“Reality-departed activists have destabilized common sense”

It’s no secret that the left wing media is AWOL on the trans kid issue. Used to be, investigative journalism and probing inquiry were the purview of liberals. Now it seems the bulk of critical thinking on the trans’ing of children is emanating from the conservative press. Too often, right-wing peak trans stories are tainted with homophobia. But not this piece.

This article is too good not to share with you, even if its two female authors, Joy Pullmann and Bre Payton, are writing for the right-of-center Federalist.  Along with an incisive attack on the trans kid craze, these women tell us how they, as girls, also experienced what would now almost certainly be diagnosed as “gender dysphoria.”  But they are grateful to have grown up in a time when parents still operated with a modicum of common sense and sanity. Read the whole thing for a mammoth reality check. I ain’t shooting the messengers on this one. I’m getting pretty tired of waiting for truth-tellers on “my side” to show up.

…What has been confusing…has been to read about other clueless parents having their children injected with opposite-sex hormones and bodily cut and pasted at very young ages. It’s insane that nobody calls this child abuse. It’s not innocent but very dangerous and horrifyingly permanent alteration that a young child, who should be able to depend on his parents for protection and sanity, cannot possibly evaluate rationally or fully informed.

…Buzzfeed is among the many who gush rather than call Child Protective Services when learning about such incidents. It recently posted the video of a young boy in a ponytail getting his feminizing hormone treatments from the hands of his eerily excited mother.

Interestingly, the 14-year-old-boy didn’t get think he should become a girl until he watched YouTube videos of another teen boy who had transitioned to female and is now known as Jazz Jennings. His mother described coming across Jennings’ videos and realizing that her son, Corey, should undergo hormone therapy…

…We as a society need to be careful what we’re encouraging, especially when it could have disastrous consequences for vulnerable young people whose brains are not physically or experientially developed enough to make irreversible decisions such as “Should I cut off my penis and take cross-sex hormones?” People need to hear reasons why discomfort with one’s body is not a signal to mutilate it. In fact, anger and confusion about one’s body is a totally normal part of adolescence that most people outgrow.

Around my eighth birthday, I (Bre) remember asking my parents why I had been born a girl instead of a boy. Many of my friends at the time were boys and liked to play with sticks and climb trees, which I enjoyed much more than the games my girl friends would play. Boys seemed like they got to have all the fun, whereas girls only had childbirth and menstruation to look forward to.

My parents encouraged me in my efforts to find the answers to my questions, but instead of filling my head with the notion that I could be whoever I wanted, they gave me realistic answers. I was a girl because I had been born that way, they said, and nothing I could do would ever change that. Their answers helped me to embrace who I am.That period of questioning everything—including my gender—helped me to better understand myself and how I fit into the world. I am now happily settled into my skin and am grateful that my parents gave me realistic answers instead of fueling my childlike gender fantasies with hormones.

…Rigid stereotyping can cause problems as well. When I’m successful at remembering that ‘womanhood’ does not equal ‘loves princesses, gossips, cries, emotional-not-intellectual’ I’m a lot happier about being a woman. The main reasons I wanted to be a boy (and, occasionally, want to be a man) have to do with my desires to be smart, strong (physically), independent, intellectual, authoritative, courageous, and athletic. And my desires not to be petty, gossipy, overly obsessed with my looks, flaky, emotional-not-rational, and crying all the time.

…Rather than fill his head with untrue and unrealistic ambitions, his mother should kindly tell him what Bre’s did: that he will always be a boy because he was born that way. A child’s feelings and perceptions change constantly, but puberty-blocking hormones have permanent implications for the body and psyche. Cementing a child to feelings that don’t accord with reality is cruel and damaging.

Guiding our children along the path that reflects rather than conflicts with reality is the best way we can prepare them for adulthood. Giving them realistic answers isn’t cruel, it’s kind, and saves them a lot of unnecessary hurt, pain, and effort. Parents should be parents. They should answer their children’s questions with wisdom and temperance.

…Instead, common sense has gone out the window because a small subsection of vocal but reality-departed activists has destabilized common sense, a common understanding and common knowledge of truth.

Typical example of why so many parents are cowed into submission by trans activists

You say your son is FTM? I sincerely hope for his sake you will learn to understand him for who he is. I know you don’t want to hear this, but if you continue to see him as a gender he is not, you will ruin the relationship between you and him. Not because of doctors, not because of our culture, not because of anything else but the fact that he is a man, and one day he won’t be able to pretend to be your daughter anymore. 41% of trans people commit suicide because they can’t live out their lives in this kind of society. Do you really want to be apart of oppression that drives them to such an extreme option?

This comment, submitted to my blog by “Ashley,” has it all: Count ’em–ten male pronouns/nouns, the faux-concern about the parent-child relationship, the shaming of the clueless mother, the dire warning of future consequences–culminating, of course, in the threat of suicide.

Let me break it down for you, “Ashley,” and all the other Internet parenting experts who bludgeon us with your boring genderist propaganda.

You, along with the rest of the tiresome transition-pushing scolds, presume to know all about the home and family life of a complete stranger, based on my blog’s tag line: “Lefty, gender-critical mom of a teen would-be FTM.” You know fuck all about my daughter and where she and the rest of the family are in this journey. Of course, this is what all the hateful commenters do (and Ashley is less hateful than most–none of whom I will publish, ever). They jump to the conclusion, just like the gender doctors,  psychologists, “journalists,” and the rest of the gender-enablers, that my daughter is “a man.” This crap would be laughable if it weren’t so incredibly destructive and crazy-making for so many parents.

Right: MY daughter, who I pretended to give birth to, raised, and nurtured, whom I have lived with all these years, is a man. Because “Ashley” believes she is.  Because the Ashleys of the world say so.

Oh, and the Ashleys of the world pretend to be so concerned about my child and my relationship with her! They think we parents who contribute to this blog (which obviously “Ashley” has not bothered to read) are dumb as rocks, a pack of dull-witted bigots, thwarting our daughters’ true selves just for the hell of it, oblivious to the wise counsel of the Trans Borg that we risk “ruining our relationships” unless we “learn to understand” that they are really men. Nothing to do with the “doctors,” the “culture,” or the Internet, or the lack of role models for gender nonconforming girls who might actually deserve some other option besides crushing or slicing off their breasts and poisoning themselves with hormones. No, these girls are MEN, by god!

And the suicide card, played so predictably. The ultimate threat that has frightened so many otherwise caring and thoughtful parents into rushing their kids to the “gender therapist” to start hormones–as if there is a shred of evidence that testosterone shots have been proven to prevent suicide.

No, “Ashley,” 41% of trans people do not commit suicide.  Do “gender nonconforming” people have a higher rate of suicidal ideation (which is where the 41% figure came from)? You bet. Why is that? Is it because their parents won’t use “preferred pronouns?” Is it because they weren’t allowed to inject hormones? Is it because mean mom or dad still stupidly believes their girl child is their daughter? Or could it be because these girls live in a place and time where not fitting into a gender stereotype is a stressful and demeaning experience? Is it because of the pressure brought to bear on them to “identify” as something other than a teen girl–as “genderqueer,” “bigender,” “gender fluid,” “agender,” “panssexual” or even just “cis,” which is boring as hell and not as exciting as some “trans” kid with his own TV show. Is it because their parents are homophobic? Is it because some of these girls have underlying mental issues–depression, anxiety, autism? Which is it, “Ashley?” You’re the expert, aren’t you? You didn’t just pull that 41% out of your ass, did you, having not even read the flawed survey study that generated the 41% number?

Tell you what, “Ashley.” Why don’t you mind your own cyber-business and leave me and the other parents on this blog to the hard work of raising our kids with love and intelligence? There seem to be hundreds of you with too much time on your hands, feigning concern about the children of strangers. And with the hours you free up, maybe spend a little time educating yourself about child and adolescent development, historical medical fads, and the dubious history of “transgenderism.” Oh, and while you’re at it, I invite you to read more of my blog, and particularly the comments written by the parents you and your ilk love to demean. You just might learn something new from people who dare to think for themselves.

Plastic surgeons like Dr. Curtis Crane see new bonanza in youthful transgender operations

In modern Western history, there is no prior precedent for adults publicly advocating for minors under the age of 18 to undergo major, elective surgeries on healthy tissue. Surgeons don’t tout breast augmentation or reduction for minor girls.  Even adult women have a difficult time finding surgeons who will perform elective hysterectomies, since most doctors are reluctant to permanently deny future fertility to healthy women of reproductive age. After all, these women might change their minds later. (It never seems to enter anyone’s mind that a 20-year-old FTM might also change their mind but…never mind.)

In an earlier post, I wrote about the successful lobbying by TransActive of Portland, Oregon, along with their enablers and allies, to lower the age at which parental consent is required for these permanent procedures in the state of Oregon. The Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s taxpayer-funded Medicaid equivalent, now also covers transition services, thanks to lobbyists like Jenn Burleton. TransActive transition-promoters were also overjoyed that there is now no longer a LOWER age limit for “gender confirmation surgery” WITH parental consent.

The demand for early access to surgery is growing, and there are surgeons happy to profit from this trend.

One surgeon whose name I’ve seen mentioned over and over again on FTM sites is Dr. Curtis Crane in San Francisco.  He does advertise the fact that he has performed plenty of mastectomies on minors.

crane under 18s

Generally speaking, Dr. Crane appears to have an “anything goes” approach to surgery, if discussions between gender specialists on the WPATH public Facebook page are any indication. According to one satisfied patient, Crane is happy to provide his clients with any potpourri of surgeries they desire, regardless of “identity”:

Dr. Crane WPATH page

Dr. Crane practices in California, so he can’t yet offer these surgeries to 15-year-old California residents over the objections of “unsupportive” parents like doctors can in Oregon.  For Oregon teens, I’ve seen many recommendations lauding Dr. Juliana Hansen and Dr. Jennifer Murphy, both of whom offer mastectomies for “gender reassignment” at the Oregon Health Sciences University plastic surgery clinic in Portland.  Hansen and Murphy, both with training in breast reconstruction, have undoubtedly parlayed their prior clinical experience with treating breast cancer patients, who had to have breasts removed due to an actual medical emergency.

But of course, in several states, lobbyists have managed to convince lawmakers that these surgeries are medically necessary, and that insurers must include them in their policies. Given that the AMA, the American Psychiatric Association, and WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) have all jumped on board with the idea that transition procedures are a matter of medical necessity, insurers can’t be far behind. In fact, just a few days ago, this article reported that over 400 US companies include gender reassignment in their company insurance policies, up from only 49 in 2009. For policies in the state of Oregon, these companies would presumably have to offer SRS to 15-year-old patients, whether their parents approved or not.

Are there any providers who see a problem with permanent surgical interventions for young people? At least two, Dr. Charles Garramone, who heads a clinic in Florida, and Dr. Kathy Rumer in Philadelphia, talked good sense in an interview in the New Yorker magazine in 2013.

Charles Garramone, a plastic surgeon in the Fort Lauderdale area, will not perform sex-reassignment operations on minors, because, he says,  “patients need to have a mature outlook in terms of being able to really understand the irreversibility of this surgery.” In addition, Garramone thinks that the skeletal structure underlying the chest of a sixteen-year-old may change enough over time so that a second surgery will be required.

Kathy Rumer, a plastic surgeon outside of Philadelphia who has a large transgender practice, also declines to perform reassignment surgery on minors. “I have had parents plead with me,” she says. “And I can feel for them. But I don’t want someone coming back to me when they are twenty-five saying, ‘I didn’t really want this. It was my parents.’ Adolescents are really in flux. I wouldn’t want to make a permanent change  based on that stage of life, which can be difficult, no matter what you’re going through.”

It’s hard to understand how any parent of a teen could “plead” with a surgeon to irrevocably alter the body of their child, but as we have seen recently, there seem to be an awful lot of parents who want to hop on the transition bandwagon with their offspring as quickly as they possibly can.

And when it comes to top surgery, with online role models like this, an eager teen might just see any resulting scars as a super cool body modification to show off to friends. Hey, scars are sexy.

“I have lots of scars, all over my body, but my top surgery scars are my favorite. They’re this warm, gentle reminder of how hard I’ve worked to be me. They represent so much fucking work. They’re my ultimate love note.”

top surgery scars