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Puberty across the Spectrum

Puberty for an LGBTQI Teen

  • Non-Cisgender Teens

    • Teens who do not identify with the sex they are born with, either partially or completely

  • Puberty for non-cisgender teens is particularly tough, because they are searching for additional answers in an already confusing period in their lives

    • They often undergo a mental struggle called gender dysphoria

  • Gender Dysphoria is the psychological feeling of being uncomfortable with your sex. If left unaddressed, severe forms of gender dysphoria may lead to suicide

  • Transitioning is the “healing” process, wherein people with gender dysphoria try to align their expression of sexuality with their gender identity

  • Transitioning is a unique experience for every non cisgender individual, 

involving a range of expressions including:

    • Changes in the way the individual dresses

    • Treatments to change the voice

    • Change in friend circles

    • Gender alignment surgery

    • Hormone therapy

  • Homophobia is a major reason why non-cisgender teens prefer to keep their sexual identity and orientation a private matter

  • High rates of suicide among the young LGBTQIA+ population arises from the pressure to conform to existing social norms and the struggle to develop their own identity


  • A transgender individual is not comfortable or do not identify with the sex they are born with

  • Transition is the process of changing an individual’s gender expression (the way in which one presents their gender) in order to align with how they see themselves

  • A person who transitions can finally express themselves as the opposite sex or choose to be genderqueer (not just male or female)

  • A common misconception is that transitioning only includes medical procedures, whereas, in reality, it can include both medical and non-medical methods

Expressions of Transition

  • Cross Dressing

    • Dressing like the opposite gender

  • Drag Queens

    • An individual (typically male) who dresses up like a woman with exaggerated expressions like flamboyant clothing and colorful makeup

    • They involve themselves in theatre, singing, dancing and lip-syncing to express themselves

    • This form of expression is often very liberating for those who’ve been struggling with their gender

  • Drag Kings

    • An individual (typically female) who dresses up like a man with exaggerated masculine expressions

    • They usually dress in masculine clothing and wear makeup to flamboyantly portray masculinity

    • They perform comedy, group dance performances, acting and singing

    • This form of expression is often very liberating for those who’ve been struggling with their gender


Medical Support

  • Hormone Therapy

    • Hormones which belong to the opposite sex are prescribed to the transgender individual

    • A man who identifies as a female will receive oestrogen therapy

    • A woman who identifies as a man will receive testosterone therapy

    • The hormones will increase the sexual characteristics of the gender the individual identifies with

      • For example, oestrogen therapy leads to breast growth, lesser facial hair and widening of the pelvic region while diminishing male characteristics like deep voice and sperm production

  • Surgery

    • Surgery is performed to make the sex of the individual align with their gender identity

    • Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is performed by a gynaecologist, for a woman who identifies as a man

      • Reconstructive surgeries which assign the individual with male genitalia must be performed by a urologist with former training and specialisation

      • Plastic surgery for the removal of the breasts (mastectomy) must also performed by trained and specialised surgeons

    • Penectomy is performed to remove penile tissue (penis and scrotum) for a  man who identifies as a woman

      • After the removal of penile tissue, a vagina is surgically created, known as a neovagina

      • Breast implantation can also be performed

      • Some individuals also prefer to perform surgeries on other parts of their bodies, like their face, to increase feminine features. This is known as face feminisation surgery (FFS)

  • Counselling

    • Therapists/psychiatrists conduct counselling sessions to help transgender individuals transition into the gender they identify with

    • They also help the individuals deal with their gender dysphoria and assist them in make a sensible choice about transitioning

    • There is no universal method of transitioning. With the help of a therapist/psychiatrist, an individual can choose whichever process is best suited for them

  • Screenings

    • Some medical procedures of transitioning pose the risk of several diseases like cervical cancer, breast cancer

    • Screening for these diseases in the individuals can help to detect them make the treatment more effective

Coming Out

  • Coming out is a process where an individual gradually accepts their sexuality and is comfortable expressing it to the people around them

  • Coming out is not an easy process, because the individual has a lot of fears and shame regarding acceptance by the people around them

  • The person is also under immense pressure, because they are still discovering their own sexuality, which can be a taxing process by itself

  • It is important for the person to express themselves to their loved ones first, before coming out in public


Cass Theory

  • Identity Confusion

    • The person begins to question their sexuality for the first time

    • Denial and confusion can cause the person to fail to recognise their sexuality

  • Identity Comparison

    • The person realises that they might be gay, leading to feelings of shame because of comparisons with their peers 

  • Identity Tolerance

    • The person starts accepting their sexuality and they grow to become more tolerant towards it

    • The person begins to start hanging out with other members of the LGBTQIA+ community and begins to express their sexuality in those circles

    • The person is still not very expressive of their sexuality among the members of broader society

  • Identity Acceptance

    • The person accepts most of the societal aspects and personal aspects of not being a heterosexual

    • The person also begins to increase their contact with members of the LGBTQIA+ community

  • Identity Pride

    • The person begins to feel a sense of pride in being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community

    • Their contact with heterosexual people reduces and they might also feel anger and rejection towards heterosexuals

  • Identity Synthesis

    • The person starts being more accepting of the heterosexual community and starts including their sexuality in most aspects of their lives

    • Negative feelings towards the heterosexual community disappears and the person feels more holistic about their sexuality

The Sexual Act across the Spectrum

  • “Losing your virginity” by penetration is defined by the heterosexual community

  • It is important to note that sex is not just the process of penetration

  • Multiple activities fall under the bucket of sex and it is important to recognize them

Between Women

  • Oral sex 

  • Clitoral play to stimulate the clitoris with the hand 

  • Nipple and breast play to stimulate the nipples orally or using the hand 

  • Using sex toys and strap-ons to engage in penetrative sex 

  • Mutual masturbation to help each other achieve orgasm

Between Men

  • Anal sex or anal penetration 

  • Oral sex 

  • Hand jobs, where sexual stimulation is performed using the hand

  • Using sex toys for stimulation

  • Mutual masturbation to help each other achieve orgasm


Safe Sex Practices For Men

  • Use a Condom

    • Using a condom while engaging in penetrative anal sex can prevent the spread of STIs

    • Condoms must also be worn while engaging in oral sex because it provides a barrier between the mouth and the genitalia

  • Use Lubrication

    • Lubrication must be used during anal sex and while performing hand jobs in order to prevent cuts and open wounds

    • Using lube also makes the experience more pleasurable by improving smoothness

  • Use Gloves

    • Using disinfected gloves can prevent the spread of microbes from the hand to the genitalia

    • Couples also prefer to use gloves for enhanced sexual pleasure

Safe Sex Practices For Women

  • Use a Condom 

    • Using a condom while engaging in clitoral play or oral sex can reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections

    • It acts as a latex barrier to prevent the spread of microbes

  • Use Vaginal Dams

    • Vaginal dams are stretched out pieces of rubber which act as a latex barrier during oral sex

  • Use Lubrication 

    • Lubrication must be used during oral sex and clitoral stimualtion in order to prevent cuts and open wounds

  • Use Gloves

    • Using disinfected gloves can prevent the spread of microbes from the hand to the genitalia

    • Couples also prefer to use gloves for enhanced sexual pleasure

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