Trans Kids: It’s Time to Talk documentary sparks debate

Stella O'Malley
Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist, writer and public speaker CREDIT: CHANNEL 4

Are children and teenagers transitioning to male or female too young? 

Transgender issues are being explored more than ever in the last few years.

For the transgender community, this shift in openness and how people think is liberating. It’s fantastic to live in a world where you are accepted and loved for who you are.

Despite this, there are still questions of gender and transitioning that Stella O’Malley raised in the Channel 4 documentary Trans Kids: It’s Time to Talk.

As a child,Stella was convinced that she was a boy. After going through puberty she changed her mind and realized that she was comfortable and happy as a woman, “I would have been that kid who ­transitioned,” says Stella, now age 43,if she had grown up as a child today.

The NHS’s gender identity service has seen a 2,500% increase in children,teenagers and young people referred in the last 9 years. With the rise of social media and Youtubers such as ItsCole documenting their transition, the documentary examined the effects on children and young people. Stella sat down with Cole, a transgender man, and watched his early videos together. They were both astonished by how the testosterone had changed Cole’s physical features and voice. The long-term effects of hormone treatments such as testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone are still unknown.



This documentary faced backlash and was accused of being transphobic. It looked at youth transgender issues from a ‘what if?’ perspective and opened up discussion. Is being transgender a trend for some children and young people?

Obviously for people who are struggling with their gender identity this is not a phase or a ‘cool’ thing to do. It’s a very hard road to go down, with medical procedures, hormone treatment, counselling and perhaps bullying in certain cases.

Regardless, progressive conversation around transgender children and youth was targeted in this documentary and it leaves the question…

What is best for a child?


If you are struggling with gender identity or know somebody who is, please contact one of the following services,



United Kingdom



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