LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Experts at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which houses the largest clinic for transgender children in the country, hope Bruce Jenner’s announcement of transition will increase acceptance for all transgenders.
The former Olympic athlete’s announcement of becoming a woman has caught the attention of parents of transgender children, as some say they notice even infants expressing themselves as a gender other than their assigned sex.
“People have said ‘my kid, as soon as they could make words, started to tell me about their gender being different than their gender assignment,” CHLA Dr. Johanna Olson said. “Genitals don’t equal gender. That’s the biggest thing that people need to understand, is that our gender identity lives somewhere else, in our hearts, in our brains. Probably from our genetic coding.”
The clinic at CHLA provides hormone blockers to stop puberty, while older teens get cross-sex therapy for feminizing or masculinizing bodies. However, Dr. Olson says too many children are not treated, and hopes that Jenner’s recent interview on transitioning will provide support for them.
“For parents of young trans-people, there’s a phenomenon that happens of, if this can be the experience of someone like Bruce Jenner, then it somehow makes it feel real for my child and my family,” Dr. Olson said.
The clinic sees two-to-three new transgender children each week, with some as young as four years.