More discussion in the media today on whether allowing freedom to express their gender in the way someone wants to will cause them untold harm.

Emotive wording such as ‘children as young as 12‘, ‘youngsters might be influenced to make a poorly informed choice‘, ‘to protect children who may be at risk of being pressured‘.

Just say we had a child who was exploring their gender and wanted their birth certificate to say boy, but then 2 years later they wanted it to say girl. What possible harm could come?

In these days of equality, why do we even need boy or girl on the birth certificate in the first place? We should all be treated equally regardless of postcode, income tax bracket, gender, sex, sexuality, colour, creed, religion, number of fingers or toes. So why do we need to be segregated, and what harm can come if we choose the wrong camp while we are working out where we best fit in life?


Allow people to experiment with their gender and find their best fit. Allow children to express themselves through clothes, toys, friends, speech and certificates. As adults we should lend them a guiding hand and keep them safe from harm.


Once again the debate seems to be focussed on the extraordinarily rare case where a child is pushed by an adult down the wrong path. Does that mean that all the other children who would truly benefit from having their true gender on their passport, their birth certificate and the school register should suffer? Children want to fit and and be accepted by their peers, anything that makes these difficult years easier for them is surely a good thing?

In reality this is unlikely to be taken up by a large number of families, and only with parental consent, and not undertaken lightly, so let’s encourage more support and less drama?

All children are different, what means ever such a lot to one may not matter to another. For one it may be their name or using he instead of she. For another it might be the hair cut or the trainers. If it happens to be the marker on their birth certificate, and this would help that child fit in and feel happier then what is the harm? Research shows that these small steps can mean ever such a lot, and the more self harm / suicide that we avert and prevent, the better. This article refers to the vulnerability of teenagers. If they are vulnerable then surely anything we can do to assist, should be done.


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Dr Helen Webberley is the founder of GenderGP. A passionate advocate for the transgender community, she continues to campaign for real change in the way that trans people are treated in society and particularly in relation to the barriers they face when accessing healthcare. Dr Webberley believes in gender-affirmative care and that the individual is the expert in their own gender identity.