Gender Health Services
The Division of Adolescent Medicine at Golisano Children’s Hospital, University of Rochester, has services available to aid families, youth, and young adults who identify as transgender, gender fluid, or have other questions or concerns about their gender.
Transgender is a medical term for people whose sense of their own gender does not match the gender that they were assigned at birth. Children are first aware of their own gender at around age 2, and transgender children may insist that they are of the opposite gender and desire toys and clothing that are typically assigned to the opposite gender.
Parents and pediatric health professionals may wish to discuss these issues further when what they believed to be a “phase” does not pass. At that point, it is helpful to consult with mental health and medical professionals familiar with gender issues in children to decide how to best address these concerns. It is not helpful to force the child to act in a more gender conforming way. Peer support from other parents of gender-nonconforming children may also be helpful.
It is not unusual for older adolescents and young adults to express these thoughts or feelings for the first time. The onset of puberty can be particularly difficult for those whose sense of self does not match their developing body, or they may have been grappling with these feelings for years without being able to express them. We often see young adults as they start college or undergo other transitions since this may be the first time they have had access to medical care for transition.
We offer appointments to youths and young adults through age 25 and their families/care providers, to discuss these issues and to explore the options available for their care on various days and times. Patients are seen in our clinical suite at 601 Elmwood Avenue by appointment only. It is preferable that an existing primary care provider or mental health provider refer the individual to us, but we will, in certain circumstances, accept self-referrals.