bottom Surgery: The common name for gender affirmation surgeries
- Cis or cisgender: Those who do not identify as transgender
- Non-op, Pre-op, Post-op: The different physical choices that people may make in their transition, or where they are in the process
- Stealth: Refers to people of trans experience who live their desired sex and gender at all times or 24/7
“Support in the community can be really great. I tell all girls you need a support system. These people need to be people who will tell you yes AND no!”
The Trevor Project
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
LGBT Community Center, New Orleans
The mission of the Center is to combat homophobia, transphobia, racism and misogyny by supporting community-driven projects and organizations in the greater New Orleans area; the vision is to create a Greater New Orleans area where gender and sexual minorities are equitable and empowered.
Ending the criminalization of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans, LA. BreakOUT! members develop their leadership skills through workshops and individual leadership development plans to support the next generation of organizers and build a sustainable movement.
PACE is a nonpartisan organization that works to advance equality in Northwest Louisiana so that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community can lead open, honest, responsible, and safe lives at home and in the workplace.
Positive environments are important to help all youth thrive. However, the health needs of LGBT Youth can differ from their heterosexual peers. On this page, find resources from the CDC, other government agencies, and community organizations for LGBT Youth, their friends, educators, parents, and family members to support positive environments.
I feel like gender is so personal to someone. Me, personally, growing up I would feel like I was between a girl and a boy. I was lucky and I have always been praised and supported. My mom is very supportive of me.
For people of a trans experience who start transitioning at an early age, there are medical options for consideration. An Important part of getting the medical care that you deserve is asking your doctor what they understand about trans care. Many doctors, including pediatricians (can be your doctor until the age of 24) are getting specific training about trans care and the needs of the trans community. New Orleans is the epicenter for trans care in youth through the program at Children’s Hospital. There are also doctors in other clinics and settings that are competent as well. It is important to talk to your doctor about your needs and goals.
One of the options that trans youth have is the use of hormone blockers. Hormone blockers can suspend puberty by stopping the development of gonadotropins in the pituitary gland. The use of hormone blockers can cut down on the need for surgeries later and have been shown to improve the mental health of trans youth. Blocking hormones can give the trans person, and their family, time to consider and talk about options. If a person decides to stop taking hormone blockers, puberty resumes in about six months with no adverse effects.
Cross-sex hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, are a decision that requires more time and medical considerations. It is normal for a trans person of any age to speak to doctors and a mental health professional before cross-sex hormones will be prescribed. It also requires physical considerations to discuss with a doctor.
A great website that can be used for much more detailed information specific to the needs of trans and non-binary youth is www.genderspectrum.org.