Help Support Kaden and the UCI Gender Diversity Clinic

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{This was originally written for the UCI Department of Pediatrics Facebook page in November 2017. I have updated it a bit for this post.}

It’s a girl!

Every dream I had about being a first-time mom came true with those three little words. I had the name and nursery colors picked out and I had a clear vision of what our life together would look like…ballet, tea parties, painting our nails, picking out a white dress for her wedding day, and eventually being with her when she gave birth to her first child. I had no idea that sometimes gender and biological sex don’t align, so imagine my surprise when at age two, my daughter told me she wanted to be a boy and at age six, she told me she was my son. Although she was comfortable sharing this information with her father and I, she didn’t want to live publicly as a boy. She believed it would be too difficult and was afraid her friends wouldn’t like her anymore. This lasted until one year ago today, when at age 15, she came out to her dad and I that she was transgender. She could no longer pretend to be something she wasn’t. Her dream was to transition and become the boy she always knew she was. We were so proud of her for telling us this truth. We didn’t know what the future would look like, but we were going to do whatever we could to make that dream come true.

On December 10, 2016, Kaden began his social transition with a very handsome haircut and new clothes. His name was changed at school, and he received widespread support from his sports team, teachers, and friends. We couldn’t have been more pleased, but we were overwhelmed with all that needed to be done for Kaden’s transition to continue smoothly.

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The next step was finding a group of doctors to help us along with his medical transition. We were referred to the Pediatric Gender Diversity Program at the UC Irvine Health Medical Center where we met with pediatrician Dr. Lynn Hunt, psychiatrist Dr. Anish Dube, and endocrinologist Dr. Ajanta Naidu. It was during Kaden’s first appointment that we knew our prayers had been answered. The doctors were compassionate, empathetic, knowledgeable, and validating of Kaden’s gender identity. They answered every question and addressed our concerns. They have given advice without ever making us feel rushed to proceed or make hasty decisions about our son’s transition. Kaden’s doctors follow the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care, which are a specific set of guidelines for diagnosing a patient with gender dysphoria and prescribing hormone therapy, gender affirming surgeries, and other procedures. This has been a comfort to my husband and I and we have been pleased with the pace of Kaden’s transition. We feel so blessed to have such an exceptional team to help us with every medical decision that affects Kaden through this process.

In addition to receiving excellent medical care, Kaden has been immensely helped by Program Coordinator, Brit Cervantes. Brit has been an invaluable resource to us and has assisted with many aspects of Kaden’s transition including obtaining health insurance coverage, assisting with his legal name and gender change on his birth certificate, passport, and social security card. Because of these legal changes, Kaden was able to obtain a driver license with his true gender marker and male name without having any aka’s {also known as} on his record. Brit has answered countless questions and has researched various topics related to Kaden’s care. Brit also connected us with a wonderful surgeon in Los Angeles who performed Kaden’s gender-affirming “top surgery” last fall. No longer needing to wear a chest binder, Kaden is now enjoying summer beach days with a freedom he wouldn’t have without his surgery, and ultimately, wonderful Brit. There aren’t enough words to express our gratitude.

I would like to close by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Hunt, Dr. Dube, Dr. Naidu, FNP Jeffrey Vu, and Brit Cervantes for taking such good care of my son. He has never been more confident and comfortable in his own skin and I have never seen him so happy. Because of this incredible program, my son will grow into the man he has always dreamed of becoming!

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PLEASE COPY AND PAST THE LINK BELOW TO YOUR BROWSER and check out an amazing opportunity to partner with the UCI Gender Diversity Clinic to support the life GIVING care being offered to pediatric transgender patients, just like Kaden. The clinic treats youth and adults to age 26 suffering with gender dysphoria, “the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex.” Your donation of any size will help keep this clinic up, running, and saving lives.

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https://zotfunder.give.uci.edu/UCIGDP

Thank you from the bottom of my heart ♡

xoxo

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