A BBC Newsnight investigation has found growing numbers of transgender people are desperately trying to detransition – to change back to their birth gender.
The programme, called Detransitioning: How do I go back to the Debbie I was?, revealed some people have to spend years on waiting lists before being seen by an expert.
The programme interviewed a woman called Debbie, who at age 44 and suffering from long-term effects of childhood abuse, decided to transition from a woman to a man, including having surgery to allow her to live as a man.
She changed her name to Lee and spent 17 years on testosterone-masculinising hormones that can lead to changes such as more facial hair and more muscle developing. Debbie told the programme she did this because she wanted to fit in more into society.
However, at 61, she has begun to detransition, along with many others in the UK who have been calling on the National Health Service’s specialist gender-identity services to help them get back to their birth gender.
The BBC was praised in many quarters for its honest portrayal of complex trans issues, but pro-trans campaigners were quick to hit out at the broadcaster.
Online LGBT news site, Pink News, claimed the BBC output was biased, being presented by ‘a white, cisgender woman’ (Deborah Cohen), and for giving airtime to footage from an anti-trans group that has been promoted previously by a ‘prominent right-wing, anti-abortion commentator in the US’.
In October last year, as reported by Evangelical Times, Sky News ran a programme about a woman who was setting up a charity to help the hundreds of young people, many of whom are autistic, who felt they had been coerced into changing their gender.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, a documentary about detransitioning revealed, ‘The increase in teenage girls with gender dysphoria worries parents and health care staff in several countries, because of the lack of research on the new group of patients. What if the irreversible decision to undergo a gender correction is a mistake?’
Since these reports, a group called ‘Transgender Trend: parents questioning the trans narrative’ has been set up to help give information and provide resources to parents and others concerned about their children being pushed into changing their sexual identity.