by Jenny Cyphers
Jenny Cyphers is a homeschooling parent. She has been writing about that experience for many years, in various online forums. Jenny has been married for 24 yrs to the father of their two children, one adult and one teenager. They all live, work, and create, in Oregon. Jenny and her teen daughter were recently interviewed for an article about gender-dysphoric youth in The Atlantic.
4thWaveNow editorial note: We are grateful for Jesse Singal’s reporting on this complex issue and appreciate that he included the seldom-heard voices of teens who desisted from a trans identity, and their parents, in his article. We are aware that in some circles, the discussions we host on our site are considered transphobic and that we, a loosely-organized group of parents writing on this site, have been defamed as a “hate group” by those on the extreme end of the activist spectrum.
As always, we encourage those interested in the issue to read as widely as possible so they may come to their own conclusions. We contend that by leaving out all mention of 4thWaveNow, The Atlantic not only failed to offer parents the alternative opinions and resources we offer, but they also contributed to an environment that, due to censorship of critical voices, continues to propagate the distorted idea that cautiousness around medical interventions for minors is inherently harmful to trans-identified people in general.
I knew, when I agreed to be interviewed for The Atlantic article “When Children Say They’re Transgender,” that some of my words might be cut, or changed in ways I didn’t intend. But Jesse Singal is a good journalist. He’s personable and honest and willing to take on some really difficult subjects. He digs deep, records, researches, cites sources and ties things together in a nuanced way. Along with editors, he carefully adds and discards words, phrases, sources, quotes, and relevant ideas that lend themselves to the overall picture of what people will read and take away from what they’ve read. That’s what good journalism is.
There are a few things about our story and the way it was presented in The Atlantic that I’d like to clarify. First and foremost, the last-minute editorial decision to unlink the essay “A Careful Step into a Field of Landmines,” I’d written for 4thWaveNow, combined with removal of all mention of the site, needs to be highlighted because in doing so, The Atlantic failed to include important resources created to help parents support their gender dysphoric and nonconforming youth. The result is an article focused on the “situation” of “trans kids” that obscures parent-led examination and support for youth to explore identity without harmful medical interventions, the consequences of which can last a lifetime.
There are more choices for families than to either support their teens’ requests for pharmaceuticals and surgery on the one hand, and disowning or otherwise invalidating their interest in exploring their identity and nonconformity on the other. The Atlantic editors’ choice to remove 4thWaveNow from the discussion in effect denied parents access to important analysis that offers a balanced and middle ground.
Part of my agreeing to contribute to this important debate is helping to create a platform. This website is such a platform. In talking with Jesse, I was upfront about my beliefs, which in part have been informed by 4thWaveNow and the great many array of voices shared here. It isn’t a monolith. Some of us are very liberal, left-leaning people in liberal left-leaning parts of the country, doing liberal left-leaning activities. Some of us are middle-of-the road, a minority of us are conservative, some of us are doctors, therapists, professors, and teachers. Some of us have allowed full social transition to give space to figure things out while still not agreeing to medical transitioning, and some have not. Excluding mention of 4thWaveNow, a site that gets 60K hits a month, fails to tell the whole story. Why do that? Why leave out one of my main sources of information and the ways that information helped me help my child?
Two of the most important aspects of my family’s experience that are not adequately addressed in the Atlantic article, are: 1) my daughter was given a clinical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, so she was just as “truly trans” as the next kid, and 2) it was my insistence that my child wait to medically transition, not her therapist’s. My teen’s therapist, Laura Edwards-Leeper, listened to me and agreed. We were lucky. While there are some cautious, thoughtful providers, the current situation in the US is that there is also no oversight. The most vocal professionals are firmly in the affirmation camp which believes, without any long-term data to validate, that withholding hormonal interventions is tantamount to abuse.
I didn’t know, going into Delta’s first appointment, what the outcome would be. That’s how difficult this is for parents; we have no idea what the outcome will be when we have very “insistent, consistent, and persistent” children requesting immediate medical interventions. It’s a matter of luck to find a therapist who respects parents’ knowledge of their children, who takes parental concerns and insights seriously, and who are not afraid to support slow, cautious progression.
While many transgender activists argue that they understand our children better than we do, there is no evidence to support their claim. Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is seen primarily, although not exclusively, in natal females during puberty. It is important to understand that what separates my daughter and many of the kids of 4thWaveNow parents, is this: None of these kids experienced distress over their sexed bodies until they came into contact with the idea that there might be something wrong with them. In other words, the dysphoria is what was “rapid onset,” not necessarily their gender atypicality. These are not kids with “early-onset,” nor do they resemble later in life transitioning people who frequently claim to have always “felt like” a girl but were too afraid or oppressed by family dynamics to admit their feelings. Then, making wide sweeping projections of their own experiences, they mark our children as being in need of the help they believe they should have had. With our kids, as with the group of young people described in Lisa Littman’s survey where ROGD was first named, their dysphoria set in quickly during puberty, often after spending hours online watching/reading others discuss their distress.
Another outlandish claim (made repeatedly by some activists and “affirming” clinicians) is that we simply missed all the signs our children were suffering earlier. I can assure you that, as a homeschooling mom who spent all day every day with my daughter, she never thought she was or wanted to be a boy prior to encountering the idea from transgender kids in her social circle. In fact, between ages 9-11, she was often “misgendered” (referred to as “he” or “him”) and hated it. It saddens me that these activists experienced such awful childhoods. However, their childhoods seem to have been negatively influenced by the religious fundamentalism and/or abusiveness of their parents; their childhoods do not remotely resemble the experiences of my daughter or the many other young people experiencing ROGD whom I’ve met.
Teens and tweens with ROGD often meet all the clinical diagnostic criteria for transitioning. They are often “insistent, persistent, and consistent” for more than six months, or in our case, for two years. Teens with ROGD also typically meet the clinical threshold for gender dysphoria, as mine did. It’s in her medical file. That’s correct, my “never really trans kid” had a clinical diagnosis of gender dysphoria under the DSM-V. This is what we hope others understand: our kids are suffering, they hate their bodies, they want and need help. In many cases, our kids had trouble making friends, experienced some form of earlier trauma, and struggle in other important ways, completely unrelated to gender, that should not be overlooked or seen as secondary to their dysphoria.
I know, because I was in pro-transitioning parent support groups, that parents are going to “gender specialists” and demanding medical interventions for their children without thoroughly considering why their children feel the way they do. I know, because I’ve heard from parents, that some therapists will give the green light to medical pathways without addressing any mental health issues. Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who treats 900 youth at her LA clinic, is quoted in Singal’s article as saying that she “believes that therapy can be helpful for many TGNC young people, but she opposes mandating mental-health assessments for all kids seeking to transition.” As many 4thWaveNow parents and teens will tell you, this attitude denies young people the opportunity to deeply explore why they want to alter their bodies and shuts down learning about other non-medical means of managing their distress.
When I was approached to do an interview, I needed to carefully consider my motivation for doing so, and if I should agree to discuss my family’s situation at all. Ultimately, I agreed because people need to hear that there are other ways to support trans-identifying kids. Gender dysphoria is very real and it hurts. My child’s life wasn’t easy because of the intense pain of GD. I knew there had to be answers other than what I saw everywhere around me, that suggested agreeing to medical interventions was the loving and kind thing to do, and that these interventions were harmless and helpful. I agreed to be interviewed because I wanted to highlight for other parents that there are other choices: most notably, offering support (buying clothing, getting haircuts, using a new name, finding a decent therapist) while also saying “I don’t think there is anything incongruent about your body/feelings.” The Atlantic axed this part of our story, the part where parents can offer tremendous support for their children without ever setting foot in a gender clinic in search of medical interventions.
I used to be a lot more open to the idea of transitioning children, in part because I know and like many transgender people. It wasn’t until I found that in the US, girls as young as 13 are getting mastectomies, that I began to question gender affirming medicine. In the new genderist language it’s called “chest,” “top,” or “confirmation” surgery. It sounds so much nicer than a double mastectomy, almost positive and pleasant. Cutting healthy body parts off of children should not be a thing. Ever. That was the moment I decided I would never stop talking about this.
My part of the interview with Jesse Singal–although about my daughter–was really more about how to support, in general, a child going through this very difficult experience. It is challenging, if not impossible, to find places to discuss supporting teens as they explore their identity in non-medical ways. 4thWaveNow is the only US-based resource that allows this. We need to talk about how to support gender non-conforming kids; things like buying clothing from the boys’ department if you have a daughter, or buying girl clothing if you have a son. My part of the interview wasn’t aimed at kids, but at parents who really need more and better tools for helping their distressed children than the “transition or die” option. Without choices, how can people really make one? Pick one of the two? No thanks.
Someone asked me the other day why I care. Why can’t I just let people do what they want? The answer is really simple. As humans we are guided to protect our young. If our culture fails to do so, each of us have failed to protect our children. This is why there are laws against abusing children, laws preventing minors from smoking or drinking, laws to keep kids from driving, laws for educating children. We can argue against any one of those things, but the cultural “we” have agreed that this is for the good of protecting children from harm, and for promoting welfare. In the US, unlike in other countries, there are no laws or regulations about transitioning children. Until there are, this is up for debate and I’m weighing in.
The fact that so many parents are left with this narrative that there is only one right way to help a confused kid, is what drives a wedge between the parent and child, leaving children vulnerable to self-proclaimed internet “experts”, like Zinnia Jones, who are more than willing to validate their feelings, further dividing parent and child.
Look, I understand that there are some truly not-very-nice parents out there, but we should not be making policy around them. That’s the sort of thing that creates bad case law. Let’s assume that the vast majority of parents want what’s best for their children, even if they have no idea what that looks like.
I was even more puzzled about the Atlantic‘s last-minute editorial decisions when I saw that, not only was any mention of 4thwavenow scrubbed in the final version of the article, but a statement by Jones and reference to Jones’ website were included. Jones has written multiple screeds denying the existence of the rapid-onset dysphoria in adolescent girls that more and more people (including clinicians) are noticing. Further, Jones recommends (on Twitter) that young people secretly obtain puberty blockers online if their parents aren’t onboard.
Unfortunately, many therapists, and others invested in the transgender narrative, seem to be heavily influenced by activists like Zack Ford, an opinion writer for the website Think Progress who, in response to Singal’s article, enunciates the activist-notion that parental concern and insight is irrelevant to the discussion. He writes,
“Whether a parent doubts the legitimacy of a child’s transition has zero relevance to whether transitioning is best for their child. Humoring this doubt is exactly what makes the story so harmful.”
Read that quote again. Read it several times to see just how dismissive it is of parents, the very people transgender and gender non-conforming kids rely on for support. You know–the people who would be signing the informed consent paperwork at the doctor’s office, agreeing to allow doctors to prescribe permanent, sometimes sterilizing, experimental off-label use of medications, and body-altering irreversible surgeries.
The collective, cultural “we” cannot dismiss parents as trivial when we are discussing our children, whom we will protect with our lives. This protective mechanism is the prime role of parents and an important part of being human and all the moral and ethical things that come with it. This is not a divide between liberal and conservative. There are too many divisions in this world, and this country, as it is. This is about whether “we” have an ethical imperative to protect our children. Yes, we need to listen to kids. We also need to listen to parents who are not interested in stifling their children’s interests or gender presentation, but who also know their children better than any therapist ever will.
I am a formerly trans (FtM/female to “nonbinary”) lesbian teenager, much like the girl in the article. I was drawn into the nonbinary community due to my feelings about my body and my alientation from other girls due to my lesbianism. Reading this blog, along with gender critical dad and other similar blogs, have helped me realize I don’t have to claim to be nonbinary to be normal. I can be normal as a lesbian teenager, and that’s fine. I just want to thank everyone, especially you parents who are trying to help your children find other ways to deal with their body issues, including finding the root of the problem. As always, never, /ever/ shut the door on your kids. Make it known to them, time and time again, that you will accept them if they take back their transness.
Bless you all, have a wonderful day!
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I think it’s so important to allow a child space to figure things out. If parents rush to help their tween or teen transition, they’ve effectively told that child, in actions that they won’t or shouldn’t change their mind. I’m not sure how we got to this place where parents don’t understand basic child development. The current protocol of affirm only, followed by the many many gender therapists that usher that kid onto blockers and/or hrt, after just a visit or two, IS medical malpractice that ignores ALL common sense child development.
I’m glad that you were able to find resources that helped! Thanks for your reply.
AND YES!!!! Parents should never ever shut the door on their kids!
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I am so touched and a little daunted, that what I wrote could connect and have a positive effect. Thanks
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You’re pretty amazing, sir. Your blog is awesome and I would love to see more material from you! 🙂
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Bravo to you! I have a question – which I have been wondering. How do you think your generation got the idea that being *female* had to do with stereotypical things such as glitter or fashion or manicures?
When I was growing up, feminism was all about stopping those old gender stereotypes. Now girls are being told that if they have an interest in, say, cars, they must be a male. What happened? What do your friends say if you ask them about this (if you can)?
I think it came from the idea of gender identity being different from your sex. My generation needed a way to define gender identity as separate, so they took harmful stereotypes that alienated tons of people. While we have the acceptance of GNC children in the media, (think of kids like Jaiden Smith and Miley Cyrus) we still call them “nonbinary” despite the fact that they’re just GNC, and nothing more than that.
Thanks for your response. I’m still trying to understand the mindset, because based on what you are saying, it still all comes down to clothes and fashion.
You wrote: “My generation needed a way to define gender identity as separate,”
Why the “need”? What changed? You should have *more* options with clothing and presentation than we did, since you don’t have as strict rules with dress at school and whatnot. And I’m GenX…I wore jeans and t-shirts to school every day and no make-up in high school and never was considered not a girl. I was just a girl.
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this. Has the pervasiveness of media so entranced teenagers today that they can’t tell the difference between the clothes someone wears and a person? Or has it gotten to the point where the main thing that defines a person is the clothes they wear?
“we still call them “nonbinary” despite the fact that they’re just GNC”
So if a girl has short hair and wants to wear pants and no make-up, she has to be put into a special gender category? Why label it at all? Why can’t it just be that Miley doesn’t like long hair? It is solely because hair extensions have been fashionable for so long that teens don’t know that women used to have short hair as a style option? (Go look at pics of models in the 80s – lots of short hair!)
Speaking of the 80s – we had men with long hair and make-up (Duran Duran and Boy George), and women like Annie Lennox dressing like a man, and never once thought they had to be trans or even label them “gender non-confirming” for this. Annie Lennox was simply a woman with short hair and a suit. We have totally regressed.
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I say “we” but really I mean society. The same society that pushes for kids to be trans. Because “we” put the trans movement in the spotlight, “we” needed to understand what gender is when gender is different from sex.
Therefore gender was defined as “gender identity” which is “feeling male” or “feeling female.” But what is “feeling fe/male” aside from stereotypes? That’s basically what I was trying to get at. The stereotypes are usually clothing based, but we also have stereotypes in behavior.
There’s a very specific post that I’ve seen on r/transgender or whatever subreddit it was, and it was a group of… “transitioning people” (male to female) who were super giddy about losing strength because of estrogen. It was really sexist and gross, but I guess that’s what the trans version of gender is.
And I agree, we 100% have regressed when it comes to accepting GNC people. I wish it could be as simple as dressing in jeans and a t and still being female. My mother is a saint in that sense. She has never pushed that females have to be one way or another, and I thank her for that.
I can’t tell you how much this infuriates me and breaks my heart, after being a feminist activist when I was younger working to break sexist stereotypes.
We shouldn’t even have a “GNC” or “gender non-conforming” category for people. The very term implies that there is a “gender” (different from “sex”) that you need to conform or not conform to. Why the need for labels???
People are people. Some people are more aggressive, some people are more emotional, some people like pink, some people love electronics. We might say that statistically, biological males have a tendency to be more “aggressive” perhaps due to testosterone, but that’s a generalization and not an across the board truth. Some biological women are aggressive and some biological men are meek and mild. (I refuse to use the demeaning term “cis.”)
There is no need to navel gaze and try to put some damn label on it. People are just DIFFERENT and UNIQUE and that is entirely thrown away with this whole toxic gender ideology.
When you have time, please look up “free to be you and me” on YouTube. This was a project led by actress Marlo Thomas. It includes a lot of (then) famous people such as Alan Alda.
You’ll see the entire album is up there to listen to. This is what *my* generation grew up listening to. It is ALL about being “gender non-conforming” as you would call it. In particular, listen to “Boy Meets Girl,” “Atalanta” and “William Wants a Doll.”
There is nothing in there about being “trans” or “GNC.” It’s basically, you are FREE to be whomever you want to be, no matter what your sex is.
That we have gone from that to women not being able to dress in a unisex manner without being labeled “GNC” is absolutely horrifying.
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I would also like to mention that I was given a diagnosis of dysphoria as well, despite the fact I am also not really trans. It’s disgusting how easy it is for children to get diagnosed with dysphoria and therefore get access to drugs and legal self harm.
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I myself (straight) and my very straight 13 year old son have taken one of those gender self assessment tests online. For both of us, the result came back a ‘high probability of being transgender’. A lot of questions are related to the home situation; divorced parents, financial difficulties, among others things. Since over 50% of marriages end in divorce and ‘broken’ home situations are common, there will be a lot of ‘yes’ answers, which appears to have a influence of the test result. A teen struggling with puberty, a difficulte home environment and social issues will most likely receive a result positive for being transgender. Once the seed is planted, it becomes very hard to debunk and to convince the teen that these tests are bogus and scharlatan. Any transgender supportive therapist will gladly confirm the diagnoses of dysphoria and/or transgenderism, obtained from a test on the internet. Once the train is in motion, it’s extremly difficult to bring it to a halt.
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My doctor diagnosed me off of my word alone. He is ///allowed to give testosterone prescriptions./// I said “I think I might be nonbinary” and he diagnosed me with gender dysphoria right then and there. It was even easier for me than just an online test.
Regularly there are complaints about gatekeeping in the community by doctors. Personally I feel there is not /enough/ gatekeeping. If I, as a young teenager, was taken on my word as being trans, imagine how easy it would be for kids younger than me to also be taken on their word.
And if they get an unaccepting doctor, who dares to doubt their identity, the kids and their parents can just go doctor shopping for the hundreds of doctors listed online as ‘trans friendly’ who are willing to harm kids for a quick buck.
It’s getting easier and easier for children to mutilate themselves. Personally, I worry for my friends, who are still believing their ROGD is real and can only be dealt with through surgery and hormones. It’s insane. I’m still so glad I found this website, even though I’m not really the target audience.
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Hello M, it sounds like you are on the right track. I hope you use your knowledge to help your friends and hopefully have a positive impact on them.
The way teens easily can obtain prescriptions for harmful drugs is borderline criminal and should be base for medical malpractice. In our school district, students are not even allowed to have a headache pill or a cough drop without the supervision of the school nurse, but they have access to puberty blockers and T, sometimes without the parents permission and knowledge. It’s insane.
The best of luck to you.
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M, maybe you could try to talk to some of your friends and explain what’s truly going on. Show them that they are being used. Rebel against the current system of abuse. Teen years are the years of rebellion. We need people your age talking out about this, even if you reach just one person.
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Dorthy, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. However, my school is very liberal and saying these things, or even being a feminist, could get me in a lot of trouble socially.
I wish it was more acceptable to doubt being trans, because often times I see people who are making no effort to pass but still want hormones/surgery because it “sounds cool” and because they feel pressured to do so to be a real trans person.
I’m not sure if this website has done an article on tucute vs transmedicalists ideology and what that is doing to children’s choices when they first start claiming to be trans.
If it hasn’t been written, it would be great if it was. The whole community is really a mess.
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Would you like to write it?
I’m so sorry if this is a double post. I couldn’t remember if I responded or not. I would love to write the article, I found my old WordPress account and redid it if that would make sharing the article easier. I would love to be a regular contributer as well, although I’m not a parent but a teen. I saw that many people were available in the comments of their posts, and I wouldn’t mind doing that for my article, if that’s okay. My WordPress is kittiesfordays.wordpress.com , just so I can prove I am who I say I am.
Great! We’d love to have you.
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I agree. It’s far too easy. We all need to keep talking about this until the narrative changes. My personal opinion is that what’s happening right now, with the removal of gate-keeping, will ultimately harm all TGNC people. I recognize that there will be the rare child that will benefit from transitioning, but even those minority of children can only be helped with more therapy, not less. It’s not easy to reconcile that sort of body/mind disconnect and the long lasting consequences of transitioning.
The people actively working to eliminate all gate-keeping, are all grown adults. For that population, maybe they don’t need so many hoops. That’s a debate those folks should have. For kids, there should be more, far more gate-keeping than exists now.
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I think the ‘non-binary’ thing should also be discussed, if there’s going to be an article about tucutes. I see in say, five years or ten years, all the ‘non-binaries’ who aren’t taking hormones or anything living normal lesbian or even straight female lives, and their trans men friends* …who they assuredly supported very much! are left in a permanent middle space.
*there are non binary people on hormones, but I frequently see those people coming out as trans men after a short time on T
Also, bad mogai identities and microlabelling in general–I see them as hand-in-hand.
Yes I agree with you about non-binary identities. I’m putting together a lot of material on all of these topics. And I have a section on non-binary identities. In every story about a non-binary that you see in the media, they are always total neurotics with a few exceptions of males who are cross-dressing fetishists. They constantly ruminate about their identity, changing pronouns daily sometimes. They have a history of depression and anxiety and often eating disorders. They seem utterly obsessed with needing validation from others. They have an existential crisis just choosing which gender bathroom they’re going to use. It’s disturbing to me. I think the line between gender dysphoria, mass psychogenic hysteria, body dysmorphic disorder, aspects of histrionic disorder and BPD, and trying to be edgy and cool is very very blurry with these mostly female non-binaries. It could be it’s own category of a body perception disorder in of itself??? All seemingly gleefully celebrated by the therapy community.
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I talked a bit more about nonbinary/MOGAI identities in the article thanks to this comment! I plan to write more about them on my blog as well.
I agree with what you say about how nonbinary is even more of a phase than normal transness, but unfortunately I have seen people arguing the same “transition is the only option” in the nonbinary communities as well.
If things keep going in the direction they’re going, we’re just going to have another community full of detransitioning kids.
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Alright, here we go. Here’s the link to the article on my GC account. https://wp.me/pa1GM2-q . I’ve seen you reblog others posts, so I thought that would be easiest to do!
This was an excellent blog post. Everyone should read it. Can I talk to you about something I’m working on around this actually? contact @thehomoarchy.com.
I would love to, but it seems to be glitching out with my computer. gendercriticalkitten has a contact area, maybe you could see if that works for you?
M I have read your link to your blogpost. At the risk of making myself seem like a weirdo, I recognise a lot of my teenage-self in what you describe as tucutes. My first sexual fantasies involved gay boys. I guess it was a way of not committing to the inherent grossness of male-female sexual encounters, but at the same time seeing it as something you just have to get used to. BTW I’m going back to the late 70’s here.
When did sexuality get confused with gender-identity? I never doubted that I was female. In a time before the internet and tumbler I was just a girl who didn’t give a second thought about how I presented myself. We could be ourselves and enjoy the music of Annie Lennox and Boy George at the same time.
I fell in with a hetro-normative group and felt pressurised to find a partner. Maybe he felt the same pressure. It’s hard to tell, but there was something not quite right. Four years ago he declared himself to be a transwoman, after 30 years of marriage and fathering children. I have found myself attracted to both men and women in the past but always, always put my children first.
It isn’t easy to admit, or even discover, who you are in this life. To a certain extent we are also very privileged if our identity is our main problem….1st world problems.
But we are in a different time now and young pre-pubescent kids have access to the internet, to tumbler and there are many out there who seek to draw them in. I would love to hear from you on 4th Wave’s blog.
Thetranswidow, here’s what happened.
Tumblr was for a long time home to fujoshi (fans of ‘yaoi’, or homoerotic Japanese cartoons drawn by and for women) and slash fans (the Western equivalent). These people were frequently really weird and gross and fetishistic of gay men, and often quite misogynistic toward female characters. Other users got sick of them. No more fujos, gay men aren’t your pets to objectify, stop putting down women to get your cute yaoi boyz together, etc., etc.
But tumblr says that if you say you’re a man, you are a man. So all the fujos became ‘trans boys’ or at least ‘nonbinary mlm’. No more criticism. It’s not really ‘autoandrophilia’, I don’t think, but it’s as close as you’re going to get.
Excellent blog post, M!
Try sending your blog to The Atlantic, as a follow-up to their recent article.
Yes, I do realize that they won’t publish it. People need to be aware of the online communities that are creating these identities.
I do hope you will be a contributor on 4thWaveNow.
https://wp.me/pa1GM2-q . So sorry, I just wanted to repost this into this thread.
I’m going to try to contact you through your blog if contact at thehomoarchy.com isn’t working for you.
It is not particularly difficult to look up Zinnia’s tweets and find him supporting violence against women, such as the tweet where he said women who challenge men in bathrooms better look out because they’re going to challenge the wrong person. This completely conflicts with the claim that they must use women’s bathrooms because they are in fear of male violence. He is not a reputable source by half and it was quite irresponsible to include such as him.
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I was honestly surprised to discover that person was included in an article with otherwise sane voices. The article was careful and balanced and nuanced. I, personally, would have shifted the balance a little, but not my article, not my magazine. ZJ is not careful, balanced, or nuanced, so a fail to see how their voice is relevant at all, in any way, in an article dealing with children, parents, and therapists. Not a credible or reliable source at all. But, parents should see for themselves. If they find they don’t appreciate the tone of such people, who routinely dismiss parents as relevant in any way, then perhaps it’s good that the curtain has been pulled back to reveal this person, and others like them, for what they are, irrelevant to the conversation regarding children.
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Another great post by 4thwavenow. I’ve been following this site for 3 years. Almost immediately, I realized my daughter’s gender dysphoria was different from what parents were reporting here about their daughters. You see, my child often demonstrated atypical girl behavior from a young age and demonstrated and verbalized discomfort with her sexed body early on. The discomfort and atypical behavior became more apparent over time and she developed extreme GD. There were no other trans people that she was aware of when she approached me about being trans. We found a good therapist and slowly explored other possible reasons for the GD. I support very slow, extensive therapy exploring all factor which could contribute to GD. That’s not conversion therapy. That’s called common sense.
We moved quicker than I would have liked but slower than my child would have liked. She has transitioned to live as a man and leads a quiet, private life. We parents worry tons because Testosterone is used off label and the LONG -term effects are UNKNOWN.
How can clinicians and trans adults deny ROGD? It’s so obvious that teen girls are getting caught up in trans because its “a thing”. Seriously, who even heard of transgender 5 years ago? and today practically every H.S. in the US has several trans identified females. It’s heartbreaking to hear and see this.
What I (mom of a transman) would like to say to the adult transitioning Transwomen activists is PLEASE stop speaking for young trans identified teens, especially girls. It’s really creepy. Your pathways to developing GD are not the same.
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Thank you very much for commenting here, and for understanding where many 4thWaveNow parents are coming from. The Atlantic magazine has been publishing many (negative) pieces in response to Jesse Singal’s balanced article. You might be a good person to write a response. Your viewpoint isn’t heard much.
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I often avoid reading what activists have to say, or I limit my reading because I find it so frustrating and emotionally draining. I don’t agree with many of their arguments and trans ideology. I read “Galileo’s Middle Finger” years ago and boy was that an eye opener! If I were to state all my thoughts I would no doubt be branded a TERF, anti trans, and a Right wing Christian bigot.
And don’t even get me started on the Biology deniers. The idea that we are AFAB or AMAB (used for ambiguous genitalia) is creeping into our language as facts makes me want to sometimes cry, sometimes laugh. My child was born female and will die female even though society will see a man. One can not opt out of our sex. My transman child can still be vaginally raped. My transman child still needs to be monitored for a health condition that runs on the female side of the family.
Years ago in college, I took a communications class that explored propaganda and marketing tactics used to brainwash us or at least influence us to buy or believe something. My take away from that class was to always explore all sides of any topic (especially trans issues or politics), question, challenge ,research and use my critical thinking skills. So when I hear activists utter words or phrases to shut down conversation like : debunked, discredited (referring to researchers), desistance myth, hate group, Nazi, TERF etc. it only makes me want to research the other side even more. I avoid echo chambers.
I was so angry when Dr. Zucker wasn’t allowed to speak at the US- WPATH conference last year. Silencing researchers or concerned groups only emboldens and invites critics and ultimately hurts transsexuals and those with GD, We need more research (with control groups) and more dialogue. And for the love of God (yeah I went there) ROGD is real.
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My daughter also had a GID diagnosis and now, almost five years later, considers herself female and a lesbian.
The damage done to my family, fighting to allow her actual space and time to grow up and be physically healthy and develop, has been considerable. My daughter has severe, pervasive anxiety and she has a literal fight response. She was abusive and no professional would believe us. My kid also lied to get what she thought she needed and we were investigated by CPS. We had to send her away, as a last resort, because we simply could not continue to live with her, she eventually refused any therapy, wouldn’t go to school, wouldn’t do ANYTHING.
By sheer dumb luck, we found a program with a therapist who specialized in kids with sexuality issues and transidentity issues. She flat-out said that our kid was NOT trans and that we were right in wanting her to be observed 24/7 and being held accountable for her outbursts of all kinds. Once she was out of our home, our other two kids divulged that their sister had been abusing them whenever we were not immediately present for years. We were horrified.
She then went to a therapeutic boarding school, where the settled diagnosis was anxiety, depression, and mood disorder features. She’s much better on proper medication and with CBT skills to help her manage her disordered thinking.
But, she can’t live with us and there is a LOT of resentment. She did incredibly damaging things. And then she got to move away and start a new life, while we have to stay where we are and deal with people who view us as hateful and evil. It’s not pleasant.
But here’s the thing — the kids who pushed her and praised her for her identity? They’ve expressly told her that they can’t be friends with her because they don’t know how to deal with her being female and a lesbian. So, the “super-accepting” crowd? Abandons her when she realizes who she REALLY is.
My story would be much too problematic — a kid who was really troubled, but who we fought for. When she starts to get better, we’re toast. And then the people who introduced her to all this crap and caused this painful, unnecessary detour? They don’t know how to cope with genuine, thoughtful grappling with identity, with the power of being who you are, physical body and all, and they lied to her that they’d always support her.
And, we DO support her, but we have to do so from a distance because she listened to morons and kids and professionals who should have known better. Shame on them all.
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This is a good article but please, can we stick with the scientifically accepted terms? The attempt to classify Gender Dysphoria (GD) by age of onset completely misses the point. There are two forms of GD, homosexual and non-homosexual. The former does tend to become evident early, often in childhood and the latter never before puberty. But the causes of these are completely different.
Homosexual GD, or HSTS, is on a developmental scale, called an aetiology, with other homosexual forms. Not all gender non-conforming (GNC) children, that is, those displaying marked cross gender preferences before puberty will become HSTS but some will. The non-homosexual form of GD, in males, is caused by a condition called Autogynephilia (AGP), a man’s propensity to be sexually aroused at the thought or image of himself as a woman’.
Very little research has been done into non-homosexual GD in females because it has hitherto been extremely rare. HSTS works similarly in whether in males or females. Both these forms, homosexual and non-homosexual, are clearly rooted in sexuality, as the names indicate, and that is why we must avoid terms like ‘early’ and ‘late’ onset.
Therapists (so called) who reject this dichotomy, and that it is based in sexuality, fail to understand the nature of GD and so are incompetent to treat it. That includes members of such bodies as WPATH and GIRES. Unless you understand the causes, you can’t deal with the effects. ROGD is not even recognised by most of these people, because they don’t understand the nature of GD itself.
Just because someone says ‘I’m trans’ does not mean they are. It can only be confirmed by observing their behaviour and sexual orientation over a long period. HSTS is almost always associated with a long development period. AGP does appear to set on rapidly but the development of the dysphoric feelings takes time; in effect, these are being encouraged and rewarded by the individual’s behaviour, usually through self-pleasuring, while imagining himself as a woman, dressing as such and so on. It might be that therapies focussed on realigning the AGP subject’s sexual desires away from himself, at an early enough age, might contain the condition; but unless we recognise the underlying, auto-erotic, sexual nature of AGP, there is no hope of developing any.
In females we simply do not know what a putative non-homosexual form of GD might look like or what its development might be like.
There are things about ROGD that should cause concern. The first is that when we compare the West to areas where trans is far more visible, there are still far fewer FtM than MtF elsewhere. Why would the inverse be happening in the West? Second, ROGD appears to be associated with social media use and also to exposure to pro-transition ideas in school and the media. Third, ROGD shows almost no warning behaviours, if any, and those that it does are consistent with conditions other than GD. All of these pose questions that need to be answered.
Notably, while body dysmorphia can indeed become a serious issue in both the recognised forms of GD, it never precedes the other indicators; indeed the subject is likely to have a mature version of the condition before this appears. In ROGD the exact opposite happens.
I am not saying that MtF HSTS, for example, don’t want boobs, but they will have been GNC for years before this becomes a serious issue. Typically, in AGP, the subject will have been developing his condition for many years before the dysmorphia (which can be severe) sets in. In ROGD in females, body dysmorphia is implicated right at the beginning of the onset and may even precede it.
All of these make me ask if ROGD is actually a misdiagnosis. The other forms of GD are specifically rooted in sexuality and ROGD appears not to be, but in body image instead. It looks like a completely different disorder.
Is there something new about adolescents having issues with body image? Is body dysmorphia an unusual condition in this cohort, especially amongst females? NO, to both.
Until proper research can be done that might establish an aetiology for ROGD, or indeed, if it is even a form of GD and not a type of age-related body dysmorphia, I call for total moratorium on non-reversible interventions in all cases of adolescent females presenting with claimed Gender Dysphoria. Unfortunately, trans activists and people like WPATH, absolutely oppose any such study. (How an organisation claiming to represent professional therapists can oppose work that might better explain the condition they are meant to be treating defeats me; but I have been studying this long enough not to be surprised.)
Gender Dysphoria is a real thing and there really are trans people. People with real GD need support and intervention tailored to the specific form of GD that they have. In HSTS particularly, social and for some, surgical transition can allow them to live completely happy and fulfilled lives..
Adolescent females presenting with symptoms consistent with ROGD also need help and support, but we have not done the work to know what that might be. Just applying therapies that might indeed work well for HSTS is completely inappropriate. Perhaps worse, relying on self-diagnosis by the subject is tantamount to dereliction of a clinician’s duty; but then, if you don’t understand — indeed, wilfully deny — the nature of the conditions you’re meant to be treating, what more might we expect?
These young people need something better, and until we know what that something might be, we need a freeze on non-reversible therapies for them.
Thank you for your insightful descriptions of male gender dysphoria. I only know as a a parent that this is a total misdiagnosis and the attempt to apply some established criteria for males to the hoards of females suddenly claiming gender dysphoria is gross negligence. The ‘rapid onset’ seems appropriate, but I would agree gender dysphoria this is not. These girls/ young women indeed need help and what they are getting is quite the opposite and gross negligence on the part of the medical community. Affirmation is not help. It is criminal.
I can only speak to my own experience. What my teen experienced was real and painful.
Was it gender dysphoria? Maybe. Maybe not. That’s what she was diagnosed with. It was a form of body hatred and wanting to escape her female body. Identifying as transgender gave her a definition to what she was feeling.
Body hatred issues aren’t new among teen girls. What’s new is having a handy definition, that’s pretty vague and all encompassing, to account for escaping the female body.
Except as my own teen discovered, you can never escape yourself. It was a radical concept to find a way to love her body. It’s not easy.
I agree, kids should not be transitioning. It bypasses the process, sometimes difficult, to reconcile body and self. Sometimes that’s a life long process. For teens, for sure, it is within the top 10 things they are supposed to be doing as a natural part of going through puberty. And I’ll simply add that I believe one’s natural puberty is the safest way to do that.
“Journal of physicians and surgeons” article “GEnder Dysphoria in Children and Suppression of Debate” http://www.jpands.org/vol21no2/cretella.pdf I too as a Mom of a ROGD fabulous daughter am deeply concerned. We need doctors to help us end this insanity that causes harm to beautiful healthy bodies. D. Gallagher Mom and Librarian Sent from my iPad
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Rodfleming Amen to all you said!! And yes I absolutely agree that some HSTS will benefit from medical transition and they need to be supported. I repeatedly said to everyone working with my daughter that besides clothing choices little to no other cross gender behaviors were a part of her history. So in my daughters case she was given a diagnosis of GD based on self diagnosis and clothing style! Will she be happier in the long run? I have my serious doubts . Even among those who would traditionally fall under HSTS or AGP may not benefit from transition. This needs to be a careful process and it has become the exact opposite! Thank you also to Jenny and her daughter! It takes a lot of courage to speak out publicly. I guess I’m happy for the Atlantic article but as Jenny noted there was a lot left unsaid but I am still grateful that at least there was a small start .
All of this comes *much* too little and *far* too late for the many who have suffered this abuse and are still in the process of suffering it. We are in grief right now for the beloved teen in our lives who has recently been surgically castrated. Suffering from both anxiety and depression runs in the family (including extreme health anxiety issues, not to mention eating disorders, body hatred, body dysmorphia, in addition to erratic mood disorders). Instead of addressing these underlying issues, he was put on cross-hormones and in less than two years began first surgeries, and now within just two years of self-declaration, still as just a teenager, he has gone through the exceedingly painful surgery to remove his penis and construct an opening. After an intense school program with a transwoman speaker and a book on trans that was workshopped with the students across the school’s grades, assignments for which included researching trans memoirs on the internet, he decided that the source of all his anxiety and troubles must be that he is trans. If he just transitioned, all the rest of it — merely symptoms of being biologically born in the wrong body — would go away. This realization also took place not one week after a major family crisis had occurred so emotions were raw. Reputable doctors at a well-respected hospital immediately told his parents: “Trans is trans. There is no going back. This does not go away. This is not going to change. Get used to it.” And “You can either have a live daughter or a dead son,” which of course was terrifying. They were also told, “No kid would ever make this up.” Well of course kids don’t make up that they are trans but honestly believe it. That totally misses the point. A confabulation is an untruth honestly told. Until this declaration there was no gender nonconformity and no signs of gender dysphoria. As he got into his teens, we did begin to sense in interactions he might be gay by the sort of “crush” way he looked at men and the way he would talk about friends who were boys. We are friends with a number of married gay male couples who have lovely families with their spouses and are very happy and healthy in their bodies and fulfilled in their relationship, and we thought this might well be his trajectory. Instead, within two years, the doctors’ insistence that the equation was “either affirmation or death” and that there was no middle way — everything was black and white and that “trans is trans is trans” so that moving quickly with aggressive medical transition was the best course to keep a trans teen alive, and anything else was “child abuse” — all of this in combination has led this child, and he is still officially a child, to the surgeon’s table to be butchered. I know this site focuses on the large percentage of girls out there this is happening to, but many teen boys, for a variety of factors, are also going through this excruciating process and no one but no one is helping them. Even therapists who want to question and explore instead of immediately affirm run into tricky liability issues and/or practice regulations in states that legally ban anything but a trans “affirmation” response by professionals. Anything else is deemed “conversion therapy” and is also not covered by insurance in states with these laws. There is little or no space left, legally, therapeutically, psychologically, or medically for teens to affirm their own bodies. So, while trans activists are howling and beating up on Singal for even mentioning the mere possibility of detransitioners in the most mild, tentative, and walking-on-eggshells kind of way, kids are being fast-tracked to the castration table. My only hope of the tide turning now rests with the lawyers and these now-minors suing the heck out of the irresponsible medical professionals and their own parents who signed the forms. Maybe they can help prevent this happening to the next generation. But I do not see this ending soon. Meanwhile, our school just added a slew of memoirs by middle-aged transwomen to the summer required student reading list. Weirdly enough, books about lesbian and gay teens and lesbian and gay speakers? Totally absent and invisible from school curricula and programming. Zero. It is not even an option. For kids in puberty who start feeling same-sex attraction or other feelings that gay teens start to feel at that age, all the messaging is telling them that the most logical conclusion, and the shortest distance between two points, is that they are Trans. Gay and lesbian identities are no longer even on the radar as a possibility. Where does this all end? And how many kids have to be thrown under the bus before some sanity and professionalism returns to those ethically charged with the promise to “first do no harm”?
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Helen, i feel for you. For such a long time, after my ex came out to me as trans (following 30 years of marriage) I thought it would have been so much better if he had discovered he was trans and come out as a teenager so as not to have wasted my life, his life and that of our children.
We were 17 when we met. He was hell-bent on finding a female partner. I don’t understand why even now. Would transitioning as a teenager given him what he was looking for? I doubt it very much. There is a strange mind-set in which his own
masculine identity didn’t set comfortably with that expected or accepted by society.
I had lots of issues with his family. They were very controlling. It wasn’t until after my ex came out as trans that we discovered that this was a factor in his brothers suicide. I don’t blame them for this, but they hid it from everyone and blamed his wife.
Kids now have not only to wrestle with sexuality, but also with their own identity as male or female (not that there is actually a choice).
I wanted to pass back my ex’s problems to his parents. It goes beyond that. They never had the tools to deal with it. What I can’t, and will never, condone is the way the psychiatric profession has given up on men like my ex and your son.
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-=-All of this comes *much* too little and *far* too late for…–=-
There will be many people it will help.
When parents freely offer their knowledge and experience to unseen, unknown others, “good, thank you” might be better than “too little, too late.”
I’m glad you shared your story, even though it’s sad and awful. It will help others, even if you never hear from them, or know it helped.
-=-And “You can either have a live daughter or a dead son,” which of course was terrifying. They were also told, “No kid would ever make this up.”-=-
Same few statements, recited as though it were a recording.
It’s good that there are people working to make these things known, but it does seem an uphill climb in an avalanche.
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I wonder if I might repost this fine article, perhaps with a short intro quoting from the blog’s founder’s mission statement at http://www.firstofthemonth.org. I’m hoping I might convince you to let me repost with whatever acknowledgments seem apt…Perhaps you could take a glance at our (out of date) supporters’ page http://www.firstofthemonth.org/supporters/ – cheap but human (?) way of showing we have good readers…BTW – I learned from The Atlantic article which in it’s quiet “balanced” way was pretty devastating. But I’m still anxious to get Ms. Cyphers’ more-than-postscript up on our site.
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Yes, we’d be happy for you to post it on your site, with acknowledgments and “reposted with permission.” Sounds good to include an excerpt from our founder’s statement, any other thoughts you might have, along with your own take on both Jesse Singal’s Atlantic piece and Jenny Cyphers’ followup. Please let us know when you’ve posted. Thanks.
Helen. I am so sorry for the pain you must be feeling and the excruciating worry and anxiety over your loved one. I know. I feel it all as well. My child hasn’t had any surgery… yet but is on hormones. I keep waiting for this magical transformation in functioning to happen but haven’t seen any major changes in confidance or functioning in society as to date. Yes it is far too little and far too late!! I am expecting many more young people to go down this road before professionals will admit that things have gotten way way out of control. Let’s hope these vulnerable young lives will be able to find peace and happiness somehow.
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Thank you for your empathy and I am so sorry for what is happening to your child as well. To hear and read many of the flippant, cavalier comments made by both medical professionals and activists alike boggles the mind. The pain of this is so deep. They make jokes and blow off serious concerns as “trolling,” as though this is nothing at all and not children we profoundly love.
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And, just a last thought, how is not totally homophobic that as a culture we are medically castrating gay teen boys (or at least a percentage of them) and making them into straight transgirls before they can grow up to be gay men?
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Isn’t that what the ‘homosexual transsexual’ type has always been? It’s the least new thing about trans teens.
Are you people aware that Zinnia Jones creates PORN? Why is this disgusting man allowed to spew his inane nonsene in an Atlantic article about children? He even was on “I am Jazz”. I repeat – a man who makes videos about him shoving objects up his ass claims to be an expert on trans issues.
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As I understand it, Zinnia Jones not only makes porn of himself, but he also dropped out of school at age 14. Read Jones’s online writings (Twitter, etc,) and you will see that an apparent “hobby” of Jones’s is taking psychotropic drugs which have not been prescribed to him. A person who has not made it through high school, abuses drugs for fun and entertainment and makes porn videos of himself, is the person The Atlantic, The Learning Channel (“I am Jazz”) and so many others turn to as an “expert” on the highly complex and controversial subject of the medicalization of gender-nonconforming children, teens and young adults.
Meanwhile, 4thwavenow — with its meticulously cited articles, contributors who are academically and professionally trained, practicing in their fields, many with advanced degrees, and let’s not forget the hundreds (thousands?) of parent readers and contributors who are personally going through the trans dilemma with their children — is not even mentioned in The Atlantic article.
What is going on over at The Atlantic?
Jenny – you are awesome, truly a hero to us all! So many of us are unable to speak freely for fear of alienating our kids. You have done a bang-up job, and represented the issues so thoughtfully!
A cover story in a national magazine is a huge deal – please don’t apologize for what you didn’t get to say. You are AWESOME. Go get yourself an adult beverage!
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I was nervous about writing or saying anything also. I understand why people can’t. I just got to a point where I couldn’t be silent. We lost our social circle over this. Yes, we gained some new friends (I did) but that wasn’t an easy thing.
I found out my daughter who is 18 and has claimed to be a boy since 16 was able to get hormones from an abortion clinic that offers LGBT services such as hormone prescriptions. There is no gatekeeping at all this Clinic uses the ICATH model of care. This means informed consent. All she had to do was walk into the clinic and said she wants to go on hormones. This is dangerous and devastating to my husband and I. We have two younger children at home as well who will have to see this horrendous nightmare unfold in front of our eyes
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Momof3, I am sorry to hear that your daughter is on testosterone. Girls and women do not need testosterone. It is a dangerous drug with permanent side effects. You may be referring to Planned Parenthood. I used to support them. I no longer do. When they jumped on the trans train, I disembarked from their supporter list.
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To Jenny C. and the FthWave folk – here is the repost at http://www.firstofthemonth.org avec short intro….http://www.firstofthemonth.org/a-response-to-when-children-say-theyre-trans/ Thanks again. Best, Benj D.
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Thanks for sharing. I keep talking about this, even though my teen has walked away from it, because it was difficult to find critique of transitioning children. Someone was a beacon for me, so I pass it on.
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I was an early onset gender dysphoric desister on the spectrum. I was gender dysphoric from super young and wrote an essay about being a “shim” in 1974 when I was 6. I wore binders and dressed in “male” clothing starting in junior high. My mother supported me in transitioning but I chose not to. Now I appreciate myself as a woman and I am so glad that I am who I am.
My older daughter is on T but identifies as female, on tbe spectrum and has no plans to transition.
May I ask why your daughter is on testosterone if she identifies as female? I am just trying to understand everything since my daughter has told me she was a trans boy a month ago. She is dysphoric, but I still don’t know how intense is her dysphoria.
She feels the T helps her be more androgynous which is how she feels, but still ids as female. Non binary. She had a heck of a time getting it from Planned Parenthood. They kept pressuring her to check that transitioning “box”… to fit into that.
I think there may be a genetic predisposition with us. My mother asked to be called Roy Rogers her whole childhood and my younger daughter went through a time she would only answer to “Bob”. We all identify as bisexual, my mother, older daughter, younger daughter, self.
In anticipation that my child would be like me I named my older daughter Evan but she goes by… Eliot now, but yes, identifies as female. Personally I like Elliot much better, the double l, but que sera sera…
I like my female body now. I have come to see that I am generally dysphoric not so much gender based. I love robotics, science, ai. In the future I would love to become a human robotic hybrid and leave this body entirely. I would much prefer wings and gills over a penis and a beard. Seriously. One day that will be possible, prolly not in my lifetime. I have come to see my discomfort with the physicality of my self was channeled into gender by our culture.
I am very Aspergers and hapnophobic. Touch averse. I hate to be touched. I have this generalized discomfort with all physicality. I am very cerebral.
Anyway, I believe puberty blockers are child abuse based upon my experience as a desister…
Is GenderCriticalKitten’s blog (cited above) now censored by WordPress and taken down? Were threats made? I notice it has now vanished and her posting on “TuCutes” and varieties of gender identity evaporated. Has anyone also noticed that a number of blogs and vlogs by detransitioners, particularly women, have also been taken down or been self-withdrawn under pressure? Have these folks been threatened in some way? There is no dearth of videos showing women being punched or assaulted in some way for trying to raise critical questions about the politics of transgenderism–some of these videos accompanied by comments by Zinnia Jones cheering the assailants on and spurring on further violence. The “TuCute” posting from GCK was an insightful guide for the uninitiated. I hope it reappears in a different platform somewhere and that GCK is safe.
I wondered what happened too because she wrote some of the most perceptive accounts of what is going on I’ve read. And I want to find a way to coordinate some young people like that and figure out ways to fund them actually. Anyway, I hope she puts it back up or continues to write, she’s smart.
Is the woman in the photo straight or lesbian? It’s important. I’m tired of all the powerful women being lesbians or bisexuals. I’m tired of gender nonconforming or nonbinary folks mostly being portrayed as LGBT.
And I’m tired of my comments not being posted when I actually support feminism and much that is stated on this website. I’m not some troll, I don’t possess a weiner, and I’m actually just trying to be an outspoken representative of heterosexuality and radical feminism/gender abolition. I’m not here to undermine the cause.
By “the woman in the photo,” is the question about the teenaged girl? Or the magazine photo?
Though teenaged boys might know for sure if they’re gay, some teen girls don’t have sexual preferences so strongly one way or another. Most of those who do will be hetero. Some of those who are lesbian don’t know (or care) until they’re in their 20’s or later.
-=-Is the woman in the photo straight or lesbian? It’s important.-=-
It doesn’t seem important in the context of the article, in any way. Reading the article is more important than being angry about the photos.
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I wish that the so-called feminine men and masculine women could be themselves without society (And gays and lesbians are part of society) determining that they must be or have to be gay or lesbian, and even pushing this nonsense. There’s the idea, for instance, that tomboys will either grow up to be lesbians or grow out of being a tomboy once they become interested in boys. Nonsense if I’ve ever heard it! LGBT and lesbian feminism are pushing straight folks into narrow gender standards because they don’t want to be seen as gay, and there are stereotypes of queerness assigned to gender nonconforming straight folks. Since when should personality and style indicate who you love and sleep with? And feminism just seems to be about lesbianism anymore. Lesbianism doesn’t empower all females because not all females can be lesbians (nor would they want to be). Being gay or straight is not a choice. If it feels like a choice for you, then you’re probably bisexual. Congratulations on being who you are, but most females are not bisexual. They are heterosexual and want to be with males. Males are not the enemy, either. Gender role misconceptions are the thing to be challenged, and it’s difficult when there are so many conflicting opinions on how to do that. But by alienating males, it’s going to continue to skew everything because males are going to be defensively hypermasculine while females are going to be “liberated.” We should ALL be liberated. And in which ways are females liberated now? There are still appearance and fashion standards for women (as well as men) and certain ways females are expected to perform femininity. It’s BS, and a lot of queer folk aren’t helping to challenge these standards. They only reinforce them by having queer folk be the only ones who can acceptably transgress them. I wish we could just start over and nip gender standards in the bud for everyone, but I doubt it can work that way, and we certainly don’t have the ability to time travel to the past. So let’s think of something, because the way things are now are ultimately unsustainable. Many females are even turning away from feminism. There’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The Lavender Menace days may have seemed unfair and perhaps were unfair in many ways, but those feminists had a point and could see eerily clear into the future. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s perfectly fine being gay or lesbian, but that has nothing to do with feminism or sex/gender. It’s a sexual orientation shared by a small minority of people. It’s a very positive thing for those individuals, but it also has the drawback of not being able to reproduce with one’s partner — though there are other ways to have a child, of course. It’s fine. No one should judge homosexuals and it isn’t a disorder, weakness, or moral failing. But gender and sexual orientation are different. I can see why lesbians would be interested in feminism, and they should be. And so should everyone else. Particularly, we should all be interested in gender equality. But we have a problem and we need to fix it. I’m heterosexual and rather “butch”/tomboy” and I don’t want to be associated with being a lesbian. Why? Because I’m attracted to males and not women. I’m also not trans, though I do like things to be gender neutral as much as possible.
Oh, and I posted another comment under an alias account. It’s funny that the alias account comment was posted, yet the other comments I make under this name usually are not.
Yes I have to agree that it annoys me that most people assume that a gender non conforming child will grow up to be homosexual if they don’t conform by the time puberty rolls around. This certainly happened to my child and was bullied in GRDE school for it. In my child’s case she did become a lesbian but it always just annoyed me that people place assumptions on children. The thing is now people will assume a gender non conforming child is trans whereas before it was gay or lesbian. I also agree that in many ways women are not so liberated today. We certainly do have many more options career wise and life style wise but are chained to beauty and sexiness standards to this day. Our problem as a society is that we like things simple and neat so we place labels on people and expect conformity (thus. It’s ok to be gender non conforming but your label is trans ). I wish adults would stop overthinking and applying their ideas onto children. I also wish more people could stop assuming that being gender non conforming doesn’t have to mean anything more than a preference or personality trait.
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Hi, I’m so glad that you wrote this post.
I’m a soon to be 25 year old female, and until this March, I’d been on Testosterone therapy for over a year. Now, I’m in the process of detransitioning and it’s hell. I have to wait for my breast and buttocks to fill out once more and am inevitably stuck in the middle of gender presentation.
Depending on what I wear, I am now seen as either male or female and I can’t wait for things to tip further into the female section once more. I think we need more articles like this because the medical system for gender dysphoric individuals is a joke.
I saw multiple doctors, who gave me a diagnosis and didn’t give me any counselling to explore the issue whatsoever. These so called gender professionals would barely speak to you, but simply allow more time to pass between appointments, leaving me more confused about what I was experiencing and desperate to have the issue resolved.
As it turns out, my gender dysphoria is actually a symptom of my having Borderline Personality Disorder, a mental illness that affects how you experience emotions, relate to others, behave, and importantly, how you view your own identity.
I’m heartbroken that I most likely won’t be able to sing my favourite songs again as I can no longer match their pitch. I will always have a small yet visible adam’s apple, my back will never de-broaden, and since I was diagnosed with bpd at 19 (years before the gender doctors saw me), I have no idea why they didn’t stop and say ‘hold on a minute, you have bpd, maybe we should slow this down and consider therapy.’
Nope. the medical system is atrocious and you should absolutely seek a middle ground, especially if you or your child are unsure. Gender dysphoria has many potential causes (something these doctors won’t tell you, yet is listed on the uk’s NHS website) and each cause should be routed out before making a diagnosis of transexualism.
Again, thank you for your article. I really needed hope that there were people like yourself out there.
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I think the medical world can and should do better for people who are in distress. Gender dysphoria is painful. I’m not convinced the answer is to transition. I’m not sure how we, cultural we, got to this place where extreme irreversible medical procedures became the standard for dealing with gender dysphoria.
I’m sorry people failed to help you when you needed help. I’m sorry that the help on offer wasn’t helpful. I hope you find peace with your body.
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Thank you Jenny. I just hope that the doctors of the future actually practise in the field of psychology and help patients to understand how they feel before offering medical treatments. ☺
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Thank you so much for your story! I hope more people come out as they detransition and begin to tip the scales to show this really needs to be taken a better look at before starting down the road to transitioning. I hope more people that detransition will share their stories and the details regarding how they felt and things that happened to them, that led them down the transgender path in the first place. I think it’s so important for those thinking about going down that path to know there are others like them, and just because they feel and think certain things, it doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t change in the future.
I agree completely. There are so many people transitioning these days, a lot of them young people and it makes me sad.
I’ve never had a stable sense if self so I can see how I ended up taking the path of hormone therapy, though I’m glad I stopped. ☺
There’s a myth on the internet that it’s rare for people to detransition but actually, it’s not rare at all. People who detransition are simply shunned by the trans community and are often made to feel bad about their past decisions, so a lot of them don’t speak out publicly, only privately. 😢
It is a sad world we have come to live in. I just hope everyone who needs treatment gets help and those that decide they need to stop are NOT shamed for doing so. Xx
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Thank you for sharing some of your story Dax. You are brave to do so, and it will help other people on this same road. Thank you for exposing how the gender professionals and doctors let you down. Wishing you strength for your journey ahead.