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On 12 January, BBC2 aired Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?

The documentary travels to Canada to speak to Dr. Kenneth Zucker, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He believes that gender dysphoria in children is not valid and should be treated as a mental health issue. Dr Zucker lost his job as Head of the Gender Identity Service for his controversial views.

I thought that the programme gave a platform for Dr Zucker’s and others who share his views and also for those who support a gender-affirmative approach to childhood gender dysphoria. Some Trans people: Warner, Ella and Hershell Russell were interviewed.We also heard from Cheri DiNovo, Dr Norman Spack and Dr Joey Bonifacio, all of whom support the gender-affirmative approach. The gender-affirmative approach is one that Trans people have been arguing for: if a child claims to be transgender, then the child’s identity should be affirmed.

Parents are encouraged to have a ‘gender affirmative’ approach and to fully support their child’s change of sex and identity.

Since the mid-70s, Dr Zucker has treated over 500 pre-adolescent gender-variant children to make them accept the gender they were born with.

“His methods ranged from denying them toys associated with their gender identity – i.e no dolls for trans females….”
In April 2014, new laws were put in place by the Ontarian Humans Rights Commission to protect transgender rights. The bill made his practices illegal.

If you missed this programme, you can still catch it on BBCiPlayer.

Joanne Manson – FTL Member

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