Coming out - advice and guidance for parents
As a parent, you may have understandable questions or concerns if you think that your child might be lesbian, gay, bi and/or trans (LGBT).
Support if your child comes out as trans
Gendered Intelligence works with the trans community and those who have an impact on trans lives. They specialise in supporting young trans people aged 8 to 25. They have produced a free guide for parents and families of trans people with trans young people and their parents. It discusses various issues and concerns that parents and family members of trans people have and includes useful information, stories and quotes. Read the report aimed at Family Members of Trans Gender Children Click Here
If you are a parent with a child who feels at odds with their birth gender, or you want to learn more about gender dysphoria or transgender, cross gender and non-binary gender issues, the Mermaids website offers advice and a confidential parents forum.
Following a ruling by the High Court in 2020, NHS England require trans children and young people aged under 16 using the Tavistock clinic’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) to obtain a court order before being prescribed puberty blockers. We’re aware that this has raised some questions for local authorities, children and young people’s organisations, schools, LGBTQ+ youth groups, and parents and carers, so we wanted to share our Stonewall statement on the High Court ruling on puberty blockers with you.
For decades, puberty blockers have been used to pause puberty for children experiencing precocious puberty. They also play a vital role in helping to alleviate the distress many trans children and young people experience and offer much-needed time for questioning children and young people to explore their identity. Denying this vital support is not a neutral act and can be deeply harmful to trans children and young people. We’re getting in touch with all of our stakeholders to let you know that, as always, we’re here for you and the children and young people you support.
This news is going to be incredibly tough to hear for trans children, young people and their families, whether or not they are directly affected by it. Many trans children, young people and their families are being left with unanswered questions about what will happen to the support they need. While this ruling does not mean that trans under-16s or under-18s in England and Wales cannot be prescribed puberty blockers moving forward, it does mean that in practice they are likely to need permission from a court to do so. We’re concerned that this will significantly extend the already long waits that trans children and young people experience when seeking specialist support, with the added risk of increasing the strain on mental health services and the court system.
We know that you want to provide the best possible support for trans children and young people and we want to reassure you that we’re here to help you do that. You can read Stonewall’s response here and a helpful Q&A from our partners Mermaids here. Stonewall is working to ensure NHS England provide clarity about how trans children, young people and families can continue to access care.
Our Introduction to Supporting LGBT Children and Young People guide also provides lots of useful advice on supporting trans children and young people. Please refer to our resources which we will keep updated as clarity is provided, and our e-learning on supporting LGBT young people’s mental health is available and might be of use at this time.
The Proud Trust is a lifesaving and life-enhancing organisation that helps LGBT+ young people empower themselves, to make a positive change for themselves, and their communities.
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