Children searching for online advice about being transgender, Childline survey reveals

Views on the web page jumped from 6,867 between April 17-March 18 to 12,343 times between April 2018-March 2019. The transgender page on Childline website went live in December 2015.

Children as young as 11 now use the service to speak about their gender or sexual identity as well as their experiences of bullying and issues with their mental or emotional health.

One boy told counsellors: “I have been feeling depressed and suicidal for about three years. My parents don’t understand me at all. I came out as Trans and they think it’s just a phase and refuse to accept me. I am in pain.”

The data also revealed that Childline carried out 6,014 counselling sessions with children and young people about issues relating to gender and sexuality last year – which equated to 16-a-day on average.

Dame Esther Rantzen, Founder and President of Childline said: “I know that some adults feel uncomfortable talking about these issues with young people, but if we create a taboo around them, that can make children feel guilty, rejected and in some cases has even led to depression and even suicide. We all need to listen sensitively and support young people and protect them from this profound unhappiness and loneliness.”