Canada Research Chair on Transgender Children and Their Families

Growing up trans in Canada, Switzerland, England, and Australia: access to and impacts of gender- affirming medical care

Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, Denise Medico, Damien Riggs, Anna Carlile & Frank Suerich-Gulick


Trans and non-binary youth (TNBY) face high levels of inter- personal and social adversity as well as disproportionate rates of mental health issues such as depression, self-harm and sui- cidal ideation. Among protective factors, context plays a key role. In addition to parental support, access to gender-affirm- ing medical care begins to emerge as crucial for young people needed them. This paper compares, through thematic analysis, the experiences of TNBY with regard to access and experien- ces to care in Canada, Switzerland, England, and Australia. It identifies similarities and differences in barriers to access to care, as well as impacts of gender affirming care on young people and their well-being. The article concludes with a discussion on the importance of prompt and easier access to gender-affirming medical care, of training of professionals, and a hypothesis about the role of context in TNBY well-being.


Trans youth; trans children; gender affirming medical care; international comparison; qualitative research; transgender; puberty; adolescence

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