TransActive doubles down on fast-track transition policy with clueless reblog of ex-client who decries their lack of gatekeeping

UPDATE June 12, 2016: Jenn Burleton, Director of TransActive Gender Center, has responded. See this post for details.

Regular readers will recall ”In praise of gatekeepers,” the 4thWaveNow interview with Cari, a former teen client of TransActive Gender Center in Portland, OR. In her interview, Cari, now 22, told us that TransActive “counselors” made it far too easy for her to  be referred for medical transition at age 16; she started testosterone at 17 and moved on to “top surgery” (double mastectomy) soon thereafter. In retrospect, Cari wishes there had been a lot more gatekeeping at TransActive—especially because her counselor never suggested investigating whether Cari’s history of trauma and comorbid mental health issues might have played a part in her desire to transition.

A few days ago, Cari wrote a post pointedly criticizing TransActive’s gatekeeper-free teen transition policies.

Kari on TA

Kari on TA addendum

Whoever manages TransActive’s official Tumblr blog reblogged Cari’s post, but instead of addressing her concerns, they simply doubled down on their propaganda:

Kari on TA 2

Either this TransActive employee has trouble with reading comprehension, or they just figured that spamming Cari’s Tumblr followers with their superRAD!-no-mean-cis-gatekeeping policy would somehow drown out her silly concerns. But either way, as Cari told 4thWaveNow, “This should give people some insight into how TransActive treats detransitioned ex-clients. Whoever runs their social media accounts has so little empathy, they reblogged a post by a woman who was irreparably harmed by their org and acted like I was praising their services.

Additionally, Cari told 4thWaveNow that she had previously written to TransActive to ask what services they could provide to someone who was unhappy with transition and wanted some support for  detransitioning. TransActive’s response was to send Cari a list of therapists—all of whom were trained by TransActive, and one of which is an employee of the LLC, BraveSpace, a newly established trans youth counseling org which has replaced TransActive’s in-house therapy program.  “This concerns me,” Cari told us. “While I’m speculating here, I know many detransitioned women I’ve spoken with have issues with therapists who think they are simply experiencing “internalized transphobia” or social pressure and therefore try to convince them to retransition.”

Given TransActive’s track record of spurring kids and teens on to hormones and surgeries—as well as the complete absence of any acknowledgement that regretters or detransitioners exist (let alone listing any resources for detransitioners on their very professional looking website), it’s unlikely an unhappy ex-client like Cari would find a sympathetic ear from any of the “counselors” affiliated with TransActive.

A couple of days ago, Cari tagged TransActive (i.e., she invited them to respond) in a followup post with a very clear message about the failings of her former TransActive “counselor” Sheryl:

Kari on TA 4.jpg

As of this writing, TransActive hasn’t reblogged nor replied to Cari’s latest post. Maybe they’ll be better at taking a hint with pictures than with words? Stay tuned.

Kari on TA 3

12 thoughts on “TransActive doubles down on fast-track transition policy with clueless reblog of ex-client who decries their lack of gatekeeping

  1. Cari’s posters “cut to the core” of the pathology.
    I have bookmarked them, and intend to use them in the future (with acknowledgment, of course) to explain to outsiders the nature of the psychiatric disturbance suffered by trans adolescents.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Or by trans-identified people whose therapists utterly fail them by ignoring the real sources of their unease.

      Just to add for readers that Cari’s excellent, eloquent posters include powerful additional text in smaller print, only legible in the versions on her site: click on 4thwave’s link just above them here (‘very clear message about the failings…’) and then on each poster individually.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Are the posts from and transgendertrend being sent to Maria Miller’s Transgender equality inquiry ( which is still open?
    Obviously it takes time for us as opponents of the transgender cult to get our act together when the Trans activists and PR people (paid for with OUR taxes!?) are so active and so well prepared.
    Please reassure me?


      • I think the best way is to raise our voices on a popular science/medical blog, and then try to get major press from there. I don’t know which one is the most popular, but I think the author of this site should compile the best articles from this website and send it to a science/medical blog.

        Another idea I had just now: maybe 4thwavenow should start a crowdfunding campaign to pay for those who want to detransition?


      • You would think that journalists would want to expose what is happening, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. I know there are some reporters aware of this phenomenon, but they hesitate to cover it.

        There are a lot of pressures not to write about the trans’ing of children, teens and young adults, especially for liberal-leaning journalists who likely have trouble disconnecting it from the transgender rights movement.

        And, of course, they may feel like exposing this mess would cost them their jobs. At the very least, it would get them called transphobic bigots.

        If anyone has a way to get the message out there to a wider audience, please do so. This little grass roots effort of ours could definitely use some help.


      • @ overwhelmed:

        I think there are a few fairly popular medical organizations that are mostly against trans procedures for the same reasons we are, though I don’t remember their names at the moment. Perhaps publish 4thwavenow’s articles there?

        Overall, I think we should stop worrying and fearing over being called “transphobic” and other such insults. If their arguments are correct, then they’re correct; no manner of ad hominems will erase the truth. In fact, those that throw insults are inadvertently admitting you’re correct, because they *can’t* counter your facts and logic any other way. Rather than concede you’re correct (and that said opponents were mistaken/wrong), they will try smear campaigns, especially those who are *actually* profiting from the industry.

        Like Carrie Ann mentioned, the similarities between the alt-med community and the pro-trans surgery industry *are* startling. I’ve argued against alt-med for a very long time, including the “professionals”. I’ve seen just about every trick they use, and bullying/name-calling is their most common, and sadly the most effective.

        Probably the best strategy (at first) against the trans-surgery-for-every-case advocates is to use one of their favorite tactics: emotional appeal. Make people aware of those truly suffering from unnecessary surgeries, because then people *will* start to question the dogmatic surgeries/procedures.

        Start small with individuals and help crowdfund those who desperately need money (on sites like GoFundMe with a lot of traffic) and go from there. It would be an excellent idea for 4thwave to start an independent non-profit organization to help fund detransitioning people and the treatments they *really* need.


      • It would be an excellent idea for 4thwave to start an independent non-profit organization to help fund detransitioning people and the treatments they *really* need.

        The starting point for supporting detransitioners must be to ask them what they would find helpful. They must have the ownership. I understand that the tumblr blogger Redressalert is now the contact for the detransitioning women’s forum.

        I do not know of an equivalent group for men, but there are several male detransitioners posting on the web: ThirdWayTrans, Joel Nowak, Awesome Cat, MiriamAfloat.

        Are you willing to take responsibility for organising any support the detransitioners would like to see? Or are you just proposing this as something someone else should undertake?

        One of the curses of successful activism in any area is that people start urging you to take on additional very demanding projects, in addition to the commitments you have already undertaken.

        I think 4thwavenow has been doing very, very valuable work in raising awareness, disseminating good information and supporting harried parents. All credit to the owner and original blogger, to the contributors and the others involved with this site.

        Personally I think the logical next stage is to figure out how best to influence public debate and the political process: including the lobbying that goes on continually ‘behind the scenes’ in government. I don’t know how you go about doing this in the States. I am British. (And no, I am not one of the women who demonstrated outside the meeting in London this week. All credit to them.)

        The flyer distributed at the demo in London and published on the GenderTrender blog is extremely good.

        Clear, punchy, flyers and press releases and well-written, well-supported information papers are very important. Personal stories, placed in context, have a lot of impact.

        There is a lot of excellent material on this blog. How can it best be used to influence a) public opinion and b) the political process in the States? That is a key question, but I do not know the answer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clt, Una Hodgkins and others in the UK,

        Write to:
        and your own MP!

        How did I learn this? Stephanie Davies-Arai posted on her Twitter account TWO MORE good,clear, instructive flyers from Wednesday’s demonstration – one on the transing of children, the other about women’s rights – and at the bottom of the second were these email addresses.

        Not sure why Gendertrender didn’t screenshot those leaflets, too, in addition to the excellent one already there? Gallus Mag’s fine post on the demonstration has been shared on Facebook over a thousand times, maybe because the Washington News picked it up? While UK media have completely IGNORED the demo – unless anyone knows otherwise?

        Can people maybe write to their newspaper asking them to cover it, link to gendetrender’s post?:


  3. It makes me wonder if the TransActive Tumblr account manager has tunnel vision. Maybe this person sees “reduction in gatekeeping” as strictly a positive thing for ALL situations, and is blind to the fact that it can, and has, caused great harm.

    It reminds me of certain conservatives agreeing with the messages on Comedy Central’s satirical show The Colbert Report (before it was cancelled). Stephen Colbert (in persona) would behave in an over-the-top politically conservative way to get laughs. But there were some who thought the show was the real deal, not a spoof.

    Unfortunately, the more deeply held someone’s ideology is, the more difficult it is to get through to them that their view of the world is flawed. They are able to rationalize away anything that doesn’t fit with their narrative. All of those who desist before medical interventions, and those who decide to de-transition are too easily discounted, like they never existed.

    But the more people like Cari speak out (awesome post by the way!, I especially admire your posters), the more difficult it will be to continue denying what is happening.

    Liked by 3 people

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