Background : Increasing numbers of transgender and gender nonbinary youth and adolescents have come out, and there has been unprecedented hostility from those attempting to limit acceptance, a masquerade of 'concern' through misinformation and fear. But data unmistakably show that affirmative approaches yield happier, healthier, and better adjusted youth.
Methods : This workshop will feature members of the Gender Dysphoria Affirmative Working Group, a broad coalition of experts in gender and sexuality, discussing the overwhelming evidence that affirmative approaches produce happier and better adjusted children and making plain that "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria", “80% Desist”, and “Wait and See” are inherently flawed and biased research, harmful to these vulnerable youth.
Results : Affirmative approaches - in which the youth’s self-reported gender is respected and where the youth is able to explore without judgment or predetermined outcome - demonstrate improved quality of life, self-esteem, and self-confidence, along with reductions in anxiety, depression, substance use, and suicide. These youth discover what gender is appropriate for them, if any. Rates of regret are miniscule.
Conclusions : Every child is unique, and these youth are capable of making informed decisions about their authentic gender congruence. Flawed research broadcast in mass media is not only a source of confusion and stress for the parents attempting to provide support, but a threat to the wellbeing of these youth.
Only when youth are supported can they thrive.