A family planning clinic plans to educate parents about transgender issues following the decision by the Family Court to allow a 12-year-old to start puberty-blocking medication.

An information session to be run by Wellbeing Clinic in Miranda on Saturday will be targeted at parents because it claims they are the group that often has the most difficulty understanding the issues.

Often when parents are very rigid about gender roles the kids get pushed into thinking that perhaps they are the opposite sex. If they’re a girl who likes to play with trucks and her parents are saying little girls don’t play with trucks, then she may think she’s a boy rather than just liking trucks, psychologist Catherine Wilson told Sydney Star Observer.

Parents need to listen to kids. If a child is talking very strongly about growing up to being the opposite gender and having no interest in their birth gender, then we need to consider that further.

Wilson said it was normal for children to explore gender roles between the ages of three and six and parents often become unnecessarily concerned by that.

The Australian Transsexual Support Network supported the Family Court decision but were concerned the early media reports were mistakenly calling the reversible medication a sex-change.

It presents inaccuracy as fact and promotes ignorance about the painful predicament of this boy and his family, support network spokesman Craig Andrews said.

The court’s cautious and prudent course of action permits breathing space for the child and his family and effects a safe and realistic social transition.

The American Psychiatric Association has released a further statement in response to the controversy over its appointment of Dr Kenneth Zucker to head the re-write of gender identity disorder definitions in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Dr. Zucker and his service team at CAMH in Toronto have the longest-standing research-clinical service for children and youth with gender identity problems in North America. The goal of his therapy is the opposite of conversion therapy in that he considers well-adjusted transsexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual youth to be therapy successes, not failures, the APA statement read.

The comments were supported by a former chair of the APA’s committee on GLB issues, Dr Jack Drescher, who hit back at rumours by transgender activist group TransActive that Zucker was a proponent of ex-gay conversion therapy.

Zucker’s research has been cited by both opponents and proponents of reparative therapy to prevent adult homosexuality.

The Wellbeing Clinic’s information session on transgender issues begins at 1pm, Saturday 31 May. Bookings can be made on 9540 3999.

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