Well Moment. Better Conversations, better health.

Adolescent Gender Identity

with Shawn Reilly, M.Ed.

Gender identity can be thought of as your child’s sense of who they are and how they experience their own gender—whether that be male, female, both or neither. As more young people identify as part of the LGBTQI+ community, they are challenging binaries in gender and sexual identity to show a broader spectrum of experience.

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Gender identity can be thought of as your child’s sense of who they are and how they experience their own gender—whether that be male, female, both or neither. As more young people identify as part of the LGBTQI+ community, they are challenging binaries in gender and sexual identity to show a broader spectrum of experience. Join Shawn Reilly, M.Ed., the program coordinator of the Trans Buddy program at the Program for LGBTQ Health at Vanderbilt, as they help parents and families learn:

  • The differences between sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity and gender expression
  • Best practices for supporting youth who come out
  • Intentional pronouns and the growing usage of they/them/theirs as singular pronouns
  • Recommendations and resources for supporting LGBTQI+ youth

About the Experts

Shawn Reilly, M.Ed., (pronouns: they/them/theirs) serves as the program coordinator of the Trans Buddy program at the Program for LGBTQ Health at Vanderbilt.

Reilly graduated in 2019 with an M.Ed. in Learning and Design from Peabody College, and is a current M.Div. candidate studying prison and carceral studies, and interreligious encounter at the Vanderbilt Divinity School. As an undergraduate, Reilly was instrumental in a successful campaign to gain gender inclusive restrooms and housing to support transgender and gender expansive students on campus. They formerly served as the Vanderbilt Office of LGBTQI Life’s first student spring break program coordinator, and for two years as a senior mentor with the Oasis Center’s Just Us program for LGBTQI youth. Currently, Reilly is the program coordinator for the Trans Buddy program at the Program for LGBTQ Health at Vanderbilt. In this position, Reilly works to train and coordinate peer advocates for transgender patients throughout the hospital. In this role, Reilly also builds and facilitates trainings concerning LGBTQI health, especially in relation to LGBTQI youth, trauma-informed care, legislative advocacy, and K-12 education.

Reilly is involved with a number of local organizations, and serves as the Student Engagement and Leadership Chair of GLSEN Tennessee, working with Gender & Sexuality Alliances across Tennessee to build inclusive and responsive schools for LGBTQI students. Reilly coordinates the GLSEN Tennessee SHINE team, which consists of LGBTQI high school youth working to shift the landscape for LGBTQI students in Tennessee. They are a youth advisory board member for Youth+Tech+Health, an initiative of ETR working in partnership with youth to develop technological solutions to health disparities. Reilly is a founding member of the TN Department of Health Transgender HIV Task Force, which develops resources for HIV/AIDS prevention and education for transgender people in the state. They serve on the board of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, and is a proud long-time volunteer with Worker’s Dignity/Dignidad Obrera. They have been awarded numerous honors, including the Humanity in Action fellowship, the Davis-Putter Award, the Nashville Pride Rising Star Award, and the Posse scholarship during their undergraduate career.

Watch Session

Gender identity can be thought of as your child’s sense
of who they are and how they experience their own gender.

Better Conversations. Better Health.

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