The discussion about transgender rights often becomes most fraught when kids are involved. Schools have invited greater discussion about gender and sexuality within RSE classes, and specialised gender clinics (like the Tavistock centre) have reported an increase in children coming forward with desires to change their gender identity. Both have become the source of controversy. Questions about trans activism, issues of self-ID, pronouns and the concept of gender recognition are all subject to differing views depending on which side you’re on in an ongoing (and often vicious) political row.
How should we talk to kids about gender – if at all? Is it small-minded to feel uncomfortable about a more open discussion of sex and identity, particularly with younger children at school? Or are we allowing political trends in the adult world interfere with what’s best for kids?
In this fascinating debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas Festival 2021, the speakers are: Chrissie Daz – Schoolteacher; cabaret performer; author on transgender and gender variant identity Dr Deborah Hayton – Teacher; Trade Union Officer; contributor, Spectator, Unherd and other publications Katy Jon Went – Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator and Educator, Human Library, Pick My Brain, GenderAgenda, Fifty Shades of Gender Dr Claire McGuiggan – Principal educational and child psychologist; co-founder, Not The Easy Way; specialist in SEND The Chair is Ella Whelan – Co-Convenor, Battle of Ideas Festival; journalist; author, What Women Want