Duke Medicine established the Gender Clinic in 2015 to offer comprehensive treatments for gender dysphoria, including children as young as two. Dr. Deanna Adkins, the clinic’s director and a transgender activist, emphasized in a 2016 interview that her young transgender patients do not choose to experience distress but are compelled by their internal struggles. She argued that gender identity is the appropriate determinant of sex from a medical perspective, dismissing other methods such as chromosomes or hormones as flawed science.
“It is counter to medical science to use chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics to override gender identity for purposes of classifying someone as male or female.”
UNC Health, located a few miles away, also assesses children as young as three for gender dysphoria. Their clinic provides “gender affirming care” and a multidisciplinary team of specialists to support the child’s gender identity.
In fact, UNC’s medical school residents were recently called out for offering cross sex hormones for free every third Wednesday.
Similarly, ECU Health established its own “Pride Clinic” and aims to offer affirming primary care to individuals of all ages in the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
“The literature tells us that kids can start around age four having their gender identity, so we do not want to exclude anybody within the pediatrics realm. A big part of our goal is to provide affirming primary care to everybody in LGBTQ+ spectrum.”Dr. Colby Dendy
Critics argue that these clinics and doctors seek to profit by capturing young patients who may require lifelong medication. Legislation is being considered in North Carolina to outlaw this practice, known as the Youth Protection Act.