Do Youth Transgender Diagnoses Put Would Be Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Adults at Risk for Unnecessary Medical Intervention?

aitken

Aitken: 2013, J Sex Med

I have always thought anti-gay eugenics, or forms of medical conversion therapy for gay men and lesbians, would be an issue activists would have to confront in the future since Simon LeVay first discussed the biological origins of homosexuality in 1991. At that time I was a stressed out 22-year-old female figuring out my sexuality. Since then there have been searches for the gay gene and doctors promoting dangerous, off label drug use to pregnant mothers partially motivated by preventing lesbianism. But recently the concerns around the eradication of gay and lesbian individuals have revolved around diagnosing children and young teenagers as transgender and prescribing them hormone blockers. There is also a push to lower the age of consent for cross-sex hormones, mastectomies, and genital surgeries. I first became aware of these fears from reading gay and lesbian social media sites. People on these sites have these fears because many gender nonconforming children grow up to be gay or lesbian, not transgender. There are also some studies that show bisexuals are more likely to struggle with gender identity as young people. This sounded concerning but the idea that gay and lesbian children were being turned into heterosexuals by the trans movement and the psychology/medical fields sounded like internet hyperbole, possibly motivated by anti-trans prejudice. Some of the commentary sounded transphobic. This surprised me as I had always been a staunch trans supporter. I viewed their cause as the same as ours and wanted them to always be included in our human rights activism. I began reading studies on transgender youth and have at this point read through dozens and dozens of them. The studies on youth stated that although most gnc (gender nonconforming) youth grow out of dysphoria and are likely to be gay or lesbian, most that persist into their teenage years will almost always have a trans identity into adulthood. The few studies done on young people showed improved mental health of transitioned youth. I felt relieved by this information as it seemed that trans teenagers separate out during puberty from lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight gnc youth. And trans youth go on to get the help they need to transition medically at age 18, no major cause for concern.

I don’t believe there is no major cause for concern anymore. People (particularly LGB people) should be concerned that new protocols of early social transitions, as well as the use of hormone blockers, could be tracking some youth that would otherwise grow out of their dysphoria (as most youth do) into unnecessary surgeries and hormone dependence. If better evidence comes forth in the future I am more than willing to change my mind. But there are reasons to at least question these may not be harmless practices that only isolate truly trans adults. 

First, here is what is happening now and what is rapidly becoming the norm for gender nonconforming children as youth transgender clinics are proliferating rapidly.

  1. Children as young as three years old are being assessed for gender dysphoria by anxious parents at the growing number of transgender youth clinics around the Western world.
  2. Children as young as five are being affirmed as the opposite sex and fully socially transitioned into the identity of the opposite sex.
  3. Children as young as 6 are being provided with genitalia tuckers for natal boys and penis prostheses for natal girls, reinforcing the child’s dissociation with their own body from a very early age.
  4. These children attend support groups and camps run by mostly transgender individuals and heterosexual therapists who believe in a 100% affirmation model of the child’s gender identity. None of these groups seem to have many gender nonconforming gay and lesbian role models, unfortunate considering that is statistically a likely outcome.
  5. Anti-“conversion therapy” laws have been passed that make it illegal for any therapists to attempt to help the child become comfortable with their natal sex. Even therapists report they don’t understand what they can and cannot say under these laws.
  6. Trans activism has an agenda of extreme censorship, reinforced by threats, doxxing, accusations of bigotry, accusations of murder, and smear campaigns affecting any medical professional, mental health professional, journalist, parent, or educator that would dare to question these practices. Liberal or even middle-of-the-road websites refuse to air any legitimate concerns and totally reasonable comments by the public are quickly deleted.
  • Since most research shows that sex reassignment surgery helps transgender people with dysphoria and improves their dysphoric symptoms the protocol may be entirely justified for trans children. The problem is that a large percentage of children untreated medically will grow out of gender dysphoria. The above protocol in these situations, while very supportive to trans youth, would actually be potentially damaging and confusing practices for any child that would eventually align with their natal sex. It may even put them in physical danger by placing them on hormone blockers that may affect their desistance from dysphoria. Some adult homosexuals, who feel this could have put them or their partners at risk, think that this is a human rights violation against the gay and lesbian community, whose members are more likely to be negatively impacted by false positives, and are a very small minority of the population. False positives would result in disfigured gay people, converted to heterosexuals, who may never even know what life would have been like for them had they been allowed to mature naturally.

In light of these new treatment protocols it seems reasonable to discuss possible dangers

The entire debate around child transitions would be of little interest to me or even the business of the LGB community if it was easy to identify truly trans youth. So do children that grow up to be nontrans LGB, or even heterosexual, experience even serious dysphoria as children? It seems they do.

  • There is ample evidence that most gender dysphoric children (including ones with an official gender identity disorder diagnosis) grow out of it and are significantly more likely to be gay, lesbian, or even bisexual adults. Here are some examples from the research in peer-reviewed journals.

“With regard to sexual orientation, the most likely outcome of childhood GID is homosexuality or bisexuality.“Ethical issues raised by the treatment of gender-variant prepubescent children”

“The studies the authors cite followed a total of 246 children; only 39 of them had gender dysphoria after puberty, thus the overall persistence rate for the dysphoria was 16%. “The persistence rate varied among the different studies from 2% to 27% (i.e. 73%-98% of the children stopped having gender dysphoria).” – “Desisting and persisting gender dysphoria after childhood: a qualitative follow-up study”

“This study provided information on the natural histories of 25 girls with gender identity disorder (GID). Standardized assessment data in childhood (mean age, 8.88 years; range, 3-12 years) and at follow-up (mean age, 23.24 years; range, 15-36 years) were used to evaluate gender identity and sexual orientation. At the assessment in childhood, 60% of the girls met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for GID, and 40% were subthreshold for the diagnosis. At follow-up, 3 participants (12%) were judged to have GID or gender dysphoria. Regarding sexual orientation, 8 participants (32%) were classified as bisexual/homosexual in fantasy, and 6 (24%) were classified as bisexual/homosexual in behavior. The remaining participants were classified as either heterosexual or asexual. – “A follow-up study of girls with gender identity disorder”

  • Dr Diane Ehrensaft and other trans allies and activists present child transitions as totally safe because the desistance rate is inflated by lumping in gnc youth that aren’t as dysphoric in with those that are very dysphoric. But based on what other professionals say this isn’t clear.

“There is no consensus among mental health professionals regarding appropriate intervention, or even appropriate goals of intervention, for children diagnosed with GID” Dr Norman Spack

“Of children with even severe gender dysphoria and cross-sex identification, about 85% do not develop a persistent transsexual identity in adolescence”… “Reliable indicators are not so far available regarding which gender dysphoric children cease to be so in puberty and who develop transsexual identity.” – “Two years of gender identity service for minors: overrepresentation of natal girls with severe problems in adolescent development”

“There were no differences in childhood behavior between the group that lost their gender dysphoria and the group that did not.”  “Desisting and persisting gender dysphoria after childhood: A qualitative follow-up study – Review.”

  • Some health professionals have made strong statements against early social transitions.

“To be frank, I find Ehrensaft’s conceptualization of gender to be full of inconsistencies and ideology unsupported by evidence.”-Claudia Lament, PhD

“Given our findings that some girls, who were almost (but not even entirely) living as boys in their childhood years, experienced great trouble when they wanted to return to the female gender role, we believe that parents and caregivers should fully realize the unpredictability of their child’s psychosexual outcome…They may help their child to handle their gender variance in a supportive way, but without taking social steps long before puberty, which are hard to reverse.” – “Desisting and persisting gender dysphoria after childhood: a qualitative follow-up study”

“Hill et al. [17] advocate an affirmative intervention, helping parents to support their child’s declared sex rather than attempting to have the child conform to their natal sex. There is an increasing parental support for young children living as their desired sex; however, desisters may struggle with returning to live as their natal sex when their original desire to live as the opposite sex had been so strongly supported and encouraged by parents and providers, and even accepted by peers.”  – “Current management of gender identity disorder in childhood and adolescence: guidelines, barriers and areas of controversy”

“What of the gender variant child whose social environment both accepts and encourages an early transition but may be unaware that the child, unwilling to disappoint, has had a change of heart?” – Jack Drescher, MD

  • These statements seem to contradict the “apples and oranges” analogy of trans versus other gnc youth promoted by Diane Ehrensaft, Kristina Olson, and others who advocate that people should 100% affirm the child’s gender identity at any age. Yet gender specialists, trans activists, school systems, the media, and even LGBT organizations continue to promote this protocol as safe and non controversial.

Hormone blockers may actually cause a transgender outcome by preventing a normal puberty. The same may be true of placing a child in the 100% affirmation environments of modern-day gender clinics.

  • Children are prescribed hormone blockers that halt puberty as young as age 10. I have not been able to find any studies that show children grow out of dysphoria after going on hormone blockers. So it appears there is a near zero desist rate in the studies that are available. Either youth trans clinics in these studies have a 100% accuracy rate of determining truly trans children as young as age 11, or these clinics are already tracking children for sex reassignment surgery that would have grown out of dysphoria. It could be argued denying care to trans youth is child abuse but it could also be argued that leading a child down a path of serious medical procedures and hormone dependence is child abuse in the instances of false positives. Even if there are a few instances of desistance, without controls there isn’t any proof if more would have.
  1. From the VU University Medical Center clinic in Amsterdam, “No adolescent withdrew from puberty suppression, and all started cross-sex hormone treatment, the first step of actual gender reassignment.” How is it possible, with these previous very high desistance rates that out of the 70 children put on hormone blockers, not a single child desisted.
  2. “It’s incredibly rare. There’s really only one child that has been reported in the literature that went on the blockers and did not go on to cross-sex hormones, or gender-affirming hormones.” Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy
  • Since the tween years are important for trans and other gnc children in figuring out their gender identity, it is completely logical to worry that preventing the flush of testosterone or estrogen in these children’s bodies and brains my cause them to become transgender adults. If it isn’t actually these very hormones that cause desistance than what is it? This practice is being marketed to the public as completely reversible and safe physically, with no controls or hard evidence to back up those statements in relation to psychological effects. The use of drugs like lupron are off label and have possible serious side effects.
  • The clinicians in the Netherlands state that complicated factors during adolescence help the child to understand themselves. “It is recommended to specifically address the adolescents’ feelings regarding the factors that came up as relevant in our interviews (i.e. the effects of the changing social environment, the response to anticipated or actual puberty, and the emerging romantic/sexual feelings and sexual partner choice), before any medical steps are taken (e.g. to suppress further pubertal development).” How can this happen when every dysphoric child is puberty suppressed at 11 years old in the future.
  • According to the website Transgendertrend, who attended a public meeting on trans youth, Dr Wren of Tavistock in London made a statement that 12- 27% of ‘gender variant’ children persist in gender dysphoria; that percentage rises to 40% among those who visit gender clinics. This is only one random statement. But it implies a trans identity could be influenced by culture. A culture that doesn’t think emphasizing a child adjusting to their natal sex, even with some difficulty, is of any value.

There has been a dramatic, unexplained increase of females presenting to gender clinics, with significantly more female teenagers requesting sex reassignment surgery than males, historically unheard of. This is true in Canada, the United States, Finland, England, and The Netherlands.

  • The numbers of children being diagnosed as transgender have increased dramatically in general. Most of the earliest transitions were MtF with the ratio balancing out recently with still more MtFs in most countries. But nothing ever has approached these increases in females relative to males in children and teens. According to the authors of this study, “In adult samples [of transitioners], in almost all cases, the number of natal males either exceeds the number of natal females or the sex ratio is near parity.”
  • Here is a chart of the sex ratio reversal that has happened in the last several years for clinics that track this.

sex-ratio-trans-females-males

  • Early hormonal puberty at both the Dutch and Canadian clinics was ruled out as a cause for the increase in females. Also, hormone mimicking chemicals in the environment seem like an unlikely explanation. They are mostly estrogen mimicking and, if anything, would be having a feminization effect on males and not a masculinizing one on females. And many of these chemicals have been around for a long time.
  • I thought there may be a reasonable explanation for this extreme sex ratio reversal in such a short period of time. Trans people are diverse but there are different types of MtF trans people. One type are very effeminate as young children and are almost exclusively attracted to males. The other general type are considered “late onset” as they tend to come out later and are generally attracted to women or are bisexual or asexual. I assumed the late onset type, who actually make up a large percent of the trans community, may be under represented in the tween/teenage groups. But that’s not the case in these studies. They are coming out at younger ages as well.
  1. 1976-2005 – 67% primarily attracted to males, 33% other
  2. 2006-2013 – 44% primarily attracted to males, 56% other- Transresearchinfo.com
  • There is a significant increase of females with a bisexual or heterosexual attraction with regards to their natal sex seeking treatment for gender dysphoria. The Canadian clinic looked at the sexual orientation of the young people. The known epidemiology of this condition has shifted rapidly. The topic of youth transitions is becoming more relevant for the bisexual community and not just gays and lesbians.
  1. 1976-2005 – 89% primarily attracted to females; 11% other
  2. 2006-2013 – 64% primarily attracted to females; 36% other- Transresearchinfo.com
  • The explanation clinicians for the Aitken study have provided is that more people are just coming out. But they admit this doesn’t explain why this would only be affecting females in such large numbers relative to males. This also doesn’t explain why the female adult population would not be showing this drastic reversal as well. If trans is a hard-wired biological reality not influenced by culture, why aren’t twice as many older females coming out and transitioning relative to males, finally able to take advantage of the new social tolerance.
  • Another explanation coming from these clinicians is that it’s just more accepted for females to transition and there is less social cost for being FtM. But this would have been just as much a reality 10 years ago as it is today and should be reflected in the adult population as well. The authors also argued that natal males were bullied more because of being effeminate than masculine females and this may affect decisions to transition. The problem is one could just as easily argue feminine boys would want to go through with transition if they are bullied for being effeminate males, as they could conform to gender expectations as women. And females would be less likely to feel this pressure.
  • I would argue it was negligent on the part of the authors of this study to not even consider this shift in the context of the fact that females experience significantly more body hatred than males. This manifests itself in more cutting, dieting, anorexia, bulimia, and plastic surgery. Labiaplasty is now becoming more popular among teenagers and young women, so their genitals can conform to porn star representations. All of these behaviors in females were at one time nonexistent or rare but became popularized through social contagion due to increased media attention. I’m not saying anorexia in the same as gender dysphoria. There are similarities and there are major differences. Sex reassignment surgery can relieve symptoms and aid in health and purging always worsens it. I am only arguing that it is unprofessional and a sign of self-protection on the part of these authors not to even bring up the issue of female body shame. And the reason they avoid this basic “Sociology 101” question in my opinion, is because it would force these researchers to consider they may be playing a part in increasing the very thing they are trying to treat.
  • The Finish study, with the largest gap between females and males indicates that trans awareness is increasing gender dysphoria in teenage females. It could be argued that this is just more people coming out but these are females with serious mental health issues.

“In the majority of the applicants, gender dysphoria presented in the context of wider identity confusion, severe psychopathology and considerable challenges in the adolescent development. At this point it is not possible to predict how gender dysphoria in this group will develop:”

The recorded comorbid disorders were thus severe and could seldom be considered secondary to gender dysphoria. This utterly contradicts the findings in the Dutch child and adolescent gender identity service, where two thirds of adolescent SR applicants did not have psychiatric comorbidity”

  • Dr Wren from Tavistock is generally positive about young people creating an online trans culture through social media and an increasing amount of youth seeking transition services. But since the Tavistock clinic is also faced with more and more females seeking SRS, presenting with serious comorbid conditions, even she is forced to at least consider this increase of females that hate their bodies in a cultural context.
  1. “It could be argued that we live in a society where there is a disproportionate emphasis on physical appearance and huge pressure to attain an ideal body type. In this context it may be disproportionately young women who hate their bodies if they feel that cannot attain these ideals, and who wish to act on their bodies in some way, for example  through restrictive dieting and body modification.  However it would be speculative and simplistic – and from our point of view premature –  to suggest that this is the main reason for the increase in referrals of natal females to our service.” Why has there been such a substantial rise in the number of referrals over the past few years?

  • Generally when there is a rapid change in epidemiology of any condition scientists scrutinize it. The response to this phenomena by trans activists and some in the psychology and medical community is to simply lower the age of consent for mastectomies, cross-sex hormones, and genital surgery.

That there is a universal environment of stringent gatekeeping, with clear standards of care, is a falsehood being promoted by trans activist, some gender dysphoria professionals, and the media. The portrayal by clinicians and trans activist that only persistent, insistent, dysphoric young people are being transitioned is no longer true.

  • Clinics are now skipping hormone blockers and administering cross-sex hormones as young as 12 years old. Even puberty, the process that helps young people to grow out of gender dysphoria, will no longer happen. More and more gnc youth in the near future will be put on cross-sex hormones right away. “UK doctor prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12”
  • There is a new category of gender dysphoric person now called “non-bianary” who may just want top surgery or less hormones for a more androgynous look. It is completely unstudied. Adults should be free to make these decisions. I am only skeptical about medicalizing these new identities proliferating on sites such as Tumblr among minors.
  • Even Tavistock, held to standards private clinics aren’t in the United States or Britain, has only 3 or 4 sessions to assess if a tween or teenager should be put on blockers. No one knows whether or not this affects persistence in a trans identity. In my opinion, not developing a long-term psychological relationship with a 12-year-old, before providing them with chemicals that may interfere with their development is irresponsible.

There are documented cases where youths are being misdiagnosed as trans by overzealous professionals and protected from bad decisions only by their parent’s refusal to go along with these protocols. People like this are painted as villains.

  • 4thwavenow, a site that trans activists and allies try to deem a hate site, has been documenting situations that put youths that grew out of gender dysphoria at risk. Several of the parents say similar things. Their child had no previous signs of serious dysphoria until the tween years after exposure to trans social media, their children were basically diagnosed as transgender over the telephone, and it was very difficult for their children to disappoint their trans friends by choosing to not transition. They all have to remain anonymous for fear of damage to their children and becoming the victims of threats and witch hunts. There is some intense anti-transing youth sentiment on this website. But I hope people can have compassion for the fact that having professionals be dangerously wrong about your child, watching your child’s healthy body be put at risk, and being threatened tends to make people upset. No one cares about these people’s stories in the media, saturated with feel good trans youth pieces.
  • I follow people on social media and several of them transitioned or were close to having transitioned and regret it. Some of them were minors when it happened. So this process does endanger at least some youth, that is a fact. The question is, “will this be rare now that the dynamics have changed so much or will it become more common.”

Public statements by advocates of the 100% affirmation model are often devoid of any concern for the impacts of these practices on gnc youth that may grow out of dysphoria. The ethics of some of the practices of these doctors is debatable. Articles online are also absent of even basic journalistic skepticism.  

  • It is reasonable for society as a whole to debate the ethics this doctor, Johanna Olson-Kennedy who…
  1. Has an FtM partner that advocated to raise money for a mastectomy and testosterone for a down syndrome female.
  2. Advocates for mastectomies and genital surgeries on minors, including ones with learning disabilities. I find this doctor’s enthusiastic endorsement of genital surgery on minors problematic. Vaginoplasties can collapse, require ongoing dilation over a lifetime, are prone to infections, and the surgery may affect sexual response in some patients. Most MtFs and FtMs, having made the decision as rational adults, opt to not have bottom surgery. One study shows 15% of MtF adults are not able to experience orgasm after surgery. Phaloplasties for FtMs can fail or lead to serious infection. Adults should have full rights to these surgeries if they choose. Can a teenager really asses these risks?

These findings are used to argue that social transitions should not be encouraged, because according to the logic, around 80 percent of these children who are identified as gender dysphoric will not ultimately be transgender if left alone or given proper therapy. Here, again, the distinction between transgender children and the rest of the spectrum of gender nonconforming children is critical to acknowledge.

As cited above, even children that have an official GID diagnosis to the point of hating their own genitals, may not be trans adults. There are many problematic quotes in this article and her own research only proves some of these young people say they are the opposite sex. Her research doesn’t prove no children who say they are the opposite sex grow out of gender dysphoria. And in this article there is no mention of the difficulty and confusion of transitioning back to living as their natal sex, already documented above. There is no concern about the fact that social transitions may lead to early lupron use, which may possibly cause persistence. And there is no mention of the gay and lesbian community, who would be affected by false positives. I believe this omission is intentional. Trans activists and gender specialists do not want scrutiny for the experimentation they are doing on gnc children from the gay community. They continually insist “gender and sexual orientation are two totally different things.” The reason so many gay people don’t trust this is that we know this isn’t true. A lot of gnc presentation is a spectrum, much more like bisexuality than homosexuality versus heterosexuality. We all know gnc gays and lesbians that are almost trans or were so as children. And gay people concerned about this want youth raised in a culture of body acceptance rather than pills offered at 11 years old. So that these complicated decisions can be made by more mature people.

  • Dr Wren made a statement that she is not concerned about large increases in females attending her clinic. She has made similar statements next to crying parents during interviews about transitioning teenagers.

It’s not a concern for us as such. It is a notable trend that requires thought and research.”

  • Here is a quote assessing Dr Spack’s bias from this article in the Journal of Homosexuality.

“Given this uncertainty of prognosis, it is significant that Edwards-Leeper and Spack’s presentation of the pros and cons of pubertal suppression, a primary intervention in their protocol and their frequent recommendation following diagnosis, is imbalanced. They offer seven physiological benefits to pubertal suppression (for the most part just a list of the physical effects) and no disadvantages. Likewise they tout the psychological advantages, but note no potential disadvantages.”

“Another friend’s 14-year-old son began identifying as a trans girl last year but doesn’t present as female — doesn’t wear feminine clothes, have girl friends, or even shave, um, her mustache. So when multiple Los Angeles therapists urged them to start the kid on hormone replacement therapy, the parents resisted…“All of them are pushing our child down that road, and our child is not showing us that she wants to go down that road. It’s really dangerous,” says my friend — who is about as progressive as they come. “I mean, we don’t even let her eat chicken with hormones in it!”

  • The many pro transition articles out there almost always leave out the fact that these practices sterilize children, while at the same time trans adults are advocating for their own reproductive rights. Many MtF activists have children. Trans men who transitioned as adults are choosing to have babies. This seems quite relevant, yet is rarely discussed.

Trans activists, as well as allies, have created an extremely hostile environment around this debate. Anyone that questions these practices as 100% safe risks threats, harassment, and smears against their character. 

  • There have been plenty of examples of individuals being threatened, doxxed, smeared and harassed by trans activists for straying from trans ideology.
  1. Micheal Bailey, fully supportive of trans rights, was vilified and the target of a smear campaign for presenting a theory of MtF expression as being like a sexual orientation. I am not advocating his controversial theory. But he was treated atrociously.
  2. Alice Dreger, a bioethicist, wrote about this and was harassed mercilessly. She documented this in Galileo’s Middle Finger . She is an adamant supporter of trans rights, believes trans people should have access to any spaces, and should be able to change their gender on government documents. But because she wrote about Blanchard’s/Bailey’s theories, and questions the safety of youth transitions (which she doesn’t even oppose), she is treated like bigot and has been refused publication in “feminist” websites on unrelated topics.
  3. This statement is from a social worker who didn’t feel her autistic trans son had the mental capacity to give consent for SRS and hormones. Her FtM son is now experiencing serious side effects from testosterone use. “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.” This article is also an example of how liberals are having to turn to conservative websites because the liberal or even moderate media refuses to air their stories or bother to raise concerns about these practices.
  4. Dr Kenneth Zucker is despised by trans activist because even though he was transitioning youth, he advocated for trying to help children become comfortable with their bodies, deeply offensive to the trans community. I don’t agree with what I have read about some of his practices. But allegedly a serious lie was concocted about him in order to get him fired. The accusation, apparently false, was that he called a FtM trans youth “a hairy little vermin.” This was documented here in “A False Accusation Helped Bring Down Kenneth Zucker, a Controversial Sex Researcher”
  5. Jesse Singal, who also wrote the above article, was continually accused by trans activists and their allies (most of whom know absolutely nothing about the research on this topic) of causing the “death of trans people” by publishing this article, “How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired.” 
  6. If anyone makes a factual statement such as “transitioning youth needs more research” they will be accused of being no better than a Nazi or the KKK. I have  seen it happen many times. Reasonable comments on child transition articles on sites that are supposed to promote impartial news are deleted right away.
  • This is part of the reality of modern-day identity politics combined with Internet dynamics, so I am not just singling out trans people for behaving this way. Gays, Christians, angry white people, and ethnic minorities will all send death threats over the Internet when offended. And I understand that the trans community views questioning their access to care as an affront to their rights, I actually don’t blame them. However, censoring debate around something as serious as sex reassignment on teenagers should not be tolerated in a free society.
  • It seems reasonable to fear that anti-conversion therapy laws that are being passed could be used to create a hostile environment and to stifle debate for researchers and practicing therapists.

Trans suicide is used as an argument to squelch any discussion of treatment alternatives.

  • Youth suicides should be taken extremely seriously. If medical transition will prevent a youth from suicide I believe that youth should be given that care. But the threat of suicide needs to be looked at critically. The suicide issue is not solely linked with the ability to medically transition as a minor.
  1. Several high-profile trans youth suicides other than the Leelah Alcorn tragedy (who lived with homophobic/transphobic parents), were committed by trans youth that had the full support of their families and were in support groups.
  2. Several studies indicate suicide rates remain high after transition. “(Moskowitz 2010, http://www.lauras-playground.com, etc.) suggest that over forty percent of transsexuals either attempt suicide or succeed in killing themselves post surgically. Some in the ‘trans’ community (e.g. http://www.lauras-playground.com) ascribe this to society’s intolerance. But one would expect this to be reduced after surgery as it became easier to pass as one’s chosen gender.”  This survey shows the suicide issues is still a problem post transition.
  3. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth in some sociological studies have suicide ideation rates and even attempts almost as high as trans youth, indicating there are other factors such as bigotry and rejection not related to access to medical interventions alone.
  • Providing a loving supportive environment for gnc youth and encouraging them not to rush transition is not the same as transphobia. The two should not be conflated but always are. Regardless, everyone needs to be accepted for who they are, as rejection is confirmed to be a cause of suicide and depression among humans in general.

It is naive to believe these medical transition practices will not be used unethically on gender nonconforming children in Non-Western countries.

  • I realize Western doctors can’t and won’t alter standards of care based on abuses in other countries. But gnc people in other countries will be subjected to these practices because of sexism and homophobia. These prejudices are already medicalized. The abortions of female fetuses are a prime example. It is difficult for heterosexuals to understand the gay paranoia around transing children. I started off this article describing my fear of anti-gay eugenics because I read history books and know how undesirables are treated.
  • Here are maps of the legality of transgenderism versus homosexuality. I can’t take credit for this comparison as I saw someone post these maps on a message board. But I think it’s illuminating. In most of these places transition and even marriages by transgender people is legal. Pakastan is an example of an extremely conservative country where this is the case. Transgenderism is more acceptable than homosexuality in more parts of the world.

 

same-sex-marriege-legal

trangender rights legal worldmap

  • Even some Western parents may prefer a trans boy to a butch lesbian daughter, the least celebrated form of womanhood in all the world, or a trans girl to an embarrassing sissy boy. It’s not totally unreasonable to fear parental attitudes may affect outcomes.

In conclusion

I do not want anyone to stand in the way of any trans child having their rights respected and getting the best care they can. I am merely questioning if this movement is having an effect my own community, even in small numbers, given that peer-reviewed scientific literature states that many gnc youth become LGB adults. Gay men and lesbians, could be disproportionately affected by false positives. Bisexuals seem to be more likely to be gnc youths as well and more bisexual young people seem to be seeking SRS. The trans community and allies argue that forcing trans youth to go through the wrong puberty is child abuse. But disallowing a gender nonconforming person, even one that is having a difficult childhood, from maturing into a person with a healthy relationship with their body, that doesn’t require ongoing hormone injections, vaginoplasty, vaginal dilations, phalloplasty scarring, mastectomies, hysterectomies, and unknown cancer risks is also child abuse. One of the young people in one of the studies touted as showing good mental health outcomes for young people who had surgery actually died. So if doctors and activists that make statements like “the risks may be worth it”  hold the opinion that disfiguring a few nontrans gnc youth is an acceptable down side to supporting trans mental health and better esthetics, than they owe it to the public, and the gay and lesbian community, to be up front about the fact that is what they are doing. Or provide some solid proof that is not what is happening.

To summarize from the Finnish study,

“During puberty and adolescent development there may be some overlap between normative testing of sexuality and gender roles in the one end, and gender dysphoria as a disorder in the other end of the spectrum. This would implicate that GD in adults and in adolescence may not be the same issue in general. For these reasons it is more challenging to assess whether the gender identity of an adolescent is so firmly established that physical intervention is indicated than it is to assess this among adults.”

While we may have a movement providing much welcome relief and support for trans youth, we also now have more dysphoria, more females that hate their bodies, and more comorbid conditions. And more and more youths, whose immature brains are not capable of proper risk assessment, makings drastic, permanent decisions about their bodies. This is all combined with a lack of knowledge of the risks of longterm hormone use and intensifying censorship from the trans community, LGBT orgs, and the media. I’m not categorically against child transitions nor do I feel I have the right to prioritize my in-group over anyone else’s. I don’t know the extent of any negative consequences. However, it appears that professionals do not either. I’m merely asking questions doctors, bioethicists, mental health professionals, and other LGB and even T people are asking.