Transgender rights have been in the news often, whether it’s over bathrooms or Boy Scouts. Many people wish would this mind-numbing pile of issues would just go away, either because the concept of anyone being transgender is unsettling, or because it seems like such a trivial problem in comparison with everything else.
Unfortunately, what typically makes the headlines is just the tip of an iceberg that the general public doesn’t see. The primary reason for that is the transgender movement itself. What they are preventing the public from discussing is extremely disturbing.
Consider the following anonymous case summary:
‘Girl X’ is a healthy 8-year-old. While she has some minor health problems, they do not cause significant psychological issues. It has been reported by her mother that ‘Girl X’ has been engaging in a significant number of gender fluid behaviors, which has included expressing a desire to dress and appear like a boy. ‘Girl X’ must be forced to wear specifically feminine clothing (dresses), prefers socializing with boys of her own age and slightly older, and her mother refused requests to remove “girl” toys from her bedroom. When challenged on her ‘masculine’ choices, “Girl X” often states that she wishes she had been born a boy.
If “Girl X” saw a psychologist or therapist who is following the current theories that this kind of behavior should be diagnosed as Gender Dysmorphia (GD), there’s a very good chance she would be put on a road of therapy that could leave her sterile. Her parents would be told to encourage her “gender exploration,” and that their “gender binary” beliefs could harm their child.
If “Girl X” were particularly adamant in her beliefs that she should be a boy, it’s entirely possible she would be started on hormonal treatments that would prevent her from going into puberty, essentially leaving her as a biologically pre-pubertal female. Regardless of whether she would ever decide to get a sex-change operation in the future, she would probably be sterile and never develop properly as either female or male.
It’s Entirely Normal for Children to Explore Their Identity
In this case, “Girl X” is one of a majority of children out there, between 80 and 95 percent, who express some degree of gender “confusion” during their development, but eventually accept the fact of their biological sex. I am “Girl X,” and ended up as a heterosexual woman with four children. While I still regularly break “gender norms,” that is just as subjective a statement as any other regarding gender identification anyway.
My parents were either very wise, or absolutely clueless. They simply stood back, let me do what I wanted (within reason and physical limitations), and remained neutral. They neither encouraged nor discouraged my leaps across the gender boundaries, and just made certain that I lived within my personal limits, as opposed to any manufactured by society.
Today, the transgender movement and its “gender ideology” are being sold as an ethical way to deal with children who simply are exploring their own thoughts and feelings about gender identity. At its roots, it is a subjective theory based on a misguided notion in psychology that there is no such thing as “normal” in mental health.
On paper, it probably does look nice and inclusive, but in practice it leads to irreversible physical damage to children whose parents buy into this theory out of a desire to do what is best for them. Parents do not want to see their children in pain, and “gender ideology” is the current snake oil for GD—something that should be considered a fancy term for “finding oneself.”
It’s Not Right to Experiment on Children
The American College of Pediatricians has clearly stated that “Gender Ideology Harms Children.” The general public doesn’t tend to hear about that, though. It is rarely said in the mainstream media that treating GD with hormones has irreversible effects on children, and on the contrary, many probably believe it’s all reversible. It’s rarely stated the drugs used to suppress normal sexual development in children are off-label, as in they were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this use.
That’s unlikely to happen ever, because this treatment is not to cure any organic illnesses. Arguably, it is being used to make a psychological disorder worse. That is exactly what it would be called, if defining psychological disorders had not become so subjective.
As for what is backing this “gender ideology” school of thought, there are a few, extremely limited studies out there, largely focusing on the psychology and sociology involved. Small groups of middle-class mothers who are sharing their parenting techniques suffice for “science.” The underpinning for all of this is a basic desire to break down gender definitions, primarily with a goal of removing the gender binary society generally accepts. Like any other social movement, time should be measured in decades or centuries, but this group is trying to speed things up. Unfortunately, the media is more than happy to help them.
One reason for this is, bluntly, bullying. Medical, psychological, and academic professionals who dare to speak out against engaging in what is essentially turning children into lab rats can face very real professional consequences. “First, Do No Harm: Youth Gender Professionals” is a group of mostly anonymous professionals who are speaking out against this experimentation. They are known to each other, but keep their identities generally hidden from the public at large.
The Trans Lobby Creates an Extremely Hostile Climate
When preparing to write this, I asked a family physician, a psychologist, and a licensed family therapist for their thoughts on GD and hormonal therapy for children. There were no replies from anyone that could be used “on the record,” even with the offer to list the individuals as “anonymous sources.”
I had asked professionals I know personally, but their refusals to comment on the record did not surprise me. On the “About” page of the “First, Do No Harm” blog, one user brought up the issue that the professionals on the site were posting anonymously. Jojo Dancer asked, “Is there someplace where your credentials can be verified? Also, without citation, how is the public to know if this information is true or presented in an unbiased manner?”
The reply from an admin user, youthtranscriticalprofessionals, succinctly summarizes the sentiments offered to me by the professionals I asked: “Hi Jojo Dancer. Given the current climate, it doesn’t feel safe to speak on this issue using names at this time. I can say that I am a psychotherapist with 20 years experience. Other professionals in different disciplines will be contributing here soon. As for citations, I do link to articles that back up things that I have said where research is involved…”
Another user, Henry Hughes, further clarified the issue by pointing out, “please familiarize yourself with the shocking attacks that people, professional and otherwise, who question the trans narrative have suffered from transgender people and their supporters. You will come to understand that careers have been threatened. And worse.” Those comments were posted about a year ago, but the hostile climate for professionals and academics has not improved since then.
Information We Need to Discuss This Is Suppressed
So, while the public argues about bathrooms, the real debate that should be happening isn’t. The medical ethics question about consciously treating physically healthy children with drugs that will leave them sterile for life doesn’t hit the headlines. These treatments start when the children cannot give informed consent because their brains are not physically mature enough to make the choice. It’s also before they can have eggs or sperm harvested, in case they want to have children later in life.
There is no argument over the fact that professionals who would normally speak out for the protection of these children cannot do so, at least not without suffering professionally. There are no calls for wide-ranging, longitudinal studies on the effects of just the psychological and sociological ramifications of parents and professionals using children for private experiments to define the future of gender identification.
If the transgender movement had focused only on adults, then there wouldn’t be a problem with just focusing on the laws about which restroom someone can use. Since that isn’t the case, the people really need to start ignoring that narrative, and focus on what the transgender movement really doesn’t want in the headlines. People need to start thinking about what the movement is doing to children. When it’s just letting Billy wear a dress, or letting Julie be a Boy Scout, that’s not a big deal. But, when it gets to the point where the parents are signing consent forms for Billy and Julie to end up getting hormonal treatments, it’s time to start saying “No.”