Statistics about transgender youth are “bleak,” said Gia Drew, program director for Equality Maine and president of the board of directors at the Maine Transgender Network.

According to “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” 78 percent of transgender and gender nonconforming study participants who came out between kindergarten and graduation reported experiencing harassment, 35 percent reported physical assault and 12 percent reported sexual violence.

“Harassment was so severe that it led almost one-sixth (15 percent) to leave a school in K-12 settings or in higher education,” the study reports.

And 41 percent of all transgender and gender nonconforming participants reported attempting suicide.

But Drew is encouraged, she said, both by supportive parents and schools and by the opening of the Gender Clinic at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

Led by pediatric endocrinologist and medical director Dr. Jerry Olshan, the gender clinic now sees dozens of children, Olshan told MPBN in March.

“This is a group of patients who, one, didn’t have many places they could go,” Olshan told MPBN reporter Patty Wight. “And, more than that, it was really almost a life-saving intervention. So you talk to the families, you talk to the kids, and you went from a situation where kids were failing in school, failing socially, suicidal, and, then over the course of years, in some cases, to healthy, well-adapted, and a new outlook on life.”

At the clinic, a child is evaluated, sees a psychologist and may begin treatment with hormones.

For transgender teens, Drew said, “Things are changing.”