Transgender youth: Invisible and vulnerable

Arnold H. Grossman, Anthony R. D'Augelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study used three focus groups to explore factors that affect the experiences of youth (ages 15 to 21) who identify as transgender. The focus groups were designed to probe transgender youths' experiences of vulnerability in the areas of health and mental health. This involved their exposure to risks, discrimination, marginalization, and their access to supportive resources. Three themes emerged from an analysis of the groups' conversations. The themes centered on gender identity and gender presentation, sexuality and sexual orientation, and vulnerability and health issues. Most youth reported feeling they were transgender at puberty, and they experienced negative reactions to their gender atypical behaviors, as well as confusion between their gender identity and sexual orientation. Youth noted four problems related to their vulnerability in health-related areas: the lack of safe environments, poor access to physical health services, inadequate resources to address their mental health concerns, and a lack of continuity of caregiving by their families and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-128
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 25 2006


  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Lesbian
  • Sexual orientation
  • Transgender
  • Vulnerability
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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