Young and trans*

Some children and youth feel: "I am not really a girl (or a boy)." Others say: "I am trapped in the wrong body." Here are some tips for you:

Only you can know whether you are a boy, a girl or someone else entirely.

"Trans*" means that this internally perceived knowledge of who you are does not match your physical body; or does not align with the way others see you.

How can I be sure that I am trans*?

You are free to take your time to experiment. It is not important to know already now how you want to live in ten years. It is important that you feel comfortable here and now.

How can I match my body to my feeling?

"Puberty blockers" help prevent the body from developing in a direction that you do not want and give you a breather to figure out what you want.

Maybe later in life, you might find yourself comfortable in the way your body is naturally developing. In that case, you no longer need to take puberty blockers (we kindly advise you to discuss this with your doctor).

Or you can opt for transition. You can take ‘cross-sex’ hormones, which can influence for example your voice, breasts, muscles or body hair.

By the time you’re 18, surgery on your sex organs is also possible. In some cases, young trans* men can get their breasts flattened even before they hit 18.

We suggest you start by contacting a counselling centre early on and finding out about options available for you.

Do I start to become a real boy or a real girl when I change my body?

No! Whatever you feel or say about yourself now is what you are.

Some trans* people are happy with their body the way it is. You can still think about hormones or surgery later in life.

How can I change my name?

In order to change your name in a passport, for example, you need to file an application with the relevant court (those under 18 require parental permission) and two independent experts.

However, schools, associations etc. can use your chosen name even without these official changes. And you are free to do so, of course.

Do I have to be a boy or a girl?

No! Many people have a gender other than male or female. Others find gender irrelevant.

Why do other people not accept me the way I am?

In Germany everybody has the right to self-determination, also when it comes to gender. Some people are still not aware of that. Or they are so unsure that they say: "This cannot be." Or: "Who knows what you will say next week." Or: "You can wear this dress at home but not in school."

This is unfair and painful.

Sometimes adults think they are ‘protecting’ you if they just push away the trans* topic. Such parents probably still need time or counselling to realise that no one has a better understanding about your life than you, yourself.

Where do I find people who understand and can assist me?

By clicking on "Anlaufstellen" on the main page of the German version of this website you can find tips on leisure activities or support groups for trans* youth and also counselling for you and/or your parents.

In order to identify a good medical practitioner or counsellor, we suggest the following test: Does the person address you by the name you told him/her? Does the person make the effort to use the right pronoun (for example, "he" or "she") or does he/she use your first name when referring to you? Do you feel that he/she is taking you seriously?