Reuters' Daniel Trotta discusses the early transitioning of trans kids:
Increasingly across the United States, doctors and parents of transgender children are embracing their identity as soon it starts becoming obvious, sometimes around age 3. Many say they are finding much greater chances of happiness and well-being when children are nurtured in their new gender identity at such a young age.
Although there is not a consensus on the issue, some clinicians who work with transgender children have concluded that when children persistently identify as the nonconforming gender, the best course is to socially transition, or live as the other gender, even at age 3.
Other specialists in the field advocate a more cautious approach because the long-term psychosexual results for young children can vary widely and unpredictably.
"Whatever the age," Trotta stresses, "parental support is crucial:"
Fifteen percent of transgender Americans say they ran away from home or were kicked out of the house, according to a survey released on Dec. 8 of nearly 28,000 transgender adults.
The same study, by advocacy group the National Center for Transgender Equality, found transgender adults were nine times more likely than the general population to attempt suicide.
But transgender people with supportive families were far less likely to attempt suicide, be homeless or experience serious psychological distress - by nearly 20-point margins compared with those who lacked family support, the survey said.
Johanna Olson-Kennedy, medical director LA's Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children's Hospital concurs:
Because prepubescent transgender children require no more physical change than a new hairstyle and clothes, the initial transition is completely reversible, Olson-Kennedy said.
Of some 1,000 patients she has dealt with, only one switched back to the natal gender, and without any harm, she said.