There are as many different ways of transitioning as there are people who transition.
At the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, we specialize in helping transgender, non-binary and genderqueer kids and young adults transition in the way that feels best to them. That may involve any combination of the following kinds of transition.
Social transitioning means communicating your gender identity to others. It may involve changing your clothing, body contour, hair, name or pronouns.
Social transitions can be wonderful and emboldening. They can also be difficult. Lack of support from family members, peers and others can have a negative impact on the emotional, psychological and physical health of kids and young adults.
We offer a range of resources to support patients and families during this time:
- Referrals to resources and support groups for parents and families in the region
- Comprehensive mental health support for kids or young adults dealing with psychological or psychiatric issues related to the stress of transition
- Voice and speech therapy, which can help patients achieve a higher or lower voice and change other aspects of their verbal expression (such as intonation, word choice and body language)
- An educational liaison who works with patients’ schools to help smooth transitions
- Connections to supportive hairdressers and clothing specialists
- Help with learning how to safely bind (for patients who want to minimize their chest) or tuck (for patients who want to minimize their penis)
Medical transitioning means changing your body through medical means, most commonly gender-affirming hormone therapy.
For youth who do want to medically transition, we offer comprehensive services:
- Puberty blockers, which can delay or prevent puberty by blocking the hormones that bring it on
- Hormone therapy, including feminizing hormone therapy (estrogen with or without androgen blockers) or masculinizing hormone therapy (testosterone)
- Comprehensive mental health support, which can help with any difficulties patients experience while medically transitioning
Surgical transitioning means having surgery to change your body so that it’s more in line with your gender identity.
For some it’s an important part of transitioning; for others, it’s not. If a patient expresses interest in surgery, we work closely with them to determine whether it’s right for them, and which procedures best meet their needs and preferences.
We offer a full range of gender-affirming surgeries, including top surgery (chest masculinization or breast augmentation); bottom surgery (creation of new genitalia or removal of unwanted genitalia); and facial feminization or masculinization.
Legal transitioning means changing your legal name, gender marker, birth certificate, ID or other documents. For transgender, nonbinary or genderqueer kids and young adults who want to legally transition in Missouri or Illinois, we offer resources and advice.
If you have questions about legal transitioning, you can contact our Transgender Center.