What is an appropriate age to start on the transgender path? It has emerged that 3 or 4 is not considered too young by some healthcare workers. Reports from the United Kingdom about the now-defunct Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic show that 12 three-year olds, 61 four-year-olds, 140 five-year-olds and 169 six-year-olds were referred to Tavistock for consultations over the past decade, from 2010-11 to 2021-22.
A Tavistock spokesperson was careful to clarify to the Daily Mail that these children did not receive medical interventions. Normally parents would have a “one-off discussion” with a staff member to provide support and advice.
A former UK health minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, was critical of the clinic’s policies. She said: “They should never have been seeing three-year-olds. There needs to be a clear message that goes out to let kids be kids. Let them play and use their imaginations. We shouldn’t be medicalising something which is just growing up.”
She said part of the problem with the gender clinic was that children were being referred by activist groups, rather than by doctors. “There should only be a medical pathway for referrals in future,” she said.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, of the lobby group Transgender Trend, told the Daily Mail: “Children really don’t need gender clinics. Unfortunately, some parents are now worried that their gender non-conforming child may have been ‘born in the wrong body’ and need professional help. This has been pushed by transgender activists who have no understanding of perfectly normal childhood developmental stages.”
She said a new minimum age of seven might seem like an improvement. However, she was sceptical: “The problem is that by that age, the parent may have ‘socially transitioned’ their child for years so the child arrives at the clinic fully convinced they are really the opposite sex. What’s really needed is sensible training for all NHS health professionals who can advise parents on ways to support their child to be happy as they are, without the need for future hormones or surgery.”
The Tavistock staff were not alone in welcoming 3-year-olds. A report in the Daily Caller this week claimed than Vancouver psychologist Wallace Wong appeared in a 2022 training video for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and told viewers that 3-year-olds “know their authentic self” better than their parents.