Queer camp, gender odyssey, & bigot bait: This week in trans kid news

Below is a smattering of links covering just a few of the latest happenings in the world of youth transition. Consider this a semi-open thread (comments moderated); weigh in on any of these stories in the comments section below this post.


Yesterday, Jesse Singal (who, in February, penned a controversial story about the firing of Kenneth Zucker) published a balanced piece in New York Magazine, daring to discuss the decades of research showing that a large majority of gender dysphoric kids will ultimately desist.

Singal’s article got linked on the WPATH Facebook page, engendering the usual dismissals from the usual late transitioning MtF activists, among others.  The below comment is emblematic.

WPATH commenter

The gist:

  1. Persistence/desistence rates are ultimately not that important.
  2. We should just trust the gender specialists and trans activists who take such a strong interest in the medical transition of other people’s children.
  3.  If the adult “trans community” trusts a particular pediatric clinician, that’s all we need to know.
  4. The concerns raised in Singal’s piece about medical transition of children are nothing but bigot-bait.

A couple of days ago, TransActive Gender Center in Portland OR posted a survey asking trans tweens and teens about their experience with bathrooms, locker rooms, and overnight accommodations.  The intro says that TransActive plans to “guide K-12 schools nationwide in becoming compliant with Title IX civil rights protections and beyond that, provide safe, inclusive environments for transgender and gender diverse students.”

Transactive survey

Among other things, the 6-page survey asks about locker rooms accommodations.

TA survey 2


Next week, the annual Gender Odyssey convention will be held in Seattle, WA. All the leading lights of youth transition will attend, with both professional and family sessions taking place. Gender Odyssey’s website is right in line with the increasing trend of subsuming “gender nonconforming” children under the trans umbrella. Given that very few of us rigidly adhere to Barbie-or-Ken sex stereotypes (after all, we all have different personalities are gender fluid), soon pretty much everyone will fit under the GNC-trans Big Tent. Whatever. As the ad at the top of the page says, “equality is good business!”

Gender odyssey family.jpg

There are events for kids and teens of all ages, with a teen program designed by and for gender nonconforming and trans teens.  Topics include “Chest Surgery Show & Tell,” “Testosterone 101,” and “Trans-er than thou.” Lest any younger kids feel left out, the site organizers assure families that “tweens are welcome to attend any teen workshop they are interested in.”

Gender Odyssey teen program

Workshops for parents are led by some of the top names in peds transition and trans activism—including Johanna and Aydin Olson-Kennedy and Asaf Orr (of the now-misnamed National Center for Lesbian Rights). Workshops cover everything from medical care, document changes, puberty blocking, and even “outside the binary” youth–who may still need “medical care protocols.”).

Gender odyssey workshops


There’s still time after Gender Odyssey for your teen to zip over to the East Coast to attend the Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer camp in North Carolina.

Qords camp.jpg

The six-day gathering takes place to “promote the creativity, confidence, leadership, and prosperity of southern youth queers.” The QORDS umbrella covers “queer and gender non-conforming  youth or youth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQQIA) families.”

Youth are “sorted” into cabins

by age not gender because many of our campers are non-binary or genderfluid. There are 6-8 campers in one cabin with a staff cabin in between.

Happy Summer!