News and Blogs
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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.
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’.
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.
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.
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. (…)
As charities call for NHS to lower age limit of 16 for hormones, parents are taking their children to private clinics for treatment
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.
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.
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. (…)
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.
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.
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.
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. (…)
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.
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.
A blog reflecting on a recent article in the Telegraph discussing the topic of sex change regret.
In the article Urologist, Miroslav Djordjevic, who specialises in Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS), talks about his concerns around an increase in “reversal” surgeries among transgender women.
A statement provides guidance on contraceptive choices for transgender and non-binary people and their partners, who are engaging in vaginal sex where there is a risk of pregnancy. Dr Helen Webberley contributed to this article as an author.
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.
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.
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.
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. (…)
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.
GPs are failing transgender patients with a lack of compassion and understanding that must change, according to Dr Helen Webberley.
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.
The thorny subject of fertility in relation to members of the trans and non binary community is one which often gets media attention. Tales of pregnant men and dads breastfeeding are a particular favourite of the tabloid fixation with trans people, positioning us as...read more
There are some medical conditions and treatments that can compromise fertility, gender affirming hormones are one example. Often transgender and non-binary people have struggled for so long and endured such long waiting lists that the idea of further delays, while...read more
One of my main reasons for writing 'Queer Sex' was because I felt that all things to do with sex; talking, exploring, experiencing and sharing had, for one reason or another, been placed out of bounds to me, as a trans person. Locked away because, I, so the saying...read more
As a trans ally and the son of a transgender parent, I would say I am probably more comfortable than your average cis man on the street when it comes to interacting with trans and gender variant people. Yet recently, I found myself in a situation where I literally did...read more
Clothes and Gender: Life Sentence or Liberation? Imagine taking a child, dressing them in clothes that are strongly the opposite gender and taking them out or forcing them to school like this? How distressing would this be? Not to mention the detrimental psychological...read more
"I can’t improve my life while I’m constantly having to prove my existence..." This is what a young 17 year old transgender man says about the support he needs to improve his life..... "I can't improve my life while I'm constantly having to prove my existence - I...read more
Today’s move from the Health Minister, Simon Harris, towards dropping a requirement for some transgender people to have a psychiatric assessment before they can obtain hormone treatment is extremely welcome. The majority of the patients who have presented to GenderGP...read more
If you have a child with gender variance, there are two routes for accessing professional support in the UK - NHS or privately. NHS services are provided via the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and the Sandyford clinic in Scotland. Self-funded care is...read more
Hormonal manipulation for children and young people broadly comes under two headings: Puberty blockers These can be introduced early on in the child’s development in order to pause the onset of puberty and prevent the ‘wrong’ secondary sex characteristics from...read more
I am often asked by parents of gender variant children about the different stages which might make up their transition journey and I thought it might be helpful to share these, along with an indication of the types of support needed at each stage. There is plenty of...read more