Facts and myths

Here are some facts and myths about transgender youths, courtesy of Akron Children’s Hospital:

• Tomboy girls or effeminate boys aren’t necessarily transgender.

• A girl or boy who identifies as a person of the opposite gender, or who embraces certain characteristics of the other gender, is not certain to be transgender.

• A transgender person may become sexually attracted to either sex. Sexual orientation develops in young people separately, and later than gender identity.

• Some children may start identifying with the opposite gender as early as toddlerhood. Many transgender adults say they began seeing themselves as a person of the opposite sex at a very young age. Others first experience those feelings in adolescence.

• Some children persistently identify as a person of the opposite sex, into adolescence and beyond. But children sometimes fall elsewhere on the spectrum. Some feel they are both genders, or neither. Some will adopt traits associated with the opposite gender — hair and clothing styles, for example — but not feel they are that gender.

Statistics

• 0.7 percent of teens age 13 to 17 identify as transgender.

• As adults, 1 in 20,000 fully transition and have the surgery.

• 41 percent of transgender individuals are suicidal in their lifetime

• 69 percent have identified as being homeless at some point.

Source: Akron Children’s Hospital