14) Problems with a politicized climate of harassment & censorship
An academic colleague warned: “don’t analyze transgenderism – you will be sucked into a vortex from which you’ll never escape.” –sociologist Heather Brunskell-Evans
This article is about gender and the law. When I asked several friends, politicians and journalists, about writing it, they all said the same: don’t. It will go badly for you. I know MPs, in more than one party, who privately say they will not talk about this issue in public for fear of the responses that are likely to receive. The debate is currently conducted in terms that are not conducive to – and sometimes actively hostile to – free expression. As a result, it is very unlikely to result in good and socially sustainable policy.–writer James Kirkup
We are being ordered to endorse a practice reminiscent of Chinese foot-binding or the Victorian tight-lacing craze where girls fainted to achieve the tiniest waist. In my research I heard from teachers, doctors, parents and trans-folk aghast at children being pushed towards drastic treatment before they can possibly understand how it will affect their future relationships and lives. None would speak out publicly: like Topshop, they feared being labelled transphobic. -journalist. -Janice Turner
Caroline, who asked for me to use a pseudonym, is a Child Protection Officer with over 20 years’ experience. She told me: “There is no way that professionals can possibly pass on concerns [about children who identify as transgender] without being considered transphobic or bigoted. Many of us share the same concerns [about children being pushed into medical solutions] including friends of mine who are GPs, educational psychiatrists, social workers: all great people who work tirelessly for the good of young people. I see children changing their name, turning against their family, rewriting their past.” -The Independent
What is unique about the approach we’ve seen in the trans movement is that it doesn’t attempt to disguise the incitements to violence against women with rhetoric around “consent” and “empowerment.” The claim is not that this is not “literal” violence, because women like it, or because they consented to it, or because it’s “just fantasy.” Rather the violence advocated for by trans activists is said to be justified on account of opinions, associations, language, or the sharing of articles or links determined to be “wrong” — all of which is dishonestly framed as “violence” (ironic considering where the literal threats and violence are evidenced to be coming from).-feminist and writer Megan Murphy
Many individuals in activist movements can become extreme and cult-like. Trans activism has had its share of this behavior. This is not to say this hasn’t happened in other movements such as AIDS activism, lesbian feminism, the black power movement, and other far-left political movements in the 1970’s or Antifa now.
But there are some specific issues that make trans activist extremism unique. It is the first civil rights issue to come of age in the rise of social media, magnifying its power to attack others and foment the well-known problem of internet hyperbole and noxious communication. Unlike like the women’s rights, homosexual rights, and black civil rights movements, the trans movement seeks to redefine the meaning of biology and words like “female” and “homosexual” other groups use to describe themselves. It displaces girls and women from positions they otherwise would have held (i.e. women are losing to trans women in sports for example.)
This movement involves children, teenagers and young adults making decisions to sterilize themselves and permanently alter their bodies. The risks of the later require proper cultural and scientific deliberation and discourse as potential for harm is extremely serious. This is now extremely difficult in the current trans activist climate, unanalyzed and even enabled by liberals and liberal media.
Below are some examples of what has happened to people who say things contrary to trans activism agendas and postmodern influenced gender ideology. It is important to examine this because this climate is stifling necessary debate on the safety of medical treatments on minors. It is also stifling discourse as part of a tactic of a wider social movement that seeks to redefine male and female and promote a “boy brain”/ “girl brain” view of transgenderism.
A good summation of some of the harassment and censorship related to trans activism may be found in a public panel discussion. It is a Heritage Foundation video clip (we do not align with right anti-LGBT community activism) but the accounts of events are accurate.
A. Past extremist behavior of activists: the beginning of a pattern
This section contains the early examples in the burgeoning trans movement of what typically happens to anyone who does not promote the exact message trans activists demand. The scenarios in these examples are not random incidences. They have become the norm:
1) Ray Blanchard
The first major victims of harassment campaigns and unjust characterizations from trans activists were Ray Blanchard and Michael Bailey for discussing Ray Blanchard’s transgender typology. He observed two distinct categories of MtF trans women, homosexual effeminate males and autogynephilic males (AGP). Homosexual effeminate males exhibit extremely effeminate behavior as young children, AGPs tend to start to develop it in their teens and become interested in cross-dressing. AGPs can range from erotic cross dressers to those who want medical transition. It is a paraphilia/sexual orientation. They are attracted to and emotionally fulfilled by seeing themselves as a woman. Because this indicates a sexual nature to the condition, trans activists became very alarmed that this would paint them as sexual deviants (a valid concern, some people do that). As a result, trans activists have tried to attack this theory and called for Blanchard to be fired from the University of Toronto. More on AGP here.
Despite the fact that there is much evidence for autogynephilia, including examples of it displayed by the activists who criticize it themselves such as Andrea James and Julia Serano (In Whipping Girl), WPATH has rejected this typology. WPATH is not an objective scientific body, but is an activist influenced organization.
Trans activists often control what people can say on social medial by getting discussions they do not like shut down or people’s whose opinions they disagree with banned, something that happens frequently on platforms such as Twitterand Facebook.
2) Michael Bailey
When Michael Bailey wrote a book called “The Man Who Would Be Queen” he was targeted by a group of trans activist who accused him of bigotry, made every attempt to discredit his valid theories, accused him of sexual impropriety, called for him to be fired, and made graphically sexual material involving his children. This is despite his support for LGBT rights and for the medical transition of adults.
Below are two articles documenting his harassment:
3) Alice Dreger
Alice Dreger wrote a book called “Gallileo’s Middle Finger”and was similarly harassed at events for discussion of Blanchard’s and Baileys work and what happens to researchers when their findings are politically unpopular. Below is an example of the many negative encounters she had with trans activists due to writing her book about scientific and intellectual honesty.
I also heard from Ms. James herself who unfortunately lived down to my expectations by sending me obnoxious emails including threats. Some people have asked me whether these were really threats. Let me say they were threatening enough that I sent the mail on to my dean, who sent it on to university counsel, who asked me to let the police know about our concerns.
James also referred to Dreger’s child as a “womb turd,” targeting harassing statements towards her offspring just as with Micheal Bailey.
4) In 2007 a rape crises center was sued by a trans woman who wanted to work there. The center insisted their female rape victims have a right to be counseled by biological females. They ultimately won this case, but at a high financial cost.
We didn’t choose to go to court, we were taken to court by the human rights complaint. We, in fact, tried to settle out of court, tried to offer alternatives to Nixon, including regrets for Nixon’s hurt feelings, we tried fairly hard to stay out of a legal battle because it didn’t seem to us that either transsexual rights or women’s rights were going to advance by asking the court, “the man”, to decide it. So that’s the first thing – it was not our call, but having been dragged into it, we had no alternative but to defend ourselves because it does matter to us that we had built a service and a self-organized collective in which we’re entitled to make those decisions and we did not have to fold up because somebody had a different idea.
5) No-platforming of women:
Any time there is a woman who is not in full agreement with gender ideology and aspects of trans activism due to impacts on mainly women, girls, and homosexuals, there is an attempt by trans activists and leftist allies to ban the speaker from college campuses. This happens despite the fact that all of these speakers support equality for trans people in employment, housing, and marriage rights but have differing opinions on what an actual biological female is. This has happened to prominent feminists such as Julie Bindle and Germaine Greer.
B. Hostility, threats, & attempts to censor balanced discussions of youth medical transitions- mental & medical health professionals
In fifty years of medicine, I have not witnessed such reluctance to express an opinion among my colleagues…I conducted a straw poll of pediatricians whom I know. Many advised me to be very careful to appear neutral, and not to quote them.
The most concerning effects of the tactics of social punishment trans activists are using is on the mental health and medical professionals who are obligated to provide the best care to all of their clients and to communicate accurate information to them, their parents, and the public. Below are multiple examples of professionals who have been harassed, called bigots, or even fired for a cautious approach to medically transitioning young people.
The most well-known example is the firing of Dr. Ken Zucker from CAMH (Canadian public health) for his cautious approach. Dr. Zucker believed avoiding surgery and a lifetime of hormone prescription dependence was a reason to help a young person become comfortable with their own bodies. Allegedly, he would suggest some controversial tactics to parents such as restricting cross gender play. Many people disagree with this questioning the affirmative model for treating minors and is not supported by this organization. But his goal was not to inappropriately transition mostly LG youth. This article by Jesse Singal reviews the incident.
Perhaps even more disturbing to transgender activists was Zucker’s opinion that parents might be permitted to influence orientation of the child towards its natal gender. Declarations by Zucker that “if the parents are clear in their desire to have their child feel more comfortable in their own skin … [and] would like to reduce their child’s desire to be of the other gender, the therapeutic approach is organized around this goal” became nails in his cross.
However, desistance in his view warranted a cautious approach, but as the child started to grow older he supported gender medical transition of older teenagers.
Zucker and his colleagues report that a number of children who “persist” with transgender identity emerge from puberty as homosexuals. They insist, “We have never advocated for the prevention of homosexuality as a treatment goal for [gender dysphoria] in children” and we explain to parents, “it will be their job and ours to support the child,” whatever the future holds. Some children would desist from gender dysphoria to emerge as bisexual or homosexual. Some would persist with transgender identity and pursue the pathway of hormonal and surgical intervention, but Zucker concludes surgical intervention to be the least favorable option because “growing up transsexual or transgender may augur a more complicated life.”
Lies are often spread about people who question trans activism. In Zucker’s case this resulted in a lawsuit that he won. A false accusation that Dr. Zucker called a trans masculine youth a "hairy little vermin!” was spread by the accuser (who later recanted) and FtM activist Jake Pyne. CAMH uncritically sited this information.
In a transgender conference headed by Diane Ehrensaft and Joel Baum of Gender Spectrum, the audience claps (1:31:45) at the mention of Dr. Zucker’s firing.
Not only were there issues of trans activists trying to destroy Ken Zucker’s career but the Canadian government actively participated in preventing the Canadian public from hearing about the reality of desistance and reasons why caution may be warranted.
Another quote about this incident:
Dr. Zucker, whose position at CAMH was terminated under pressure from trans activists, has been a special target for demonization. A proponent of the mental-health model in dealing with gender dysphoria (GD), he resists uncritical affirmation of GD in very young children, offering support for parents’ right to encourage their children’s identification with their biological sex and guidance in strategies to achieve that end (often successfully). Where dissuasion is futile, however, he supports prudent transitioning.
This is an example of the type of one-sided articles found in mental health professional circles, despite the fact that sociology and psychology are science based professions. It reviews an incident at USPATH where Dr. Ken Zucker was presenting the below information on desistance information, the reason for waiting until dysphoric youth to mature before using medical treatment. His presence caused a major protest incident for which USPTH no-platformed Dr. Zucker and issued an apology to the trans community. While liberal media lauded his removal, a conservative news site commented on the incident and highlighted that trans activists want any discussion of desistance removed from official WPATH material and to be shut down publically.
(To deal with the inconvenient data on desistance, some WPATH members advocate for changing WPATH’s upcoming Standards of Care 8 to “remove unsubstantiated and harmful statements on the statistical likelyhood [sic]” of transgender persistence or desistance among children. That’s one way to blunt the impact of data you don’t like—erase it.)
In a Facebook post after the uproar, Karasic admitted that USPATH had stacked the conference schedule with practitioners of the “trans affirmative” approach favored by the trans alliance. Karasic said Zucker was invited merely as a gesture of tolerance. Conference organizers had fully expected his views to be “contextualized” (marginalized) by the “now dominant perspective of trans affirmative care.”
They also charged WPATH with inflicting “violence and inaccessibility” on the trans community because hotel security was called to keep protesters from disrupting the talk. Activists also complained that WPATH “continues to pathologize our experiences” by supporting the DSM–5 classification of GD as a mental health issue. To get a sense of how unhinged all this is, realize that trans activists are leveling these charges against their friends—the professional organization that has done its best to legitimize trans identities.”
…A video of the meeting between trans activists and WPATH and USPATH leaders reveals a medical community not only pathetically cowed by trans activists, but also apparently colluding with them about how to exclude Dr. Zucker without risking a lawsuit. (The video is a treasure trove worth mining if Zucker sues over the incident.)
WPATH sets the standards of care for gender nonconforming youth. Censorship is not the behavior of an objective body that provides scientific information to therapists and doctors for something as serious as medical treatment on tweens and teenagers.
James Caspian, is a trans supportive gay man and therapist who has worked with transgender clients. He also experienced a concerted effort by an institution to ensure the public does not learn about desistance and transition regret.
No one could accuse psychotherapist James Caspian of being a bigot or prejudiced against transgender people. His LGBT — that's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — credentials are impeccable.
For this slight, measured, gay man is not only a trustee of the transgender charity; The Beaumont Trust, but he has dedicated more than a decade of his life to counselling hundreds of patients who wish to change their gender.
He publishes academic papers on the subject, contributes to books and addresses some of the finest minds in the health professions at conferences around the world — and has done extensive work training fellow psychotherapists on transgender awareness.
When he began learning of more incidences of transition regret and people seeking sex change operation reversals he wanted to research the matter. Bath Spa University rejected his research request because they said trans activists would not like it.
“The fundamental reason given was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media, and criticism of the research would be criticism of the university. They also added it’s better not to offend people,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Monday.
“A university exists to encourage discussion, research, dissent even, challenging ideas that are out of date or not particularly useful.”
According to Caspian, the university said: “Engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research carries a risk to the university. Attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher, but may involve the university.
He describes the climate around medically transitioning young people being created by trans activism here,
'I'm not anti-trans. I've helped hundreds of people while they were transitioning, but when I started to do preliminary research I was taken aback by what I discovered,' he says.
'It wasn't so much that there seemed to be increasing numbers of younger people, particularly females, transitioning, but that there were so many of them who seemed to be later reversing the transition.
'Some of those young women were saying they felt they'd made a mistake, but had been influenced by a kind of social movement ramped up by the internet.
'When I talked to colleagues about what I was finding, one said: 'I didn't think we were supposed to talk about that.'
Discussion is being suppressed by a small, but vocal, minority in the LGBT community who seem to have an agenda to push the boundaries of trans rights whatever the cost. It is why this research was important.
'I think we've arrived at a point as a society where people are afraid to say what they think, and that's not a good thing in my field.'
James is not alone in his concerns. Since going public with an interview on Radio 4 last month about the disturbing censorship of debate on gender identity, he says he has been inundated with messages of support.
One message from a trans woman reads: 'I know many people, including myself, who fully support your research and it was so heartening to hear you speak on such an important contemporary subject.
And another quote from an interview (13:30-14:36):
Because I’ve known for years that we were moving into a climate where it was not all right to talk about certain topics to people. That if you offended somebody in some way you could be attacked...I was aware as I think most of us are, that we have moved into a sphere where people are afraid to say what they think because it might offend someone people and it might worse than that break some kind of policy or law, resulting in them being disciplined, dismissed, or even taken to court. We have this whole politically correct scenario, that is being solidified by law.
Tania Marshall is an applied psychology professional and expert on autism. There is a strong connection between autism and gender dysphoria (see here and here and here). She has received harassment and death threats for expressing concerns over rapid onset cases of gender dysphoria.
I’d like to speak on behalf of all the professionals paraprofesionals, parents and, colleagues who are to afraid to speak out on the topic of rapid onset gender dysphoria. Initially, I was afraid to speak out about this topic. But since I’ve written about it in my books, I feel it is my duty to speak about. I was trolled for speaking about it and that does not silence me due to the research on trolls who are the dark triad. And when I spoke about it more recently I received death threats. And that is inappropriate. (video here)
Debra Soh is a scientist and free speech advocate who speaks out on controversial topics to the media and on her own videos and podcasts. She often expresses dismay at the possible harms she feels could result for the gender affirmative model and censorship in academia. This position puts her in the company of other scientist who hold politically unpopular opinions.
The result is that the space for unfettered debate, especially on issues related to race/ethnicity/gender/sexuality and other “identities,” has shrunk quite noticeably. The speed with which fairly radical views on gender identity have become dogma, for example, is rather astonishing. One of Weiss’ subjects, Toronto-based Deborah Soh, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, left academia because she concluded that her view (backed by substantial evidence) that children with gender dysphoria usually outgrow it and should wait to transition would make her persona non grata. (Her concerns were hardly groundless: In 2016, eminent Toronto psychologist Dr. Kenneth Zucker was fired from a major clinic over the same issue.)
In this quote Polly Carmichael speaks to the reality that trans articles published in journals are politicized. Science journals should not call themselves science journals if objective science is not it’s goal. Activism is a different category of writing.
It seems to me in this area unfortunately, some of the publications are quite political in their remit.
Richard Green as comments on the untenable situation that has arising around the discussion of gender dysphoric children.
The vitriol over whether to enable gender dysphoric prepubertal children to gender transition engages psychosexual and general mental health issues and must be informed by data, not ideology. Families and professionals invested in the best interest of these children require strong evidence on the risks and benefits of transition, and, if there is to be transition, with which children. Longitudinal studies are urgent with comprehensive objective measures of those to transition and those who do not. This is a brave new world of gender. The young Hamlet can thrive from empiricism, not polemic.
A Canadian mental health counsellor, Sarina Singh (6:04-6:42):
I want to thank the parents that have contacted me. And I’ve been very moved by their plight, despair, and agony at the lack of support available to them when their children come out as a genderfluid, non-binary, or the opposite gender. They rightly feel the medical establishment and the school system is against them. Let me tell you. These fears are warranted. I’m a former counselor of Catholic Children’s Aid and I was there for eight years, I can assure you that if you do not adhere to the rules set out by the ideologues, you will face the consequences. So, these fears are very justified.
Here is a quote about concerns held by a British doctor, Dr Lucy Griffin, indicating health care professionals are concerned but too afraid to speak out.
‘We know that cross sex hormones are associated with permanent infertility,’ she said.
‘Patients are also likely to have impaired sexual function. And there are other concerns. We think that [transitioning] women are at increased risk of heart disease. We know they are at risk of male pattern baldness and abnormal fat redistribution.’
Dr Griffin revealed that she is not the only doctor worried about the ease with which young patients can get transgender medicines.
But she said that many other medical staff are ‘running scared’ because they fear accusations of bigotry, of being out of touch or, at worst, practising ‘conversion therapy’ on transgender people
However, Dr Griffin felt compelled to voice her criticisms because of the potential harm she feels is being done to patients by the eagerness of hospitals to appear politically correct.
Dr. Robert Withers has provided therapy to trans clients and feels very concerned about the cultural pressure being put on therapist to endorse medical solutions .
I’m more interested in reflecting how we as a profession, psychotherapy profession, have failed the young people. How is it that the culture thinks that the primary treatment for being transgender or for being gender dysphoric should be medical treatment when we know that’s going to cause all sorts of harms that I’ve already mentioned, sterilization, lifelong dependency on hormones and so on. And so how is it we’ve allowed the discourse about it to be taken over by that medical model? When actually we’ve got something really seriously important to contribute. So, I’m starting from that position of self-criticism. That there’s a kind of a collective madness shared by our psychotherapists where we tend to identify with this disassociation from the body really. So, it’s as if we don’t see the body. We only see the person’s subjective sense of who they are. And there’s a kind of madness in not seeing the body at the same time.
To me, gender dysphoria is about the person’s inner sense of who they are being dysphoric with their bodily sense of who they are. I would want to start with that. Start with the dysphoria. Not yes, I must affirm your subjective sense of who you are if that involves denying the body. So, I think the trans affirmatory lobby have unconsciously and unwittingly channeled this generation into a load of unnecessary surgeries and medical treatment. And I think my profession, our profession of psychologist we’ve been complicit in that. Because we’ve wanted to be nice.
We don’t want to offend people. We want to virtue signal to each other. We don’t want to repeat the horrible mistakes we’ve made with gay people by pathologizing them. But to be gay you don’t need surgery and you don’t need hormones. So, I think we’ve let down this, particularly this young generation of trans kids…My own internalized fear of being transphobic lead me to let down one of my own patients… And I think we are all working under a cultural constraint here, which is not helpful for anybody. Least of all the trans kids themselves.
This doctor was hounded off social media for questioning the safety of medical treatments on tweens and teens
Having said that, I believe in freedom of speech, and what's felt quite positive recently is that it does feel like there are different voices being heard—and there is a danger where you get into a place where you're afraid to say anything for fear of being accused of being transphobic. I don't think that's helpful for people with gender dysphoria.
Dr. Debra Soh (36:55-37:39):
Another side effect of this is that clinicians who work with children aren’t able to do their job. We only have to look at the rapidly multiplying numbers of young people who are identifying as transgender to see the social contagion aspect of this way of thinking. Many of these kids have some other medical condition that is leading them to feel the way that they do. Whether it is autism, borderline personality disorder, or trauma. But because of the current political climate along with laws like Bill 77, that incorrectly conflated any kind of questioning of gender identity with conversion therapy, therapist and doctors are too afraid to push back. Because they could lose their livelihood in doing so.
Defending biology nowadays gets you called not only alt-right and misogynistic, but a transphobic bigot too. And so, this brings me to the hate speech part of my talk. People can identify however they like but none of these identity labels are based in any science at all. That goes for being gender non-binary, gender neutral, agender, bigender, pangender, genderfluid, gender free, monongender, just to name a few…The reality is no one is 100% male or female typical.
The screencap below demonstrates how much trans activist pressure influences WPATH, who sets the standards of care for children and adults with gender dysphoria. This is the fairly straightforward research paper this activist is objecting to by Dr. Kreukels for not using activist approved terminology, suggesting youth may be helped by therapy to resolve gender issues, and for discussing autogynephilia. This example is par for the course of the influence of activist on a medical advice organization involving the treatment of children.
Screen caps from social media on the opinions of medical professionals:
The issue with identity politics policing and censorship isn’t just driven by trans activists but by (usually left-leaning) mental health and medical professionals themselves. One clear example of this happened when Brown University removed a link to a study trans activists didn’t like that suggested teens may be identifying as trans for unhealthy reasons. More information on how mental health and medical professionals appear willing to downplay risk to borderline youth (and possibly tolerate false positives) to make transition easy for trans youth can be found here.
C. Hostility, threats, & attempts to censor balanced discussions of youth medical transitions- journalists & media
Jesse Singal is a journalist who has covered the issue of trans youth and desisters and detransitioners with a balanced journalistic approach. He is a case study of what happens to journalists who do this, and why many news site and journalists will refuse to cover this topic beyond a happy child transition story. The first story he was vilified for was “How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired,” highlighting the circumstances of activist pressure that lead to Ken Zucker being fired.
Trans activists find quotes like this as problematic and do everything in their power to attempt to hid them from the public and harass and destroy the careers of those who make them.
With kids who are still years away from the onset of puberty, though, there’s a charged controversy about what’s best. That’s because here, two seemingly conflicting truths collide: Trans people deserve to have their identities recognized and respected; and research suggests that most gender-dysphoric kids will, in the long run, end up identifying as cisgender. In other words, a sizable percentage of them aren’t transgender in the same, usually permanent way trans adults are.
He further discusses the reality of the complications of this topic in “What’s Missing From the Conversation About Transgender Kids.”
For these articles, he has received an angry backlash on social media and was accused of “causing the deaths of trans children.” Causing the deaths of trans children for not fully endorsing the affirmative model is a common accusation even wielded by some mental health and medical professionals. Trans activists also attempted to smear him with false stories. This tactic goes back to the beginnings of trans activism and was used against Blanchard, Bailey, and Dreger.
A more recent article in The Atlantic brought upon him an even larger angry tirade and more death threats because of quotes like this:
Within a subset of trans advocacy, however, desistance isn’t viewed as a phenomenon we’ve yet to fully understand and quantify but rather as a myth to be dispelled. Those who raise the subject of desistance are often believed to have nefarious motives—the liberal outlet ThinkProgress, for example, referred to desistance research as “the pernicious junk science stalking trans kids,” and a subgenre of articles and blog posts attempts to debunk “the desistance myth.” But the evidence that desistance occurs is overwhelming. The American Psychological Association, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Endocrine Society, and Wpath all recognize that desistance occurs. I didn’t speak with a single clinician who believes otherwise. “I’ve seen it clinically happen,” Nate Sharon said. “It’s not a myth.”
Despite this general agreement, Edwards-Leeper worries that treatment practices are trending toward an interpretation of affirming care that entails nodding along with children and adolescents who say they want physical interventions rather than evaluating whether they are likely to benefit from them.
Singal highlights the enthusiasm some parents have for medically transitioning their children and how gender clinicians who wants mental health professionals to exercise caution are threatened.
…The six trainees on Edwards-Leeper’s Transgender Youth Assessment Team spoke about the myriad ways mental-health issues and social and cultural influences can complicate a child’s conception of gender. “I would say ‘affirming’ isn’t always doing exactly what the kid says they want in the moment,” one said. Another added: “Our role as clinicians isn’t to confirm or disconfirm someone’s gender identity—it’s to help them explore it with a little bit more nuance.” I asked the students whether they had come across the idea that conducting in-depth assessments is insulting or stigmatizing. They all nodded. “Well, they know what reputation I have,” Edwards-Leeper said with a laugh. “I told them about things almost being thrown at me at conferences.”
Those conference troubles signaled to Edwards-Leeper that her field had shifted in ways she found discomfiting. At one conference a few years ago, she recalled, a co-panelist who was a well-respected clinician in her field said that Edwards-Leeper’s comprehensive assessments required kids to “jump through more fiery hoops” and were “retraumatizing.” This prompted a standing ovation from the audience, mostly families of TGNC young people. During another panel discussion, at the same conference with the same clinician, but this time geared toward fellow clinicians, the same thing happened: more claims that assessments were traumatizing, more raucous applause.
Edwards-Leeper isn’t alone in worrying that the field is straying from its own established best practices. “Under the motivation to be supportive and to be affirming and to be nonstigmatizing, I think the pendulum has swung so far that now we’re maybe not looking as critically at the issues as we should be,” the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health’s Dianne Berg told me. Erica Anderson, the UCSF clinician, expressed similar concerns: “Some of the stories we’ve heard about detransitioning, I fear, are related to people who hastily embarked on medical interventions and decided that they weren’t for them, and didn’t thoroughly vet their decision either by themselves or with professional people who could help them.”
The liberal media’s response to Jesse Singal’s article was exemplified by Jezebel’s post “What’s Jesse Singal’s fucking deal.” Slate magazine also issued a rebuttal which was supported by the ACLU on social media.
The Advocate also published a response:
Where desisters meet with a concern of the community at large is that desisters are often used in bad faith to say that being transgender is not a real medical issue. For decades, the transgender community has criticized outdated modes of treatment, which involved what they saw as gatekeeping. If one was not "properly" trans, then you didn't get access to hormones and surgeries. The reaction to this has gone so far as to have some trans activists advocate for hormones on demand without a therapist's permission, which itself is a contentious issue as it involves self-medication. Now they see the pushing of the small number of detransitioners as another form of gatekeeping and a weapon to be used to urge conversion therapy.
The above is a valid concern. Desisters are used to call for gatekeeping. It is understandable that trans activists would feel this way and should have a right to self-advocacy. But that is not a journalist’s job. This actually demonstrates why trans people themselves are not always the best people to report on an issue, when hard facts need to be presented without emotion for objectivity. Desisters are hated by many in the trans community because it makes people want to exercise caution. The problem is that false positives on minors who can’t truly consent can be viewed as medical malpractice, child abuse, and a human rights abuse. The affirmative/informed consent model is a stronger argument for adults than for children.
The articles above also promoted an untruth. They quoted Singal as claiming he “goofed” on desistance stats in a way that insinuated desistance is not real. Singal actually underestimateddesistance, the exact opposite of the message trans activists want the public to hear.
In fact, the title of his piece is, “A Lot of People, Myself Included, Have Been Misreading the Single Biggest Published Study on Childhood Gender Dysphoria Desistance and Persistence — It Offers Stronger Evidence for Desistance Than We Thought”
But this is how The Advocate phrased it:
Singal began to push back against the trans community with a study he was later forced to admit he misinterpreted even after multiple people both in and out of the trans community told him it was off. The study was about desistance among children who said they had gender dysphoria. Fights about the term "desistance," trans identity, and the science involved continued, and with his most recent article he doubled down again, foolishly.
This quote is a misrepresentation.
The below screen shot is an example of how The Atlantic changed the title of the article due to activist pressure (they didn’t want “she” in the title, despite that fact it featured female desisters). Few activist movements have that kind of power.
The Atlantic had also interviewed parents of desisters from 4thwavenow because of that site’s expressed desire to prevent inappropriate medical treatments on minors and young adults. Instead the Atlantic favored a blog by an MtF trans activist who denies desistance exists and encourages minors to obtain hormones online (which is dangerous).
Below are some example of what was directed at Jessie Singal and is directed at any person who tries to present this issue in a nuanced way, not just by trans actvists but by other leftist allies.
Noah Berlatsky is a leftist journalist who has accused Singal of being hateful and transphobic, despite the accuracy of the material in is articles. He claimed he was putting together a page whose purpose was to be a hit piece on Singal.
Parker Molloy is one of the most prominent trans activist.
A trans PhD, LMFT, involved in gender therapy weighs in:
Roxane Gay is a bisexual woman and feminist writer who like many left-leaning people, do not want medically transitioning children to receive any balanced discussion. This demonstrates a current split in feminism. Many feminists are adamantly opposed to medical treatments on minors and eradicating concepts of biological sex (generally termed “radical feminists). What are generally termed “liberal feminists” are usually supportive of trans activism. Gay believes that trans people should be able to vet all articles about this issue to the public, which would be fairly representative of this group.
Just a fraction of the many examples of rage sent to Singal on social media:
ACLU lawyers, Case Strangio, and FtM trans activist decries stories that are not affirming about trans children in the media:
Lena Dunham, a comedian and actress who likely knows nothing about the research on this topic, attacks the article:
Transition or suicide is often promoted to encourage the affirmative model. Jos Truitt is a prominent trans activist.
Only trans people can write articles on trans issues.
People on the far left, center, and the far right condemned this behavior from trans activists making the trans movement unique in that it is drawing criticism from people from all ideological positions.
From the left leaning Feminist Current:
Singal appears to be trying to bridge a gap that he believes will serve everyone, and report information and stories that he hopes will help people. That he produced a relatively balanced story, including perspectives and challenges from trans activists alongside questions and (mild) critiques of the popular “trans kids” narrative, and expressed a great deal of empathy towards youth who identify as trans or suffer from what he calls “gender dysphoria,” yet was still harassed and attacked viciously, speaks volumes about transgender ideology and its proponents. Those who cannot defend their own positions with integrity will avoid debate, or bully and otherwise try to silence and discredit dissenters.
From the conservative The Federalist:
The trans movement has resorted to responding to such insight with accusations of ignorance and bigotry, but their intolerance demonstrates their greatest insecurity. The existence of individuals who ceased being transgender should not threaten them or their worldview, and there should be room for evaluating the methodology regarding beginning transition in childhood based on potentially temporary feelings. These stories matter, and it does nothing but harm the transgender movement to dismiss them with hostility…
So let’s review the complaints here. First we are told that telling the stories of people who regret their transition is bigotry and pseudoscience, not a fair warning to parents whose kids think they are trans. Next, we are told that only trans people, and presumably only those pleased with their transition, should write on the topic.
Next comes the usual threat to boycott the outlet, then the claim that telling the stories of those who regret transition is a danger to kids who really do want to transition. Finally, the article is a travesty done in bad faith because apparently nobody can disagree with the trans movement in good faith…
The lesson here should be crystal clear: Any doubts regarding the absurd notion that every child who thinks he or she is the wrong gender should be encouraged in this belief are bigotry. It is not a position that may be tolerated in polite society or polite progressive journals like The Atlantic. Apparently, even though such cases exist — nobody claims Singal is making them up — talking about them is just too dangerous. To admit some people regret transitioning is too harmful to kids and their parents considering the options.
Let’s be clear what this means. Knowing the actual truth about what happens when a child or teenager is given hormone treatments and surgery that child might regret is dangerous because it may dissuade kids from taking the extreme options trans activists endorse. Irresponsible parents who dig too deeply into their 12-year-old’s options are undermining a trans movement that knows what is best for our kids…
The more the trans movement resists such rigorous investigation, and the more they urge you to trust them regarding what is best for your child, the more suspicious you should be. Look at the reaction to this thoughtful article in The Atlantic and ask yourself this question: Are these people more interested in what is best for your child, or what is best for their movement? The answer is becoming increasingly clear.
Another Conservative commentator Rod Dreher:
The one thing you cannot do is question the trans activist narrative. They will try to destroy you. In 2016, Singal told the deeply shocking story about how trans activists got Dr. Kenneth Zucker, one of the world’s leading sex researchers fired from his job in a Canadian clinic. Was this scientist against transgendered people? Not at all. Zucker guided some young people towards transition. His problem was that he didn’t think it was medically indicated for all young people who said they were trans. Trans activists lobbied hard with their fellow travelers in the Canadian health care system, and got this scientist canned.
For trans activists, truth is what serves the revolution. If a scientist gets in the way of the revolution, crush him. They’re deploying this Leninist dogma against the journalist Singal now.
Trans activism is unusual in that it is drawing criticism from all sides of the political spectrum.
Alice Dreger wrote a blog post on the topic of trans vitriol against those that discuss facts trans activist do not like:
Predictably, Jesse is now being assaulted online by people who insist they are the true and holy guardians of transgender rights, and supported by people like me mostly behind the scenes. What’s his crime? Yeah, you try to figure it out. The same **** happens to all of us who try to write about these issues. Last year it was Katie Herzog, who reported a fantastic piece on detransition. We have lots of company at this point.
Jesse got into this subject after he reviewed my book, Galileo’s Middle Finger, for New York Magazine. Today, as if Galileo’s Middle Finger were an ironic work of prophesy (or a death sentence), Jezebel published a hack-piece reproducing some private messages by Jesse, which is incredibly creepy – even though, if you read his reproduced messages, he comes across as his usual thoughtful self…. Jessy’s living out exactly what I traced in the book he reviewed.
Katie Herzog is another journalist who has been the target of trans people’s anger for discussing desistance and detransition in the article, “The Detransitioners: They Were Transgender, Until They Weren't.”
She followed it up with another article, “A Response to the Uproar Over My Piece, "The Detransitioners,”to discuss the fallout of the article:
For the first 24 hours after my article was published, the response was surprisingly nuanced. The comments section on Facebook and The Stranger were actually kind of refreshing. People were having conversations, but for the most part, they weren’t attacking each other—or, for that matter, me. But on the second day, the shit storm began, and since then I have been inundated by vitriol, hate mail, and threats—and not all of it, by the way, from strangers...
But I stand by my reporting. My piece, whatever its flaws, was balanced and many of the issues my critics claim I ignored are addressed in the article itself. I featured voices from all sides of this difficult conversation—a conversation that is already taking place online and in real life. All of my claims are backed up by either interviews or research, and when that research is disputed by the trans community, I pointed it out. I did my job here. I am not an activist. I am a journalist. And I don’t intend to stop being one because of this.
This climate makes it difficult for proper reporting on this issue. It creates a situation where the public is not exposed to the complications of performing radical social and medical treatment on children and teenagers.
Censorship spills over into government run media. One example of this is that a publically funded media station in Canada no-platformed a documentary that trans activist do like because it speaks about the reality of desistance. In this documentary Dr. Zucker also discusses that some parents would rather medically transition their child than have a gay child, a subject also touched upon here.
Recently the CBC withdrew the BBC documentary “Transgender Kids: Who knows best?” from its scheduled programming in response to pressure from trans activists. As a child psychiatrist, founder of the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental health and, currently, Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto, I found this decision quite troubling.
The documentary, in my opinion, is highly informative, offering a balanced exploration of both sides of the transgender debate: on the one hand the “affirmation” model which takes gender dysphoria at face value, with transitioning as the solution to a child or adolescent’s distress, on the other hand the “mental health model,” which concerns itself with underlying or accompanying symptoms, and which takes into consideration the extremely high post-adolescence desistance rate of up to 90%...
Dr. Zucker also counsels caution for vulnerable older children, whose dysphoric persistence is likely more attributable to autism or failure to understand their gay tendencies than a true desire to “be” of the opposite gender. His appearance in the documentary as a credible expert is doubtless in itself the main reason activists were so eager to see it suppressed.
The BBC documentary opens an informative window on both sides of this debate, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions. As Canada’s public broadcaster, with a mandate to offer the public balanced reportage on important cultural matters, the CBC made the wrong judgment call.
Governments now are participating in shutting down the public receiving facts in order to protect the transgender agenda. This is regardless of what the negative effects on other children may be. Given this reality, the entities who do censor should be up front about the fact they are willing to see minors inappropriately medically altered to support trans healthcare.
D. Hostility, threats, & attempts to censor balanced discussions of youth medical transitions educational professionals
Individuals who work in school systems and universities cannot express any concerns about increased numbers of young people transitioning or the impact of gender ideology on students without social punishment. As a couple of quotes in the intro to this section suggest, educators observing the souring numbers of young people coming out as trans, particularly females, are too terrified of harassment or losing their jobs to express what they truly think of it. They make comments only anonymously to journalists.
Here is an example of a School employee having his job threatened:
Teachers have been fired and police have been disciplined for failing to address activists by the pronouns that they were wishing to be addressed by. Some of this "misgendering" was accidental and some of was principled moral objection. Barry Neufeld, a school trustee in British Columbia, Canada, is now being threatened with both the loss of his employment and an expensive human-rights complaint because he suggested that it might not be a good idea to deliberately confuse young children about their gender identity.
University professors are too afraid to speak up about concerns or disagreements around gender ideology, its effects on society and young people, and the medicalization of gender nonconforming young people. The below quotes were all gathered anonymously by Kathleen Stock (a British academic) due to people being afraid to use their real names. These 4 of comments from multiple academic.
“I want to follow your lead and I am mustering courage but I got badly burned doing similar in the past. Don’t feel able to handle an onslaught if it comes at me. I at least didn’t want you to think I was ignorant of the great importance of this issue’ (Philosophy)
“The whole thing makes me despair. I genuinely worry I can no longer tell first year students gender is a made up social construct. I just try to use sex where relevant not gender, and correct it in essays, and hope I don’t get into trouble.. last year I was doing gender with first years, and getting them to think about the constructedness of gender etc — and I asked ‘if we had a few years where, for example, the well-behaved girls in primary school weren’t seated next to the challenging boys to ‘socialise’ them, and where women weren’t told by strangers in the street to smile, and knowing a fetus was female didn’t mean a pink ‘gender reveal’ and everything that goes with it…. do you think as many people would feel they were in the wrong body, if your body only meant a) you can get pregnant or b) you can impregnate, and no other signifiers?’ And, genuinely, they went quiet and one of them said ‘I’m really confused now because I thought there was only one way to think about this, but there isn’t’.” (English)
“Two things about the situation really really bother me: (1)Proper debate is being shut down — being (loudly) offended and upset is taking the place of arguments. And I think a lot of us are like — ok I don’t really understand these new rules or how to play by them. And it feels manipulative to try. And most pressingly, no one wants to find themselves being loudly told they’re being offensive and upsetting. So people opt out of the debate.
“I share your concerns about the erasure of female only space and the erasure of lesbianism particularly. Also I am aware that my own experiences as a non-binary child (identified as a boy for 4 years) means that I would have likely been transitioned — certainly I would have taken the option if it was presented to me aged 12. I’m equally concerned about how TW voices exclude most TM voices.
Stock discusses the climate around her questioning the effects of gender policy on women:
And that’s the relative silence of academics in Universities, who wish to be critical of the narratives put forward by trans activists.
To give you a sense of how this silencing happens, I’ll briefly tell you about the responses I’ve had to my work: bearing in mind I only started writing 10 weeks ago. These responses have taken a couple of forms.
One form is aggressive, angry public responses from fellow academics; for instance:
It’s said I’m causing harm and even violence to trans people by my writing — despite my constantly reaffirming the right of all trans people to be free of violence and discrimination.
I’m told I’m trying to ‘whip up a moral panic’ about trans women — despite my repeatedly saying that I am NOT saying they are a particularly dangerous group; I’m just saying they are biologically male, and males exhibit patterns of violence towards females. I’m told I’m ‘debating the existence of trans people’; I am not. I’m discussing a proposed change to the law to make getting a gender recognition certificate easier. I’m not suggesting we get rid of existing law completely.
I’m criticised for not being ‘kind’ or ‘inclusive’ (of course, these are gendered stereotypes, and people aim them at me because they assume I’m a good female who will feel bad for not being seen as kind).
I’m told I’m ‘playing intellectual games’ with people’s lives. (Believe me, I’m not the kind of person who would face all of this for some fun game. I’m not a psychopath! I’m doing it because I believe it profoundly matters).
Ok, so that’s the sort of thing I’ve been getting. Now, criticism of each other’s positions is absolutely standard for philosophers. But these response aren’t like normal academic criticism. It’s mostly about my character or my motivations; there isn’t any real engagement with substantive points, about the conflicts of interests I’m talking about.
More recently, there have also been public protests about me, for instance: on the Student Union website; on my campus; and in the local press.
Now, in all of this, I think there are some common aims:
1) to make me feel ashamed.
2) to socially isolate me from other potential supporters.
The ultimate aim is, of course, to get me to stop talking.
In other words, generalising from my own case, social shaming seems to me one of the most powerful weapons used to silence academics generally who try to critically contribute to this issue.
In particular, I think this sort of response is deliberately aimed at females, like me, because it’s assumed we have been socialised in a way which makes us particularly prone to feeling shame. People who want to get females to stop talking, will use shaming as a weapon, to achieve that. I see men saying things like me, but not getting anything like the same response.
Heather Brunskell-Evans is a British sociologist and academic who was no-platformed for an event on a topic unrelated to youth medical transitions due to expressing concerns around medical treatments of younger and younger people.
An academic who was no-platformed by university students after she discussed transgender issues on a radio show has attacked the “reprehensible cowardliness” of public institutions.
She had been asked by medical students from the Reproductive and Sexual Health Society at King’s to give a talk this week on the subject of pornography and the sexualisation of young women, at the college’s Guy’s Campus in south London.
But days after appearing on the Moral Maze, the Radio 4 series hosted by Michael Buerk, she was told that the event had been cancelled because of concerns that her views on “transgender health . . . would violate the student union’s ‘Safe Space’ policy”.
The academic had argued in favour of transgender adults defining themselves “in whichever way they want”, but she questioned the advice being promoted to schools and youth groups by transgender organisations that positive affirmation was the only correct way to support children who expressed confusion over their gender.
“The cowardliness of institutional response is more than reprehensible. No one will speak out. Good people are standing back, doing nothing, as others get pilloried. Organisations and individuals are petrified to be seen as taking any other view than unequivocally endorsing transgender doctrine. It’s truly shocking.
James Cantor, sexologist, discusses the reality that even expressing reasonable concerns will incur social punishment through harassment and no-platforming.
…she (Heather Brunskell Evans) expressed concern at young people and children particularly, prepubertal children moving into gender transition too quickly. And the following week she was prevented from giving a lecture she had been engaged to give to some medical students at a University in London because of what she said on the program. And she was told that the students had felt they would not be safe around her because of her opinions. She had expressed really quite mild concern.
Jonathon Kneeland talks about the effects of trans activism on school systems.
Morgane Oger is the Vice President of the now ruling British Columbia New Democratic Party. The BC NDP is your typical left of centre political party. They have an ambitious social justice platform, spend most of their time letting us know how virtuous they are by claiming to speak for the voiceless, and have expressed a serious interest in increasing the number of taxpayer funded human rights organizations in the province. If you're still stuck in your leftist bubble and haven't experienced your awakening yet, this probably sounds like your party. If you've had your awakening, then you can likely see right through the whole mess and are painfully aware of the fact that like most political careerists that market to the social justice vote, they are quite willing to overlook some forms of violence and hatred in order to pander to the half-baked and trendy ideologies that have not yet discovered their proper boundaries.
Here, we run into a real problem. I'm not willing to go along with being bullied into agreement. I like to ask questions and I like to understand something completely before I go along with it. I like to weigh all the evidence and then make the best decision I can, based on that evidence. Increasingly, my desire to draw my own conclusions is being challenged by a highly aggressive and occasionally violent movement.
If anyone working with children objects or raises concerns about the targeting of children by transgender activists, representatives of the movement will attempt to have the heretic fired. Morgane Oger teamed up with the head of the British Columbia Teacher's Federation to have school trustee Barry Neufeld fired after he publically questioned the wisdom of confusing young children about their gender. I have a difficult time imagining that a morally healthy individual would wish to see someone lose their employment because they hold a different opinion.
E. Hostility, threats, & attempts to censor balanced discussions of youth medical transitions- trans people who do not agree with the affirmative
The current climate of trans activism that involves threatening people with disagreements with violence, smearing people, and attempting to censor them, is affecting other trans people as much as anybody else. Alternative viewpoints are silenced both by no-platforming and through fear. There are trans people who have lived peacably next to women and homosexuals (the 2 groups that are having the most conflicts) fro decades and see a backlash happening to the current trans movement. They are concerned and want to speak out.
Here is a website of such trans women from Britain:
We also worry about children who may be put on irreversible medication too young for them to be sure whether they are trans gender or transsexual or something else that may not require it.
However, gender and sex are not the same and some of those seeking to remove all gatekeeping were in the past medically excluded from the NHS transition process because they did not have this dysphoria. Different treatment protocols and protections for society may be appropriate in both cases and could be compromised if treated as being equivalent…
The Economist addresses cruelty directed at dissenting trans people.
The allegation of transphobia is not only being made against those who are actually hateful towards trans people, but is now used for anyone who dares dissent from the claims of this ideology or who supports sex-based rights. Being labelled transphobic can lead to harassment, and harm one’s reputation and career.
Blaire White, a center right Youtuber and “homosexual transsexual,” talks about trans culture as indoctrination in the trans support group she attended.
And instead of it being a place that I god go early in my transition to sort of be steered in the right direction at a time where perhaps I needed that. I felt like I was being indoctrinated. Every time I went I felt like I was more so at like some sort of low key political rally. It was a never-ending stream of “I can’t stand straight people this, I don’t like cis people that.” It was basically just a platform to radicalize activists when I look back on it.
Twitter has banned several trans people (including Miranda Yardley) for acknowledging biological sex.
Other trans people have been censored on Twitter for using their own preferred male pronouns, not acceptable apparently because they are feminine presenting and for recognizing biological sex.
Seven Hex has also had tweets censored.
Miranda Yardley is trans and often critical of trans activism. Yardley was kicked of a Twitter account by the company for essentially arguing that MtFs are biologically male. This is an opinion shared by other trans women who do not feel their identity is predicated on erasing the concept of male and female biology. The company removed Yardley’s account after trans activists complained.
A parent of a trans identified child and member of Mermaids trans support group, also took Yardley to court in the UK claiming a “transphobic hate crime.” The court deemed the complaint “baseless, politically motivated.”
Using the legal system to try punish people who do not agree with current trans ideology is tactic that has been used to force women to allow biological males on sports teams and to force women to wax the testicles od trans identified males who want Brazilians, a story Miranda Yardley discusses here.
F. Hostility, threats, & attempts to censor balanced discussions of youth medical transitions- cautious parents and parents of desisters
Women who publicly question [transgenderism] receive death threats, threats to rape us and our children, burn us to death with gasoline, decapitate us, and so on,” she said. “This all coming from people who claim they are our ‘sisters.
-mother of a developmentally disabled daughter whose health was damaged by medical transition encouraged by a PFLAG support group and medical doctors
Some parents who have witnessed their children be put at risk by the affirmative model or who feel their children have immersed themselves in a culture that has not ultimately been healthy are often afraid to go public due to the harassment they and their children may receive. This unfortunately creates a hostile environment between parents who support their children medically transitioning, trans activists, and parents who protected their children from medical harm. Ideally all parents, providers, and activists could come together to help each child in the best way possible without it being politicized. A healthy discourse cannot happen with parents having to hide in the shadows to talk about their experiences.
4thwavenow is a blog for parents who want to discuss a more cautious approach to medically transitioning minors and young adults. The originator and other parents who participate in discussions on that site feel they must remain anonymous due to fears of harassment of their children. This unfortunately creates a hostile environment between parents who support their children’s transition, trans activists, and parents who want to protect or already have protected their children from unnecessary medical procedures. Trans activists sometimes will contact parents telling them they wish they could gain access to their children and insist their children are still really trans. This is even in cases where the youth has disavowed their trans identity, even criticizing the trans youth culture they were immersed in.
Transgendertrend.com is a website created in response to parents who are alarmed at the sharp increases in young people being diagnosed as transgender. The website supports a body acceptance model with transition as last resort (mental health model) rather than an affirmative model which doesn’t not believe in discouraging or delaying medical treatment on young people. It is understandable that adult trans people who have medically transitioned would not support this approach. However, other mental health and medical doctors echo the exact same concerns expressed on Transgendertrend. Their opinions are not out of the range of other professionals working in the field.
Both of these organizations have been compared to the Ku Klux Klan by psychologist Diane Ehrensaft in an apparent effort to demonize them and discredit their stories. This is despite the fact that this is a mostly liberal, pro-LGB website, interested in protecting LGB and heterosexual youth from hasty transition. It has never advocated for shunning trans identified youth.
…I certainly won’t disown her or ask her to leave my home. In fact, of all the many gender-critical parents I know who have trans-identified children, I know absolutely no one who has disowned their child or kicked them out of the house.
Transgendertrend has released a document to address the issues of transgender rights in schools and the teaching of genderqueer ideology to young people. When they put up a request to raise money on Crowdfunder, Crowdfunder received so many complaints that the site was promoting “hate speech” that the fundraising account was taken down for a review. This would have resulted in the loss of the funds that had already been raised.
It eventually was found not to be in violation of Crowdfunder’s policies on hateful activities. However, the process disrupted their activities. They would eventually surpass their goal, reflecting the number of people alarmed at the large increases of trans identified youth and the censorship around the issue. The London Times reported on this incident as it was unfolding.
Transgender Trend said it was considering taking legal action against activists for claiming that a resource pack that it publishes for schools was “transphobic”, included “hate speech” and was “a modern edition of Mein Kampf”.
The Crowdfunder website has now suspended the group’s fundraising page — jeopardising nearly £5,000 already raised there — after it received an “unprecedented” number of complaints from trans groups.
The resource pack says transgender pupils “have the same rights as all children to learn while feeling safe and to be free from bullying, harassment and discrimination” and should be treated with “kind acceptance”.
However, it warns against “labelling”, “affirming” and “celebrating” as transgender any young people who may subsequently change their minds, saying teenagers are at risk of “social contagion” from online celebrities who “glamourise medical transition”...
Stephanie Davies-Arai, of Transgender Trend, said the pack was measured, careful and evidence-based and advocated the “watchful waiting” approach pursued by the leading NHS clinicians in this field.
“Attacking our fundraising and telling lies about us is part of a concerted campaign by trans activists to silence anyone who disagrees that children should be rushed into life-changing, even surgical interventions at a harmfully early age,” she said.
An example of the unfortunate vitriol directed at specific parents discussing the trans issue from anything other than pro-social and medical transition perspective happened when a mother wrote an article called “My Daughter Is Not Transgender.” It was about the enthusiasm people have to label her tomboy daughter as a trans boy who should transition. The child had expressed desires to be a boy briefly (not uncommon), something the mother had talked about in a previous article.
The child but wasn’t struggling with gender later and had this to say about the fact that adults would mistake her for a boy:
More girls should look like this so it’s more popular so grown-ups won’t be so confused.
This demonstrates that one of the side effects of trans activism is that people are actually actively wanting to transition gender nonconforming children. This sentiment is supported by statements of gender clinicians themselves (Ehrensaft and Carmichael are two examples) who have said some parents are enthusiastic about prematurely socially transitioning their children.
This quote does not seem to indicate transphobia:
And yet she is asked by the pediatrician, by her teachers, by people who have known her for many years, if she feels like, or wants to be called, or wants to be, a boy.
In many ways, this is wonderful: It shows a much-needed sensitivity to gender nonconformity and transgender issues. It is considerate of adults to ask her — in the beginning.
But when they continue to question her gender identity — and are skeptical of her response — the message they send is that a girl cannot look and act like her and still be a girl…
Let’s be clear: If my daughter does begin to feel that the gender in her mind and the sex of her body don’t match, I will be supportive. I will research puberty blockers and hormones (more than I already have).
Below are just some examples of the hatred that was directed at her and the desire to affirm the child as trans, despite the fact that it wasn’t where the child was presently identifying as herself.
A higher profile trans activist, Chase Strangio, an ACLU Lawyer, called her article transphobic, unleashed a profanity laced tirade, and personally attacked the mother.
A Canadian psychologist Dr. Oren Amitay expresses concern over how such a pro-girl and pro-daughter clearly non-transphobic article received so much anger.
You must have seen the article earlier this year. I think it was the New York Times. My daughter’s not trans, she’s a tomboy or something along those lines. And the vitriol directed at her. And I came to her defense, I’ve never met her…what’s wrong with you. You don’t know this mother. And I’ve talked about it so many times. Where it was such a daughter positive, female positive, and even yes a trans positive article. And it got so distorted.
Below is another example of the treatment of parents who do not feel medical transition is the best thing for their child. Another mother had this to say:
A left-wing academic is breaking from her fellow progressives after she could not save her own autistic daughter — who has a functional age of nine — from getting swept up by the transgender ideology and then having her breasts amputated to “become a boy.”
“I am a lone voice in the academic and social work world speaking out against the [transgender] transitioning of autistic people, what I feel to be both a crime against the disabled as well as their sterilization,” Dr. Kathleen Levinstein says. Her 19-year-old daughter is accepting massive testosterone injections to “grow a penis.”
Her authoritative and emotional opposition to the transgender movement’s willingness to recruit disabled kids has generated a backlash that threatens her accomplished career, her health and her savings for her impending retirement. It’s also earned her hate-mail and death threats, said Levinstein.
This story is about a liberal minded parent but appears in a conservative website. Liberal websites mostly refuse to cover this issue beyond positive transition stories and even participate in attacking journalist who report on the issue in a balanced way as shown above (Thinkprogress, Slate, and Buzzfeed).
G. Trans support groups that enforce gender ideology, attempt to censor alternative narratives, & ostracize parents with any view point other than 100% affirmation of a child’s trans identity & medical transition.
Below is a screencap from an individual who is observing that there are parents in heavily politicized trans youth support groups who actually want their children to ultimately medically transition.
Most parents want to do the best for their children. And having a distressed, gender dysphoric child can be stressful for parents who are making medical decisions for them that will affect the rest of their lives. Many parents with trans children have become activists in support of the trans community and in support of socially and medically transitioning minors as well. Everyone has the right to try to do the best they can for their child. But some parent activists aggressively participate in trying to eliminate any discussion around gender dysphoric children that is not 100% in support of social and medical transition.
The “affirmative model” is already proving to be putting teenage girls at risk of medical defacement as minors. It is also likely risky to some prepubescent youth as demonstrated by desistance statistics. Medical transition techniques are risky, sterilize the youth, and can be harsh on the body.
The ethics of demonizing and silencing proper scientific and cultural debate around how to support gender nonconforming minors are questionable, even if motivated by wanting to protect one’s own child. One example of this behavior is activists painting the website Transgendertrend and their efforts to raise alarm (in a moderate tone) about risks of transitioning children as an “attack vector.”
A parent who protected her child from permanently altering her body due to gender issues as a teen describes what seems to be a fanatical pro-medical treatment environment in trans youth and parent support groups. Even mentioning of giving the youth time to mature or providing any alternative methods of coping are considered an anathme, insulting to trans people, and risking your child’s death by suicide.
I know, because I was in pro-transitioning parent support groups, that parents are going to “gender specialists” and demanding medical interventions for their children without thoroughly considering why their children feel the way they do. I know, because I’ve heard from parents, that some therapists will give the green light to medical pathways without addressing any mental health issues. Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who treats 900 youth at her LA clinic, is quoted in Singal’s article as saying that she “believes that therapy can be helpful for many TGNC young people, but she opposes mandating mental-health assessments for all kids seeking to transition.” As many 4thWaveNow parents and teens will tell you, this attitude denies young people the opportunity to deeply explore why they want to alter their bodies and shuts down learning about other non-medical means of managing their distress.
In another incident, a parent brought up concerns about the rise of teenage girls identifying as trans which caused a major confrontation at a Canadian government funded support group.
The events described in this article recently took place in a support group jointly sponsored by Family Services Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for “parents & caregivers of gender creative, trans, transgender children, youth or young adults.”…
I had intended to alert the parents to a new type of gender dysphoria that has emerged only within the last ten years or so, and scientists are only now beginning to study. Researchers are calling it Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD). And it seemed to describe most of the children in this group.
Of the 18-20 children represented by these parents, all but approximately three were teenage girls, including my own. Yet, none of the parents seemed bothered by this wildly skewed statistic. They all unquestioningly, even enthusiastically, supported their children’s wish to transition—fighting for better, faster access to medical transitioning services, cheering when they heard our Children’s Hospital was about to start offering mastectomies to children under the age of 18.
This resulted in the mother having the police called on her and she was banned from the group. These are not environments where any discussion can be had beyond the affirmative model. Questions as to why out of 18-20 young people, 15-17 were females, despite adult stats never showing such discrepancy, are forbidden.
Here (link offline-transcribed below) is an account of a parent who attended Gendered Intelligence in Britain. It indicates a highly politicized environment where even considering the possibility for desistance is offensive.
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…
No mention was made to the parents’ group of the statistical likelihood that gender dysphoria in a child or adolescent would spontaneously disappear as they matured. None of the parents described their children as having displayed gender nonconformity as young children. Instead it had developed suddenly around a critical stage in their education when they were likely to be under stress, whether GCSEs, A levels or at university. When I pointed out that a majority of those who enrolled at the Charing Cross GIC dropped out and so did not proceed with medical transition my claim (derived from the information pack for new patients) was challenged by the convenor who explained that trans people might be put off by the questions they had to face at the GIC. For this reason, some might simply live as trans without medical help. But we were told that things were getting better all the time, and that there were people who had been trans all their lives and were able now to transition medically in old age.
Though revealing – and worrying – the GI online forum could be dismissed as peer support whose content in no way reflects the ethos of the organisation that enables it to function. Yet the parents’ group revealed equally worrying stories where a host of co-morbidities were ignored in order to privilege the issue of gender…
According to the parents, the children who attend Gendered Intelligence have serious co-existing problems. Yet in the parents’ online group, transition is offered as a panacea for all problems.
Here is an account of how PFLAG went from being a support group for parents with gay and lesbian children to becoming a child transition organization.
Meetings grew increasingly baroque. A parent would walk in the door:
“My 12 year old daughter just came out as pangender.”
“My older daughter is transitioning to be my son, and my younger daughter is now aromantic. Is it possible these things are related?”
“I think my three year old son is possibly transgender. What should we do?”
“My 19 year old son just came back from his first broney convention!”
“Our lesbian daughter is the only non-trans person in her entire GLBT youth group. Now who is she going to date?”
Gay and lesbian were boring old vanilla, and I was seriously out of my league. Conferences and gay pride panels became an exercise in “can you top this?” The mantra was “the children are leading the way, and isn’t it exciting!” Having several children of my own, I was pretty skeptical, given that these children leading the way could not reliably load a dishwasher or return a library book.
Another parent recounts how trans parents support groups are pressure groups for the medical transition of minors and any open discussion is policed through social pressure and censorship of language.
I heard a similar story from a quirky 16-year-old theater kid who was going by the nickname Delta when we spoke. She lives outside Portland, Oregon, with her mother and father. A wave of gender-identity experimentation hit her social circle in 2013. Suddenly, it seemed, no one was cisgender anymore. Delta, who was 13 and homeschooled, soon announced to her parents that she was genderqueer, then nonbinary, and finally trans. Then she told them she wanted to go on testosterone. Her parents were skeptical, both because of the social influence they saw at work and because Delta had anxiety and depression, which they felt could be contributing to her distress. But when her mother, Jenny, sought out information, she found herself in online parenting groups where she was told that if she dragged her feet about Delta’s transition, she was potentially endangering her daughter. “Any questioning brought down the hammer on you,”she told me.
Mermaids is a British trans youth support group. They work to influence both government and school policies on transgender issues. This is not a problem in itself but this appears to be an extremist organization. They only promote the medical transition model and denying the reality of desistance. They make accusations of transphobia and “causing the deaths of trans people” to any parents, teachers, health professionals, or government officials who want balanced discussions around medically transitioning minors and young adults.
This case involved a mother that seems to be exhibiting Munchausen by proxy with regards to transitioning her son and claiming he was a transgender girl. She had been attending the Mermaids support group. The judge handed custody over to the father and restricted contact with the boy with Mermaids. Mermaids launched a media statement stating the judge was transphobic and that the boy really was a trans girl who was being abused.
The below article explains the incident.
A transgender charity has reportedly been banned from contacting a family after the mother forced her seven-year-old son to live as a girl. Mermaids UK has also been criticised for advertising ‘same day’ cross-sex hormone treatments for children – a treatment banned by the NHS, because it causes irreversible changes and can compromise fertility later in life for anyone under 16. Is this old Harry Kane photo a sign that it's coming home? In a High Court case, reported last year, Mr Justice Hayden removed the child – known only as ‘J’ – from his mother after finding she had caused him ‘significant emotional harm’ and ‘pressed [him] into a gender identification that had far more to do with his mother’s needs and little, if anything, to do with his own’. After the judgement, the Sunday Times reported, the charity Mermaids attacked the ‘horrific decision’ and insisted that J did in fact identify as a girl, and said there was ‘no evidence at all to support this judge’s views’. However, it has now been claimed that the charity has been ‘ordered to have nothing to do with this child following their removal’.
Below are quotes about the father’s perspective of Mermaids.
He says his son shows no desire to dress as a girl when with him, and is too young to understand the meaning of gender.
He claims the boy’s school has been ‘bullied’ by Mermaids into supporting the mother’s wish that he should wear a dress.
Mermaids allegedly told school staff they would be guilty of discrimination if they did not let the boy wear a girl’s uniform – something the father claims left the school feeling intimidated.
The incident raises new questions about the charity – which has advised schools, the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service on transgender issues – even though it has no official status and was started by a group of parents in 1995.
Last week it emerged that Mermaids had been supporting a mother who was found to have caused her son ‘significant emotional harm’ by forcing him to live as a girl.
That father also had this to say:
The father said: ‘If my son does decide he wants to be a girl, then that is fine by me – I am not old-fashioned, that doesn’t bother me. But at the moment, it just feels like it isn’t his decision.’
Another account in which Mermaids described the decision as “horrific” The mother later launched a petition to get her son back, all supported by Mermaids.
This case is a concrete example of how this type of activism has the potential to endanger youth who aren’t trans or who may be borderline dysphoric but not best served by medical treatment. Government officials sensed something was very wrong but did nothing due to fears of accusation of transphobia.
Instead of confronting the boy’s mother, the judge said that those tasked with protecting the child instead accepted “wholesale” that the boy should be regarded as a girl. It is easy to criticise the authorities here – and we undoubtedly should. But their reluctance to speak out and challenge the mother is at least partly understandable. After all, the consequences of questioning the new orthodoxy on gender can be disastrous. For doing just that, academics have had their research proposals rejected; one teacher, who made the mistake of wading into the issue of gender – even inadvertently – found himself suspended for referring to a transgender pupil as a ‘girl’.
Transgendertrend comments about the intersection of the mother’s apparent mental illness, Mermaids, trans identity politics, and social services,
The problem comes when a controlling parental personality which is over-identified with the child collides with transgender advocacy services. How far would this mother have gone in her belief without the support and encouragement she received from the charity Mermaids, together with validation from a clinical psychologist and the collusion of social services? The mother may have been deluded but her fantasy was stoked and reinforced over a long period of time.
How is it that a charity such as Mermaids, which claims to support trans and gender-variant young people, not only failed to recognise that this mother was abusing her child, but enabled and encouraged that abuse for a period of three years? What needs to be acknowledged in this case, if lessons are to be learned, is that transgender doctrine in itself is a rigid and unshakable belief system which the mother fitted into seamlessly, rendering her controlling and abusive behaviour invisible. To Mermaids, her behaviour was normal…
This is not the considered response we would expect of a child-support charity but a howl of outrage from a community thwarted in their desire to claim a child as one of their own.
The incident was painted merely as transphobia by prominent British trans activists.
Below is an example of how the members of the charity attack mental health service that don’t want to medically treat tweens before they have a chance to outgrow GD.
This website, growinguptransgender.com, is extremely supportive of the medical transition of minors. For example, the harshly criticise the fact the GIDS is asking questions about large increases of female teenagers with gender dysphoria. They believe that this chart represents a reason to celebrate and that to ask questions is transphobic.
A less transphobic service would celebrate the fact that more assigned females are getting listened to, getting referrals and getting support.
They criticize the GIDS for including information from PhDs who have done valid research, supported by evidence, because trans activists do not like it.
The first reference they have chosen to include is co-authored by Ray Blanchard and Kenneth Zucker, two controversial figures, the former whose theories have been rejected by mainstream practitioners and who is known for speaking about trans people with disrespect, and the latter who was sacked from his clinic in Canada for work that could not be distinguished from conversion therapy and who has compared trans children to animals.
This is a factually incorrect statement. There is much evidence for Ray Blanchard’s “autogynephilic” versus “homosexual transsexual” typology. Trans activists just don’t like discussions of autogynephilia because it challenges the “pink brain” narrative. In addition, no one has disproved Dr. Zucker’s concern that early social transition and hormone blocker use prevents children from outgrowing GD.
Below is an example of their efforts to censor and remove others who disagree off of social media.
Susie Green managed to have a woman on Twitter questioned by the British police. Susie Green had taken her transgender minor to have a vaginoplasty in Thailand at sixteen, a practice that is now illegal there at that age. A firebrand feminist (account here) used the word “castration” which could be interpreted as harsh language but is not factually incorrect. The London Times covered this incident,
Meanwhile, a woman who criticised a transgender charity on Twitter has been questioned under caution by police and told she will be arrested if she tries to leave the country. Kellie-Jay Keen- Minshull accused the group Mermaids of “suppressing free speech”.
She had accused Mermaids, which calls for children to be allowed irreversible sex-change treatment the NHS currently prohibits, of “prey[ing]” on gay teenagers and of “mass child abuse”. Mermaids declined to comment.
Below is an example of how questioning medically transitioning minors gets criticism even in the Skeptics community which is quite odd given that the science on the effects of this on minors is very limited.
My first concerns about how a transgender charity were promoting poor science with direct effects on children were met with cries of ‘don’t be a jerk, Andy’, unfriendings and so on. A questionable children’s charity with dodgy science ought to be bread and butter for sceptics. It has not got much better. Maybe I am being a jerk, but I do need to resolve how sceptical scrutiny can be applied to the various claims being lofted around without it becoming a firestorm. I know of no other issue where scepticism appears not to be allowed.
In summary, a pattern has emerged here. Trans youth support groups are environments where parents are socially punished for:
1) expressing concerns about the large increase of female teenager medically transitioning
2) believing helping your child accept their body without surgery and hormones would be a safer outcome.
3) discussing desistance and it’s connection to a gay or lesbian identity in adulthood
4) expressing concern for comorbid conditions
5) questioning the affirmation model is “transphobic”
H. Detransitioners: threats, harassment, and denialism from trans activists / exploitation by the right wing & some feminists
…there’s kind of a group think, I think people call it, where if you don’t conform to that particular way of thinking, that you will be kind of an outcast. And I was hearing this from some of the people that contacted me about their gender, reverse gender transitions. -therapist commenting on detransition
Given that many trans people know for sure they want to transition, and that studies show regret rates are very low, it is understandable that trans activists have pushed for the affirmative model and informed consent model. They view gatekeeping by mental health and medical professionals as patronizing, paternalistic, and cumbersome.
When there are people who express regret many in the trans community feel this will be used to enforce the gatekeeping system they see as oppressive. The worry it will be used by people who have negative opinions of trans people or medical transition in particular. This is a valid concern. The stories of regretters/ detransitioners are in fact promoted heavily, mostly by right wing conservatives who oppose any LGBT agenda and by some radical feminist. These feminists question the way trans activism affects women’s rights to segregated activities, the influence of trans/genderqueer ideology on gender nonconforming youth, and medical treatments on minors.
Some radfems (a subset of whom are commonly referred to as "trans exclusionary radical feminists" or TERFs, a term that is generally considered a slur by those it's directed toward) allege that the modern trans movement is fueled by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, which have fooled gender nonconforming people—especially gays and lesbians—into seeking costly medical interventions for no reason...
Trans people view detransitioners who speak of negative experiences with transition as not dissimilar to the stories of “ex gays” who find religion and renounce their homosexuality being exploited by Christians to promote the concept gay people can change. Walter Heyer, a Christian who has detransitioned, has used his own story to argue against medical transition
The unfortunate result of this is that there is a community of detransitioners, that anecdotally appears to be growing, who get dismissed, censored, and even threatened with violence if they speak out. The Internet, with its anonymity, unfortunately enables this.
This type of environment makes it very difficult for people who have regrets to speak out or network with each other and makes an already stressful and isolating situation worse.
In an article about a former trans women, now detransitioned, whose genital surgery destroyed sexual functioning, they discuss the negative ways regretters and detransitioners are treated.
None of the misdiagnosed patients spoken to by The Sunday Age deny gender reassignment can be beneficial to people who are correctly diagnosed as transsexual. Some have even offered to be part of any research conducted by the clinic. However, the transgender community has harshly criticised them for telling their stories, accusing some of lying to doctors about their transsexuality in order to get surgery they later regret — an opinion voiced in the past by Dr Kennedy.
A comment from a detransitioned female:
I was not going to do this video. The reason I’ve been gone so long is because the backlash that I was expecting from the trans community, I got it. There were a lot of people that were saying that I was putting the negative connotation on transsexuals in that, “‘Society looks down on us and says that it’s just a phase.” And because I only went through it for a certain amount of time that I was propagating that perspective…People like me make it harder for trans guys to get T. (5:25-6:30)
Here is an example of how the right-wing uses stories of detransition that detransitioned people don’t always agree with.
In March, Laurie Higgins, a blogger for the right-wing Illinois Family Institute, referred to Cass in a post. "Society is marching blindfolded into a brave new dystopian world whose victims are increasingly children who will one day tell their stories of regret," wrote Higgins, who has previously referred to homosexuality as "deviant," "depraved," and "immoral." Now she was using Cass for her own agenda, treating her as a victim of the "trans-cult."
This happens a lot: Right-wing groups and media outlets use detrans people to further a transphobic agenda, arguing that their existence invalidates all trans people. It's much like the narrative of the "ex-gay," which has been used by the right to argue that being gay is a choice. If it's a choice, the thinking goes, gay people don't need the rights to marry, adopt, or serve in the military—they just need to cut it out. The same goes for trans folks, as well.
The articulate writer and detransitioned female on her personal blog crashchoacats.com says:
Right now, most of the difficulties I face as a detransitioned woman involve how people misperceive me or try to use me. This isn’t limited to one group. I’ve been troubled by how all kinds of people across the political spectrum, including trans people, radical feminists and religious conservatives, view and treat detransitioned women. I hate when people disrespect, tokenize, objectify, or pity me or other detransitioned women, or belittle, deny or exploit our experiences. It’s frustrating as hell.
Several other detransitioned females have expressed dismay at the harassment of detransitioners by the trans community, as well as the use of their stories to push narratives they don’t agree with on the left or the right.
I was enraged to see my story distorted and used. I would never have agreed to be included in such a book.
Redressalert is another example.
All of these factors make the already difficult process of detransition more difficult.
I. Conclusion, political climate
Trans people have fear around rejection, not being respected, being looked down upon, not having a place in a binary society, and not getting the support they desire for medical transition. This is some of what drives the more extreme behavior among trans activists who lie about, verbally attack and threaten, and try to get people (educators, journalists, mental health professionals, and medical professionals) fired for their viewpoints. There is extremism and cult-like group think in other activist movements who feel they need to aggressively defend the borders of their community’s identity. This is human nature and deserves compassion and understanding.
However, the public (school systems, governments, liberal news sites, the mental/medical health community, and LGBT orgs) are allowing activists’ threats and fears of accusations of transphobia to prevent any reasonable discussions around the issue of socially and medically transitioning minors. A situation with many very serious consequences. This is antithetical to a free society, enlightenment values of empiricism, and the rights of other people who could potentially be harmed by this agenda. All information and scenarios around transition need to be explored to insure the best care for all gender nonconforming children.
A rare quote critical of the trans movement on a liberal website, the Huffington Post:
The gender movement is fashioning a bizarre world in which everyone’s identity is integral to their perspective and yet we are simultaneously forbidden from discussing it. Constantly shifting norms of suitable language make frank and open discussion of gender and identity off-limits to intellectual discourse. While identity is chained to political “voice” and is fetishized amongst character attributes, to engage someone in dialogue in terms of their identity is, paradoxically, strictly verboten. The gender-charged, linguistically constrained climate emphasizes identity to the point where it becomes a hindrance to discussing identity. Odd.
There are trans people, mostly MtF “truscum” as they are derisively called (you must fully medically transition for legal transgender status), who are calling for more civil discourse around the issue of youth medical transitions and the impacts of trans activism on girls/women and the gay and lesbian community.
Buck Angel, is a well-know FtM trans activist addressing the issue of a noxious and hostile political climate around trans issues. For example, Angel has come forward to ask the trans community to allow detransitioners to have their voice without silencing or harassment.
It’s your choice to detransition, nobody else’s. So nobody gets to have a ******* word about it. When they write an article with voices from people who have detransitioned, you don’t get to have an opinion about that. You don’t get to say anything about that. That is another person’s ******* life.
He also comments on supporting open discussion of valid worries about the speed at which young people are transitioning, the benefits of mental health support prior to transitioning, and about risks of regret. Here he comments on the fall out that Katie Herzog received for her article in The Stranger.
I find it really disturbing that people in our community would attack this journalist, which they have! They’ve attacked her. They’ve totally attacked her. Which is not cool. You can’t go attack somebody like that.
The over-politicization of trans issues and behavior by activists designed to induce fear in anyone who questions gender ideology or the safety of transitioning children also hurts trans people. Below is an example of how ideology over scientific, biological reality put this FtM’s safety at risk. The doctors engaged in confused analysis by failing to acknowledge “his” female biology by using male references in regards to something as important to life as kidney function.
When, months later, she was considered for a kidney transplant, she was rejected because the medical team inexplicably decided to use male equations to calculate her GFR, which, at 23 mL/min/1.73m2 put her over the upper limit of 20. Had the medical team considered how different sex calculation could drastically alter interpretation of the results, and had they perhaps not lost sight of the scientific fact that sex cannot be changed through willpower or cross-sex hormones, her GFR would’ve been 18 mL/min/1.73m2 and she would have qualified for the life saving operation…
Although I thank the authors of this critical analysis for bringing this case to our attention, my issue with their paper is their continuous use of “he” to describe a female patient. While I agree with their assertion that doctors should be better educated about intersection of transgenderism and medical care, the solution is not to continue using wrong and confusing pronouns and walk on eggshells around the fact that we are treating biological beings, whose sex is immutable, and while we should absolutely keep in mind both effects of the medications our patients are taking, surgeries they had and their mental state, we should not allow ideology, delusions or politics to direct medical care.
The problems with trans activism regarding hyperbole, extremism, censorship and exacting social punishment for transgressions, even when they are based on facts, is not unique to trans activism. Below is a quote from “Everything is Problematic.” It is not about trans activism specifically, but about the problems Western society is experiencing with identity politics in general.
There is something dark and vaguely cultish about this particular brand of politics. I’ve thought a lot about what exactly that is. I’ve pinned down four core features that make it so disturbing: dogmatism, groupthink, a crusader mentality, and anti-intellectualism. I’ll go into detail about each one of these. The following is as much a confession as it is an admonishment. I will not mention a single sin that I have not been fully and damnably guilty of in my time.
… First, dogmatism. One way to define the difference between a regular belief and a sacred belief is that people who hold sacred beliefs think it is morally wrong for anyone to question those beliefs.