Experiences of trans and gender diverse young people


In this section you can find out about the experiences of trans and gender diverse young people by seeing and hearing them share their personal stories on film, audio and in text. We have talked to 50 trans and gender diverse people in England, Wales and Scotland both in their homes and online.

Find out what people said about coming out as trans and changing names, pronouns and appearance, their experiences with GPs, mental health and support, school and college, being referred to gender identity service and experiences with the service, hormones, surgery, sexuality and sexual health, where they looked for information about gender diversity and trans-specific healthcare and what they think would improve services.

You can also find out about the experiences of parents of trans and gender diverse young people.

We hope you find the information helpful.

Some of the interviews are read by an actor.

This website should not be treated as medical advice. These are the stories of young trans and gender diverse people. All views and experiences are personal to the people who took part. What they found helpful may not be the same for other people. Please see our terms and conditions.

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Experiences of trans and gender diverse young people - a preview

Experiences of trans and gender diverse young people - a preview



‘So when trans people tell you about like what they’re experiencing or what they need, they are not like just saying it for the kicks, you know like, that, it’s something they genuinely feel like they need. And it, could change their lives for the better.’


‘I think that the biggest and best resource out there is just other people at the moment.’

‘If you can actually read what other people have to say, it really helps you understand and know what to expect.’


We need to have more people trained in this. We need to have people who are trained that are actually passionate about this, that want to help, want to be there. Because the people are there right now they don't want to be there they don't care, they don't care about us, they don't want to be there. We need people who want to be there, we need trans people in these positions, we need trans people in powerful positions because this cannot continue the way it is. 


‘I find that accessing services that are to do with trans healthcare are really jarring because you often have to be thrust into a situation of dealing with cis people and their cis ideologies about what gender is and especially with like the NHS, like I’ve been through their service before and it’s a lot to be a very specific kind of trans and a very specific kind of person for them to be able to give you access to care, because you’re not able to pay for it yourself.’

‘Treat us like we’re diamonds, like we should be treated like such. You know. And given time and energy and space, and resources, in order to find out what can be done to best incorporate us into the world. Cos, yeah, it matters.’


‘I’m a person, my transness doesn’t supersede like the fact that I love dogs, the fact that I am not from [city], the fact that I listen to certain types of music and cook certain types of food. And so the best thing is that I have an incredible support network of people who care far more about whether or not I want go to the movies, or whether or not I want to read this book, or whether or not I want to do something with them, than they do about my gender expression. And that’s very liberating.’


BAME Trans people need to be prioritised in sort of like all aspects of life like really like, you know, for equity to exist like people need to make sure to platform us, to sort of share our story, [video glitches] to listen to our experiences.’


I really like being non-binary. And I really think it’s an important kind of valuable kind of [um] position isn’t quite the right word, but kind of space to inhabit within the world and to kind of be able to like recognise that there’s quite a big community of non-binary people throughout the world, and also obviously throughout history. But having that kind of, having that kind of, for me it’s a bit of a chink of light coming through the horrible toxic restrictive and quite violent systems of kind of binary sex and gender that have been built around, around us’


‘You will get there and it will be completely worth it. It is hard now, but this is a storm you can weather and you are never alone, never alone. And that, if you have the resources available, you can always use the internet. You can always contact people and there will be people out there are understanding and empathetic. They’ve probably been through the same situation you have. And they have gotten through it and they will survive and so will you. So, just hang in there. Be strong, be brave and be proud of yourself because you’re doing a great thing by just being yourself.’


the power is at your fingertips. I think that you’ve got access to crazy stuff now that us folk didn’t have when we were younger, the internet is wild, and you can connect with each other in ways that is so amazing. Use it for good, learn how to do everything. I was told once that to master something you must watch other masters, so if you ever want to master something watch other people who are awesome at it, and you can learn how to do it too. You know, put in the ten thousand hours and become the best at whatever you want to do because why not? Why not? I want to see more bright, colourful, happy, charged, articulate, friendly, well-adjusted, comfortable, fun-loving, adorable trans young people, out on the television and out in the world doing things and playing music and engaging with stuff, and yeah, they should do that. That’s what I say to you. You live your best lives.


I would love to see projects like this, I mean this, a project essentially and this research is, is, I think an excellent example of how, how we change the, how we change the culture of healthcare, and how we change, how trans, how we as trans people interact with healthcare, cos whilst I’d hope that this educates trans young people like you said, and just trans people like me in general, cos I’d love to, I’d love to get so much out of the stuff that you’re gonna produce. I would like to hope that maybe healthcare professionals also are able to access this, because ultimately I feel like this is the level that they need’.

This site is dedicated to Terry Reed, one of our Advisory group members who sadly passed away during this project. With her husband Bernard Reed, they set up GIRES in 1997 following their trans daughter's successful industrial tribunal case against her former employers. Read Bernard's tribute to Terry.

This is a summary of independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (Grant Reference Number 17/51/07). The views expressed are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

This section is based on research by The University of Oxford.

Research Copyright 2021 University of Oxford All rights reserved

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