So BBC two aired a documentary called ‘Transgender Kids: Who knows best’ last night in the UK which has quite rightly so got a lot of negative feedback from not just the trans community but many other people as well for so many reasons and not just for including disgraced Canadian doctor Kenneth Zucker, who’s name filled many trans canadians with dread.
If your not aware of Kenneth Zucker has basically since the 1970s, treated about 500 preadolescence gender-variant children with reparative treatments till an age where he believed that they could determine their own gender identity.
So for children assigned as male at birth, Zucker would ask parents to take away toys associated with females and instruct the child not to play with females and vice vis with female to male children. Psychologist Darryl Hill wrote that Zucker believed that this reparative treatment could reduce the possibility of gender dysphoria. All you would have to do here is to replace ‘Transgender’ with ‘Gay’ and their would be out cry.
But on with the program, it seemed to focus on the extreme part of the binary which was very much that ‘Girls play with barbies and that boys played with toy trucks’, along with a so called expert comparing transgender children to dogs… ‘a four year old might say its a dog, do you go out and buy him dog food’. The so called experts also tried to claim that being transgender was a result of other mental health issues and being autistic where being transgender was just a fixation on something.
As well as a focus on that being of a young age and having life chancing surgery which is completely wrong. There’s guidelines in place which means this doesn’t happen. Here in the UK, it’s 18, children can take puberty blockers which is reversible and spares the child the torment of going through a puberty which is wrong for them. Trust me, ask any transgender teenager or adult about that and it be the same answer. It was hell.
The best thing to take from this is that transgender children do know best, they know whats going in their heads, they can make decisions, forcing your own view onto them won’t make a difference apart from maybe either adding their name onto the ever growing list of transgender people who have sadly taken their life or by adding to the life in terms of happiness of feeling loved and supported.
So what other advice to take from this? If you have a trans child or a child questioning their gender then love and support them, understand them, help them, don’t for gods sake shoot them down or bury it. Trans people have one of the highest suicide rates going (The hidden extent of suicide attempts in young transgender people)
If you have been affected by any of the content here or the program please do use the following helplines and be kind to yourself:
Samaritans: 116 123
Childline (under 18): 0800111111
Gender Trust: 01527894838