WPATH & The Advocate aim to suppress new research on adolescent gender dysphoria

by Brie Jontry

Brie is public spokesperson for 4thWaveNow. For more about her, see this interview. For more about Brie’s formerly trans-identified daughter, Noor, see here.


On February 20, The Advocate, one of the leading LGBT publications in the US, ran an article which attempted to invalidate data collected by physician and researcher Lisa Littman from parents whose children experienced Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD). The author, Brynn Tannehill, immediately posted the article to the WPATH Facebook page.

Tannehill ROGD WPATH post

In the thread,  Tannehill (along with Jo Hirst, author of the Gender Fairy), suggested The Journal of Adolescent Health should be asked to retract and/or apologize for publication of Littman’s preliminary findings. UCSF’s Dan Karasic, MD (moderator of the Facebook page and WPATH official) agreed.

Littman’s abstract had been accepted for poster presentation and the poster was presented at the March 2017 Annual Meeting. (The full paper has not been published yet, and we look forward to its availability).

karasic retract poster

Note: Interestingly, as of this writing, four days after they were written, the last three comments have been deleted from the original thread.

The dismissal of Littman’s work, and the move to suppress it, is unconscionable. For one thing, some young people (like my daughter)  who experienced ROGD have already desisted. Others, who were supported in procuring medical intervention, have already experienced regret. Many more desisters and detransitioners are sure to follow.

This trend has not gone unnoticed by at least some in WPATH. For example, veteran WPATH clinician Rachael St. Claire, in a Facebook post on January 5 of this year, made this comment (notice that commenting was turned off immediately after St.Claire posted):

WPATH jan 5 2018 detrans therapist

This concern is echoed by UCSF clinical psychologist Erica Anderson, herself a transgender woman, in a recent Washington Post article:

“I think a fair number of kids are getting into it because it’s trendy,” said Anderson, who was married for 30 years and fathered two children before transitioning seven years ago.

I’m often the naysayer at our meetings. I’m not sure it’s always really trans. I think in our haste to be supportive, we’re missing that element. Kids are all about being accepted by their peers. It’s trendy for professionals, too.”

In addition, clinics around the world have noted a sharp increase in the number of girls presenting for treatment in the last few years.

increase in girls

A once-rare condition is now increasingly common. It is surely in the interest of all people who care about gender dysphoric youth to investigate the reasons for the increase, and Littman’s work is an early contribution to this effort.

The ostensible reason given for Karasic et al’s desire to have Littman’s abstract retracted is that the data comes from a self-selected group of parents, culled from websites where such parents gather, in an anonymous survey format, and is thus deemed to be worthless. Yet advocates for pediatric transition constantly promote other survey studies, also culled from “self selected” groups (such as the Williams Institute suicidality survey), as well as research conducted by investigators who only recruit subjects from pro-early transition organizations (such as Kristina Olson’s two studies), with no attempt to broaden their samples to children who are not socially or medically transitioned.

In fact, Littman’s work is the first to study this new presentation of gender dysphoria, and she collected information from the people who know these children and teens better than any transgender advocate, endocrinologist, psychologist, or therapist ever could — their parents.

But you’re not listening to us.

Littman’s study, according to its critics, is contentious for a few reasons, but most notably for using the term “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” as a descriptor for a new kind of trans-identifying youth, primarily natal females, who during or after puberty, begin to feel intense unhappiness about their sexed bodies and what it means to feel/be/present as a woman.

Let me emphasize: What is “rapid onset” in this population is the dysphoria, not the gender atypicality. What distinguishes these young people from the early-onset populations studied previously is that they may have been happily gender nonconforming throughout childhood (though some were more gender typical), but they were not unhappy (which is all “dysphoric” really means), nor did they claim or wish to be the opposite sex. The unhappiness set in suddenly, in nearly every case only after heavy peer influence, either on- or offline.

This phenomenon has only recently been noted by clinicians directly involved in treating gender dysphoric youth, as well as other mental health professionals. While there is no lack of evidence for adolescent emotional and behavioral social “contagions,” Littman’s research is the first to collect data on this phenomenon as it relates to identifying as transgender.

Even though rapid onset gender dysphoria has been noted by other researchers and clinicians who work with these populations, The Advocate and WPATH’s Dan Karasic consider the descriptor “junk science.” In a swift attempt at censorship, Karasic deleted all but one of my comments on the public WPATH Facebook page and then banned me from the group when I asked him to please consider the experiences of young people, like my daughter, for whom gender dysphoria set in hard and fast after being exposed to the idea that her gender nonconformity was in fact a sign of being transgender.

Interestingly, after I was purged, Karasic posted links to both my and my daughter’s stories on 4thWaveNow, and unfounded accusations were leveled against me and 4thWaveNow; since I was banned, I was not able to respond to them.

Interested readers may refer to these Twitter threads should you want more blow-by-blow details:

It is concerning, given Karasic’s reaction to Littman’s research, that he and others evidently leave no room for a teenager to be incorrect about how they are interpreting their feelings, no room for a clinician to be incorrect when recommending transition, and no room for a parent to understand what is going on with their own child. It is narrow minded and short-sighted, especially considering there is no long-term data supporting the benefits of early medical transition for gender dysphoria or consensus from the medical community about best treatment methods.

This lack of consensus, while well known and acknowledged by the international medical community, has been ignored by many transgender advocates, along with the “gender affirmative” recipients of a $5.7 million NIH grant, who, with the help of the mainstream media, have manipulated the public into believing early social transition, pubertal blockade, and early cross-hormone treatment constitute settled science.

To be clear, in “Early Medical Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria: An Empirical Ethical Study,” a 17-clinic international study published in The Journal of Adolescent Health, the authors explain that:

As still little is known about the etiology of GD and long-term treatment consequences in children and adolescents, there is great need for more systematic interdisciplinary and (world- wide) multicenter research and debate. As long as there are only limited long-term data in support of the guidelines, there will be no true consensus on treatment. To advance the ethical debate, we need to continue to discuss the diverse themes based on research data as an addition to merely opinions. Otherwise ideas, assumptions, and theories on GD treatment will diverge even more, which will lead to (even more) inconsistencies between the approaches recommended by health care professionals across different countries. (372)

I am sure some WPATH members, like the treatment teams in Lieke et al., “feel pressure from parents and adolescents to start with treatment at earlier ages.” I know there are others, besides those reported in Lieke et al. who:

[…] wondered in what way the increasing media attention affects the way gender-variant behavior is perceived by the child or adolescent with GD and by the society he or she lives in. They speculated that television shows and information on the Internet may have a negative effect and, for example, lead to medicalization of gender-variant behavior.

“They [adolescents] are living in their rooms, on the Internet during night-time, and thinking about this [gender dysphoria]. Then they come to the clinic and they are convinced that this [gender dysphoria] explains all their problems and now they have to be made a boy. I think these kinds of adolescents also take the idea from the media. But of course you cannot prevent this in the current area of free information spreading.” –Psychiatrist

It is unconscionable that transgender advocates, and the leading international body concerned with transgender medicine, would seek to quash data that address unsettled and mostly unexplored areas of concern. It is incredibly important that ROGD be included as a research point because the main studies used to justify the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgery in adolescents required “persistent gender dysphoria since childhood” and “no serious comorbid psychiatric disorders that may interfere with the diagnostic assessment” before the patients were eligible for medical intervention. In other words, none of the participants in these treatment studies had adolescent-onset of their gender dysphoria and none of the participants had serious psychiatric issues.

It is a huge leap to assume that an entirely different population of adolescents with a different presentation of symptoms will have the same results as the adolescents in the Amsterdam cohort.  An additional gap in the research is that because all the desistence and persistence studies are about adolescents who had childhood onset of gender dysphoria, the persistence and desistence rates for adolescent-onset gender dysphoria are unknown.

In all areas of medicine, best practices come from intense discussion and research into indications and contraindications, and into risks, benefits, and alternatives. Yet, WPATH’s Karasic, along with the trans advocates who have prominent roles in the organization, appear to believe it is in their community’s best interest to shut down all discussion about contraindications, risks and alternatives. This is inappropriate and undermines the very concept of informed consent.

Furthermore, The Advocate article suggests that Littman’s sample is biased because it gathered data from “unsupportive” parents. This framing is both fallacious and dangerous to gender nonconforming and dysphoric youth. It suggests that the only path for gender dysphoric youth, even those with a rapid onset, is full affirmation including fulfillment of requested medical interventions. It also implies that parents aren’t able to be both supportive and cautious.

I have spoken to some of the parents who participated in the study. Few could be described as “unsupportive.” In fact, almost overwhelmingly, these parents supported their children in thinking about their gender identity and helped facilitate their preferences for atypical gender presentation and interests (taking them for haircuts, new clothing, and so forth). Many sought professional mental health consultations and treatment for their children. But what many of these parents did not support for their underage teenagers were hormonal and surgical interventions. This is an important distinction: Littman’s sample were supportive parents who were unsupportive of a particular medical treatment option.

It is entirely possible to be supportive parents invested in our child’s well-being and not agree to unproven medical procedures for which there is no consensus from the medical community of long-term safety or benefit to the majority of dysphoric youth. However, the loudest voices in pediatric transgender medicine often cite Kristina Olson’s descriptive research about early social transition for children which relies on the methods that they decry as “junk” when used in Littman’s research (targeted recruitment and the collection of data from parents). Kristina Olson recruited her sample from support groups and conferences to find parents who have socially transitioned their children, which might consist only of parents who are supportive of early social and medical transition. So is it an acceptable method for both studies, junk for both studies, or are the WPATH activists simply going by whether they like or dislike the findings?

As all parents know, we can tell when our children are suffering. To remain credible, advocates for gender dysphoric youth and the international organization which claims to be concerned with generating best practices in the field of transgender medicine must acknowledge that ROGD exists and there are some trans-identifying youth who arrive at their identity from external social pressures, and at times, internalized homophobia.

Related to this last point, the WPATH Facebook page wasn’t the only place my respectful questions were deleted. In a comment on The Advocate article itself, I asked Tannehill and Advocate readers to consider the recent research into how homophobic name-calling influences (hint: greatly) children’s perceptions of their gender identity.

brie advocate comment

My comment was swiftly scrubbed from existence. For those interested in reading “The Influence of Peers During Adolescence: Does Homophobic Name Calling by Peers Change Gender Identity?” the full text is here.

Finally, the fact that ROGD is being discussed by the conservative media is not, no matter how many “incriminating” links Tannehill dropped in the Advocate piece, a legitimate reason to discredit the data. The irony is not lost on many 4thWaveNow parents that our stories are covered by media outlets we typically avoid. In this politically charged climate, it is important for researchers, clinicians, and parents to work together to “first do no harm” even when those we otherwise disagree with call for the same cautions.

Clearly, Brynn Tannehill and Dan Karasic do not speak for all members of WPATH. I know for certain that they do not speak for many professionals currently working with gender dysphoric youth who see in their own practices what can only be described as “rapid onset gender dysphoria” in an increasing number of adolescents, particularly girls. Clinicians are aware of the rapidly growing numbers of young people requesting services and the possibility of social contagion; there are those among you who are concerned by the potential for misdiagnosis and the subsequent harm that will come to some of your patients as a result.

It is time for those with concerns to speak out. Please do not allow your ethical and professional concerns to be held hostage by ideology.

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48 thoughts on “WPATH & The Advocate aim to suppress new research on adolescent gender dysphoria

  1. Oops we posted the survey on our parents listserv meat to forward this to my friend who runs it.

    So glad we were able to help Littman with her research.

    The road to hell is paved with iPhones.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is what the transactivists do best – name calling. Since they’re not able to support their own methods in any scientific way, they try to dismiss anyone who has logical, rational questions. We know the whole routine. When is the rest of the world going to wake up to this?

    Great post Brie! Thank you for representing us parents who are supporting our children to have a healthy future both physically and psychologically.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Wow, Brie, you hit it out of the ballpark!

    Of course, moms of kids would be concerned, but isn’t it just so shameful that it’s left to them, because the LGBT groups are NOT concerned, and as a matter of fact, seem to want to swell their transgender ranks no matter who they catch in their nets.

    There is so much self-interest going on – therapists who don’t seem to want to risk the transgender activists’ wrath, drug companies licking their lips at the prospect of a whole slew of lifetime patients, not the average lesbian or gay, but those lesbian and gay activists who have gotten into bed with the transgender agenda (now they’re the cool kids??), governments and societal organizations that rubber stamp what the loud transgender activists demand – to shut them up? Or perhaps they’re getting donations to go along…?

    Civilized countries generally take pride in protecting their youth. What has happened to us that so many are letting our kids be medicated, sterilized, and butchered???

    Liked by 8 people

    • –Civilized countries generally take pride in protecting their youth. What has happened to us that so many are letting our kids be medicated, sterilized, and butchered—

      Fear, I think. I can’t see another reason why so many parents would sign off other than they’re terrified their kids will harm themselves. “Better a trans kid than a dead kid” is perhaps one of the strongest pieces of propaganda this century

      Liked by 7 people

      • Yes, I think you’re right. Although (oops!) I hadn’t thought of parents in that part, I was thinking of politicians and agencies. It’s one thing for an average person, whether parent or kid, to be confused, but our “leaders” should be relying only on evidence – not self-interest. Kids are innocent, too young for informed consent, and are our future. Our “leaders” should definitely be pushing for caution, not helping to push kids into irreversible changes. It just blows me away how we’re failing people….

        Liked by 5 people

  4. While not the same, this situation reminds me of an article I read about the deaf culture several years ago. They had invented something that cured deafness for a certain kind of deafness (sorry, can’t remember the details, or if it was a procedure or an appliance they wore?). There were a lot of members of the deaf community that were really upset – they were worried that they would lose their deaf culture/community if one day all deafness could be cured. They were actually suggesting that people NOT get this procedure.

    Obviously, if all deafness could be cured, people would move in their individual lives and not be pulled together into that culture, because it wouldn’t be needed. Recently cured people could still keep their friends, still participate in that culture, but there would be no new members to the group (in the situation of being able to fix all deafness) and the community would die out. These deaf people who were upset placed more value on their developed culture than on their disability being cured.

    In terms of the transgender situation, I suspect there are various reasons that people push for it and want to quash any information that might prevent people from becoming trans. But I think a couple of reasons are that older trans think that transing children will “prove” that transgender is innate, I also think a reason for some is that they want their community to grow and get more power.

    Transing involves social transition, puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, possibly surgery – all things that don’t need to be medically performed. If somehow we found the “answer” and no one was confused about their sex anymore (ie, if they came to understand that sex and gender are two different things and we don’t have to “change” our sex in order to express a range of human emotions/behaviors), no one feeling any more stress than a teenager normally feels, I think there would be lots of transgender voices arguing against it. Part of it would probably be established transgenders wanting more people coming into the fold – self-interest as now. Part of it would probably be people who have gained some political power/position based on being transgender and wouldn’t want that to end – again self-interest.

    Anyway, as I said, they’re not exactly the same, but trans reminds me of that article about the deaf community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! I’m a long time 4thwavenow reader, very rare commenter.

      I’d like to challenge you on the comparison to Deaf* culture here – the idea behind opposing cochlear implants in children is that many d/Deaf people do not view deafness as a disability, and Deaf culture has evolved since the 1800s (or earlier). For many, it is no different than other cultural groups that have a distinct language. Cochlear implants function best when the surgery is done on infants or toddlers; this means brain surgery on a very young child. It also destroys any residual hearing that the child may have (though that is very little to begin with). There is then years of speech and hearing therapy to help the child hear and speak – to conform to hearing culture, as some Deaf people may put it, by forcing a method of communication that really may not be the easiest or most comfortable for the child. And even then cochlear devices are not as similar to the experience of hearing without the device as hearing people think they are (here is a description of what they sound like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzgQrHFDNLE); even hearing aids are imperfect and still take effort and strain to hear well with. Anyway, rather than do a disservice to the issue by trying to summarize it myself, here’s an article that does: http://www.thisisinsider.com/why-deaf-people-turn-down-cochlear-implants-2016-12 You may also be interested in learning about audism (with a “d” – it means assigning more value to people who hear). This video is also good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY4uof7vvZk

      If this had to be compared to transgender, I would say the comparison you’re making isn’t quite right. Opposition to cochlear surgery would say it conforms a deaf child to a hearing world’s ideal, when in fact the child could function just fine not conforming to that ideal, like many d/Deaf people do. There are options for deaf children to be raised learning sign language AND spoken language (through speech therapy and/or using hearing aids) so that they can make their own choice when they are older. Many people here agree that gender nonconforming children don’t need to be conformed to any sort of gender ideal. So in both situations, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that children should be free to navigate the world in the way that is best for them, ideally without medical intervention that they don’t understand or consent to. For some deaf children that could indeed mean using spoken language and hearing aids or cochlears; for some gender nonconforming children that could mean growing up to find that they are LGB, or perhaps eventually transitioning gender when they are old enough to determine if that is the best option for them (and old enough to understand and consent).

      If there is room to be nonconforming, then there is less pressure to conform. And in the case of Deaf culture, the loss of culture should not be a decision made by outsiders who want nonconforming people to conform to what the majority has deemed “normal.”


      *When referring to Deaf culture the word “Deaf” is capitalized; when referring to audiological deafness it is not. d/Deaf with both is a way to refer to both audiological and cultural d/Deafness.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’m only going by what the two of you wrote, so I may be wrong, but…

        Isn’t that exactly what trans activists do? Taking a real physical or mental illness/disability (deafness or dysphoria) and making it about culture and politics instead of about health and medical science?

        Gender nonconformity is normal, dysphoria is not, it is an illness. And we should search for ways to treat it, instead of glorifying it as nonconformity (while nonconformity doesn’t include the “mental suffering” and “hating your body” aspects of dysphoria) and catering to it by mutilating people or making everyone around them use different pronouns etc.

        Deafness is also not normal in a biological and medical sense, and if it can be cured, it probably should. It doesn’t mean deaf people should have less rights or are “worse” than non-deaf ones, it just means they are at a physical disadvantage and not as healthy in this aspect, so why does it suddenly become a dilemma of protecting their nonconformity vs removing physical disadvantage? Making a medical problem into a political or cultural one just doesn’t make sense, and it can also hinder development of new treatments. And that is what trans activists also do. (So I guess the analogy is even more pronounced than Lorac implied.)

        Now then, if the treatment isn’t much better than absence of treatment, that is another matter entirely. But. The pros and cons of each treatment option still should be debated from the medical (and generally scientific) standpoint, not from the cultural or political one, because it IS a medical problem. If trans issues were seen more as a medical issue of dysphoria – leaving out gender nonconformity as normal, and not a trans issue, – and not as a political issue, I think we’d see a lot more progress in treatments.

        I earlier wrote about “mutilating people”, but actually, if physically mutilating one’s body turns out really beneficial for one’s mental health, it probably should be considered a viable treatment option for some. But this should be proven scientifically first. Which is the same for treatments of deafness etc. Key thing is not to turn real medical (including psychiatric) problems into tools of cultural nonconformity. Next thing we know, there will be a diabetic culture, a CVD culture, a major depression culture, a cancer culture… And all of them’ll say that their “nonconformities” are totally normal, and those who want to treat them are discriminating bigots from that pesky opposing “insulin-producing culture”, “healthy heart culture”, “normothymic culture”, and… I don’t even want to think of a name for that last one.

        What I meant to say by all this is, if your problem can’t be treated at all, there’s no harm in finding consolation in the notion of nonconformity and in creating your own culture. But if then this nonconformity culture prevents not only you, but everyone else from even considering new treatments for the problem, that isn’t normal or sensible at all.

        Like

  5. The 1967 quote from The Graduate: “There’s a great future in plastics”

    The 2018 version: “There’s a great future in hormone supplements”

    Thank you Brie for pushing back on this astonishing effort to medicalize our young people…so much more lucrative than providing talk therapy. Why are males having a tough time accessing testosterone but a young female can get it after a 1-day appointment. This is medical negligence.

    I think if the so-called experts would take the time to listen to what a growing number of parents are talking about, along with so many school counselors, they will ultimately be helping the trans community. Too bad they can’t manage to be open-minded.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Yes, thank you Brie, for being such a clear thinking, well read advocate for kids and parents negotiating these issues. 4th Wave couldn’t have picked a better spokesperson!

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Thank you to Brie Jontry for writing, and to 4thWaveNow for publishing, this important piece.

    Brie, you have exposed the hypocrisy of gender “experts” like Karasic. They object to Dr. Littman’s research findings (which don’t support their position) on the grounds of her research methodology while endorsing the findings of other studies (which do support their position) that use the same methodology.

    Not only do they object to her findings, they attempt to have them retracted – long after the abstract was published. Clearly, Dr. Littman’s findings have struck a nerve. I am grateful to Dr. Littman for having the professional courage to study a phenomenon that powerful trans activists like Karasic and Tannehill would like to deny. And I look forward to publication of the full study.

    I am so tired of seeing teens who, after exposure to gender ideology, suddenly and for the first time in their lives begin to see their bodies as wrong. Over the past 5 to 7 years, this ideology has confused untold numbers of adolescent girls (and boys too) and led them to pursue utterly unnecessary and dangerous medical intervention. It’s time for the madness to stop.

    Liked by 9 people

  8. It makes me wonder what groups like WPATH are supposed to be for. If their purpose is to create standards of care for trans people, one would assume it would include diagnostic material for children that represents actual children coming into gender clinics and therapy. Otherwise they should stay away from children entirely.

    I’m glad that there are therapists who see RODG for what it is. For every parent going through this with their kid, my hope is that every one lucks into finding one of those therapists. Is there a list compiled anywhere to help parents find careful therapists? Maybe a list of gender clinics that are careful? Are there any gender clinics that don’t automatically affirm teen girls?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Trying to find a non-affirming therapist is a hot topic on gendercriticalresources.com. The parents on there are also coming to grips with the fact that, once the kid is 18, a non-affirming therapist can do nothing to stop medically invasive “treatment” unless the kid can be certified as mentally incompetent. It’s a nightmare, and that’s an understatement.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This attempt at censorship is extremely shady behavior and not the first time from WPATH. It’s a pattern. And people like Littman will be viciously attacked if people do not push back on this behavior. I strongly encourage everyone here to complain about this directly to gender affirming therapists, mental and medical health orgs, and LGBT orgs directly rather than here. Direct complaints are more affective than preaching to the choir IMO.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Brie and 4th, thank you for an excellent post documenting this reaction from the transactivists to a study being published in a peer-reviewed journal.
    The truth will win out eventually. Unfortunately, much damage has been done.
    Where are the skeptics, the critical thinkers, the scientists, the physicians, the psychologists, the journalists, the everyday people, on speaking out?
    These ROGD teens are not transgender. They deserve compassion. They should not be subject to harmful medical interventions.
    Onlookers, be brave and say something.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. It’s concerning that the only parents interviewed for this article come from those who participate in gender critical discussions who are unaccepting of their trans children. You’ve faulted studies of positive outcomes of social transition and medical transition of children and teens. Studies that agree with your positions, you like, those that don’t are biased. Got it.

    Like

    • I think Kristina Olson’s studies are incredibly useful even though they “suffer” from the same sample bias and I’ve never once called for their retraction. Her studies tell us that kids who are supported have the same levels of anxiety as their non-trans siblings. That’s good news!

      However, without a control group of kids who are supported in their gender nonconformity and possible early-homosexuality but who are *not* told there’s something incongruent about their bodies and their feelings/preferences/personalities, we don’t have real information about the benefits of early transition compared to simply accepting and supporting your kids as they are (without pathologizing them).

      Liked by 4 people

      • Thank you again Brie for being the voice of those of us who are not unaccepting of our trans children but in fact are exercising caution before undertaking medical interventions with irreversible consequences when there may be an element of social contagion here. I for one think that there are people whose only relief will be via a medical transition, but I have also seen in my community that there are tons of girls hitting puberty and determining that they are boys with no apparent prior behavior indicating gender identity issues and it seems perfectly reasonable to stop and ask whether these kids are in the same position as kids who identified as transgender without any media representations to suggest it and wait to see what happens. And I will say that as much as my gut tells me that my child does not need to identify as male to be happy, I am hoping for a world in which if that child continues to identify as male he can do it without sacrificing the physical benefits of a body with a uterus and estrogen — namely the ability to give birth to a child which is something that I am profoundly grateful for, and the extended life expectancy that comes with our biology. I don’t think that makes me a monster nor would I assume that a parent who makes a different choice is not acting out of love as well. But if there are really large numbers of trans people in the population why are we still talking about changing bodies when we should be talking about changing our ideas about gender and what it looks like?

        Liked by 3 people

  12. You’re so proud your daughter desisted. Not uncommon for kids to go back into the closet when their parents are unaccepting and ridicule trans people on the internet. Good job, Mom!

    Like

    • Risa,
      Where were all of these teens girls 10 years ago that now say they are transgender? Note how many girls have moved away from identifying as lesbians. Are you saying that FTMs were in the closet as lesbians?
      Lesbians do not require medical interventions.
      We all wish young people well–no matter their identities.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m not proud, I’m profoundly thankful. And, I don’t think she’s in the closet. Once that veil is lifted and a young person realizes that their sex doesn’t need to define a whole lot about them/their lives, the trans narrative doesn’t hold the same appeal.

    She’s come too far and learned too much about herself to ever want to be someone else. She’s grown more comfortable in her skin. Passing through puberty does that for adolescents.

    Liked by 7 people

    • I think you should be proud, Brie. Proud that you and your daughter made it through this nightmare and came out strong and without the physical harm of hormones and / or surgery. My daughter also recently desisted, like yours, having worked out who she is having struggled through puberty. None of the parents of desisters I have read about have coerced their children into changing their views. They have supported them whilst presenting alternative views. We all learn by keeping an open mind and viewing all the evidence. It will take time to get a good evidence base for how to best manage these ROGD patients, (the gender clinics admit they don’t fully understand it) but we can no longer deny that desisters do exist and for the time being they are the experts. Great job Brie and 4th wave

      Liked by 7 people

  14. My son did paper on lbgt rights….thought he was bi and now said couldnt get transgender out of his head and came out as trans just recently and says next step his hormone therapy. I stumbled upon this page and find myself angry with society…completely and emotionally lost….this in 3 months time. On side note he will be 18 soon but at 14 was sure he had adhd for 6 months and needed medicine. After dr. Appt and dr questioning him dr told him he didnt have it we get in car and he is relieved and relizes he needs to put more effort into grades…end of that idea…thats why i question latest declaration. I will continue to research and hope for the best.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Excellent article, Brie. I’m a big fan of this blog, but have hesitated to comment since I am a fiscal conservative. However, today I think I have an important contribution about ROGD.

    I started writing for DANGEROUS.com a couple of weeks ago with the mandate of exposing the truth about transgender activism. I have the full backing of my conservative gay male publisher and editor-in-chief. This is great news for the entire political spectrum of people pushing back on transgender activism and proposing better solutions. With that platform and support for my mission, I can make sure important stories about the transgender movement get published and promoted. With me on the job, transgender activists can never no-platform or silence you again. (More on that below.)

    My story for DANGEROUS concerns an epidemic of transgenders in video game conferences, specifically Awesome Games Done Quick, which was held in January. It has gone from zero transgenders to hundreds in just a few years. And the transgenders, who are predominantly autogynephiles, did to the gamers what they do everywhere else. They imposed speech codes, forced the gamers to pay for the censors spoiling their fun, got people banned without recourse for trivial infractions, and made everyone walk on eggshells to avoid their wrath. 

The transgender epidemic in the gamer world seems to be affecting young men in their twenties the most. It also seems to be associated with autogynephilia and the high rate of autism spectrum disorder among gamers.

    I’d like the thoughts of everyone here on whether this is ROGD, or is due to the fact that transgender activism has created so much power for transgenders to impose their will that autogynephiles are coming out in their late teens and twenties now. You can read my article here: https://www.dangerous.com/41840/transgender-activists-transjack-popular-speedrunning-conference-gamers/.

    You also may check me out at my blog, A Conservative Lesbian: http://aconservativelesbian.com.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is really an interesting perspective, thank you Cynthia! I did not know anything about this whole sub-culture (despite living with a gamer) and thank you for bringing it to my attention. Best of luck with your new column and blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cynthia,
      Wow. I have never heard of the connection between AGP and video gaming before. This is new.

      Ever since my own daughter decided she was transgender a couple of years ago, I’ve been trying to figure out where all of this is coming from. I’m still working on it, but it’s becoming evident that the Internet is playing a HUGE role in, not only gender dysphoria, but all kinds of emotional problems among our youth.

      And I’m not the only one who’s come to this conclusion. I have read reports of parents and schools all over Silicon Valley banning internet use. Even some of the founders of Facebook and Google are voluntarily unplugging themselves from the Internet.

      We need to take this seriously.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You are quite right about the connection between internet use and the social contagion of transgenderism. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder are especially vulnerable, so groups like video gamers with high numbers of people with ASD are hit harder than others.

        Liked by 3 people

  16. “our stories are covered by media outlets we typically avoid”

    Sorry to say it but this is the ( non-bullshit-MRA) red pill people labeled right talk about, and there is no going back from it. I donated to and volunteered for Obama and yet all I despised about Bush was carried on under him and those media outlets and allies who’d been with me denouncing Bush celebrated it as soon as Obama was doing it.

    The left is no longer left, it is a cult where the churches are sheltered academics teaching your kids at great cost to you, and if you think anything – if you flex your brainpower at all and see the contradictions in logic and make the fatal mistake of letting the cult know you see them – they will call you a Nazi, a fascist, a Fox News watching trump lover.

    Get ready to see more and more of the reality of this and every single major media figure and Silicon Valley giant will persecute you for this simple ability to think for yourself. It will only get worse from here. The fist is closing. Many enemies are not your enemies– they just spoke their truth and became exiles before you did.

    It is cold and painful out here without the sunlight of total media social and societal approval to beam on you. It sucks to find in this exile truly vile and intolerant people less likely to despise you than those you believed worthy of trust and respect.

    But this is the only way to exist in your truth. I’m not religious but I think standing strong with what you honestly believe is the reason we exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have spoken here before about feeling exiled from the once-comfy progressive places where some of us used to hang out. It’s a crappy feeling but … I can’t deny the truth of the body, which “progressives” are trying to toss off as negligible, a mere container for the inner “whatever” that is deemed so holy and important.

      I live in a state where the next gov election pits a hardline, wealthy, conservative incumbent (who virtually shut down our state for two years by refusing to dialogue with equally hardline and not so admirable Dems) … against the front-running Dem candidate, a Pritzker. (Needless to say, not so stoked re the whole Pritz clan given their stellar transactivist credentials.)

      As for the next presidential election? Again, my loathing for the current regime is likely to conflict with whatever uber-prog person the Dems pick.

      Going off the grid and just disengaging from the whole shebang looks increasingly appealing. (Totally impractical and impossible, and maybe immoral, as well, but … appealing.)

      Liked by 5 people

    • I didn’t vote for Trump and thus it hurts to be in a position to be forced to agree with him on anything (i.e. the trans military ban and the order to stop investigating bathroom complaints).

      As for religion, I’m Jewish, and I’ve had to argue the point with other Jews who defended it using the Talmud. But I counter-argued that it contradicts the Torah. The Catholic Church used the Old Testament to condemn it, and as critical as I am of them, I would ally with the Pope himself if I thought it would help save gay lives.

      Even from a secular perspective, the whole male/female brain theory is dead in respectable scientific circles, and even David Oliver Cauldwell, the inventor of the English word “transsexual,” believed that it was abnormal, but that homosexuality is normal, and that jenn-durr was too poorly defined to be criteria for surgery.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for your articles. I was surprised to see that this site is described as a ‘hate group’ by the FB WPATH group … I haven’t found that so. What I do find ridiculous is the removal of your posts and your membership of the group. Tolerance even for the ‘haters’ who visit here seems to be in abundance.
    I’m not a hater, my daughter has transitioned, but I do want the bigger picture, I do want to see what’s not being reported and I do want to make sound decisions for my other children.
    Keep writing and keep on keeping the balance.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Yes, to the thoughts from Belle above. It is frustrating to hear this group referred to as a “hate group” or as “anti-transgender.” Far from it. And didn’t Lisa Littman’s study reflect that a considerable majority of parents responding to her study (89%) supported equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people — that they are against things like housing discrimination, bullying, and things that would target these groups negatively. I have voted in every election since I was 18 and have never voted for a Republican. I am deeply troubled by Fox News, Trump, the gun lobby, the National Review, and countless other mean-spirited news outlets. What I have seen from this group (with very few exceptions) is tremendous love, compassion, and empathy. In our house, we teach “Love everyone. Always. Period.” It is precisely from a place of love that we are deeply concerned about the impact of social contagion on teens and the total and complete reckless elimination of any kind of sensible guidance and gatekeeping. In many clinics now 100% of kids are now being affirmed. So, then they are all legitimately self-diagnosing as transgender? And psychologists are afraid of triggering “conversion” laws and getting sued if they probe or challenge these self-declarations. Who among us in our teen years would not have gotten swept up in the Tide Pod challenge or would not have sworn up and down that we would never but never ever want kids later on in our lives? Who among us would have understood a 30-page medical release but would have signed anyway? Who among us today, as educated adults, would understand the legal jargon in such a medical release and its implications without a lawyer present to explain it to us? How many of us moms were anorexic or bulimic at that age and suffered body dysphoria ourselves — looking in the mirror and thinking our bodies were disgustingly fat, when in reality we were impossibly thin. And how many of us got that dysphoria from everything we were consuming about body image in the media? And then self-harming our bodies to cope with that dysphoria. And, this is yet another reason why MORE research is needed, not less. How many of us moms still struggle with negative body image and have repeatedly spoken throughout our adult lives disparagingly about our own bodies (I’m disgustingly fat, I’m a pig, I’ve got to lose weight, I hate my butt, I hate my breasts, I wish I could get a boob job), and our children, male and female, have listened to that and imbibed that from an early age? I realize that this site is mostly geared toward parents of young women who have become transgender as teens, but this is also affecting a lot of boys at this age. Anecdotally, we keeping meeting moms of boys who have rapid adolescent onset of gender dysphoria who they themselves had been bulimics as teens and body dysphoric, and who continued to be dieters throughout the time their son was reaching puberty. During that time, there was a lot of negative self-talk about being disgusted by a “fat body,” a concern with disciplining the body, and an expressed desire to alter the body in some way, perhaps even surgically. For a son identified with his mom, who begins going through puberty, and has many of the same discomforts, anxieties, and criticisms of the body, and then is bombarded with messages of heroic transgender transitions and bodies from Instagram and YouTube to multiple magazines covers, reality TV shows, and social media chat rooms like Reddit, how many boys instead of becoming bulimic like mom was as a teen become transgender like Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner? Add to this, that teens are now being issued research and paper assignments where they are specifically asked to gather research on transgender topics as part of school projects. This then leads them deep into a world of glorified medical transition video testimonials and “mentoring” from (mostly) middle-aged transwomen. I love transgender people, I love all our children, AND we need **more research** around this phenomenon and some sort of sensible approach to it. AND, for the love of all things sane, we need some major news outlet, beyond the National Review and other right-wing sources, to have the guts to cover this in a substantive, informed, intelligent way. Honestly, where is the New York Times on this? Why have they been so silent? How many teens need to maim themselves and become sterilized medical patients for life before someone gets skeptical?

    Liked by 3 people

  19. If you deem something as hateful then you don’t need to listen to it. Its adolescent behavior. I would expect professionals would be able to consider all viewpoints . Each time these activists and professionals try to shut down or repress any information that goes against their narrative actually creates more distrust and makes me doubt their intentions are really for what is best treatment. I used to believe these people had good intentions at least but I no longer feel that way. They just want to be right.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. The behavior of Tannehill and Karasic had me laughing with incredulity. THESE are the people in charge of setting the treatment guidelines for our gender dysphoric kids? They behave like infants!

    They sound exactly like my daughter when I try to point out the logical inconsistencies in the trans narrative and engage her in rational debate. All I get is:

    “LALALALALALALALA!!! I’m not listening!!! LALALALALALALALA!!!

    Before she runs into her room and slams the door.

    Tannehill and Karasic, Haven’t you learned? You can’t deal with something you don’t like just by blocking it out and hiding like cowards. It never goes away. It only comes back–bigger and more ferocious than before.

    I am looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Brynn Tannehill is a transactivist and prolific contributor to Huffington Post promoting transgenderist perspectives and arguing against gender-critical perspectives. Here’s his Huffington Post profile and article list. https://m.huffpost.com/us/author/brynn-tannehill
    Good to know he advocates censorship of data that doesn’t support his beliefs. Thank you, Brie, for this informative article.

    Like

  22. While I appreciate your concern for Q youth and cannot know what it’s like to act and speak in full context of protecting your child and others like them, when people talk about how there’s no consensus in response to something, it’s usually because they’re dismissive of an actual consensus. I think that’s the case here. However, the name calling is a huge problem. And while I’d like to think the only reason WPATH was so dismissive of this condition you’re talking about is because it’s theory, there is systemic bioessentialism, not so much with the trans community itself, as most of those I associate with are completely against it in all forms, including myself, but it’s the medical community that assumes there are some rigid boxes for male or female and that if you have body dysphoria (not dismorphia) that necessitates medical correction, then it must be “all the way” in a specific way, in a form of elitism. I know some older trans people who have fallen for this and invalidate the identity of others for not being “trans enough”. This is terrible, because it not only overlooks that sex itself is a spectrum and, if body dysphoria, which is caused by a sexual developmental disorder from hormonal deregulation during the beginning of the second trimester, of which, we are aware of at least 2 vectors, is actually what’s going on, that sexual differentiation happens often in different areas of the body and to different extremes with different people, but while these kids and adults are trying to figure out their own identities and they finally find a clue, the information isn’t being disseminated quickly enough to educate doctors what it’s actually about. Most trans people I know are bi, which doesn’t really fit the theory of blanchard and bailey. It’s okay tho, bi people are used t getting erased. But I have a bi trans friend who’s therapist, when they thought they might try confiding in them about their orientation and gender, suggested “repairative therapy”! I thought that can’t possibly happen in this day and age to the point I was almost surprised. Many clinics and hospitals are operating out of vastly outdated DMS language and information that lumps ALL gender/stereotype non-conforming people into it. This only just now got fixed a couple years ago in the last iteration and that’s not acceptable. Intersex people were only just recently started to be universally seen as not a disorder, as just another natural human variant. They’re been tortured and coercively assigned and sterilized for ages. Now there’s more visibility for everyone past the T in the Q community, and people are jumping to conclusions to have an answer to escape the name calling and find their own team to root for. I’m truly sorry your daughter got caught up in that confusion. I think the only way to move forward is a complete overhaul of sex-ed with an understanding of biological and social variance with comprehensive consent education.

    Like

    • I agree with you on a number of points – that the medical establishment still insists/sees through a binary constructed on sexist stereotypes, specifically.

      However, the “no consensus” wrt early transition relates to the absence of long term data that transition is beneficial/better for dysphoric youth than other kinds of processes

      It is not established that a prenatal hormonal situation leads to *lifetime* dysphoria. In fact, if you read through the accounts on this blog and elsewhere, you’ll learn that 1) many people grow out of or away from their dysphoria through various means, going through natal puberty key among them and, 2) almost 100% of females experience some kind of body dysphoria at some point in their lives (I would expect many males do too) and yet, they soldier on in mostly unmanipulated bodies. Of course, there are still boob jobs, nose jobs, hair implants, hair dye, skin lighteners, makeup, shapewear, ……etc

      This idea that being transgender is a birth defect is grossly appropriative of disability. And yes, I get it, in part that’s based on a history of having to pass through gatekeepers. It seems simpler and more genuine to just admit that for a lot of the newest crops of people desiring medical interventions, they’re synthetic and surgical fashion choices conflated with a hollow idea of innate identity.

      Seriously. Why can’t people just be? Why the need to consume medical interventions if sexual organs and secondary sex characteristics don’t have a gender?

      I agree that there needs to be a major paradigm shift so its okay for bearded people to wear flowing garments. Let’s make that happen! It is completely regressive to turn noncompliant bodies over to medicine to make them conform to sexist stereotypes.

      Like

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