The Guardian: 'Trans kids are not new': a historian on the long record of youth transitioning in America

Republicans seeking to restrict children’s lives claim trans youth are a ‘new phenomenon’. Jules Gill-Peterson explains how medical archives prove them wrong

A groundbreaking twentieth-century history of transgender childrenInterview, Jules Gill-Peterson: In the past 10 years, we’ve seen this sudden visibility of trans kids. There’s a lot more representation. But the common refrain is, ‘Trans people are so new’ and ‘Trans kids, my gosh! They didn’t even exist until recently.’ And I started to think about what happens when you’re part of a group that gets framed as brand new. There’s this cloak of caution and fear around trans kids, this idea that ‘We don’t know what it means for a child to transition’. That ‘this is all an experiment’. I had a sense as a historian that these ideas were probably not true and wanted to do historical research that would challenge this, by showing that trans kids have been around for a long time.

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