Blog posts by Brittany Allen, MD

Experiences of Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Non-Conforming Youth in Wisconsin

Transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming (TNG) youth are becoming more visible across the U.S. and the world, and you may have noticed more and more TNG youth, such as Gavin Grimm and Ashton Whitaker, speaking out about their experiences.  As you read about these amazing young people, maybe you’ve wondered about the broader day-to-day experiences of TNG youth.  Or maybe you’ve read about the higher risk of mental health concerns for TNG youth, but realized that there’s not always a lot of context and information about the other aspects of the lives of these young people.

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Transgender Rights: The (bath)Room Where It Happens

Suffice it to say that bathrooms have recently leapt into the spotlight. The past several years have brought controversy to restrooms through a number of bills written to regulate who accesses bathrooms labeled for men or women. These bills have seemed to specifically target transgender people, often including legislation that requires that people use the bathroom that would align with the sex that they were assigned at birth. (If you’re not clear on terminology related to gender identity, like transgender or cisgender, check out our previous post with some introductory information.) It’s certainly not a new issue; as transwoman and transgender rights activist, Laverne Cox, stated, “Trans people have been going to the bathroom for a very long time.” To catch you up, we’ll start by going over a brief history of recent legislation and federal guidelines, then discuss some of the arguments raised in this debate.

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Going for the Gold?

Sport SpecializationI was going to write about a completely different topic for this week’s post, but I just saw an incredible presentation about sport specialization by UW’s own Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Dr. Brooks was presenting research about whether sport specialization – when an athlete focuses on one sport, usually throughout the year and at the exclusion of participation in other sports – is a healthy and effective way to help youth achieve their athletic goals. In other words, does someone who wants to play in the WNBA have to play in a year-round basketball league before high school (or even middle school)?

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Dorm Room First Aid: Packing For Your Health

Dorm Room First AidWe know there are very few things more overwhelming than packing up your whole life to move into a really tiny college dorm or apartment. What do you bring with you? What sounds like a great idea to pack now, but will just end up unused and taking up precious space? How many forgotten items will your parents be willing to ship before you go home for Thanksgiving?

Today, we’re going to make this process easier by compiling the following list of important medical items so you can spend less time inside your school’s health center and more time experiencing all that college has to offer. Because – let’s face it – some sort of illness, scrape, or injury is inevitable, and it’s better to be prepared than to be scrambling to find a pharmacy store when your final paper is due in 45 minutes.

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