#SheBrisbane came across an interesting article by Kashmira Gander of INDEPENDENT news about trans rights and letting children have more say over their identities…
Trans rights have burst into the spotlight in the past few years thanks to high-profile figures like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, with the former’s 2014 Time cover seen as a watershed moment for the movement.
Now, the debate has turned to children and gender. John Lewis has sparked controversy after it announced it would be scrapping “boys’ and “girls” labels on children’s clothing. While the decision was praised by many as progressive, others accused the store of “bowing down to political correctness”. Further fanning the flames of unease was the story that the Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex, has scrapped skirts for new students as part of its gender neutral clothing policy.
Underlying these stories is the idea that gender isn’t as rigid as we thought it might be. It’s more fluid than the longheld binaires of “girl” and “boy”, and “man” and “woman”. People are accepting that the gender the midwife assigns us at birth after taking a look at our genitals doesn’t always match up with how we feel inside. That’s why some people identify as trans, gender non-binary and queer.
Since gender issues have hit the mainstream in recent years, the number of people seeking gender identity treatment has risen dramatically in the UK, with some of the 14 clinics seeing spikes of several hundred percent, according to the Guardian. And the number of children seeking help for gender dysphoria, where the gender they were assigned with at birth doesn’t match what they identify with, has increased more than tenfold in the six years leading up to 2016, according to figures from the Gender Identity Development service. Between April to December 2015, nearly 969 under-18s in the UK were referred to the NHS with gender identity issues, including almost 200 aged 12 or under. There were just 94 in 2009 to 2010.