Awakening clinician: What do we think we are talking about?

Originally posted on Youth Trans Critical Professionals

Why are so many children and young people suddenly identifying or being identified as transgender?

Why are gender and sexuality being confused? Why are we not asking questions about including and valuing everyone in a gender neutral way? Why are many professionals – including myself – suppressing our own questions in public and professional forums?

When we talk about transgender – what do we think we are talking about? 

How do we support people with indeterminate sex (different from indeterminate gender) to feel safe alongside every other individual?

How is medical intervention for children of indeterminate sex a different issue from medical intervening for children articulating gender confusion?

Can we clarify the terminology? ‘Male to Female’ and ‘Female to Male’ seems too binary and incomplete. The issue is ‘Male to Trans’ and ‘Female to Trans’ and using this terminology we begin to encompass a broader, more accurate, notion of the shared experiences and identities of men, women and Trans people.

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Shrinking to survive: A former trans man reports on life inside queer youth culture

Originally posted at 4th Wave Now

There is power in naming. It’s how we find each other, how we connect to our histories, how we connect to our futures. Driving us apart from each other is the easiest way to keep us from learning to recognize attempts to redefine our realities.

I didn’t know this then. I subscribed to an incredibly misogynistic set of beliefs for years. “DFAB privilege” was a common phrase in our community – “designated female at birth privilege.” It was accepted fact that being born female gave you a lifelong advantage over a male who transitioned. This included men who used transition only to mean using different pronouns on Tumblr and having an anime girl as their avatar. We believed that, as “dfabs,” we needed to shut up about our petty problems. We could never have it as hard as any “dmab women or non-binary people.” Everyone in the trans community agreed that it was our responsibility to uplift “dmab voices.” None of this seemed outrageous or strange to me; it felt pretty intuitive. Growing up under male domination is a grooming process that leaves many girls and women extremely vulnerable to manipulation.

The first experience that did make me start to feel suspicious of male transition was when I was 18 and a genderqueer-identifying man who had never pursued any kind of transition raped my best friend, a woman unacquainted with insular trans community politics.

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G.S.A. now means Genders & Sexualities Alliance

Originally posted at Purple Sage

Gay-straight alliances were originally created to support gay and lesbian students, but young people don’t want to identify as gay or lesbian anymore, even if they are actually homosexual. These designations are old-fashioned now, and much too “binary.” The cool thing to have now is not a sexual orientation, but a gender. In fact, sexual orientation is bigoted; anyone who has a sexual orientation is exclusionary and therefore oppressing people (especially if they are female and their orientation excludes males).

The goal of a gender and sexualities alliance is not to support gay and lesbian students, it’s to desegregate school washrooms and promote the idea that there are infinite numbers of genders that people may choose from, and that bodies need to be medically altered to reflect people’s “gender.” This does not help gays and lesbians at all, and in some cases it harms us. It reinforces sex stereotypes by claiming that anyone who is masculine is male, therefore lesbian women are encouraged to identify as male and change their bodies so that they appear male, instead of identifying as lesbian women. In addition, gender theory does not allow for lesbians to exclude males from their dating pool as long as those males “identify” as women, which is abuse toward women who are exclusively lesbian.

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A letter to … my little girl, who identifies as a boy

Originally published in The Guardian

So what if you become convinced that your particular body is “wrong”? Soon, from the vulnerable age of 16, you will be able to start down a road with serious drugs that will alter you for ever, drugs that will make you infertile, surgery that will cause side-effects for the rest of your life. And various “liberal” parts of society will call me an abusive parent for disagreeing with all of this.

I look at you: your perfect body. I can’t bear the idea that someone may try to convince you that you’re in the wrong one because you like dinosaurs and pirates, and hitting things with sticks.

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In praise of gatekeepers: An interview with a former teen client of TransActive Gender Center

Originally posted at 4th Wave Now

I also had an experience there which I believe to be directly negligent on the part of the therapist. During the course of my therapy, before I received a referral for hormones, I began to have trauma flashbacks, which I hadn’t previously remembered. I brought these up to my therapist, and her only response was to devote one or two sessions to it, and then continue with the transition therapy process. This process seemed to be primarily about validating pretty much whatever I said about my gender/planning and mapping out a timeline for my transition, and it was not brought up at any point that prior trauma might have anything to do with dysphoria. The implication that was always present, in therapy or in the other trans-related discussions I was part of, inside and outside of TransActive, was that if I was trans (and my therapist never gave me the impression that I might not be), my options were “transition now, transition later, or live your life unhappy/commit suicide.” To a teenager who is struggling with mental health issues, this is a very attractive proposal: “This is The Cure for all of the emotional pain you’re feeling”.

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Hitting Peak Trans and Becoming a Minority of One

Originally posted at Gender Critical Dad

I have a beautiful, witty, smart wonderful daughter. She’s always been quite quiet, shy but determined when she sets her sights on something. Late to puberty, lost her last milk tooth only a few weeks ago age 17.

A couple of years ago, she told us she was lesbian, our reaction was that we wondered when she was going to tell us, as far as I can tell we were totally relaxed about that, then after a while she was bisexual, fair enough its all a bit academic in my view until you start fooling about with other people.

She developed an interest in drag culture, fair enough, Ru Paul was all over Netflix, I thought it was all a bit sexist and shallow, but tried not to bang on about that.

She asked permission to cut her hair, we’d never said she had to have long hair, I thought it was a fine idea, she could never be arsed to look after it, and had the bone structure and long neck to carry it off. She got it cut and looked fantastic, you could see her smile so much more and her lovely eyes.

She got into wearing men clothes more and more, and wearing sports bras, then a binder, but hey I dressed like a fright at her age.

She dropped hints about trans stuff, nothing specific, just a bit of Social Justice Warrior rubbish that kids say.

In her small group of school friends, people seemed to be changing sexual orientation, then gender identity became the latest trendy thing, we decided to just ignore it, wait for the next thing to come by. She started going to a gendered intelligence support group, which I imagined to be a bit like a feminist consciousness raising group.

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Schools ask three-year-olds what gender, if any, they identify with

Originally published at Brighton & Hove News

Hundreds of parents found out yesterday which primary school their children will be attending in September, and were asked to fill out a council form to accept the offer.

After the tickbox for male/female, a note explained that the national recording system only gives these two options, and asked parents to “support your child to choose they gender they most identify with or if they have another gender identity please leave this blank and discuss this with your child’s school”.

The wording of the letter is already under review after the council was made aware of concerns about the new policy.

One Brighton mother, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being attacked by transgender activists, said she objected to the question because it reinforces dangerous stereotypes of what makes someone a man or woman rather than challenging them.

The mother also argued that children of this age don’t have a sophisticated enough understanding of gender issues, and asking them to make a distinction so young could have harmful ramifications later in life.

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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.

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Owen Jones. Again.

Originally posted at Firewomon

To summarise I contended that it is ridiculous to suggest trans women are biologically female (otherwise, what are they transitioning from/to? Even if you believe that humans can change sex, which I don’t. To put it another way, if you are of the opinion that trans women are biologically female, why do you call them ‘trans’?). I also took issue with Jones’ use of of the descriptor “transphobic” to refer to people who have a different opinion to him on the matter, i.e. those who disagree that trans women are biologically female.

Disingenuously, Jones maintains that it is his support of trans rights which I and other feminists took issue with. That was not my issue, as is clear from my blog. Frustratingly, Jones has repeated the untruth several times on Twitter, yet he has blocked me and I am therefore unable to defend myself.  Jones has now published another piece referencing this.

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