Trans group points to East/West divide

Affirm NI Director Alexsia Henderson. (0204PG05)
Affirm NI Director Alexsia Henderson. (0204PG05)

The director of a Derry support network for transgender and intersex people believes there’s an East/West divide in front line services after the Journal reported growing demand for gender dysphoria services across the North West.

Less than a month after this paper reported there were twenty-five referrals of children from the Western Trust area to a new regional gender identity service in only its first two years of operation, it’s been further revealed that over the past decade there have been 1,285 referrals of both children and adults to the Brackenburn Gender Identity and Psychosexual services clinic in Belfast.

Alexsia Henderson, Director of AffirmNI, told the Journal there is not enough statutory support for transgender people living in Derry and the west.

She said: “The majority of support services within Northern Ireland as a whole are volunteer lead and charities like Affirm Northern Ireland. Specifically within the North West there is a complete lack of front line services to help treat Trans, Gender queer and None Binary individuals as the Gender Identity Clinic and associated clinics i.e voice therapy, laser hair removal services etc only operate in Belfast. Our Charity Affirm NI and The Rainbow Project operate gender identity peer support services within the North West. Affirm NI is peer lead and unfunded.”