Experts: Trans children becoming a norm - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Experts: Trans children becoming a norm

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It isn't anything new. That is what the transgender community says about children coming to terms with their true identities at younger ages. They say over the last few years, more and more parents are recognizing it and therefore more and more resources even here in the tri-state have become available.

"A lot of students are just wanting to feel that they can be accepted for who they are,” said Shawn Jeffers.

[Related story: Mother of transgender 7-year-old talks about Eli becoming Ella]

Jeffers is the lead trainer for the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in Greater Cincinnati. GLSEN provides training to educators on how to create a more inclusive school environment for gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.

"What I always tell educators is when a child comes out to you, just say thank you for trusting me and how can I support you?" said Jeffers.

GLSEN isn't alone. In fact, Cincinnati Children's Hospital is one of the first medical centers in the country to offer a transgender clinic for children ages 5-17 providing puberty blockers, gender affirming hormones and menstrual suppression. Right now, it serves more than 100 patients.

"These youth are here. They've always been here but now people know how to recognize them,” said JAC Stringer, Founder of the Heartland Trans Wellness Group.

Stringer has dedicated his life to making life easier for the transgender population. While the term trans children is new to some, Stringer says supporting trans youth is vital.

"Parents are becoming more and more educated on what their kids need and what their kids could be. That there are lots of different types of kids,” said Stringer.

Stringer says the consequences of not providing youth resources are deadly. The suicide rate among transgender youth is seven times that of any other population.

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