“Few resources for parents of gender nonconforming kids”–ya think?

http://www.cctv-america.com/2015/04/18/field-notes-shifting-gender-roles#more-51508

While this is an encouraging piece in the daily sea of “My child is transgender!!” media portrayals, a couple of things jump out:


 8-year-old CJ Duran plays with dolls, wears skirts, and adores the color pink. While CJ loves playing with girly toys and wearing heeled sandals…he identifies himself as gender non-conformist, meaning that he still prefers masculine pronouns and is not transgender, but simply prefers the societally-defined “feminine” things in life.

It’s great that at least one 8 year old who plays with the wrong toys isn’t being called trans, but notice the wording–it’s all about how he, age 8, identifies himself. Did he really say he is gender non-conformist, not transgender? If so, where did he even get this language? And, just wondering:  given that he is smack-dab in the middle of the childhood period when make-believe play and fantasy are prominent, would it also have been newsworthy if he “identified himself” as a puppy, a ballet dancer, or a turtle?


When CJ first decided that he preferred “girly stuff” over “boy stuff”, his mother, Lori, went online to do some research. When she realized that there were very few resources for parents who were learning to raise gender-nonconforming children, she was inspired to start her own blog, Raising my Rainbow.


Kudos to Lori for bucking the trend, because what is unspoken (but glaringly obvious) here is that there are PLENTY of resources for parents raising transgender kids. And in looking at her Twitter feed and blog, she herself appears to accept the notion that lots of kids are, in fact, transgender, and not just gender nonconforming. Still, she celebrates her son who enjoys colorful wigs, jewelry,  and skirts.


I keep asking myself how we got here; that after the gains of feminism in the mid-late 20th century, parents and kids even have to use a term like “gender nonconforming” just to justify a little person being themselves.

The question is begged: What is the “differential diagnosis” between a gender nonconforming child vs. a transgender child? Answer, I guess, is in the first paragraph: whatever the (in this case, 8-year-old) child says s/he is–s/he is. This is a perfect example of the logical fallacy in the transgender trend sweeping the world: despite years of research showing that 75-95% of gender dysphoric kids grow out of it, if this 8-year-old had said, “I’m transgender,” this would have been a very different article…and Lori would be writing a very different blog.

Shout out to two great subReddits where I find many of these links. This article is a rare jewel in the daily onslaught of “transition is the answer” news stories being published around the world (which these two curators collect).

http://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical/

http://www.reddit.com/r/Gender_Critical/

Hey, all you cruel, hateful, bullying, toxic parents lurking out there–I’m talking to you

The investigative blog, transgenderreality, posted an excellent piece this morning entitled “Just tell her to shut the fuck up,” documenting the cult-like behavior online that is pressuring kids to abandon their parents and family for their Internet “friends” who know better.

See, this is why I’m doing this blog: I’m not going to shut the fuck up, and I want other parents like me to know they’re not alone. I’m not abandoning my critical thinking, nor my basic sense of protection for my child, just because the Tumblr and subReddit gender police tell parents like me we’re “abusers” simply for raising concerns and having conversations with our kids! Since when did parenting become nothing but a great big rubber stamp on everything a kid wants?

Some excerpts below from this important post from the always-enlightening transgenderreality. It shows imperfect (of course!) but concerned parents trying to engage with their kids about monumental life decisions.

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The first time I ever tried to openly and honestly talk to my mother about dysphoria, she told me: All women feel that way. No woman ever wants to be a woman. But we are, and we can’t escape it

And that messed me up way more than any insult ever could because it made me truly and genuinely question if I was doing this for the right reasons or if she was right and transition was just an escape.

I still don’t have an answer.

I cope by reminding myself that my mother is a poisonous influence on my life,  and that any doubt or fear I feel about transition after talking to her are as natural as feeling nauseated after drinking spoiled milk.”

********

“A young FtM who wants to have her breasts removed posts screenshots of text messages from her mother. The mother is asking her to reconsider such drastic changes to her body. These text messages are labeled “cruel”, “hateful”, “bullying”, and “toxic”.

“the poster’s father is concerned about his son’s motivation for starting hormone therapy. A commenter jumps right in, advising him to bring up suicide as a bargaining chip for unquestioning acceptance. Note that the poster’s father was not cutting him off, not throwing him out, he was even driving him to his doctor’s appointments!”

                                               *******

Read the whole thing. It’s full of screenshots from Tumblr and Reddit exposing just what’s happening to questioning youth on the Internet.  The tip of a huge iceberg is starting to emerge.

I’m just beginning to hear from a few parents. They are agonizing. They are trying be supportive with their kids, but they have doubts. They are excoriated just for having doubts, even when they are enabling aspects of “transition.”

So far, most of my followers on Tumblr are young women. Few of them have kids of their own, and they may even be having struggles with their own parents (who doesn’t?)–but they get this. On WordPress, I have more adult followers. But as we all know, most of the Internet is made up of lurkers: lots of readers, few writers/posters.

So I’m shouting out to all you lurkers: Look at this information. Spread it as far and widely as you can.

Neuroplasticity: the gaping logic hole in the transgender house of cards

One of the key discoveries of neuroscience in the late 20th and early 21st centuries is the extraordinary malleability of the human brain throughout the life span.  Neuroplasticity—the ability of even an adult brain to change firing patterns and regenerate neurons in response to experience—is yet another aspect of settled human knowledge that is being ignored in the rush to diagnose children and adolescents as transgender and in need of medical intervention.

But you don’t even need the latest findings in neuroscience to poke a giant hole in transactivist logic. Long before scientists established that adult brains are so malleable, it has been known that kids’ brains are far more neuroplastic than those of adults. It’s why a child can recover near total function after a brain injury or stroke in a way an adult cannot. It’s why kids become fluent in multiple languages with no “foreign” accent. Their brains have to be plastic–how else could they learn and change throughout childhood?

Those involved in transgender activism and pediatric treatment—who say they have science on their side—have a standard line about puberty blockers, the use of “preferred pronouns,”  and all the rest of the childhood gender dysphoria dogma: “It won’t harm the child.  Only the truly transgendered will choose medical transition after puberty. The rest (the majority) will choose their natal sex.” (Of course there are no published studies on this, although there is plenty of data showing that most gender dysphoric kids grow up to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual if simply left alone by “gender specialists” and scared parents.)

But the assertion that pediatric gender therapists and MDs are doing no harm (like the rest of the flimsy rationalizations they use) flies in the face of basic, settled neuroscience.

Because of neuroplasticity, those kids who have been “identified as” transgender and treated as the opposite sex throughout childhood will be influenced and molded by that experience (as they are molded by all the other experiences they have). In effect, they will learn the idea that their bodies “don’t match” their gender via their childhood experiences. Unlike any other transient childhood fantasy (e.g., that they are actually Batman), they will be repeatedly validated in the idea that biological reality–their actual bodies–is mistaken, and must eventually be changed to match their subjective feelings. What they think, even how their brains are wired, will be influenced by what they are told, and how they are treated by everyone around them. What would happen if a child with body integrity identity disorder (BIID) was repeatedly validated in the idea that (say) their left leg was “wrong” and should eventually be amputated?

Every other field of science has taken neuroplasticity into account in decisions about best treatment. For the current treatments for gender dysphoric kids to make any sense at all, you have to believe that the brain is fixed, unchangeable from birth, completely impervious to life experience. In other words—the exact opposite of what reams of brain research and clinical experience have taught us in the last several decades.

This antiquated notion of a static brain creates such a huge logical hole in the pediatric transgender rationale, the entire flimsy edifice should eventually collapse if scientists and clinicians ever get the courage to base their treatments and recommendations on actual evidence and science.

Postscript: Think I’m wrong? I’d love to see some researchers step up to do a longitudinal study comparing two groups of adults who were: (1.) Dysphoric kids who were sent to gender therapists and called by their preferred pronouns, given puberty blockers, and otherwise validated in their idea that they are “trapped in the wrong body”  and (2.) Dysphoric kids who were supported for just being themselves, regardless of gender stereotypes, as the sex and in the bodies they were born with, with no messaging or validation from “specialists” or parents that they are the opposite sex. How many remain dysphoric as adults and move on to medical transition after childhood?

Who’s recruiting? (Hint: no one.) Time to get started!

The testosterone guinea pigs aren’t being recruited

After reading a bunch of medical horror stories resulting from the anabolic steroid (aka testosterone) doping of East German female athletes in the 1970s-80s, I scoured the web for solid information about testosterone’s effects on FTMs today. I found very sparse published research. There is one meta-analysis of 16 studies looking at 651 FTMs for cardiovascular risks (link below) that concludes:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03632.x/abstract

Very low quality evidence, downgraded due to methodological limitations of included studies, imprecision and heterogeneity, suggests that cross‐sex hormone therapies increase serum triglycerides in MF and FM and have a trivial effect on HDL‐cholesterol and systolic blood pressure in FM. Data about patient important outcomes are sparse and inconclusive.

[for the non-scientists reading this, it means the few studies that even qualified for the meta-analysis were fatally flawed]

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Ok then, I thought. Given the lack of published evidence, obviously FTMs are now being actively recruited into research studies looking at the physiological effects of “T” – right? This is a giant research need. What with the huge increase in women transitioning, there should be plenty of subjects out there.

The go-to place to find active, world-wide research studies is:

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/home

All you have to do is enter your search terms/keywords. As you can imagine, search terms like “prostate cancer” return thousands of results. I figured there should be a least a few dozen on testosterone’s effect on transitioning women.

I spent 45 minutes entering every conceivable combination of search terms, including: transgender testosterone, FTM testosterone, female-to-male testosterone, transsexual testosterone. I found one German study,  “Observational Study on Metabolism and Psychopathology in Transsexual Patients,” which should be a very interesting one to read once results are published, but it’s not about health effects of testosterone.

Apart from that? I found five. Not a single one was looking at possible adverse effects of testosterone. There is some basic science looking at testosterone and serotonin transporters, but nothing, nothing about T’s health effects.

Try searching clinicaltrials.gov yourself. See if you have better luck than I did ferreting out any significant research on this mass, uncontrolled chemical/pharmaceutical experiment currently being trialed on young women. I’ll be interested in hearing about any studies.

Meanwhile,  I guess the guinea pigs have to just keep on keeping on.

Jackie wants evidence

But Jackie will no doubt be demonized as a transphobe.

http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/01/transgender-teenagers-medical-transition

Breast binders are a common early step for females transitioning to male, but they come with health risks.

Dr. Ralph Vetters, who treats transgender teens at the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center in Boston, says binders make breathing more difficult, increase the risk for lung infections and, “by compressing the breasts, they can cause a sort of fibrosis. Scars may be a word for it. It hurts.”

‘Looking For Certainty Where It Doesn’t Exist’

What feels like a sudden burst of interest in transgender medical treatment leaves many parents dazed and confused. 

“I don’t know if I’m just being the ignorant mother who’s saying, ‘Dammit, not my kid,’ ” Jackie says, slapping her leg. “I’m delighted for Nate to be a boy if we’re sure. But I’m totally torn about it.”

Jackie wants evidence, some research that will tell her what Nate’s life and health might look like in 20 years.

So much has changed in my life since I was a teenager,” says Nate’s dad, Tom. “I never wanted to have kids. I didn’t even think I wanted to get married.”

So how, Tom wonders, can Nate be sure he won’t regret beginning testosterone as a teenager? 

Within months of starting weekly shots or a daily cream, Nate’s vocal cords would get longer and thicker, giving him a deeper voice. He would see new facial and body hair, all permanent changes. And the increased testosterone in Nate’s body might make him infertile.

Even if you stop taking it, there are things that don’t change,” Tom says, throwing up his hands. “I also don’t think they know everything they think they know about hormones and how they affect bodies — and will these kids all develop cancer?”

There is no indication that long-term hormone use increases the risk of cancer for transgender men or women, but there’s very little rigorous research. However, transgender men and women do face an increased risk of heart disease, Vetters says.

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The MDs quoted in this surprisingly skeptical piece (about a year old) from WBUR Boston–docs who have been in the trenches with kids and teens who have gender dysphoria–have taken LOTS of heat recently;  Zucker and Drescher in particular have been demonized by transactivists.  And I wonder how much hate Nate’s parents have absorbed.

Honeymoon’s over: the truth about transition

I have just received the go-ahead from this blog’s author, truth-about-transition, to link to it. Why did I ask permission? This is Tumblr, after all. Reblogging and linking are our bread-and-butter.

But the material collected here is sensitive. It is a catalog of reblogs, of FTMs discussing–sometimes agonizing over–problems they are encountering with their transition. Some are celebrating various aspects of their transition.

These folks–some, but not all of whom are hurting–aren’t the enemy. Please don’t hate on them.   truth-about-transition acknowledged that they would like the extra traffic my reblog might bring, and it is important stuff they are bringing to light.

I struggle sometimes with what to post and not post. In many ways, I subscribe to the belief that, if you post publicly on the Internet, you’ve given tacit approval to share what you posted.

But these are kids, at least some of them. And of course, that’s what my blog is all about: what is happening to kids.

Thanks in advance for being respectful. But feel free to reblog or otherwise share a link to this important site.

Research evidence: most gender dysphoric children grow up to be gay or lesbian

(If they aren’t railroaded into “transition,” that is):

anonymous asked:

Hi, would you be able to give a link to resources/studies that say that a significant proportion of children who experience gender dysphoria / think they are the other sex / however you want to word it end up being okay with their biosex and turn out lesbian, gay or bisexual as they enter their teens and/or adulthood? I’ve always pondered on whether that would be the case with children who are so quickly assigned a trans identity, so it would be really interesting to see some research on it!