The “Genderful” event at the Brooklyn Public Library, is an event hosted by a transgender who goes by the preferred name, Laura. Genderful is described as, “a space for kids ages 6-12 and their caregivers to explore gender through art and creativity.” The event is co-supported by a group known as Gender is Over ‘If You Want It.’ According to If You Want It, “assigned binary gender roles [are] harmful, damaging, and often violent….” PBS’ First Person, “a show about gender identity, sexuality and the queer community,” is also mentioned as a media partner. One mother at the event said:
To be in an inclusive space like this is very powerful and important. It’s my 6-year-old who’s transgender. He transitioned about a year ago. I just noticed over the course of time between 2 and a half years old and 5 years old he became very – I’m gonna get emotional – very withdrawn, and anxious, and depressed.
As transgender programs targeting children increase, we’d do well to consider what sort of impact they have. Earlier this year, in the U.K., The Telegraph highlighted the shocking increase of children being referred to gender identity clinics. There were said to be a total of 2,016 referrals for children aged between three and 18, six times more than the 314 referrals five years previously. Similarly, the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow, Scotland witnessed a 300% rise in referrals in less than five years. Chris McGovern, a former advisor to the Department for Education in the U.K. has warned:
“It has become an industry, people are making a career out of encouraging children to question gender at an age when they need to be left to be children. When teachers raise these issues children can become confused or unhappy and traumatised by it.”
The Stonewall, School Report Scotland found: 96% of trans students attempt self-harm and 40% attempt suicide. While in the U.S., the National Center for Transgender Equality suggests: 40% admit to serious mental health problems and 40% have attempted suicide.
Australia’s Telethon Kids Institute recently revealed: Almost 80% of trans people aged 14-25 years had self-harmed, compared to almost 11% in the general population; 48% attempted suicide, compared to 2.4% of the general population; Trans youth suffer symptoms of depression almost 10 times the rate of the Australian average for young people; And they have anxiety disorders 10-13 times the rate of the average.
Dr Paul McHugh, former head of psychiatry at John Hopkins University, has argued 70-80% of all children with transgender feelings grow out of it. McHugh went on to say, “policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.”