City hosts young people’s transgender conference

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A local young people’s charity will hold a conference at the end of the month, looking at the needs of transgender young people.

The national conference is being held primarily for professionals, in order to improve their understanding of the needs of young transgender people. The conference will also look at the way services can develop to provide the best possible service.

Steve Slack, CEO of charity SAYiT, said: “We are pleased to be hosting this innovative and unique conference. Many services, including our own, and schools, have seen a huge increase in young people identifying as transgender or not conforming to gender roles assigned to them.

“We know this is a very sensitive area and services and schools, as well as parents, do not always know how best to respond to their transgender child or a child who is questioning their identity. There has been a lot of negative media attention in this area recently with suggestions that young people are making life changing decisions too early about the gender they wish to be. Many of these reports are either inaccurate or hugely exaggerated. The important thing is to create a safe and supportive space for young people, where they can begin to better understand any feelings around gender they may have as they develop into adults.

“We are hoping that this conference around these issues will be the start of service providers working better together to meet the needs of all young people, creating safer spaces and inclusive environments for young people to explore their feelings – as well as improving understanding.”

The conference, supported by Sheffield City Council and Stonewall, will feature a key note speech by Lee Gale, a nationally esteemed transgender equality trainer.