Transgender Adults

Transgender Issues


Imagine making your way in a world where your physical appearance makes others uncomfortable, anxious, confused, or uncertain about themselves. Your very presence may be perceived as a threat to another individual’s sense of self or sexual orientation. Everywhere you go, people stare at you—sometimes discreetly, often blatantly—leaving you very little room to walk unselfconsciously through life. The reactions you experience from others, while the result of ignorance and sometimes mere “curiosity,” do nonetheless harm you, for you are perceived as “Other.” At times, people’s reactions are more hostile, the result of conscious and unconscious fears about what it means to deviate from gender norms, and you may be verbally or physically assaulted just for being you.


This is what it’s like to be a gender nonconforming or transgender individual in today’s world. Though there is increasing awareness and tolerance around gender issues in certain small segments of American culture, the truth is, the level of misunderstanding, ignorance and prejudice that surrounds gender nonconforming people as they go about their lives has created a mental health crisis in our society.

We all have a gender identity and diverse manners in which we choose to engage in self-expression.

A number issues emerge in gender nonconforming children, particularly when their families aren’t able to provide the support and unconditional love that is necessary for them to thrive. These include:

  • adjustment issues
  • depression and anxiety disorders
  • trauma
  • substance dependency
  • characterological pathology.


We must be aware that families, too, must be educated about transgender issues, learn skills for coping with the child’s gender change, and be able to mourn and seek social and emotional support for themselves. NewPath offers family counseling to help advocate for the client.

The exercise below may help you to better understand your own values and story. When you are ready to share it, NewPath has counselors ready to listen.

Deconstructing Gender: Self-Exploration Exercise

  • What is your own gender identity?
  • How old were you when realized you were a “girl” or a “boy?”
  • Who and what made this clear to you?
  • Did you agree with your parents clothing choices for you as a child?
  • What activities did/do you enjoy?
  • Have you expressed your own gender identity differently over the course of your life?
  • How do you feel about your body? Your genitalia?
  • What messages have you received about your gender and from whom (e.g. parents, media, religion etc.)? Were you “policed” by others around your identity, gender roles and social practices or body?
  • How has your gender shaped your beliefs, social engagements and practices?
  • What have you been allowed/encouraged to do because of your gender identity and what limitations have you faced (e.g. social sanctions/promotions)?

At NewPath, we see our client’s as one whole person.

  • We ask about your gender identity and preferred pronoun. Explore internal experience and how it impacts you interpersonally.
  • We foster multiple and integrated identity development: race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, profession etc.
  • Educate parents about the importance of notpathologizing the gender expression of their children.
  • Our treatment interventions include allowing children the space to explore their gender expression, family education and support, as well as parental support to mourn the loss of their fantasies about their birth child’s ascribed gender.
  • Collaborate treatment efforts with all providers involved, e.g., social workers, endocrinologist for hormone blockers and hormone treatment, family therapist, and treatment team staff.
  • We know gender nonconformity is a natural expression of human development and experience.
  • Above all we Do No Harm: If we have questions we seek consultation from a gender specialist. Monitor countertransference and refer out if we are not able to act fully in the best interest of our client.
(409) 200-2220

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