As the therapist Sasha Ayad says, “no-one is just a walking gender identity”.

Yet many children and young adults are investing huge amounts of stock in their transgender or non-binary identities. The stakes feel high: often, medical transition seems to become a panacea, and fixation and hyper-rumination ensue.

Many clinicians are deeply concerned that these vulnerable young people are being funnelled towards a singular explanation for their distress. In reality, life is more complex. Comorbidities such as ASD, ADHD, eating disorders, depression and anxiety each deserve their own analysis: so do trauma, bullying and internet use.

Around the world, countries are reappraising how they deal with gender-questioning youth. As jurisdictions revisit their treatment protocols, it’s becoming clear that the new cohort of trans-identified adolescents and young adults is little understood, leaving those who work in healthcare in a precarious position.

We wish to support clinicians by providing a deeper level of knowledge about gender issues. On this page, you will find useful resources, links to helpful organisations, and tailored guidance for healthcare workers. We believe this will assist you in developing a better understanding of what gender means in today’s context.

Genspect Brief Guidance

Our Genspect Brief Guidance for clinicians has been drawn up in consultation with a range of professional healthcare workers, including therapists, doctors and mental health workers, with particular input from those who work with gender-questioning kids.

We believe that gender-related healthcare is often put in its own silo, as though it were unrelated to other health matters. We also believe this to be a mistake: clinicians should not be frightened of gender issues, and should feel able to deal with them as part of their normal range of practice. With that in mind, we hope that our guidance helps to demystify some of the complex aspects of transgender identification. 

We created our sister website, Stats for Gender, to improve the accessibility of high-quality, peer-reviewed data pertaining to trans issues. 

Each topic is easily displayed with a simple click: from demographics and DSDs to comorbidities and neurodivergence.

Stats for Gender gives you findings from the latest cutting-edge research, ensuring that you are up to date with the science as it stands.

Ever wondered what the pioneers of gender healthcare really think?

Genspect is proud to sponsor “Gender: A Wider Lens”, the podcast that’s leading the world towards a more expansive and thoughtful view of gender issues. The Wider Lens’ recent “Pioneers” series gathers in one place some of the most influential figures from transgender medicine – and asks them the tough questions you really want answered.

Listen to each episode using the audio player below, or scroll down to access all the “Gender: A Wider Lens” episodes.

The healthcare industry has failed young people. But there’s a way to make amends.

Growing numbers of trans people are choosing to detransition. Yet more are questioning the level of healthcare they received, and while they may not wish to re-enter the same medical system that let them down, they are certainly disenchanted by their own transition.

On March 12th, 2022, Genspect hosted a Detrans Awareness Day webinar, where detransitioners could speak about their own experiences, in their own words. You can watch the entire event here:

Hearing these testimonies, we decided to prioritise those who have been so badly let down by the healthcare system. So we launched Beyond Transition, a service designed to meet the needs of this under-resourced community.

If you would like to repair some of the damage that the modern healthcare industry has done to young people questioning their gender, you can get involved. We’ll be rolling out initiatives to provide support to detransitioners and others negatively affected by medical transition.

We’d like as many therapists and clinicians as possible to be involved. Click below to learn more about this project, or email us to offer your services.

Listening to parents’ voices

Most parents are loving and engaged people. They want the best for their kids – not just today, or next year, but for the rest of their lives. When they raise concerns about medicalisation, those concerns should be given a fair hearing.

We do not believe that parents should be cut out of decision-making processes regarding their own children, except in the mercifully small number of cases where state agencies have had to intervene to protect children from physical neglect and abuse.

We believe that parents are wrongly being sidelined in their own kids’ lives, and that clinicians should be sure to include them wherever possible. Please take a moment to look over the resources below, which will give you a flavour of the loving and engaged parents we represent.

Genspect Unheard

Our sister website Genspect Unheard provides a space where parents can speak about how gender issues have impacted their families. We wanted to create a platform where mothers and fathers could talk candidly, in their own words, about the situation they and their kids are facing – and we believe these parents have a right to be heard.

Parent Stories

You can also read testimonies from parents around the world who have contacted Genspect. These powerful accounts demonstrate the need to include parents in decisions about their kids’ welfare, rather than consigning them to walk-on parts in their own family lives.

Become part of our movement.

In many different countries, therapists, doctors and mental health practitioners are coming to realise that there’s so much more to learn about transgender identities – and that there’s much to be said for joining forces with other professionals in similar positions. 

By joining us, you’ll receive email updates, and advance notice of any upcoming events. You’ll also have the chance to subscribe to our online Community Forum, where you can meet people from all walks of life who share your outlook.

Working with other organisations from healthcare and beyond, we are building a global movement to improve the quality of treatment for young people who are questioning their gender. We’d love you to be part of it.

Also, be sure to follow us on social media: we’re available on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Further resources

In addition to the above, we offer a range of resources you may find useful in your professional practice.

Selected articles and papers

Our list of written resources ranges from key peer-reviewed papers to media articles and self-help sections – plus a couple of our own resources, too.

ROGD: What we know & what we’re learning

On November the 20th, Genspect held a conference on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, or ‘ROGD’. This event united groundbreaking professionals at the heart of the debate around gender, and also included a powerful contribution from a parent campaigner who is working to raise awareness about ROGD.

Books we recommend

From Abigail Shrier and Debra Soh to Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce, we’ve curated a small library of recommended books which we believe can elucidate this complex topic. We also recommend a couple of kids’ books, bringing a positive message about bodily self-acceptance.

Recommended documentaries

As the world around us shifts, content-makers are noticing – and responding. Each of the documentaries we recommend provides its own unique view of what is happening to today’s adolescents.

Keep up with the terminology

The ever-shifting language of gender identity can be hard to keep up with. In many cases, words and phrases can seem like “poison pills”, deliberately engineered to favour a highly ideological view of gender and identity. Our Glossary lists the terms you need to know, so you don’t get caught off-guard.

See what laws apply in your area

Genspect has an ongoing project to map the laws which apply in your country or state. Our Local Laws Project spells out the key pieces of legislation which could affect the services and provisions you or your employer are required to offer.

Connect with other groups of professionals

We work with several other organisations, including Canadian Gender Report, dsdfamilies, GCCAN, GDA, Gender Health Query, GETA, ICGDR, La Petite Sirène, ReIME, SEGM, Sex Matters and Thoughtful Therapists. See a full list of groups you may find helpful on our Groups page.

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