What is gender dysphoria?
When you are born a doctor will assign you a gender, either "male" or "female" based on the appearance of your genitalia. Gender dysphoria is when your gender identity differs from the one which was assigned to you at birth. Someone whose gender identity matches that which was assigned to them at birth is called a cisgender person. You may identify as male, female or non-binary which means that you identify as neither male or female, perhaps you identify as both or your gender identity changes depending on how you feel.
I think I'm trans* what do I do?
You do whatever you feel comfortable doing, you can apply to join the teens forum here and talk to lots people of similar ages and experiences. You may want to talk to a few trusted friends or family members if you feel confident in coming out to them, and if you are over 18? you can speak to your gp without your parents being able to know if you are not comfortable with coming out to them yet. Through talking to people on our safe, secure forum you may find out about local support groups or may even find someone living nearby. You can also search for your nearest LGBT centre and see if they have any community events or support to offer you.
My friend/sibling came out as trans*
Firstly, good for them, they've made a huge step in their life and done something very brave. Support is invaluable to everyone, especially trans* people who have just come out. You don't have anything to worry about, they are still the same person. You should use whichever name and pronouns (eg he/she/they) they ask you to use for them, as these are incredibly important for their happiness and self confidence. Don't be afraid to ask questions but you must also understand that they may not want to answer, or that some questions are too personal, you don't ask everyone you meet about their genitals or sexual preferences, so don't ask trans* friends or family either.
My parents don't/won't support me
Sadly, not all parents will support their trans* children, it is important to know that mermaids will be here to support you as much as we can. If you are over 16 our legal caseworker may be able to offer you support.