ITV News has seen figures which show a big rise in the number of young people referred to the NHS clinic which helps children with their gender identity.
97 children were referred to the Gender identity Development Service (GIDS) in the year 2009/10. That figure increased to 2,519 for 2017/18.
The GIDS is a highly specialised support group for young people presenting with difficulties with their gender identity development.
In the first of two special reports (transmitted: 14 February 2019), ITV Calendar has exclusive access to a support group for transgender children – some as young as 10.
In Part Two (transmitted: 15 February 2019) we explore the viewpoint, held by some, that children aren't old enough to decide if this is the right pathway for them. We meet an 86-year-old transgender woman who does support these young people, but is encouraging caution.
For more information, including help and support, contact the organisations listed below.
- Gender Identity Development Service, clinic for young people presenting difficulties with their gender identity: http://gids.nhs.uk/
- Mermaids, family and individual support for young trans people, https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk
- Switchboard, information and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people, including anyone considering issues around their gender identity: https://switchboard.lgbt/help/, 0300 330 0630 (10am-10pm daily)
- Stonewall, LGBT+ campaign group: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/
- Samaritans, confidential phone line for people who are considering taking their own life: https://www.samaritans.org/ call 116 123