Study: Transgender children fare well when allowed to live openly

In second grade, the family agreed to let Daniel legally change his name and at the boy’s request, his school agreed to go along with the change, even letting Daniel use the boy’s bathroom.

“He is very well-adjusted” but still feels stress because he knows not everyone is so accepting, Heumann said.

Daniel “was very anxious before coming out at school,” but refused the option of keeping the secret, Heumann recalled.

“He looked at me and said, ‘Dad, I can’t. It’s harder to live a lie and not as I am truly than to deal with this anxiety right now.'”

Heumann said the family reacted to Daniel’s choice with mixed feelings, mourning the loss of a daughter but never wavering in love and support for Daniel.

Olson, the study author, said the results don’t apply to all transgender kids, especially those whose parents oppose their change in identity.

Opponents of allowing these youngsters to adopt names, hairstyles, clothes and pronouns opposite their birth gender have argued that kids so young “cannot possibly know their gender at such an early age,” said Sherer, the editorial writer.

Letting these kids live openly as the gender they identify with “can be an incredibly affirming process,” Sherer said, “showing the child that their identity is supported.” She was not involved in the research.

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