Kids on the Edge: The Gender Clinic
Our children are struggling to know how to live in today’s world. Unprecedented numbers are being diagnosed with mental health disorders, medicated, or are facing a crisis of identity. For nearly a hundred years the Tavistock and Portman has been at the forefront of exploring young minds. In November 2016 Channel 4 broadcast a documentary series, with exclusive access to the Trust. The first episode focussed on the work of GIDS.
It's the first question that's asked, before we're even born, 'is it a boy or girl?', but for an increasing number of children the answer isn't straightforward. The first film in this series, directed by BAFTA-award winning Peter Beard (My Son The Jihadi), follows two families who attend the Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service, through life changing decisions.
Ash and Matt are two of the children who regularly visit the gender clinic. Ash, who is 8 years old and lives as a girl, has just moved to a new primary school, where no-one knows she was born a boy. She doesn’t want to tell her new friends her secret in case she is bullied again. Matt doesn't want to talk about his gender, or the fact that he was born a girl - this is not helped by his diagnosis of autism and his problems with communicating. He just wants people to accept him.