photography: Sarah Wong, text: Ellen de Visser
Size: 23 x 28 cm
ISBN: 978 90 89102 42 3
Author(s): photography: Sarah Wong, text: Ellen de Visser
Price: € 32,50
Portraits of Cross-gender Children
Born inside the wrong body; it's a cruel error of nature that may cause inconceivable suffering. Someone who is born a boy, but who feels like a girl, or vice versa, faces major psychological problems when puberty hits.
That's when the physical changes accentuate all they don't want to be. If they wish to undergo gender reassignment surgery when they turn eighteen, as a young adult, they will need to endure maiming procedures to reverse these changes. Some physical features, such as body type, can never be undone.
A special team of doctors at the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam has been working for years on the treatment of these cross-gendered youth. After a strict selection process they may be eligible to receive puberty inhibitors at the age of twelve and at sixteen start hormone treatment for their desired gender. This will prevent a great deal of psychological anguish and ensures that later surgeries yield better results.
Dozens of children have already undergone successful treatment. They receive close supervision and support from the hospital. This unique Dutch approach has generated much interest abroad. Several clinics have already adopted the treatment method from Amsterdam.
Openness in the Netherlands
This is the first time that so many youth have allowed themselves to be intimately photographed and candidly discuss the problems associated with their choice. Their stories are testimony to their incredible life force.