Request: Although the screen captures and YouTube videos discussed below are publicly available, please respect the dignity of the family featured in this post.
There ought to be something worth pondering for pretty much everyone in this post–left, center, and right of the political spectrum; gender critics, trans-identified people, parents, “gender specialists,” and anyone else who believes the issue of sterilizing prepubescent trans-identified kids is worth discussing with the nuance it deserves. We desperately need a society-wide conversation about this, something that is strangely lacking at the moment.
I’ll be featuring the Vlog of one young FtM named Sam (YouTube account name “MrSexyrexy8907”), who, like many of his generation, started as a gender-defiant lesbian who decided to medically transition. Note: In this post, I am choosing to refer to FtM Sam with male pronouns at times.
Sam began testosterone at age 20, had a bilateral mastectomy roughly a year later, and says in earlier videos that s/he someday hoped to undergo “bottom surgery” as well, when his budget allowed.
By the end of the Vlog journey, we learn that Sam ended up as a self-identified gay man in a committed relationship. At 24, Sam and his male partner became the proud biological parents of a baby girl.
Sam’s Vlog is comprised of only a few videos–short, by the standards of most YouTube FtM transition sagas. It spans a four-year-time frame, with sporadic uploads of brief videos, and you can watch all 21 of them in a sitting.
As a trans man who has given birth, Sam is definitely not alone. There are many other media stories and Vlogs about happy adult trans men who are biological parents. I had originally planned to include several more of these accounts in this post, but as I wrote, I realized we only need one–one happy family wherein the trans man bore a biological child. In Sam’s case, it is worth emphasizing, this is a trans man who earlier wanted bottom surgery, and who made no made no mention of future fertility.
The mainstream press, always eager to trans-fix us, has of late served up many accounts of blissful FtM biological parents (some of whom appear not to understand that identifying as male is not an effective contraceptive). Because the very physical experience of being pregnant and giving birth results in dysphoria for some of these FtMs, midwives (and others) are being strong-armed by their professional organizations into using “preferred pronouns” and urged to eschew words like “mother” and other female-centered terminology, to ostensibly show respect for the FtMs who become pregnant and give birth but would rather be referred to as “fathers.” As in every other nook and cranny of civilized society, any remaining cobwebs of perceived transphobia are being carefully swept away (despite some pushback from brave holdouts).
What, then, are we to make of the activist-clinician zeal for curtailing the reproductive capacity necessary for conception, pregnancy, and birth in prepubescent kids who profess to be trans?
Sam’s 36-weeks-pregnant video was the first to pop up in my “trans man pregnant” YouTube keyword search. It’s a fascinating tale. Sam tells us he’s in a gay relationship, and he is positively glowing in his happiness about the impending birth of his daughter, due in 30 days.
This was a planned pregnancy. It wasn’t an accident. It’s been rough, dysphoria wise…some times are harder than others. I’m carrying really really low, so that gives me that beer-belly type of appearance.
[7:00] I’m ecstatic to meet her and start this little family… After stopping hormones, my cycles came back. I’d been off hormones for over a year, in which time I met my partner and we decided we wanted a baby….decided I was ok with carrying her and having a child.
Sam says a lot more in the video about the changes he’s been through since his last video, including a successful struggle to quit drinking. As I watched, I found myself liking Sam and wanting to know more about what preceded all this. Clearly, this was a young adult who had been through quite a lot by the age of 24, and was now happily expecting a baby girl.
So I went back four years to the beginning of Sam’s Vlog journey, which began in 2009, at age 20. As with most transition chronicles, Sam’s introductory video was “pre-everything”—no testosterone or surgeries yet. Sam had a girlfriend who he refers to as his “fiancé” whom we see and hear a lot about in these early videos; Sam is wearing an engagement band on his ring finger.
March 2010. Sam has been on “T” for 5 months, and we can see and hear the changes. He’s living in an apartment with his fiancé; he tells us wants to go back to school. He wants bottom surgery but can’t afford it yet. There are several more vids, including the requisite top-surgery post-op (always a staple of FtM Vlogs).
By July 2011, Sam’s been through a lot. He’s gone off T, and he’s just over a year post-op from top surgery. Not only that: he’s been “in and out of rehab” and is just back home after living in halfway houses, with no health insurance. The engagement band has disappeared.
In October, Sam is cautioning other FtMs that they better be sure about medical transition. He’s off T, but he still has hair growing in. “Your hairline will recede and your face will change.”
Sam’s videos are few and far between for a couple of years. We don’t know exactly how s/he got from A to B, but let’s fast forward to the video made soon after his daughter’s birth in 2013.
Sam shares some very intimate details about his after-birth experience.
All of my weight gain was in my uterus and within a few days it was practically back to normal.
…Oddly enough—I have had a double mastectomy—and the other day one of my nipples was leaking. So that kind of caught me off guard…I don’t seem to be retaining any fluid or milk. [SMILING]. I don’t know if it’s a matter of not 100% everything was removed or hormones and milk ducts…either way, it was a very little bit and not a big deal.
We are thrilled to have her….
There’s a longer video made a month after their baby was born, with lots of still shots and video clips of Sam and his partner, clearly enjoying family life together. We see a pre-birth sonogram, the baby shower, and even the actual moment of their daughter’s birth (Sam jokes it’s the “PG version”), and many pictures of the newborn with her doting parents.
A final video uploaded in April 2014 is a collage of clips chronicling the kind of new-parent life many of us will recognize from our own days with a newborn.
Then that’s it for Sam’s Vlog. Life with a baby and toddler is all-consuming, and judging by Sam’s YouTube playlists nowadays (which seem to consist entirely of videos for young kids), the family might be too busy now to bother with YouTube uploads.
Sam’s story—that of a former lesbian who winds up in a relationship with a man—is not that unusual. Cross-sex hormones have the potential to alter a person’s sexual orientation. Some same-sex attracted women– lesbians—become bisexual or even heterosexual after undergoing testosterone treatment. (Sadly, those trans men face an increased risk of HIV infection.)
For the record, as anyone who reads here regularly knows, I don’t want lesbians to feel they need to medically transition. I do consider it a form of anti-gay conversion therapy. And while my regular readers may also wish Sam had felt she could live her life as the woman she obviously is, without surgeries, without hormones… for me, at least, it’s impossible not to be touched by the obvious love shining between these two parents, and their joy as they start their new family.
At least this young, former lesbian went through puberty and had, at a minimum, one important sexual relationship with another woman before she transitioned. She did not have her fertility denied to her as a tween or teen too young to give informed consent.
Would Sam have said—pre or post transition—that s/he wanted kids at 14, or 16, or 18? Even at 20, trans-identified Sam made no mention of becoming a parent. How many of us parents knew we wanted children of our own while still kids ourselves?
As Sam says, this was a planned pregnancy. Sam and partner– two adults–decided they wanted to create a baby.
Why does anyone—doctor, activist, parent–believe they have the right to proactively take the option to bear children away from future adults like Sam? Simply so that the “trans kid” will “pass” better? Watch Sam’s Vlogs and tell me s/he doesn’t “pass.” S/he passes just fine. Without going through natural puberty, Sam and his partner would not be parents. Whether you think Sam is a mother, or whether you call Sam (as he refers to himself) “Dad,” the fact remains that s/he is now the happy biological parent of a little girl.
Let me ask the parents who contribute here: If (as much as you don’t want this) any of your daughters (or sons) ultimately decide to transition as adults, would you still welcome a grandchild? Should your daughter—who may someday want to be called your “son”—be denied the opportunity to make that choice for herself?
Most 4thWaveNow parents fervently hope our kids won’t decide to use hormones or have surgeries. But we’re not stupid. We know that, once they reach the age of medical majority, they will make their own choices. We just want the activists and clinicians to cease and desist marketing medical transition to impressionable kids.
And here’s a challenge for the MtoF, late-transitioning heterosexual men, so many of whom—like Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner—first had their own biological children:
Watch Sam’s Vlog and then tell me it’s no big deal to keep lobbying, as you do, for the medical transition of children, which will result in permanent sterilization.
Put another way: If it’s such an awful tragedy for a trans teen to go through the “wrong” puberty, how come you managed to survive yours, and have exercised your basic human right to produce biological children? Without that wrong puberty, you wouldn’t be a parent today.
How can the activists and doctors who are so eager to subject young people to medical intervention–which they know full well will sterilize these kids–know for sure that these trans kids will not grow up to want children of their own someday?
The answer is: they don’t know that.
Let’s put a really fine point on this. What sort of monumental hubris leads a doctor, psychologist, or activist to believe they have the right to proactively take away the human right of an adult to choose to have biological children?
So which is it, activist-clinicians? You really can’t have it both ways.
- you want to celebrate the “pregnant people” and their right to reproduce with dignity; adult trans people who (like most of us) didn’t figure out they wanted kids until early to middle adulthood,
- it’s more important for trans kids to “pass” and avoid the “wrong puberty” than be allowed to choose whether to reproduce when they are adults.
Reblogged this on things I've read or intend to.
4thwavenow, as a (presumably) straight person without dysphoria, I don’t think you realize the sort of undertones this post has. I know you are just trying to show us all an example of a trans person who is happy that their fertility was preserved, and that not all trans people want to be sterilized as children or as adults. I think that is admirable. No human being should be coercively or forcibly sterilized, especially while still a child.
However, there were several things in this post that made me definitely pause:
1. The appeal towards parents at the end, “…would you still welcome a grandchild?” Whether parents want a grandchild from their dysphoric or otherwise trans-identified child is completely irrelevant to the question of whether a child should be sterilized. I am not sure if you realize how appealing to the want for grandchildren will sound to your gay and lesbian readers. Parents put heavy, heavy pressure on their gay or otherwise GNC children to become “normalized” and part of this is the expectation or even requirement that they will eventually have (biological) children. It is a strong tradition in the gay/lesbian community to live a life that does not follow particular heterosexual norms, and many gay/lesbian individuals, as well as many GNC bi and straight people, do not want to raise or birth children. Ever. I know some individuals change their mind at a later age, but many never do, even if they never transition. Appealing to the often (and sometimes yes, this is just benevolently clueless) homophobic desires of parents to “have grandchildren” in order to not sterilize their children is bizarre at best and gross at worst. It ultimately puts the child’s best interest in terms of the parent’s interests, which may be informed by not-too-savory reasoning. Just imagine a parent reading this blog who does not support their child being transgender, nor do they support their child being GNC or gay… this parent will see this post as justification to continue their homophobic repression of their child because eventually the child will become “fixed” through becoming a mother/father of kids.
2. The second thing I want to point out is that although you find it heartwarming that Sam loves his/her husband and that they had a child together, I don’t think you fully understand that many of your gay/lesbian/bi readers will not share this feeling, as Sam was apparently lesbian before undergoing transition. It comes off again as having warm feelings about Sam’s “fixed” life, as a proper heterosexual mother. It is altogether possible Sam would have remained exclusively attracted to women if Sam had not taken testosterone. In any case I think for many of us who are not in the parent’s position, the salient thing is that in an ideal world without pressure to transition, Sam would have not had the life he/she has now. Sam would have likely gone on to have a wonderful, loving relationship with a woman, and whether they had children together would be immaterial except insofar as Sam and the hypothetical partner wanted them. Sam turning out transgender, but marrying a man and birthing a child, is not a “second-best” or “happy middle” sort of outcome, one that we need to take care not to prevent from happening. “Don’t sterilize lesbians because if they transition they might decide to marry a man and have children, and you don’t want to get rid of that possibility” is completely the wrong way to look at this! The argument ought to be, full stop, “Don’t sterilize lesbians”, “Don’t sterilize children”.
Honestly, I am pretty disappointed at this post. I hope others will chime in.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Yes. “Don’t sterilize lesbians. Don’t sterilize children.” Further: Stop transitioning girls who would likely grow up to be lesbian or bisexual if you just didn’t meddle with them. That IS the main message in nearly every post I write. But each post has to stand on its own, and, reflecting on what you’ve written, I should have made that theme clear and strong in this post as well, from the very beginning. I may actually make some edits to the post based on your comments.
Thanks for taking the time to write what you have here. I can see how (especially without reading my other posts) someone might come away with the impression that I’m saying a heterosexual relationship–one that produces offspring–is superior in some way; as you said, some kind of last-ditch hope for desperate, homophobic parents.
As I’ve said many times on this blog, transitioning gender-defiant kids amounts to proactive anti-gay conversion therapy. And there are plenty of adult women who abandon their lesbian lives to transition. I don’t like it, but I also know adults will do as they wish, just like Sam did, and I focus most of my blogging efforts on trying to make a difference for kids and young people.
Having said all that, though, let me tell you a bit more about where I was coming from with this post. My main target–who I was aiming the post at–is the activists and gender doctors who are on a mission to medically transition kids, which ends up sterilizing them. Contrasting what they are doing with the story of just one adult woman who, despite transitioning, decided to have a child was the “mission” of this post. The “happy family” could have been two women choosing to have kids together–and without testosterone, it very likely would have been in Sam’s case, as you point out.
A lot of people don’t know that testosterone can and often does change sexual orientation. I don’t see this as a good thing; on the contrary. But in Sam’s case, it’s what happened. Part of the reason I found Sam’s story compelling is because, in addition to pointing out that even some self-identified trans men choose to reproduce, I could also shine a light on the fact that testosterone can alter sexual orientation. It’s one of the many things the media doesn’t bother to investigate.
I actually know several lesbians who have families, though I’m well aware that there are fewer lesbians than heterosexual women who choose kids. In fact, this demographic difference has been used by trans activists (as I wrote about in this post) as an excuse for why it’s ok to sterilize trans kids, because, statistically, they’ll probably also be less likely to want to reproduce. I find that line of reasoning absolutely abhorrent. The point is, people should be allowed to grow up, to sexually mature, so they can have the choice to have or not have kids. Demographics have nothing to do with that human right.
As to the “would you welcome a grandchild” question, it was a rhetorical question that was really aimed more at the trans activists and clinicians. The parents who read here are hoping against hope that their kids won’t choose medical transition–ever. But if the worst happens, if their kids do trans, that doesn’t mean they think it’s AOK for their daughters to be sterilized. It wasn’t meant (and I honestly don’t think it was phrased) as a blanket statement that our kids owe us grandkids–or a heterosexual relationship, for that matter.
Sam’s story is her own. She’s made her own choices, one of which was to partner with a man and have a baby. I don’t begrudge Sam her happiness, which is also part of the key point of this post: The media likes to celebrate the happy “pregnant people” (it’s transphobic to say “mothers” anymore), but it won’t even devote a couple of column inches to the trans kids who won’t ever get to be those “pregnant people.”
Just because Sam ended up with a man and I acknowledge her self-reported happiness, that doesn’t mean I am pushing the idea that a lesbian who winds up transitioning is better off changing her orientation so she can partner with a man and have a kid.
Thanks again for responding so honestly to the post. I’ll give some thought to making some changes, especially since many readers only read the main post and not the comments section.
LikeLiked by 3 people
I agree with your comment. The patriarchal pressure for females to reproduce is so danged strong, that most females conform. As a bi, and a biologist who cares very much about the quality of the environment around me, I will not reproduce, and I am encouraging females to say no to patriarchal reproductive imperatives. Reproduction is no more a “choice” than prostitution is.
LikeLiked by 1 person
You missed the point of this post, which isn’t about encouraging people to reproduce or turn women into baby machines. It’s about pointing out the hypocrisy of trans activists–many of whom are heterosexual men who transitioned after fathering children and who are now in the forefront of the movement to medically transition “trans kids,” which among other things, takes away those kids’ right to say yes or no to having their own kids in the future. You want to encourage women not to have kids? Fine. That’s pretty different than some doctor removing a teenager’s right to even say no, wouldn’t you say?
Frankly, this comment plays right into the hands of trans activists who wave away any concerns about sterilization of kids as “cis normative.” And as someone who did make an informed choice to have a kid, comparing being a parent to prostitution doesn’t fit my life experience at all. Think what you will, but not all women are simply mindless vessels for some patriarchal imperative. Believe it or not, some mothers actually are informed about environmental degradation. Being childless may be your solution to saving the planet, but not everyone shares that view. And those who do share it likely wouldn’t have appreciated being sterilized at 16 so that their choice to even weigh such issues was basically made for them by a gender clinic and their parents.
LikeLiked by 4 people
I really like all your writings, and I knew you wouldn’t be particularly pleased with this comment, which is why I prefaced it, but in discussions about sterilisations, I find the language always veers to reproduction as default stance, which is also detrimental to females.
In the politik of trans, the old distinction of transsexual vs transgender has been erased. Transsexualism was not a threat to women as a whole, because those males who became transsexuals were at least making a full-time permanent commitment. It is the transgender politik that is a danger to women, this concept of being able to be surgeried or not.
Some feminists will agree with the transgenders that requiring surgery for “transition” is harmful, whereas I see the requirement as a security factor for women born women.
I find this “getting your cake and eating too” attitude by some transgender is the most harmful to women.
I agree to a degree with government ID changes for transsexuals, people who’ve made the full comittment, but I disagree with ID changes for non-op people.
And as puberty blockers is a big lie, I 100% disagree with ANY use of puberty blockers. But once someone has passed the age of maturity… I find it harder to disagree with, well at least no more than I disagree with ANY plastic other surgery.
LikeLiked by 1 person
To be clear, I am against any meddling with the biology of minors, I guess I did not make that absolutely clear.
K, I didn’t come away with the same impression of the post. To me, the points you raise are inherent in the bigger issue of gender identity. I saw the author trying to tackle a specific issue within that larger context: the contradiction of trans celebration of procreation and simultaneous sterilization of GNC youth. The way the author talked about Sam mimicked the celebratory tone, which then shifts when she talks about the children to something more serious and demanding of accountability.
LikeLiked by 2 people
4thwavenow, I understand the points you were trying to hit. Basically, let children mature, not take away their fertility because at some later point in time they MAY decide to have children of their own. You aren’t pushing for everyone to be heterosexual or that everyone needs to procreate. And I think that most who read your blog regularly will get this.
Regardless of how a child starts out, they will make assumptions about how their life will progress that likely won’t hold true. I know in my teenaged years I had no intention of ever getting married or having children. Fast forward and I’m getting married, but determined never to have kids. Several years later I’m giving birth to my first child, but claiming I will never be a stay at home mom. Further down the road, my daughter gets some siblings, and I temporarily become a stay at home mom due to the crushing cost of daycare vs. my paycheck. I would have NEVER predicted this trajectory when I was younger, but I feel fortunate that my life has unfolded this way. I wasn’t coerced into making these decisions, my strongly held opinions just changed over time.
No one is able to predict the future. But there are transactivists who argue that a trans kid will never change their mind about their fertility. It’s a very big gamble to believe this.
LikeLiked by 4 people
This is a lovely post. Thank you for the respect you’ve given Sam, and once again, I completely agree. We should not be sterilizing children. I plan to have children one day as well!
The study you linked did not find any relationship between cross-sex hormones and a change in sexual orientation. In fact, the authors concluded: “Qualitative reports suggest that the individual’s biography, autogynephilic and autoandrophilic sexual arousal, confusion before and after transitioning, social and self-acceptance, as well as concept of sexual orientation itself may explain this phenomenon.” I think it far more likely that lesbians who recast themselves as “gay men” after transition are doing so to test out their masculinity in a community where masculinity is often fetishized. In any case, given that transgender advocates frequently misrepresent the existing scientific research, we should be especially scrupulous not to do so ourselves.
I actually meant to link in the main post to a study which did indeed report a relationship between testosterone treatment and a change in orientation; I’ve corrected the link, and it’s here as well, by Meier et al:
From the abstract:
The Meier study was linked in the one you are talking about by Matthias et al, which, as you correctly point out, didn’t find a direct correlation between hormones and orientation change. However, Matthias et al did not rule out a relationship, and posited that reasons are likely multifactorial. In addition, they acknowledged the link found by Meier et al to testosterone leading to a sexual orientation change, and also noted that the Meier study had stronger statistical weight:
I’m neither a nature nor nurture essentialist. You cannot effectively rule out biological, nor sociological, factors when discussing the impact of medical transition on anyone. I know most feminists hew to the “nurture” side, but in my view, it’s never either-or. The exact contribution of hormones, body changes resulting from medical transition, and social and psychological factors cannot be teased apart (for obvious reasons), but one thing is certain: Sexual orientation change is not uncommon amongst women who elect to undergo transition.
LikeLiked by 3 people
There’s also the issue of the child’s exposure to hormones in utero. Even if the “pregnant daddy” (I don’t know what to call someone in his situation) stops T before getting pregnant, sometimes having taken hormones can affect one’s hormone profile for some time afterwards.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Harrowing post to read, made me think about some possible horrible futures.
Of course I’ll have to stand by her whatever, but it doesn’t mean I’d agree with what she might do. I’m crap at lieing so that would probably show.
I dont really buy the happily married in a gay relationship. Its a relationship based on a lie, a denial of the biological reality of sex (genes, gonads and genitals) and an ideoplogical belief in the supremacy of gender and a dependancy on other people pretending to join in the lie.
I guess I belive that for a relationship to be healthy , both people have some ability to stand on their own, at least at the start.
A trans person in a relationship like this one is way too dependant on the other person, they cannot walk away, they cannot doubt their gender, they are in such a bad place
LikeLiked by 3 people
“I don’t really buy…” : AKA “deranged”. As for the previous to your comment “I don’t know what to call a (pregnant daddy).”
You call her a mother, a female, she. We just stop right now with enabling their delusions and derangement. It’s very simple.
It’s when we join them in their practice to deceive that we get all tangled up.
Oh my goodness! Of course don’t take away someone’s chance to have and nurse a baby someday when they are a teen! How could someone even start to rationalize such a thing.
When I was 21 years old, I thought all my problems would be solved if I married “R.” Oh boy my parents, and brothers, and other relatives, and clear-minded friends… all told me I was making a terrible mistake. Did I listen? Hell no. The more anybody pleaded or tried to bring logic and facts to bear on the situation, the more I knew deep in my heart that marriage to R was just the ticket.
Fast-forward to the end of my 20’s, having in fact married R, and having proven every single one of the predictions absolutely correct. It was even more miserable in a way, because if I had only listened to the people who cared about me, so many years of heart-ache could have been prevented. Thank heavens, all it took was time, money and the trauma of divorce to un-do.
This is a huge reason why I feel that young people should not make permanent decisions of the kind that gender-changing entail. I was as sure as sure could be that I was right in every respect, my heart and feelings told me so. And they were wrong! Just because you feel a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the right way!
LikeLiked by 3 people
I predict a slew of lawsuits against gender clinics and gender doctors — and possibly even against their own parents — once this bumper crop of transkids grows into adulthood and comes to terms with what has been done to them. Kids lack the life experience and brain faculty needed to do a half-way decent job of making permanent, adult-level decisions. Kids have no idea what they are getting into and how much they are giving up when they “consent” to medical transition treatments.
Sam is a living, breathing example of the fact that although a person decides at some point they want to transition and takes steps to do so, they may ultimately decide it is wrong for them. Sam is also an example of a person who chose to become a parent after many years of choosing not to become one. Yes, even adults waffle back and forth with what they believe is right for them, yet we are letting children make the decision to become permanently sterilized — or is it doctors and parents who are actually doing the deciding for the kids? No matter who is actually making the decisions, the outcome is equally abusive and unfair to these kids. At least those who transition as adults have more options and a better chance at regaining fertility lost to trans treatments, just as Sam did.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Having read your blog for a while, I know that you very much support lesbians, so I wasn’t worried about that. (And by the way, it’s wonderful to hear straight people be so supportive of us, thank you.) But this post was very emotional to read. Obviously I am heartbroken whenever a lesbian decides she’d rather be a man, and it was particularly heartbreaking that this woman wanted nothing to do with men and was scared of them but then ended up marrying one. I’m guessing it’s the testosterone that affected her sexual orientation. Testosterone turns lesbians into non-lesbians in two different ways—one way is making them look like men and the other way is making them no longer exclusively attracted to women. What an insult to lesbians, really. As a happy lesbian myself, I can’t imagine why others would not want to be one. What could possibly be happier than two women loving each other?
Like you, I was happy that this woman was never sterilized and so when she decided she wanted to have a baby, she was able to. It’s amazing that even though she had a mastectomy, she was still lactating a little bit. That speaks to the amazing power of the female body. How can anyone hate having a body that continues to produce milk to nourish a baby even after having large portions of the breasts removed? That is a miracle, and something to be respected.
It’s rather confusing that she partially detransitioned (by stopping testosterone) in order to have a baby. If, as trans people claim, she couldn’t live in a female body and absolutely had to transition, and has “always been a man,” then how does it make any sense that she stopped testosterone and used her female biology to produce a baby? Wouldn’t that cause dysphoria? Something just doesn’t add up here.
LikeLiked by 3 people
I’ve spoken to a handful of detransitioned women who agree that sexuality does indeed often change after going on T. I’ve spoken to at least one woman for which this is still a source of significant despair.
As far as the “dysphoria” goes after dropping T: something else that isn’t really spoken of is the number of women identifying as men who had no choice but to go off T due to health reasons. (I remember looking at an F to transperson’s wall on facebook one time and reading a discussion between 4 different women about the fact that they’d all gone off of T due to health, yet all of them still identified as “transmen.” They weren’t talking about increased dysphoria, they were expressing anxiety about high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and heart problems.)
I get the impression that maintaining the *image* is more important than maintaining cross-sex body chemistry.
LikeLiked by 3 people
Your last sentence seems to be key to the whole mess. Considering something like 60-70% of MTT never have bottom surgery, and the way recent bathroom bills/corporate policies have been written, and the claims that not using the “preferred pronoun” is destructive to the perferer’s “identity” , it seems the trans activists want to force society to help them maintain their chosen “image”.
Look at Milo Stewart, this twerpy little girl who prefers male pronouns, and brags about how she plans to create gender confusion by wearing dresses and a beard. She calls herself “trans” (I call her she because I don’t care if her feelz are hurt by “wrong pronouns” and because the only steps toward “transition” she appears to have made are making claims – she wears girl clothes in her videos and her bedroom certainly looks like a girly-girl’s room. But she demands society treat her like a male (while reserving the plan to sow “gender confusion”).
(Other odious claims by Milo: all nontrans people are transphobia, all white people are racist and all men are misogynist, made in a You Tube video in which she demands that everyone in society do all they can to be good “allies” to the trans community.)
I have been reading here for awhile and understood the intention of the article.
I’m not sure I buy the sentiment that gay or GNC kids have heavy pressure put on them by parents to reproduce. I think that’s a) very individual based on the relationship between the parent and adult children, and b) there are plenty of want-to-be-grandmas putting pressure on straight and single people to have kids, too.
Here’s an article/interview with a young person that doesn’t really have that much to do with the topic of this blog post, but I just wanted to put it out there as a portrait of a young MtFt? person. Although the article is about recognizing and honoring a child who id’s as MtF trans, in the last paragraph the teen says they’re now id-ing more as non-binary. http://wunc.org/post/qa-nc-teen-and-her-parents-transition-male-female#stream/0
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yeah, this whole ‘non binary’ evolution is something I’m watching. There seems to be a little trend in that direction, vs full-blown “I don’t fit in, and I’m uncomfortable with my body, so I have to transition stat.”
In addition, there seems to be a move toward fewer and/or limited medical interventions in some cases — e.g. ” you can ID as whatever you say you are without doing all that stuff to your body.” IMO that is a step in the right direction, though it brings up some issues, especially for natal women. (As numerous essayists have asked: How can women talk about their body-based oppression if the term “woman” pretty much means “whatever I say?” Messing with the meanings of words, in a deconstructionist way, has some consequences. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface on that subject.)
Nevertheless — the less you do to your body, the more you leave the door open for future change. I have to hope that the evolving conversation among kids/teens/young adults is going to move in a less rigid direction that leaves them more room to maneuver, as confusing as this may make social interactions.
As for the reproductive issue — I know we’ve had discussions with some commenters here (mainly transwomen) about our supposed fixation with reproduction at 4thwavenow. Honestly, as I’ve said before — I think it’d be a BAD idea for my GNC daughter to be a mom, unless she changes a lot. Which she might. She’s very self-focused, and she has yet to unpack a lot of mental health issues that far predate any notion that she might be trans. Any arguments I’d make in this area are absolutely not based on the idea that she’s supposed to “give” me a grandchild.
But … that doesn’t mean it’s my right to take her fertility away. I don’t think adults have the right to remove kids’ ability to reproduce. That is a basic human rights issue, IMO. If it were any other people-group under discussion there would be no argument about it. You make kids sterile before they can properly consent on their own behalf? IMO that’s not an appropriate treatment. (Frankly I continue to believe there’s an underlying eugenics angle here, in terms of the lack of general concern for this issue. Then again, the media do a crappy job of explaining this in the ‘transkid’ stories. It’s all sparkle mermaid boys and short-haired video game girls and brave moms and dads.)
LikeLiked by 3 people
Thanks, Puzzled, for (as usual) getting the point. People start screaming that talking about sterilizing teens is tantamount to advocating for having kids. The point is and will remain: Sterilizing young people is a human rights abuse. And we need to be having a very public dialogue about it. Young non-trans women of reproductive age are rarely granted tubal ligation, for the simple reason that many adults **change their minds** about whether to have kids or not.
And I agree with you, Puzzled, that more kids “identifying” as genderqueer or on the spectrum and not in need of medical treatment is the lesser of evils. The problem with all these young “trans” kids is that activists and clinicians are seizing on their pronouncements of being the opposite sex, exactly at the age when thinking is most binary and concrete. Five year olds aren’t exactly known for nuanced thinking.
LikeLiked by 1 person
The true idea behind non-binary is basically what feminists have been fighting for for decades. Non-binary is actually anti-thetical to trans-gender and trans-sexual, because either sex can wear, hairdo, act, whichever way suits us, without stereotypes.
Now if the non-binary crowd could simply realise that “identity” does not trump biological sex, that biological sex is simply a reproductive function and a medical/health consideration, then we’ll be getting back to healthier humans.
Then the last challenge is to get back to recognising that sexism and patriarchy are intended to oppress the female sex, and all those non-binary folk might just end up radical feminists at last.
OH boy, that is a long ways away.
LikeLiked by 1 person
The main problem I have with “non-binary” or “gender spectrum” ideologies is that they are incompatible with physical reality. Nobody is discovering “non-binary” animals or plants. Reproduction on earth is accomplished by mitosis (one-celled organisms dividing in half, producing 2 identical organisms), egg+sperm, or in rare circumstances in a tiny minority of otherwise sexually-reproducing creatures, parthenogenesis (where a female can produce daughters genetically identical to her without having had sex). And even in the odd case of parthenogenesis, non-mitosis reproduction requires a female and the species in question has male and female sexes)
But what about the intersex? These are not points on a spectrum, these are birth defects, the sex-organ equivalent of thalidomide babies. Thanks to genetic science, a child with ambiguous genitalia can be tested to find which sex the infant is, thanks to the discovery of chimerism (the super extremely rare situation in which a single individual is a mashup of 2 eggs fertilized by two sperms, with some organs dominated b one gene profile and others by the other) the child will have more than one organ tested. For some time, intersex adults have been working to make the norm not be surgery on infants, but to allow the person who would live with the results be allowed to get old enough to have a say, if there’s no pressing medical need to intervene before that.
What about those with androgen insensitivity? I know 2 is a small sample size, but I have met two such individuals. Their condition was discovered when their lack of menstruation was investigated. It wasn’t discovered because they claimed to feel like men in women’s bodies, but because they felt as women they should menstruate. Once the truth was discovered, both continued to live as women. I don’t know if that holds for all androgen insensitive individuals, but it does demonstrate that androgen insensitivity does not necessarily lead to feeling “like a man trapped in a woman’s body”.
Maybe we, as a society, instead of going along with the pressure to legislate that “feelz” should trump physical reality, we should continue the trends that have been going on for many decades of a more permeable boundary between the Venn diagram circles representing typical male and typical female behaviors. Like my girl buddy who works in the water/sewer dept of a big city, a male friend of mine who is an RN. Let our boys who want to play with dolls and girls who want to play electronics kits do just those things.
I appreciate the point this story is trying to make and I don’t disagree with the author but, all that said, Sam is mentally ill and probably shouldn’t be having kids. Sam is also in a heterosexual relationship, not a gay one.
LikeLiked by 5 people
Agree with your reality-based comment that Sam is actually in a heterosexual relationship. However, I have no idea what type of parent Sam is to her daughter. I’m not prepared to pass judgment on a person’s ability to be a good mother or father based on Internet evidence (unless there is actual evidence of neglect or abuse). Sam may deeply love her daughter and be raising her with love and sensitivity–how do we know?
I agree with you totally 4thwave that, based on the evidence from her You Tube diary, Sam is nothing but a doting parent, in a stable relationship, and so who are we to judge or pass comment on her ability to raise children. The thing that impressed me about her is that she has been seemingly honest with her partner, the father of her child. He knows that she is female, has gender dysphoria, took testosterone for some time and then stopped doing so. Beyond basic biology it doesn’t matter what labels they or we put on them. I hope that Sam will be open with her child and explain that she has a mother who prefers to present in a way that is different to may others; more ”masculine”. I hope that Sam will not insist that her daughter has two fathers.
This post has stirred up a lot of strong feelings. For my part I see Sam as a woman, a mother; even if that is not how she sees herself. Just in the same way I still see my ex as male and a father to my children.
I just wish with all my heart that people who find themselves at odds with their gender could find some other way through to accepting themselves.
LikeLiked by 2 people
That sounds like mentally ill people shouldn’t have children, which I disagree with. I would not want to deny Sam the ability to have or bring up children because s/he is mentally ill.
I actually closely know some homophobic parents, and they’re much more horrified by lesbians who have children than they are by childless lesbians. They have told me they can “cope with” their daughter being a lesbian, providing she doesn’t give them any grandchildren, because they would “be too worried about my grandchildren growing up in that lifestyle! It would utterly destroy me!”, (quoted as said). I’ve known other people horrified by gay people having children; one, (very elderly) person reduced to tears by meeting a lesbian couple with a child. So, I don’t think a lot of people/parents who are homophobic, would look upon Sam as having developed in to a half way success story. Probably very much the reverse in a lot of cases.
I don’t think Sam would come across as being a heterosexually married wife and mother to most people. Sam still feels like a man, still looks gender non conforming, and is also with a gay or bisexual, (etc re labels), man, not a heterosexual man, so I think Sam seems like a trans person who is with someone who is, like Sam, non heterosexual, and that’s it. All I understand this blog post to be saying is, that some trans people want to have biological children and are happy to have them, even if when younger they wouldn’t have thought so – so, what is the point of making trans children and adolescents sterile when it doesn’t seem necessary, when will be depriving them and their parents, potentially, of a very good thing. A very good point.
I am so sick of these deranged freaks who take risks with children’s lives. I wouldn’t dignify what they do with “discussion”. Sorry to see such a brilliant blog doing this. There is NO room for normalizing what they are doing. None.
I totally agree.
And I would add that I don’t like what they are trying to do to our government – like giving someone’s claim to feel like the sex opposite of his(or her) biological sex legal status equivalent to the biological sex of someone who is not conflicted about his/her sex – which in practice ends up with the “feelz” sex trumping actual physical sex, as when men are permitted to use women’s rest rooms, locker rooms, homeless shelters and DV shelters.
They’ve already succeeded in making it pretty muc standard procedure that transgender persons can get the sex changed not only on their drivers licenses (which, if they’ve had surgery and live full time as the opposite of their biological sex, might be reasonable) but also birth certificates, too, which is letting their “feelz” trump not only biology, but history. A man who has surgery on his genital and takes hormones to mimic the appearance of a woman (and often has to take lessons in how to dress, walk, talk, act – even though he’s “really a woman in a man’s body” and women don’t take such classes, and absorb these behaviors just by living in our society) did not have a girlhood.
Why it is that people for whom “transition” is not a state between gender dysphoria as a male and a happy life being treated by society like a woman, but for whom “transition” is a full-time identity, having a birth certificate reflecting the pre-transition reality and just changing his sex to F on current documentation is not acceptable seems pretty illogical to me.
We already have legal procedures in place for people who legally change their names, which would be a perfectly serviceable prototype for changing sex on legal documentation after surgical and hormonal procedures have been undertaken. A person who has his or her name legally changed doesn’t get a new birth certificate with the adult name in the place of his or her first legal name – the court creates a paper trail that shows the connection between the infant and adult names, and both names exist in legal records.
I’m really sick of knee jerk reactionaries who dismiss trans people as “deranged freaks” and who can’t find any empathy or compassion for trans people, y’all just seem to want trans people to be made illegal or something. Any political group with the will to make transgenderism illegal would also be in favor of making other so called “deranged freaks” illegal, freaks like gays and lesbians and women who want control over their reproduction and I have come to the conclusion that this is an acceptable loss to some gender critical people.
Nope, I fear the the reactionaries and how they are going to use the excesses of trans politics to roll back gay and lesbian rights and women’s rights much more than some dumb dude in a dress, the reactionary right are the deranged freaks I worry about.
Actually the knee-jerking is being done by the trans activists who want to make it illegal for someone to express the opinion that Bruce Jenner (who has only had procedures that can be reversed, such as cheek & butt implants, but not irreversible bottom surgery, and who has XY chromosomes in every bodily cell) is not a woman.
If you want to have body parts removed, change your name and pretend to be the opposite of your biological sex, knock yourself out. I don’t think that your employer should be allowed to fire you, or your landlord kick you out.
The problem is that trans activists want to force all of society to go along with the delusion that persons who have themselves surgically castrated and take some hormones “really always were” on the inside the sex they have decided to mimic ad to punish anyone who would dare to disagree.
I was reading some old news articles about this 6 year old girl Ashley, who had several brain damage, and whose family wanted to make her easier to care for by way of hormone treatment and surgery to remove uterus and breast buds (she was known by the nickname “Pillow Angel). In a story by CNN, it specifically said that the surgery broke Washington State law that requires a court order before a minor can be sterilized.
Here’s a link to the article
So how is chemical sterilization of trans teens legal? There are many well documented cases of it in the US now.
This is exactly hat I am wondering.
Of course, it might be that not all states have laws like Washington State – but so far, my research shows Tennessee does.
And if these procedures are being done in a state where such a las is on the books, that means those procedures are crimes. A physician doing such procedures on children in states where it is illegal to sterilize minor children might be subject to some pretty serious civil suits if such patients regret their transitions in adulthood, not to mention prosecution.
It would seem to me that parents of minor children who are agitating to start transition hormones &/or surgery, might want to check out the laws regarding sterilization of minors within their own states. If the law is on the side of not sterilizing healthy minor children, that might be a powerful tool in slowing down the transition freight train.
I’m pretty sure the rationale behind it is that sterility is just an unfortunate side effect of a necessary and life-saving treatment (like a hysterectomy for woman with uterine cancer), and therefore an acceptable form of collateral damage. Underlying this attitude, there almost certainly *is* some half-formed, not fully-articulated belief that girls who don’t like dresses and Barbie dolls (and boys who do) probably shouldn’t be spreading their genes. As puzzled mentions above, this belief gets expressed as lack of concern about taking away these kids’ fertility. I think her comment absolutely nails it about how the eugenic element in all of this works: there may not be a conscious, stated intention to sterilize sex-role on-compliant children, but it shows up in the cavalier attitude about their fertility and their future quality of life in general.
Even if you’re one of those people who have never had the slightest interest in becoming a parent (like me, for example — not as a child, not as a teenager, not as a young woman, and not now that I’m slouching towards menopause), your reproductive system isn’t some app that you can delete without consequences if you decide you’re not going to use it. It’s an integral part of the bigger and more complicated system that is your body. Those hormones we call “sex hormones” also do a lot of other stuff that’s not particularly sexy, and doesn’t have all that much to do with having babies — just part of the everyday running of your body. Putting healthy a kid on Lupron, and then on cross-sex hormones, and then removing and/or surgically modifying their sex organs doesn’t just render them infertile, it turns a body that works fine on its own into one that doesn’t without lifelong intervention. That’s would be heinous even if it didn’t cause sterility as well.
It’s only slightly less heinous, in my opinion, when doctors sign off on cross-sex hormones and so called SRS for adults. I don’t have as many tears to shed for Bruce Jenner as I do for a sex-role non-compliant kid who gets railroaded into transition, but I do think it damages the medical profession when doctors accommodate patients’ requests for harmful and medically unnecessary procedures that will at the very least compromise their health and at worst disable them. Our society has made such a juggernaut of the idea of “consent” that we don’t seem capable any more of even asking whether or not some things are simply to extreme to consent to. But that’s a question we desperately need to ask, about this and a lot of other things.
A tubal ligation or a vasectomy doesn’t remove any reproductive organs, nor does it prevent them from doing their job of producing necessary hormones. All those procedures do is mechanically prevent sperm and ova from reaching their usual destination. They’re several orders of magnitude less disruptive than any form of medical transition.
Speaking of thalidomide babies — there’s a documentary streaming on Netflix about the newspaper campaign that successfully pressured the drug manufacturers in the UK to compensate the victims adequately. It’s called “Attacking the Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime” (thalidomide was originally developed by Nazi chemists as an antidote to nerve gas, and was marketed as a sedative after the war). The film’s partly a bio of Evans; there are some digressions, and it gets a bit hagiographic at times. But it’s definitely worth the time it takes to watch, and much of it resonates in an eerie way with what’s going on now with the trans kid phenomenon. Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that any kid who’s being transed has some sort of birth defect, or that the situation is directly analogous. What seems troublingly relevant, though, is the pressure on the victims’ parents to shut up and go away. One guy even temporarily lost custody of his daughter because he was unwilling to settle for the pitifully small compensation the drug company tried to offer at first — the UK equivalent of Child Protective Services thought he was being “unreasonable” and “acting against her best interests.” Sound familiar?
Interestingly, the reason expectant mothers were given thalidomide in the first place was that doctors used to think morning sickness was psychosomatic. Sounds nuts, doesn’t it? But in 2016, you still read about doctors telling teenaged girls with endometriosis that they’re just overreacting to their periods.
LikeLiked by 2 people
I actually think that none of the doctors or criminal justice systems where these procedures are being done are using a rational of “live saving procedure”.
I would be willing to bet that these people are unaware these laws are on the books. I was unaware of this type of legislation til I read the “Pillow Angel” story in Time.
Trish that’s where the psych letter and suicide threats come in. That covers the physician and surgeon. I seriously doubt they can be sued. They plead “best recommended practices” and that’s their ass in the clear. To sue a physician, you must prove harm and that it was deliberate. Causing harm by error or carelessness (they’ll never admit that) is not the same as setting out to cause harm. If someone has information to the contrary I’d love to see it, cited.
@Trish — The rationale is that if kids are denied transition, they will be at increased risk for suicide because gender dysphoria is so terrible. “Would you rather have a live [FTT] son or a dead daughter? If you won’t let your kid transition, you’re like those Christian Scientists who’d rather see their children die than let them have a blood transfusion.” etc., etc., etc. That argument gets trotted out by trans activists AND medical professionals who are on the trans bandwagon every time someone brings up the sterilization issue, never mind the other health concerns.
It’s illegal to sterilize a minor child or an mentally disabled adult for eugenic purposes, but not illegal to perform what’s deemed a necessary medical procedure on them for other reasons, even if sterility is one of the by-products. Currently, all kinds of things that are ethically questionable can be done legally if a person is considered “at risk for suicide.” Just “at risk,” mind you. When there’s a gray area, judges usually defer to a psychiatrist’s or psychologist’s opinion. I am certain that the doctors who are transing kids know this and are counting on it — they still have to worry about malpractice lawsuits and keeping their licenses.
In my opinion, the only ethically questionable thing that should be legal to do with people at risk for suicide would be locking them up so they can’t commit suicide.
It may be expensive, but at least it is effective, which cannot be said about gender surgeries.
I know the trans activists have weaponized suicide threats. But I don’t find any evidence that these are being presented to judges to get a waiver of the laws forbidding the sterilization of minor children.
As far as I can tell, the law is being flouted. All the court cases I’ve found so far refer to either children with severe disabilities (as in the case of “Pillow Angel” Ashley) .
Even the AMA’s web ethics journal discusses the sterilization of minors on in this one narrow context:
A part I am worried about here is whether a transman’s pregnancy is actually healthy. Obviously there are lacks of research concerning the effects of testosterone on a female body, and therefore the consequences of a pregnancy on a woman who has been on testosterone; however, I am also concerned about the consequences for the offspring: even if the mother goes off hormones during pregnancy, what do we know about the implications it has for the fetus to mature in female body that has been subjected to such a hormonal treatment in the past?
(PS: sorry, I know that my comment comes quite late)