The mother of a young transgender girl has said it is hypocritical to criticise the use of puberty blockers for transgender children while supporting them for others.
Donegal writer and artist Taryn de Vere’s child was five years old when she came out as a transgender girl.
On The Hard Shoulder this evening, Ms De Vere said that, although she wasn’t sure if her child was serious, she “went along with it”.
“It was actually a real thing and we’re not very many years down the line and she continues to be steadfast in her gender identity,” she said.
“There's been studies since that show children, even kids who aren’t trans are very aware of their gender from the age of two or three.
“We definitely made the right decision in supporting her, loving her like I love any of my other kids.”
Transgender puberty blockers
The survey carried out by Amárach also found that a similar proportion of people do not believe children should be offered gender-affirming care, such as counselling and hormone replacement treatment.
Ms De Vere noted that more than half the people surveyed said yes or didn't have an opinion on the matter.
“For me it’s a strange one, because we don’t tend to put any other type of specialised healthcare to a poll,” she said.
“If I was asked in a poll on something I had no knowledge or expertise about, I would say I'm not the right person to ask.”
She pointed out that the kind of puberty blockers transgender children would use are the same medication being given to children with precocious puberty “every day in Ireland”.
“I haven't seen a poll asking people if we think it’s okay for children with precocious puberty to be given the exact same hormones,” she said.
There are no recent figures on the rate of precocious puberty in Ireland, although global health studies suggest the condition is becoming more common.
'Kids are so supportive'
Ms De Vere said her daughter’s gender identity has never been a problem in their family and has not caused problems in her daughter’s school life.
She explained that when her daughter was seven years old, she began to “socially transition” outside the house, meaning she presented as a girl in public and began to tell people she was transgender.
“She asked me to write a letter to all the parents and ask them to talk to their children about it,” she explained.
“I was quite anxious, and I wasn’t quite sure what response we were going to get.
“The next day when she went into school, a bunch of kids had brought cards for her to welcome her as a girl and even got gifts her.
“It still makes me tear up to this day... kids are so brilliant and supportive of each other.
“It says a lot about Irish culture.”
Main image shows Taryn de Vere. Image: Twitter