After introducing numerous crackdowns on the LGBTQ+ community, China has announced the opening of its first gender clinic.
According to a report from The Global Times, the multidisciplinary clinic is based at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai.
The facility is set to be filled with an array of departments including psychology, endocrine and genetic metabolic, and urology departments.
The state-backed publication also described the facility as a “bridge between transgender children, parents, doctors and various circles of society.”
In terms of the origins behind the clinic, the hospital revealed that it was created due to a recent case involving a transgender teenager.
At the start of their puberty journey, the anonymous teen began to experience anxiety and depression over their gender identity. Their mental health continued to plummet after they received pushback from their parents.
The family then went to the hospital to get further insight on the topic and to treat the teen’s “increased psychological pressure.”
After going through an evaluation, the doctors confirmed that the teen’s trans identity was valid. They were then put on medication to help stop their menstruation, which in turn stabilised their mood and anxiety.
Since the clinic was created, LGBTQ+ advocates have praised officials for their trans inclusivity.
The director of the Beijing LGBT Center, Xin Ying, told the Sixth Tone publication that the facility is a “good sign.”
“It’s essential to have transgender clinics targeted toward children and teenagers because many transgender people develop gender awareness in childhood,” Xin continued.
The inclusion of the gender clinic comes months after the government introduced numerous crackdowns involving the LGBTQ+ community.
Back in September, the government banned effeminate men from appearing on TV and ordered broadcasters to promote “revolutionary culture”.
Nearly a month later, a policy was introduced that banned LGBTQ+ characters, established queer relationships and characters with “no clear gender” from video games.
Last week, the LGBT Rights Advocacy China group – who was known for helping queer individuals with legal matters – mysteriously shut its doors and disabled all over their social media accounts.
The LGBTQ+ community within China’s social media platforms have also faced significant censorship.
Earlier this year, Queer WeChat users reported that their content had been wiped from the app’s system without explanation.
On the messaging app QQ, keywords like “LGBTQ”, “gay” and “lesbian” have also been banned due to being classified as “harmful.”
Even the country’s long-running Shanghai Pride was abruptly cancelled last year without any explanation.