Transgender Kids: Are We Doing More Harm Than Good?

by Todd A. Whitworth

Before we start I’d like to disclose a little about myself to inform you the reader that I am not coming to this subject void of experience. I am a female to male transexual man. I started my transition in 1993 by changing my name and gender pronouns. I took a year before I began the physical part of my transition in 1994 with hormone replacement therapy, I was 21. I remain glad that I made the choice to transition, and that I took the time I did to explore that it was not just a phase.

The movement to support children transitioning from one gender to the other may be causing more harm than good. For the purpose of this piece, I am asserting that there are two genders male and female. Transitioning from one gender to the other is a long, expensive, and invasive process. It involves hormone replacement therapies for the rest of one’s life and several expensive surgeries which may or may not yield the result the individual wants. No amount of hormone therapy and surgical intervention is going to change biological reality. This is not a choice to enter into lightly and it’s highly suspect that a child has the maturity and cognitive ability to truly make an informed decision. A person’s brain is in development up to the age of 25. Perhaps we should wait before helping our children to transition.

No one is totally happy with who they are, and right now trans is trendy being comfortable in your the sex you are born into and corresponding gender role, is not. Cisgender, a word I’ve come to detest, is a term used for individuals who are not trans. It gets continually used as a bullying tactic to shame kids who are ok with their biological sex and the gender that matches their sex. I am a trans person, and I do not advocate for anyone to be made to feel ashamed for being happy with who they are.

We, humans, are social animals. We start to learn how to navigate in society when we are kids. We yearn for acceptance and understanding, we want to fit in. This makes sense because at one point in our history, to not fit in, to be socially ostracized, to be thrown out of the village, meant certain death.  Of course, kids want to fit in and be accepted it’s natural, and being ostracized, feels awful.

Something to remember we are dealing with children. Kids go through phases, just because your little boy puts on a dress one day, does not make him a girl. Say your little girl likes rough and tumble play and sports over dolls? It doesn’t make her a boy. Hormones sterilize and surgery is very expensive. Once puberty starts the body begins to change and hormones start to surge the child may become more comfortable with their biology. Maybe your kid is transgender, maybe they aren’t, before becoming their biggest cheerleader for transition maybe let nature take its course and see what happens. Gender dysphoria, formerly Gender Identity Disorder is a mental health diagnosis, and it’s not that common as gender advocates would have you believe. Don’t take my word for it, look up Gender Dysphoria in the current DSM V[1]. Gender dysphoria is persistent, pervasive, and causes ongoing distress. It meets the criterion for a mental health diagnosis, not a phase.

In summary, kids are not adults, and they need our care and guidance. They are immature, impulsive, and try on lots of different identities in an attempt to fit in. One of those identities may be transgender. I am not arguing that Gender dysphoria won’t present in childhood, it may. I am arguing for pause before fully diving into super advocacy mode. I am not a parent, but I do know that most parents want to do the best for their children to protect them, support them, and stand by their decisions to help them thrive and grow. That being said, it is also the job of the parents to help their children by keeping them safe from harm, including decisions they may not be ready to make yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is meant to be used by mental health professionals not laypeople.

31 thoughts on “Transgender Kids: Are We Doing More Harm Than Good?

  1. Thank you for your voice in this.

    I agree with what you have written. I see a lot of kids in my son’s middle school exploring their gender identity now, which is great. I really do think they are exploring and hope they have the freedom to find their own paths.

    Also, I am sure some parents are capable of making a correct decision for their kids. But thinking clearly is hard when your child is struggling. And some parents are just bad parents. And some doctors are quacks.

    We need to consider that before allowing people to make decisions for their child which cannot be undone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With the trendiness of being trans now a days I have wondered if some parents are thrilled to have a trans child, because it’s en vogue. They may encourage transition too much. I’ve also wondered, in some cases, about Munchhausen by proxy, but I’m not a psychiatrist.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I have absolutely no problem with accepting gender dysphoric people as people in society, but the rational part of me outright rejects completely illogical terms like “male women” or “female men”. What is a woman, if not a female human? What is a man, if not a male human?

    “Kids should be encouraged to explore gender roles..” Or maybe kids should be taught that there actually are no “roles” that come with being a girl or boy. That would be far more helpful.

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  3. I love that your mom left a comment. That is so sweet. I also want to thank you for being brave enough to express an unpopular view among trans people. Also glad that you’re happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for having the courage to share with your community, not only this informative blog & your opinions but also the personal information about yourself & your lived experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your comment. I was inspired to write the piece because dissent is also important. I even had “cheerleaders” when I was considering transition. That part of my story, and further details on my journey will be in another piece. -Todd

      Liked by 3 people

      1. i’d be really interested in your thoughts about ‘cheerleaders’ – they are particularly troublesome for women who are married to Jenner and Maloney type transitioners. ie Agp mature males with no history of gender non conforming apart from a secret masturbation in stolen panties etc.
        Cheerleaders piss me right off because theyll defend their own grooming and ignorance to their dying breath. It’s no use trying to talk to them, they just cover their ears and shout TERFTERFTERF!!! at you. they literally carried my ex off like he was some kind of hero for ‘admitting’ he was really a woman with a penis and a Y. he got music jobs he’d never have got otherwise.. for a while. until everyone realised it was all a bit sad and he was clearly an old man having a mental health crisis, then they werent seen for dust. i told him before i slammed the door, but he wouldnt listen. he got carried away in his narcissism to a place he can never come back from thanks to these people who didnt even know him IRL and it destroyed more than just his life. but its all a bit embarrassing now apparently – a sort of mass hysteria? no one wants to say, theyve all gone a bit quiet 5 years down the road.. – but you know, they STILL couldnt give a single shit about what they did to me and my kids. and they will never, ever be my friends again. its all gone my previous life and identity. i still burn with the shame and ostracism they put me through when my partner came out as a ‘woman’. i will never forgive their ignorance or the way they encouraged a very sick man to become a ludicrous, miserable parody of a human being and left me to carry this anger and loss all the rest of my life and my daughters to carry the consequences all the rest of theirs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sorry for what you have gone through truly. As I mentioned earlier, cheerleading was even an issue at the time I was considering transition in the early 90’s. I was fortunate to have a friend who told me it was ok if I didn’t want to make a decision right away or at all for that matter, he’s a transman too. I think mental health support is essential, as this is a mental health issue. Transtrenders and cheerleaders do not want people to know this, and will just call names as you mentioned in your comment. The cheerleaders also do not seem to realize or care about the potential havoc they encourage in peoples lives. Gender Dysphoria is a mental health diagnosis, and it’s rare. There are people who have fetishes for women’s clothing, and may like to dress up, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a trans-woman. Same for my side of the fence, I know some pretty manly women, who are still women and don’t want to transition, but might under positive peer pressure. Cheerleaders need to realize the potential damage they are causing and put the pom poms down. I hope you and your daughters find peace.

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  5. If I’ve not said so, questions are welcome. Also, I will be interviewed on Monday by the Rubin Report. I’ll update when it’s posted on youtube. I won a contest, so I am being interviewed as one of his fans.

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    1. I don’t know very much about puberty blockers. I imagine in very extreme cases of Gender Dysphoria they may be beneficial. However, I would hope the child had ongoing counselling, from a specialist in that area. I am concerned that too many folks are jumping onto the” transgender is the hip new thing to be train”, not realizing the huge impact hormones have on a developing body. I am also highly suspect that a child can fully grasp making this choice. Kids lack the cognitive skills to truly grasp the enormity of this decision, unless they are very, very intelligent, which is possible, but rare.

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      1. puberty blocking also used to be called growth Attenuation – it was controversial then. We have seen what it has done to jazz jennings genitals which are too tiny for GRS – imagine what its done to is brain? if you essentially prevent children fro maturing, ow are they ever to make a mature decision? what kind of romantic relationships can they have with child size sex organs? what sort of people are they going to attract?
        I’m just going to pop this stuff about ‘The Ashley Treatment’ (Growth Attenuation) here..
        http://pillowangel.org/

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  6. Just listened to your interview. You were great. So good to see you. We’re so proud of the man you have become! Love you dearly, Mom & Dad

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  7. I agree with you 200%. Unfortunately “Transgender ideology” is raging like communism and socialism in the last century whereby Hans Christian Andersen’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” prevails.

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  8. False. It only took me one year to have my name changed in my medical records, fight to start testosterone and it cost me $4 so far. I think you are just trying to scare people out of this because you are disappointed in your own results. Yes I believe it should be a process where they acknowledge everything that could go wrong but chances are it won’t. Also you can stop hormone therapy at any time and women stopping testosterone can even in time have a successful pregnancy. I think maybe you are regretting choices you have made or it was just a phase for you but for some of us it isn’t a phase and it is worth it. Please learn your facts before posting nonsense and scaring people into transitioning because of your own regrets. You have a right to speak your mind but you don’t have the right to scare people

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  9. With respect, it seems that the tone of my piece has been completely misinterpreted here. Transitioning was the right choice for me, and I said as much in my writing. I am not sure where you gleaned the impression that I thought it was just a phase for me, or that I regretted my choice. Because it wasn’t and I don’t.

    I disagree with the idea of children transitioning, as I do not think they are cognitively mature enough to fully grasp the choice they are making.
    If the child is truly suffering from GID, and it is a condition that is pervasive and causing them a lot of torment, then perhaps with proper counselling, education, and adult support (parents or guardians) an acceptation could be made. There are always acceptations.

    There is a lot that goes in to the transition from one gender to the other. Hormone replacement therapy, puberty blockers, and invasive surgeries are an extreme response. GID is rare, yet the amount of children who identify as having it is growing. Kids are very impressionable and follow trends, and right now trans is trendy.

    Nowhere in my piece did I attempt to scare people, making the statement “maybe wait” is not the same thing as saying “don’t do it”. I encourage you to read the piece again. I was coming from a place of great compassion.

    Regards,

    Todd

    Like

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