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For Immediate Release From The Biden Foundation!

hen the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) came out with its first policy statement on the treatment of transgender and gender-diverse youth, Mimi Lemay felt validated.

Her son Jacob, 8, transitioned when he was 4 years old with the support of Lemay and her husband, despite the child's doctor and therapist urging a "watchful waiting" approach at the time.

"We were trying to hold him back," said Lemay, who chronicled her early struggles with Jacob in an open letter on Boston.com that went viral. "Finally, my husband and I came to the conclusion that the longer we kept him in limbo -- one name at home and one at school -- the more he would accrue harm. That was evident to us and we made the decision to transition."

Mimi Lemay with her son Jacob.

When Lemay called Jacob's pediatrician to let her know that he was transitioning, she didn't exactly get the response she was hoping for.

"I called her in tears, and she had a nurse call me back," Lemay recalled. "She didnít feel she had anything to offer."

When Lemay brought it up a couple years later, the doctor, who still sees Jacob, apologized profusely, confessing that she wasn't sure of her role.

"That might not have happened had she been getting the guidance she needed. This (the AAP's policy statement) will go a long way in fixing that," Lemay said. "And I hope that itís widely followed. I would like to see the AAP and medical schools get together and make this mandatory."

In its statement released this month, the AAP urges a model of "gender-affirmative care," that is "oriented toward understanding and appreciating the youthís gender experience" and based in the idea that "variations in gender identity and expression are normal aspects of human diversity."

The academy found that most mental health problems in gender-diverse children arise from "stigma and negative experiences," and can be prevented by a supportive family and environment, which includes health care.

The guidelines specifically disavow the "watchful waiting" approach, calling it outdated and based on flawed science.

"More robust and current research suggests that, rather than focusing on who a child will become, valuing them for who they are, even at a young age, fosters secure attachment and resilience, not only for the child but also for the whole family," the report said.

The guide also strongly rejected so-called "conversion therapy," which tries to dissuade youth from exhibiting gender-diverse expressions. The AAP called it "deleterious" and "outside the mainstream of traditional medical practice."

The academy formed the guide in direct response from pediatricians, patients and their parents, including Vanessa Ford and her husband JR who met with some AAP members including the current president, about a year after their daughter Ellie transitioned at age 4.

Ford, an award-winning teacher, said their youngest child gravitated toward girls clothing and toys early on.

"We thought we had a son who loves princesses," Ford said.

But after throwing a princess party on Ellie's fourth birthday and declaring, "You are my princess boy," Ford said Ellie turned to her and said, "Mom, Iím not a boy, Iím a girl in my heart and brain."

Ford said it was her husband JR who ultimately convinced her that Ellie needed to transition. A year later, both parents, who were featured in "Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric," had become advocates and were sitting across from a group of pediatricians telling their family's story.

Read the full article HERE!:

Posted By: agnes levine
Wednesday, October 24th 2018 at 4:42PM
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