LGBT Children: Rising Number Of Transgender Students Pressure UK Schools To Create Gender Neutral Environment & Curricula
The amount of transgender students wanting to change their genders in the United Kingdom has doubled in recent months. This rising number has pushed primary schools in the country to create environments and curricula catering to the said children.
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, a center for transgender children and adolescents in the U.K., said they have seen a 100 percent increase in kids seeking to change their gender this year. Those children are under the age of 10, which includes one three-year-old and 12 four-year-olds, The Guardian reported.
Social media is one of the reasons why more children are wishing to change their gender identity. Children and young people are more confident to discuss gender identity issues, with transgender figures in the entertainment industry contributing to the increase as well.
Gender Neutral Schools
Schools in the U.K. are planning to introduce "new gender-neutral environments" and "transgender days" to demonstrate their support for transgender children, according to RT. Around 80 state schools will ditch boys' and girls' uniforms and will now implement a gender-neutral position on uniform policy. In addition, some primary schools are requesting for trainings about the issues of gender identity.
Plenty of pupils have requested for a different gender identity, including students in single-sex schools. While many schools have allowed students to change their gender identities, some of those campuses have failed to address transphobic bullying and discrimination that follows after the pupil's admittance.
Susie Green, the CEO of charity Mermaids, said that this kind of practice blames the bullied transgender child. She added that it "sends a message out to the other pupils that this is acceptable," The Guardian further reported.
Hormone Treatments For Transgender Children
According to figures released by Tavistock, there are 893 girls who want to become boys, as opposed to the 579 boys who want to become girls. Tavistock, deemed as a specialist service in the National Health Service, provides child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology, social work, psychotherapy, and pediatric and adolescent endocrinology, The Guardian listed.
Dr. Helen Webberley, who has a private gender clinic in Wales, said she administers cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12 years old. Webberley believes that children shouldn't wait until 16 to get testosterone.
According to the NHS, cross-sex hormones can be administered to children who are 16 years of age as long as a patient is on hormone-blocking medication for a year, a separate report from The Guardian noted. Transgender support charities, however, want to lower the age limit because they believe that the age of 16 is "arbitrary," stressing that prescribing hormones should rely on a case-by-case basis.