News and Blogs

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What Makes Me A Woman

On Wednesday, January 25th, I took part in a BBC Radio 5 Live phone in for Your Call with Nicky Campbell (you can listen again here).

One caller asked a question which, as a cisgender woman, I felt unqualified to answer. As such, I reached out to some members of the trans community who, I felt should be offered the opportunity to address the point.

Let’s Call An End To The 84% Myth

In negative media coverage of cases involving gender variant children, one statistic seems omnipresent:

‘84% of childhood cases of gender variance do not persist into adult life’.

Childline Reports Record Number Of Counselling Sessions About Trans And Gender Issues

The number of child counselling sessions about transgender issues and gender dysphoria offered by a national charity has reached a record level in the past year.
Kids as young as 11 have told counsellors they were unhappy with their assigned birth gender or felt their biological sex didn’t match their gender.

Concern over transgender daughter's referral wait

Rowan, 17, from Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, is a transgender female and first approached her GP two years ago but is still waiting to be referred to a gender identity specialist – a process that itself can take two years.

The Transgender Umbrella: Not a Mental Health Issue

January 1st, 2017 will see ‘being transgender’ declassified as a mental illness in Denmark, a momentous and long-awaited move which will surely put increased pressure on the World Health Organisation (WHO), to remove the diagnosis from its list of mental disorders. (…)

The Guardian: UK doctor prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12

As charities call for NHS to lower age limit of 16 for hormones, parents are taking their children to private clinics for treatment

Harry Benjamin MD - The Forefather of Transgender Care

August 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Harry Benjamin MD. His is not a name that immediately springs to mind in terms of either fame or notoriety. However, he has his place in history, and a remarkable one at that.

The Right to Unbiased Healthcare

All my patients are the same on the inside.

Look past their outer layers and you will, more or less, find the same bones, body parts and cells.

How Society Is Failing Transgender Children - A Response

Last week, members of the transgender community were up in arms about the fact that a controversial psychiatrist, Dr Kenneth Zucker, was to be given a documentary on BBC2 from which to air his views on the treatment of gender variant children (BBC2 Thursday, 9pm This World, Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best.

People With Low Fitness Levels Have Higher Risk Of Developing Depression, Study Finds

Poor fitness levels could be a huge risk factor for developing depression, a new study has found.

Analysing data from more than one million people, researchers discovered that people with poor fitness levels had a 75% increased risk of developing the mental health condition.

Transgender people 'waiting four years' to see specialist

Concerns have been raised about care for transgender people in Wales – with some waiting up to four years to see a specialist.
Wales currently does not have a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC), so people are referred to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in London.

Specialist Clinics and the Trans Community

I am a gender specialist and NHS GP. I set up www.gendergp.co.uk earlier this year to provide free advice to trans adults and parents of children suffering with gender identity disorder, seeking medical support. (…)

Put A Little Love In Your Hearts This World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day, a day to reflect and reach out to those people who might be at risk or suffering in silence. Members of the transgender community are particularly vulnerable and awareness days such as this shine a much-needed spotlight on an issue which is rarely acknowledged, let alone discussed.

Demystifying Trans Care - WPATH 2016

The event was well attended – double the expectations of the organisers – and the venue was amazing, it was lovely to be in the ‘partially sunny’ Amsterdam, a vibrant and accepting city.

How Society Is Failing Transgender Children - A Response

As a doctor specialising in gender care, I offered to take part in the NSPCC debate to which she refers. I personally was not afraid to address issues relating to gender variance and answer questions (of which there are understandably many). Though I am fully aware that in taking this metaphorical bull by the horns I am opening myself up to personal attacks and professional scrutiny. This, however, is not my main concern. My main concern is the wellbeing of these children, who are extremely vulnerable.

Provision Of Trans Healthcare In Wales

On the 23rd of September 2016, the Welsh Government issued a Health Circular which updates General Practitioners and other primary care professionals on their roles and responsibilities in prescribing hormone therapy for trans adults.

RCN Guidance On Treatment Of Trans Patients Welcomed

A recent study by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has suggested that nurses lack the necessary skills to treat transgender patients. In fact, this usually forward thinking and politically correct organisation is surprisingly critical of the nursing care afforded to transgender patients in the UK.

Hormone Blockers and Trans Children

Gender variance is a complex condition affecting a small number of children whose biological sex differs from the gender by which they identify. Puberty blockers are a type of medication which temporarily stop the production of the natural sex hormones which progress puberty. (…)

Doctors Lack Experience In Treating Transgender Patients

The Guardian published a story on September 7th about a study which found that US doctors and therapists are struggling to give transgender patients the best medical care.

Dangerous liaisons: GPs are failing transgender patients

GPs are failing transgender patients with a lack of compassion and understanding that must change, according to Dr Helen Webberley.

Gender - Are We Born or Made?

As a doctor, specialising in the field of gender variance, I hear stories from patients every day that lead me to question the difference between our biological sex and the corresponding gender assigned to us at birth. Often the two are the same, but this is not always the case.

Private vs NHS Treatment - The Conflict for Trans Patients

The issues around excessive waiting times for transgender patients to be seen on the NHS have been widely publicised. Waiting times of up to a year and more have led many desperate people to take affirmative action, seeking expert support through private clinics. (…)

Zucker again – Article for Guardian

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the mythical fire, Kenneth Zucker rose again to promote his theories of multi-trajectory outcomes for transgender children. Although effectively dismissed from the Toronto CAHM in 2015 and expected to fade away into retirement,...

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When I was young

When I was young (birth to 10-11) I had no issues with my appearance and I was comfortable. I had plenty of friends and I was a happy child. But from a young age I wanted long hair and I liked the dresses that girls got to wear as their school uniform. I was  friends...

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VTE and Oestrogen

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/gtg19vtehrt310511.pdf From the available evidence, the most convincing evidence relates to a greater risk in the 1st year of use than in subsequent years and a lack of continuing risk in those who have stopped...

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Vaniqa

Vaniqa is otherwise known as eflornithine. It is a topical cream which has been licensed for use in the UK for the reduction of facial hair in women. It’s recommended use is only on the face and surrounding areas such as underside of the chin and upper neck. However...

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Treating transgender children

One of the biggest current causes of worry for practitioners involved in transgender care, are the increasing numbers of children, adolescents and young people emerging as transgender, or gender diverse. Worry, because of the lack of resources available in the UK to...

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Transgender Equality: Social Care for Young People

In January 2016, the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee issued a report on Transgender Equality. The report contains a wide-ranging set of recommendations and discussion points related to (among other things) NHS services, regulation of doctors,...

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Transgender Health

Like a huge and unwieldy behemoth, the NHS is finally trying to get its act together and negotiate its way around the plight of transgender patients. However services are already stretched to the limit, with waiting lists getting longer and demand higher. A recent...

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‘Joe Public’ and the right to be heard

We live in a world where access to social media allows anyone to express opinions on any subject, regardless of whether they hold qualifications to substantiate such opinions, or not. I was listening to Five Live Investigates on Sunday morning (Feb 26th.) The focus of...

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