One of the main goals of Gender Health Query is to ensure that gender dysphoric youth are not being over-medicalized. This is in light of the fact minors are being permanently altered and that the demographics of who is seeking treatment has changed rapidly to include many more young females. Unfortunately, a recent newspaper article in the London Times confirms some of our worries.
These concerns are:
Some youth are not receiving proper mental health support.
They are not being given time to mature.
Inappropriate medical transition of LGB youth is a major risk.
Anti-gay attitudes among parents and youth themselves may be fueling transition.
Medical procedures will have negative impacts on health.
These concerns are being raised by gender clinicians themselves as “All five have resigned from the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in the past three years as a matter of conscience.”
Some quotes from the article:
“This experimental treatment is being done not only on children, but very vulnerable children, who have experienced mental health difficulties, abuse, family trauma, but sometimes those [other factors] just get whitewashed,” one female clinician said. “If someone was suggesting plastic surgery or any other permanent change we’d be saying, hang on a minute.”
“They believe that physically healthy children are being medicated in response to pressure from transgender lobby groups and parental anxieties.”
So many potentially gay children were being sent down the pathway to change gender, two of the clinicians said there was a dark joke among staff that “there would be no gay people left”.
“It feels like conversion therapy for gay children,” one male clinician said. “I frequently had cases where people started identifying as trans after months of horrendous bullying for being gay,” he told The Times.
Young lesbians considered at the bottom of the heap suddenly found they were really popular when they said they were trans.
Another female clinician said: “We heard a lot of homophobia which we felt nobody was challenging. A lot of the girls would come in and say, ‘I’m not a lesbian. I fell in love with my best girl friend but then I went online and realised I’m not a lesbian, I’m a boy. Phew.’”
Several clinicians suspected that some of the “transgender” adolescents were reacting to homophobia at home.
“For some families, it was easier to say, this is a medical problem, ‘here’s my child, please fix them!’ than dealing with a young, gay kid,” the third female clinician said. At the service’s “family days”, a parent was allegedly heard saying that they did not want their child to have gay friends because they “didn’t want them mixed up in that hedonistic lifestyle”. “It is converting people into heterosexuals,” one of the clinicians said. “We had so many families who would talk about not wanting their daughters to be lesbian.” Young people “repeatedly” confided their own “disgust” that they may be gay, according to the clinician.
“Children’s bodies are being damaged in order to treat societal issues,” she warned. She recalled a case of a 13-year-old child “whose parents were really pressurising us for puberty blockers”. When the clinician refused to refer him, she claims one of the parents, a lawyer, wrote threatening legal letters to the service. The child was eventually referred for blockers.
I list of these consequences can be found here:
She would have nightmares about her years at the Tavistock. “I would talk about it as an ‘atrocity’. I know that sounds quite strong, but it felt as if we were part of something that people would look back on in the future, and ask, what were we thinking? In the future I think there will be lots and lots of de-transitioners who feel their bodies were mutilated as young people and who will ask, why did you let me do this? It is very disturbing.”
All five clinicians expressed concern over how little young people and their families were being told about the impact of hormone treatment on fertility and sexual function as adults. One claimed young people were unable to give “informed consent” because it was regarded as taboo to discuss the impact of medical intervention on later sexual function in such a young cohort.
In what other specialism would physical intervention that leads to permanent change to the body be the first line of treatment for a vulnerable child? Activists will tell you it’s unethical not to intervene. But we know that not everyone with gender dysphoria will go on to identify as trans for the rest of their lives.”
One case has haunted her. “All the pushing was coming from the father to put the kid on puberty blockers. Thinking back on it now, I fear that the father was a paedophile and the child was being abused.” There is no suggestion the service knowingly ignored the case, and the outcome is unknown
These health professionals have differing opinions about the quality of care. The head of the clinic maintains that proper care is taking place and that there is no evidence of harm. Hopefully this assessment will turn out to be correct for the vast majority of children. But some collateral damage is likely inevitable:
The clinic, which is run by the Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust and whose director is Polly Carmichael, says it is tracking the progress of 44 young people who began puberty blockers in 2011, and that all available evidence is discussed with families. “This is a rapidly developing field and psychosocial and medical professionals are working hard to ensure that we respond to emerging evidence in an appropriate and considered way,” a spokesman said. The growing body of international evidence showed that “thus far, there is little reported evidence of harm,” he added.
And a differing opinion:
The whole service should have been halted when the number of “transgender” cases first exploded, one of the clinicians said. “That’s the point we should have stopped because we didn’t know what we were doing. Are we a service for kids with gender dysphoria, a medical disorder? Or are we a service for ‘transgender kids’?”
One clinician said it was understandable if her former employer was defensive, saying: “If they are getting it wrong, you have to ask, are they making kids infertile by mistake? Because if they are to truly acknowledge [our concerns], then they will have to ask themselves, what the f*** have we done to thousands of children?”
We do not have open comments on the Gender Health Query website. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in what you have to say. If you have a comment, blog post idea, or any other feedback, we would be interested if the information can be supported by science research, an informed opinion, real-world observations, or personal experiences. Please contact us.