Gender Identity

What is Gender Identity?

Gender identity disorder is where a person is born one gender but unhappy living that way. Many young people can find their gender identity is not a complete match with the sex they were given at birth. It can be incredibly distressing if your sense of self does not match your physical being and although this is not a mental health disorder it can cause a lot of stress and worry for a person. Growing up in a society filled with misunderstanding and stigma together with having to hide your true identity undoubtedly affects people.

You can be born as male and identify as female or vice versa. You can also be what people term ‘non binary’ which is where you don’t feel male or female and identify as a combination of the two or neither.

Symptoms of Gender Identity

Common signs include:-

  • Wanting to wear clothes worn by the opposite sex
  • Wanting to take part, and play with members of the opposite sex while refusing to take part in activities of their own sex
  • Insisting or hoping that their genitals will change
  • Feeling extreme distress at puberty over the physical changes that will occur

Some of these behaviours are part of a child growing up but in gender dysphoria they persist into adulthood.

Ways you can treat Gender Identity

There is support available within the NHS which offers hormone therapy.

Counsellors who specialise in gender identity and who have an understanding of what you are going through and the options available to you can offer valuable support. They are able to offer a safe place to talk free of judgement and stigma.