Gender Identity and Sexuality (Primary School)
Gender identity can feel complex for some children and young people. There are many ways young people express their gender.
Some children who were born genetically a ‘male’ or ‘female', may not feel like a boy or girl when they are older. They may prefer to dress in clothes or play with toys of the opposite gender, or feel like they are the opposite gender. Other children feel that neither being called a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ fits for them or that they feel comfortable with both . This can be a very normal part of child development but if it persists into teenage years or adulthood, it is more likely that it is more than a developmental phase. Some children can feel quite sure they feel they are of the opposite gender from as young as 8-9 years but for many children such feelings become more apparent in their early teens.
Gender dysphoria is not a mental illness, but the experience can be very tough for some young people and their families. Sometimes they can experience high levels of anxiety, depression and thoughts of self-harm.
Around puberty, young people may also start to question their sexuality- for more advice and resources have a look at the secondary pages here
How do I know if my child has gender dysphoria or is transgender?
This is an excellent short article written for parents:
Bristol Mind run MindLine Trans offering support to anyone with gender issues as well as family or friends which is completely confidential and open to callers nationwide.
Open Mondays and Fridays only between 8pm to midnight on 0300 3305468.
Sex is a Funny Word: a Book about Bodies, Feelings and YOU by Cory Silverberg
This is a sex-education book for kids age 7-11, but it's worded to allow for any expression of gender and sexuality in the future which makes it quite unique. Highly rated by parents
George by Alex Gino: a book about a boy who wants to be girl, suitable from about 9-10 years . Has won multiple awards.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan. Perfect for 10+ years.
In the second book of this adventure series readers meet Alex, one of the best depictions of a trans, 'genderfluid teenager in the genre. Alex’s gender identity is crucial to the plot.
Kids on the Edge
A Channel 4 documentary exploring the complex issues for children and young people. Episode 1 explores the Gender Clinic.
Specialising in supporting age 8-25 years, including support for parents/carers and professionals. They have a guide for parents and family members of trans people in the UK.
Gender identity development service
A national specialised service for children and young people, and their families, who experience difficulties in the development of their gender identity. The service works with young people and families with the aim of understanding the obstacles, and to cope with and reduce any distress related to this. Their website has useful information for young people, parents and professionals
Individual and family support for young people with gender identity issues www.mermaidsuk.org.uk,
Tel.0844 334 0550, email. firstname.lastname@example.org