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New Trans Women Of Color Study

By Charlotte Robinson, August 09, 2019
A groundbreaking study finds that young transgender women of color hit several developmental milestones significantly earlier than their white peers. The new study entitled “Developmental Milestones in Young Transgender Women in Two American Cities: Results from a Racially & Ethnically Diverse Sample” was conducted at Boston’s Fenway Health & Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago as part of Project LifeSkills a randomized controlled trial with the goal of reducing risk HIV acquisition & transmission. Dr. Sari Reisner study co-author & Director of Transgender Health Research at The Fenway Institute & Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School stated, “Developmental milestones, such as the age at which youth become aware of their transgender identity or the age at which they disclose their identity to others, are important considerations in providing care. Care needs to be contextualized to provide content relevant to a young person’s particular developmental trajectory.” The study found that on average participants became aware of their transfeminine identity around age nine with some as early as four. However, Black & Latina transgender women begin disclosing their identity to others between ages 13 & 15 while White transgender women typically do not do so until age 17. Arjee Restar study lead author & MPH, PhDc of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences & Epidemiology at Brown University’s School of Public Health concluded, “The results of this study show significant disparities by race in how early young transgender women, especially persons of color, experience these milestones. Racial discrimination & norms of identity concealment/disclosure may lead young transgender women of color to reach these sexual milestones earlier than their white peers.”
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