Caitlyn Jenner On What Pediatricians Need To Be Doing For Trans People

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.
Gender transition is about more than physical reassignment, in fact, it doesn't have to involve any kind of physical change — which is why Caitlyn Jenner thinks that doctors should be paying more attention to the emotional repercussions of transitioning.

In a new interview with Stat News, Jenner discussed what doctors, particularly pediatricians, can be doing to help trans people.

"It’s not as much a physical health issue as it is an emotional issue," she told the site about transitioning. "Physically, we had it down pretty good as far as transitioning, to do it in a healthy way. It’s mostly the emotional scars that need to be healed that had festered for a long, long time."

The bigger issue, Jenner says, is taking care of the mental health effects of the transition process. Though Jenner says that she herself had access to doctors who had experience working with trans patients, she recognizes that not everyone has this privilege.

"That’s not the case for most doctors," she said. "Maybe this is the first time they’ve seen anybody who’s trans."

Indeed, trans people face many challenges in obtaining proper medical care, like finding an understanding doctor in a rural area, and facing laws and policies that deny them gender recognition in the first place. According to GLAAD, 19% of trans people report lacking any form of health insurance at all. And while there are doctors who do specialize in gender dysphoria, Jenner says that the medical field still has a ways to go to ensure better care and understanding for trans patients.

"The medical profession in general doesn’t understand it — and I understand that," she continued. "They don’t teach it in college. You’ve got to kind of learn it on your own."

Jenner believes that pediatricians in particular can have a big impact.

"You’ve got to get them while they’re young — around 16 — because that’s where the big suicide rate is. We need just to help explain this to doctors so they can put it on their websites."

And she's right — in one study of 55 trans youths, 25% reported past suicide attempts.

Jenner's message for doctors? "Do your homework. These kids are emotionally delicate. In some cases, even if you do everything right, you can still lose them."

If you are a trans person thinking about suicide or experiencing a crisis, please call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860 for confidential support from other trans individuals.
Advertisement

More from Trends

You probably already know that Donald Trump has a record of making sexist comments. But a new ad from Hillary Clinton's campaign powerfully highlights ...
When photographer Roger Kisby shot the Adult Video News Awards for the first time last year, he wasn't sure what to expect. Once there, he was drawn to the...
This article was originally published on April 8, 2016. Photographer Marcos Alberti's photo project, 3 Glasses Later, could be considered a probing ...
In Status: Stressed, Refinery29 is teaming up with Secret, the expert in stress sweat, to have an honest, passionate conversation about the role of stress...
It was the breakup heard 'round the world: On Tuesday, we learned that Brangelina was officially no more. Then, as we were all recovering from the news, ...
Many of us can probably remember being told at some point during grade school that the pesky little boy who won't stop pulling on our pigtails or throwing ...
It's hard enough to remember to smile every once in a while, let alone stay positive when someone tells you to "go fuck yourself." But that's exactly ...
(Paid Content) In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that ...
Last Sunday, new mother Anna Young posted a photo of herself, taken during a half-marathon, to the breast-feeding advocacy Facebook group, Occupy ...
By now you've probably read those viral texts exchanged between a mother and her daughter while in pursuit of tampons. (And if you haven't, you won't ...
When Delaney Robinson first entered the University of North Carolina as a freshman a little over a year ago, she was looking forward to making new ...
Everyone has a unique story from when they first learned about Their Changing Bodies, but girls of the future might be able to say this: I learned about ...
One California woman's emotional birth video is going viral after being posted online earlier this month. Audra Lynn gave birth to her second child — and ...
After the news that transgender actress and activist Alexis Arquette died Sunday morning at age 47, her family has come together to release a touching ...