2023 Sports, Health and Wellness, Large Newsroom finalist

Youth in Transition

About the Project

In just a few years, a controversial branch of medicine has emerged: gender-affirming care for children. The first U.S. clinic to treat minors opened only in 2007. Today, more than 100 clinics have treated thousands of children whose gender identity differs from the one assigned at birth. As Reuters revealed in its groundbreaking series “Youth in Transition,” the profession has rushed into this field even though the science supporting it lacks the hard evidence underpinning much of modern medicine – raising deep questions about how best to serve a highly vulnerable population.

Our team knew they faced a challenge in covering this fraught frontier. Gender-affirming care for children is a battlefield in the U.S. culture wars. We addressed the politics but moved beyond the vitriol, approaching the subject with an in-depth examination of new treatments about which the public wants and deserves to know more. The result: a breakthrough series that uses data analysis, deep review of scientific literature, interviews with scores of clinicians and scientists, and the lived experiences of patients to provide an unflinching examination of gender-affirming care for children and the substantive questions surrounding it.