Queering the Student Body

by Missingdaughter

Missingdaughter is the mother of a young woman who went missing in college. The author is available to interact in the comments section of her article.


How many college students identify as genderqueer, as transgender, as something other than male or female? Short answer: we don’t know.

The Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law tracks transgender demographics. In 2011, the Williams Institute found that 0.3% of adults identified as transgender. Another analysis from 2016, which utilized data from the CDC’s 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), showed the number of adults identifying as transgender had risen to 0.6% of the population. What about teenagers? Yet another Williams Institute estimate in January of 2017 suggests that 0.7 percent of youth ages 13 to 17 identify as transgender. Teenagers are a difficult population to survey. Dr. Emily A. Greytek, director of research at G.L.S.E.N. thinks the numbers for teens identifying as transgender could range from 0.5% to 1.5%. Transgender is an umbrella term—this could also account for the fuzzy numbers.

For many reasons, the aforementioned data requires closer examination. For one thing, any statistic based on a generalization across a large population does not capture local variances. There is anecdotal evidence of localized clusters of transgender-identifying young people in much higher proportions than these US-wide statistics would indicate. Escalating evidence suggests an expanding social epidemic, a phenomenon being described as Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD).

Malcolm Gladwell argues in his book, The Tipping Point, that social epidemics germinate, emerge, and grow by specific mechanisms and for specific reasons, ultimately reaching a tipping point, the pivotal threshold at which ideas and behaviors spread uncontrollably throughout larger society. The surveys we have do not record the germination of alternative gender identities on college campuses.

The colleges themselves report only a vague sense of the numbers. In the Spring 2017 Association of American Colleges and Universities journal, a report titled “The Experiences of Incoming Transgender College Students: New Data on Gender Identity” uses data gathered from the 2015 CIRP Freshman Survey. The report follows 678 transgender students from 209 colleges and universities.

On financial matters, the report states, “transgender students receive financial aid at a higher rate than the national sample. More transgender students reported receiving Pell grants (32.8 percent versus 26.6 percent), need-based grants or scholarships (47.8 percent versus 36.6 percent), and work-study funding (35.4 percent versus 20.9 percent). More transgender students also received merit-based aid (60.7 percent versus 51.6 percent), which is especially encouraging given that the average high school academic performance of transgender students was slightly outpaced by the national average.…”

The trans-identified students have self-reported emotional health concerns: “52.1 percent of incoming transgender college students reported their emotional health as either below average or in the lowest 10 percent relative to their peers.” However, “nearly three-quarters of transgender students reported a good chance they would seek counseling (74.6 percent). One reason for this difference is that evaluation and referral by a mental health professional is typically recommended to those seeking or undergoing hormone therapy or gender confirmation procedures.”

campus queer college guide.jpgTransgender students are a politically and socially engaged group: “Nearly half of the transgender student sample reported having engaged in some type of activism within the year prior to college entry (47.4 percent), which is more than double the percentage of students in the national sample who reported having done so (20.8 percent). Other authors have noted the tendency of transgender students to view their identity through an activist lens, describing the intersection between their gender and activist identities, and the role other identities play at the intersection.” Further, more than two-thirds of incoming transgender college students indicated they were likely to participate in protests on campus (68.7 percent), as compared to about one-third of the national sample (33.1 percent).

Nowhere in this report did it state how many students pursue a medical transition while in college. It is understandable that colleges may not be able to track shifting gender and sexual micro-identities on their campuses. Some of these identities may be a passing whim. But we don’t know anything about how many students arrive at college with a transgender identity, or who adopt a transgender identity while in college, and—more importantly—how many of these students access campus health services for cross-sex hormones or are referred to a nearby off-campus provider for life-changing hormone treatments and/or surgery referrals. Because the students are over 18, FERPA restrictions may prevent a parent from ever learning that his or her young adult child has undergone life-changing medical interventions—even if the child is still covered under the parent’s insurance plan. (True: the student is legally an adult, though not fully in brain function.) Considering the heady atmosphere of trans cheerleading on a college campus and the easy access to medical clinics, a young adult could be more likely to pursue medical transition while away at college.

As noted in the article “Are you sending or losing your teen to college?” published last year on 4thWaveNow, “if it were all just identity exploration, it would be one thing; but many college students are quickly advancing into medical treatments—often with the financial support of the university. Diagnostic testing or even basic counseling are no longer necessary, and college-bound teens have quickly figured this out. ‘Coming out’ as transgender is now treated pretty much the same as a gay or lesbian coming out, not as the gender identity disorder it was considered to be only a short time ago.”

Some students arriving at college without a previous transgender identity will adopt this label in college. How does a coming-of-age journey turn into a coming-of-transgender journey? Why would a young person without previous gender dysphoria adopt this identity? Some would term these new identities as “late harvest apples,” a term used by Diane Ehrensaft to explain unlikely transgender proclamations from older teens and young adults. There are several reasons this identity might bloom in college. One is that gender ideology on most college campuses is an entrenched dogma that manages to unite marginalized and protected identities, tribalism, theory masquerading as science, the queering of curriculum—all these ideas combined form a nebulous all-encompassing groupthink. No one dare question this gender ideology, as this theory involves a protected class of people who are highly triggered by reality.

This new identity could form during O week, which is the week for welcoming new students to a college campus. There are also welcoming queer weeks and Q week. Further, it has become the norm to announce a preferred pronoun to other students and professors, and to be instructed on pronoun etiquette so one does not make a blunder.

From O week introduction icebreakers to the classroom, it is increasingly common to make a preferred pronoun declaration and to be asked to use assorted preferred pronouns for others. The following excerpts on preferred pronoun usage are from a guide created for faculty at Central Connecticut State University:

There are also lots of gender neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:

They, them, theirs (Xena ate their food because they were hungry.) This is is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun…. And yes, it can in fact be used in the singular.

Ze, hir (Xena ate hir food because ze was hungry.) Ze is pronounced like “zee” can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they. Hir is pronounced like “here” and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.

Just my name please! (Xena ate Xena’s food because Xena was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, using their name as a pronoun instead.

Never, ever refer to a person as “it” or “he-she” (unless they specifically ask you to.) These are offensive slurs used against trans and gender non-conforming individuals.

Why is it important to respect people’s PGPs? You can’t always know what someone’s PGP is by looking at them.

Asking and correctly using someone’s preferred pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity.

When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric (or, often, all of the above.)

It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive.

You will be setting an example for your class. If you are consistent about using someone’s preferred pronouns, they will follow your example.

Many of your students will be learning about PGPs for the first time, so this will be a learning opportunity for them that they will keep forever.

Discussing and correctly using PGPs sets a tone of respect and allyship that trans and gender nonconforming students do not take for granted. It can truly make all of the difference, especially for incoming first-year students that may feel particularly vulnerable, friendless, and scared.


Do take care, faculty. It is oppressive to oppressed classes to screw up their pronouns. But it is not oppressive to you to have to learn and use preferred pronouns. Can professors be dismissive of this silliness? No, not if they wish to not be dismissed from their positions. To take one example, a recent article stated that at the University of Minnesota a new draft proposal discloses that not correctly recognizing preferred pronouns could result in “disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment and academic sanctions up to and including academic expulsion.”

pronoun-buttons.jpgProfessors at many colleges are compelled to use the student’s “chosen” names, the preferred pronouns–and of course, since we are talking about legal adults, the families may have no idea this is happening with their student: “If you are made aware of a student’s LGBTQ or transgender status do not assume other professors, friends, or family are also aware of the student’s status.” CCSU recommends that faculty read Author Dean Spade’s journal article on working with transgender students. Dean Spade is a professor at the University of Seattle School of Law.

The idea that someone is defined by a gender identity will be promoted, the idea enforced, as soon as the student arrives on campus. If a student has not given gender identity much thought, she or he will now be fully immersed in declaring a gender. What is the effect on one’s identity when forced to declare a gender identity in a classroom or with the weekly RA meeting? Champlain College decided that it would be a good idea to have everyone wear a preferred pronoun button. Imagine declaring other identities on introductions, name tags, etc.: My political party is X, my sexual identity is X, though occasionally Y, my religion is X, my mixed-ethnicity includes V,W,X,Y,Z.

Sexual identities are whirred together with gender identities. It is no wonder that with so many options available that identities often do shift. Resident Advisors often receive LGBTQ training. RAs at UC San Diego are provided with a 74 page training manual on LGBTQ identities. This publication dates from 2007. If there is a more recent update, one would assume it focuses heavily on gender identities and creative sexuality labels.

Here is one item from this 2007 guide under ‘B’:

BDSM: (Bondage, Discipline/Domination, Submission/Sadism, and Masochism ) The terms ‘submission/sadism’ and ‘masochism’ refer to deriving pleasure from inflicting or receiving pain, often in a sexual context. The terms ‘bondage’ and ‘domination’ refer to playing with various power roles, in both sexual and social context. These practices are often misunderstood as abusive, but when practiced in a safe, sane, and consensual manner can be a part of healthy sex life. (Sometimes referred to as ‘leather.’)

Professors are expected to not only practice compelled pronoun speech, but also to queer the curriculum. From Vanderbilt University, we have a comprehensive guide, “Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary in the University Classroom”:

In this guide we learn the reasons some students may question the non-binary, “Clark, Rand,and Vogt (2003) observe that students may sometimes hold onto their current understanding of gender roles ‘like lifelines in class discussion’ when confronted with information that challenges their existing views.”

Instructors are encouraged to: “integrate non-conforming gender topics into courses that are seemingly unrelated to gender…Instructors might also “discuss medical diagnoses that have emerged in light of intersex patients.” Another recommendation is to “incorporate a class debate about the impact of gender labeling on the development of criteria for diagnosis, drug development and medical treatment.” Lastly, the authors suggest that “instructors might incorporate debates around the research on gender non-conforming brain structures, such as that of the female limbic nucleus neuron counts for male-to-female transsexuals. For some, the latter recommendation may seem problematic given the history of biological sexism and racism in the United States…In engineering classrooms, encouraging students to think about how existing technologies might require modification if one were to consider the needs of gender non-conforming individuals…In biology classrooms, incorporating readings about the variation of gender identity and expression when presenting about sex chromosomes.”

campus flag.jpgSo we can see that gender-related ideologies and pedagogy are no longer confined to the departments of Queer Studies, Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, and the Humanities.  The college experience is queered in likely and unlikely places by professors and students alike. Some other examples include:

A professor at Northern Illinois State is concerned that masculine lesbians are viewed as women and not transgender. ‘Zir’ says that “compulsory heterogenderism, participants’ gender identities often went unrecognized, rendering their trans* identities invisible.”

“Queer Ecologies” is a course taught at Eugene Lang College. A partial course description: “Drawing from traditions as diverse as evolutionary biology, LGBTQ+ movements, feminist science studies, and environmental justice…”

If one is stumped for ideas on queering the curriculum, QuERI is a site for courses such as, “Goodgirls, Sluts and Dykes: Heteronormative Policing in Adolescent Girlhood.”

To a young ideological student, it makes sense to insert queer into the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This honors thesis is from the department of Gender & Sexuality at Davidson College:

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Department provides you with a solid grounding in the interconnected, interdisciplinary fields of gender, sexuality, and queer studies, and engage these fields from a variety of perspectives – religious, economic, political, social, biological, psychological, historical, anthropological, artistic, and literary.

New Mexico Tech promotes non-binary awareness in STEM fields.

It is no surprise that a full immersion into gender ideology on a college campus (that is consistently reinforced) could lead a young person to embrace this identity. Yes, some students arrive to college with a genderqueer or transgender identity. Some do not. If a student adopts this identity, there is no barrier to this identity going medical. A transgender identity, a non-binary identity–both of these stated identities can receive hormones and surgeries. There is a social contagion to this identity; if many other peers are headed to the student clinic for a testosterone shot, why not?

campus injectionIn last year’s college piece, we documented that medical transition services were easily available on college campuses, often with just a single visit to a counselor. The 2017 Campus Pride guide listed 86 colleges that cover medical transition surgeries. Students are often covered under their parent’s insurer, and these young adults can gain access to transgender medical services. We can only assume that insurer coverage will continue to increase. If the campus student health clinic does not provide these services, the student will be sent to a nearby off-campus “informed consent” clinic. Planned Parenthood now plays a large role in transgender health services. As in, young women come to Planned Parenthood for testosterone shots. Ironic, isn’t it? Most people think of Planned Parenthood as a place to obtain birth control–not as a place to obtain an off-label drug that may render these young women sterile, not to mention the many serious and permanent side effects of this drug.

Brown University has a generous student health care plan that provides a full range of sex reassignment surgery (SRS). As stated on Brown’s counseling website: “We partner with Brown Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and University Health Services to collectively provide access, without undue barriers, to medical resources on and off-campus. Brown University health insurance provides trans-inclusive coverage for therapy, hormones, and gender affirmation surgeries for students, staff, and faculty.”

campus student healthRecently, Brown University has been in the news–no, not for the reason of ranking 14 in U.S. News Best National Universities. Professor Lisa Littman of Brown University recently published a study on ROGD, or Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. Her study was posted on the university’s news feed and then quickly taken down when students and other activists protested. A petition was created to support academic freedom and scientific inquiry. Dr. Littman’s study created a wake beyond the research community.

Does this university have conflicts of interest between supporting faculty research, scientific integrity, appeasing activist students and outside political groups–possibly conflicts with competing interests of faculty? Dr. Michelle Forcier is a professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Dr. Forcier is passionate about transgender medical care: “Should we let them die when we have medicine for diabetes?” she said. “And we’re really talking about the same level of intervention. When gender non-conforming, transgender kids and adults are not supported (and) are stigmatized, then they can’t be healthy.”

Many colleges provide cross-sex hormones for their students. Here is some budgeting advice from Tufts University Health Care:

We recommend that Testosterone be obtained from pharmacies that have special expertise—Health Service commonly works with New Era Pharmacy in Portland Oregon which ships directly to you. At New Era, a 10 ml bottle of Testosterone lasts for 9 months or more depending on your dose, and costs $65 out of pocket, which is much cheaper than using your insurance. Prescriptions for needles and syringes will also be needed. Our nurses will work with you to help you learn to administer your injections. We will also provide you with a small sharps container for safe needle disposal.

Whether through the student health plan, the parent’s medical insurance (unbeknownst to the parents), or with some creative patch funding (as in one of the thousands of accounts on Go Fund Me by young women seeking “top surgery”), college students are a vulnerable population to the social contagion and permanent medical harm of a phenomenon being termed, ROGD or Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.

campus u of iowa clinic.jpgIn fall 2018, “The number of students projected to attend American colleges and universities is 19.9 million...Females are expected to account for the majority of college and university students in fall 2018: about 11.2 million females will attend in fall 2018. We don’t know the exact number of college students who are identifying as genderqueer or transgender. Colleges aren’t tracking these students. Let’s choose 1% as a number in the middle, approximating from various surveys.

What could this mean for these young women? This could translate into potentially 100K young women put on a pathway to receiving a mastectomy. No one is tracking these numbers.

Colleges must reveal how many students they refer to transgender medical health services on-campus or off-campus. Colleges and universities have an ethical responsibility to state how many students are receiving cross-sex hormones and even mastectomies due to the colleges affirming and encouraging these interventions, and sending these students to providers that are more than willing to chop off their breasts.

What will become of these young students, their futures? Many, with encouragement from peers and counselors, will estrange themselves from their families.

We will hear from some families, like this one, in a future article:

“the phone call from my daughter in the deepening voice, the phone call to the college dean of students who told me ‘sometimes children do not have the same moral compass as their parents,’ the visit to the same office where they threatened to call security on me, the generic text my husband and I received from our daughter cutting us out of her life”…

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136 thoughts on “Queering the Student Body

    • I’ve cried and been comforted by that poem many times. Remembering that our children are unique, individual, special humans, separate from us, who will take their own path in life is equally frightening and reassuring.

      I’m just doing my best to see that their toolbox is filled with the right equipment necessary to be self-sufficient, confident, compassionate, and insightful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If I had children I would certainly have some control over the choices they make if they are living on my dime and dependent upon me. As her mother said to my foster daughter’s friend, you can get piercings when you pay for your own food, your own clothes, your own toiletries, etc, etc. Why any parent would feel compelled to monetarily or emotionally support a child who is determined to go her own way (and it’s not something the parent approves of) is beyond me. I left home at age 16 and I survived, and your child will as well.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. What is your sense of how many students are required, as part of their majors, to take “gender studies” or other courses that propound the transgender ideology? In other words, do you think that most of these courses are optional, or are they required for such majors as Psychology, Social Work or Education? I’m not so worried about people majoring in Gender Studies themselves (they are probably pre-disposed to all this anyhow) but what about other students who may never have planned to take these courses?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know. Many of the courses meet general requirements: “Many WGST undergraduate courses meet general education and/or College of Arts and Sciences requirements.”
      A student does not need to seek out a gender studies class in the humanities. There will be plenty of offerings in the English and History Departments, etc.
      Good question on the above majors. It would be worth looking into this.

      Like

    • Yes, these courses can be required. Our oldest majored in human services at a regional university and was definitely taught gender ideology along with it. She questions it — but only because she has an autistic sibling with ROGD.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Following up on worriednom’s question above, yes! After clicking through course requirements for several majors, reading in detail the course description (the course titles can be misleading), there is no doubt that gender ideology gets inserted into courses and majors that have nothing to do with gender studies.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I felt the same way and could only read so much. What we need to be questioning is how we got to this place where we accept utter bullshit as “empowering” and “affirming.” I would feel so much better if people in general questioned all the lies we are daily fed, but I see no such trend.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Excellent piece, MissingDaughter! I am so sorry about what happened to your daughter, but thank you for what you have researched and written to help prevent this from happening to others.

    I have talked to many parents like you who lost their kids to this at college. Your stories are heartbreaking. And they make me feel grateful that at least my daughter fell into this when she was young enough for me to have the legal authority to help her through her confusion.

    These college students may be legal adults, but they are still trying to figure who they are and they are still vulnerable to socially contagious ideas and behaviors — cutting, eating disorders, suicide, and assuming a “transgender” or “gender nonconforming” or “nonbinary” identity. Whatever those words mean. And really, who would care about these “identities” if they weren’t accompanied by mandatory language training and led to a quick path to hormones and surgery.

    Surely the college professors see this happening before their eyes. Don’t they wonder what is going on? Don’t they speak up when the administration tells them they have to sign off all of their emails with their preferred pronouns? Don’t these college counselors have a clue about what’s going on? Are they dumb? Brainwashed? Scared into submission?

    And what very few people seem to realize, even those who see this craziness for what it is, is how quickly this leads to serious medical treatment. People think there’s some special test or screening required. when the fact is that these young people are quickly treated medically with hormones and/or surgery. No questions are asked. No therapy is required.

    Why is this happening? Why is this accepted as normal? Why are the colleges complicit and bending over backwards to cater to and encourage this obvious psychic contagion? What’s in it for them?

    Liked by 9 people

    • Thanks, Fighting.

      “Surely the college professors see this happening before their eyes. Don’t they wonder what is going on?”
      Scared to say something, is my guess.

      Why are we normalizing extreme body modifications for an identity which may be transient?
      Good question.

      “And what very few people seem to realize, even those who see this craziness for what it is, is how quickly this leads to serious medical treatment.”
      No, the average person has no idea that this is happening. No, they don’t know about the affirmation model, the “informed consent” model.
      https://wpath.org/publications/soc

      In fact, no dysphoria is required–only a desire to look the part of an identity.
      This translates into medical harms. This trend can easily go medical.

      Why isn’t this considered a self-harm behavior, such as anorexia?

      Liked by 8 people

      • Maybe they have truly, truly convinced themselves that there are no health risks here.

        I doubt it.

        But maybe.

        Like

    • Yes, college professors see what is going on. I have a relative who is a biology professor at a small elite liberal arts college. He doesn’t use pronouns with ANY of his students, as the demands change and escalate daily. He says that there’s no way to have a critical discussion on the underlying ideology, as student threats follow so quickly. A whole cluster of female students in the physics department at his college have just declared themselves trans. The department head declared that the college MUST support transgender students. There must be nothing but instant affirmation, with NO questioning of what might really be going on. Something that was once unimaginable…which would have been LAUGHED AT as ridiculously stupid when I was in college…is now unquestionable. It’s scary.

      Liked by 5 people

      • The professors have an ethical responsibility to revolt. Yes, in some cases, they could be disciplined–perhaps shouted down by students. How would they feel if their children caused permanent harm to their bodies–all while being celebrated for having discovered their brave & true selves?

        As for the estrangements, they too are as unnatural as this identity. These college students are encouraged by their peers, their counselors, and in some cases their queer mentor professors, to cut contact with families that have questions. No kidding, your kid could be matched with a queer professor who will shepherd your student to a queer mindset, a queered body.

        Quite a few colleges have the mentorship programs.
        Here are two examples:
        https://counseling.uci.edu/peer-programs/lgbtq-mentor.html
        https://depts.washington.edu/qcenter/wordpress/about/queer-mentoring-program/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Individuals in these United States appear to think the entire universe revolves around them, and there doesn’t seem to be any pushback against these incredibly narcissistic young people. A detransitioned male on a radical feminist site said that EVERY transgender person he came into contact with, male or female, was phenomenally selfish and narcissistic. I fully believe that we need to discover who we are, but this obsession with MYSELF, MY IDENTITY, MY FEELINGS, is nauseating.

        Liked by 6 people

  3. I am so excited to queer my math course. If a transgender woman leaves the moon going at the speed of light while her identical twin who is a cis man travels toward the moon at only half the speed of light, which one will be younger when they reach their destinations? Can traveling at near light speeds affect your gender identity? Your gender presentation? Please explain.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. Missingdaughter, what an important, if depressing, compilation of data. Brava! I wish there was a way to get your post into the hands of every high-school guidance counselor–although by now they too might have been “infected” with this ideology to an irredeemable degree.

    I was among the ignorant and oblivious until the trans trend hit my own family. As much as I try to spread the word, I feel like I barely make a dent in people’s understanding because it’s so utterly unbelievable. We all wait and we wait for the mainstream culture to open their eyes to what’s happening…here’s hoping that your amazing work breaks through. Thank you so much for undertaking this.

    Liked by 7 people

    • worriedmomtoo, thank you. What will it take for MSM to cover this? So many false summit “peak trans” moments.
      Identity politics is causing much harm in this social identity gone medical.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I used to think that my dream job as a pediatrician was to focus on adolescent medicine and work in a student health center. I no longer have these aspirations…

    I’m so terribly distressed by what is happening to young people; I’ve shed more than a few tears over my teen patients in recent years. The depression, anxiety, anger, self-harm, narcissism, isolation, perfectionism, medicalization and overmedication. It’s all boiling out of control.

    I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that physicians are supposed to promptly affirm and recommend treatment to any person of any age who presents with a gender identity condition. I can think of NO OTHER DIAGNOSIS in medicine in which there is a precedent for zero further conversation, exploration, or consideration of other causes or treatments. Even depression, which tends to be readily validated and treated, doesn’t always result in a prescription for anti-depressants on the first visit.

    Liked by 10 people

    • I take that back. I can think of a few things that I readily treat without further ado: warts, strep, head lice, anaphylaxis, there’s plenty more.

      You guys get my point, though, (referencing mainly regarding mental health diagnoses).

      Liked by 5 people

  6. It would be one thing if all this madness were just madness, but it comes at us with the blind rage of an ideology. For the past 5 or 6 years it’s the only real political issue on campus. And it isn’t just in America. The entire Atlantic and English speaking world is falling for it.

    http://caldronpool.com/shocking-236-per-cent-surge-in-children-wanting-sex-changes-as-teachers-trained-to-spot-early-signs-of-transgenderism/

    One thing for certain: there is a lot of money to be made from it, and cash cows are notoriously difficult to kill. I’m nothing but happy to be leaving the teaching profession. The books I focus on have more important issues embedded within than the relationship between the sexes, important as that is. Interesting to me is how this phenomenon is being weaponized across the globe to beat up on less progressive nations, in the same way feminism lends its legitimacy to the bombing of poor women and children elsewhere. It would be a different story if the evidence and scholarship was not so dismissive of alternative research. But then again, ideology by definition is a hermetic space impervious to outside facts. Politically Correct was never a good thing, not when the Nazis practiced it and nt when the Soviets did. Joe McCarthy had his own version.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Thank you, Professor Chetwynd.
      What will it take for more college professors to speak out on this issue? Surely, they can see these identities on campuses transforming into medical patients?
      Do people simply shrug, cede this one to the medical experts?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective, Richard. I wish more professors would speak out about what they are seeing happen in the classroom. Surely they must be wondering what is happening to this generation of college students. Do they really think it’s normal that all students must be asked for their special pronouns? Are they aware of all of the medical and surgical interventions that are readily available on an increasing number of college campuses? Do you think most professors have really bought into this — or do they realize this is crazy, but are just afraid to say something?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Missingdaughter, thank you for this post.

    You write that “authors have noted the tendency of transgender students to view their identity through an activist lens”. Is this the result of a generation of “everyone’s a winner” children? is it that everyone is potentially a victim in “modern” self-absorbed societies, so we are all supposed to watch out of the poor underdog? But then suddenly everyone is an underdog in one way or another.

    It’s shocking how quickly today’s teens and young adults are going along with this new identification of humans all based in gender stereotypes without any critical thinking. This is certainly not the T of LGBT that it ever was before. Those who are still critical thinkers have to keep their thoughts to themselves and their noses in the books. My kid’s trans-identity has been fed by other “activist” students at both high school and college, and then by a university-based counselor who focuses on keeping students happy no matter what…..a highly-ranked prestigious university that somehow awards my kid with a whole lot of financial aid.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Nervous Wreck Mom,

      The risk factors for adopting this identity have been documented here:
      https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0202330

      Yes, it is mind-boggling how this new identity (that presents as a gender identity), is also an activist identity. The activist identity is not reflected in Dr. Littman’s survey–other than noting group influences?

      Are certain personality types predisposed to activist identities? Anecdotal reports from parents suggest activist identities budding in high school.These activist identities will flourish on a college campus.

      Which comes first, the activist identity or the gender identity?

      Liked by 5 people

    • “My kid’s trans-identity has been fed by other “activist” students at both high school and college” Mine has most certainly been fed by her activist older sister, who acquired an Arts degree. I really wish that educational institutions would go back to actual evidence and research-based “education” and step away from “indoctrination”.

      Liked by 5 people

    • You write that “authors have noted the tendency of transgender students to view their identity through an activist lens”. Is this the result of a generation of “everyone’s a winner” children? is it that everyone is potentially a victim in “modern” self-absorbed societies, so we are all supposed to watch out of the poor underdog? But then suddenly everyone is an underdog in one way or another.

      I really do think that one of the major social and psychological forces driving the trans phenomenon — and the related transformation of “queer” into a fuzzy category that can mean absolutely anything, including “heterosexual but feels like an outsider” — is that it gives sensitive, idealistic middle class white kids an identity politics gang of their own to join.

      As a lifelong liberal, I certainly support the principle that we ought to be tolerant of differences and that middle class first worlders ought to be mindful of the many advantages we have. And having been a naive undergraduate radical myself back in the Jurassic Era, I get that the discourse around “being a good ally” developed in response to the very real problem of book-smart wannabe Trotskys talking over women and minorities to lecture them on what their oppression really means. But I’m uncomfortable with how the rhetoric of “privilege” and “allyship” has replaced older ideas of justice and solidarity, and there’s something really vicious and childish about Millennial “social justice” culture, which is constantly turning on a dime between cloying kindergarten-teacher lectures (“just be niiiiiice to people, it’s not that hard!”) and vicious social media mobbing and smearing campaigns. (I think all this probably has as much to do with the understudied cognitive effects of social media as it does with actual politics, but that’s cold comfort.)

      For a sensitive kid with a budding social conscience who doesn’t have a credible “marginalized identity” of their own, they can be a bit player as an “ally” in someone else’s struggles — or they can join the trans gang, acquire a pseudo-“ethnicity” of their own with a readymade group of heroes and martyrs (the cis oppressors have been persecuting my people for centuries!), and become the star of their own narrative. For the trans-identifying young people I know, most of whom were struggling in a post-college slump and already identified as activists/radicals before “discovering” their trans identity, this really seems to be a big part of the dynamic.

      Liked by 4 people

      • heteronerd,
        The quote you mentioned above was a reference from this dissertation:
        Johnson, Les Tyler, “Transgender College Student Activists: the Intersections of Identities” (2014).Theses and Dissertations.Paper 627.

        Thank you for your observations. Yes, many of us were once young and idealistic. There is a difference between true social justice versus a “social justice culture.”

        Things have definitely changed. Imagine going down this path just a few years ago. What would happened? Well, one thing that would happen is that your parents, other elders, even one’s young peers, would have shared their concerns in the strongest terms possible. We now (as a society) celebrate people who derail.

        Liked by 2 people

      • A survey on trans/”fuzzy queer” demographics other than biological sex would be useful. There is no reason why gender dysphoria would be more prevalent in one race and class vs another if it’s triggered purely by biological reasons. If they are overwhelmingly from middle-class families, white, college educated or attending college, it’s a sign of a social contagion rather than a health condition.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Things have definitely changed. Imagine going down this path just a few years ago. What would happened? Well, one thing that would happen is that your parents, other elders, even one’s young peers, would have shared their concerns in the strongest terms possible.

        Yes — as a Gen Xer who’s old enough to predate the trans boom but young enough to be a friend/colleague/mentor to Millennials who are immersed in it, I find it crazy-making that I can’t speak openly about how I feel about all this. And as a parent of two young kids who’ll be teenagers in just a few years, it’s terrifying. So much of this is so obviously just adolescents being adolescents; how did it become a one-way treadmill to irreversible medical intervention?

        I really think that when the dust finally settles, we’ll recognize that this had something to do with the unanticipated effects of social media. Back in the day, a nineteen-year-old nonconformist’s drama of self-discovery would play out in circles of a few dozen people in a college town or bohemian city neighborhood; now it can be broadcast to the entire Internet world, where thousands of strangers who’ve never met them before can join in the pile-on if they make a verbal misstep or step out of line with the unwritten rules of the subculture. This has to be messing with adolescents’ emotional development in ways we don’t fully understand yet, especially ones who feel like outsiders in their immediate peer group and look to alternative/subcultural online communities for a home. (If all the “queer” and “non-binary” kids said “look, we know we’re not really magical androgynous unicorns, but we’re genderbending as a middle finger to the jocks and the mean girls,” I’d be 100% in their corner.)

        Liked by 4 people

      • You nailed it. White middle class kids who grew up in two-parent families and who have never suffered any kind of oppression find themselves in a bind if they want to be good little social justice warriors. How can they identify with the marginalized and the oppressed and victims of unjust discrimination? By becoming sexually nonconforming, of course. Instant street cred!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, exactly.

        Just to be clear, I don’t blame the young people themselves — they’re troubled, sensitive kids who have the misfortune of going through their usual adolescent turmoil in an especially charged media environment at an especially politically polarized time. They could do with more gratitude for the actual “privilege” they have to be middle-class First Worlders with the time, energy and Internet access to spend cultivating their identities, but I’d be throwing a big stone in a very fragile glass house if I were to criticize any suburban teenager or college student for being an idealistic wannabe bohemian.

        I do blame the adults with their own agendas who use these kids as cannon fodder and guinea pigs with no concern for their long-term well-being, and I hope that in the long run, at least a few of them will face consequences.

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  8. “Some would term these new identities as “late harvest apples,” a term used by Diane Ehrensaft to explain unlikely transgender proclamations from older teens and young adults.”

    Diane Ehrensaft is perhaps the most dangerous academic in the field of transgender health, and you can quote me on that. I have read her “Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children” and was appalled at the sexism through out the book. I found many notions in the book to be suspect. First, it writes about both gay and transgender people and meanders between the two as though they are somehow similar. Second, it spends a great deal of time attempting to affirm very sexist concepts of male and female. That there is this “gender-normative track” and that variants are for some reason a “problem.” Boys play with trucks. Girls like dresses. If they do not gravitate towards one or the other then they must be “gender non-conforming” and “off-track.” This is called sexism, something the feminist movement has been struggling against for years.

    That no one in academia questions her work is simply strange. She works at the prestigious UCSF so all the other PhD’s probably just bend over and I think they do not even read her work and accept her conclusions and questionable statistics. Unbelievably, In “Gender Born, Gender Made” she actually quotes the TV show host Dr. Phil as a reliable source. Hello? Dr. Phil does not have a licence to practice clinical psychology.

    That no one finds the metaphor of fruit in her work to be disturbing is shocking and creepy. Is she some sort of new twenty-first century farmer of transgender people? These new identities are not “late harvest apples,” but kids that are narcissistic and self-absorbed who have spent hundreds of hours watching transgender YouTube videos and are glued to the Twitter and Tumblr websites confirming their new cool identities. If you wanted to do data analysis, you could simply look at the browser histories from the last few years of all these kids and there would be a lot of similarities, but then that would be scientific and not hypothetical. But of course at this point only Google knows that data.

    This will truly become a mainstream media event when many of these 100,000 people realize that they made a mistake and regret their choices as younger adults and want to hit command Z.

    Liked by 9 people

    • “That no one in academia questions her work is simply strange. She works at the prestigious UCSF so all the other PhD’s probably just bend over and I think they do not even read her work and accept her conclusions and questionable statistics. Unbelievably, In “Gender Born, Gender Made” she actually quotes the TV show host Dr. Phil as a reliable source. Hello? Dr. Phil does not have a licence to practice clinical psychology.”

      Agreed!
      No doubt, her transing work is erasing future gay & lesbian adults. Though, the trans door widens all of the time to include a broader range of young people.

      “This will truly become a mainstream media event when many of these 100,000 people realize that they made a mistake and regret their choices as younger adults and want to hit command Z.”

      There will be lawsuits in the future.

      Thanks, pelicanpaul

      Liked by 3 people

    • Maybe Ehrensaft is the Avital Ronell of UCSF and people are just scared and bullied.

      Re the “late harvest apples,” perhaps she’s a New New Eve, this time with something even more poisonous.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sharing propaganda from Russia Today, one of the many vehicles used by a Russian state that is actively quite homophobic to share its message, is certainly a choice. Whether it’s a choice that you should make is another thing.

      Like

      • Well, regardless of what you think about RT, I happen to know Rene Jax personally and can vouch for his story. Walt Heyer is well known from other outlets. Their stories are real and get to the truth.

        Liked by 3 people

      • The story of Walt Heyer is a tragedy, yes. The problem comes when he projects his experience onto other people with very different experiences than his.

        As for Russia Today, again, its status as a propaganda outlet of the Russian state is established. That Western journalists have found work there says more, I fear, about the problems faced by journalism generally and perhaps on the ethical lapses some journalists are willing to commit in the search for jobs than anything else.

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      • Russia Today is demonstrably a state propaganda organ of a government that is well-known for being broadly homophobic, and socially conservative in the bargain.

        A willingness to share RT productions without any kind of critical commentary says much.

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      • RT was a really great news outlet available online that had so many great journalists a number I know to be of tremendous personal integrity who have described the greater editorial; control they had with R.T. verses places like MSNBC or the NY times. The religious perspective is reflecting some of the people who are being interviewed not the channel. RT America reported on Chechnya and the challenges faced by gay people in Russia. So I am not sure what your point is other than that it is a Russian source. The advise to be wary of propaganda is some you might turn back on yourself as well. That said I wish these programs would listen to a broader set of voices when it comes to reporting on regret and while I know there are challenges to finding folks ready to go public I think they give a false impression that regret is simply unheard of in their drive to find a MTF with regret post bottom surgery.

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      • If you want to defend Russia Today and its content despite its well-earned reputation as a shill for Russian ideologues and Russian interests, again, that is your choice. All I will say is that I can barely trust them even for cute non-news stories, like rheas in East Germany. Trusting them on ideologically charged issues, especially when the organization is clearly linked to a Russia that has made homophobia a key element of its ideological hostility to the West, is simply a choice that reveals much about one’s background assumptions.

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  9. Missingdaughter, thank you for this important research. As my child is still a few years away from choosing a college, I haven’t been paying a tremendous amount of attention to what’s happening in student health centers.

    Way back when I was in college, I couldn’t get birth control pills at the campus health center under my college student insurance. Times have certainly changed.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Here’s another course to add to the list. I think this is the second time the course has been offered at Rhode Island School of Design: https://www.risd.edu/academics/literary-arts-studies/courses/

    -=-=-
    Transracial Bodies, Transracial Selves
    Thanks to the work and lives of transgender people, we now have room to understand our bodies in radically unbounded ways. Technological advances in surgery, hormonal therapy, psychiatry, cultural warfare, are catching up to the transgender presence: the gendered body is not necessarily that with which we were born, but one that can be crafted to match the real body of our psyche, our dreams. However, one’s racial self remains tethered to biology. Blackness, Whiteness, Asianness, Latinness, the whole rainbow of racial identification, is still construed as biologically inescapable and inevitable. To speak of “transracialism” is to evoke self-delusion and community betrayal. But this cultural reaction is contrary to the everyday experience that actually finds racial identification as a process that is always transracial: declaring ourselves racially, we all cross restricted zones in becoming ourselves. In this course, we will use the discourse of transgenderism to build an alternate vocabulary of race.
    -=-=

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I recall visiting Planned Parenthood for birth control pills.
    When I hear politicians proudly proclaiming their support for Planned Parenthood, I wonder if they realize PP is a large provider of cross-sex hormones for young adults?
    No questions asked. Permanent harm.
    I no longer support Planned Parenthood.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I guess they decided to get into the business of selling ultimate birth control to women: telling them they are really men and prescribing them testosterone.

      Liked by 5 people

      • (*bitter laughter*, Fighting.)

        Every time I talk about trans issues to anyone who’ll listen, I make a point to emphasize that PP will give out cross-sex hormones based on ‘informed consent.’ My liberal sister-in-law was shocked and said that something should be done. Well yeah.

        Liked by 6 people

    • If you pay taxes, then you are still supporting them. They’re spreading transgender ideology throughout the country’s middle and high schools, funded by county health departments with federal “evidence-based” grant money.

      Planned Parenthood, and the whole misappropriated term “evidence-based” to describe curriculum that is no such thing, and frankly the whole federal sex ed funding bureaucracy, need to be defunded and rebuilt from the bottom up.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you, missingdaughter for researching and writing this important piece and to 4thwave again for bringing the gender identity crisis into light. This piece could be subtitled, ‘Selling an Identity Crisis.’ When college administrations are all hands on deck in pushing this, it seems there simply is no place in higher ed for susceptible youth. Even gap years will hardly be enough. Yes, every high school college guidance counselor as mentioned above needs to see this.

    The statistics for alternative gender youth mentioned here I suspect are likely to increase exponentially in years to come if our society does not recognize and begin to inoculate our young people against gender identity. The problem is hardly just the youth that take on alternative genders and the adult creators of this phenomenon. It is all youth thinking this is acceptable behavior (groupthink) whether they themselves participate and all adults who idly sit back and watch insanity unfold. By acknowledging and not speaking out is to participate in a social contagion. In the book, Strange Contagion, by Lee Daniel Kravetz he speaks of the notion of interpreters and interceptors. These are everyday people who begin to normalize the discussion around a social contagion and teach us how to recognize and help susceptible youth. In case there are those reading here that do not follow UK news an important statistic recently reared it’s head that there is a “4,400% increase in girls being being referred for transitioning treatment in the past decade.” No one can deny the shock of that statistic and somehow I suspect if we really looked at the numbers of young females accessing FTM surgeries for double mastectomies, we too would see some astronomical figures. It is important to note this 100k mentioned here just a snapshot statistic. We must consider all the grooming that is done at younger ages such as the selling of binders to adolescent girls who become distressed by the onset of puberty. Encouraging girls to denounce their sexed bodies is criminal and putting these youth in cue for a sick medical industry.
    The intersection of medicine and ideology in this social contagion is profoundly important. College campuses should not be places to encourage medicalization of healthy human bodies among their student populations. Testosterone has addictive properties and causes compulsive behaviors (not to mention is being used off label, is not intended for female bodies, is not studied for this purpose, has many adverse affects…). What better way to get 100k female college students on the path to double mastectomies. Drug them with testosterone that alter their decision making processes. A surefire way to stem this contagion is to call out the medical industries perpetuating this contagion and put regulations swiftly in place.
    It is interesting that these youth center their identity thru an activists lens. It would be wise for these young people to center their identities first on the reality of their human bodies and allow their identities to form around the betterment of their bodies and minds thru knowledge and life experiences. As mentioned in a comment above, what really comes first here? The activism or the identity confusion? Is the medical industry aware of this cohort of susceptible youth that will play nicely into the hands of their services? Are these youth being outwardly targeted for an ideology that will fund this medical industry? Activism and identities that no longer bind the individual to his or her natal body or to the family that nurtured that very body are no longer youth in the throes of growing up but youth who have been thrown into a severe state of crisis and will never grow up. Sadly, the future is not looking good for these ‘late harvest apples.’ Their queerness is killing them in every way possible.

    Liked by 3 people

    • BeyondMad,
      Absolutely! You have captured what is happening with young people. This is the perfect storm of laissez-faire culture, social justice warriors seeking a cause, groupthink versus critical thought.
      The queerness of that intersection of medicine and ideology, of experts who promote “late harvest apples” as ripe for injection with testosterone–does it occur to these experts and society that these young people are not an abstraction?
      They are our children. They are very much loved. They were perfectly fine in their healthy, natural, sexed, bodies.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. You must talk to your elected politicians – write, go and see them. I know it might be too late for our children but we might save the next generation. It’s beginning to work here in the UK as teachers and parents are beginning to question how it is that a supposedly rare condition is now commonplace.
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/inquiry-into-surge-in-gender-treatment-ordered-by-penny-mordaunt-b2ftz9hfn?shareToken=8d952c84d7a5e63571f0e526f274275f

    Liked by 2 people

  14. At the university my daughter is considering attending, she could have: 1) professors call her by her desired name and pronouns, 2) receive support at the student LGBTQ office, 3) get gender affirmative therapy at the student counseling service, 4) get testosterone at the student health center, and 5) live on a dorm floor dedicated to LGBTQ students. How could she possibly have a critical thought about gender?
    Ten years ago, I could not have imagined this situation in a million years. Given the suicide rate trans activists claim, how were all these girls surviving back then without testosterone and the correct pronouns?
    I was a woman in college long ago. I knew of lesbians in the closet, but trans women in the closet, no. There can’t have been as many as we are seeing now.

    Liked by 5 people

    • It is frightening. What is the effect of being forced to declare a gender label?
      You need not have gender dysphoria to access life-changing medical interventions.
      No, this identity was not in the closet in years past. It wasn’t even a glimmer of an idea–much less an idea that comes with a testosterone syringe.
      This is a social identity–a dangerous social identity.
      Professors, please speak out. Feel free to comment–even if using a pseudonym.

      Liked by 2 people

      • One thing I noticed back, looking on my own friends circles, is that I had a disproportionate number of friends who were queer, gay or lesbian or bi and so on. This was not a matter of conscious selection, especially as I did not know this at the time, but rather seems to have been unconscious, a matter of people recognizing subconsciously similarities that they could not articulate. This is a common phenomenon. Might it not be this?

        Like

      • In regards to your idea that LGBTQ kids are unconsciously drawn to each other thus explaining why pre-existing friend groups have large numbers of kids transing; are LGBTQ kids also unconsciously drawn to high school band? My daughter’s high school band has a disproportionate number of trans kids. A more logical explanation would be social contagion. I know a disproportionate number of transracial adoptees who were adopted as infants who are trans. I suppose Mr. McDonald will suggest their birth parents could sense they were trans as infants and decided to put them up for adoption for that reason. To me a more logical explanation would be that transracial adoptees struggle with the concept of identity generally and get seduced by trans ideology that offers a easy medical cure for their identity issues.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Stories of queer kids who counter around school activities like theatre are legion. Particular kinds of activities, including ones where people learn to perform, attract this sort of thing.

        I would be interested to view your statistics. Peer-reviewed papers are great.

        Like

      • Here is an interesting discovery that I came across. It is understood from data that one component, or put another way, a certain percentage of transgenders display a autism spectral disorder (ASD). I believe my son is borderline Aspergers which is a form of ASD, but recently removed from the psych diagnostic manual. Anyway, i started reading a book entitled “asper kids” (dont remeber exact title and am traveling. So cant check) and the author, who has Aspergers, says that folks with this form of ASD are good at acting, but cannot be themselves in normal social engagement. This could be one reason why my son is transgender because he can act the part and not have to be himself. Also, there is usually an OCD component to Aspergers or ASD. So this can explain urges to cross dress.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’d love to see your statistics and peer-reviewed papers showing queer kids are overrepresented in high school bands. Sounds like stereotyping to me which is what transgender ideology is all about. Also looking forward to your theories on why transracial adoptees adopted in infancy are overrepresented among my daughter’s trans friends. I’m not buying what your selling, and I am done spending time on this exchange. Feel free to have the last word.

        Like

      • “I’d love to see your statistics and peer-reviewed papers showing queer kids are overrepresented in high school bands.”

        I can provide my own experience. I would think it at least as valid as anything you might provide.

        Like

    • “Given the suicide rate trans activists claim, how were all these girls surviving back then..?”

      Thank you! I have this question too.

      The same people who tell us from one side of their mouths that we have to let them cut up children or else, tell us from the other side that trans is inherent and natural and has always existed throughout nature. So how did all these trans people and salamanders exist in the pre-pharmaceutical and pre-surgical era without offing themselves?

      Like every trans argument, it falls apart before it even leaves the ground.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Randy McDonald: If that is the case, then the suicide rate in this demographic will have dropped significantly over the last, say, 25 years. That is the consequence of your claim. Can you show us these numbers?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mine is a hypothesis only,s simply because I do not have the data and I doing it anyone else does. Who was collecting statistics on people who killed themselves over their trans identity decades ago? Anecdotal casesigjt be identified, to be sure, but these would only be ones where unusually clear evidence was left in a time where this identity was barely even imagined. Even in those cases, I would expect that the nearest relatives of these people would be strongly motivated to cover things up. Suicides being underreported as they are, never mind were …

        Like

      • When people die, a cause of death is recorded. If suicides are “underreported” what is the cause of death on the death certificate? Apart from that, if there was, historically, an epidemic of underage suicides due to lack of access to medical transition services, this would not have been a secret. The constant emphasis on suicide by the trans community, and their insistence on attributing lack of access to hormonal/surgical intervention as the singular cause, is highly irresponsible. Samaritans, the CDC, and other organizations caution against spreading suicide contagion in the media (or otherwise) and quite specifically state that suicidality is a sign of poor mental health.

        https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00031539.htm

        It’s a disservice to ALL young people to contribute to a narrative of there being a binary choice between suicide and transition. Adults who have interest in supporting youth should be focusing on building resilience, not bringing suicide into every discussion. That said, of course family love and support is a protective factor against self harm. But the untold story (except on this website and a few other places) is that there is more than one way to support and love one’s child; those of us with offspring who desisted from a trans identity attest to that over and over, but somehow, our voices aren’t heard much. Our comment policy states that we do not publish comments that contribute to suicide contagion. It’s troubling that trans advocates inevitably weaponize self harm in discussions with caring and involved parents.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Arguing that suicide did not carry such a significant stigma that past data on suicide was incomplete is a leap, especially since the World Health Organization notes that this stigma is a major factor hindering not just the treatment of suicide as a health issue but even the production of accurate data.

        http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/suicide

        The issue of stigma complicating suicide reportal is still greater if the suicide can be plausibly linked to factors that the survivors of the suicide victim think would look badly on them. If someone killed themselves because they were gay in a homophobic society, for instance, especially if prevailing conceptions of an individual’s homosexuality were inclined to blame this on the faults of an individual’s family, the family would be strongly incentivized to cover things up as much as possible. This has occurred in the past, despite the elevated suicide risks faced by almost all LGBTQ people, even in the least homophobic societies. Especially in traditional societies where suicide victims might be denied funeral rites and burial privileges by their religious denomination, talking about suicide would risk being very costly indeed.

        Why is it such a stretch to believe that, especially in societies of the past where preexisting stigmas against suicide were so strong as to discourage talking about the issue, there might in fact have been a substantial number of unreported suicides?

        I never disagreed with the idea that suicide contagion is a problem that has to be dealt with. This is why the risk of suicide has to be discussed. How can we fight against a significant public health problem if we cannot even bear to name it?

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      • All I will say, based on my own personal experience, is that there are substantial differences between someone who makes suicide threats to gain unjust power over others, and someone who says that they are suicidal because of the way that they are being treated by others and/or the way they fear being treated by others. One speaks to a problem with the individual; one speaks to a problem with the individual’s environment.

        I think, as I said elsewhere in this thread, that everyone posting here wants to make things better for the children they love, and is strongly against the idea of their children being persecuted by others. We agree on that, certainly.

        Like

      • Being treated poorly by others is a terrible thing, especially if family rejection is involved. We should all care about and take seriously suicidality. That said, many, many people are treated poorly but do not take (or attempt to take) their own lives. For example, the suicide rate among African Americans (who have been poorly treated by most measures, especially in pre-Civil Rights era) is and has been consistently far lower than that of white people.
        https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/
        The desire to self harm or take one’s own life is at bottom a mental health issue that, yes, can be exacerbated by external/environmental factors. But one can never say that a decision to self harm is not ultimately located within the individual’s psyche. And yes, we can certainly all agree that ANYONE being persecuted is a terrible thing. But being skeptical that medical transition is the cure for self-harming thoughts or behaviors in one’s child is not “persecution.”

        Liked by 3 people

      • I cannot speak to the details of suicidality among African-Americans. They might indeed by other factors inhibiting suicide, there might be significant underreporting, quite probably there is a complex mixture of these and other factors. I can say that with LGBTQ young people generally, including gay people specifically, the consensus is that suicide rates are not only substantially higher than among heterosexual young people, but that the existence of legalized discrimination and a lack of positive support from families is strongly associated with higher rates of suicidality.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_among_LGBT_youth

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      • There is no “under reporting“ suicide statistics in the United States. The discrepancy between white people and other races is well established and corroborated by all reputable sources, including the CDC. A cause of death must be reported. Are you suggesting that coroners are putting illness or homicide on death certificates that are actually suicides? As far as family support for LGBT (or any other people for that matter), no one is arguing with you that love of family is protective. Where the argument takes place is what amounts to “support“ when it comes to trans identified youth. Accepting that one’s child has a gay sexual orientation is a completely different matter than approving medical transition. You seem to have an agenda that brings you back to this website over and over again. Your message, covert or not, is somehow that parents here don’t support their kids. It’s a huge assumption to make on your part and referring to suicide rates over and over isn’t helping you make your point. Rather, it only appears that you are interested in emotionally blackmailing people you don’t even know, who actually care more about their own children than some stranger on the Internet.

        Liked by 5 people

      • There is likely not general underreporting now in the United States, I agree. There was, however, in the past. Moreover, there is a documented continued excess in suicidality among LGBTQ people, _including non-trans people_, to this day. I have provided links to sources and to aggregations of sources which prove these two facts; I am, demonstrably, not making things up.

        I am _not_ engaging in emotional blackmail. I am in fact agreeing with the parents who have been making the point here, again and again, that they are concerned for the well-being of their children. I am taking them entirely seriously. If a given child is not actually trans but is instead so pressured by not being heterosexual that they are trying to protect themselves through transitioning, to name one example not at random, they belong squarely to the well-documented risk group I named.

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      • When buying a house, the loan applications ask if you are under duress and I have heard many times to not make major life decisions if you are suffering depression or have emotional trauma.  Seems to me that cutting off body parts is about the biggest life decision one can make.  Personally, I think any kind of SRS should be band if there is any kind of suicidal ideation.  In other words, psychologists should separate the transgender or gender dysphoria issue and focus on the suicidal ideation first and discuss transgender issues down the road.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Randy: you don’t understand what I’m saying. Unsurprisingly, I might add – you seem to be wilfully misunderstanding everyone commenting here.

        There is absolutely no need to know anything at all about the reasons why people committ suicide.

        Today it is possible for people to identify as trans and do something about it. This is allegedly necessary for this demographic, otherwise they will likely kill themselves. In the past, it was not possible. If it really was necessary for this group then they will have killed themselves over it in the past. Therefore, now that it has become possible, far fewer will have killed themselves. As a result, suicide rates will have dropped for this demographic. Knowing why each individual killed herself is completely unnecessary. The numbers will speak for themselves.

        I’m not at all surprised that you can’t show us any numbers, or that you haven’t even bothered to look for them. No one can ever show them. They don’t exist. Simple as that.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. When my daughter returns to college next year, wherever that is, I plan to send a certified letter to the dean, the head of the student health clinic, and their PR team. It will say something along the lines of: If the college facilitates or encourages or affirms any sort of medical transition, and if my daughter later regrets it and is physically or emotionally harmed by the college’s conduct, I will hire a lawyer for her and pay for any needed expert testimony in a lawsuit against the college, even if it bankrupts me in the process.

    Won’t do any good in the short term, but maybe if all parents start sending letters like that as a matter of course, colleges will begin to think twice about what they’re doing.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes! Worriedmomtoo, I have been saying this until I’m blue in the face. I’ve already done something similar at high school level, and will do the same in the unlikely event that my child ends up at a college that does this sort of thing. I’m also looking into how to set up our college trust with restrictions as to what it can be used for. I hope we stay in touch on these boards as to what we find out, and that we all have the courage of our convictions to put those convictions in writing. Certified mail. Return receipt requested.

      Like

  16. “Teenagers are a difficult population to survey.”

    That’s an understatement.

    They should be more than difficult to survey. They should be impossible.

    There is no ethical way to survey kids about their comfort with their genitals or whether they believe themselves to be in the “wrong” body. To do so is to risk implanting the very seed of that which one seeks to study.

    Transgender doesn’t even have a definition, and likely never will. Undefined and undefinable terms have no business being on surveys of adults, let alone children.

    For those of us whose children are not yet college age:

    I’ve written to the high school to tell them that there are not to include my handicapped child in any such surveys, or in any way teach that there is such a thing as being in the “wrong” body or any such pseudoscience related to the misuse of the grammatical term “gender,” and that I will hold them liable for any harm that comes to my handicapped child as a result of the same. I’ve heard back that my letter has been referred to the district’s legal team, and will post updates on Twitter or my WordPress blog as to what I find out.

    And I will not pay one cent to any college where this is tolerated. Even if that means I don’t pay for college. Because as long as this is going on there is no learning and no point.

    We visited my former college town recently, and could literally smell the testosterone BO as the gaggles of Bieber-haircut-dyed-lavender FTM girls passed us. That college has been crossed off the list.

    I’m also seeking legal advice re setting up our college trust with a restriction clause that it cannot be used to pay for studying these subjects or for gender related medical services, and will post updates to Twitter or my WordPress blog as to what I find out about that as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “And I will not pay one cent to any college where this is tolerated. Even if that means I don’t pay for college. Because as long as this is going on there is no learning and no point.”

      People who transition cannot learn?

      Like

      • Hey Randy – I imagine you think this is a big gotcha question – but please understand, you are coming to a board where parents are incredibly concerned for their children’s mental and physical health, and telling us what we should and should not feel about them and their circumstances. You’re actively minimizing our well-founded pain and distress, and you know what? Your sophistry will play a heck of a lot better on Reddit or Twitter or some other place where trolling is not only accepted but promoted.

        If my child were in an environment where she was actively being encouraged to harm herself, and I believed she was not capable of giving truly informed consent to that harm, you better believe I’d prioritize her physical well-being over her education, at least for that interim. A young person can always resume a college education in a different venue or at a different time of life, when s/he is better able to take advantage of that education (not to mention the extraordinarily high cost of providing a college education for someone who is not able to get the full benefit of it). College is a privilege, not a right.

        And yes I am speaking as someone who put FOUR children through college and has the second mortgage to prove it!

        Liked by 7 people

      • I am not minimizing it. Quite frankly, I think that all suffering , whether of children or of parents, should be minimized in this context as in others, to the greatest extent possible. I suspect that you agree likewise. The only way in which we different is on how this goal should be achieved.

        It is simply worth noting that, unless the child becoming an adult can be convinced that a particular measure is in their well-being, when the child becomes an adult the risks of a break become that much greater. I have older gay and bisexual friends who, after their parents told them that they had to choose between their family links and their fulfilling sexual orientation, chose the latter. If a parent is so hostile to the idea of their child transitioning that the parent will try to keep them from pursuing higher education, this is the sort of thing that may well trigger a break.

        Is this break what parents want? What I see here are parents who are desperate to not lose their children.

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      • The poster said that learning is impossible for someone if they transition between genders: “Because as long as this is going on there is no learning and no point.” if that is not what they meant …

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      • Randy, why are you genderists forever comparing the trans experience to the LGB experience? And with intersexed too. I know what it’s like to be told I can’t have sex, a basic human instinct. There is nothing instinctual about cutting off body parts and shooting up drugs. Please stop coopting our experiences and narratives as transgender. It is an offensive and colonialist appropriation.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I am speaking as someone who is a Kinsey 5, and more definitely cisgender. The narratives I refer to are narratives that I have every right to use. I will not renounce them because you do not wish me to use them.

        Like

      • There is no such thing as transition. People cannot become the opposite sex. Something that can be learned in a basic college level biology course.

        Institutions preoccupied with promoting pseudoscientific political concepts at the expense of science are failing to teach.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Granting your argument for the sake of argument, would your opinion change if a full transition really _was_ possible? If someone born female could become fully male, down to their new functional reproductive organs and their DNA, would that transition be acceptable?

        Like

    • The Kinsey scale has been known since the 1950s, running from 0 for someone completely heterosexual and 6 for someone completely homosexual..

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale

      Kinsey 5 is “[p]redominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual”.

      Going back to the discussion at hand, I use the narratives that I am entitled to use because (among other reasons) they reflect my personal experiences.

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      • Randy, while your comments come across as dismissive — we’re already familiar with the orthodox narrative, even when it’s phrased in the form of a question — I’m going to assume that you’re here in good faith and that your comments are intended as sincere “Socratic questioning” in the hopes that the parents here will re-examine their beliefs. So, in that same spirit of Socratic questioning, here are some questions for you to consider that might help you understand where we’re coming from.

        As a middle-aged gay male, how familiar do you consider yourself to be with teen and twentysomething youth culture, on campus and online? Given the dramatic cultural and technological changes of the past two decades — ubiquitous smartphones and social media, first of all — do you think it’s unreasonable to suggest that young people today experience a significantly different set of social and psychological pressures and stressors than our generation did?

        How many trans-identified young people do you know primarily through sustained and frequent real-world interaction, as opposed to interacting with them primarily online? How many of them did you know prior to their transition?

        How much time have you spent reading “primary sources” (social media channels where trans-identified and questioning young people gather, such as Tumblr hashtags and Reddit’s /r/asktransgender), as opposed to learning about trans issues second hand through general-interest LGBT or progressive news sites?

        I don’t know when you came out of the closet, but I presume that as a gay male you knew with certainty that you were gay and that coming out meant revealing to the world what was already (for you) a settled fact. Am I wrong in making this assumption? If not, what do you make of the fact that many self-reported trans narratives instead involve someone “realizing” or “discovering” that they’re actually trans but hadn’t known it until they started participating in trans communities? Or do you disagree that this is sometimes the case?

        Given that you came of age as a gay male, on what grounds are you confident dismissing out of hand the suggestion of thoughtful adult women that in some cases, a teenage girl’s desire to “become a boy” might in fact be a coping mechanism for common traumas of female adolescence (discomfort with one’s changing body, desire not to be treated as a sex object, experience of misogyny and harassment?)

        What do you think explains the documented fact that the patient demographics at gender clinics have changed dramatically in the past decade, from majority male to overwhelmingly female?

        How do you account for the existence of “detransitioners,” an increasing number of whom are publicly sharing their stories? Given that trans identity is self-reported, to what extent were people who identified as trans strongly enough to seek medical intervention, but who later desisted, “really” trans? Given that the number of detransitioners is nonzero, and that the effects of testosterone therapy and mastectomy are irreversible, what would an “acceptable” number of false positives be?

        What evidence would convince you that at least some self-diagnoses of gender dysphoria are inaccurate?

        Is it unfair or unreasonable for concerned parents to ask questions like these of trans advocates? If so, why?

        Liked by 5 people

      • I write in good faith and I only assume that others, too, are of good faith. The decisions of others to make ad hominem attacks say much more about them than it does me. (If I am FTM, as one person alleged, quite frankly I am impressed by the success of the transition, so complete that even I have no memory of it.)

        I am an active user of Tumblr and Reddit. I do not understand how, exactly, it makes sense to demonize either platform, since these are only platforms that others can use to communicate whatever they wish. The speed at with which communications are possible is new, but not unprecedented, while the way in which they allow for the formation of non-geographic networks of friends is personally familiar to me from my coming out.

        I only figured out that I was gay when I was 22. The sorts of deep repression that other people report, including trans people, is entirely possible. The lateness of my coming out is not a matter of rapid-onset homosexuality, but rather a consequence of deep repression. Anyone who says otherwise of me is simply wrong; anyone who says that of others who likewise protest is likewise wrong.

        In some cases, yes, I can imagine trans identity as something a young woman might adopt as some kind of protection. More often, I am willing to take them at their words, that they are dealing with a deep-seated dysphoria that has been an issue for them a long time, even despite them not being able to name the sort of a discomfort that has become second nature for them. Is there a surge in FTM transitions now? That can easily be explained in terms of natal females catching up to natal males in their willingness to make statements about their identity that can cost them greatly.

        People can make mistakes. Some people, for instance, can identify bthemselves as being more bisexual than they actually are. If these people themselves came to recognize of their own volition that a trans identity did not work for them, that would be proof enough. Reports from other people who are deeply invested in their children not being trans are not plausible. Again, my personal experience of my deep repression of my sexual orientation makes me think that so-called ROGD is much more a matter of people recently grappling with a huge subjective issue than anything else.

        False positives are a concern. I would simply urge that concern for these not be used as an excuse to prevent other individuals, with their own individual experiences, for transitioning as they feel the need to.

        Like

      • I am an active user of Tumblr and Reddit. I do not understand how, exactly, it makes sense to demonize either platform, since these are only platforms that others can use to communicate whatever they wish. The speed at with which communications are possible is new, but not unprecedented, while the way in which they allow for the formation of non-geographic networks of friends is personally familiar to me from my coming out.

        I use Reddit too — as well as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, although not Tumblr — for a wide range of professional, hobbyist and social interests. But the question I asked was whether you have spent a substantial amount of time exploring the corners of these platforms that are specifically dedicated to trans discussion, particularly those frequented by questioning young people.

        “Demonize” is a strong and vague word that I don’t believe captures the point I’m making. To clarify what I mean: would you disagree that in some cases which are unrelated to gender, as an unintended consequence of the opportunities for connection that it makes possible, the Internet allows troubled people to connect with one another in ways that are detrimental to their overall well-being? For example, on “pro-ana” forums for sufferers of eating disorders, or “gang stalking” sites for people with delusions of persecution?

        I obviously don’t expect you to agree that (some) trans-identifying peer groups may fall into this category. But do you disagree, as a general principle, that this category exists?

        I appreciate your sharing your own coming-out story and how it affects your understanding of these issues. Based on my own experiences, however, I am less inclined than you are to give immediate credence to “trans, but I didn’t know it” narratives. While I support the right of mentally sound adults to transition socially and medically after due consideration of their options, I’m not convinced that experiences of ordinary childhood gender variation (“tomboys and soft boys,” as somebody here once put it) are not sometimes mobilized as retroactive “evidence” in support of a decision arrived at for other reasons, typically in campus and subcultural environments in which a trans or other “alternative” gender identity can have social currency. (If you disagree that such environments exist, I’d refer you back to my previous question about the extent to which you are familiar with contemporary youth culture.)

        If these people themselves came to recognize of their own volition that a trans identity did not work for them, that would be proof enough. Reports from other people who are deeply invested in their children not being trans are not plausible.

        I wasn’t referring to secondhand narratives by parents, but to the growing number of detransitioners who speak and write on their own behalf. Some of the more prominent voices in this community, such as Maria Catt and GuideOnRagingStars, are linked on the resources page of this site; the Seattle Stranger, a reputable weekly paper, recently published a longform article (and followup about them. Many of these women have come to believe that they were rushed into medical transition as teens or young adults without appropriate consideration of alternative explanations (and alternative therapies) for their feelings of discomfort with their bodies, such as pre-existing mental illness, sexual trauma, or being a lesbian with internalized homophobia. With all due respect, if you believe that the only people advising a cautious approach to youth transition are bigoted parents, you haven’t made enough of an effort to familiarize yourself with the critical voices discussing this issue.

        Regarding ad hominem attacks and the hostile response of some commenters to your posts here, please understand that this is a site for concerned parents who are skeptical of the mainstream trans narrative, in which immediate, irreversible medical intervention is presented as the only alternative to death by suicide for gender-nonconforming young people. This blog attracts frequent drive-by trolls; without context, “rebuttals” of the form “could it be that they did not manage to live without killing themselves?” come across as bad faith gotcha questions. If a new poster were to join a forum for gay men and begin by asking “well, how do you know you don’t like girls? Have you ever tried it?”, what would the tenor of the response be?

        Liked by 4 people

      • “I use Reddit too — as well as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, although not Tumblr — for a wide range of professional, hobbyist and social interests. But the question I asked was whether you have spent a substantial amount of time exploring the corners of these platforms that are specifically dedicated to trans discussion, particularly those frequented by questioning young people.”

        I have trans friends on various social networks. Them talking about their transitions is a thing that has happened.

        “Demonize”, I would argue, is exactly the right word to apply to some commenters’ treatment of Reddit and Tumblr. They do not bother to distinguish between particular networks, choosing instead to damn them generically.

        “I’m not convinced that experiences of ordinary childhood gender variation (“tomboys and soft boys,” as somebody here once put it) are not sometimes mobilized as retroactive “evidence” in support of a decision arrived at for other reasons, typically in campus and subcultural environments in which a trans or other “alternative” gender identity can have social currency.”

        I think it’s important to note that it is not so much primarily a matter of this having currency as it is of it being a place where it does not carry an unacceptable cost. People removed from their parents and their home communities to environments which permit a fair degree of experimentation will be willing to experiment, all things being said. People being willing to experiment with non-heterosexual sexualities comes to mind, again.

        “Reports from other people who are deeply invested in their children not being trans are not plausible.”

        Then, am I and other people to assume that our parents are lying when they claim to be surprised when we come out, as gay or as bi or as trans or as simply being different from what we are supposed to be?

        I am entirely willing to accept that some parents may be surprised by learning new things about their children. I do not think that they are lying when they are expressing their surprise. I also do not think that they are any more, or any less, believable in describing their own perceptions than their children.

        Where I do differ from you is in your belief that they are able to speak authoritatively as to what their children are thinking, that they even feel justified in contradicting their children’s statements as their own thoughts. This can continue to great ages: One of the children referred to in Littman’s study is 27 years old, surely an adult!

        “I wasn’t referring to secondhand narratives by parents, but to the growing number of detransitioners who speak and write on their own behalf.”

        They are certainly entitled to speak on their own behalf. They are not entitled to speak on behalf of others. What else can be said?

        “[P]lease understand that this is a site for concerned parents who are skeptical of the mainstream trans narrative, in which immediate, irreversible medical intervention is presented as the only alternative to death by suicide for gender-nonconforming young people. This blog attracts frequent drive-by trolls; without context, “rebuttals” of the form “could it be that they did not manage to live without killing themselves?” come across as bad faith gotcha questions. If a new poster were to join a forum for gay men and begin by asking “well, how do you know you don’t like girls? Have you ever tried it?”, what would the tenor of the response be?”

        This analogy, however, fails. A forum for gay people is not composed of people who are speculating about the actual sexual orientations of their children, often in direct contradiction to what their children themselves have said. A forum of gay people is composed of people who, by and large, have accepted their sexual orientation. A closer analogy would be to a forum for parents of non-heterosexual children who are uncomfortable with their children’s stated sexual orientation.

        Like

      • I certainly allow for the possibility that some young people may well be confused. I also allow for the possibility that some young people may, in fact, be right. I would not want to deny others the same rights I was given.

        I grant that the parents here are concerned about the welfare of their children. I simply think it a good idea for these parents, sincerely concerned for their children, to keep in mind the possibility that transition might indeed work for them. Children evolve in directions unexpected by their parents, after all.

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      • “Granting your argument for the sake of argument, would your opinion change if a full transition really _was_ possible? If someone born female could become fully male, down to their new functional reproductive organs and their DNA, would that transition be acceptable?”

        I’m not sure if you’ve understood my argument.

        My argument was that schools’ political posturing about a non-reality is damaging students’ understanding of the world and its wonders. They’d be better off studying molecular genetics and appreciating the sheer complexity of DNA, which cannot be structurally redesigned at will and cares not a jot whether we find its design “acceptable.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am trying to understand if your objections are to the idea of any transition, or if they are to the idea of imperfect transitions. Are there any transitions that you would accept?

        Like

      • I have trans friends on various social networks. Them talking about their transitions is a thing that has happened.

        This still isn’t an answer to the question I asked, which was not whether you use social media and not whether you know people online who identify as trans. I asked whether you are familiar with the discourse around transition in the online trans spaces frequented by questioning young people.

        In all seriousness, I encourage you to spend some time looking into this, for your own edification as an ally if nothing else. Begin with Zinnia Jones’ classic “That Was Dysphoria?”, a popular and widely shared article by a prominent MTF transgender activist. Then spend a week or two lurking /r/transgender and affiliated subreddits like /r/transincubator with an open mind, reading the posts of teen and college-aged questioners. Google “egg mode” and “egg hatching” and read what comes up. Do you see any narratives that look to you, as an adult, like expressions of ordinary adolescent social confusion or ordinary gender nonconformity? Do you see anything that looks to you, as someone not invested in a trans identity, like motivated cognition in support of a predetermined outcome?

        If you don’t, this will prove us wrong and make you an even more confident ally, no?

        I think it’s important to note that it is not so much primarily a matter of this having currency as it is of it being a place where it does not carry an unacceptable cost. People removed from their parents and their home communities to environments which permit a fair degree of experimentation will be willing to experiment, all things being said. People being willing to experiment with non-heterosexual sexualities comes to mind, again.

        Consider the possibility that you are projecting your own experience, as a gay man who moved from an insular rural area to a large city, onto individuals, experiences and milieus which are very different from your own.

        Most of the parents here are liberals who have no objection to gender nonconformity, support gay and lesbian rights, and are comfortable with a wide range of experimentation and nonconformity in behavior, dress and presentation. We are concerned that irreversible medical intervention has been introduced into the process of experimentation and exploration.

        “Reports from other people who are deeply invested in their children not being trans are not plausible.”

        Then, am I and other people to assume that our parents are lying when they claim to be surprised when we come out, as gay or as bi or as trans or as simply being different from what we are supposed to be?

        You’re quoting and replying to your own previous post here.

        They are certainly entitled to speak on their own behalf. They are not entitled to speak on behalf of others. What else can be said?

        What can be said is that many of these women’s firsthand stories — that they were mentally ill, victims of sexual trauma, butch lesbians in denial, or simply fed up with misogyny; that they visited “informed consent” clinics and were given prescriptions for hormones and surgery with little or no vetting — closely resemble the secondhand concerns of parents here. Once again, if you haven’t made the effort to familiarize yourself with the (active and growing) community of adult detransitioners speaking for themselves, you are not making a good faith attempt to understand the case for caution.

        Again, given that hormone therapy and mastectomy are irreversible, how many false positives are acceptable? Does a parent have the right to worry that their child may turn out to be one of these false positives? Do parents have the right to ask that appropriate precautions be taken to screen these false positives out out — for example, by investigating whether pre-existing mental health issues are the underlying cause of their gender-related anxieties? Might the fact that “informed consent” clinics don’t do this be a legitimate concern?

        This analogy, however, fails. A forum for gay people is not composed of people who are speculating about the actual sexual orientations of their children, often in direct contradiction to what their children themselves have said.

        The point of my analogy is not to suggest that gay men ought to second-guess their own sexuality; presumably they have already considered these questions and answered them to their own satisfaction. My point is that the parents here have also spent a lot of time thinking about these sorts of questions, because we have already been exposed to the orthodox trans activist narrative. This is why your posts come across as trolling and provoke a hostile response.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I had already said that I was on Tumblr and on Reddit; that counts, surely, as social media! I have trans friends, in person and online, and I have interacted with them. I have been a reader and occasional commenter. I have even made a post once, on the forum Gendercynical.

        This still isn’t an answer to the question I asked, which was not whether you use social media and not whether you know people online who identify as trans. I asked whether you are familiar with the discourse around transition in the online trans spaces frequented by questioning young people.
        In all seriousness, I encourage you to spend some time looking into this, for your own edification as an ally if nothing else. Begin with Zinnia Jones’ classic “That Was Dysphoria?”, a popular and widely shared article by a prominent MTF transgender activist. Then spend a week or two lurking /r/transgender and affiliated subreddits like /r/transincubator with an open mind, reading the posts of teen and college-aged questioners. Google “egg mode” and “egg hatching” and read what comes up. Do you see any narratives that look to you, as an adult, like expressions of ordinary adolescent social confusion or ordinary gender nonconformity? Do you see anything that looks to you, as someone not invested in a trans identity, like motivated cognition in support of a predetermined outcome?
        If you don’t, this will prove us wrong and make you an even more confident ally, no?
        I think it’s important to note that it is not so much primarily a matter of this having currency as it is of it being a place where it does not carry an unacceptable cost. People removed from their parents and their home communities to environments which permit a fair degree of experimentation will be willing to experiment, all things being said. People being willing to experiment with non-heterosexual sexualities comes to mind, again.
        Consider the possibility that you are projecting your own experience, as a gay man who moved from an insular rural area to a large city, onto individuals, experiences and milieus which are very different from your own.
        Most of the parents here are liberals who have no objection to gender nonconformity, support gay and lesbian rights, and are comfortable with a wide range of experimentation and nonconformity in behavior, dress and presentation. We are concerned that irreversible medical intervention has been introduced into the process of experimentation and exploration.
        “Reports from other people who are deeply invested in their children not being trans are not plausible.”
        Then, am I and other people to assume that our parents are lying when they claim to be surprised when we come out, as gay or as bi or as trans or as simply being different from what we are supposed to be?
        You’re quoting and replying to your own previous post here.
        They are certainly entitled to speak on their own behalf. They are not entitled to speak on behalf of others. What else can be said?
        What can be said is that many of these women’s firsthand stories — that they were mentally ill, victims of sexual trauma, butch lesbians in denial, or simply fed up with misogyny; that they visited “informed consent” clinics and were given prescriptions for hormones and surgery with little or no vetting — closely resemble the secondhand concerns of parents here. Once again, if you haven’t made the effort to familiarize yourself with the (active and growing) community of adult detransitioners speaking for themselves, you are not making a good faith attempt to understand the case for caution.
        Again, given that hormone therapy and mastectomy are irreversible, how many false positives are acceptable? Does a parent have the right to worry that their child may turn out to be one of these false positives? Do parents have the right to ask that appropriate precautions be taken to screen these false positives out out — for example, by investigating whether pre-existing mental health issues are the underlying cause of their gender-related anxieties? Might the fact that “informed consent” clinics don’t do this be a legitimate concern?
        This analogy, however, fails. A forum for gay people is not composed of people who are speculating about the actual sexual orientations of their children, often in direct contradiction to what their children themselves have said.
        The point of my analogy is not to suggest that gay men ought to second-guess their own sexuality; presumably they have already considered these questions and answered them to their own satisfaction. My point is that the parents here have also spent a lot of time thinking about these sorts of questions, because we have already been exposed to the orthodox trans activist narrative. This is why your posts come across as trolling and provoke a hostile response.

        I’ve been unimpressed by the trans critics I’ve encountered there. In that one post, I remarked on how some trans-critical people were critical of the modern First Nations concept of two-spirited people, to the point of discounting what the people themselves said about their identity and their background and even making fun of them. That sort of blithe disregard for the stated identities of others is something that is very offputting, and is something that I have not encountered very often in trans circles.

        “Most of the parents here are liberals who have no objection to gender nonconformity, support gay and lesbian rights, and are comfortable with a wide range of experimentation and nonconformity in behavior, dress and presentation.”

        If they are concerned about ROGD, granting that this phenomenon exists, would they be more supportive of their children transitioning if they had visibly demonstrated deep-seated dysphoria at earlier points in their lives? Or would they simply oppose any transition?

        “What can be said is that many of these women’s firsthand stories — that they were mentally ill, victims of sexual trauma, butch lesbians in denial, or simply fed up with misogyny; that they visited “informed consent” clinics and were given prescriptions for hormones and surgery with little or no vetting — closely resemble the secondhand concerns of parents here.”

        Which women? Are they qualified to speak for other people? Blithely projecting from one person’s experience to make judgements about another person’s, often in direct contradiction as to what the second person is saying, does not strike me as sound. I am sure that you would agree that projecting from the experience of people who profited from a full transition, including SRS, onto all people who think they are trans is a mistake, right? The reverse surely holds true.

        “Do parents have the right to ask that appropriate precautions be taken to screen these false positives out out — for example, by investigating whether pre-existing mental health issues are the underlying cause of their gender-related anxieties?”

        Would, if the child passes through this, they then accept the idea of transition? Or would they oppose it? Quite frankly, the posts I’ve seen here seem to oppose any transition for trans-identifying children and teenagers.

        “The point of my analogy is not to suggest that gay men ought to second-guess their own sexuality; presumably they have already considered these questions and answered them to their own satisfaction. My point is that the parents here have also spent a lot of time thinking about these sorts of questions[.]”

        Parents also spend a lot of time thinking about, and questioning, the sexual orientations of their own children if these turn out to be not heterosexual. Are their thoughts about their children’s identities supposed to be taken as more important than what their children themselves say? Why should this happen? What makes the parents of trans children so much more authoritative?

        Quite frankly, I might feel even more sympathy for the parents posting here than I do already if they allowed for the possibility that maybe at least some of their children might indeed benefit from transition. I don’t see this here. Calls for caution I can get behind. The sort of blanket opposition to transition for anyone, extending even to adults, that I have seen from many posters and commenters here is not something I can get behind. In this, I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone.

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      • “I am trying to understand if your objections are to the idea of any transition, or if they are to the idea of imperfect transitions. Are there any transitions that you would accept?”

        OK, one more time and then I’m done, because I can’t make it any more crystal clear, so any further misunderstanding is wilful on your part:

        My so-acceptance, upon which so much importance has been placed, is immaterial. Transition from one biological sex to another doesn’t exist. Not perfect, not partial. People can dress however they want, and love whomever they choose, but that is simply individuality and has no bearing on biological sex. Nature runs a tight ship. One’s feeling some way or another about that won’t change it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Nature runs a tight ship.”

        Except when it doesn’t. And who says nature has to be accepted? I’ve been wearing glasses since I was four years old; I’m personally fine with using technology to compensate for lacks in my body, and see no a priori reason to deny it to others.

        Like

      • Which women? Are they qualified to speak for other people? Blithely projecting from one person’s experience to make judgements about another person’s, often in direct contradiction as to what the second person is saying, does not strike me as sound.

        “Which women?” Once again, there is an active and growing community of female detransitioners who previously identified as trans men. Their writings are available online for anyone to read. Many of them are linked from the resources page here, but if you’d prefer to begin with an account from a neutral third-party journalist, I linked to the Seattle Stranger article a few posts ago. These women are not “in direct contradiction” to the testimonies of adolescents currently identifying as trans, because they themselves once passionately identified as trans in the exact same terms.

        If they are concerned about ROGD, granting that this phenomenon exists, would they be more supportive of their children transitioning if they had visibly demonstrated deep-seated dysphoria at earlier points in their lives? Or would they simply oppose any transition?

        Randy, if you genuinely don’t know the answer to this question, then you haven’t been making a sincere effort to read and understand the concerns of the parents here, and if you’re asking this as a rhetorical “gotcha,” then you’re not participating in good faith.

        I’m going to bow out of this discussion and let you have the last word. The concerns of the parents here have been explained to you patiently and in detail, but you continue to respond with Trans 101 “have you considered that you can’t prove this negative” debater’s points; the fact that you mistook one of your own previous posts for an argument of mine suggests that you’re simply skimming the responses you get and responding off the cuff rather than making a serious effort at mutual understanding and dialogue.

        I think you’ve already made up your mind on these issues and aren’t seriously interested in the possibility of changing it, so I’ll leave you with this. Ask yourself whether there is any evidence that would change your mind about the validity of some adolescent-onset trans identities. Ask yourself whether you have made a serious effort to seek out and evaluate this evidence. Consider the possibility that you might be wrong.

        Liked by 2 people

      • heteronerd, I do agree with you that “there is an active and growing community of female detransitioners who previously identified as trans men.” Is there any evidence to suggest that their opinions on their personal experiences with gender transition should be taken more seriously than the opinions of other people who have engaged in similar transitions and are fine? Why should their opinions be privileged over those of other people, especially when these others are quite clear about who they are, how they identify, and what they want?

        “The concerns of the parents here have been explained to you patiently and in detail”

        Yes, I agree. We have simply not heard anything from their children, including their adult children. Especially since I’m personally quite familiar with the extent to which repression of key elements can shape personalities and the speed with which these elements can reappear once the repression stops, I see only part of the story being told here. It is not the most important part, either: What do the children that these parents are writing about think about all this? Why is the importance of their views being discounted?

        “Ask yourself whether there is any evidence that would change your mind about the validity of some adolescent-onset trans identities.”

        I would accept that, in some cases of trauma for instance, some people might opt for a different gender identity to escape the trauma. That’s nothing controversial; that’s something I’ve allowed for here.

        I simply stop short at the blanket refusal to even acknowledge the possibility of transition. Is it really the case that all of the parents here have children who are not actually transgender, whatever they say, that all of their children are simply confused? Is it likely?

        Basic assumptions need to be questioned, I agree. My thanks for this dialogue.

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      • Randy, folks, is the very definition of a sea lion. So long as you throw him fish (in the form of responses) he will keep surfacing for more.

        For those who haven’t met this term before, here is the top definition in the Urban Dictionary:

        Sealioning: A subtle form of trolling involving “bad-faith” questions. You disingenuously frame your conversation as a sincere request to be enlightened, placing the burden of educating you entirely on the other party. If your bait is successful, the other party may engage, painstakingly laying out their logic and evidence in the false hope of helping someone learn. In fact you are attempting to harass or waste the time of the other party, and have no intention of truly entertaining their point of view. Instead, you react to each piece of information by misinterpreting it or requesting further clarification, ad nauseum. The name “sea-lioning” comes from a Wondermark comic strip.

        Here is the original sea lion comic strip, which is rather wonderful.

        Since we are making an issue of ‘narratives’:

        I am a Kinsey 6 (I cite that scale only because it has already been mentioned and is well understood). I began coming out well over forty years ago; was once a little girl who believed she ‘should have been’ a boy, and have been for very many years a proud and, nowadays, increasingly angry lesbian. I do not answer to ‘cisgender’. I do not perform femininity.

        And though it was certainly not easy coming out as a lesbian in the early seventies, and though in the eighties I knew that as a lesbian, I had no real job security, I count myself immensely lucky that no one, when I was a child, was pushing ‘gender-nonconforming’ little girls towards ‘puberty blockers’ (well known to impair mental capacity); no one, when I was a teenager, was encouraging girls and young women to undergo mastectomies in order to look just a little bit more like males. I hated my breasts when I was a teenager; that changed with my first love affair…

        Liked by 3 people

      • This. THIS is what kids and young teens are being denied: the chance to experience their untampered-with bodies in a sexual experience that may prove to be the door to becoming whole and fully accepting who they are. There is research showing that young lesbians, on average, don’t fully integrate and accept their sexuality until their early 20s. Yet gender specialists are gleefully prescribing testosterone to middle schoolers and double mastectomy in the early high school years. And then there are the increasing number of straight girls in the same predicament. Presumably the specialists aren’t emphasizing to them how difficult it will be for them to be “gay men“ when they lack the key characteristic most prized by gay men.

        Please see this post, which contains links to research about LGB coming out at later ages.
        https://4thwavenow.com/2016/01/25/the-surgical-suite-modern-day-closet-for-todays-teen-lesbian/

        Liked by 2 people

      • Artemisia, I am not engaging in sealioning for the simple reason that I am engaging in good faith. I’m not trying to trick anyone, or anger anyone; I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from, especially since I do not understand why some background assumptions here are being made. I sincerely want to learn something I do not understand. That’s why I’m here.

        heteronerd, for whatever it’s worth if you had followed that history blog–which one?–I’m not clear I had fully unpacked my motives for writing online. I’m definitely interested in uncovering the fine details of life, to better understand things–mentalities, phenomena–that I don’t understand that I think other people don’t understand. This is a matter of basic good faith on my part. Assuming that some decisions should not be questioned is not something that I find legitimate, frankly.

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      • @Artemisia —

        Yikes. I’d never heard that term before, but it certainly fits.

        For what it’s worth, I’ve been responding to Randy on the assumption of good faith because I’m familiar with his byline — many years ago, he ran a history blog of which I was a regular reader. His trollish behavior here is disappointing.

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      • @heteronerd

        I concluded Randy was trolling when he said:

        “Granting your argument for the sake of argument, would your opinion change if a full transition really _was_ possible? If someone born female could become fully male, down to their new functional reproductive organs and their DNA, would that transition be acceptable?”

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      • “I concluded Randy was trolling”

        No, I was entirely serious. Is the opposition to imperfect transitions, or is the opposition to transition generally? There’s a critical difference between opposing ill-thought gender transitions and opposing all transitions.

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      • There’s such a comment string here now that I don’t know where this is going to end up. But Randy, vis a vis your question about what transition would be acceptable if any?

        If there were such a technique, that could really change a female to a male (and vice versa) without long-term health consequences? I mean, if it were no more momentous or dangerous than getting one’s ears pierced? (The way a lot of the mass media seem to treat it, these days, and some of the gender docs as well?)

        Then I, personally, would not object to that, for a non-minor. For a minor, the assumption is that you’d be giving up the ability to reproduce as your natal sex, and that’s a hella big decision for any minor to be making, with or without other health consequences.

        And I think that also, in such a world? Humanity had better make damned sure to weigh the consequences of having people able to truly switch sexes, willy-nilly. Would anyone, honestly, opt to be “woman” in the way woman function now, in terms of the amount of unpaid labor most women do on behalf of the continuation of the species? (I’m not talking about the parody of “woman” that quite a few of the transactivist transwomen seem to prefer. I’m talking about the life of most natal females … the childcare, the spousal support, the elder caregiving …)

        At any rate. It’s interesting as a thought experiment but this is not the world we live in. I’d prefer my kid to find methods of living in the world that don’t shorten her lifespan – and no one, thus far, has been able to convince me that T does not do that to natal females. (If she herself is so miserable that she prefers a shorter life to enduring the misery — ultimately that’d be her choice. But I’m not going to make that choice on her behalf.)

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      • @Randy McDonald

        “I’m not trying to trick anyone, or anger anyone; I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from, especially since I do not understand why some background assumptions here are being made.”

        ‘You’ plural or ‘you’ singular? If singular, then I believe I made it reasonably clear in my comment above where I, personally, am ‘coming from’.

        If plural: you should be aware that not everyone who posts and/or comments here takes exactly the same view on every matter. There is no hive mind behind this website.

        “Assuming that some decisions should not be questioned is not something that I find legitimate, frankly.”

        This was directed to heteronerd, but I am glad to hear it. It also goes some way toward the heart of what this website, as it seems to me, stands for: to question the ideology and practice of medical ‘transition’, specifically as it is applied to children, teenagers and young adults.

        Like

  17. I wonder what they plan to do about international students as well as students and faculty whose first language isn’t English. There are many languages (for example, Spanish) which are not as gender neutral as English, where a speaker simply can’t avoid constantly “gendering” himself/herself and other people. Should students be encouraged to provide alternative grammars in every existing language to address them correctly and/or a list of languages to avoid? Or should speaking “gendered” languages be prohibited on campus? And those international students who came to study English, how severely should they be punished for making mistakes with queer pronouns as well as having cultural objections?

    Another issue is with foreign language classes. Should students be allowed only to read texts and prohibited from practicing conversation in French, Spanish, German, Russian etc, because (God forbid!) they will be addressing each other in a “gendered” way, possibly inconsistent with their English queer pronouns? Are professors of those languages obligated to develop 10-30 alternative grammars to match every possible queer pronoun in English? Or should those languages be banned altogether, limiting foreign language classes to Chinese?

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Remembering what it was like to be a closeted and confused lesbian university student many years ago, this content is difficult and upsetting to read. The issues described in the article are always being labeled “LGBTIQ” or similar, but it’s clear that it’s the T and the Q who are actually being catered to. Contemporary trans politics (consciously or not) is leading to young lesbians being “phased out” through transition and subjected to new forms of harassment and vilification – this time within what is meant to be their own community. I count myself lucky I can remember a time when gay and lesbian communities were not like this, but the young women now have never experienced that. They’ve never once been encouraged to even think about themselves outside of the alphabet soup of identity politics. And yet at the same time, please be mindful that the language of parental rejection and “my child has been recruited into an unhealthy degenerate lifestyle” has really painful echoes for many older lesbian and gay people, which is one reason many of us struggle to cope with the current situation. It is possible to be terrified by the current trans politics, but also deeply uneasy with calls to parental authority and conservative values that pop up sometimes in these discussions. It’s really hard to know how to move forward. Both the “progressive left” and the conservative right have welded homosexuals to the contemporary trans movement without any discussion, and the ramifications are complex and really troubling.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Lesbians should exist. Most lesbians don’t have body dysphoria, right? Lesbians are not trans, and anyone saying otherwise is lacking proper understanding. Believe me, professionals don’t have all the answers. I’ve been involved with so many professionals during my youth (not particularly for gender issues — though straight GNCs who have some issues that relate to having a potential Nonbinary identity really didn’t have the language back then to express it — not that I’d have ever wanted medical intervention like HRT though.) Let me tell you, the professionals were bumbling idiots at BEST. So no, you can’t always trust the professionals. They can harm you. They harm Autistics all the time, putting them on drugs just for expressing normal Autistic behaviors, as though they’re psychotic or some nonsense. I was labelled bipolar at one point in my life. And since Autistics are naturally different, how can anyone know if these psychotropics work the same way in Autistic brains as they do in NTs? They harm NTs so often, so it would stand to reason that Autistics are especially at risk of harm. I get it, about trans. I know that hormones are potentially dangerous. It sucks for those struggling with their bodies, but there does need to be much more emphasis on the risks involved with transitioning. Folks need to be more informed about cancers and other risks. Also, transition isn’t simple and won’t work like magic. A lot of transmen still have their same sex organs because apparently phalloplasty is difficult. If transmen are comfortable with that, that’s great, but there shouldn’t be any illusions about what transitioning is like. And transition will never be a quick fix for all issues. Trans folks still have to deal with issues that are individual to them or affect most cis folks (being “human,” I guess, or, just living and being), while also having trans issues added to the mix. But trans itself isn’t a mental illness. They used to try to rule out other issues that could lead someone to mistakenly transition before beginning the process of transitioning, right? And you can’t forget that the LGB were also considered disordered and mentally ill not long ago. I don’t think they’re mentally ill and I’m glad that psychiatry has been updated to no longer see them as such. Hopefully the same will be true for Autistics in the near future. Being different isn’t pathological. We just all need different understanding and accommodations. For trans folks, it’s a heartbreaking scenario because so many need to be able to transition and is there any more natural way to transition than hormones, which are already produced by the body, yet could cause diseases if there’s an imbalance? I mean, if alternative medicine could help trans folks to transition, maybe that would solve the problem. But what’s better than hormones? I just know it would be frightening to have MY hormones tampered with. Trans folks don’t all need the same things though, right? And nonbinary folks don’t either. Not all dysphoria is expressed equally. Some don’t need medical treatment and they shouldn’t be pushed into receiving it. Some don’t even have dysphoria. And it definitely annoys me when GNC in particular are considered to be ANY letter of the LGBTQ+ acronym. And the word “tomboy” seems sexist, as well. As if females can’t be “masculine” and they’re “doing boy things” and such and such. And not all AFAB NBs are tomboys, either. Being neutral or Other isn’t the same as tomboy. And I’ve seen rather “feminine” presenting NBs. And GNC/gender atypical folks are just being themselves as well.

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  20. Gender identity and sexual orientation are supposed to be different. Lesbians should never be conflated with trans. Lesbians are fine as they are. Lesbian is a sexual orientation. Professionals should know the difference if they are truly educated. There’s no reason a lesbian needs to be sent down the course of transitioning. No reason at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Thank you for reporting on this, missingdaughter. It’s especially important for parents who will be sending their children to college in the coming years.

    My own daughter went into college with a trans identity. I never supported any medical intervention. As soon as she turned 18 she officially changed her name. I told her that if she started taking testosterone or did any surgery I would take away the money that was set aside for her college. I found out that by the end of her first year at college that she had already been put on testosterone and had both of her healthy breasts surgically removed. I stopped giving her that college money. I will not support this insanity. She is much more aggressive and anxious since she’s been on testosterone. It can’t be easy pretending to be someone you are not. That internal conflict must be tearing her apart on a subconscious level. I represent that subconscious level because I’m the only one who doesn’t go along with this fantasy, which is why she is so angry at me.

    She tells me that her therapists and doctors tell her that she should cut ties with me because I don’t fully support what she’s doing. Despite this, she still communicates with me. I’m the only one who is there when she needs something and I will continue to be there for her. I love her with all of my heart, but that doesn’t mean I have to support something that I know is destructive. I just hope that with maturity she will realize that she is taking a drug that is not meant for her body and she will eventually stop before she has damaged herself beyond repair internally.

    If there are any parents whose teen has already acquired a trans identity in high school, it may be wise to consider not sending them to college right away. Have them experience real life first, get a job, save money and travel somewhere. They need to get a different perspective in life and become responsible for themselves.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Dorothy. You make some excellent points.

      Yes, you can still love and support your child while not supporting this identity. It is no big deal to present as gender non-conforming. Most of the parents on this site object to the medicalization of this identity.

      How many of these identities have shifted from lesbian to non-binary to transgender–the final destination being testosterone & mastectomies?

      True, there are therapists that encourage cutting ties with families who do not support the medical version of this identity. This is incredibly harmful to their clients or patients.

      Colleges are very dangerous places for teens that are attracted to a non-binary or transgender identity.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Part of the problem I see here is that ‘transgender’ is vague. I remember a few years ago there was a diagram going around of the ‘trans umbrella’ that included drag queens, which means including much-disliked-by-the-trans-movement Dan Savage–or, should I say, Helvetica Bold.

    I know someone who calls himself non-binary and prefers they/them pronouns. He lives his life as a normal fem gay 20 something guy, including going by his given very masculine name. And he has a boyfriend who is the same. Is it reasonable to include them two under ‘transgender’? Or I know someone who goes by a gender neutral nickname, prefers they/them pronouns, and wants top surgery and testosterone, but considers herself a lesbian. And this person has at least one friend who goes by their given name, but prefer they/them, but also wants testosterone, but considers herself a lesbian. Is it reasonable to include them two under ‘transgender’?

    Also, it’s weird to me how they can’t tell the parents. I, uh, got written up for violating the alcohol policy, and the conduct lady said since I’m under 21, they would have to call my parents. (Luckily they found us all not responsible since the RA did a bad write up job).

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  23. Nonbinary can very well be a valid identity. It’s an identity in its own right, and many folks identify as nonbinary now that didn’t have the language to identify as such in the past. It’s funny though that nonbinaries (who, for the most part, are dedicated to visibility and combating their own erasure) would ever agree to allow the “trans” label to be superimposed onto them. It’s so obviously due to political pressure where the LGBT lobby just want to swell up the numbers of trans folks.

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  24. Randy, you have had plenty of feedback, much better responses than I can offer. You inquired:
    “What do the children that these parents are writing about think about all this? Why is the importance of their views being discounted?”
    Their views are not being discounted, they are being met with a healthy dose of skepticism. If the transgender identity appears to be a social contagion among peers, among young people immersed in trans social media, why wouldn’t a parent be skeptical? If this new identity seemed to come out of nowhere, shouldn’t we be skeptical?
    Some common refrains: I was always this way. Or, I am just now discovering who I am.
    If the parent observed shifting identities from lesbian to genderqueer to transgender—and peers were doing the same thing, is it a wonder that parents would be skeptical? It’s natural for adolescents to try on new identities. Not so natural if trying on new identities result in permanent harm.
    You wonder if any parent on this site is in favor of medical transitions? My personal view is that those types of decisions should not be made until one is a mature adult. Young adults of college age are not mature adults. True, they are legally adults.
    It’s understandable that you project traumatic experiences of your coming out as a gay man onto young people who are coming out with a new gender identity. It’s understandable. It’s not the same thing. Try to understand that.

    Like

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