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Signs your child may be trans, according to an expert

trans kid
  • Trans children may understand their gender by the time they are four in supportive households.
  • According to experts, trans children will often exhibit signs of their gender when they are even younger. 
  • Common signs include cross-gender play and dress and asking questions about their gender.

In 2019, the largest study of transgender children to date found trans kids who've socially transitioned —meaning they live as the gender they identify as — develop gender identity just like their cisgender peers as young as four years old.

Many children begin exhibiting signs they may be trans at even younger ages, according to Dr. Samantha Busa, clinical director of Gender and Sexuality Service and psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. 

"For parents, it's super important to follow their child's lead," Busa said. "Kids, as a normal part of development, are going to explore different play and different dress, but if their child discloses their identity in some way or if they're asking questions about their own gender or LGBTQ people in general, approach that with an open mind."  

While every trans child is different, Busa said there are a few common signs trans children exhibit before verbalizing their identity. 

They engage in gender specific play or dress that does not correspond with the sex they were given at birth

A common sign of gender variance in children is dressing up or playing in ways that do not correspond with the sex they are assigned at birth, according to Busa. 

Diane Ehrensaft, developmental psychologist and author of "The Gender Creative Child," said trans children will often take gender-specific dress beyond the point of being just play. 

"They may — as someone who's [designated as] a boy who says, 'I'm a girl' — go and steal their sister's full clothes, regular girl clothes, so they can dress to tell people, 'Hey, this is who I am. I'm not a fairy princess. But I'm a girl who wants to go to school dressed like this,'" Ehrensaft told Vox

They start asking questions about their own gender or LGBTQ people 

Trans children will often be curious about other gender variant people they see in the world, including on TV shows, in books, and on the street.

Busa told Insider if your child starts asking you questions about their own gender, other people's gender, or queer people in general, it may be a sign they're looking for language to understand their own. 

"We never want to assume a child's gender identity but allowing them access to books and shows and other people who are LGBT can help them put language to what they're feeling," Busa said.

Parents can give their children the tools they need to ask these questions by exposing them to trans media and books, according to Busa. She recommends checking out "Lulu is a Rhinoceros" for younger children and "I am Jazz" for older kids.

Your child tells you they are trans 

Busa said the best way to tell your child is trans is by going to the source themself. While a four-year-old may not explicitly say they are trans, if they tell you they are a boy, girl, or something else entirely, it's crucial to trust what they're saying.

"We always want to be following a child's lead in terms of what they say their gender identity is," Busa said.

According to Busa, some trans kids won't show "obvious" signs they are trans and others who show signs may not be trans at all. The best thing to do is trust your child at their word about their own identity. 

"We never want to assume [gender identity] for a young person that just because they're engaging in play, or wearing clothes, or having a different haircut that doesn't align with their assign sex at birth," Busa said. 

Read the original article on Insider

Signs your child may be trans, according to an expert
Source: Rappler Buzz

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