When is a support group not a support group? The troubling story of a UK trans support group

Originally posted on Youth Trans Critical Professionals

Should a TV programme be the basis for irreversible medical intervention? (What would we feel if a troubled teen had instead watched an ISIS recruiting video and announced to her family that she was off to Syria to find a husband?)  Might not a teenager be made to feel uncomfortable about an emerging lesbian identity within the context of a private London single sex school?  Was the chance discovery of a leaflet for Gendered Intelligence really a sign from God? And how free was the child to pass through what might have been a transient phase once enrolled in a group where her newly formed identity would be reinforced by adults?

In the world of ‘Gendered Intelligence’, the thought ‘Am I the other sex?’ is not a thought that can be challenged but is taken as a revelation of an essential truth. The role of the adult and of the parent is to support and affirm this identity. At the monthly parents’ group, we were encouraged to speak freely and not to feel that we had to be ‘politically correct’. But there was an underlying narrative: feelings were our own but the facts were in the possession of the convenor, and those facts were the ‘trans narrative’.  Our children could only be happy if we supported them through transition. We would find it difficult, we might grieve for the child we might feel we had lost but this was merely part of a journey familiar to our experienced convenor, herself the parent of a trans man (who transitioned from female to male I think at age 21). The presence of this convenor necessarily makes it hard to question the trans narrative. ‘Where are you on the journey?’ asked the parent convenor, when I introduced myself.  My answer, ‘Which journey?’ did not go down well.

Continue reading…

The infallibility of the oppressed: Story of one influential trans activist

Originally posted at 4th Wave Now

I predict that unless something drastically changes, we will be seeing many more youth like ours caught up in this trend: Kids who have been educated that being transgender is a normal variation of the human condition; that it is possible to change sex; that society needs to accommodate them; and that transitioning will solve all of their problems. These messages are especially attractive to children who have difficulty navigating the turbulent adolescent years.

Initially, the goal of trans activists may have been to make it more acceptable for boys to wear dresses and play with dolls and girls to be on soccer teams and play with trucks (which I think is a noble aim), but the activism has gotten out of hand. Now there are many confused children that are convinced that altering their bodies is the only option for happiness. And it has literally become a nightmare for many families.

I wonder at what point, if any, trans activists and their allies will start to question their crusade. I hope for the sake of our children that more of them, like the social justice warrior quoted at the beginning of this piece, wake up to the harms that their campaign is causing.

And, I hope that more people will start challenging the premises of trans activism. We need more people to realize that members of an oppressed group are not infallible. Being transgender doesn’t mean they know best. They are human like everyone else and their views should be assessed as such–not as all-knowing experts.

Continue reading…

What’s at Stake?

Originally posted at Transcendence: Youth Trans Critical Professionals

Social acceptance of gender-nonconforming people is something we as professionals can generally support and feel good about.

But what about body modification?

In an upbeat, breezy tone, the author treats “body modification,” “surgery,” and “hormones” casually. Like, it’s no big deal to take a “low dose of testosterone” for decade upon decade. In fact, cross-sex hormones given to gender dysphoric young people are being used off label. Very little is known about the long-term effects of these drugs, and we are unlikely to know more for quite awhile.  Meanwhile, some of the potential effects of taking testosterone as a natal female, for example, are permanent or serious including: an increased risk for breast and uterine cancer; deepened voice; possible baldness; liver problems; and growth of facial hair. Surgery in this case refers to removal or modification of healthy tissue. There can be serious complications with such surgeries, and of course they are irreversible, often resulting in sterility, depending on the procedure.

How is it ethical that we as professionals support and encourage young people in undergoing such treatments for the sake of “gender expression?” I would personally favor legislation making it very difficult for young people to access these treatments until they are in their late 20’s. I understand this would mean asking some people to live in a way that felt inauthentic or painful, but it would spare the pain that many might feel in the future when they wake up to realize they have permanently mutilated themselves.

We must be more critical of the assumption that medical intervention is the best option, that is it no big deal, that it is a choice to be celebrated for its “bravery.”

Continue reading…

US conversion therapy laws: Conflating homophobia with helping gender-defiant kids feel whole

Originally posted at 4th Wave Now

One of the many unfortunate consequences of the marriage of transgenderism with the lesbian/gay movement is the wholesale acceptance that “conversion” therapy (also referred to as “reparative” therapy)—rightly condemned as coercive attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation—is equivalent to helping a child or teen feel at home with his or her body.

Why shouldn’t attempts to change “gender identity” be seen as identical to efforts to convince lesbian and gay people to abandon their homosexuality?

Because they are actually polar opposites. Anti-gay conversion therapy tells a healthy human being that they are not ok as they are, in the body they have, with the sexual feelings they have for other humans.  But therapy aimed at helping a young person accept and reconcile with their healthy,  evolution-molded body, as well as their gender nonconformity, actually encourages wholeness and the integration of body and mind.

In an Orwellian twist, the trans activists have hoodwinked the public into believing that these two approaches are one and the same, even though pro-trans “affirmative therapy” leads a young person not only to reject themselves as they are, but to start down a path which can lead to multiple surgeries, lifelong drug injections, and irreversible sterilization—with all the risks and hazards associated with being a permanent medical patient.

Continue reading…

Tumblr snags another girl, but her therapist-mom knows a thing or two about social contagion

Originally posted at 4th Wave Now

There is an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the crew is introduced to a mysterious alien video game. It slowly infiltrates the minds of the crew, and Wesley Crusher and another young ensign watch as the adults around them slip into addiction. Wesley begins to sense that something is amiss, and goes to find Captain Picard. He is so relieved to find the Captain and to be able to confide in him. As Wesley leaves, we see the Captain reach into his desk with sinister sangfroid and take out a gaming device. He too has been infected. As we suspected, the game is really an insidious mind-controlling apparatus that will allow an alien race to gain control of the ship.

That is what this trans madness feels like to me. When I first began to hear this emerging in the young people around me, I felt confused. As a dyed-in-the wool liberal, I felt I should be accepting and affirming. As a therapist and long-time student of human nature, it just doesn’t make sense to me that people are “born in wrong body” except for perhaps in extremely rare cases. I believe there are “true” cases of transsexualism, but the number of those affected must be vanishingly small. Why all of a sudden did it seem to be everywhere?

Continue reading…

UK News: 930% Rise In Child Gender Identity Referrals

Originally published at Transgender Trend

Over the past six years there has been a 930% increase in the number of children referred to NHS gender clinics across the UK, including one three-year-old and three four-year-olds since April last year. The BBC report shows that the total number of 94 children referred in 2009-10 has increased to 969 in 2015-16.

The report includes the story of a five-year-old Nottinghamshire boy who has just returned to the classroom ‘as a girl’ with support from the school, which sent out letters to parents and children explaining the change. The reaction of the adults around this case, as reported in the Nottingham Post, provides an insight into the reason why the number of children referred to gender clinics has increased so dramatically over the last six years.

First, Colin Pettigrew, the local council authority’s director for children, families and cultural services, said: “Transgender is a characteristic protected by law and therefore head teachers across England continue to, and are required to, agree a clear plan to support the needs of transgender children and young people.”

‘Transgender’ as a protected category for children means that we have already made up our minds about an identity which over 80% of children will outgrow by adolescence. The most likely outcome for this little boy, if left alone, is that he will grow up to be gay, but there is no protected category of homosexuality for children as this only applies when a child matures and develops a sexual orientation: we can’t predict that a child will be gay or lesbian. We also can’t know if a child will grow up to be transgender, but the likelihood is far far less. Establishing ‘transgender’ as a protected category of childhood presupposes, and reinforces, a fixed opposite-sex heterosexual identity before a gay or lesbian child has had the chance to explore, develop and mature. The only protected characteristic we should insist on for children is ‘childhood.’

Continue reading…

No one will admit it’s gay conversion therapy

Originally posted at Purple Sage

An article from the Toronto Star talks about the controversy surrounding the recent firing of Ken Zucker and the shutting down of Toronto’s Gender Identity Clinic. The issue was that Zucker did not act fast enough to put young children on hormones and prepare them to be lifetime medical patients—his approach was to wait and see how the children will feel when they are older. This is because he knows that many children with gender dysphoria will not grow up to be trans, many will grow up to be gays or lesbians and will be happy with their birth sex. The trans activists are furious that Zucker does not want to transition young children the second they express a desire to be the opposite sex, and believe that by not immediately transitioning children he is practicing “conversion therapy.” Trans activists do not seem to give a shit that they are practicing gay conversion therapy—turning gay and lesbian youth into artificially created members of the opposite sex so they will appear as gender-conforming heterosexuals, when they are still too young to have had a romantic relationship or to develop an identity as gay or lesbian.

Continue reading…