What’s behind the rise in transgender children?

Jamie Eagle started her transition aged 16

by Miranda Knox |

As stats reveal a huge increase in kids seeking NHS gender treatment, Closer talks to two women about their experiences...

It's a subject that was once considered taboo, but with celebs such as Caitlyn Jenner speaking openly about their transition to the opposite sex, issues around gender identity are becoming better understood.

Recent reports reveal children as young as four are being taught about being transgender at school and there have been calls for schools to modify changing rooms and toilets to accommodate children with gender issues.

The number of British under 18s having treatment for gender issues has risen by a huge 1000 per cent in the past five years.

Between April and December last year the NHS's Gender Identity Disorder Service treated 1,013 children compared to just 97 in 2009/10.

Jamie Eagle started her transition aged 16
Jamie Eagle started her transition aged 16 ©Wales News Service

Mermaids, a charity that supports children with gender identity issues, has seen an increase in calls. CEO Susue Green says: "It's encouraging we're seeing more awareness of gender issues. This is partly due to celebs speaking out about transitioning. People are able to access information more easily online, too."

Jamie Eagle, 23, was born a boy and began her transition at 16. She says: "It's heartening that children are able to receive support and begin their transition early, and there's no longer the pressure for them to act or dress a certain way.

"So much awareness has been raised, and I'm glad being transgender has become more acceptable. I began my transition aged 16 but felt ready to do it earlier. Going through puberty was traumatising and I felt suicidal.

"If I could have received support earlier things may not have got so bad, but it wasn't spoken about then."

To read the full report, buy Closer, out now!

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us