Frequently Asked Questions
Find some commonly asked questions and answers about appointments, services, and more from MetroHealth Kids Pride.
How do I make an appointment?
Kids Pride serves youth under age 18 years who have concerns about their gender identity. We are an integrated team consisting of medical, behavioral health, social work, and primary care providers.
Patients begin with an appointment with a behavioral health provider for intake so that our team can get to know your family and conduct a comprehensive assessment of your child’s needs.
To schedule this behavioral health appointment, please call 216-778-8564.
What is gender dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is the distress felt when one's gender identity does not match their body or physical characteristics.
Is my child transgender?
It is common for children and teenagers to experiment with their gender identity and gender expression, such as what clothes they wear and how they want to be perceived by others. This exploration is typical and may not mean that your child is transgender.
Gender identity is how a person feels inside about their gender, and how they want to express themselves.
Transgender describes a person whose gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth.
If your child has displayed consistent, insistent, and persistent gender identity that is different than their sex assigned at birth for a long period of time, they may be transgender.
How can I support my child's gender identity and expression?
All children grow best when they feel safe, supported, and confident to be themselves. The best way to support a child is to listen without judgment to their thoughts and experiences.
Calmly listening to your child will open a channel of communication and allow them to feel safe talking with you about this topic.
Being an advocate for your child’s needs and rights in school and other settings outside of the home is also important.
Research has shown that when families are affirming and accepting of their child’s gender identity, this support can impact their child’s mental health in very positive ways.
In addition, educating yourself about gender identity may help your child feel more understood.
Resources such as the Safe Zone Project, the Trevor Project, the Gay Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and PFLAG offer wonderful educational materials.
Can my child receive hormones and/or puberty blockers?
This is a collaborative decision made between you and your child, in consultation with our entire Kids Pride Team.
Our Kids Pride Team follows guidelines supported by WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) and the Endocrine Society to develop an individual care plan for our patients.
Our team meets biweekly to review cases and make recommendations for your child’s treatment.
Medical interventions such as puberty blockers and hormones are one part of treatment that may or may not be appropriate for your child.
Adolescents may be able to start gender affirming care around age 16 years using an informed consent model.
What behavioral health services are offered to my child and my family?
Our behavioral health specialists spend time with your child and your family to help them understand their gender expression.
We offer diagnostic evaluation, individual psychotherapy, and group psychotherapy. Our therapy group has a youth group and a parent group that meet simultaneously.
We also have behavioral health providers present in the medical clinic whenever you visit the endocrinologist to ensure that your family’s needs are met.
What happens if my child changes their mind about their gender identity?
This is a rare occurrence, but it is possible. We support youth at every point in their process, including if they change their mind.
If your child has started medical interventions such as hormones or puberty blockers, it is important to know that some effects of these interventions are non-reversible.
Our endocrinologist and primary care medical providers are happy to work with your family on all treatment decisions.