This brief post comes from “Questioning Academic,” a recent UK visitor to the site.
I teach students who will one day work with children and young people and their communities and I am terrified of the current trans narrative for a range of reasons. I don’t discount that there are individuals who think they should have the primary sexual characteristics of the ‘opposite sex’, or who feel more comfortable in ‘opposite’ gender roles, but the whole conflating of this with there being ‘natural’ gendered behaviours, with sex and gender being the same thing and with drug and surgical therapies rapidly becoming the first line of treatment for dysphoria are truly terrifying. I’m now hearing that requiring counselling for dysphoria is transphobic. I know that much counselling that takes place is by ‘gender clinics’ who are ‘sympathetic’ to any child reporting dysphoria and I know that ‘liking pink and dolls’ is often a good enough reason to declare a boy child is likely a girl. I have other concerns as well. One of the biggest is that whereas I see a lot of what is happening as child abuse I cannot speak out for fear of losing my job and income. I won’t parrot the dogma, like many of my colleagues have chosen to do, but I won’t (can’t) openly critique it either. The other big concern I have is that in a supposedly evidence driven environment there is little evidence of so much current practice – yet we experiment on the bodies of children with drugs and on young people with drugs and surgeries. It is truly a sad world in both academic and practice when asking “do we have the evidence for that” and “are we acting in the best interests of the child here” are considered threatening and dangerous statements. This is truly a Brave New World.