Chicago — A recent Trevor Project study, which is based on texting 9,000 transgender and nonbinary kids, concluded that one of the most important things they need to have better mental health is gender affirmation and validation.
According to the Trevor Project, gender euphoria is “satisfaction or joy caused when one’s gendered experience aligns with their gender identity, rather than with the gender they were assigned at birth.” The organization’s report categorized the kind of gender affirmation that evoked those feelings into four themes and offered examples for each.
One respondent noted a preference for “compliments that [weren’t] gendered (saying ‘attractive’ instead of ‘gorgeous’ or ‘handsome’).” Another stated, ‘I like it when people don’t call me by a gender,” according to the study.
Inclusivity and belonging
One respondent felt like they belonged when others ““genuinely treat[ed] me like they would a friend or person of that gender … I don’t need to be treated like a third category of trans. I need to be treated like a 22-year-old girl who never learned a few things,” the respondent said.
Kids in the survey responded that they’d feel their appearance was affirmed if, for example, their parents bought them items that aligned with their gender.
Support and respect
Respondents valued outward and verbal expressions of support, including validating how tough their experience has been or apologizing if someone forgets about their preferred pronouns.
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on X: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett