Tom

Gender: Male

Pronouns: He / His / Him

When Tom was 8 years old, he talked to his mum about the gender dysphoria he was feeling which felt like a massive weight off his shoulders. There was a long NHS waiting list to see a gender specialist and when Tom started to experience physical changes from puberty his mental health was badly affected so his mum arranged for him to see a gender specialist privately and he started taking puberty blockers. He now sees the GIDS counsellors whom he finds helpful to talk to.

Tom has been regularly monitored while taking puberty blockers but he has experienced no physical side effects from it. He feels puberty blockers kept his mental health stable which in turn helped his education and his friendships and gave him time to pause; and to think properly about his gender identity without being under pressure of puberty starting. He knew he could come off them in the future if he wanted to. He feels that he has been listened to throughout the healthcare assessment process. He is continuing to research about taking testosterone if he decides to take it when he is older.

His middle school supported his transition by showing a CBBC My life; video about being trans to his year group and explained that he will be transitioning. There was the opportunity for his class to ask him questions which he felt was a really helpful way to do it.

At secondary school Tom’s teachers have been very supportive; they acted like it was normal and didn’t treat him any differently which really helped him. Tom thinks there should be more education about trans identities in schools so that students have a better understanding.

Tom has found it really helpful to talk to people, such as the school counsellor, the GIDS counsellors, the private gender specialist and his mum about how he was feeling. He advises other young people if they are uncertain about their gender identity to talk to someone as it opens up what you;re feeling.;

Tom and his mum share the story of the TV show that helped Tom come out at school.

Age at interview 13

Tom talks about his experience with GIDS the people were lovely and they really helped me get through.

Age at interview 13

Tom describes his experience of taking puberty blockers as really good’, reversing changes in breast development.

Age at interview 13

Tom responds to critics of puberty blockers and describes the positive impacts they’ve had on his life.

Age at interview 13

Tom tells a story about being in PSHE with an annoying guy in my class’ trying to spot’ a trans person.

Age at interview 13

Tom talks about being uncomfortable going to swimming lessons and using changing rooms.

Age at interview 13