Blaire White: Fact check “4x increase in referrals”


Originally I wanted to do a survey of trans parents, and I got a lot of questions from people so thank you so much for submitting those. However after a few emails with the clinic and some trans kids charities here in the UK, it didn’t actually happen. I guess they got kinda offended about questions about political and socioeconomic stand points, even though I did try to justify the need to ask those questions. Bah humbug! Still though, I did manage to talk to some people at the clinic in the UK and get some information out of them.

This information goes counter to what Blaire White suggests is happening to trans kids. She’s repeated this lie a few times across many platforms, though by far the biggest was The Louder with Crowder episode where she said:

Blaire: What concerns me is the amount of transgender children. I think in London there’s been a 4x increase in referrals to gender clinics.

I’ve already debunked this before as there is no London gender clinic for children. There is one for children in Devon and its from this clinic that I’ve obtained my numbers. We can also check out this article by the BBC from a few years earlier to see how much increase has happened between then and now.

Inside England’s only Gender Identity Clinic for children is an article published on the BBC website as of 12/05/16. The article states:

About 1,400 young people under the age of 18 have been referred to the Gender Identity Development Service over the last year.

The email I received from the gender clinic states:

GIDS caseload which includes all young people in contact with the service as [of] 20/04/2017 is 1929 clients.

I don’t even need to do the maths to show you that 1400 to 1929 is not a 4x increase between 2016 and 2017.

Furthermore, even if it was a huge increase, this is merely just the number of kids being taken to the gender clinics for assessment. This is by no means an increase on the amount of kids who are being given medications at all. So lets have a look at what they have said about medications, since that’s far more important than who is actually attending the service. We don’t want kids pumped full of hormones remember?

Again, referring back to the BBC article about the clinic we can see it clearly states that in  2015 32 children under 16 were prescribed blockers and in 2014 41 were. That’s out of roughly 1400 patients. In total according to the clinic 39% of the 1929 have been given referrals to an endocrinology expert to see about blockers. Not actually prescribed blockers yet. I will be contacting the endocrinologists and asking for their numbers too.

Most of this information was easy enough to come by, if you spent like 5 minutes looking for it, rather than just believing every garbage article your friends send you. Allow me to stress this one more time.

Trans kids are treated very cautiously and very carefully. They are not just pumped with hormones. They are not just treated willy nilly. Its only an option where gender dysphoria persists through tanner stage 2 of puberty, amongst other factors. And this is okay.

Since I’m in contact with the children’s gender clinic and my survey idea is a bust. I can redirect any questions to the clinic. So please feel free to either DM me on Twitter or drop a comment here and I’ll see if I can format them all into a big FAQ for the clinic to answer. 

I think people’s concerns are real and definitely need to be addressed. Society and the obstacles they create are one of the biggest things getting in the way of these kid’s getting the treatment they need. The negative stigma around being trans doesn’t help either. So if we can put some of that to rest that would be amazing. Thanks for reading. 🙂 

Here’s the email I received from the clinic if anyone wants to use the information:

(1)    The total number of clients at GIDS:

GIDS caseload which includes all young people in contact with the service as at 20/04/2017 is 1929 clients.

 (2)    How many clients are on hormone blockers and the average age:

GIDS is commissioned to provide specialist assessment, consultation and care for children and young people, including psychological support and physical treatments, to help reduce the distressing feelings of a mismatch between their natal (assigned) sex and their gender identity. Our approach is to work with our clients as they explore their gender identity, including, in some cases, decisions around whether or not to pursue physical interventions. We work in partnership with sub-contracted endocrinology liaison clinics and clients are referred, where appropriate, to these services at either University College London Hospital or Leeds General Infirmary for possible hormonal interventions.Eligibility for referral to endocrinology services is conditional on pubertal maturation to at least tanner stage two among a range of other factors. Children, that is, young people under the age of 12, are therefore not generally eligible to be put forward for physical interventions. Eligibility is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Approximately 39% of are our clients are being referred on to the endocrinology clinic. Exact numbers for mean age and accessed treatment is held by our endocrinology clinics.

 (3)    How long children are at the clinic before being given a diagnosis on average:

In response to your question regarding diagnoses, newly referred clients engage in a comprehensive assessment process which takes place on average over a 4 to 6 month period. The service accepts clients experiencing difficulties relating to their gender identity and, while some clients may present with symptomology consistent with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, others may not. As such not all clients will receive a diagnosis and, for this reason, it is not possible to provide an average time frame before diagnosis is made.

 

 

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