A Story of Transitioning
by Corey Maison
What do you do when you are born as one gender, but feel yourself to be another? Gender dysphoria affects thousands of people worldwide, but has been ignored or ridiculed in our culture. With this graphic novel, Corey Maison boldly shares her story of transitioning, so that other kids with gender dysphoria and related conditions will no longer feel so isolated, hopeless, or lost.
Corey Maison was born a girl, trapped in a boy’s body. Growing up, Corey was more interested in dolls than trucks; in dresses than jeans. Everything about Corey was female…except her physicality.
Known as gender dysphoria, this condition is devastating if not acknowledged. But society is slow to be sympathetic to the idea that a person’s gender is not entirely based on physiology, but instead is fluid, and a combination of emotional and psychological self-awareness along with, or sometimes more importantly, physical characteristics.
Identity: A Story of Transitioning tells the complex and moving tale of a young person who knows that their true gender is not the one they were assigned at birth. With unconditional love and support from her mother, Corey successfully starts the transition process with hopes of being comfortable in her own skin, being accepted by others, and raising awareness of young people who wish to transition. At 16-years-old, Corey has become a voice for other trans teens, battling bullies and helping others who are on their own individual journeys of identity.
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Five Parent Take-Aways About Transitioning
Transgender children occur about as often in the US population as red hair or green eyes.
Approximately 1.5% of kids identify as transgender, but fear of rejection leads many to hide their identity. It’s important for adults in the child’s life to offer support and affirmation of their identity in order to avoid severe psychological harm. Around 40% of transgender teens report having attempted suicide at least once. A support system that affirms a child’s gender identity is crucial as they continue to develop and grow.
Sometimes gender dysphoria is due to an underlying medical condition.
There are a number of medical conditions which can cause a person to develop gender dysphoria. Every child who presents with gender dysphoria should undergo a full medical examination. Some transgender people are actually intersex, and some have disorders of sexual development, which can have concurrent medical problems that should be ruled out. Gender dysphoria doesn’t always mean one of these conditions is present, but it’s reasonable to check and make sure.
A transgender identity is valid regardless of medical treatment.
Although there shouldn’t be a rush to transition with hormones, in some cases medical interventions should be started immediately. The changes caused by going through what feels like the “wrong” puberty are not easily reversed and can greatly increase dysphoria and depression. Children who express a gender identity that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth can be placed on puberty blockers. These medications are used to temporarily pause puberty to allow time for psychological evaluation and development. When the child reaches the age of puberty, or when they are considered to be a good (or poor) candidate for hormones, these puberty blockers can be stopped. This allows puberty to start normally or be induced with different hormones. Not every transgender person needs or even wants surgery or hormones.
The medical community does not support or even condone irreversible transgender surgeries on children.
Except in extremely rare cases, gender affirming surgeries are almost never performed on minors. A “watch, wait, and affirm their identity strategy has been shown to have the lowest complications while also reducing the risk of suicide and self-harm.
Being transgender is not the same as being gay.
Sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same. Some transgender youth will be heterosexual, some will not. Sometimes their sexual orientation may change if they start hormone therapy. If a transgender boy (assigned female at birth) is attracted only to females, he is considered heterosexual. If attracted only to men, he is considered homosexual. It’s important to recognize that gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same and vary from person to person.
ABOUT THE EXPERTS
Dr. Will Powers
Dr. Powers is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician who has a practice in Farmington Hills, Michigan. His practice specializes in care of LGBT people, and he has over a thousand transgender patients. He regularly gives lectures around the country about transgender medicine and the care of the LGBT patient.
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