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Helping kids with gender dysphoria

Ash at home with his dog Ziggy.

16-year-old Ash Conner didn’t always feel like he was meant to be a boy.

“I didn’t really always feel it – I wasn’t 100% sure whether I was male or female – I was kind of in the middle until I decided when I was 14 that I definitely wanted to be a man,” explains Ash.

“I went to my paediatrician about gender dysphoria and gender identity issues and he referred me to Peninsula Health.”

Ash attends one of ­­­­­­­Peninsula Health’s specialist paediatric clinics at Frankston Hospital, where he sees endocrinologist Dr Jacky Hewitt.

“Jacky has been helping me to go on testosterone. I have had lots of tests to see if I can get the testosterone,” says Ash.

As Ash is under 18, he needs a court order to be able to access the hormone treatment. Testosterone helps biologically female adolescents transition towards a traditionally masculine appearance.

Ash is currently going through the process of seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist, as well as Jacky, to get the letters of approval he needs to start the court process.

Ash has big plans for the future, including visiting South Korea and potentially getting some surgery done once he turns 18 and is able to legally decide what happens to his body.

“You can start getting other medical procedures done, you can get top surgery and bottom surgery,” explains Ash.

“I definitely want to get top surgery – I’m not sure about bottom surgery though.”

Ash has big dreams for a career working overseas.

“I’d really like to work for an entertainment company in South Korea,” says Ash.

“I like music a lot and many of the people I admire and look up to are South Korean such as BTS, Big Bang and Shiney.”

In the meantime, Ash will continue to see Jacky regularly at Frankston Hospital.

“Frankston Hospital and Jacky have been really good,” says Ash.

 

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Peninsula Health is proudly inclusive.
We will be celebrating Wear It Purple Day on August 25 which supports younger members of the GLBTIQ community.

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By Jessica Mills
JMills@phcn.vic.gov.au