Jenn Burleton, director of youth transition org, dismisses ex-client’s complaints as “TERF infestation”

This is an update to Friday’s post. Please read it first for background.


UPDATE June 14, 2016: TransActive Gender Center and director Jenn Burleton have issued public statements on their Facebook pages. TransActive has labeled 4thWaveNow an “anti-trans hate site” because we have provided a platform for Cari to tell her story.

TA statement June 13 2016

It’s a common tactic of trans-activist organizations, which can tolerate no dissent, to dismiss critics of pediatric transition as “transphobic” or “hating trans children.” We at 4thWaveNow–the majority of us being concerned parents of gender nonconforming youth–invite all readers to investigate the posts, interviews, and research-based information on our site and decide for yourselves whether 4thWaveNow “dispenses anti-trans youth rhetoric.”


Cari, a detransitioning 22-year-old ex-client of TransActive Gender Center,  has written on her Tumblr blog about her dissatisfaction with the services provided by that organization when she was a gender-dysphoric teenager.

Jenn Burleton, director and founder of TransActive, chose to respond indirectly to Cari via a public Facebook post. When reading Burleton’s screed, bear in mind that Burleton runs an organization which has considerable influence over the lives of gender-defiant youth. In addition, Burleton is an advocate for lowering the age of medical consent nationwide, and was instrumental in changing Oregon law to allow teens as young as 15 to obtain surgeries (including mastectomy and “bottom” surgeries) without parental consent. Burleton also believes (and has stated on the WPATH public Facebook page) that TransActive’s no-questions-asked youth transition program disproves decades of peer-reviewed research demonstrating that most gender-dysphoric youth desist. In the linked post, Burleton claims a 0% desistance rate for clients seen at TransActive. Clearly, Cari’s case calls for–at the very least–some soul searching and re-evaluation of TransActive’s policies and public statements.

Burleton’s public Facebook response—aimed at a 22-year-old who was only 16 years old when she was encouraged and enabled by TransActive to medically transition–refers to Cari’s Tumblr posts as a “TERF infestation” and a “harassment campaign.” Decide for yourself, after reading Burleton’s Facebook post and Cari’s response (which Burleton has not made public), who is the injured party in this situation.

Cari told 4thWaveNow that she is grateful for any support readers can offer in publicizing her former and now current experiences with representatives of TransActive Gender Center. At her request, we are reproducing screenshots Cari posted on her Tumblr blog yesterday.

Burleton screed 1.jpg

Cari’s response, sent to Burleton via Facebook Messenger:

cari response

Cari response 2

Cari response 3

Therapist letter.png

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81 thoughts on “Jenn Burleton, director of youth transition org, dismisses ex-client’s complaints as “TERF infestation”

    • Agreed. Especially since her second #3 (about setting up better practices and differential diagnosis) is really important and should be something BOTH sides could agree on, at the least.

      Liked by 4 people

      • something BOTH sides could agree on

        That would mean Burleton behaving like a grown-up: recognising that there have been errors, admitting responsibility and acknowledging the need to make changes. Do you think that is likely?

        Liked by 4 people

      • No, but I hope that people who haven’t made up their minds about this stuff will see the other side being strident and tantrum-y, and unable to compromise at all and let that observation be their guide.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Also, you highlighted a quote and left out something which I think you must have skipped over:

        “…should be something BOTH sides could agree on…”

        That initial “should” is the key to my comment, I feel. I know Burleton is incredibly unlikely to be even remotely reasonable. Hence, the “should be” — knowing it would NEVER happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am sorry that it sounded as though I was having a go at you. I did not mean it like that. I was deeply shaken and angry on Sunday – first by Burleton’s unprincipled attack on Cari, and later by his vile Facebook post blaming the Orlando murders on “Left Wing TERF-driven extremism”.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Burleton is either unrealistically confident that no one is being harmed by the affirmative care of TransActive, or realizes this flaw and is trying to publicly discredit Cari so that no one listens to her. Either way reflects poorly on TransActive/Burleton.

    I find it appalling that she is being attacked instead of being taken seriously. It sounds like TransActive needs to re-evaluate its treatment protocols and incorporate the necessary therapy to delve down into mental health issues that might contribute to transgender beliefs. It should be a high priority to avoid unnecessary medical transition in children, teens and young adults. And there is nothing TERF-y or bigoted about pointing this out.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Also in what way is it not in TransActive’s best interest to not fuck up anymore? They’re not cartoon villans, they don’t want to trans a whole bunch of people who will be miserable and will detransition and be upset with them. They just are too stupid and dogmatic to think through the worst case scenario. Worst case for them the too. Grossly incompetent. That’s why we’re supposed to have some kind of regulation of medical things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They’re not cartoon villains, but…

        I think that maybe neurodivergent people just in general should ally here, or that it might help for those concerned about young trans identifying people to look at the issues affecting them, because it’s not just the trans thing, mental health professionals in general can be, well, totally crap. Misdiagnosis, not doing a proper diagnosis to begin with, all that stuff is a broad problem. Expressing actual hostility towards patients as has happened to poor Cari here, attempts at bullying, also far too common, especially when the patient is seen as non-compliant. You’d think mental health professionals and those involved in admin of mental health care would be empathetic (and yes, sometimes they are), but they’ve been some of the most unpleasant people I’ve ever had the misfortune to have to deal with, and I’ve heard the same from many other neurodivergent people. I think we have a tendency to assume the best of intentions and good faith because we mean well ourselves, but they’re not always like that, even if it’s only an unconsious thing where they think of course they know what’s best for the crazy freaks. The question of ‘how can this be happening?’ makes more sense in the broader context of medical abuses.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, overwhelmed, for your eloquent, cool-headed comment. It is basically what I’m thinking, but I find Cari’s heartfelt piece and Burleton’s response so upsetting that all I could come up with were a few choice words for Burleton — words which are unprintable. Instead, I’ll just say I agree wholeheartedly with your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like Jenn Burleton hasn’t read anything herself, perhaps relying on information given to her (which is not to suggest that makes her attack OK, because it’s most definitely not). Otherwise, Jenn would know that Cari never stated she was ‘coerced’, among other things. My impression was that Cari took ownership of her situation and was very careful with her words. She even pointed out that, had she received the counselling she suggested, she isn’t sure she would have listened to it at the time. Jenn Burleton is acting incredibly unprofessional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seems like Jenn Burleton hasn’t read anything herself, perhaps relying on information given to her … Otherwise, Jenn would know that Cari never stated she was ‘coerced’, among other things.

      Why do you assume that Burleton isn’t doing exactly what Cari calls him out for: twisting what she has said in an attempt to make her lose credibility? I see nothing in Burleton’s Facebook post that makes me assume good faith on his part.

      Liked by 4 people

      • That’s not what I was suggesting at all. I was implying negligence and stupidity on Burleton’s part for not sticking to the facts. I agree Burleton has twisted Cari’s words, and I think Burleton is acting like a total pillock, thus my comment re they’d know Cari never said she was ‘coerced’. I apologise for my poor wording.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It appears TransActive no longer offer in-house counselling services themselves, but instead refer people to interns of theirs who are now in private practice:

    “As of May 1,2016, TransActive no longer offers ‘in-house’ counseling services. We now provide referrals to counseling and therapy services delivered by private and group mental health practitioners. This transition of services was made possible, in great part, by the impact TransActive Gender Center has had over the years in hosting mental health interns who are now in private practice. TransActive has expanded our capacity to continue providing Education, (non-counseling) Services, Advocacy and other Resources of benefit to gender diverse and transgender children, adolescents, young adults, their families and the communities in which they live.”

    (From: https://www.facebook.com/TransActivePDX/posts/10153569656256603)

    Alas, apparently they are expanding everything else:

    “Beginning in June, 2016 TransActive Gender Center will be expanding our school, community and professional training and education services as well as our individual and collective advocacy services to accommodate increasing demand and evolving need.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • TransActive appears to be referring their clients to Brave Space, LLC for therapy. http://www.bravespacellc.com/#!our-providers/c1hfp

      I was reading some of the “Provider” bios and came across some interesting backgrounds.

      This from Stace Parlen:
      “I then pursued a degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management through the EATM program at Moorpark College in 2009. My work with animal attachment and bonding influenced my perspective on human interactions and relationships and sparked my journey to becoming a marriage, couple, & family therapist.”

      And this from Ryan Loiselle:
      “He is a member of the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a self proclaimed group of “queer drag nuns” who use harm reduction and irreverent joy to perform street ministry as a method for making contact and organizing those who are forced to live on the edges of our society.”

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      • The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a long-standing gay institution (founded in the late seventies), with ‘houses’ in many cities in the US and Britain (elsewhere too, for all I know). They raise money for AIDS charities and so on. The ‘sisters’ developed out of drag queen culture. From what I understand of it, their ethos — parodic, witty, outrageous — is very different to the aggressive, po-faced intolerance of the transactivists. They are in shocking bad taste, of course, and this is completely intentional.

        This is way off topic, but people without shockable religious sensibilities may enjoy dipping into the Polari Bible, a translation by some British ‘sisters’ of the Authorised Version (King James Bible) into Polari, a secret argot used by the UK homosexual community before male homosexuality was decriminalised. (There is a glossary at the end.)

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hah, Burleton’s clones – (re Brave Space) with the exception of the acupuncturist, they’re all still listed as staff at TransActive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Artemisia, thanks for enlightening me on this charitable organization. I had no idea.

        Like

    • Another thought I had about the move to spin off the “counseling” piece of this to Brave Space, is it may be a way to try and insulate the parent group from liability. If it’s an entirely separate legal entity, when/if there are malpractice claims for “wrongful transition,” the parent group can stay in business or at least protect its assets more easily. It might also be that somebody over there is thinking there is a potential conflict, wherein clients are being counseled to obtain medical services from TA, which TA has a financial interest in providing – IOW it isn’t a difficult argument to make that clients aren’t getting unbiased therapy, they’re getting it from folks who have a financial interest in making sure clients go the transition route rather than otherwise.

      If it should turn out that the Brave Space entity is just a front for TransActive, a creative lawyer will try and pierce that veil, but TA may be thinking that it’s a way to put a little space between itself and the inevitable legal claims to come.

      Liked by 7 people

      • I had too many browser windows open and as I was closing some, I came across the FB page for TA still open – refreshed it and found the following update. Burleton still lashing out…

        “The following official statement from TransActive Gender Center is intended to provide facts about recent changes at TransActive that are currently the subject of a misinformation campaign by Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERF’s) affiliated with the anti-trans hate site 4th Wave Now. This will be our only statement on this matter.”

        [BREAK]

        As of May 1, 2016, all delivery of counseling services through TransActive Gender Center at our offices in Portland ended. Those services are now being offered through an assortment of qualified providers in private and group practice throughout the Portland-metro area and beyond. TransActive Gender Center still offers generalized needs assessment and referrals to those seeking care from this range of independent healthcare service providers, including (but not limited to) those in practice at Brave Space, LLC.

        TransActive continues to be a leader in providing comprehensive education, advocacy, support services and referral resources to gender diverse and transgender children, youth, young adults and their families throughout the Pacific Northwest and nationwide.

        TransActive Gender Center as an organization will not engage hate groups in web-based dialogue or diatribe. We remain committed to productive public debate and exchange of ideas in moderated forums with those who both support and are critical of the work we do, or who simply do not have enough factual/accurate information with which to come to an informed opinion about the truth, challenges and oppression that transgender people of every age experience.

        Thank you for your continued support of the work we do, particularly in these times where the hate directed at our children and youth is inspiring some to horrific acts of violence.”

        In solidarity,

        Jenn Burleton
        Executive Director
        TransActive Gender Center

        Liked by 1 person

      • Another thought I had about the move to spin off the “counseling” piece of this to Brave Space, is it may be a way to try and insulate the parent group from liability.

        It is certainly very noticeable that the separation was apparently effected on May 1, just one week after Cari’s interview was posted on this blog.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Cari, you rock.

    As the founder and director of Transactive, Burleton owes you, at the very least, his sincere attention and some professional concern. But he has no intention of giving you this – that is clear from his tone.

    First he describes you as a noxious insect that ought to be exterminated: ‘TERF-infestation’. That is dehumanising and malignant. It is classic hate propaganda.

    Then he tries to bait you into debating with him. He all but states that you have been stupid and disrespectful in what you have said about Transactive (‘I am MORE than happy to engage anyone, anytime, anywhere in an intelligent, respectful and spirited conversation/debate’ etc).

    In actual fact no one with an unprejudiced mind can read your interview on this blog, or your Tumblr pieces, without immediately recognising and respecting your intelligence, honesty and restraint.

    Good for you for standing up to him. I think you don’t need me to warn you to be wary about how you engage with him. A person who uses hate speech is not amenable to rational dialogue.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I cannot wait for the lawsuits to start flying in before all this madness stops. I am normally loathe to advocate for lawyers, but in this/these cases, gross negligence and medical fraud and mental and bodily injury are occurring repeatedly. They need to properly diagnose our children and get out of their heads with their crazy-making. I am not against adults doing whatever they want to their own bodies, but when these people seek to infect young minds and hijack their sexual exploring and discovery, rip apart families…I can see it no other way. Jenn Burleton is a sick person with no regard for the sacredness of youth, subjective exploration and discovery, and family. Pushing binders on girls behind parents backs and attacking this former client are only the tip of the iceberg. Minors need protection. I’m sure there are lawyers out there who would love to tear down his business preying on minors. He is a hateful, mentally ill predator who must be brought to justice. It’s only a matter of time.

      Like

  5. Also, as pointed out in discussion in the gender critical subreddits, this is egregious behavior for a health professional. You simply DO NOT ADDRESS complaints publicly — let alone on Facebook. This is the kind of behavior which would get any other medical professional FIRED IMMEDIATELY.

    Also, Burleton’s diatribe is not that of a professional expressing disagreement or detailing treatments or research. It’s the kind of smear job-takedown you see cult leaders launch against disgruntled members.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. All this terrifying horrible shit – I strongly believe that in the not too distant future it’s all going to explode into a massive scandal, revealing hundreds and hundreds of mangled kids. Transing kids is abuse. No other way to describe it. My sons are out of their teens now, and I’m so grateful neither of them got involved in anything like this, though they have their own problems.

    This site must be a life-saver for so many parents and their questing, anguished children – like poor, brave Cari. What you do is immensely valuable. You deserve all the praise you get.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Pingback: Jenn Burleton, director of youth transition org, dismisses ex-client’s complaints as “TERF infestation” — 4thWaveNow | myheartandhope

  8. I am so sorry, Cari, that you have been subjected to this attack on your integrity and character by this charlatan.
    As others have stated, this is no way for anyone with an ounce of professionalism or care for their past or current clients to behave.
    If anything, all Burleton has done is to provide further evidence that the concerns and suspicions about these organisations and their leaders that many of us have been expressing for several years are entirely correct.
    This needs to be signal boosted far and wide and this ripple turned nto a tidal wave.
    This entire transgender industry is rotten to the core. You may well have just opened the door to the public exposure of that fact. I concur that some legal support might be a good thing to have on standby should you need it. I hope there are lawyers reading this who are willing to take up that challenge on a pro bono basis should it be needed.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I am wondering if this homophobic counselor would only have written letters for people like Cari, who upon transition would have been a straight man, not the lesbian she is. See, I believe that young lesbians and gay boys may be pushed to transition in a homophobic society, but there is no reason that, say, a twelve year old dysphoric tomboy who already says she wants a penis, doesn’t want breasts or a vagina, wants to play baseball NOT softball, is disgusted by the idea of being a wife or mother but has a crush on the two effeminate drama club boys and says she’d like to be the husband someday while being the dominant partner in a man/man relationship? Would this counselor deny the letters for teenagers who, post transition, would be gay adults? Finally what would you say about a child like this? Transition here would lead to a gay identity, whereas not transitioning wouldn’t lead to a straight identity, as the child is appalled by not only “becoming a woman”, but also behaving in a heterosexual manner (ie being penetrated, having children) with a heterosexual man (wanting to penetrate, being the masculine one in the relationship, often wanting a mother for his children).

    In short, I can see the danger in transitioning young children who will grow up gay/lesbian as a method to make kids straight. But there are a lot of trans kids who will not end up gay in their post transition gender. Often, these are the kids who have the worst physical dysphoria, i.e., it’s not as much being called “sissy”/”ugly butch” at school as it is “get these parts off me” and “being in a hetero relationship seems gross, but not because I am into my own sex, but because I should have the bodily characteristics of the sex I desire!” Society has no motivation to transition kids who will be gay post transition. Given the statistics, only around 25 percent of trans people are het post transition. I know most of the trans youth I read about are NOT effeminate gay or butch lesbian teenagers, and in fact the majority are natal females who are in part or fully attracted to feminine males and repelled by heterosexual acts and heterosexual masculine boys. Their parents, the medical establishment, and society at large are not ” ‘de-lesbianing’ them, because they never WERE lesbians.

    So many of your posts are about detransitioned lesbians battling a world where women like them were so invisible they couldn’t find role models, or else non lesbians seduced into transition because of their dislike for gender roles and restrictions. My devil’s advocate to you is to explain the motivations driving a non lesbian teenager with extreme dysphoria and a dislike of heterosexual dynamics/sex/physicality other than the fact of transgender identity.

    Before you say Maria Catt, let me tell you that I admire Maria’s writing completely, and invite you to re-read the parts where she herself mentions that 1. She transitioned to escape trauma and the fact that the world saw her as a “billboard” for tits and ass rather than a human, and 2. She realized in part that she was not a man and her desire for men was experienced as a WOMAN when she listened to a certain rap song and imagined performing a submissive act on the very masculine, very hetero MC while enjoying being desired as a woman. This is not the example I seek.

    Could it be that some trans kids are not running from gayness, not running from trauma, actually find nothing appealing about their birth sex OR the vibe/essence/expression/sex acts/appearance of heterosexuality while liking the idea of having the body of the opposite sex and be in a same-gender relationship with a gay or bisexual person of their post transition gender? Sure it is! I’ve read about/spoken to many young people like this. So where do THEY fit in the “transition destroys gnc gay men/butch lesbians” dynamic or the “it’s trendy/gender roles are stifling for young women” schema? They don’t.

    Like

    • From your description, I would suggest they fit into the category of kids who need therapy to address being “appalled” by “becoming a woman” or any of the other issues you mention, which sound less like dysphoria and more like typical phases of development and fear of the unknown.

      “Could it be that some trans kids are not running from gayness, not running from trauma, actually find nothing appealing about their birth sex OR the vibe/essence/expression/sex acts/appearance of heterosexuality while liking the idea of having the body of the opposite sex.”

      They are still running from something – unresolved issues. If female, there’s a not insignificant chance that testosterone will not be a good fit, causing issues unable to be resolved with additional hormone therapy and severe enough that they have to stop. Better to sort the issues out before transition, because nothing is guaranteed.

      Your comment reminded of one of the documentaries featured on the BBC, where one kid stated (re transition):

      “It’s emotionally and physically painful. Not easy at all. Statistics about trans people having shorter life spans because of suicide or murder or so many different prejudices that I am kind of terrified about experiencing as an adult but I’d rather go through that than be living as a woman and hating it.”

      This kid has learned to hate the thought of living as a woman from somewhere. Opting for “painful” procedures and “terrifying” ideas of adulthood, a more uncertain future, not to mention being a patient for life, due to a fear of something they have never experienced, e.g. “living as a woman and hating it.” Professionals who sign off on that are unethical and not fit for the role.

      Liked by 3 people

      • My daughter is a confused kid who is very much attracted to boys. The guys she dates are “regular” guys. They are not effeminate, nor are they people she can walk all over. 40 years ago, people would have accepted my daughter as a tomboy who likes sports and video games and doesn’t like to wear dresses. Now she has strangers on the internet who tell her that because she has similar interests to guys her age that her body is wrong and that she needs to become a permanent medical patient and have major surgeries in order to feel good about herself.
        Fortunately, she was willing to take a step back and give herself a chance to grow up. She has found something that she’s passionate about and has made lots of friends through that activity, and she’s HAPPY right now. My hope is that her happiness with her life as a female with a healthy body will continue when she is an adult.

        Liked by 6 people

    • Look — the current situation is forcing a one-size-fits-all solution on EVERY TEEN, so your calls for helping the kids who “have” to transition? That’s a red herring.

      You try to sidestep the issue of Maria Catt with “she had trauma.” Yes, yes she did. AND NO PROFESSIONAL TOOK THE TIME TO EXPLORE THAT. That is what we parents and other concerned people are out here shouting about. No professionals are trying to differentiate the kids with mental health issues and the ones with trauma and the ones who fell into the trend via social media and the ones who see it as fashionable from the ones who possibly aren’t going to respond to therapy or grow out of their feelings.

      So, the question isn’t “What about the true trans?” The real question is “Why are these non-trans kids being transitioned?”

      Liked by 5 people

    • My sexuality in school was wholly academic.
      As far as the entire world!!! was concerned I was too ugly and wierd for anyone, of either sex to ever want me. I believed them. I was a hideous freak for not being appreciative of sexual assault “as a laugh” from male students. Girls were apparently meant to be flattered by boys thinking they get to grab at us.We were meant to be honoured they wanted us to blow them. We were also meant to blow them as punishment. Boys werent treated like that.

      Then I left school, went to a music festival, got a bit drunk, danced like and idiot and got off with someone who actually liked me. That entire world of nothing, nothing but self loathing was shaken from me.
      It was awesome.

      Therapists telling me that my teenage life would never improve without medical intervention would be liars, lying to a messed up and vulnerable kid who doesn’t yet know better.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I applaud you for sharing your experiences! I think a lot of girls and young women have similar experiences, but they think they’re alone. I know I certainly did. I never had a real boyfriend until after high school, and that was because I wasn’t one of the beautiful people.
        It seems even worse for girls now. With social media, girls can’t get away from that image of the “perfect” girl that they will never be. It takes growing up and positive relationships for these girls to discover that they’re already perfect as they are, and that there are wonderful men out there who will love them BECAUSE of who they are.
        I do not understand why anyone would tell a kid that they have to become lifelong medical patients and make radical changes to their bodies in order to be happy.

        Liked by 2 people

    • ‘My devil’s advocate to you is to explain the motivations driving a non lesbian teenager with extreme dysphoria and a dislike of heterosexual dynamics/sex/physicality other than the fact of transgender identity.’

      I think your question already includes part of the answer. Of course they might have a dislike of heterosexual dynamics in this culture, where as girls/women they can’t approach the guys they are attracted to in a position of equality, where the role they’re expected to accept involves such crappy treatment. If you’re thinking being drawn to male/male partnerships is unusual, you may not be aware of how young women often use it as a way to express their sexuality. Sometimes it’s just seeing two guys together as hot, the same way straight guys might fetishise lesbian sexuality, sometimes it’s that it makes it more comfortable for them to deal with sexuality. It might be less threatening, more equal, allows them to approach it at a remove from themselves and their female bodies and all that entails (fear of pregnancy etc), allows them to explore the dominant role, and to express their desires very openly, without having demands placed on them by males. Similar reasons to why slash is a thing (incidentally feminine men are quite often liked by slash fans), and seems increasingly mainstream, may apply here. For those young women encountering it as part of geek culture, while it’s something of a stereotype, it does seem not that uncommon for people on the autistic spectrum to be into geeky communities – and people on the spectrum seem more likely to identify as trans. Discomfort with being touched, with icky stuff like bodily fluids etc, can also be an autistic trait that could lead to sex repulsion and discomfort with female bodies, though neurotypical girls and women can certainly experience discomfort with their bodies as well.

      I don’t want to put forward a single reason or a few reasons, because of course there could be various reasons, and it may not be so easy to pin down. But there’s certainly potential reasons beside ‘they really are gay males trapped in a female body’.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ..you seem to be describing autoandrophiia, here – the female equivalent of autogynephiia. yes it does exist.
      trevor macdonald is a woman who identifies as a gay man, in a ‘gay’ marriage who enjoys gestating and ‘chestfeeding’ her and her ‘gay’ husbands babies and insists that maternity and breastfeeding services change their language to be inclusive of pregnant and chestfeeding ‘men’.

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  10. Burleton’s conduct is so unprofessional, ridiculous, pathetic, immature, horrific, and mean-spirited. I’d run the other way if I were researching anyone whose services I was thinking about using (doctor, teacher, therapist, clergyperson, editor, cover artist) and saw him or her behaving like that in a public venue. As a laymember of the pro-science advocacy community, I’ve observed a number of alt-med quacks behaving in very similar ways when anyone challenges their propaganda or just writes a negative review. Since so much of the current trans cult is indeed bad science, it doesn’t surprise me that much. Birds of a feather.

    I keep hoping wider society will soon reach peak trans when all this stuff comes to public light, and they realize we weren’t bigots or uneducated at all, but raising very sound concerns.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I just wanted to write and say thank you to all the parents who contribute to this site and all the people who are sharing their stories of dealing with gender identity, transition and detransition. Only 6 months ago my 15 year old daughter told us she wanted to become a boy. It was such a shock and didn’t seem believable. There were no clues really besides wearing more masculine styles which wasn’t a big deal because I used to wear more masculine styles myself. We went for professional help to youth counselling services in Australia, a gender group for parents, our own family counselling, a GP and a psychiatrist to help our daughter and ourselves understand and make the right decisions. Of all the professional services no one seemed to question whether our daughter was actually transgender. Our go changed her sex on her patient records straight away. I could see us going quickly down the transition path with lots of encouragement from well meaning parents and professionals but something felt inherently not right. When I read this blog and the story of the parent who set it up I had a glimmer of hope that what I was feeling instinctively might actually be true and not just denial. Regardless we were determined that it was not the right decision for our daughter to race towards transition and we slowed everything down. If our daughter wanted to become a boy then that was something we would
    Support when she was an adult but at 15 we felt she didn’t have enough life experience to really know who she was. It wasn’t easy but we kept saying we loved her and supported her and she stayed connected to us most of the time. Then one day only a few weeks ago being a boy was not so important, now she’s trying to grow back her hair that she only just cut off. She wanted makeup to replace all the stuff she had thrown out. Tonight she started looking for formal dresses to wear to her formal. Our GP looked at us like we had brainwashed her when we said she was happy to stay a girl at this stage; so did her principal. I get it; It is a dramatic turnaround. It may turnaround again. But what this experience taught us was that we were right not to rush into a decision; that 15 is too young to make life changing decisions; that there is a long process and the medical profession is doing a disservice to young people not to take gender transition very very slowly; that parents voice is left out of the discussion; that transition is not the only answer; and that you really need to stand strong against a tide of everyone going the other way. For those who do transition and are happy the very best to you but each child deserves love and support and time to really really know who they are. Thank you for your blog and parent wisdom xo

    Liked by 7 people

    • Your experience is similar to mine. My daughter was also 15 when she made this revelation. (My personal observation is that many of these girls seem to come to this conclusion at 13-15 years old. Maybe it’s because the body changes are fast and they are desperate to fit in somewhere.) Her dad and I would not allow testosterone therapy. (She didn’t realize that she would need approval from a therapist for that, anyway.) We got her into therapy, and have encouraged her to take up other activities that she loves. It has been over a year, and right now she’s a happy teen enjoying being a teenager.
      She’s not wearing dresses or taking duck-face selfies all day long like a lot of other girls, but my hope is that one day she’ll realize she’s perfect just the way she is.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Yes not a fan of the duck face selfie either which is why we need a much broader conversation on the damage of gender stereotypes that sexualise young girls.

        Liked by 5 people

    • “…each child deserves love and support and time to really really know who they are.”

      Well said and I’m glad that you have been a loving and supportive mom to your daughter. It needs to be said more often — caving is not the only way to be supportive.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. You just don’t act that way as the head of a nonprofit / therapeutic group. That is shocking to me, the idea that Facebook was an appropriate platform for addressing a conflict of this sort. If JB wanted to reach out to “Cari,” a simple statement along the lines of “please contact us directly so we can respond to your concerns” would be the professional thing to do. REGARDLESS of whether you felt you were the target of an online “TERF infestation.” You don’t respond the way JB responded, if you are trying to run a reputable, professional nonprofit that’s vying for grants and cultivating an image of compassion and expertise, and putting yourself out there as a resource for elementary and secondary schools. You don’t go on line and accuse the person of lying or being a TERF puppet of some sort. You just don’t DO that. Even if you think they are lying, you don’t respond that way. (Only, JB did.)

    If I were C, I, too, would be looking for a lawyer.

    Re the comments about 15 years old girls above — that was the age of maximum unhappiness for my GNC kid as well. I recently read that kids this age (or maybe it was mostly girls?) are the MOST unhappy of all teens, for many reasons. This research, to me, is another reason that people should not be rushing into the trans path with a kid this age, even if the kid is very unhappy. This phenom of 15 year old girls suddenly deciding they will NOT be girls is startling and deserves a hell of a lot more media attention than it is currently getting.

    Liked by 5 people

    • My daughter was also 15 when she got the notion that she was a boy, or wanted to be a boy, or could become one by claiming to be one. I realize it happens with girls and women of all ages, but I find it very interesting and alarming how many suddenly claim to be trans at 15.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think JB acts this way because she can. Anyone who questions transitioning of children is evil, even when the people doing the questioning are detransitioners and concerned parents. She is just another person trying to turn often confused, scared teens away from their parents–the people who, in most cases, have looked out for them all of their lives and know them better than anyone.
      In my mind, anyone who tells teens that the only option to feel better about themselves is a lifetime of hormone therapy is no better than the heroin dealer hiding in the shadows. These people are just out in plain sight and being applauded by the world.

      Liked by 4 people

      • In our state, there is a very powerful “youth advocacy group” that has jumped on the trans thing with both feet. They are the ones who run the “teen summit” that I attended a few months ago, at which it seemed like 50-75% of the kids were “coming out” as trans, to the huge approval and applause of everyone involved.

        But to the point of the above comment, in one case with which I’m personally familiar, a young woman, age 15, decided that she needed to transition to male. (There was some trauma involved in this young person’s life for sure.) This group helped her become legally emancipated from her family, set her up in a new living situation, and of course got “trans therapy” and treatment for her. The last I heard she moved to another state and remains entirely alienated from her family.

        This group receives state funding and its head is hailed far and wide as a “brave hero and advocate.” It’s actually kind of hard to look at…

        Liked by 3 people

      • How sad. Parents are supposed to be the voice of reason for their kids. Parents are supposed to protect their kids, but outsiders are succeeding in ripping kids away from their families so parents can’t help.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Burleton is behaving like a classic narcissist: it is clear that any criticism is intolerable to him, and one may fairly speculate that he finds it threatening at a very deep level. His indifference to Cari’s experiences as a client of his organisation again suggests a narcissist who is unable to feel empathy for others. And his disgusting use of hate-imagery, his twisted and vicious attack on Cari’s credibility, and aggressive bad-naming of the 4thwavenow website, make most sense as manifestations of narcissistic rage.

        There is a theory that non-homosexual MtT transsexuals – Burleton appears to fit that category – are at increased risk of developing narcissistic disorders.

        Liked by 3 people

      • That makes a lot of sense. The truth is that no matter how one feels about transition, it is obvious that transition is not right for everyone. Someone who has Burleton’s power and influence should accept that some parents are going to question medical treatments for their child, and maybe encourage a wait-and-see option for some patients.

        Like

  13. My daughter was also 15 when she started saying she was actually male in her head. I would like the gender clinics or CAMHS in the UK to address this issue, as it is a complete statistical anomoly.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Skepticism is generally any questioning attitude towards unempirical knowledge or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.

    Skepticism is not hate

    Liked by 5 people

  15. So according to Burleton, I am a hater….apparently I hate my daughter because she totally succumbed to the transgender appeal while in high school – a time of great stress for so many kids – surrounded by “girlier” girls she couldn’t relate to, and is now at a university that just oozes support for transgender (rather than helping her question why she can’t continue being the awesomely intelligent young woman that she is, in her healthy body as it is), but I am telling her there is no need to mess with perfection…stay as you are: the daughter I love with my whole being. Hate?

    Parental guidance for their children knows no age limits, and there is certainly no hate in helping our own children to feel loved as they are, without hormones, without surgery, without living a lie. Go ahead…cut your hair short, don’t shave your armpits, wear boy clothes, who really cares?….you can do all of that and still be an incredible woman. I love you daughter. Hate?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Nervous Wreak, apparently I’m a hater just like you. Jenn Burleton has certainly set us straight. How could I have possibly thought that trying to protect my daughter from physical and emotional harm could be love? I guess spending hundreds of hours researching the physical damage that the hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries does on our children is a form of hate. Jenn can criticize the parents of 4thwavenow or all he wants, but one think is for sure, he will never understand the connection a mother or father has to her/his children. No person who is a parent would send other parents’ underaged girls binders in the mail without feeling guilty. Artemesia, I would upgrade your diagnosis of JB from narcissist to psychopath.

      Liked by 5 people

      • All most of us parents are asking for is real help for our kids. Help in working through other mental health issues in addition to gender dysphoria. Help in getting our kids to look at other options besides transition so they can make educated decisions. Help in getting our kids through the teen years without testosterone injections and double mastectomies. What parent chooses major surgery for their kid when it’s not needed to treat a medical condition?

        My kid is not suicidal now, and she wasn’t when she first got caught up in the trans narrative. She was depressed and feeling like she didn’t fit in, and saw transition as a quick answer. She believed that none of those bad side effects would ever happen to her, and didn’t make the connection that she would be a medical patient for LIFE. But I know my kid, and there is NO WAY she could emotionally handle the side effects and physical changes from testosterone. I think that allowing that treatment would have driven her to self-harming or suicide. In my case, I’m so glad that right now I have a happy, healthy daughter who isn’t “girly” instead of a dead trans son.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Artemesia, I would upgrade your diagnosis of JB from narcissist to psychopath.

        Sticking Burleton in a box marked ‘born wicked’ doesn’t help us understand where he is coming from.

        Burleton had a very difficult childhood; that is no secret; he has talked about it in interviews. His embracing a cross-gender presentation would make sense as a response to childhood trauma. (ThirdWayTrans has written very enlighteningly about trauma and transition.)

        Burleton has said that he read Harry Benjamin’s book The Transsexual Phenomenon in 1966, at the age of 12, and transitioned socially at 18, having made an earlier attempt to do this at 16. Nowadays he does everything he can to encourage and facilitate pubertal and post-pubertal young people in transitioning and accessing extreme body modifications.

        I suspect he is projecting his younger self onto those kids: trying to ‘save’ his own wounded inner child, over and over again. I question whether he can see them as individuals with feelings and needs that in many cases, at least, will be different from his own at the same age.

        As for their parents, no doubt he sees them through the lenses of his own experience, as toxic inadequates, like his own parents. By cutting them out of the picture, I imagine he sincerely conceives himself to be acting in the interests of the children.

        It is striking that he has apparently claimed that none of his clients ever detransition. It suggests, again, that he is projecting himself onto his clients; he requires them all to validate his central life choice.

        I am not saying ‘let’s feel sorry for Burleton’. That is not my point at all. I am saying let’s try and figure out what is really going on here.

        Like

  16. In what universe is this a hate site? It’s full of factual information conveyed in serious, professional language. While there are some trans-critical sites that can come across a bit strongly and don’t always use the most professional language, 4th Wave Now definitely isn’t one of those sites! Burleton’s latest comments just go to even further prove what all of us already know, that the transactivist cult thinks any differing opinions or a challenging of their narrative constitutes hate speech. As I said in my previous comment, I see so much of this type of behavior among anti-vaxxers and alt-med pushers. The similarities are so striking.

    Liked by 6 people

  17. You know, my daughter got an incorrect psychiatric diagnosis FOR YEARS because once she self-identified as trans, no mental health professionals would do their jobs and investigate any further. This lead to her being put on medications which were contraindicated for her actual condition and she became suicidal and was hospitalized multiple times. It was only once she was hospitalized, where she displayed some of the behaviors and reactions we’d been telling her psychiatrist and therapists, who would do nothing. Finally, she got a better diagnosis (better as in more precise) and put on meds which started to make a difference. But, if I had not loved my daughter enough to keep fighting for that better diagnosis? She could very well be dead right now. And, ironically, because mental health professionals want people who self-identify as trans to get, as thirdwaytrans has said, special “social justice therapy” instead of challenging, thorough, real therapy and psychiatric diagnoses to figure out if there are any comorbid conditions which require treatment.

    Things aren’t easy. The diagnosis is serious and lots of time was wasted. Also effort and money and goodwill. So, Burleton and similar people can take their talk of hate and tell it to my hand. They’d rather have my dead child to flog as a statistic, than to help her in the way that’s best FOR HER.

    My husband and I are the ONLY PEOPLE who fought for our kid. The only ones. These people throwing slurs around (like TERF) and accusing other people of hate? Should check themselves HARD.

    Liked by 8 people

    • This. All of it, but especially:

      “no mental health professionals would do their jobs and investigate any further”

      This is one reason why I cannot support ‘therapists’ who sign off on the increasing numbers of transitions. These therapists are lazy, negligent and unethical. In my opinion, therapists who do not investigate further are not fit to practice, let alone diagnose anyone. There is no way I would risk my professional reputation in such a way.

      I’m going to use this quote again to help demonstrate, because I think it’s really important. It’s from a kid who was featured in one of the (now) many documentaries on the BBC:

      (Re transition) “It’s emotionally and physically painful. Not easy at all. Statistics about trans people having shorter life spans because of suicide or murder or so many different prejudices that I am kind of terrified about experiencing as an adult but I’d rather go through that than be living as a woman and hating it.”

      This kid would rather go through “painful” procedures and live a life that “terrifies” them, in order to avoid “living as a woman and hating it” – something they haven’t ever experienced. They have learned to hate the thought of “living as a woman and hating it” from someone/somewhere. Why isn’t THAT being addressed? Their therapist should be struck off.

      Things have only become worse since inclusion in the DSM-5.

      Liked by 4 people

      • “This kid would rather go through “painful” procedures and live a life that “terrifies” them, in order to avoid “living as a woman and hating it” – something they haven’t ever experienced. They have learned to hate the thought of “living as a woman and hating it” from someone/somewhere.”

        Exactly. I know an extended family where two teenage girls have come out as trans recently. Everyone is celebrating their newfound identities.

        But I also know that in that family, a male family member was perving on teenage girls by secretly videoing them when they changed their clothes. He got caught, was removed from the family home. Some time later these girls are suddenly “transboys”, and nobody is connecting the dots.

        Liked by 2 people

      • “This is one reason why I cannot support ‘therapists’ who sign off on the increasing numbers of transitions. These therapists are lazy, negligent and unethical. In my opinion, therapists who do not investigate further are not fit to practice, let alone diagnose anyone.”

        Exactly.

        This reminds me of a case with an older male teen (16-17, I think) wanting to transition. He went to a therapist and got cleared for surgery almost right away, despite showing signs of PTSD. It wasn’t until several years after the surgeries that people found out he was abused as a kid and the only one in his immediate family that didn’t abuse him was his sister. Turned out, his sister was getting preferential treatment/not receiving any abuse, and so he coped by wearing his sister’s clothes. That’s where he got the idea to transition. To him it was awful being a male, and since his sister was getting the preferential treatment because she was the “perfect daughter”, he thought he could escape from the trauma by becoming a woman.

        A competent, moral therapist *should have* figured out the root cause of all the teen’s emotional turmoil much sooner. Many trans advocates did and still would have chalk up most of his turmoil due to his parents/family being inherently transphobic and not “understanding his feelings”. However, many trans activists *still* fail to understand is that much emotional turmoil, especially if it’s PTSD-related, can be traced back to family dysfunction and/or someone within the immediate family has an undiagnosed mental illness which is causing a lot of damage to everyone around.

        Yes, this is just one case, but it still doesn’t erase the fact that there was a serious underlying issue that should have been addressed much earlier *because* he was exhibiting signs of PTSD! It’s the therapists JOB to search for potentially worse underlying issues and address them!

        There are times I wonder whether a large percentage of trans activists are ignorant or just willfully ignorant. If the latter, they’re just evil and only care about their paychecks.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. 4thwavenow is not an anti trans hate site. It is a site that gives a voice to concerned parents who love their kids; parents who may use tough love instead of taking the easy road and handing their children over to be indoctrinated into the group think of the trans cult.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. First, in response to sophieijameson’s comment above: Yes, this site is truly a lifeline for us parents who are dealing with this insanity. I personally have an immense amount of gratitude for what must be an enormous amount of time and effort that 4thwavenow puts into this blog, and for the respectful and informative discussions that evolve from it. Anyone who could possibly consider this a “hate” site has been so blinded by the trans cult that they can’t see what’s staring them in the face: the anguish of parents who love their children more than life itself, and who can’t bear to watch them destroying their bodies and their minds.

    Second, a word to Cari: You are an incredible young woman. You’re bright, articulate, compassionate and respectful, even to those who have done you great harm. Transactivists like Jenn Burleton like to throw around the word “brave” like it’s candy; hence the name of their new spinoff, Brave Space LLC. However, YOU are the epitome of what it truly means to be brave, holding your head high while an ostensibly “professional” 60-something natal-male adult hurls insults at a young woman — a former client, no less. I’m so proud of you.

    Liked by 6 people

  20. As I was reading the comments about Burleton’s claims it struck me that there is much about this situation that reminds of the hoopla over bone-marrow transplant for breast cancer in the 90’s. I remember reading an article in the New York Times years ago about how it fell out of favor after follow-up studies didn’t support the impressive initial research claims. I couldn’t find that article, but I did find links to similar articles that I am attaching here.

    Maybe somebody can use this – and other episodes from medical history – when arguing for caution. This particular issue may be especially appropriate because it also involved an emotional political campaign ( in this case to get insurers to pay for the treatment ) based on the idea that withholding the treatment would cause many deaths. (And in many of the most publicized cases, the deaths of relatively young women in their 30’s and 40’s, many of them mothers of young children.)

    Unfortunately the links I have found so far mostly touch on the economic issues, but it was a grueling and dangerous treatment that had serious quality of life issues for patients, too.

    Here’s a quote from my first link;

    “Finally, in 1995, WR Bezwoda and colleagues reported the results of the first randomized trial. They were impressive. Over half the women receiving ABMT had no subsequent evidence of tumor, compared to only 4% in the control group. Survival time was double (90 weeks vs 45) for those in the treatment group. However, four years later, only Bezwoda’s group could reproduce these results. Four other clinical trials contradicted them. A review team identified problems with Bezwoda’s protocol and was denied access to control patients. “The vice president of the society made the logical inference to the Guardian (London) ‘You could conclude that they might not exist.’”

    By 2000 and in light of the clinical trials showing it to be no better than alternatives, ABMT for breast cancer was regarded as ineffective and worthy of abandonment. Welch and Mogielnicki conclude,

    For over 10 years desperately ill women had sought bone marrow transplantation as their best chance for survival. Many physicians encouraged this judgment. Fearing bad publicity and lawsuits insurers reluctantly agreed to pay the considerable charges. A strong presumption of benefit and equally strong financial interests impeded progress towards finding an answer.

    The obvious lesson from these events was articulated in the New York Times by two of the treatment’s most visible critics. “As a society we have to accept that rigorous evaluation of a new treatment is essential . . . Skipping this step may seem like a compassionate act, but it can have devastating consequences.””

    http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/the-rise-and-fall-of-bone-marrow-transplantation-for-breast-cancer-a-tragic-success-story/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123033/

    http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7345/1088.short

    Like

    • I just wanted to add two things. First, I actually intended to post my comment above to the post “Guest post: Why do WPATH & the APA scorn desistance?”, where it makes more sense.

      I had two tabs open simultaneously and accidentally posted to the wrong one.

      Second, I have found the New York Times article I referred to. It’s a fascinating and well-written expose of another medical “craze”, and concentrates more on the harm to patients than the economic costs emphasized in my other links.

      So, if anyone is interested, here’s the link;

      HOPE FOR SALE: A special report.; Business Thrives on Unproven Care, Leaving Science Behind

      http://www.nytimes.com/1999/10/03/us/hope-for-sale-special-report-business-thrives-unproven-care-leaving-science.html?pagewanted=all

      And here are a few more relevant links;

      https://www.amazon.com/False-Hope-Marrow-Transplantation-Breast-ebook/dp/B00WBN50KY

      https://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/031000hth-breast-cancer.html?pagewanted=all

      I hope that this information will be useful to anyone who wishes to make an argument for more caution.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amy, these are good examples. Thanks for posting them. But you don’t even have to dig very deep for another example, one that has had a drastic effect worldwide in many nations, on males and females, adults and children.

        I’m talking about the bad science that suggested that eating fat is what makes people fat, and sparked the huge low-fat, high-carb eating regimes that were promulgated by scientists and doctors and government (and, natch, the food industry), who pushed and preached and bullied folks into compliance.

        After a couple decades of ingesting low-fat Frankenfoods and avoiding things like avocados, peoples’ incidence of diabetes and obesity and a host of other ills had skyrocketed, and now we see the charming spectacle of the “experts” trying to walk back these “proven principles” of nutrition and health — which in reality, were anything but. Suddenly it’s all “eat eggs with yolks” and “chug that olive oil,” and “hey, full-fat dairy’s actually better” and so on and so on and so on.

        Human bodies are COMPLICATED. Understanding is rare. Unfortunately, hubris is not. The notion that the blocker/hormone/surgery progression for putative “transkids” is the ONLY PATH that does not lead to suicide is nothing if not infused by hubris. Better living through chemistry, all over again. You only have to read the comments by Spack and his successors (and folks like JB) to realize that they enjoy the thrill of playing God and of being pioneers, even though some of them are careful to mask their egos with words of compassion and social justice. And then there are those like the folks at Tavistock in the UK, the Wrens and the Carmichaels, who sometimes speak of caution but also seem pretty entranced with their role in this brave new world of social engineering and human development, where we can all tweak and snip and identify and pronoun our way into greater joy. (Of course, the long-term results of the “treatment” — esp on natal women — are completely unknown. I’m not talking about some little study that says trans people are happy five years after SRS. I’m looking for the study that shows that natal females don’t have adverse health results and shorter life spans after three or four decades on T.)

        It took about 25 years for the terrible consequences of the low-fat craze to be understood, and the magnitude of the error to begin to be acknowledged. A helluva lot of damage had been done to people’s health over that time.

        I would do just about anything to keep my kid’s body from getting screwed up by these pharm-jockeys and closet eugenicists and “visionaries.” As you say, Amy, there is way too much precedence for so-called innovative treatments being ineffective (and actively harmful) in the long-term. My kid was nearly caught up in the child-bipolar diagnosis craze (now discredited) a few years back. We dodged that one but it was a near thing, and another situation of pioneering “experts” being terribly wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I used to be a medical journalist and I’m very accustomed to how medical professionals and organisations communicate. Now I’m British and our medical environment is very different from that of the US, but I have never seen anything remotely as unprofessional as the manner – and forum – in which Jenn Burleton has communicated on this subject.

    Bringing politics into medical procedures is hugely inappropriate. The phrase “TERF infestation” and the use of Facebook are just so off, so distasteful. Who on earth uses Facebook for something like this?

    These guys are supposed to be HCPs. They are supposed to be offering clinically appropriate, research based treatments. But they don’t come across as responsible professionals. Jenn Burleton is blatantly politically motivated and, in my opinion, far too biassed to be a safe pair of hands for any troubled teen.

    The vehemence of TransActive’s post and its placing on Facebook make me wonder whether they aren’t already fending off a lot of enquiries from parents/teens worried by the issues Cari raises. It strikes me as quite telling that they say that “TransActive Gender Center as an organization will not engage hate groups in web-based dialogue or diatribe”, but then issue a web-based diatribe themselves.

    As worriedmom commented, I also wonder whether the splitting up of the services is an attempt to pre-empt potential legal action. If they are legally separate then any action taken against one can be bounced off the other (“It’s not our responsibility, it’s theirs”) and vice versa. And there will be court cases. That’s for sure. But what matters far more is the kids. No one wants to win a court case over damage to their child.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I know it’s an absolutely horrible topic but it’s also kind of interesting to me for the legal questions “wrongful transition” may raise.

      I’m no med mal attorney, in fact all I know about it is the bits & pieces I’ve picked up in 30 years of practice, but I think this stuff could lend itself to some really compelling cases. I’m struck, really, by how “loosey-goosey” a lot of the procedures and standards seem to be in the whole trans field … it seems like a lot of these folks are kind of “flying by the seat of their pants” and very often that doesn’t end well, legally speaking.

      I’m also thinking about how an underage “wrongful transition” case would play out in front of a jury – most of whom probably will have children and teens of their own. Counseling minors into hormone therapy and surgery – without parental consent or knowledge? Advocating only one therapy (transition) to address common adolescent body image problems? Especially when the advocate and the person providing the treatment are financially affiliated? And how much disclosure was there, really, about the side effects and future impacts, not to mention the reversibility, of these treatments, and how well would your typical 13, 15 or 17 year old understand that?

      Most people who have or have had teens know that many of them are not capable of making good, sound decisions about their futures, at least not without significant input from the people who love them best. I think most jurors would be horrified at the thought that the pro-trans crowd believes it’s entirely appropriate to remove parents from the decision-making process.

      I do believe that eventually we will begin to recover from this madness, and that litigation will be one way in which the truth will begin to spread.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The changes to the DSM have a lot to do with “loosey-goosey”.

        The American Psychiatric Association (APA) fact sheet on Gender Dysphoria (full PDF here: http://www.dsm5.org/documents/gender%20dysphoria%20fact%20sheet.pdf)

        “For a person to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, there must be a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months. In children, the desire to be of the other gender must be present and verbalized.”

        Six months, present and verbalised. Without seeming to give consideration to (among other things) the phases kids go through and grow out of, nor of the strict stereotypical roles “others would assign him or her” (in the case of parents or caregivers, or even the therapists own bias). It’s not hard to see why kids as young as 3 and 4 are making it into the stats in some places (e.g. UK)

        But wait, there’s more! Also interesting to note other points in the “fact” sheet, e.g.

        “Part of removing stigma is about choosing the right words. Replacing “disorder” with “dysphoria” in the diagnostic label is not only more appropriate and consistent with familiar clinical sexology terminology, it also removes the connotation that the patient is “disordered.””

        In true Orwellian style, there’s the normalisation of delusions and magical thinking. Wanting to be something you’re not is no longer a disorder. No need to treat any maladaptive beliefs. Just trans anyone who ticks the boxes. Kids as well.

        “Persons experiencing gender dysphoria need a diagnostic term that protects their access to care”.

        “To get insurance coverage for the medical treatments, individuals need a diagnosis. The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group was concerned that removing the condition as a psychiatric diagnosis—as some had suggested—would jeopardize access to care.”

        “Ultimately, the changes regarding gender dysphoria in DSM-5 respect the individuals identified by offering a diagnostic name that is more appropriate to the symptoms and behaviors they experience without jeopardizing their access to effective treatment options.”

        So it’s really only included in the DSM to ensure access to treatment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is why we are seeing cases where kids are legally emancipated from their parents if they do not go along with their transing. Because it’s no longer considered a disorder, people who don’t go along with it are Bad (TM).

        Where are the protections for parents who can see their kid is experiencing magical thinking, going through a phase, being brainwashed by the Kool Aid, etc?

        It can be extremely difficult to hold on to your kid once peer orientation kicks in. My hat goes off to the parents commenting here who have fought for their kids and succeeded.

        The DSM needs to be changed.

        Liked by 3 people

  22. Cari, I know I”m late to the game here, but I wanted to be sure to lend my voice and let you know you have all my support. It makes total sense, to me, anyway, that you would not want to use your real name to share such personal information about yourself and criticize TransActive.

    I agree with the women here who have pointed out that the way Burlenton is behaving via fb is totally out of line for a professional. I have been in numerous, non-trans-related psychiatric and counseling programs, both individual and group at various different facilities. NEVER have I seen a professional start calling websites “hate sites” nor using four-letter slurs, such as TERF. It really makes me wonder about the mental stability of this person that they would act this way.

    The last line of Burlonton’s post also irritated me. For one thing, she seems to be referring to the attack in Orlando. I haven’t read about anybody that was transgender that was killed there, though it’s certainly possible I just missed that. Transactive specializes in gender transition, not working with gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth towards self-acceptance. The attack in Orlando was directed primarily towards the gay and lesbian community, though of course not everyone there identified as one of those groups.

    I also get the feeling from this last statement that Burlenton is saying they don’t have time to deal with criticism (or what she calls “hate”) after what has happened in Orlando. This is disingenuous, since people, primarily parents, on this site, do not hate their kids, nor was what happened in Orlando a specific attack on the trans community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just checking that everyone is aware Burleton has no qualifications? Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, list nothing. So while one might expect a professional in the mental health profession to act professionally, it seems Burleton is not one of those self-made business people who can/knows how do so.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This is interesting in light of Burleton’s vehemence regarding “terfs”.

    HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW: A TRANS ACTIVIST REFLECTS ON PERFORMING AT MICHFEST

    It’s been more than two decades since musician and trans activist Jenn Burleton performed on stage at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, but the annual event still maintains its controversial ban on women like her.

    Though the executive director of TransActive Education & Advocacy is publicly out about her trans identity today, she wasn’t when she played guitar for the thousands of women gathered on “the land” in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s
    …….

    PQ: Aside from the policy, did you notice any anti-trans sentiment while you were in the space?

    Burleton: From the musicians, mostly not. From a small (but very vocal) percentage of people attending, yes. I just call it the radical lesbian feminist “Fred Phelps Brigade.”

    http://www.pqmonthly.com/hidden-in-plain-view-a-trans-activist-reflects-on-performing-at-michfest/15747

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Puzzled, thank you for taking the time to read my comments and write such a thoughtful, detailed reply!

    I like your diet example – it’s something that has affected me personally, as I am trying to retool my own diet to fit the new recommendations. I can remember reading the news when the low-fat diet was being sold to us decades ago, and I remember having the impression that it was the result of extensive, well-replicated research by people with impeccable credentials. Seeing the turn-around now definitely makes one more cynical about listening to the medical experts.

    But, at least diet recommendations are low-tech, reversible, and don’t come with the emotional baggage of possibly causing suicide or imminent death from aggressive, metastatic cancer if you choose wrong!

    With the cancer example, it turns out that between 3-15% of the women (depending on the study) died directly from the treatment, it was so toxic. Others lived, but with severe damage to their heart, liver, or other organs, for a procedure that turned out to offer no advantage over standard treatment.

    And it turned out that they opted for this toxic treatment largely on the basis of one too-good-to-be-true study that turned out to be fraudulent. (Initially, several studies seemed to show a benefit. But, over time, follow-up research negated the others or their results couldn’t be replicated.)

    I am sure that we are all skeptical when we read someone contradicting the only published studies on the basis of unpublished research. But knowing the breast cancer story, an extra red flag goes up in my mind when I read this;

    “James Cantor: Do please publish it.

    Jenn Burleton: We will, in time. Until then, the results remain true and contradict all previous flawed desistance research.

    James Cantor: Just to make sure I understand you properly: All the published research is wrong, and your unreviewed, unpublished observation remains true until it is published?”

    I doubt a scientist would phrase things as boldly as Burleton does. From what I can find online her background is not in science, but in music and advocacy. Does her organization even employ any actual scientists to design and oversee a study? Maybe that’s why the work has not been published – it probably does not meet the criteria to be published in a reputable scientific journal.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong.

    Best of luck to you with your daughter.

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

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