SAN DIEGO – For the first time, the first child to be treated at a local clinic for transgender youth is talking about his trip back from the abyss.
From his Star Wars themed bedroom to a busy schedule which includes gymnastics and other sports, Sam seems like your typical 14-year-old boy.
But Sam has not lived a typical life.
A tomboy since early on, Samantha always felt like a boy.
By age 9, there were thoughts of suicide and daily anxiety. “I started puberty and things started to grow, so I would try to push it physically back into my chest until it was purple. I would think,’I want to die. Get me out of here.”
Soon after, Sam became the first child enrolled in the Gender Management Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital. Sam received hormone blockers, which blocked him from maturing into a woman. Later, he received doses of testosterone. “If my mom hadn’t done the research and I hadn’t gotten what I need, I think I would be dead,” said Sam.
More than 70 trans youth are enrolled in the program, which includes counseling services.
“I think Rady Children’s Hospital helps normalize something that isn’t always understood and allows trans youth to feel supported and understood,” said Kathie. Kathie runs a program assisting families of trans youth or young adults.
Sam says he now wakes up every day happy. “Because I’m living my true self, the person I’ve had in my heart since preschool. Open the door and I can let myself out and be in the world,” said Sam.