A children’s hospital in Shanghai is the new home for China’s first ever clinic for transgender kids.

The Children’s Hospital of Fudan University announced earlier this month that they would create a clinic to help trans children  “reduce the negative emotions” they may feel and also help “improve their family relationships”.

The clinic officially opened last week, and is China’s first of its kind facility to support trans children with their gender identity. 

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The hospital said the reason they wanted to open up this facility was because there had been an increase in the cases of transgender children seeking help.

High Rates Of Depression And Anxiety

Chinese tabloid Global Times had published a study of 1,309 people from 32 provinces in 2019 that revealed that transgender students had higher rates of severe depression and anxiety compared to the general population. 

A recent case involved a transgender teenager who was experiencing serious mental health issues due to their parents refusing to acknowledge their gender identity and preventing the child from receiving medical advice.

Eventually the family did visit the hospital and after an evaluation the doctors declared the child’s gender identity was valid. They prescribed them with medication to stop menstruation, which also stabilised the child’s mental health.

Director of the Beijing LGBT Center told  Sixth Tone that the new health clinic for trans children was  “definitely a good sign.”

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“It’s essential to have transgender clinics targeted towards children and teenagers because many transgender people develop gender awareness in childhood.” 

Chinese Government’s Anti-LGBTQI Policies

While China has been praised for opening the trans inclusive health resource, the government has been called out recently for its anti-LGBTQIA+ stances and policies.

In September, the Chinese Government introduced new guidelines for TV broadcasts, video games and streaming platforms that banned them from having effeminate men. Shortly thereafter, the country introduced a policy banning LGBTQIA+ characters from video games.

Chinese tech-giant WeChat has also contributed to the government’s anti-LGBTQI agenda by deleting dozens of LGBT accounts run by university students. Recently, a high profile LGBTQI advocacy group in China shut down all their social media platforms and announced they would stop their activism work indefinitely.

LGBT Rights Advocacy China was one of the few activist groups in the country that focused on law and policy change and were involved in various campaigns and lawsuit for marriage equality and workplace discrimination.

The group did not provide a reason for shutting down but the the Ministry of Civil Affairs in China announced the same week that they have dealt with 3,300 illegal social organisations and had shut down 200 illegal websites and individual social media accounts that were not registered with any government entity. 

It is still not confirmed if the group was shut down as part of the government campaign.  

 

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