The first question that’s asked, before we’re even born, tends to be “is it a boy or girl?”, but for an increasing number of children, the answer isn’t straightforward.
Kids On The Edge: The Gender Clinic: is the first film in this Channel 4 series and follows two families who attend the Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service, through life-changing decisions.
The Tavistock’s gender service is the country’s only NHS-run gender clinic for children and young people with gender dysphoria – a distressing condition caused by the feeling they’ve been born in the wrong body.
With transgender issues and stories rarely out of the news, the gender specialists have seen a 100% rise in referrals, but still understand very little about why children feel this way.
Led by Consultant Psychologist Dr Polly Carmichael, the gender team have to decide whether or not to prescribe controversial drugs to children and teens.
Ash and Matt are two of the children who regularly visit the gender clinic. Ash, who is 8-years-old and lives as a girl, has just moved to a new primary school, where no one knows she was born a boy. She doesn’t want to tell her new friends her secret in case she is bullied again.
Matt doesn’t want to talk about his gender, or the fact that he was born a girl. He just wants people to accept him. Additionally, he has been diagnosed with autism.
While mother Rachel must grapple with losing her daughter, she must also consent to give 11-year-old Matt hormone blocking drugs to stop him becoming a woman.
The Gender Clinic will air at 10pm on Channel 4 on Wednesday 16 November.