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Talk on Transgender Children this Wednesday 19th May in London

May 18, 2010

On Wednesday Natacha  Kennedy is giving a talk detailing her new research at Goldsmiths, in association with it’s Identity and Social Justice Research Group.

Via Facebook:

Natacha has been researching the lives of transgender children and young people. This is the opportunity to find out about the results so far of this research and to consider its implications.

One of the most significant questions raised by this research is whether and how provision for transgender children in the school system needs to change, as it appears that transgender children are currently likely to underachieve substantially.

Kennedy published a summary of the inital findings, which will be expanded on on Wednesday.  Interesting info which includes:

– Around 80% of trans people knew they were trans before leaving primary school. (this contrasts with around 2% of gay, lesbian and bisexual people).

– Less than 4% of participants came to the realisation that they were trans after the age of 18.

– Although the average age of realisation is 7.9 years, the average age at which trans people learned any words about being trans, was 15.5 years. In other words, on average trans people know there is something different about their gender identity for seven and a half years before they learn any vocabulary about it.

– There appears to be a great deal of shared experience of childhood for trans people, especially MTFs. Initially they blame “God” for getting it wrong, and pray that they will wake up as a girl. Then they realise how different they are from other kids, than they realise how important it is to conceal this. This concealment often results in feeling guilty and isolated. Indeed, because trans kids do not have any vocabulary about it, one of the most common reactions is to feel that they are the only one, that they are a freak. Trans children then most often suppress their gender identity until they are well into adulthood. The result of this is usually low self-esteem leading to underperformance in school and in early adulthood. In some cases attempts at suicide and self-harm result from this.

The talk is open to all so try to make it if you can on Wednesday 19 May 2010 from 15:45 – 18:00 at Top Floor, Educational Studies Building, Goldsmiths College, Dixon Road, New Cross, London, United Kingdom  Map
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