Activist-clinicians tout “cultural humility” & surgery-on-demand for “nonbinaries” & “genderfluids”

Update Dec. 31, 2015: Please see here for instructions on how to submit comments to the World Health Organization (WHO) on their proposed new diagnosis code “Gender Incongruence” and “Gender Incongruence of Childhood.” The public comment period will end soon, so time is of the essence.

A funny thing happened to me recently as I was trudging down yet another Got-Dysphoria?-Must-Transition-or Die rabbit hole.

I came to the realization that those of us who are wringing our hands over the rush to diagnose dysphoric children as trans are way, way behind the curve. That battle has mostly been won (and not in our favor).

Trans activists and “gender specialists” have moved on. Now, they are advocating for fully “depathologizing” transgender, yet at the same time, normalizing the idea that even part-time demiboys, “gender fluids,” and other assorted “nonbinaries,” aka “NBs” (the catchall term for anyone who doesn’t fall neatly into the trans man or trans woman box) deserve hormones and surgeries on demand— fully paid for by insurers.

It’s a neat trick they’re trying to accomplish: convince the public that being on the “trans spectrum” is normal, just like being gay or lesbian. Yet, paradoxically, extreme treatment is still medically necessary for some. How does that work?

As they have been all along, trans activists are riding the gay and lesbian liberation movement coattails to further their agenda. Once classified as a psychiatric disorder, homosexuality is now considered normal; it was removed from the DSM (the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in 1973. In other words, being gay or lesbian has long been depathologized—in my view, a very good thing.

Now trans activists are pushing for the same thing for transgender. In the DSM-IV, “gender identity disorder” (GID) was the label for what ailed a person who wasn’t happy with their biological sex. That was replaced by  gender dysphoria in the DSM-V. No longer a “disorder,” it was the name for the feeling of discomfort or distress with one’s sex.

The next step?  Activists and gender specialists (I’m starting not to see a lot of difference between the two) want to get rid of the idea of distress or dysphoria as a prerequisite for “transition.” The new term they’re after is “gender incongruence:” a mismatch between one’s idea of gender and one’s actual biological sex. The talk amongst activists and clinicians is that there is no disorder, dysphoria, or distress of any kind necessary to obtain services. “Gender incongruence” is a normal variation in human experience.  But you still need some code to be in the DSM, because–reimbursement. You know, billing.

Funny: When homosexuality was depathologized, the need for billing and treatment for that former “disorder” disappeared entirely.

(Note: The screen capture below was taken from a 9/24/15 post on the WPATH page which, oddly, has since been removed. )

wpath gender incongruence

But wait: How can something that is normal still require treatment? Major, possibly lifelong, medical procedures and drugs?

Let’s hear from one activist-clinician who can explain this a whole lot better than I can. Because it turns out, in certain places, this depathologized-yet-highly-medicalized normal variation is already being implemented as a matter of policy, and fully paid for by the taxpayer. And not only that: you don’t even have to have full time “incongruence” to get your breasts or penis lopped off, on demand. You get it just because you say you need it. And if your gender clinic operates under the increasingly common “informed consent” model,  no psychologist or psychiatrist is going to stand in your way. You, and only you, will have the right to diagnose yourself as needing the wallet-busting fully funded services of plastic surgeons and endocrinologists.

Dan Karasic, MD, is a psychiatrist affiliated with the San Francisco Center for Excellence in Transgender Health. He also is a key player in WPATH and one of several activists and clinicians crafting revisions to the DSM and the WPATH Standards of Care (SOC).

Karasic is quite active on the WPATH public Facebook page, frequently advocating for depathologization and greater access to surgery and hormones for those on the “gender spectrum.” [Please note: The WPATH Facebook page is viewable by the public, so all the information revealed in the screenshots below, as of this writing, is a click away.]

As Dr. Karasic says here, the San Francisco Department of Public Health will fully fund surgeries for even “nonbinary” folks:

WPATH Karasic cultural humilty and SFDPH cropped

Lest any wayward clinician have questions about the wisdom of all this, doubts are no longer acceptable. Acceptance and understanding are not enough in San Francisco. One must have humility. And that extends to “nonbinaries.” Only they/them know. They/them get to decide. Not you, with your outmoded and quaint “clinical judgment.” (Question: If you’re nonbinary, what would you be transitioning to? Oops, sorry. Humility lapse here.)

There are several members on the WPATH Facebook page who agree that any skeptical doctors (such as, evidently, some at San Francisco General Hospital–SFGH) need to be brought firmly into line, and that nonbinaries should get their top surgery too. 

WPATH top surgery for non binaries

Are nonbinaries only receiving surgeries and hormones in cutting-edge San Francisco? Apparently not. In March of this year, WBUR Boston touted reported on medical treatments for nonbinaries on the US East Coast in Not Male Or Female: Molding Bodies To Fit A Genderfluid Identity. 

Jones is part of a growing group of young adults who are genderfluid and are using hormone therapy and surgery to create bodies that matches this identity.

“It’s molding my body to fit my mind, physically changing myself so that I feel more comfortable as a person,” said Dale Jackson, a 33-year-old author who lives in Atlanta. Jackson takes a low dose of testosterone for two reasons. First, because he’s worried that a full dose would exacerbate his anxiety. And second, because a half dose helps him moderate the effects.

I like the idea of being in the middle,” Jackson said. “This allows me to explore my masculine side, but I don’t want to push it too far.” Jackson does not want a big bushy beard or arms so hairy “that gorillas were looking at me like, is that our cousin?”

Comfort, exploration, wants, not wants–what’s not to like? And it’s certainly important to calibrate the testosterone dosage so as not to increase pre-existing anxiety.

Both Jones and Jackson are under the care of physicians who are helping them pursue a more gender neutral body. But there are no guidelines. So far, in the emerging world of transgender medicine, protocols assume that patients want to end up on one end of the spectrum or the other, male or female, says Dr. Tim Cavanaugh, who runs the transgender health program at Fenway Health.

An estimated 100 to 150 of Fenways Health’s 1,500 transgender patients are genderfluid. Most of the genderfluid patients are transitioning from female towards male. So how do doctors know how much testosterone will produce the effects these patients are looking for?

To a certain extent we’re making it up, but I’d like to think of it more as finessing the regimens that we have based on the individual person’s desires and needs,” Cavanaugh said.

Ten percent of your caseload is “genderfluids” who are trying to “mold” their bodies to be more “gender neutral.” And most of them are female. (Wouldn’t a paragraph asking why that is be of value here? Silly me. That’s old school journalism.)

“There are no guidelines”—yet. And if you’re genderfluid, you are transitioning “towards” the opposite sex (even though, presumably, if you’re “fluid” you’re already somewhere in between, but the logic of gender identity is not…logical).

…some genderfluid patients say they cannot find peace without medical intervention.

“I had an incredible amount of dysphoria around my chest, it was consuming. I got to the point where in order for me to thrive and to do the work I wanted to be able to do and just live my life, I needed to have surgery,” said Taan Shapiro, a 33-year-old a teacher and parent in Boston who had surgery to create a flatter, more masculine looking chest.

Shapiro, who uses the pronouns they and them, says some strangers assume they are a teenage boy, others that Shapiro is female. Shapiro is not planning any more surgery or hormone therapy.

“Where I am is where I’m at and I feel good about myself,” Shapiro said, “[in a place] somewhere between male and female.”

This sounds an awful lot like elective surgery. People get procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction, face lifts, tummy tucks, to “feel more comfortable.” Someone might even say they need a taxpayer-funded nose job to “thrive” and just “live their life.” That the “incredible amount of dysphoria” they experience because of their big nose is all consuming. (Likely the late Michael Jackson would have agreed.)

To be fair, Dr. Cavanaugh does voice a few words of doubt about all that money he’s making the wisdom of medical treatment for nonbinaries:

If gender is a product of social construction, then using medicine to fix every patient’s discomfort may not be the best long term solution, Cavanaugh says.

“I hope we are headed to a place where we recognize that gender is not one thing or the other, not male or female, and that culturally we can become more comfortable with that idea,” Cavanaugh said. “Hormones and surgery are always going to be options for people, but I really hope that we won’t feel compelled to use them as much as we do now.”

Hm. I wonder what other means there might be to address people’s discomfort with a socially constructed gender identity?

The WBUR article was discussed on the WPATH Facebook page, and some members were not pleased with this meek bit of dissension in the ranks: the medical model is the way to go!

WPATH nonbinaries surgery critique wbur

So there you have it.  It’s “super problematic” for Dr. Cavanaugh to suggest that some “nonbinaries” (i.e, people without rigid gender-stereotyped personalities) aren’t going to be served by the “medical model.”

How will activist-clinicians continue to walk the delicate line between normalization/depathologizing the “trans spectrum” while still hoodwinking encouraging the taxpayer to pay for expensive plastic surgeries and long-term hormone treatment? Stay tuned!

For now, there’s lots more to read in this thread on the WPATH Facebook page. Rest assured that the activist-clinicians are hard at work to make sure insurers are on board with any and all treatment, on demand, for transmasculine, transfeminine, genderfluid, and nonbinary folks. After all, gold-plated body modification is not just for the garden variety, binary transgender man or woman. That is so 2013.

But sarcasm aside (for now), if these activists and clinicians are really serious about depathologizing? Here’s what they’d do:

Celebrate gender nonconformity. Teach people to respect and take care of their bodies, just as they are.  Work to build self esteem in teens, and mentor them to know that their bodies, the product of millions of years of evolution, are good and whole, and that there is no need to cut or drug themselves to be “comfortable” or to fit anyone’s idea of male or female. Develop therapies that help people realize their bodies and brains are not two disconnected units, but indivisible, complete,  and right. Encourage kids to dress, think, and pursue interests as they like. Celebrate uniqueness and diversity in men and women.

I realize my prescription for truly depathologizing gender nonconformity might put a few people out of work. But our kids are worth it. Aren’t they?

63 thoughts on “Activist-clinicians tout “cultural humility” & surgery-on-demand for “nonbinaries” & “genderfluids”

  1. It seems to be that this is a transgender activist’s “have our cake and eat it too” situation. If a person’s gender expression not classified as a gender “disorder” (but is reclassified as natural expression of gender on a spectrum of possibilities) then, it makes sense that surgeries would be elective and should be pursued by those who desire surgery when they are mature adults. (Similar to breast implants or rhinoplasty, eye-lid revisions etc.) I don’t see why insurance should pay for elective surgeries.

    I also think that people should be able to choose these elective surgeries in their adulthood if they are fully informed and capable of comprehending the risks through legal consent.

    The hormone treatments remain a more complicated issue, as the medical community needs to determine where the “cause no harm” line is crossed (even with adults.)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I share your concern about this whole issue. I have been out for 23 years and have always been a 100% trans rights supporter without really knowing much about it. Starting my own website where I really just wanted to focus on same sex relationship issues caused me to observe things I think are in fact harmful about trans activism to the lesbian community. The main one for me initially was the gas lighting and shaming campaign that has been going on in the queer community against lesbians (especially youth) that aren’t interested in having sex with people with penises or even surgically created vaginas. Now I am very concerned about the huge upswing in females presenting to gender identity clinics. I starting researching this confident in my ability to discern right and wrong in these situations. I found no clear answer. There seems to be no study showing hormone blockers don’t actually turn potential desisters into persisters. There are no studies showing that socially transitioning a 5 year old won’t turn a potential desister into a persister. There are no studies that disprove the trend in trans cheerleading and online culture won’t influence young potential desisters to become persisters.

    I think I am less philosophically opposed to transitioning youth then you may be. But I want hard science that they aren’t harming other groups like gay/lesbian and other GNC youth in the process and I am not finding it. I have been contacting these clinics directly. The doctors and psychologists seem to think it’s great kids have all these options now and I believe they don’t truly absorb how potentially harmful to the lesbian and gay community this could be.

    Your website has been a great resource. But I find your connections to what would be called “TERF” sites to be problematic in dealing with this issue and possibly harmful to this cause. These communities are currently the only ones that care about this issue so I also see the need to work with them. And trust me I understand that TERF is a stupidly overused slur. But some of these sites use cruel and mocking language and promote pretty extreme bathroom panic. They constantly post articles about the craziest of the crazy trans people which helps to fuel hatred in my opinion. All of this is counter to who I at least try to be and am thus in a dilemma about how to network over this very important issue. I am exclusively interested in scientific study and I’m not that interested in gender philosophy. If transing kids saves more lives even at the expense of a small number of lesbians I may have to philosophically accept it as much as I hate to.

    The pushback on this uncritical trans cheerleading needs to be much more organized than it is now. It also needs to see the light of day outside of gender critical websites as much as possible and that will take strategizing. It also needs to be in my opinion completely science based with as little rhetoric as possible and incorporating people from diverse backgrounds in and out of the medical and psychological communites. No one in the mainstream liberal media gives a s*** about rad fem philosophy and they won’t be swayed by those arguments. That doesn’t necessarily exclude talking about homophobia and misogyny but the arguments need to be presented carefully or the truth is they will be written off as being from a bunch of “angry dykes” (not my view but this is the way the world is).

    I am continuing to look at this issue to determine if a well organized watchdog group needs to be created. I know you have a website set up for parents of “trans” youth. I honestly will do almost anything to help you I can. If you or anyone else willing to be objective about this issue needs any support please contact me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment. Before I started blogging, I was really just looking for support and advice, and I was incredibly surprised at not being able to find one parent in my predicament with a blog or a website. I saw a (very) few comments on news articles by worried parents, but I had no way to contact them. As far as I know, this is still the only place on the web for skeptical parents. The site Mumsnet has had some discussions that include “gender critical” mothers, but apart from that–nothing. As you point out, the only writers who seem interested in investigating the negative side of this issue are “radfems” (and a few conservative sites, which also tend to be extremely anti-gay).

      It’s ironic, because the point of view I have on all this is what I’d call plain old common sense, informed by critical thinking and science. While I consider myself a feminist, I don’t think my views on this are especially radical, although in 2015, common sense seems to now be synonymous with “radical feminism.”

      My blogroll consists of sites that would likely be classified by some as radical feminist–because, as you said, only “radical feminists” are writing about it. Many of these blogs are extremely well written, and I owe a debt of gratitude to several for educating me about the damage done, particularly to lesbians. They also were a lifeline to me when I was numb with shock that my own child was turning away from herself as a formerly self-confident female.

      I would love to see a greater diversity of writers discussing these issues, not just from a feminist angle (although I agree with much of that angle), but from a rational, evidence-based perspective. If you can point me to some, please do. I have encouraged parents who contribute to this website to start their own, but most are so busy just keeping their heads above water that it’s not possible for them.

      My goal now, and from the start, has been to forge connections across the political spectrum. I really feel this is an issue where the commonalities outweigh the differences. Parents who are questioning this trend are trying to protect their kids, and no one is listening to them–on the contrary, they are being demonized. I think that’s a huge mistake that the gender specialists are making, because in most cases, parents actually have a pretty solid understanding of their own kids, and cutting them out of the diagnostic process makes zero sense. I’ve also now heard many stories from parents about the utter destruction of family systems resulting from kids “transitioning,” with parental love and wisdom being displaced by online strangers and gender specialists who are far too quick to “affirm” a kid’s pronouncement of being transgender.

      I know some “radfem” writers see men, as a class, as the enemy on the transgender issue. I don’t share that view. I have talked to several fathers and other male friends of mine who are just as horrified and dumbfounded by what is going on as I am. I think the real problem we are facing is liberals who slept through the early years, when the transgender movement hitched its wagon to the gay/lesbian movement. People weren’t paying attention, and that includes me. Now things seem to be out of control, but because most good liberals are supporters of gay and lesbian people, they don’t take the time to really examine how trans goals are simply not the same as for LGB (and in fact, in many ways, are diametrically opposed). One big reason I’m blogging is to hopefully get those well meaning liberals to start paying closer attention, vs. simply seeing transgender people as underdogs.

      I am prepared to say that there MIGHT be a very small number of ADULTS (ideally over the age of 25) for whom “transition” is necessary for a happy life. Emphasis on “very small.” But in general, the more I look into this issue, the more skeptical I become that there is any true basis for believing in a mismatch between body and mind that is best treated by surgeons and endocrinologists. I do believe that trans people should not be discriminated against when it comes to jobs, housing, and other situations. But the “bathroom issue” is fraught, because even if it is only a minority of MTFs who behave as predators, I do feel the civil rights of girls and women are being trampled upon in the rush to legislate the issue, and the interpretation of Title IX to include trans women is very troubling to me.

      Liked by 5 people

      • I’m not totally unconcerned about the bathroom issue. I want only people actually transitioning or transitioned and not gender queer Frank who is a man on weekdays but feels like a girl on the weekends in locker rooms for women.

        As far as the liberal cheerleading on all of this I have to say I found the link to the paper on “pathological altruism” in one of your other blog posts fascinating. I think there is a wider problem in far left liberalism which is why I call myself a centrist. Others call these people “regressive liberals.” People who are so liberal that they don’t actually stand up for liberalism or support some pet group at the harm of others. I put up a blog post about this about the Feminist Society and LGBT organizations at a University of London campus standing up for Islamic students that harassed and tried to no-platform an ex-muslim, female intellectual who never attacks all muslims. The Islamist students later had extremely homophobic twitter responses exposed and the group had hosted their own extremely anti-gay and anti-women’s rights groups on their campus. So we have a situation right now where far left lesbians on colleges are trashing feminists that are literally endangering their lives to decry misogyny and homophobia in Islamic countries. And they do this to create “safe space” on college campuses because Islamic “men of color” will have their feelings hurt if their culture is rationally criticized.

        I know it seems I am going off on a tangent but I am trying to point out I think there is a wider problem of “pathological altruism” in liberalism today in general. I don’t know if that is what is happening with transing kids but I do think it is oppressing free speech and thought around this whole issue. And I will give you another example here. I recently saw a tweet by a lesbian writer seeming to support this position laid out in this article that in my opinion is a rape apology piece. The author is a trans women who says heterosexual women have no right to feel they were sexually assaulted by someone who posed as a man and while penetrated her with a dildo. Even though the women was completely traumatized when she found out the perpetrator was female the author clearly states trans men are men, and thus a dildo is their penis, thus this women has no sexual assault case. I get a trans women writing this piece but a lesbian writer supporting this position?

        I will stop writing these long posts. I just wanted to point out I think we think in some similar ways about misplaced altruism.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I wonder if some of these new Title IX battles over bathroom access will be the turning point for some of the more mainstream news coverage.

        Title IX can’t be both for protection of and ensuring the equal rights of a biological sex class (female people) and protection of people based on self-proclaimed “gender identity.” When it comes to the bathroom/locker room access issue (as it is right now in school districts across the country) this becomes clear – you have girls (female kids) asking for protection on the one hand, and trans girls (male kids who proclaim a “female gender identity”) asking for access to that same space on the other, both trying to use the same law.

        Add to that, many of these school districts have suggested what many people have long taken to be the “common sense” solution, namely, offering up a gender-neutral single-occupancy bathroom (for any students to use!) and similarly a gender-neutral (optional for anyone to use) locker room, only to now be met by the trans activists insisting that this is not good enough, that the only solution that will do is to have the (biologically male) “female-identified” trans child using the official “girls’ facilities.”

        At that point it becomes clear that this is not just about “a place to pee in safety,” it’s about emotional validation and the trans child’s “right” to have the other students “see me as a regular girl” and whatever. At this point we have activists on social media writing about how the gender-neutral bathrooms are actively “transphobic” even.

        For what it’s worth, comments on some of those news articles are starting to catch on to this contradiction and be more critical – the more thoughtful comments even, not only the usual (and unhelpful) hate-filled screeds that are always there to some extent.

        Personally I always have to wonder a bit at the school bathroom and locker room articles, it would seem to me that if a kid is truly plugged into “the other sex” social circles, then surely they should have some cohort of friends of their desired destination sex who would socialize with them in the gender-neutral facilities, or “protect” them if they do get permitted to use the “sex I identify with” bathroom.

        But so often we don’t see that – particularly in the case of female children trying to transition to “boy” there are a lot of stories where the girl in question admits to being afraid to use the boys’ bathroom even if the permission is officially granted!
        So it’s clear to me that in fact peers DO NOT in fact “see them as the other sex” a lot of the time. Often with the girls (if you just read their public writings online) it becomes obvious that their social circle is mainly other girls who are similarly transitioning or wanting to transition, and in that setting they are comfortable being “male” or “presenting masculine” because there aren’t actual male kids in the circle.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I’m not a radical feminist – I’m not that well informed about feminism but in recent months have read a considerable amount about it and possibly my opinions are closest to cultural feminism, although I don’t resonate with all of cultural feminism’s views. I came across the trans phenomenon via pop TV, Jazz Jennings etc. To me it’s like hearing about a terrible illness epidemic at large, like polio or aids was for example, but instead of being presented as a tragedy, it’s being celebrated. And the issues with public toilets and changing rooms are concerning, to me, esp as trans has become such a large umbrella term now that any sexually predatory male could theoretically use it as his justification for entering female private spaces – as in, just slip on a wig, dress and heels and say you’re trans, equal rights will cover the rest.

      Liked by 5 people

    • I share your concerns. There is a TED talk by Dr. Norman Spack that is very interesting. He does not address the health risks of using horrnone blockers when youths would normally reach puberty. Spack instead focuses on a the idea that transition is a miracle cure for bullying an dysphoria. But i can’t help but wonder how many of these children will even live to be 30 before they begin facing bouts with rare cancers or succumb to preventable hormone induced illnesses. I also don’t see that living as a gender non-conforming kid would be much more difficult that living as a kid who begins hormone blockers an later endures surgeries and hormone therapies. (i speak as someone who has lives a radically gender non-conforming life from early childhood.) it seems to be that the side effects (some may involve extreme mood instability) of these drugs and painful surgeries with uncertain complications would make one’s teen years even more difficult to navigate. And then, what happens when the wrong kids are transitioned and later de-transition to face sterility and cross-sex characteristics that are difficult or impossible to reverse?

      Liked by 6 people

      • I’ll be blunt – Dr. Spack creeps me out big time. He talks about how if only they start the therapies young enough, the “girls” can turnout “totally passable!” and makes a big point about how some of his patients have managed to be beauty queens.

        I too have to wonder what sorts of complaints might happen in ten years or so, from people who have signed up for what amounts to endless medical treatment.

        Liked by 7 people

  3. How can insurance pay for these surgeries at $90,000 a pop when our citizens can not even get a pair of eyeglasses or a hearing aide paid for with insurance? People have many more basic health care needs, that are directly linked to being able to function (like being able to see and hear!) For the price of 1 surgery, 600 people could get eyeglasses at $150 each. This is cosmetic surgery and it should be paid for by the person who wants the surgery. These procedures are not necessary from the strictly medical viewpoint. Certainly, the ability to alter one’s body for a nonessential purpose– at someone else’s expense— is not a human right.

    Liked by 8 people

    • A very very good point! You mentioned glasses and hearing aids, good examples. But there are also life saving things that I strongly suspect people cannot get from the San Francisco Public Health Department. If they cannot get it from their insurance company. Things like: respirators, wheelchairs and scooters, and other breathing related stuff like a suction machine and vaporizers for people with asthma. Some people with asthma one of the things they need most? An air conditioner. To keep the pollen and humidity out. These are things (except for a wheelchair) that I just happen to have heard of. There are probably tons more. Public health departments do not normally provide anything to sick people. The public health department is supposed to prevent illness. The only thing they give you for free is vaccines. If it’s true that the San Francisco public health department is paying for any surgery let alone this elective kind, that is outrageous. It’s the city government that’s paid for with property taxes. Unless of course it’s only administered by the public health department and this actually paid for by some charity. But I mean holy crap this is really abnormal. Does the San Francisco public health department pay the cost for organ transplants too?

      Liked by 5 people

      • Let’s add dental care to the list! Even a routine checkup costs about a hundred dollars, and that’s only if the dentist doesn’t find anything wrong with your teeth. America’s high-poverty schools are filled with kids who have aching teeth, bleeding gums, and other dental problems that aren’t being addressed.

        Liked by 6 people

  4. There are so many complicated sub-issues involved in working to understand transgender philosophy and how it applies to one’s right of self-expression/self-identity and where it meets intersections where these rights cross into other people’s right to privacy, safety, and to retaining personal (even religious) perspectives on gender.

    Regarding bathrooms etc., it seems reasonable that if a person holds a criminally violent history, especially one that involves sexual violence and targets the opposite sex (statistically, this most often involves male violence directed at females) that this person would not qualify for gender reassignment and/or access to spaces where women and girls may be vulnerable (such a public restrooms.) Yet, there are people like Synthia Blast (who was convicted for her involvement in the rape, and disposal of Ebony William’s, age 13) and Michelle Kosilek (who murdered/strangled her wife Cheryl McCaul.) Both transwomen are receiving hormones (courtesy of the tax payers) and are fighting for the right to transfer to a women’s prison. Living in the men’s prison is dangerous for these transwomen (Synthia Blast has been in solitary confinement for many years because of violent attacks against her by male inmates and I am sure that even though Michelle Kosilk is over 6 feet, the situation is also unsafe.)

    I was shocked to hear that transwomen may proceed with transition even if they hold a criminal history of violence against women. What guidelines are being observed by Psychiatrist’s, gender therapists or Doctor’s in determining if a person with a criminal history of sexual violence is suitable to be using a bathroom with women and girls? Is this factor even considered?

    The irony, is that these transwomen are unwilling/unable to use the men’s room for fear of harassment or violent attack.

    However, transgender activists seem to be less focused on addressing male violence against them and instead keep the lens on women and girls who wish to retain some level of comfort in places like bathrooms and locker rooms. The transgender activist’s focus seems to be on securing an unlimited right to use bathrooms, locker rooms and the few remaining (if any spaces are left) where women who share a common history of girlhood, can share other’s company in private.

    Complicated issues arise also with athletics. A transwoman or girl may access and participate in women only teams and sports. This can become very complicated when height and muscularity play a major factor in athletic performance. Basketball and Boxing or Mixed Martial Arts (consider Fallon Fox, who was trained in the Military before transitioning to female) are sports where discrepancies in hieght, and bone structure (pelvis etc.) may create unfair advantages for transwomen. Transition does not completely change many physical traits like bone structure/density, height, or the quality of muscle (especially if the person lived as male for many years prior to transition.) Now, what happens with scholarship money or Title Nine funds that were originally intended to support natal girls and women?

    These issues can make one’s head spin, especially, if like me, a person wants to support everyone’s individual right to freedom and equality.

    Where does one person’s right, trample another person’s freedom?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Men also typically have greater VO2 max, compared to women of equal stature.

      Sports should be by native sex only, or the league can be co-ed. Trannies and intersex can compete against their own kind of join the co-ed leagues. We should not be redirecting Title IX monies intended for women and girls toward men in frocks.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Morales (Blast) has been in solitary confinement because he was a member of the Latin Kings and faces reprisal for that. The articles about him implicitly lie by leaving out that fact and allowing the reader to assume he’s been targeted for being trans. There has never been any indication that Robert Kosilek has faced harassment or violence in prison for his trans identity.

      And, yes, pedophiles, rapists, murders, and serial killers are transitioning in prison because trans activists have promoted transitioning as “necessary health care”, which turns transitioning into an Eighth Amendment issue. This is among the many reasons why trans ideology is harmful to women and children. They don’t care how we can be harmed by their ideology. The trans rights movement is a male supremacist movement.

      Liked by 7 people

    • Fertility treatments? Not even remotely analogous to a parent or gender specialist encouraging a young person to cut off healthy body parts because he or she doesn’t want to conform to regressive gender stereotypes. Or because they have an irrational (and it is irrational) hatred of their own body. If gender nonconformity is normal and healthy, which I believe it is, then it doesn’t require people to cut and drug themselves to live happily. Quite the opposite, in fact. I support gender nonconformity. I think it’s normal, just like being gay/lesbian is normal. What’s not normal is encouraging a dysphoric person to view themselves as an all-knowing brain sitting inside a faulty body. In any other context, that would be considered a form of mental “splitting” and dissociation: in other words, not mentally healthy.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Or, to take my devil’s advocate position even further … What about abortion? Pregnancy is ‘natural’ so do only ‘abnormal’, mentally unwell women want to kill foetuses?
        (I hope I make myself clear: I do not believe this for a second. I am only pointing out that there are many cases of perfectly sane, healthy people making drastic permanent alterations to their bodies.


      • If curiouser and curiouser just means having a baby, that’s ridiculous. If curiouser and curiouser means treatments for infertility then it is a medical condition, a boo-boo. But back to having babies: first off this isn’t a game. Where if you can think up one counterexample every fact that we know about the phenomenon in question, in this case sex change procedures, goes out the window. If we wish to consider having a baby to be a thing that both is normal and requires medical intervention that doesn’t somehow make the much more extreme interventions in transgender legitimate. The amount of medical things and invasiveness of them in a normal pregnancy is very low. There’s vitamins and there are prenatal checks. And yes the nifty ultrasound machine is used thus making it more expensive than before. There’s the amniocentesis test. But the ultrasounds and amnio are diagnostic procedures. You can hardly ‘charge them to the account of’ extreme intervention. Healthy people have diagnostic tests all the time. That’s how we find out they’re not sick. Then there’s the part when the baby comes out and again if it’s a normal birth the only intervention besides catching the baby and cutting the cord is pain medication. These are, compared to even moderately severe surgery like an appendectomy, extremely small beer. It’s a complete distortion of the medical procedures involved and especially the objectives of those procedures to compare having a baby with a normal pregnancy and birth to the wholly elective and horrible amputations involved in “sex change operations”.

        Then there’s the purpose of them. The purpose for all of the small beer medical things in a normal pregnancy is to produce a little person. The purpose of a sex change operation we are told is to achieve some psychological objective. And with the removing of psychiatrist/psychologist from the process we don’t even know if there’s a reason to believe it would achieve that psychological objective or indeed in any individual case what the psychological objective is. On top of that is the fact that it is simply not normal in medicine to do surgery to achieve a psychological objective. Which means there’s no track record of this or any other kind of surgery actually working to do that. since the diagnosis is wholly psychological there is also the very great danger that some of the people who will walk in and say hey give me that sex change operation will be people who are self-deluded about actually wanting it. The way people are self-deluded about things all the time. The problem with this is the nature of the treatments cannot be reversed. You can’t go back to how you were. Whereas with all kinds of drugs, think antidepressants, all you have to do is stop taking the drug and all of its effects go away. Most surgeries although you can’t reverse them are to do things like remove cancerous tissue. Or to put in a new hip joint. The decision to have them is based on a physical state of being that can be detected with diagnostic tools. None of that is true of transgender or any of these more bohemian variants that the people nonetheless bring in as justification for surgeries. This is all so far outside normal ethical and probably legal medical practice. Legal in the sense of the ethics rules in different states and provinces. Remember there’s no government entity that goes around and makes sure that doctors and hospitals are following the ethical rules in their state laws. It’s really weird that way.

        Anyway sorry to go on so long. A truly excellent post. And this is one of the most important issues in transgender, why are we letting them have surgeries including on the public dime if it’s not a medical condition?

        Liked by 5 people

      • To curiouser and curiouser, you are playing games with words. And trivializing this whole thing. Having an abortion is not “making a drastic permanent change your body”. None of the things that you dredging up were invented by obscure subcultures. None of them are cosmetic surgery.

        None of them have ever been used as a form of “gay cure”. You’re simply avoiding the actual specifics of what it is under discussion. Great way to win an argument. Pretend none of the facts exist.

        Also this is what Brits call whataboutery. It’s not a compliment.

        Liked by 9 people

      • This argument makes no sense at all. This is not a matter of what is “natural” and what is not, it is a matter of intentionally destroying healthy tissue and making a person unnecessarily dependent upon drugs and medical treatment for the rest of his or her life, placing them at increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, numerous types of infections, aids, as well as unnecessary social difficulties all for the sake of reifying the symptoms (dysphoria and dysmorphia) which are most certainly based on disordered thought (including dissociation from trauma, CSA, fetishism, and in some cases, autism or schizophrenia) which could be treated in a manner which improves mental health rather than detracting from the physical. In the case of children, it is allowing a child’s magical thinking to determine the entire course of their adult life, including the destruction of their ability to have children at all.

        Liked by 11 people

    • That answer doesn’t seem obvious at all. Most females don’t have any difficulty getting pregnant(aka, normal pregnancy), and a significant portion of them also don’t -need- medical procedures or drugs to give birth to a healthy child. It’s only a luxury that we try to optimize pregnancy rates and minimize child/mother mortality rates- which are still abnormal variations to childbirth, even if relatively common. None of that is, strictly speaking, necessary to produce a baby.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Some women have this experience – they get pregnant soon after becoming sexually active, they go through pregnancy and childbirth without any interaction with Western medicine, they breastfeed without any issues and they bear as many children ‘as nature intended’. But do you really want to oppose contraception, abortion, C-sections etc? They are drastic interventions. But women would probably still live ‘naturally’ without them. They would fulfil their biological destinies. Pity about the ones that are miserable and/or die. They at least haven’t altered their ‘ natural’ bodies.


      • To petuniacat, I don’t mean to be obscure or off topic. 4thWave has raised the question as to how something can be both ‘normal’ and health but still require medical treatment. But the thing is that lots of ‘natural’ biologically occurring things require medical treatment (and clearly abortions are life-altering for the foetus as well as often for the mother. It’s a rather emotional example but I was trying to make a point). I would posit that there’s no one on this thread who hasn’t altered their bodies voluntarily and permanently in some way (orthodontics, tattoos, tubal ligation etc etc etc). True, SRS is at the extreme end of things. But who exactly are we to draw the line, if someone who we don’t know has been assessed by a medical team as needing an operation?


      • You seem to have entirely missed the point of this post, if you actually read it: that this is elective surgery on demand, at taxpayer expense, and the activists think it should be granted free of charge to anyone with any self proclaimed “identity” whatsoever, whether they are distressed or not. That includes “nonbinaries” who just want to tinker with hormones and surgeries, like someone who gets repeated nose jobs. Or repeated breast augmentation, which is a far more accurate analogy than the one you keep trying to draw with your talk about abortions and reproduction.

        The “medical team” isn’t making an assessment of “need”; if you look at the screenshots in my post, you’ll see that providers are meant to go through “cultural humility” indoctrination, rubber stamping whatever their clients want, and effectively rendering any residual clinical judgment they might have obsolete.

        Look, if an adult wants to do this to themselves? They can pay for it themselves. But to the extent it’s being presented as healthy and affirming to gullible parents and young people, I take issue. And to the extent that these activist-clinicians want Jane and Joe Taxpayer to foot the bill, I object.

        Liked by 9 people

      • I believe that no fertility treatments of any sort should ever be paid for with tax payer money. Never under any circumstances. Being able to get pregnant and give birth does not cause direct harm to a female body except perhaps the mental stress some may experience. In those cases therapy should be covered. (remind you of something?) The world is overpopulated enough as it is and like someone said…there are more important things that should be covered that are not. Things that are actually vital to people being able to function. As a person who is now disabled in their 30’s due to inherited diseases and has undergone 3 major surgeries in the past 2 years I find it to be ridiculous and offensive that people would expect tax payers to pay for elective surgeries that are absolutely not necessary. And the argument that for some surgery is necessary because of supposed risk of suicide and negative effects on mental health, well that argument does not seem to hold water as its been shown that the suicide risk for post-op trans persons is sky high and a large number (very much downplayed by transactivists) eventually de-transition. And the fact that experts have stated clearly that surgery is not an effective treatment and that outcomes are poor. If this was a bodily disease and the supposed “treatment” had these strikes against it I can tell for certain no insurance company or government would pay for it.

        Liked by 5 people

      • As many people have told you, this isn’t an argument about what’s natural. That’s not my issue with transgenderism. If we really wanted to look back to “nature”- I wear glasses. Naturally, I should be nearly blind. I don’t oppose wearing them, however, nor even laser surgery to reshape the corneas(though not brave enough to try it myself). It is accepting a human-made adaptation that causes far greater good than harm.

        The same is true of contraception(for most people) and medically necessary c-sections. Abortion is a more difficult issue, but I don’t oppose it either. I don’t support fertility treatments of any kind, nor believe they should be funded by tax dollars, but that’s a completely unrelated issue that has nothing to do with the “naturalness” of it compared to other medical treatments. As someone else pointed out, you are playing games with words and comparing two different types of medical interventions that only superficially have anything to do with each other. It’s like saying ducks and feather boas are the same species, because they both have feathers.

        Transgenderism is, to me, a denial of the unity of mind, body, and spirit. It is a rejection of our god-given completeness and a sign of an underlying anxiety or mood disorder. It is also contrary to what I believe about feminism(along with the evidence supporting that those views are accurate). And yet, all of that I could overlook in supporting medical transition- if there was ANY evidence that it was providing more potential benefits than potential harms. There isn’t, especially when it comes to children. All the word games and irrelevant comparisons don’t change the facts.

        Liked by 4 people

      • This about taxpayers? Honestly I think the real issue here might be getting decent public health care. And having it freely available for everyone who needs it. But you guys don’t get to decide who is most in need. You just don’t.


      • No, who is deciding now is trans activists, enabled by gender specialists. Sorry if some of us don’t trust their judgment on what is and isn’t actually “health care.” Most of us are living in Western democracies where, you know, it’s nice to get buy-in from the citizenry on things, rather than simply ramming through major policies without any voter input. In the US, we have the right to be heard on major issues, and my blog is a place specifically for people to be heard and get information who aren’t willing to swallow whole the propaganda dished up every day by the prostrate media. I agree that everyone deserves “decent public health care.” But free elective surgeries for anyone who demands them, at their whim? Beg to differ. Especially when poor people can’t get dental care, eye care, and other actually medically necessary care.

        Liked by 10 people

      • I had fertility treatment, partly paid for by insurance and partly paid for by me and my spouse. Stuff that had an infinitesimal chance of happening from the treatment I had (it was insem, not IVF) happened, and … let us just say the ending to this episode was not at all pretty. I was fortunate to have lived through the aftermath, literally. 20 years later I’m still carrying some regret regarding all that. If it had worked, I’m sure I’d still be a fan. As it stands — infertility is a tough thing. To not be able to make your biology do what it’s ‘supposed’ to do is a tough thing. As a woman, let us just say that … the biological and social imperatives around childbearing are a thing, you know? (Turning yourself into the opposite sex is not a biological imperative — or, at least, I’ve not seen any research that makes me believe that to be the case.)

        I think people should pay for fertility treatment themselves if they want it. That’s not that same thing as trying to turn your body into something it wasn’t born to be.

        I’m a living example of the bad consequences of “expert” medical advice. I’m not the only one in my family, either. I’ve not walked away from the entire medical world (that’d be stupid) but you can bet that I view these people as human, and fallible, and susceptible to influence of various sorts. This experience colors my opinions about all kinds of medical interventions, and definitely about ‘experimental’ ones.

        The fact that the experimental nature of the trans* treatments, on kids and teens and on women of all ages, is just glossed over in all media coverage simply enrages me. The kids are a big experiment and the women, even adult women who are choosing transition, are likewise participating in a big experiment. If adults want to do such a thing, with such risky long-term possibilities, that’s their right. If I wanted liposuction and tats and a face lift, that’d be my right, too. That stuff might make me happier in some way, more “self actualized,” more fulfilled, more of a match in the mirror with what’s in my head.

        However, should somebody else really be required to PAY for my desires in this regard? Seriously?

        These people. Logic is completely gone. “We’re normal but we’re … in need of correction of this thing that is not a disease.” I can’t even get my mind around it at this point. I really think there is a strong strain of transhumanism starting to coalesce here. (Which has nothing to do with transgender but a lot to do with playing god with homo sapiens as a species in the name of ‘improvement.’)

        Liked by 6 people

      • It’s not really about tax money either, curiouser and curiouser. Bottom line, I believe in supporting policies that cause more good than harm. Medical transition is not such a policy.

        Liked by 7 people

      • To puzzled, in response to your long comment about your medical experiences. That was superb! You’re absolutely right to be skeptical about all medical things. Medicine. Is. Completely. Unregulated. There are little things that create the illusion of regulation. But there’s a whole policy discourse off in specialized literature about how to fix medicines unregulatedness and how to prevent medical mistakes that always points out that when bad things happen in the aviation world there are people with special skills who work for the government to go in and investigate the ass off of the thing. In medicine there’s nothing like that. People have been saying for 20 years that we should have something like that in medicine. And we should. It is super obvious. There are all kinds of other fixes too that could happen if only someone was actually in charge. I’m hoping eventually someone will be. and I am so sorry you had to go through that horribleness.


      • “This about taxpayers? Honestly I think the real issue here might be getting decent public health care. And having it freely available for everyone who needs it. But you guys don’t get to decide who is most in need. You just don’t.”

        Prove to me where any of us have ever been in a position to decide anything for anyone. None of us hold public office, or any other position of power to dictate anything. ALL people have a right to voice their opinion of where their taxdollars should go, including radical feminists.

        And do YOU apply this flippant paragraph to yourself as well? Neither do you get to decide who is most in need. So many people have to choose between eating, paying bills and having life saving medication to treat cancer and HIV.

        If you think plastic surgery should be covered without questions asked, then I guess all women get free boob jobs or vaginaplasty if they want it. I guess men should get free treatment for gynomastia and penis enlargements too. Let’s just let everyone with body dysphoria get free plastic surgery because we should just fix our bodies the way the Patriarchy wants us to, rather than just being ourselves. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it, CONFORMITY.

        Take a hike.

        Liked by 4 people

    • If women require treatment to get pregnant, stay pregnant or give birth safely, those are illness issues like any other illnesses of the body. Something of the body has become unhealthy in those situations. The trans phenomenon is not about illness of the body, so Curiouser and Curiouser I don’t think yours is a good anology. If you figure in contraception and abortion, well neither usually destroy someone’s ability to have children – they’re temporary interventions against fertility. And choosing not to breastfeed is a choice which doesn’t affect the ability to breastfeed. Also, if you’re assuming widespread agreement with fertility treatments and the medical management of pregnancy and childbirth and with abortion, here or in non cyber, that’s a huge assumption to make because many of us have reservations about them also I’m sure, going by my own social experience.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. This trend is getting more and more out of control! How can normal people seeing these stories in the news not become increasingly skeptical and disturbed by how many people are being transed, even with zero history of dysphoria and skipping the kind of really important step of years of therapy before even talking about drugs and surgery? My best friend and I definitely would’ve been victims of this movement had we grown up today instead of during the Eighties and Nineties, since we weren’t girly girls, were more stereotypically masculine than feminine, and could probably be accused of some sort of dysphoria due to our shame and secrecy surrounding our periods and how reluctant we were to starting wearing bras.

    I’m really hoping this transing trend is someday viewed like twilight sleep, lobotomies, and electroshock “therapy,” though those medical trends weren’t discontinued and seriously challenged until many people had become their victims. The kind of people who unquestioningly accept the idea that thousands of children and young people are trans are probably the same people who don’t see any problem with the ridiculously high, medically-unindicated C-section rate the U.S. currently has, and shout down anyone bringing up valid criticisms and concerns about its overuse.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. It just continues to blow my mind that there’s this attitude that blockers/hormones/surgeries are physically BENIGN … that they don’t entail long-term complications at all. The issues are barely mentioned, making it look like anyone who has doubts/concerns about the whole business is solely motivated by prejudice and ‘phobia.’ It’s like it’s a uniformly beneficial path with zero potential bad consequences. And that just flies in the face of evidence.

    Thirdwaytrans’ article on Social Justice and Gender Therapy ( is right on point, here, offering a great insider view. But I don’t know the way back from this crazytown. As a parent, I feel pretty helpless in the face of this widespread lunacy. What the heck is going to happen when my kid goes off to college and gets exposed to the ‘if you’re nonconforming you must be trans’ crowd, God only knows.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. WPATH and other academic trans activists met extensively in the past few years with the World Health Organization (WHO) to help WHO develop its International Classification of Diseases, version 11 (ICD-11), due out in 2017. The ICD series (most recently ICD-10 and ICD-9) are the global standard for disease classification, but perhaps more importantly the”bible” for disease billing and clinician re-imbursement.

    The trans activists were very successful in getting ICD-11’s draft language right in line with their de-pathologization, “incongruence” agenda. Every “stigmatizing” aspect of transgenderism (e.g. transvestic fetishism) has been re-classified and re-defined in happy, harmless, non-“sexual” ways. This of course extends to all pediatric and adolescent “gender incongruence.”

    Miraculously, although de-pathologized, everything trans can still generate billing!

    ANYWAY, the horse is almost out of the barn, and we are at a late stage of the game, but it ain’t over yet. WHO requested public COMMENTS on the *draft* ICD-11. Their web site is extremely pokey and difficult to navigate, but PLEASE everyone go there to add your comments! Many have written eloquently already. Quite a few trans activists and their supporters have also added their mistaken understandings, exaggerations and lies.

    Please see here for more background and details of how to proceed:

    Here is the site:

    As I say, it is a confusing site, but please everyone persevere and add your comments!

    Liked by 6 people

    • This is SUCH an important comment. Thank you, Awesome Cat. And the activist-clinicians aren’t stopping with that effort to change the ICD-11 codes. Just today, Dan Karasic (the clinician-activist I wrote about in this post) put out a call on Facebook, to lobby Medicare to cover any and all trans treatments, even laser hair removal, as “medically necessary” for gender dysphoria. Link below. You can bet that a natal female, bothered (or even “dysphoric??”) because of excess facial hair, would stand a bat’s chance in hell of convincing Medicare that electrolysis to remove that hair is “medically necessary.” Public comments will be solicited in the coming year on this, as well. US taxpayers–spread the word.

      Liked by 6 people

  8. 4thWaveNow is absolute correct that these current developments are absolutely critical, (and in many ways crushing) in that they will cement into unassailable “fact”, (read fiction), every single wish and fantasy of the “wanna-be women” men in dresses.

    On top of that the entire process for public comment is “fixed” and as crooked as Chicago politics. I went to what I believed to be the appropriate page for comment. I even followed AwesomeCat’s link after registering. I needed an “affiliation” to register and used NRA which actually worked. Unfortunately despite holding a Master’s in Ed. Psych., I was unable to find my way to a meaningful page. I ended up here:

    Perhaps someone can show me the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The contents of this post are particularly depressing so I thought I’d pop back with a tidbit of fun. Do folks know this Twitter account? They are “number of fluid” the way other people are gender fluid, viz are one person who ‘identifies’ as twins. It’s very funny. 😂😂😂

    Rad Twin ‏@twinnywinnies Dec 20
    Shut down all #number clinics which still use old-fashioned client-based psychotherapies instead of #TwinsSocialJusticeIdeology protocols

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Reading this post makes me more and more convinced that the horse is long gone from the barn, as I struggle to give my daughter an alternative, more commonsense view without alienating her. I too am one of those liberals who slept through the early start of the transgender push, but am now trying to fight against the tsunami. Fortunately, my daughter has two very strong lesbian role models in my sisters-in-law and their friends who show her how strong, confident and happy women can be. Frankly, I think they’d be quite surprised to know that my daughter thinks she might need to be a boy so that her love of wearing pants, loving science and math and sports and playing with boys is more in line with what society sees as boy behavior.

    It’s inescapable. Another well-meaning liberal friend posted this on Facebook: #6 How to embrace her gender identity. For someone like my daughter, this only serves to reinforce her idea that her body and brain don’t “match.”

    “From exposure to stars like Caitlyn Jenner and Miley Cyrus to Facebook’s 50-plus gender identification options, girls are learning about gender identity and fluidity at increasingly early ages, says Julie Mencher, a Massachusetts-based psychotherapist and educator who specializes in gender diversity and LGBT issues.

    The message they’re hearing is that gender is not simply male or female anymore. This increased attention to gender, says Mencher, “gives us the opportunity to teach [children] that there’s not just a spectrum of masculinity to femininity out there in the world, but inside each of us as well.”

    Mencher recommends parents use language that expands the gender binary beyond boy and girl to include identities like transgender, genderqueer, gender-fluid and gender-neutral. It’s also important to describe human characteristics and emotions not just in gender-based terms (see: girls are always emotional).

    Creating this kind of openness in your language and relationship will help a girl develop confidence in her own gender identity — no matter what that might be.”

    Thank you once again for your blog. It is helping me stay sane.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. These doctors must think they are fairy godmothers, able to turn anyone’s dreams into reality. POOF! you are a boy, or a demi-boy, or agender, or whatever term they will come up with next. I can’t keep up.

    I wish people would realize that these hormones and surgeries are not harmless. The endocrine system is actually extremely complicated–lots of feedback loops. Everything is connected, one thing changing can have serious consequences.

    The body is one whole being–the brain is part of it, not some disconnected entity that trumps the rest. Why is this so difficult for doctors (with their many years of education) not able to see this?

    Liked by 6 people

  12. I thought about this blog today while I was reading Harper Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman.” The book was a Christmas gift; I am about halfway through it. I don’t want to be a spoiler and give too much of the story away, but there is a segment where the 26-year-old Jean Louise “Scout” Finch remembers when she got her first period. Her initial response sounds VERY much like gender dysphoria. Nah, forget the “sounds like”; it IS gender dysphoria. As a tomboy who never had much to do with girls or “feminine” activities, she was devastated at the whole idea of “becoming a woman.” (If you remember little Scout from “To Kill A Mockingbird”, you can easily guess what puberty was like for this kid.) In her conservative Southern town, puberty means giving up every activity she loves and joining a social realm where she feels out of her element. I can imagine what Dr. Spack and Dr. Olson would recommend for an eleven-year-old such as this!

    But what about 26-year-old Jean Louise? While in some ways, she remains “gender nonconforming”, I wouldn’t classify her as gender dysphoric. Unless something unforeseen happens in this book, she grew up to be a heterosexual female who speaks her mind and happens to prefer wearing pants. By this point, it’s the 1950s. Apparently, Jean Louise’s clothing and mannerisms aren’t a problem as long as she is living in New York City, but the women of Maycomb, Alabama hold themselves to more old-fashioned standards.

    Yes, this is a novel and Jean Louise Finch is a fictional character (albeit one based on Harper Lee herself). But it illustrates perfectly how the feelings of an 11-year-old don’t necessarily persist into adulthood.


    • I felt the same way when I read it earlier in 2015. I think Scout would have definitely been pushed towards transition if her character was written today. My daughter read “To Kill a Mockingbird” in school last year, and I thought she would like it because she could identify with Scout. Unfortunately, she didn’t enjoy the book. I would like to have her read “Go Set a Watchman,” but I don’t want to push.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Another literary “character” that I thought of while reading this blog is small Alison from Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home.” I put the word “character” in quotes because the book– and the musical– are autobiographical. Small Alison is even more gender nonconforming than Scout. Her father, a closeted and self-loathing gay man, pushes her to be more girly. There is a scene in the book where he and Alison are in a restaurant and for the first time in her young life, she sees a grown woman she can identify with– a butch lesbian. In the musical version, this moment in Alison’s life is captured in the song “Ring Of Keys.” (You can find this song on You Tube.)

        But again, what would happen to this little girl if she were a child of the 21st century? What kinds of messages would she be receiving? I’m NOT saying we should go back to the days when the Scouts and Alisons were forced into a feminine mold that felt unnatural to them. Far from it! But telling them they were “born in the wrong body” and the only way to “fix” them is a lifetime of medical procedures???

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Pretty soon tax payers will be expected to fund surgeries for agender identities (maybe by amputating sex organs, sewing up vaginas and giving hormone blockers) or dog gender identities (maybe giving people ears and a tail made from other body parts). Where does this stop? There are 200 or so gender identities listed at

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: No menses, no mustache: Gender doctor touts nonbinary hormones + surgery for self-sacrificing youth | 4thWaveNow

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