Therapy services - Transgender care lacking

THE sense of personal confusion among teenagers and younger children with a transgender condition can only be imagined by people whose gender identity is clear.

So, many will be perplexed to learn that TENI, the support organisation for Ireland’s transgender community, was contacted 80 times last year by families whose children were exploring their gender identity.

The medical fallout of this growing trend, as outlined at yesterday’s session of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, is that some children need hormone treatment to relieve negative symptoms associated with a condition which can lead to suicide. Unfortunately, the problem is that such therapy is not readily available for Irish trans-children who have to go to Britain for treatment.

Thankfully, by next year this treatment will be available under the HSE. That such topics can be discussed in a calm and rational atmosphere is down to the courage of trans-people and a welcome sign of the increasing openness of Irish society.

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