A proportion of people feel from a very young age that they have been born in the wrong body or gender. Some feel that they don’t really belong to either gender at all.

Often this becomes an issue initially when they are age 5 or 6 and first attend school where they may be asked to wear a different uniform or go to a separate toilet depending on whether they are male or female.

Depending on how understanding their family are many people will hide these feelings until adolescence when the onset of puberty can be extremely distressing as their bodies start to develop into the adult form of the sex they don’t feel they are.

Without support and medical care, depression and suicide can be common outcomes for transgender individuals.

At puberty hormone therapy can be used to suspend the development of female or male body types until the young person is of an age to make the final decision about changing to the gender of their choice.

For adults hormone therapy and surgery can help people transition into their chosen gender.

Cairns Doctors have a good understanding of transgender healthcare and can help you navigate the complex psychological and physical issues involved.

For more information visit Trans Health Australia and The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities website.