Gender discomfort may be detected, albeit rarely, in children aged as young as three or four. Usually, transsexual people describe feelings of gender discomfort that date back to their early childhood. They often regret that they were not treated at the onset of puberty, when they experienced intense stress as their bodies began to develop in conflict with their core gender identities – their inner sense of being boys or girls.
During puberty, transsexual boys develop breasts, start to menstruate and sometimes become frustrated by their small stature. Transsexual girls’ voices deepen, they grow beards and prominent Adam’s apples, experience erections and become taller than most other women.
Young transsexual people have to overcome many obstacles in obtaining medical help to deal with their difficulties. The first obstacle is learning to how to describe their feelings with a child’s limited vocabulary. Then, expressing their feelings within their families often seems impossible.
What they see is a family, and the world beyond it, neatly divided into two gender expressions: boys and girls, in strict accordance with genital appearance and with no tolerance for any variation from that norm. Boys who behave in feminine ways are labelled sissies. Girls showing tomboy traits experience more tolerance but not complete acceptance.
To read full article written by Bernard Reed, see below.
Document: Early Medical Treatment (PDF, 111KB)