China’s first clinic for transgender children and adolescents set up in Shanghai / by Global Times

China’s famous transgender female artist Jin Xing Photo: VCG

China’s first multidisciplinary clinic for transgender children and adolescents was set up at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai recently to safely and healthily manage transgender minors’ transition. 

Experts expect that the clinic, integrated with psychology, endocrine and genetic metabolic, urology departments among other departments, will serve as a bridge between transgender children, parents, doctors and the various circles of society. 

The Global Times learned from the hospital on Thursday that the clinic was set up after the hospital had encountered such cases in its clinical practice. 

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) defines a transgender person as someone whose gender identity is inconsistent with his or her birth sex. 

In a case shared by the hospital, an adolescent girl named Xiao Lin (pseudonym) suffered repeated anxiety and depression after she entered puberty and her female physiological characteristics became more obvious. 

Through searching on the internet, she learned that she is a transgender person. 

However, talking to her parents about this increased her psychological pressure since her parents tried to dismiss the concept as being in her mind but their efforts eventually turned out to be in vain. 

The preliminary evaluation on her psychology at the hospital showed that Xiao Lin is indeed transgender. 

The medical advice given by the psychological doctors and endocrinologists at the hospital was to stabilize and improve her mood first and suppress her menstruation with medication to ease her anxiety. It is up to herself whether she wants surgery when she grows up.

Luo Feihong, director of the endocrine and genetic metabolic department of the Children’s Hospital explained that the professional assessment, diagnosis, psychological treatment and necessary medicine intervention by doctors of multidisciplinary professions are of great help to reduce the negative emotions of these children and adolescents, improve their academic performance, improve their family relations and build a harmonious society. 

A study in 2016 showed that an estimated 1.4 million people – around 0.6 percent of US adults identified as transgender. Many transgender people had serious problems with medical treatment and misdiagnosis. These problems also contributed to high rates of drug abuse, infections, mental illness and cancer among transgender people. 

A research on transgender people’s suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts conducted among 1,309 people from 32 provinces by Chinese scholars in 2019 showed that transgender students had much higher rates of severe depression and anxiety than the general population. 

If their problems are not discovered or they are not directed in time, they may have problems in school and with social adaptation, or there may be confrontation between family members, or unexplained self-harm behaviors and even suicide tendencies. 

Source: Global Times, November 4, 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202111/1238161.shtml?s=04&fbclid=IwAR33gu2BLmSLAMRXo2LsQ3ZBEncDTkXlSrvyLH2qHdaZU_OzFLRk5uPd97U