Kyle was 13 years old when first seen by Danielle Cook, MS, LMHC of The Center for Psychosexual Health (CPH), a Division of the Children’s Growth Foundation (CGF) and the only Center in WNY specially trained in the assessment and treatment of childhood and adolescent Gender Dysphoria, the extremely uncomfortable feeling that one has the wrong body and desires to live in the body of the other gender. In Kyle’s case he presented with a strong desire to live as a male since age 10. When first seen, Kyle was living as female with the name given to him at birth. After completing an extensive evaluation establishing the diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria, and making certain any other problems (e.g. anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts) are well controlled and managed, treatment begins. This includes having Kyle and his family meeting regularly with Mrs. Cook and living fully as a male at school and in the community. This is referred to as social transition.
His social transition went well for Kyle and his family. Mrs. Cook referred Kyle to the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital to begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT). He started testosterone in 2017 at the age of 15. HRT has allowed him to develop secondary male characteristics such as: a deep voice, facial hair, a male body structure, and muscle development. These changes have empowered Kyle to “pass” better as a male in public. If you saw him on the street, you would have no idea he was born female. This has substantially increased his self-esteem, and in turn, decreased his anxiety and depression and eliminated suicidal thoughts.
Kyle is now 17 years old. He will be a senior this year and is an honor roll student. He currently holds a part-time job at a small local gift shop. He is a very independent young man and is looking forward to applying to colleges this fall. With the continued support of his family and CPH, Kyle has unlimited potential and we look forward to seeing all the wonderful things he will accomplish in his future.
The help provided to this young man and his family would not have been possible without the assistance from Variety Club.