This personal narrative by Juniper, a frequent commenter on 4thWaveNow, touches on and corroborates several themes that have been previously written about on this blog:
- A formerly dysphoric girl child (now in her mid-40s) who comes to terms with and accepts herself as female—but only after weathering an intense personal struggle in adolescence and early adulthood.
- A lesbian identity that was not fully claimed until early adulthood, with a first sexual relationship at 19—right on target with the data showing that same-sex attracted women are late to fully realize their sexual orientation. (If Juniper had been born later, it’s likely, as she herself says, that she’d have been identified as “transgender” and in need of medical intervention, long before she came to terms with herself as female and same-sex attracted.)
- Shame and shunning due to “gender nonconforming” behavior and homosexuality, which led to self hatred, self harm, and even suicide attempts.
- The profound and currently unmet need of dysphoric or “gender nonconforming” girls to have adult role models and mentors who aren’t egging them on to “transition.”
Juniper makes a strong case, as I have, that medical transition ought to be an adult decision, made (if at all) no earlier than one’s mid-to-late 20s. Her story is a testament to how much things can change in a young person’s mind as their mental capacities mature.
And her story is a reminder of how very important it is to experience the storms of adolescence, because out of that struggle is born a depth of character and self-realization that might not be possible otherwise—that is, if puberty were “blocked” and a childhood insistence on being the opposite sex were coddled and celebrated.
Juniper is available to respond to comments and questions below her piece.
Update 2/7/2016: Please see the comments section for an in-depth discussion and expansion of the many points Juniper introduces in her autobiographical account.
I grew up with a twin brother; I’m female, and we are fraternal twins. My brother was sensitive and gentle, while I was tough and rugged. At age five, I remember the two of us looking into a mirror as my brother said, “I should have been the girl and you should have been the boy, because I am the pretty one.” Indeed, my brother was prettier than I was and I nodded in silent agreement.
We were socialized in a restrictive, gender stereotypical home. My brother watched wrestling on TV with my dad while I made breakfast with my mom. My dad was into health and fitness and I was allowed to do push-ups and sit-ups with them but I was scolded if I ever did more reps than my brother. My brother was ridiculed for crying or showing signs of weakness. When we went off to grade school, my brother was bullied. He would run to me for help, and I would then confront the boy who was picking on him, even if it meant that I would end up in a fistfight. Before I knew it, every little boy came running to me if a larger boy was after him. I became the kid who would protect the ones who were being bullied. My brother made me promise never to tell our parents and we agreed this was best for everyone concerned. We kept our secret. My brother thought of me as a brother and not as a sister.
I felt like god must have made some type of mistake and that surely, a miracle would happen and I would awake one day as a boy. At a very early age, perhaps age 5 or 6, I began to self-harm. I felt such intense shame about my body and sex-related anatomy. I wanted to scrub those parts away. I would scrub until I bled from the abrasions.
I began puberty at a young age and started menstruation in the 4th grade, before any sex education at school or “heart-to-heart talks” at home. I was devastated to learn that I had become a “woman” despite my prayers, despite my efforts to stop the changes. My parents and other adults seemed displeased with my inability to adopt or cultivate some semblance of femininity. My body had betrayed me. Because I developed early, I was targeted with harassment and unwanted sexual attention from boys (and men.) This contributed greatly to extreme feelings of isolation and hopelessness.
The self-harm escalated and became much more serious at age 11. I began contemplating suicide and made several unsuccessful attempts. I began to wear my clothes as baggy as possible. It became commonplace that I was mistaken to be a boy by people who did not know me. (Today, I am still most often called “sir” by clerks in stores and other strangers.)
I began to come to terms with my history of sexual abuse at about this same time: age 11 or 12. Meanwhile, my brother began exploring his own sexuality and started cross-dressing and experimenting with my mother’s make-up with another boy while my mom was at work. (My parents had divorced by this time.) My brother and the other boy were chased down and threatened. They were called “faggots” by a truck full of young men one day when they decided to venture outside while cross-dressing. My brother became more cautious, closeted and secretive about his cross-dressing after this incident.
After puberty, we remained close as siblings. We loved each other, but his friendships with other boys became increasingly important to him and he began to prefer their company instead of mine. At age 12, the bullying stopped for my brother as he began developing into a very muscular young man. Unfortunately, he also seemed to pair his new masculinity with misogyny and violence.
When we entered junior high school (now called “middle school”), my brother and his friends no longer wanted to associate with me because I was a “girl.” I had been considered a gifted student through grade school but I began to struggle to concentrate on my studies. The boys lifted weights and did “guy things” without me. I felt intensely isolated. I became increasingly introverted and depressed, and I continued self-injurious behaviors. The suicidal ideation intensified and I developed bulimia. I would sneak out at night to take long runs of 10 to 20 miles, several times a week.
At 15, I became very involved in religion. I was quite fanatical, and this was a new escape from my struggles. I also began working after school. I found ways to keep myself as busy as possible so that I could avoid thinking about my body, my past history of sexual abuse, and my feelings of loneliness.
At 18, I began to come to terms with my attraction to women, but I had not yet acted on my feelings. I told my youth pastor that I was concerned that I was homosexual and he told me that I would not be welcomed back until I was straight. This was a very dark time for me and I attempted to overdose on a mix of aspirin and Tylenol.
At 19, I fell in love with a young woman. I began a relationship and as the result of this, my church rejected me and my closest friends abandoned me. My family was also very unsupportive.
When the relationship ended, I felt ashamed and hopeless and I decided to end my life. I loaded up a shotgun and I was ready to pull the trigger when I suddenly realized that “this is it … there’s no turning back.” Something told me “You could pull the trigger and have a shitty ending to a very shitty life, or you can decide to live and have a chance of changing the story.”
I put the shotgun down.
This was my final suicide attempt.
I told my mom and stepdad what had happened. They were angry with me, and said they would keep the rifle loaded in the house, where it had been, and that I had no right to touch it. I finally realized that they were toxic people and I could not continue to be around them, since they contributed significantly to my depression.
My brother had gotten into drugs and joined a gang by now; he was gone and I was completely on my own.
I moved out and rented a room. I worked two full-time jobs and started to build a new life. As my confidence grew and as I learned to not be ashamed of my sexuality, I grew stronger. I began to wear the clothes I liked, “men’s” clothes. I cut my hair very short and I finally felt comfortable with my appearance. I became healthier as I started to lift weights and feel better about my body. I was able to free myself of my eating disorder – on my own. I started to make friends who accepted me. Most were lesbians.
I made a few friends in my early twenties who confided that they were transgender. These friends came out to me because they thought I was also transgender. This has happened several times over the course of my life, and I have questioned my gender very seriously. This was before it was common to hear of transgenderism. I could have easily succumbed to the pressure to transition had I been younger or less confident in my identity. I felt at one time in my life that life would be easier had I been born male, but looking back over the last two decades, I see that my brother had his own struggles and that his life is not enviable.
Ultimately, I realized that I was a strong woman and that I did not identify as a man. My path has not been easy. I have been “gay bashed” several times. I have been blatantly discriminated against at work and in housing (before laws included sexual orientation as a protected group.) I lost most of my friends from high school, as they were all very religious. But I moved forward and I eventually built a good life with my partner of 13 years (who is now my legal wife thanks to recent marriage equality laws.) I have created a life that is meaningful – a life that helps others. I have created a life worth living. My wife and friends today accept me completely for who I am.
My brother eventually found his way also.
The story of my brother and me is not picture perfect. (Most people’s true stories seldom are.) But we were able to find our way and make choices about our bodies and our gender identities, as we matured in our adulthood. We both now identify comfortably with our birth sex.
I have friends who are transgender, who have personal stories that are similar to mine but who pursued transitioning in adulthood. Some have de-transitioned; others work to manage serious health conditions that have resulted from the use of hormones. We deal with similar social issues despite the fact that we have taken different paths in life.
Transition brings new challenges that are unexpected. Hormones and surgeries have limitations and complications. Still, I support everyone’s right to make their own choices about their bodies and identity. I think that for the great majority of people, with the exception of some children who are medically defined as intersexed, it takes time –perhaps well into one’s early twenties to sort out one’s identity in relation to gender, physical anatomy, and sexual orientation.
As difficult as my past was, I am grateful that I was not rushed into hormone blockers, hormones, or sex re-assignment surgeries. For me (and my twin brother), this would have been a grave mistake as our issues with gender identity were rooted in traumatic histories and external societal pressures, which resolved when he at (age 12) and I (in my early 20’s) found kinship and support in our communities.
Societal pressures are even more complicated today because the transgender narrative omits stories like my own.
My oldest niece ended up being very “bookish.” She was also artistic and enjoyed wearing make-up and following fashion trends. Her younger sister loved athletics and hated anything “frilly or foofy.” Their mother was supportive and loving toward both of her daughters. She also had no problem with me, a “gender nonconforming” lesbian, being in the girls’ lives. She asked only that I never talked about “gay stuff” around them as she held the belief that homosexuality was a “sin.” She was a good mom who never pressured either child to conform to gender stereotypes. She seemed to love them both and did not prefer my “feminine” niece over her “rough and tumble” younger daughter.
Still, my athletic niece was taunted at school and her sister sometimes teased her at home. One time, when I came to visit, we were walking and I heard my older niece teasing her sister. My niece, who was eight at the time, ran up to me sobbing. “My sister says I am a boy!” I was in my early twenties and without thinking replied gruffly, “You aren’t a boy, you are a tomboy like me and that’s alright.” At that point, my young niece stood up tall, marched back to her older sister, leaned into her face and repeated what I had said to her, putting a quick end to their quarrel.
I didn’t think much about the incident but years later, when my younger niece came out as lesbian, she told me how important that brief conversation was. She said this was when she “knew” that she was “like me.” My niece was about twenty when she came out. I asked her during our conversation about gender and sexual orientation, if she ever wondered if she might be transgender. Without hesitation my niece said “No, I’m just a regular ole’ lesbian.” That gave us both a chuckle, but I assured her that I would love her either way. After a brief pause, I added that I was glad she would not need to change her body.
If my niece had told me that she was a boy at 8 years and that her sister was insisting that she was a girl, I would have asked the two what it means to be a “boy.” I would have explained my own past and how lots of people thought I was a boy and still seem to think I am a man when they first meet me. I would explain that for me, this does not affect my identity as a woman. I would explain that we are all different and that this is what makes us so amazing.
What a wonderful story and happy ending! Thank you for sharing!
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Thank you for telling your story!
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You are such a great role model to your niece. And now that you have shared your story, you will be a great role model to many more.
This is exactly what we need. People like you speaking out and saying that transitioning is not the only option. That with time and effort you can heal and attain happiness.
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Thank you overwhelmed. Your comment means a lot to me.
I’m very grateful to read your post today, just to hear another story similar to my own, and to see the happy ending in it that you have finally found after such struggle. It is so worth celebrating and telling that end too – not just the journey but also the resolution into a good and worthwhile life. With so many positive transition stories around we need these positive non-transition stories, too!
I was especially touched, however, by the interactions between you and your brother – the closeness, the separation, the pain of the separation and (good to see) the resolution. Having grown up with a brother myself I can relate to so many things (though I never had to protect him; I almost wish I had so that he wouldn’t always see me as his helpless “little sister”) and I think having that male/female sibling dynamic only magnifies the differences in gender roles and makes them harder to deal with. I can’t imagine the effects of having a male sibling as close as a twin. As it is, my own issues go back to my brother over and over again and there’s four years between us. I hope to resolve them someday.
It’s great you’ve been there for your niece as well. Passing on the wisdom and the love.
Your comments here are always insightful, and it’s really wonderful to get to know the person behind them better. I often find myself in this weird “recovery limbo” place where I know who I am and where I want to be but everything is still in shambles around me, so believe me, it is inspiring and motivating to read a story such as yours. Thank you for sharing.
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Thank you thissoftspace,
Your comment means a lot to me. So many strong women in my immediate circle have transitioned. I no longer have friends that I can identify with regarding gender as I had before transition became so common amongst “butch” lesbians. It is hard to watch once healthy and confident young women suffer so greatly as they try to navigate lives as “men” and as they realize that the toll on their physical and mental health is threatening their hope of a happy future.
It is so strange to see the LGBT community change so dramatically in such a short period of time. Gender politics have affected the culture and have caused divisions and tensions. I now feel like an outsider in many ways. I feel that those of us who have questions or who have experiences regarding gender that challenge the narrow definitions that transgender theory are pressured to stay in the closet.WE are marginalized and are often labeled a “transphobic bigots” or “TERFS.” It all is so ironic and very sad. We used to be a community that could hold differing opinions – even exchange heated debates – yet, we worked shoulder to shoulder for equality.
I hope this storm passes and I hope that more of us can survive this crazy weather! Shame on the academics, gender therapists medical practitioners who profit form the suffering of others and benefit from a non-scientific transgender narrative (knowing that it is is filled with lies of omission.)
It would be easy to walk away and say that this is not my problem and with adults I say “do what you want, it is your body, it is your life.” But when children are concerned, you and I know that we must speak out … we cannot remain silent.
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Excellent comment! Yes, trans theory is unscientific and full of lies of omission. There are also many lies of conflation, as trans theory mercilessly exploits intersex, though 99.9+% of transitioners are biologically regular XY males or regular XX females. There are also those (such as a specific tranny troll on the Federalist) who insist that if something was published in a peer-reviewed journal, it is de facto true. If this person knew anything real about science, they would know that publication is only step 1. Other researchers would need to be able to duplicate those results. Sample sizes must also be large enough to be meaningful. Additionally, trans illogic tends to take findings of small studies and expand the conclusions beyond anything the study was actually designed to elicit. I find that trans false science (actually more of a religion, since nothing shakes their faith) tends to rely on using big, scary, sciencey-sounding words and cut-and-paste from pro-trans sites. Unfortunately, the pro-trans people doing the interpreting always side with their ideology over any facts that don’t advance it. They try to confuse people and emotionally manipulate them. (“You are a transphobic bigot and are literally killing trans people if you don’t support this” typical propaganda blah, blah, blah.) Many people are just trying to understand the issue, and trans people are intentionally misinforming them and manipulating them.
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I have noticed a pattern:
I read more of the comments from pj white’s biography that was posted recently here on 4thwave now and i noticed that thissoftspace mentioned dissociative symptoms and this reminded me of content that thirdwaytrans shared on his web-site – I have also read of two other bloggers who have de-transioned/desisted who realized after desisting/re-transition that dissociative experiences contributed significantly to their dysphoria (or perhaps, this could be said in reverse) but the two conditions seem to be intertwined for them. I have also seen the mention of dissociative symptoms in transgender blogs.
Dissociation (or disconnecting from one’s body and/or sense of personal identity) is a common response to early childhood trauma and acts as a coping mechanism.
I have a strong sense that many people who are mistaken as “transgender” may actually be dissociative. The diagnoses of dissociative disorders dropped sharply in the 90’s followed by a class action lawsuit filed by parents on behalf of their children who had been treated by incompetent psychologists/psychotherapists who asked “leading questions” that resulted in the development of “false memory syndrome.”
Dissociation is a common coping mechanism amongst people who have suffered traumatic incidences (especially in childhood) and body dysphoria is also common amongst people who are dissociative – many people also develop gender dysphoria.
To clarify, I am NOT saying that every person who is diagnosed as transgender is actually dissociative. I am simply saying that i have seen a pattern and that I think it is ironic that the rise in the diagnosis of transgenderism seems to correlate with the decline of dissociative diagnosis (beginning in the 90’s.) I am not a medical professional and I am not a mental health practitioner but I am very observant and I have got a hunch that there could be a connection worth looking into. I would love to see someone with the right letters behind their name put those pieces together.
I have experienced dissociative symptoms throughout my life. I was extremely dissociative throughout my childhood and I began to recover in my twenties when I finally felt safe enough to deal with the traumatic incidences that occured in my childhood. At first, I felt as if I was “sleepwalking” and I was very numb and disconnected until I was about thirty. I felt as if I was watching my life as if I were watching a movie and that my body was just a machine. In my thirties, I began to gradually come back into my body and I became more connected and in touch with life, other people, beauty … myself. The stability of a loving relationship over the last 13 years has helped me immeasurably as well.
We were low-income growing up and we did not have access to therapeutic resources. However, I don’t think that formal (and expensive) treatments are required or necessary. I feel that healing can happen naturally in any safe environment. There are many ways that people can get into being present and “in their bodies.” Many communities offer free meditation, yoga or tai chi classes. There is also free instruction on-line (and many web-sites have no religious affiliation.) Other environments that I have heard can be helpful include: free-form dance, circle singing or other experimental voice classes and drumming. For some people, being in a pool is very healing. For other people working with horses or enjoying the company of a dog or other animal may be helpful. People have different ways to find their way back.There really is no right or wrong way.
Community Acupuncture or massage schools or schools of Holistic medicine may serve as resources for low cost massage and bodywork.
I found in adulthood, that I could find support through trusted friends who were open and willing to share about their own life experiences and this helped me more than formal psychotherapy. Also, for me, Osteopathic medicine helped tremendously as did meditation and massage therapy. Avoiding dysfunctional people and forming healthy relationships was key for me as well.
I think that whatever you do, it is simply important to let yourself “feel” the moment that you are in. (And if that is just a flash at first, don’t worry, that is a great start .. and if you cry … don’t worry about that either … that just means that your heart is finally breaking open to let some light in.) Just be gentle with yourself.
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It’s interesting your bringing up the dissociative aspects again. Last Saturday a valve broke on a pipe in our basement, causing a dripping leak that I was sure – absolutely sure – would explode into a Major Incident at Any Moment. It set off my anxiety something awful, kept me up, and lead me into a week of heightened hypochondria. And when that happens, I *can’t* associate with my body. Every little odd sensation sends me into a panic: I can’t exercise because the beating of my heart scares me; I can’t enjoy a shower for fear I’ll soap over a lump somewhere. I basically become a fearful walking brain just trying to get through the day.
It’s mindfulness that lead me to realizing this pattern and the habits of stepping away from myself, and it’s helped tremendously to just stop and relax and breathe when things are at their worst. But I think about the decades I spent going through this without knowing, just in this fearful removal from myself, and I am convinced it opened the path to imagining transition as some kind of solution or escape – as if I could possibly recreate a body I could be comfortable in. It’s remarkable that so often it’s easier to jump towards that solution rather than looking at why we are uncomfortable in the first place.
But then again, that looking does bring us to those moments of deep pain. I keep wondering if I need to pick apart my childhood more, if perhaps there’s things there I haven’t felt I’ve had the right to call out as truly harmful. It’s truly disturbing what you say about the fall in dissociative diagnosis in relation to the rise of transgender diagnosis, when you think of all the unhealed minds out there.
Regarding what you’ve witnessed in the LGBT community in recent years, eight years ago when I finally reconciled with being a lesbian, I found myself coming across articles about lesbians transitioning, especially when Chaz Bono was in the spotlight. And at the time, I couldn’t understand it – why would a woman who *loves women* want to become a man? I was so overwhelmingly happy to finally be experiencing and expressing myself as a lesbian that I hadn’t run into how HARD it can be, though I still can’t believe I almost stumbled down that path myself. It’s amazing what lasting trauma, day after day of difficulty and fear and repression, can do to a person. And this division between lesbians and the transgender community just isn’t helping.
I had two young women contact me over my tumblr this past week, one saying being a female is terribly hard when there is an option to get out of it available, and one identifying as agender but seeking support in not transitioning when all her friends are. They had, thankfully, gotten caught in words and thoughts about the alternative to transition, and I just wished I could remove them from that culture that’s so focused on pulling them farther away from themselves. Best I could do was offer them support. One of them said I was so kind “for being a TERF” more or less.
It does begin to feel like we’re some kind of underground resistance movement. Every time I even think about it I’m grateful for these spaces where we can speak openly.
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Great, specific suggestions for activities that can be healing for all of us.
Symptoms can vary from person to person with PTSD and Dissociative symptoms. We often have very different triggers and responses. Some of us react with “FLIGHT” others with “FIGHT” and others with “FREEZE” reactions (or various combinations of these in different circumstances.) I tend to get triggered by aggressive people behaving in a hostel manner … for example, if someone is screaming in an argument, I am often triggered. I respond with agitation and an urge to “fight.” At times this is a functional response – like the time I got a drunk guy to stop grabbing at the bus driver and my intervention made it possible for bus driver was able to call the police and have the guy removed … or the time I was able to end a bar fight by pulling a person off the person they were attacking and holding them back until they regained their senses and calmed down, again, creating enough time for the police to come. But sometimes, there is nothing that I can do and I am just keyed up and that’s when it is important to know how to bring my own stress level back down.
I still, tend to be hyper-vigilant and most survivors of trauma seem to be easily put on edge. It takes time to discover what triggers you and it takes practice to learn how to redirect agitation in positive and healthy ways. For me, intense physical exercise helps the most.
It does get better and you can become strong again and heal from even the most severe trauma.
I think that tis is important to chose friends who are fully supportive of you. It is sad that you may not be able to find this type of support in the LGBT community. As I have matured, I have found that I am comfortable with a wide range of people. Many of my friends are “straight” men, and most of my friends today are not LGBTQ+ identified. It is freeing to be able to feel comfortable with all kinds of great people. I can choose people who share my values and interests without needing them to be “just like me.”
Choose friends who respect you and that you respect in return. These people will be friends that you can count on and people who know how to give back and reflect the love and support that you offer. If someone is bringing you down, they are not the best choice as traveling companions and often it is wise to part ways. Choose people who will lift you up.
You are finding your way thissoftspace … it is a day-by-day journey with lots of ups-and-downs but you are moving forward. Every day will lead you closer to where you want to be if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Remember to look up and know that your potential is as immense as the sky above you and that you belong to this earth – just as you are.
All the best,
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thissoftspace – try to avoid “pushing to remember” anything – it is not absolutely necessary to remember what happened.
You may want to journal about your experiences so that you can spot patterns that arise and this may help you to identify “triggers” but even if you can’t identity the actual triggers and even if you can’t remember the specific trauma – what matters most is that you learn to recognize when you are feeling anxious as early as possible … notice when your heart starts to race or when your breathing becomes more shallow etc. … if you can identify your body’s reaction to stress EARLY before a major episode takes over, you can often turn it around and avoid an episode entirely.
This is where meditation can be most helpful because you can practice feeling grounded and calm when you are stable and in a peaceful and safe setting – and then you can then find your place back to feeling centered more easily when you begin to feel anxious.
This web-site is not really the ideal forum to discuss PTSD or Dissociation (and I want to keep the focus on helping parents with gender questioning children) but there are groups on-line and in most communities that can help point you to resources that may be more helpful. For me, psychotherapy was not the answer but it helped me to find other resources that I needed to feel whole again.
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Thanks, Juniper. I’ve been practicing meditation/mindfulness for two years now and it has been the most important thing I’ve ever done both to figure myself out and learn how to handle all these various reactions. I do think that it’s always more of a matter of unwinding what we are now rather than analyzing what we were or what was done to us, as it’s the present that matters the most.
At very least I hope our commentary here helps parents understand that there are other ways of handling the stress that comes with gender issues. Now that you mention it, though, a site specifically about all these coping skills might be very useful!
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Did you see the woman with Asperger’s who was shot by police is being written up as a man? http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/world/police-kill-transgender-man-suffering-from-aspergers-who-gained-viral-fame-last-year-with-calming-dog
what the hell …
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Thank you for having the courage to share your story, and for serving as a positive role model of gender-nonconformity to your niece! We so need to hear more stories like yours, instead of all the media stories acting like transition is a done deal at all of five years old.
I hear you about the traumatic histories aspect of many transitioners. Before I hit peak trans, I started following a lot of (mostly younger) trans people on YouTube, to try to learn more. So many of these people have reported things like rape, incest, depression, cutting, dissociative identity disorder, and eating disorders. Not all that long ago, good psychologists would look at those things as a very probable cause of trans identity instead of ignoring them and taking the patient’s word for it on the very first meeting.
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Agreed – very good points Carrie-Anne.
I Think that eventually, parents of children and other survivors of “transition” who have desisted after surgeries and hormone use, will organize a successful class-action lawsuit similar to the one that shut down negligent/incompetent psychologists and psychotherapists who had harmed patients by causing “false memory syndrome”.
It is hard to not wonder if there are incompetent gender therapists out there who are asking “leading questions” that cause gender questioning children and adolescents to feel even greater confusion over their identities.
And when I hear of young adults being required as few as two sessions to start hormones, I have to question how thorough their clinical evaluation could possibly be and how accurate their diagnosis truly is.
Eventually, patients who have been harmed will discover that they are not alone (they are already beginning to become more visible and vocal) and eventually, as they share stories and connect similar experiences of medical negligence, they will be able to identify incompetent practitioners.
Heads will role and I hope that the penalties will be especially harsh when children and adolescents are found to be the victims of medical negligence.
I really hope that these youths will go on to live happy, healthy and well-adjusted lives but anyone can see that the risks are high in these “experiments.”
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Oh ghod what a moving story :*-) :*-)