What you can do

Trans children can't and shouldn't be 'cured'

I’m very worried after watching 'Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?'.

I’m concerned many viewers could believe Dr Zucker’s methods are just common sense. 

To boil it down, Dr Zucker – who was the focus of this show -  thinks trans children can be cured.

He thinks that a boy is not trans just because he wears a dress, and vice versa.

We agree, dressing up doesn’t mean you’re trans. It means you’re a kid who likes dressing up.  

The error Dr Zucker has made is that he has lumped trans children in with children who play dress up.

We know some boys like wearing dresses. That does not make them trans. We know some girls like to have short hair and wear trousers – I was one (I still am). That does not make them trans.

Trans children aren’t just playing dress up. They have deep discomfort with their current gender. They will tell their parents this, and they will continue to do so for many years, and it will cause them great distress if people like Dr Zucker tell them to drop the Barbie and grow up.

Trans children can’t be ‘cured’ and any doctor who tries to should be condemned. It is cruel. It belongs in the age when people tried to convert gay people. 

By championing the idea that trans children can be ‘cured’, the BBC has engaged in ‘project panic’. What we need instead is for everyone to feel more relaxed about gender.  We also need them to be prepared to talk to their children about it.

If a child is trans, and they want to talk about it, we want people to listen, not panic. If a child wants to discuss gender in general, we want people to listen and talk about that too.

What we need are sensible conversations so people can understand that children who dress up may or may not be trans, and to understand that both deserve our acceptance.

Further information

Support with coming out as trans