• Published Date: 19/11/2021
  • by: UNDP

Mental Health and Transgender Youth


“Now we just act like we don’t know each other. We don’t talk, we don’t look at each other. I’m just living my life day by day.” These are words said by Nick (alias), a 21-year-old transman on his relationship with his mother. Nick said his mom wasn’t pleased with his transition that she decided to cut the tie. “She doesn’t want a son. She wants her daughter back, and the way I’ve ‘changed’ is like a way I took her daughter away from her.”
Unstable relationship in a family where children are transgender isn’t new, and it isn’t the only issue that affects young transgender people’s mental health. Social stigma, double standards, not being able to access health services for transgender people, these problems affect their mentality greatly. Furthermore, no clinic for trans healthcare is available, which worsens the matter.
Since it’s Transgender Awareness Week, GendersMatter is working together with UNDP Thailand to clear up misunderstandings about transgender people. Today’s topic is “Mental Health and Transgender Youth.”
#MentalProblemsTransgenderYouthFaces – Many people have an image of a transgender as a funny character, so mental struggle seems unlikely. However, being funny and having mental issues are two different topics. Thai transgenders are still stuck in this stereotype which can explain why many families with transgender children do not know how to handle the situation and thus, the problems are suppressed.
With the problems unsolved, quarrels are common in the family and some just choose to end the conversation to avoid any conflicts. Without understanding, more distance grows and many teenagers may not see their home as a safe zone, thus, the mental struggle comes along. According to studies, transgenders are more likely to struggle with mental illnesses 4 times more than other people.
#TransHealthCareClinicIsNotPleasing – One of the interesting pieces of information from interviews with transgender people is that many Trans Health Care Clinics lack understandings of their patients. Many visitors have had unpleasant experiences like deadnaming or misgendering them.
#WhatToDo – If transgender people ever find themselves in an unpleasant situation, try to excuse themselves from the scene, but it’s unable to do so right away, find someone reliable or trustworthy to vent or explain what has happened and find a solution together. If, at one point, you realize you do need to reach out for help, consult a mental health service closest and most accessible to you.
Finally, even though health services and facilities offered to help transgender people’s mental health in Thailand is scarce, it shows room for improvement. While improving these services, don’t forget to create safe spaces for transgender people and other individuals for a society where everyone respects one another.
Because everyone deserves a safe space.

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