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

 

This contribution comes from an historian of sexuality and a UK academic.

Just as metaphors lose their metaphoricity as they congeal through time into concepts, so subversive performances always run the risk of becoming deadening clichés through their repetition and, most importantly, through their repetition within commodity culture where “subversion” carries market value.  (Judith Butler, Gender Trouble, 1999 Preface, xxii-xxiii)

My epigraph is from Judith Butler’s 1999 Preface to Gender Trouble, often taken as a foundational text of transactivism. Butler is alert to the way in which liberatory rhetoric can shift into its opposite, turning into a form of oppression. And her warning is appropriate to some of the ways in which transactivism has morphed into a regulatory discourse as it has become established as a business in recent years. The claim of transactivism, of course,  is that it is at the forefront of the fight for a new human freedom. Jay Stewart, energetic founder of the trans youth support group ‘Gendered Intelligence’ [1] draws on Beauvoir, Nietzsche and Butler in his 2014 TED talk ‘We are living on the cusp of a Gender Revolution’ (https://youtu.be/UpQd-VrKgFI). His call for the freedom to create an authentic self, for a philosophically nuanced understanding of gender, for a rejection of essentialism, hits the buttons of current academic debate. Who would argue against ‘intelligence’? Who would not support GI’s vision ‘of a world where people are no longer constrained by narrow perceptions and expectations of gender, and where diverse gender expressions are visible and valued.’  ‘Gendered Intelligence’ has worked with the Welcome Institute and the Science Museum. Specializing in art activities for young people from 11 to 25, it provides a supportive space for sometimes troubled youth. Young people who have retreated to the lonely space of the adolescent bedroom can freely interact with others experiencing the same struggles. At last they can find acceptance and belonging. For parents challenged by the changing identities of their young people, the organisation offers both an online forum and a monthly support group where they can share concerns free from worries about ‘political correctness’. What’s not to like?

Well, curiously, quite a lot.  My first visit to the London group was to a parents’ social event in December 2014 where we heard from the actress mother of a trans boy. Engaging and articulate, this mother told how she had wept when her then daughter revealed how viewing a Channel 4 programme ‘The Boy who was Born a Girl’ (Julia Moon, 2009) made her realise that she was a boy. This mother had already suspected that her fourteen year old daughter, attending a private girls’ school with strict uniform codes, was a lesbian (something that came as no surprise to her bisexual mother). But trans was a shock. Coming from a religious background, the mother’s response was to pray and when the next morning she came across a flyer from Gendered Intelligence, she took this a sign. As her teen entered the room to join the other gender questioning young people, she saw that she had come to the right place. Her ugly duckling had become a swan.  And now, two years later, despite the slowness of the NHS, her daughter was at last about to start hormones. At this point the room broke into spontaneous applause.

The applause worried me.  For the mother’s story raises a number of questions. Should a TV programme be the basis for irreversible medical intervention? Might not a teenager be made to feel uncomfortable about an emerging lesbian identity within the context of a private London single sex school?  Was the chance discovery of a leaflet for Gendered Intelligence really a sign from God? And how free was the child to pass through what might have been a transient phase once enrolled in a group where her newly formed identity would be reinforced by adults?

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

As Butler suggests, a narrative designed to liberate can itself become oppressive when it turns into doctrine. Some parents revealed that they feared their kids were subject to peer pressure. A visibly unhappy couple were still in shock after their daughter’s announcement that she was trans. She was in her final year at university and they feared that the announcement reflected the undue influence of a new partner with strong links to trans activism. They were particularly worried that this partner had separated their daughter from her other friends. Another mother said that her ‘trans’ daughter was was voicing just the same kind of worries about her appearance that she herself had experienced at the same age. The difference was that her daughter was being encouraged to transition by her friends.

The stories were often troubling, suggesting in some cases that it was the parents who were taking the lead in pressing for their children to transition. Perhaps it is hard to understand why this should be so.  It may be that certainty (supported by the GI community) is easier than doubt. It may also be that gender dysphoria (unlike mental illness) is a diagnosis currently free from stigma which (understood as innate) allows parents to escape guilt. A couple were paying privately for female hormones for their son at Gender Care (a private gender clinic) because the NHS process was too slow. They were also paying for the injections to be provided by a private nurse because there was no agreement of care with the GP. During his first year at university, their son had stayed in his room, worked very hard and got a first. He had decided at this stage that he was trans and had bought hormones on the internet which had worked very quickly. He was now taking a year out of university so that he could begin again as a woman. But he had also developed agoraphobia and was terrified to go out in case anyone should detect that he was trans. At the same time he drew attention to himself by wearing bright red lipstick. These parents, perhaps terrified of suicide, said that if their was happy for a month it was worth it. Yet the changes they were paying for have irreversible life long results.

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.

Unchallenged both online and in the group was the belief that transition necessarily requires surgery – a belief that the NHS and all responsible advice on gender dysphoria rejects. The convenor was proud that she had been able to accompany a young transwoman to the gender identity clinic and to support her through surgery.  Posters on the GI parents’ online forum are preoccupied with accessing medical intervention including surgery as quickly as possible. One thread discusses how to obtain a mastectomy (‘top surgery’) for a child under 18, something that is not available on the NHS.  Private Brighton surgeon Andrew Yelland (http://transurgery.com/) is recommended as ‘the only surgeon I found who would do chest surgery for over 17’.  The problem, though, is that ‘Mr Yelland requires a referral from an ADULT psychiatrist to do the surgery on an under 18 year old’, something that is not offered on the NHS. Parents recommend contacting ‘Stuart Lorrimer (enqu…@gendercare.co.uk) and it cost £200. We sent a Tavistock referral letter to both Stuart Lorrimer and Mr Yelland so they both had the basic info.’  Let’s pause to make this clear: for a fee of £200, it is claimed, Stuart Lorrimer (a psychiatrist employed at the NHS Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross), will write a referral authorizing  a mastectomy for a seventeen year old patient at the Tavistock whom  he does not treat himself and whom his private clinic (Gender Care) is not licensed to treat.

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But these are the tricks a supportive parent can pick up from the Gendered Intelligence online parents’ forum. Though, as Butler warns, ‘“subversion” carries market value’. In this case, ‘The surgery with Mr Yelland costs £6K and he operates on a Monday and Wednesday.’ [2]

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.

A central feature of of the trans narrative is the claim that trans is not a mental illness. There is a curious asymmetry in the ways in which gender dysphoria (the belief that your body does not match your gendered identity) and body dysmorphia (the belief that your body is aesthetically unpleasing) are understood.  According to NHS Choices, ‘up to one in every 100 people in the UK may have BDD [body dysmorphia disorder]’, a condition that ‘usually starts when a person is a teenager or a young adult’.[3]  Body dysmorphia disorder is treated with CBT and anti-depressants because surgery ‘can lead to a preoccupation with further surgery to try to get a better result, which in some cases will do more harm to a person’s appearance than good.’  Sensible. But then ‘BDD is a psychological or psychiatric problem and thus needs psychological or psychiatric treatment.’[4]  By contrast, NHS guidance states that dissatisfaction with the body stemming from beliefs about gender identity ‘is not a mental illness’.[5] In this case, a physical treatment is therefore appropriate: ‘Many trans people have treatment to change their body permanently, so that they are more consistent with their gender identity, and the vast majority are satisfied with the eventual results.’ Let’s not worry for a moment that there is a dearth of long term follow up evidence for a treatment protocol described as ‘a unique intervention not only in psychiatry but in all of medicine.’ [6] For what there is, shows only that ‘Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.’ [7]

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’s a mother, discussing her 17-year-old MTF child’s depression: ‘incommunicado, never leaving her room. She also has chronic pain syndrome in her leg which may excuse some of this behaviour as she is in extreme physical pain frequently, doesn’t sleep much/well, due to the pain and is taking strong painkillers. However she doesn’t do the recommended stuff to overcome the chronic pain so I suspect it’s all much more down to the gender dysphoria.’ Guidelines for GPs warn against ‘misattributing commonplace health problems to gender’.[8] The mother intuitively gets this key point: ‘Sounds like she has severe depression actually’. But the belief (unchallenged within GI) that transition is curative prevents children from accessing appropriate mental health services. ‘With luck, she’ll attend the 1st GIC appointment and things may begin to look up’, says the mother.[9]

A similar picture emerged at the monthly parents’ group. A mother who attended alone was clearly upset and did not speak until near the end. Although she accepted her sixteen-year-old daughter’s transition she was worried because she was self harming and would not attend school. That day her daughter was depressed and in bed because her period had started. Yet the child’s belief that her problems stemmed from gender dysphoria meant that she was refusing to engage with CAMHS (the child and adolescent mental health team). The daughter would only attend the Tavistock in order to get hormone blockers and later testosterone but hated the therapists.

It is known that a significant proportion of trans kids are autistic.[10] Yet the role of autism in the understanding of social gender stereotypes is not discussed nor is a diagnosis of autism a contraindication in accessing medical transition on the NHS. One couple told how their tall son (on the autistic spectrum and doing A levels at an all boys’ school) had announced that he was trans. His interests were stereotypically masculine (trains etc). He had low self esteem and was physically unconfident. He would hold his hands in front of his chest as if to hide his body. His parents were always telling him to stand tall and open his chest and the mother seemed to feel disappointed with him. One day the mother was going through his clothes to see which still fitted him and which should be given away. She commented that he had put on weight and was beginning to develop breasts. (Humiliated?) he said that it didn’t matter because he was really a girl. The mother readily accepted the news and told him that he should go to the GP. The boy said that it was embarrassing and that he did not want to go. But the mother forced him to attend. She said that she was having to make him grow up and take responsibility for his medical treatment. He would have to deal with forms as soon as they arrived or he would not keep up with the process of transitioning. Although the father was struggling with the change both parents had enrolled themselves at the Tavistock and were trying to speed up their son’s transition even though he had not insisted on a female pronoun and had not begun to think about changing his name. At no point did it seem to occur to the meeting that this child was being rushed into transition by parents who had become stalwarts of the Gendered Intelligence parents group.

Far from offering ‘a world where people are no longer constrained by narrow perceptions and expectations of gender, and where diverse gender expressions are visible and valued’, ‘Gendered Intelligence’ resembles a cult in which medication and surgery are rites of passage and belonging. Despite a veneer of openness and despite idealistic motivations, it is a place where adults coerce the young towards a predetermined destination. In Philip Pullman’s 1995 trilogy for young adults, His Dark Materials, charismatic adults attempt to persuade children to undergo ‘intercision’, a ‘tiny cut’ that is variously compared to (but is not the same as) the creation of castrati by the Catholic church and female genital mutilation: ‘‘the doctors do it for the children’s own good, my love…[A] quick operation on children means they’re safe….All that happens is a little cut, and then everything’s peaceful. Forever!’’  [11] The promise by trans support groups that medication and surgery will provide peace from the difficult feelings that assail the young is equally dangerous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://genderedintelligence.co.uk
[2] All quotations from the parents’ online forum have been anonymised. I have not included screenshots in order to respect the privacy of posters.
[3] http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/body-dysmorphia/Pages/Introduction.aspx
[4] http://bddfoundation.org/helping-you/getting-help-in-the-uk/
[5] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Gender-dysphoria/Pages/Introduction.aspx
[6] Dhejne C, Lichtenstein P, Boman M, Johansson ALV, Långström N, Landén M (2011) Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16885. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016885
[7] Dhejne C, Lichtenstein P, Boman M, Johansson ALV, Långström N, Landén M (2011) Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16885. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016885
[8] http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Transhealth/Documents/gender-dysphoria-guide-for-gps-and-other-health-care-staff.pdf
[9] Post from 22/6/2015. Anonymised to respect privacy.
[10] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-red-light-district/201411/link-between-autism-and-gender-dysphoria
[11] Philip Pullman, Northern Lights, 284

25 thoughts on “When is a support group not a support group? The troubling story of a UK trans support group

  1. It sounds a lot like the “support group” for parents of trans kids here in Ottawa, Canada – applause and everything. However, anything you say that goes against the trans narrative is met with critical looks and ostracizing. Hardly supportive, more like creepy, cult-like behaviour. The parents are all gung ho for speeding up the wait times for operations on their children. I used to just go to have an idea of what they were up to, but now I can’t bear to enter that bizzaro world anymore, it just causes me more stress.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is what all the PFLAG groups have become also, at least in the liberal cities in the US. Everyone is on the kool-aid, its just better to stay away. If you have a male child who at all other times in history would likely to be gay, you would think PFLAG should have support for that path, but no, all they have is the kool-aid. So absolutely sickening.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Parents who have little feminine boys are encouraged to see this as “gender” rather than what historically this has been about – their son’s future sexuality. If you try to present any of the evidence that this is what a lot of pre-gay boys look like in childhood, you are told you dont know anything about the difference between gender and sexuality-there is no such thing as a relationship between a “sissy” boyhood and homosexuality.
    And its true, we as a society dont have a way of letting little boys pick flowers and put them in their hair on the school yard. We just dont unless they declare themselves to be girls. If they live as boys these feelings/ behaviors have to go underground to survive school. Its very hard as a parent to not fall into this transition trend because it does relieve the child of difference and discomfort.I dont feel comfortable even writing this because of the power of the trans treatment people.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Carol, thanks for speaking out about your experiences at PFLAG. This is important information for parents of gender-nonconforming and/or potentially gay kids to know. I had heard that most PFLAG chapters had been “taken over” by transactivists — and in your case (at your local chapter) this does appear to be true. Instead of helping parents accept their gay kids, trans PFLAG members who call the shots and run the meetings are pushing kids and parents toward accepting that kids are actually trans, and claiming “bigotry” if anyone questions it or wonders aloud if a kid might be simply gay rather than trans.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Yep, taking the attitude that there’s absolutely zero relationship between feminineness as a little boy and being a gay adult can be dressed up as politically correct, virtuous and unquestionable. That’s really bad. Plus for all we know the association between feminine males (raising the question how feminine does he have to be?) is just confirmation bias. That there is an equal or nearly equal number of feminine straight and feminine gay man. But because the feminine gay men fit the stereotype their feminineness is noted and even exaggerated in peoples minds. So every feminine-seeming gay man a person meets they think oh wow so I guess that’s true. But every time they meet a feminine-seeming straight man they don’t then think oh wow that contradicts the stereotype. That’s confirmation bias.

      Anyway oh my god, Carol that sounds just so horrendous. And is another example of how trans is very often a legal and unopposed gay cure. I am disgusted.

      Carol, I’m in Canada too, and boy is trans strong here. Especially for such a small country.:-(

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Im not quite sure what you are saying about confirmation bias. Yes, certainly some het men can have somewhat effeminate mannerisms as adults but these men did not typically display this childhood GID – they along with the AGPs did not make it to the gender clinics as children. This is very striking unmistakable behavior in a boy and even the most liberal parents is freaked out of their mind – that is why the phenomenon has indeed been studied. There are many many studies on children with cross gender behavior/identity and particularly for boys – the future psycho-social outcome is overwhelmingly gay. There are many studies of these male children. These children at all other times in history (before this crazed intervention) were pre-gay boys. Little boys who do fake “hair” and put on “skirts” and dance around like girls have been seen throughout history in every society from pre-industrialized ones to modern day ones and as a society we used to know what this was and anyone who studied these little boys knows this is pre-gay boy behavior. AS does anyone who has raised a gay male child. This is the normal non-pathological development for many gay males. (not all) Its actually the gay (male) activist groups who originally have (understandably I guess ) fought to get this information out of the public knowledge. Their shame keeps them silent even now as these boys of today are led down the path of sterilization. (or do they wish they could have had this? is that the reason for their silence?) For girls with GID the outcome was always more mixed – most girls grew out of the behavior/identity entirely and grew into heterosexual women. There yes was a higher percentage of lesbian women – but something like 1/3 of the typical group grew up to be lesbians and the others were reportedly heterosexual.
        There is an article in the boston globe about “what makes people gay” and then there is a recent 10 year follow up article. There is the textbook childhood behavior in the boy “Im a girl, really Im a girl” in kindergarten and 10 years later he is a regular high school male. Unfortunately he does not come out with any sexuality statement. (Im hoping they will follow that up at some later date) but he certainly hasn’t committed the suicide that the activists would have you believe.
        So in a way even early gay activism was dishonest around childhood cross gender behavior and that is why this transgender activism can just step right in.
        Or is this legitimate advancement of medicine – treatment of an unwanted condition (homosexuality) for males. Like cochlear implants implanted in deaf children. But if it is, how can no one be discussing it in any sort of honest way? Its just lies and more lies. Sickening.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks, this agrees totally with my experience of GI.

    I also worry that in effect two men, are put in a position of influence over vulnerable kids. Having read up about autogynophilia and the cotton ceiling it scares me.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This is a poor piece of writing. It is authored anonymously and the citations are partial. In particular, there is a statement that there is a “statistical likelihood that gender dysphoria in a child or adolescent would spontaneously disappear as they matured.” Tellingly there is no citation for this. This is not academic writing.

    I also note that the writer has misgendered the young people, has not listened to the voice of the young people. I also take issue with the point that no parents described “gender nonconformity” when their children were young. Maybe they didn’t but did the author ask each parent involved in GI? Apparently not, because I could evidence this.

    I am putting my name at the end of this. Until the author does the same, I suggest any concerned parents alighting on this blog disregard it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Andrew, Here is study that suggests that ‘Most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty. Children with persistent GID are characterized by more extreme gender dysphoria in childhood than children with desisting gender dysphoria. With regard to sexual orientation, the most likely outcome of childhood GID is homosexuality or bisexuality.’
    Journal of American Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 2008 Dec;47(12):1413-23. doi: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e31818956b9.
    Psychosexual outcome of gender-dysphoric children.
    Wallien MS1, Cohen-Kettenis PT.

    Another study concludes: ‘As children with GID only rarely go on to have permanent transsexualism, irreversible physical interventions are clearly not indicated until after the individual’s psychosexual development ist complete. The identity-creating experiences of this phase of development should not be restricted by the use of LHRH analogues that prevent puberty.’
    Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2008 Nov; 105(48): 834–841.
    Published online 2008 Nov 28. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2008.0834
    PMCID: PMC2697020
    Review Article
    Gender Identity Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence
    Currently Debated Concepts and Treatment Strategies
    Alexander Korte, Dr. med.,*,1 David Goecker, Dr. med.,2 Heiko Krude, Prof. Dr. med.,3 Ulrike Lehmkuhl, Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych.,1 Annette Grüters-Kieslich, Prof. Dr. med.,3 and Klaus Michael Beier, Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Dr. phil.2

    Liked by 1 person

  7. http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/suicide-attempts-among-transgender-and-gender-non-conforming-adults/

    I would like to point out that young transgender people often know very early on in their lives that they are transgender and experience gender dysphoria which can impact very badly on their mental health.

    They often start off being very isolated and often experience depression and anxiety because of this.

    Gendered Intelligence are a non profit making organisation dedicated to easing that isolation by organising youth groups , as well as the parent and carer support groups and other awareness raising events.

    Unless you have a child who is in that situation, it is probably difficult to appreciate what a massive difference it can make to them to meet up and make friends with other young transgender people .

    Some research (see above)done in 2014 in America highlighted the high risk of suicide amongst transgender people and one of the factors which contributed to this was lack of support from their family.

    I also would like to add that I find it very disingenuous that the author has written this blog anonymously, yet has used comments written by people (often using their real names) in a closed group parent support group – often writing because they feel distressed by the mental health of their child – this is often at the beginning of the process when their child is very isolated.

    Without support groups such as Gendered Intelligence, that isolation would remain.What is better – a child stuck in a bedroom, alone with their anxiety and unhappiness and often feeling suicidal or having the opportunity to go to a youth group and build up a strong, positive support network?

    As an educational professional and proud parent of a young trans person,Gendered Intelligence have my complete confidence.

    Like

  8. I can only assume that the blogger infiltrated the support group without any understanding or knowldge of the long and vigorous assessment processes which happen in the UK before any type of treatment takes place for young people.

    It often begins at CAHMS before involvement with the GIC and is designed to assess each person individually and if there are any concerns or doubts, the process is extended.Not every young person is assessed as needing intervention in the form of surgery or hormones.

    I would also be interested to know about the blogger’s own situation – afterall, they have been more than happy to disclose information from others, despite this taking place in confidence – are they supporting their own child or too busy attempting to ridicule and undermine other families?

    Like

  9. Thanks to Jayne C for both comments. A little about my own circumstances. I am the parent of a trans identified child (age 24) who ‘came out’ as a woman three years ago and who attends Gendered Intelligence. I did not infiltrate GI but attended in good faith since my situation is that of other parents. I share the fears, the love and the desperation to do the best for my child that unites all the parents who attend. As I say at the beginning of my piece, I accept that GI is motivated by a sincere attempt to support troubled young people and to build the self esteem of those who are gender non-conforming. I wish all the best to those who choose to transition. I am entirely familiar with the the fear of suicide that preoccupies parents since my daughter (AFAB not the trans identified AMAB) made a serious suicide attempt aged 15 which doctors said that she was not expected to survive. Soon after this suicide attempt, my daughter announced that she was gender non-binary and wore a binder for two years. It is from this experience that I write, and I do so from a sincere belief which runs counter to that of GI. It is the story of my daughter that encourages me to believe that kids can identify their problems as being about gender when they are not. This daughter was indeed referred to CAMHS, but was not diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Instead she received help from the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy unit at the Maudsley through which she gradually learned to understand the intensity of her own feelings and to accept her body as it is. She does not now wear a binder nor does she identify as gender non binary. She has recovered. It is for this reason, because I can see the strikingly different outcomes of two children with similar problems that I am sceptical about the identity that GI fosters.
    Anonymity and privacy are important issues. I was careful not to identify any material which I quoted. I write anonymously here in order to protect the privacy of my own children. If I did not have a personal stake and a personal responsibility I would not write anonymously.
    Finally let me wish you well and congratulate you on supporting your child. We all want the same thing. But debate is important when we are dealing with a treatment which is irreversible and which has not parallel and no precedent.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. … is trans identity the only circumstance in which surgeons are permitted to destroy healthy organs? this is not mere tissue, they are not just colouring-in skin or making simple holes for body decoration – these are healthy organs they are incinerating… Do you have to be trans to be entitled to have your health permanently compromised by rogue endocrinologists wielding unlicensed steroid regimes and applying them to vulnerable adolescents and mentally ill adults, or can anyone demand whatever they want from the NHS to validate their identity by threatening to commit suicide or using fake statistics to imply that suicide would be the only alternative? i really dont get it. i dont get why doctors are getting away with it. medical authorities need to make much closer examination of these gender specialists very urgently indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 1. Not acting can also do harm and may be medically negligent.
      2. Organs do not have a ‘health’ that is independent of the whole person. Suicide also destroys healthy organs.

      Like

      1. But the evidence just isn’t there in a robust way that transition brings better outcomes. Yes, there are some studies that show improvement but there are other studies — good ones — that indicate mortality might be *higher* after transition. As for the fallacious implication of “transition or die,” there the evidence is even more sparse. The 41% suicide attempt figure? Go back and read the study. “People who had either sought or received transition-related services had a higher suicide attempt rate than people who have not. And the survey did not ask whether suicide attempts occurred before or after services were sought or received.” Here is the link: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

        Like

    1. How so? I am not denying that trans people have high rates of attempted suicide. I just pointed out that the study says *nothing* about the role of transition in reducing suicidality. In fact, it is the trans activists — and the journalists who take their lead — who have repeatedly misrepresented that study.

      Liked by 2 people

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