Dame Jacqueline Wilson says children having gender surgery makes her 'very, very worried'

Jamie Johnson
Dame Jacqueline Wilson says the idea of children having gender altering surgery is worrying - Geoff Pugh

Dame Jacqueline Wilson says the idea of children having gender altering surgery or hormone therapy makes her “very, very worried,” as she says they can "feel strongly for a while and then change their minds”.

The bestselling author revealed in an interview with The Telegraph that she would consider writing about a trans character, but only “If there was a really strong reason.”

She said that “I wouldn’t want people to think I’d jumped on the bandwagon just because it’s current and in the news.”

The 73-year-old, who wrote the Tracy Beaker series, said: “Some people, right from the time that they are toddlers, are aware that something is wrong and they wish that they could be the other sex. But I’m also aware that some children feel strongly for a while and then change their minds. 

“I think it’s a decision that has to be left a while until you are utterly mature and utterly certain you know all the actual consequences.

“Where I would be very, very worried is young children taking any kind of drugs, hormones or whatever, the long-term effects of which we don’t know. 

“And the whole idea of having major surgery… if you’re a young child it’s not a question of just having bits of you lopped off. It’s really serious, difficult surgery, which can have pretty devastating consequences, I would imagine. It’s nothing to be taken lightly.

“If only everybody could be and act exactly the way they want to but not try to change themselves physically, I think that would be easier,” she said.

Earlier this month, a social media storm engulfed Irish writer John Boyne over his new book ‘My Brother's Name is Jessica’.

The novel is about a boy named Sam whose older brother, Jason, comes out as transgender, changes their name to Jessica and becomes Sam’s sister.

Some members of the transgender community hit out at the author for the books title, saying Mr Boyne had misgendered Jessica by calling her sam’s “brother”.

Speaking in London, Boyle, who wrote The Boy in the Striped Pijamas, said he was forced to quit social media after "two or three days of constant abuse from people who had not read the book. 

“I got a message warning me to be very careful of going out alone,” he told the Irish Independent.

“There were other messages which commented offensively on my looks, my sexuality, my writing, anything they could to try to hurt me."