Teenage transgender row splits Sweden as dysphoria diagnoses soar by 1,500%

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02/22/2020

For several days this week the veteran Swedish journalist Malou von Sivers will cover the same topic in every episode of her nightly TV chat show: the extraordinary rise in diagnoses of gender dysphoria among teenage girls. Lukas Romson, one of the country’s leading trans activists, is prepared for the worst. “There will be no serious trans activists in the show, because none of us trusts Malou at all,” he says. “I’m afraid she’ll just use us.” But the fact that a mainstream programme is devoting so much time to the issue demonstrates just how much the debate has shifted in Sweden over the past year. “It’s been a very big change and very sudden,” Romson adds. “Everyone – but especially young people – feels worse because of what they perceive as the media’s hatred of them.” The immediate trigger for Von Sivers’s themed week is a report from Sweden’s Board of Health and Welfare which confirmed a 1,500% rise between 2008 and 2018 in gender dysphoria diagnoses among 13- to 17-year-olds born as girls.

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