harm.85 Further, it has been shown that a youth whose gender dysphoria continues past the onset
of puberty is likely to retain these feelings into adulthood.86 Fear of a child not adhering to their
initial exploration of gender identities should not be a factor in determining whether to provide
treatment to youth with gender dysphoria—not all children require the same treatment (where
some will not continue to have gender dysphoria past puberty, and thus will not require further
treatment87) and it does much more harm than good to suppress inner gender identity and
IV. HOW A MINOR’S IDENTIFICATION AS TRANSGENDER AFFECTS
MAJOR ASPECTS OF THAT MINOR’S LIFE
Individualized needs for each child need to be assessed and carefully weighed; every youth
is different and decisions can produce drastic effects that impact a child’s life and his or her
educational needs, mental outlook, socialization abilities, and physical attributes. Determining the
right treatment plan for a youth enhances their ability to fully exercise their rights after reaching
the age of majority. Accordingly, examining how the minor’s identification affects major aspects
of that minor’s life is critical when finding an approach to treat their gender dysphoria.
A. Educational Experiences
The 2013 National School Climate Survey examined the experiences of transgender
students to determine what their educational landscape resembled.89 This research had some
positive conclusions: a higher percentage of LGBT students reported having supportive school
staff, gay-straight alliances, positive representations of LGBT people in history or curriculum
events, access to LGBT-related content on the internet and in their textbooks, and anti-bullying/harassments policies in place than in all prior survey years.90
Other findings, however, were less encouraging. Over half of the surveyed students
reported being harassed for their gender expression, and 61.6% of students who reported incidents
of harassment or assault said that school staff did nothing in response.91 Some school policies exist
that particularly target transgender students: 42.2% have been prevented from using their preferred
name, 59.2% were required to use the bathroom or locker room of their biological sex, and 31.6%
have been prevented from wearing clothes considered inappropriate based on their legal sex.92
Transgender students today are coping with school districts struggling to establish a best
practice for accessing appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms. The controversy lies between
balancing Title IX93 gender equality interests with privacy concerns, and it has brought out strong
86 Talbot, supra note 20.
87 Spiegel, supra note 73.
88 Rubin Erdely, supra note 1 (“The American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics
have rejected the forced-conformity approach for gender-dysphoric patients, saying that not only are such efforts
doomed to fail but that… they ‘often result in substantial psychological pain.’”).
89 GLSEN, THE 2013 NATIONAL SCHOOL CLIMATE SURVEY: THE EXPERIENCES OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND
TRANSGENDER YOUTH IN OUR NATION’S SCHOOLS 2, 3 (2013).