Transgender Youth Issues
One who might be of a minority race facing issues like poverty may very much find the risks and struggles of coming out to be more severe due to circumstances they are already dealing with. On the other hand, one who may be of a privileged group, and very high class may find it much easier to deal with coming out and may have much more social support. As a social worker using intersectionality theory, keeping these things in mind are important in order to be able to support our individual, unique clients to the best of our abilities.
Erikson’s Psychosocial theory is also useful in the analyzation of cases of transgender youths and the effect of stigma on their coming out process. Erikson explains that young people are expected to develop their sexual identities through the discovery of oneself through self-understanding. He explains that crisis at this stage may be brought about by the expectations from themselves and people around them which in the case of transgender youths an example would be their parents, family, and peers. These individuals entering young adulthood may be very aware of their gender and sexual identity and be okay with it because they have reached a point of self-understanding, the issue at this point would be the stigma coming from society around them (Hutchison,2015).
With issues I have mentioned earlier like rejection from family and being bullied at school, in the work place or wherever else, these individuals end up overwhelmed with their own stressors plus with the added stressor of being rejected by many people in their lives. This rejection can leave many of these individuals feeling alienated, disconnected and alone, wondering where they went wrong, engaging in behaviors that put their health at risk, triggering depression and other mental health issues that then are known to influence risks like homelessness or even suicide (Human Rights Campaign,2018). As a social worker using the psychosocial theory it is important to be aware of the crisis’s that may arise in many of these individuals lives while trying to understand their life course development (Hutchison,2015).
For thousands of transgender youth coming out in the United States, daily life is tough filled with worries that no individual should have to feel. Rejection from family, social stigma and risk factors all significantly harm the health and well-being of these youth, hindering their positive development. As social workers we must do the best we can to assist these troubled individuals through being advocates, applying theories to cases, and getting these individuals the help and support they need. It is important that we acknowledge the terrible realities faced by these youths and act on policies that can better their lives and ensure that they have a fair chance at a better tomorrow, like any human being should.