I saw this story last week but things got in the way and I’m just now getting a real chance to write on it. That’s OK though, because I haven’t really seen anyone else talk about it yet. If I’m mistaken, link the articles in the comment section. I want to read them myself.
Anyway, I did a stream awhile back with some transgendered individuals. It was enlightening and I came away from it feeling like I’m more in touch with that side of the isle. I do believe that certain people might be better off changing their sex. I can’t claim to understand that inclination myself. It’s just something I can’t wrap my head around. But having talked to many adults who felt the need to go through a transition or are on the path to one, I don’t feel the need to disparage them. I think they have reasonable motives.
Still, I’m speaking of adults who decided this was the way to go after many years of living as a man (I don’t have much experience with female-to-male trans people). They weren’t getting counseling when they were a small child and being led down a certain road. The National Health Service (NHS) over in Britain has some different ideas, though.
In the last year, 167 children aged 10 or under have been referred to clinics, almost double the number the previous year. They include three children aged three. It’s something psychologists there put down to society becoming more accepting…
The other young girl we met last January is Jessica – not her real name – who is now nine. Then she had been going to school as a girl for two months.
When she describes her excitement at getting her ears pierced, she sounds like a typical young girl. “I just wanted to look like a girl, I wanted to do it straight away,” she says.
But her parents say her life is starting to get a little difficult.
Her mother Ella explains: “It’s been a really good year, school’s going really well and now she can get her name changed [to Jessica] legally as we have her dad’s permission.
“But she’s been having nightmares – that she’s going to die a man, she’s going to have a beard. She’s already started requesting [hormone] blockers.”…
Younger transgender children can receive treatment on the NHS, but at that age it takes the form of counselling and support sessions. Medical intervention isn’t considered until they approach puberty, when hormone blockers might be offered.
Blockers delay the physical changes associated with puberty, giving the young person longer to decide if they want to live as a man or a woman. At the age of 16 a patient can then take cross-sex hormones, with full surgery only offered after the age of 18. The estimated cost of gender reassignment surgery on the NHS is around £10,000.
I don’t know about you guys, but I have a problem with young children being giving this sort of treatment. There should be some sort of minimum age, perhaps 14 or so, before you start getting this sort of care. At least they do have some limits, like you have to be 18 before getting gender reassignment surgery and you have to be 16 before cross-sex hormones. But when you’ve been setup during your childhood to believe you have to have this, I think that kind of poisons the well. If you’re aged 3-9 I don’t think you’re able to consciously say you need to be on the sex change path.
The NHS, while not completely derelict, is making some mistakes with their procedures here…at least in my opinion.