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Individuals who undergo medical treatments to change their gender need regular blood tests to check their hormone levels. While transgender may still be a new concept to many people, there is a growing number of individuals who are opting to switch to transition because they feel as though they were born the wrong sex.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that it can be difficult to know the exact number of transgender people in the U.S. However, a study conducted by the University of California William Institute estimates that there are 700,000 individuals in America who identify as transgender. It's important that all Americans understand more about his population, especially since advancements in medicine now make it possible for more people to change their gender.
Some of the basics
The American Psychological Association explains that transgender is a term that can apply to people whose gender identity or behavior does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. Not all people who fall in this category will choose to alter their gender using hormones and surgeries, but some do. There is no explanation for why some people are transgender. Experts have said that genetic influences and prenatal hormone levels may play a role, as could experiences in childhood or even adulthood.
Some people claim that they felt as though they were born the wrong gender from a very early age, while others did not realize it until later in life.
The process of changing one's gender is complicated, according to the APA. It is also different for every individual. While some may choose to alter their appearance by wearing the clothes of people of the opposite gender, others may take hormone therapy and undergo reconstructive surgeries to transition.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center states that it's important to keep in mind that while transgender is a relatively new term, the concept is not. People who do not conform to the gender they were born with have been around for centuries. So even though some people may have only heard of the transgender community recently, that does not mean they only recently appeared.
Transgender individuals often face discrimination. According to the APA, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released a report in 2011 that found that transgender people encounter discrimination in education, healthcare, housing, employment and legal systems.
Parents who have children who appear to not conform to gender standards may want to consider talking to their children's school to ensure that their child is safe. They may also want to consult with mental health professionals in order to determine the best ways to talk to their child. The APA recommends that parents do not force their child to conform to certain gender roles. Instead, they should just remain supportive and see what happens.
Furthermore, people may meet someone who they think is transgender, but may not be. It's important to wait to see what someone self-identifies as before making an assumption that could potentially be embarrassing for both parties.
People who feel as though they may be transgender taking hormones and getting surgery to change their sex is right for them. If they do decide to take hormones, there are ways that they can order confidential lab tests that will help them keep track of their changes,
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