Options for transgender teenagers

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Oliver Du Bois says, “I know a lot of transgender kids, they don’t get the support of parents or friends or whatever and I have like my entire family supports me, all my friends support me, I have teachers who support me and I’m very thankful.” 

Oliver was born Olivia and his mom says it was middle school when something changed.  

She says, “He came to me one day and said, I just, I don’t feel like a girl. I am not comfortable.” 

Oliver says, “I started to have my friends call me Oliver. I had them use male pronouns and I realized how comfortable I was.” 

Oliver is among a growing number of teens investigating transgender surgery. coincidently, Doctor Suzanne Jackman who Oliver was seeing for hypothyroidism, specializes in educating teens about the process. 

Dr. Jackman says, “If they’ve truly been diagnosed with gender dysphoria after their early stages of puberty, they may be eligible for what is called ‘pubertal suppression’ where we prevent puberty from ensuing.” 

Teens have to be at least 18 to get transgender surgery. Right now, Oliver is holding off on hormone therapy.

Doctor Jackman warns that the surgery requires several procedures, some irreversible. 

Oliver plans to freeze his eggs if he decides to start the transgender surgical steps.

He says, “If it makes you happier, if it makes you who you are, then why not. I know a lot of kids who would have probably not been here if they weren’t able to start hormone therapy.” “

Since the procedure for teens raises ethical questions, experts, including Doctor Jackman, require mental health evaluations and for those professionals to stay involved with patients through the entire process. 

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