So your child thinks they might be transgender? Resources for parents

This article is the second part of a two part series.

It started out as a plan for a collection of resources with a brief introduction but the brief introduction took on a life of its own, rather like one of my mum’s enthusiastic runner bean plants, and morphed into Part 1.

 

Part 1 is designed to be read first, and you can do that here.

Welcome to Part 2.

When my daughter identified as a boy, back in 2015, there were very few questioning and critical resources available online for parents whose kids thought they’d been born the wrong sex.

Now, putting this article together, I’m struck by how much more attention the subject has gained in the media this last couple of years. There are hundreds of articles, videos and podcasts out there, questioning the current trans narrative and the ethics of imposing it on children.

I call this article ‘So your child thinks they might be transgender’, although generally kids who think they’re transgender don’t think they ‘might’ be: they absolutely, definitely KNOW they are – until, often, they don’t and they aren’t.

Fewer and fewer kids are being given the time to think about this as we rush in with the untested but fashionable affirmation model, assuring them that it’s quite possible to be ‘born in the wrong body’ and that it’s quite possible to change sex. I discuss this dubious approach in more detail in part 1 of this article.

This second part concerns itself with sharing resources that may be of especial interest to the parents of trans-identified children and young people.

Many of the writers, speakers or organisations that I mention below have come under attack from transactivists who support the transitioning of children.  Some accuse them of being funded by the far right and/or of hating trans or ‘LGBTQ+’ people. These accusations are disingenuous, untrue and unconvincing.

I have not linked to the work of any individual, group or organisation promoting hate, bigotry or intolerance. It should go without saying that the fact that I list an article or video here doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with everything said therein, or share every opinion of the content creators.

I’ve tried to be diverse in my selections, so you’ll come across everything from newspaper articles to peer reviewed studies; the views of young people who thought they were trans but changed their minds (desisters) and those who started down a medical transition pathway and then stopped (detransiitoners), taking in the writings of feminists and parents; psychiatrists, clinicians, doctors and academics along the way.  The links here are far from exhaustive – I had to stop somewhere! – but many have links branching out to other thoughtful and informative pieces.

 

ORGANISATIONS

Transgender Trend

An excellent starting place for parents wanting to know more from a reliable and established source is Transgender Trend.  The TGT website has a wealth of articles on the subject of children, gender identity, safeguarding and inclusivity.

Transgender Trend was started by a group of UK parents who question the current trans narrative. It has been established for many years and has no political or religious affiliation.

“We don’t have any evidence that children really are trans, this is a very new phenomenon which is based on no credible scientific research. Children’s preference for particular toys and activities just reflects their personalities and we need to take care not to read any deeper meaning into their choices, but allow children to explore and form their own identities at their own pace…  We do believe in listening to children, we think it’s really important. But listening doesn’t mean always agreeing with a child. Children know who they are as children, they can’t know how they will change, in fact the belief that you will never change is a symptom of childhood and adolescence.”

Transgender Trend has produced a schools resource pack, in consultation with teachers, child protection and welfare professionals and lawyers. It can be downloaded free, or you can ask for a hard copy to be sent to you for your child’s school. A template for an accompanying letter is also available at the above link.

 

Transgender Trend has recently worked with writer and Primary and SE teacher Rachel Rooney and illustrator Jessica Ahlberg to produce ‘My Body is Me’, an adorable, high-quality, picture book  for 3-6 year olds.

The book can be purchased here for just £5, with a free lesson plan for teachers.

 

The Transgender Trend website also has extensive information about puberty blockers, sex hormones and social transition.

 

4thWaveNow

4thWaveNow is an American website, a ‘community of parents & others questioning the medicalization of gender-atypical youth’.

What Transgender Trend is to the UK, 4thWaveNow is to the USA. Although the groups are very different, both are reasoned, reliable and a treasure trove of articles, facts and information on gender and trans issues in relation to children and young people.

Like Transgender Trend, 4thWaveNow has been established for many years and is an organisation with no political or religious affiliation.

4thWaveNow was started by a mother whose daughter announced she was transgender ‘after a few weeks of total immersion in YouTube transition vlogs and other trans-oriented social media’. Her daughter has since desisted.

Struck by the lack of information and resources available to parents who questioned the ‘born in the wrong body’ narrative, this mother began writing about her own experiences and views.  The website has grown into a platform featuring not only her writing but that of ‘other parents, formerly trans-identified people, and people with professional expertise and experience with young people questioning their gender identity’.

4thWaveNow is where mine and my daughter’s story was first published, here, in December 2016.

 

The Gender Critical Support Board

The Gender Critical Support Board was established in 2017. It has nearly 2000 members and is run for parents and families by parents and families who share the experience of coping with a child, teenager or young adult who believes she or he is transgender.

While most of the content is only visible to members of the board, always beware of giving out identifiable personal details on any online forum and be aware that people may not be who they say they are.

 

Safe Schools Alliance

Safe Schools Alliance is concerned that schools are being ‘trained’ by trans lobby groups and advised to use policies regarding gender identity that are based on misleading or inaccurate information. It encourages schools to review these policies.

“Safe Schools Alliance is a group of concerned parents, grandparents, teachers, governors, health professionals, education professionals, and carers from more than 30 local education authority areas in the UK. We are from a wide range of backgrounds and have no religious or political affiliation.”

 

Parents of ROGD kids

This group was started by ‘parents whose children have suddenly—seemingly out of the blue—decided they identify strongly with the opposite sex and are at various stages in transitioning.‘ They are skeptical of the ‘affirmative approach’ which they beleive ‘only seems to confirm and solidify our children’s misguided, externally-influenced sense of self’.  Their resources include guidelines for finding a trustworthy therapist for your child and co-ordinating support groups for parents.

 

Gender Health Query

GHQ are a group of LGBT people and allies who want to protect all gender nonconforming youth- with or without gender dysphoria.  Objectives are to ‘prevent the over-medicalisation of gender nonconforming youth, prevent harm resulting from medical treatments on trans-identified minors and to address confusion and rights conflicts that arise from new ideologies about gender’.

 

Canadian Gender Report

A group of  ‘parents and professionals concerned about the medicalization of identity and the erosion of sex-based rights…  and the lack of open discussion on issues that are affecting Canadian families and children.

 

 

Our Duty

The recently established ‘Our Duty’  Facebook page collects articles, videos and stories concerning trans-identified young people and desisiters.

“Our Duty as parents is to protect our children from serious harm.  Our children are being harmed by those who tell them they can change sex. ”

 

Bayswater Support Group

BSG are a group of parents in the UK and Ireland who have been ‘brought together by our experiences of parenting children with gender dysphoria or who have declared a transgender identity‘.

Their website offers resources and advice; they also have a support forum which parents of gender dysphoric children can register to join.

 

The LGB Alliance

Many trans-identified children first come out as lesbian, gay or bisexual, and homophobia can often play a part in the change in perspective. The LGB Alliance stands up for ‘the right to live as same-sex attracted people without discrimination or disadvantage’.

“The numbers of children, particularly girls, seeking help has increased at an alarming rate. We believe that this is related to the rise of pseudoscience and increased misinformation about basic biology along with a rise in homophobia and anti-lesbian sentiment and lesbian invisibility.”

 

Organisations concerned with the effect of trans ideology on women’s rights as well as the rights of children include:

Fair Play for Women campaign for the rights of women and girls in sports.

Hands Across the Aisle is an alliance of radical feminists, lesbians, Christians & conservatives committed to working together to oppose gender identity ideology.

Other groups that may be of interest are Standing for Women, Resisters United, OBJECT, and The Lesbian Rights Alliance

 

From peer-reviewed scientific research to mainstream newspaper articles; taking in thoughts from parents, psychologists, academics, doctors, feminists, journalists and young people themselves along the way.

After a few failed attempts to specifically categorise these writings, I decided to list them by date.

2015

Sex & Gender – A Beginner’s Guide – Rebecca Reilly-Cooper – 2015

“The oppression linked to sex begins at birth, operating through the social imposition of gender…  the value system that prescribes and proscribes forms of behaviour and appearance for members of the different sex classes.” Whilst not dealing specifically with its influence on children and young people, Reilly-Cooper’s excellent analysis of gender is a good place to start.

Parents, keep listening to your gut—not the gender therapist – 4thWaveNow – December 2015

The mother of a desister writes:“Without even meeting my child in the flesh, all four (gender) therapists talked to me like this trans thing was a done deal… Until the last few years, parents who recognized that teens go through phases weren’t considered abusive. They were considered well informed… Given my own daughter’s desistence from the idea that she is or was ever ‘transgender’, I feel even more strongly that parents are right to resist the push by every sector of society to identify gender dysphoric minors as ‘trans’.”

Comment | The Transgender Experiment on Kids – Stephanie Davies-Arai – October 2015

Davies-Arai says that a generation of kids is being used as guinea pigs: “the theory that children have an innate ‘gender identity’ which does not match their biological sex has no scientific basis; it is impossible to have a brain which is the opposite sex of the body.”

2016

Do Trans Kids stay Trans When they Grow Up? – James Cantor, Sexology Today – January 2016

Cantor recounts, “There have been three large scale follow-up studies and a handful of smaller ones…  all the studies have come to a remarkably similar conclusion: only very few trans kids still want to transition by the time they are adults.”

Child gender identity referrals show huge rise in six years – BBC News – February 2016

Callum McKenzie reports on the marked increase in  children referred to the NHS with gender identity issues. With graphs showing figures from the Tavistock.

How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired – Jesse Singal – February 2016

Singal looks at the story of Dr Kenneth Zucker, who led the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC), in Toronto before being unceremoniously fired for his resistance to the ‘gender affirmative’ approach.

Gender is not a Spectrum – Rebecca Reilly-Cooper – June 2016

“..there seems to be an immediate tension between the claim that gender is not a binary but a spectrum, and the claim that only a small proportion of individuals can be described as having a non-binary gender identity”One of my first ‘peak trans’ moments was coming across Rebecca Reilly-Cooper’s article dealing with the ‘illogical and politically troubling‘ issues surrounding the idea of being non-binary.

What’s Missing From the Conversation About Transgender Kids – Jesse Singal – July 2016

Journalist Singal discusses a subject that ‘can get extremely heated and tricky‘: addressing how homosexuality, trauma and psychological issues can affect a young person’s gender identity.

Hippocrates Rolls in his Grave:  in search of the dysphoric trans-teens of yore – 4thWaveNow – August 2016

“So, if transgender children have existed since the dawn of humanity, and if the only cure  for intense childhood gender dysphoria is medical transition, then there can be no doubt that there would be historical records of such miserable transgender children. Right?”  Yet it seems not.

Why do Teenage Girls not Want to Become Women? – Transgender Trend – October 2016

If we accept that the only reason a girl says “I’m a boy” is because she really is one, it absolves us of any responsibility to examine that statement within the wider context of a girl’s life experiences and influences. It means we’re not obliged to look at the culture within which our girls are growing up in the UK; we can assume that girls are happily immune to any harmful cultural messages and experiences. We need not ask the question “Why do so many teenage girls not want to become women?”

A Scientist Reviews Transgender Suicide Stats – Transgender Trend – December 2016

How much truth is behind the oft quoted statistic that almost half of trans-identified young people attempt suicide? Analysis of the study quoted shows that only 27 of the young people were trans-identified- not over 2,000 as was claimed by Mermaids.  Other issues are also raised. ‘Presenting this trope to families of transgender children and young people is nothing short of emotional blackmail.’

2017

Transgender Kids: why doctors are right to be cautious about childhood transition – Sarah Dittum – January 2017

Sarah Dittum discusses the work of Ken Zucker, the silencing of doctors and what it means to call a child ‘trans’.

‘They Were Transgender Until they Weren’t’ Katie Herzog – June 2017

Herzog interviews several young people who detransitioned, as well as some who didn’t.

Everything You Believe Is Wrong: There Is No Such Thing As A Male Or Female Brain – Cristia Spears Brown – July 2017

Brown addresses ‘why the myth of pink brains and blue brains sticks so firmly in our collective consciousness,’ when even neuroscientists can’t tell if an individual brain belongs to a man or woman.

Suicide or transition: The only options for gender dysphoric kids? Drs Bailey & Blanchard – September 2017

First in a series of two: psychologists Blanchard & Bailey discuss problems with the current mainstream narrative regarding gender dysphoria.

What about the children who said they were transgender & then changed their minds? – Jo Bartosh –  September 2017

Mum Penny White talks to Bartosh about her 12-year-old daughter who “diagnosed herself with gender dysphoria” and explains her concerns about the approach taken by organisations such as Mermaids and GIRES.

Outbreak: On Transgender Teens and Psychic Epidemics – Lisa Marchiano – October 2017

“Currently, we appear to be experiencing a significant psychic epidemic that is manifesting as children and young people coming to believe that they are the opposite sex, and in some cases taking drastic measures to change their bodies.” Jungian psychologist Marchiano discusses this in the journal ‘Psychological Perspectives‘.

Meet Alex Bertie, the transgender poster boy – Janice Turner – November 2017

Janice Turner investigates the rise in girls wanting to be boys and meets trans icon Alex Bertie. Behind a Times paywall (you can register to read 2 articles free each week and this one is well worth the effort) she also talks to my daughter Jessie and others.

Gender Dysphoria is not One Thing Drs Bailey & Blanchard – Dec 2017

Second in a series of two: psychologists Blanchard & Bailey discuss different types of dysphoria and how ‘the best scientific evidence suggests that gender transition is not necessary to prevent suicide’.

2018

Gender Dysphoria & Children: An Endocrinologist’s Evaluation of ‘I am Jazz’ – Michael Laidlaw  – April 2018

Endocrinologist Laidlaw looks at popular children’s book ‘I am Jazz’, suggesting it ‘contains both false information and very troubling omissions. Children who are experiencing gender dysphoria will likely be harmed by this book, as will children who do not have the condition’.

When Children Say They’re Trans – Jesse Singal – Aug 2018

Claire is a 14 year old girl from Philadelphia, where she lives with her parents. Despite using awkward language like ‘assigned sex’, this article tells the story of a Claire’s sudden trans-identification and desistence.

 ‘Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria‘. Lisa Littman – August 2018

Littman’s peer-reviewed academic study was met with anger by much of the transgender community who accused both Littman and the parents who took part of ignorance, transphobia and bigotry.

ROGD: A Detransitioner Speaks – Helena – November 2018

Helena is a young woman who is a detransioner; a young woman who got a prescription for testosterone after a single appointment.  She joins the ever-growing ranks of desisters and detransitioners and agreed to write this piece as a guest post for my blog.

Pseudo-Scientific Hokum And The Experimentation On Children’s Bodies – Julian Vigo – December 2018

Vigo reflects on her communications with trans lobby group Mermaids and explores what kind of support the group really offers ‘gender non-conforming’ kids and their families.

2019

‘Taking the lid off the box’: The value of extended clinical assessment for adolescents presenting with gender identity difficulties – Anna Clarke – February 2019

Academic article: summary of 12 adolescents who resolved or diminished their gender dysphoria with counseling. Discusses adolescent gender identity.

Meet the neuroscientist shattering the myth of the gendered brain – Genevieve Fox – February 2019

Beliefs about sex differences inform stereotypes… which, in turn, historically carry with them huge amounts of ‘contents assured’ information and save us having to judge each individual on their own merits or idiosyncrasies.

The Tavistock’s Experiment with Puberty Blockers – Michael Biggs – July 2019

Biggs calls for the impartial investigation and publication of statistics from the Tavistock study on the provision of NHS prescribed puberty blocking drugs to children.

Posie Parker’s Graphic Protest against Stonewall Policies – Jo Bartosh – July 2019

Bartosh reports on the protest made by Parker and others at the Stonewall ‘Children and Young People Conference 2019’. Banners featured graphic images of the results of so-called ‘gender affirming’ surgeries and the wording ‘‘Transing children is child abuse. Are you part of it?’

Puberty blocking drugs: ‘For the past four years I’ve been stuck as a child’ – Lucy Bannerman The Telegraph – July 2019

(behind a paywall but you can register for 2 free articles a week)

‘Jacob’ claims side effects of taking puberty blockers included insomnia, exhaustion, low moods & rapid weight gain. After stopping,  Jacob (who still identifies as male) says “I grew taller, I lost weight, I felt livelier. It was like getting the poison out of my system.

No-one is Born in the Wrong Body – Malone, Wright & Robertson – September 2019

“…instead of offering counselling, medical professionals now are commonly telling children that they may have been “born in the wrong body.” This new approach, called “gender affirmation,” makes gender dysphoria less likely to resolve”. Detailed and thoughtful piece from an endocrynologist, an evolutionary biologist and a journalist.

Autistic Girls – Gender’s Silent Frontier – Jane Galloway – September 2019

Jane Galloway is an Autistic woman with ADHD.  She is a passionate advocate for autistic women and girls. Here she writes of her own experience and gives her view on the reasons behind the exponential rise in the number of autistic girls being referred to Tavistock GIDS.

Transgender lobby group Mermaids urges puberty‑blockers for 12‑year‑olds – Sunday Times – September 2019

(behind a paywall but you can register for 2 free articles a week)

The advice given to school teachers in a Mermaids training session was attacked as “misleading and potentially dangerous” by an Oxford academic. The session is believed to be a blueprint for training by the group in schools nationally.

A physician is worried about gender transition in pediatrics – Julia Mason – October 2019

A doctor writes, “I’ve learned that if I refer a patient to the gender clinic, they are going to get the maximalist treatment. They’re not going to get any help figuring out if they really need the full medical/surgical transition. I am now wary of referring to the gender clinic.”

‘Transgender Children – a discussion’ – Toby Young & Stephanie Davies-Arai – November 2019

Stephanie Davies-Arai’s essay (quoted above) ‘Is ‘affirmation’ an appropriate approach to childhood gender dysphoria?’  These two essays for CIVITAS, the other by Toby Young: ‘Why are so many schoolchildren coming out as trans?‘ can be either read or downloaded here.

Meet the ‘detransitioners’: the women who became men and now want to go back – Joani Walsh – November 2019

Walsh talks in the Telegraph to Charlie Evans and Keira about how young women are ‘sold this idea that transitioning was magically going to solve their problems’ and how

The Hard Questions About Young People and Gender Transitions – Andrew Sullivan – November 2019

Sullivan meets some desisters who ‘worry that any kind of therapy apart from affirmation of transgender identity is now seen as transphobic, and that teens are able to get hormones far too easily‘.

 

Here are links to my own articles concerning child transition, its harms and its facilitators:

Bind Me:“I’m feeling ecstatic and scared & mum’s feeling sick”  October 2017

When is a girl not a girl?  November 2017

What makes somebody ‘real trans’ part 2: Kids’  January 2018

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans! March 2018

ROGD July 2018

Child transition – the myth of informed consent – August 2018

The Gendered Child  April 2019

Kool-Aid for kiddies – teaching little ones about the gender fairy – June 2019

GenderCare – Dr Lorimer brings all the transboys to the yard –  August 2019

Inventing the Transgender Child – a conference – October 2019

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you can’t take the time to sit down to read an article or watch a video. Here are some podcasts for anytime listening.

 

 

‘The Trouble with Transing Kids‘ – Meghan Murphy & Lisa Marchiano

This podcast from Feminist Current asks, ‘are we moving too quickly? What are the consequences of medical interventions like this on children? What are the social consequences?’ Meghan Murphy talks to social worker and analyst Lisa Marchiano.

Gender Dysphoria 101 – Debra Soh & Susan Bradley

Debra speaks with Dr. Susan Bradley, a world-renowned expert on gender dysphoria. In this podcast they discuss the link between gender dysphoria & sexual orientation, the incidence of psychiatric co-morbidity- including autism and depression – in girls presenting with ROGD. They also discuss the dismissal and work of Ken Zücker.

Therapy & the Teen Gender Crisis –  Benjamin Boyce with Sasha Ayad

Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works with adolescents on issues around gender identity. She’s been an outspoken critic of the affirmation-only gender therapy model that is pushed by trans activists. Her therapeutic approach is exploration-based, compassionate, and seeks out a more nuanced understanding of the client as a whole person.

Parenting the Gender Dysphoric Child – Benjamin Boyce with Sasha Ayad

In this conversation (their second) they speak about her therapeutic approach, the developmental importance of identity, and how it can often be confused with individuality—that is, being an authentic self.

“It was his Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria that broke me.” Secrets of the Motherworld

“My 17 year old, has undiagnosed high-functioning Autism, a high IQ, a history of school refusal, debilitating homesickness, anxiety and addictive behaviour but …” Stella O’Malley and Lisa Marchiano discuss this woman’s story.

Posie Parker and Venice Allan: adult, human females

Trans-sceptical feminists Posie Parker and Venice Allan talk with Brendan O’Neil, discussing the silencing of women, the dangers of transitioning children, and the Orwellianism of preferred pronouns.

 

 

There are lots of videos out there that will tell you that transitioning children is effective, even essential, and that transition is the best answer to a child or young person’s gender dysphoria. Videos that question gender ideology, address the harm that can be done, or the ineffectiveness of transition, are harder to find. Here are some of those videos and documentaries.

 

Gender for Dummies in 5 minutes – Peach Yoghurt – June 2015

One of Peach’s first videos, this does what it says on the tin: “All you need to know about gender in one short video”. Possibly one to watch with your child, it raises some basic questions and answers around gender roles and their relationship to our sexed bodies.

Transing a 5 year old Tomboy – Magdalen Berns – June 2016

With her trademark dry humour and wry cynicism, Berns looks at some of the inherently sexist reasons behind transitioning children, and the professionals and parents behind the social transition of a five year old girl.

Why I transitioned/detransitioned by FrankOMG – December 2016

23 year old man from Florida talks about what led him to transition and detransition.

Transgender Kids – Who knows best? BBC 2 Documentry – January 2017

Documentary exploring approaches parents can take if their child has childhood gender dysphoria. “The film presents evidence that most children with gender dysphoria eventually overcome the feelings without transitioning and questions the science behind the idea that a boy could somehow be born with a ‘female brain’ or vice versa.”

 Who am I? – 60 minutes Australia documentary – September 2017

Patrick was diagnosed with gender dysphoria age 12. His mother supported and enabled his transition and provided him with hormones which caused him to develop breasts. She now says ‘they were wrong to pigeonhole him so quickly’ Age 14, Patrick changed his mind. This documentary tells his story.

Implications of self-ID for children and young people -Michele Moore – 2018

Michele Moore co-editor of ‘Transgender Children and Young People, Born in Your Own Body’ speaks at a Woman’s Place about the implications of affirming self-declaration of gender in children and young people and the influencers who are ‘fixing children in a one way street’. Essential viewing.

Posie above the Parapet with Stephanie Davies-Arai – May 2018

Posie has a chat with Stephanie Davies-Arai about her work in assisting gender questioning children and their families, her schools pack and activism.

Parents, don’t let them label your child transgender! – Peach Yoghurt – 2018

Peach turns her hand to addressing concerned parents, observing “I was such a child, but now I’m a healthy and happy lesbian.” What are the criteria for declaring a child transgender?

The Trans-Train & Teenage Girls – Karin Mattinson – May 2019

  This Swedish documentary with English subtitles looks at the increase of teenage girls with gender dysphoria, the concerns of parents and health care staff and discusses the lack of research within this new group of patients. Can transition be a mistake? Two detransitioned females speak. The Swedish Lundstrom gender clinic provides trauma therapy for detransitioners.

The Trans-Train – Part Two   – December 2019

Swedish politicians argue that fifteen-year-olds with gender dysphoria should be allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery without consent from their parents or ​they are at risk of committing suicide. But is this really true? ‘Mission Investigate’ continues to investigate transgender health care and explore the arguments from politicians.

 

Transgender treatment: Puberty blockers study under investigation – BBC Newsnight – July 2019

England’s only NHS youth gender clinic lowered the age at which it offers children puberty blockers, partly based on a study now being investigated. The study’s full findings have not been published – but early data showed some taking the drugs reported an increase in thoughts of suicide and self-harm.

Trans Kids – it’s time to talk – Channel 4 documentary – December 2018

Stella O’Malley considers the huge rise in numbers of young people embarking on gender transition, through the prism of the gender identity issues that she experienced when she was a child.

Transgender Regret –  Dutch documentary – December 2018

Subtitles added in 2019 by PeachYoghurt. This Dutch documentary deals with ‘the dark side’ of transition, regret, the one that is rarely lauded in the press.

Detransition Q&A #1   – Pique Resilience Project -February 2019

Four young women who have detransitioned or desisted answer some questions about detransition and their feelings around their own transition. The channel also features interviews with individual young women who have desisted or detransitioned.

Hundreds of young people seeking help to ‘return to original sex’ – Sky News item – October 2019

Charlie Evans, who detransitioned in 2018, speaks to Sky News about young people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery but wish they hadn’t.

Why I detransitioned, and why I’m talking about it now – Laura Reynolds – December 2019

Reynolds talks about her own transition and detransition and her feelings about transitioning children.

NHS ‘over-diagnosing’ children having transgender treatment, former staff warn– Sky News – December 2019

Sally Lockwood and Helena Lambert look into claims that children treated for gender dysphoria are ‘over-medicalised’ as psychologists fear being branded transphobic. They look at  the ever-increasing number of transitioning girls and the ease with which they can access medical transition if they can bypass the NHS waiting lists. With accompanying text.

Vulnerable Child Protection Act 2020  – M Laidlaw MD – January 2020

Endocrynologist Michael Laidlaw’s clear, calm and informed testimony for the Vulnerable Child Protection Act of South Dakota, presented to the House State Affairs Committee of the Great State of South Dakota, explains the harms that are being done to vulnerable children from a medical perspective.

 

P.S.

I started writing this article several months ago. Where to stop? Whereas there were some pieces I knew I had to include right from the start, others I came across as I went along. Of course, I had to read, listen to or watch every piece before deciding whether to include it or not, so the process certainly was an education. I plan to continue to add to this occasionally, as exceptional new pieces surface.

Parents, you are not alone; I truly believe the tide is turning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So your child thinks they might be transgender? Part 1 – information for parents

Information and resources for parents of trans-identified kids.

Part 1 – information

Firstly, this article isn’t going to tell you what I think you should do, because I don’t know what you should do. I don’t know you; I don’t know your child or your family situation.  Appropriate decisions, approaches and solutions will be different for every family.

Not everyone reading this will have a child who believes that they have a brain/body mismatch, but most of you will know a child, or know of a child who identifies as trans or non-binary.

There are lots of articles out there telling us that these children should always be affirmed. They advise parents: tell your daughter she’s now your son; tell your son that yes, he’s a girl. You won’t have any trouble finding those pieces: organisations with hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding behind them perpetuate these ideas in schools and in the press, encouraging children to believe it is possible for a girl to grow up into a man, or for a boy to become a woman.

It can be hard to access information that questions this narrative. The affirmation model is new, and transition is not always a cure-all for the mental health issues that often accompany it.

Again, I am not trying to tell you what you should do.

I didn’t affirm my child. I told her I didn’t believe a boy could be born in a girl’s body and I didn’t believe that a girl could become a boy. I told her that idea was founded on regressive notions of sexism and stereotyping. This will not be the right approach for everyone and only you can decide how you’re going to proceed.

It might seem like an obvious thing to say but the most important thing is to keep channels of communication open and let your child know they are loved.

Let’s start with what I do know.

I do know how I felt when my 15 year old daughter handed me a piece of paper with “I’m transgender” written on it. In her mind at the time there was no doubt. She was certain that she was a boy somehow born into a girl’s body.  What I felt wasn’t disgust, or anger, or disappointment, it was concern for my child and what the future might hold for her. It was overwhelming love, and sadness that she felt such confusion that she believed herself to be a boy and held such revulsion for her body that she believed she didn’t belong in it.  Rejecting her was something that never crossed my mind.

I do know that most of the information I found online told me that it was essential to agree with her that she was a boy, use her ‘preferred pronouns’, find her a gender therapist and consider enabling access to puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries. To question this solution or consider other options was viewed as hateful: it was bigotry, it was transphobia. It was ‘conversion therapy’.

I do know that about nine months after she told me that she was actually a boy, my daughter desisted, and that in her own words:

I do know that my response to her feelings played only a part in her desistence and that it was a decision she came to on her own after a lot of soul searching.

You can read our story here. There is an increasing number of young people in the UK who are speaking out about desistence and detransition and I link to some of their voices later in this piece.

I do know that there has been an explosion in the numbers of children (aged 3-17) presenting to the GIDS (Gender Identity & Development Service) in the last decade. Referrals over the last nine years increased from 97 (2009/10) to 2590 (2018/19). Over 1,500 of these most recent referrals were aged 14-16.

 

There are important questions to be asked and discussions to be had, concerning both child autonomy and child safeguarding, and the current political climate does not support this debate.

This is an article in two parts. Part one is an introduction, dealing with some of the key topics surrounding trans-identified young people. The trans-train has many carriages, so bear with me while we take a little trip through them.

The second part of the article, which will be published separately, contains resources, websites, podcasts and videos that deal with the potential problems with transition and the issues that are so often swept under the table in the rush to affirm a child’s gender identity.

PART ONE

The increase in trans-identified young people

More young people than ever are identifying as transgender.  This graph, which covers the last ten years, is based on the Tavistock GIDS own figures. You can check them yourself. Here is the data from 2009/10 to 2015/16 and here is the data from 2017/18.

You may be surprised that more concern is not being raised about these figures. So am I.

Some people claim that prior to recently, young people did not ‘have the words’ to explain that they were trans, and that explains the increase.

Many children who identify as trans have previously come out as lesbian or gay. Many have social media addictions, some are high achievers or on the autistic spectrum. Some self-harm, some have been sexually abused.  Some suffer from depression or other mental health issues. All or none of these factors may be present. Some therapists see transition as a ‘cure all’ for many of these other issues. Others are concerned that gay or lesbian children are being offered transition as a ‘cure’ for their own internalised homophobia, or for other problems, and that transition is merely putting a plaster over a wound.

Many believe social contagion plays a huge part in the increase, via the pressures of social media and the increased online sexualisation of girls. Groups such as Mermaids now go into schools and tell kids as young as five that we all have an innate ‘gender identity’. Children are told that they can choose whether to be a girl or a boy. Some groups claim that if you don’t have a gender identity it’s because you’re happy with the one you were ‘assigned at birth’, which is indeed a Catch 22 situation. I write about this extensively elsewhere on my blog, in ‘but nobody is encouraging kids to be trans!’.

ROGD

Traditionally, the very small number of trans-identified children were almost entirely boys, who suffered gender dysphoria from early childhood. That pattern has changed and, as you can see on the graph above, girls now make up the vast majority of referrals.

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) occurs when a child who has shown no prior signs of believing themselves to be ‘born in the wrong body’ suddenly identifies as transgender at or around puberty.

Despite many young people, and even more parents, having reported experience of ROGD, most groups established to help transgender young people staunchly refuse to acknowledge its existence, insisting that if a child says they are trans then they are trans, and that a refusal to accept this is harmful and abusive.

This does not explain the existence of detransitioners, nor the desistence rates of up to 80% that have been traditionally noted in children attending GIDS and other clinics.

To dismiss parents who observe ROGD in their own children by claiming they simply hadn’t noticed prior signs that their child was trans- that the child had kept it secret from them or even that the child themselves hadn’t realised- is simplistic and unlikely. This argument is grounded in the idea of bad or inadequate parenting and assumes a closed and unproductive relationship with the child.

Academic Lisa Littman, Assistant Professor of the Practice at the Brown University School of Public Health, carried out a study on ROGD in 2018.  You can read an interview with Littman, where she discusses her work and the response to it, here.

 

You can read my own ROGD article here.

 

Social media and the internet

Where to begin with the omniscient power of social media? Those of us over thirty may have trouble understanding the extent to which it monopolises the lives of many young people who have never known a world without it. Some of us may understand it better than we would like to admit.

Online you can be whoever you choose to be: a better, shinier, idealised you. Online you can easily create the identity of your choice and most kids spend so much time online that it is hardly surprising the boundaries between real life and virtual life become blurred.

This is a state of hyperreality,  which definitions.net describes as “an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced post-modern societies.”

There are plenty of young people their own age ready to cheer them on, on Instagram and other platforms.

You don’t even have to feel you should have been born the opposite sex:  you can join the gender fluid, who sometimes feel like boys and sometimes like girls, or the non binary who feel neither like boys or girls…

How are these kids computing what a boy or a girl is supposed to feel like? Which boy or girl? On what day? What stereotypes are these decisions being based upon?

When I typed ‘how many genders’ into Google, the top hit of the six hundred and thirty one million that it threw up in less than a second told me this:

“There are more than two genders… gender isn’t about someone’s anatomy, it is about who they know them self to be. There are many different gender identities, including male, female, transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, and all, none or a combination of these.”

So there we have it. Oh, wait, there’s more.

“There are many more gender identities then we’ve listed. Gender can be complex…”

It seems it can, and it certainly isn’t just youngsters worshiping at the temple of the gender fairy.

Mermaids speculated on Twitter earlier this year that there might be eight billion genders. Just imagine! More genders than people on the planet!

Earlier this year it was also confirmed that Mermaids had been awarded a £500,000 ‘Reaching Communities’ grant from the National Lottery.

“Mermaids provides trans-inclusive diversity training to schools, organisations, health professionals, public bodies and private companies.” proclaims the Mermaids website.

Even the government’s own Office for National Statistics (ONS) is playing the gender game. It has this to say on the subject:

“Growing numbers of people are identifying as somewhere along a continuum between man and woman, or as non-gendered (neither man nor woman)an individual may see themselves as a man, a woman, as having no gender, or as having a non-binary gender – where people identify as somewhere on a spectrum between man and woman“.

Confused? Don’t worry.

YouTube

YouTube is full of ‘my transition timeline’ videos with thousands of hits, where trans-identified youngsters celebrate the glory of their new lives.  “My FtM Top Surgery Consultation At 14!” for example, has over 52,000 views and comments such as, ‘You look so masculine and your voice is so deep. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come‘ and others bemoaning how their ‘unsupportive parents’ won’t cough up the necessary cash. Tips on how to dress to pass better FTM’ has 86,000 views and comments include ‘don’t wear red flannel, u will be mistaken for a lesbian’ and ‘your voice is so deep! I’m jealous’. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ash Hardel’s video ‘Calling my mom to tell her I’m trans‘ has – wait for it – over twelve million views.

You can read more about the power of social media influencers in my post ‘but nobody’s encouraging kids to be trans!’.

If you think your child is spending too much time online, encourage them to switch off and spend more time in touch with the physical world. I know that can be easier said than done. Can you go on a long walk with your child, or even an outdoor holiday? Can they leave their phone plugged in in the hall at bedtime?  Can you turn off the wifi at night?  Ask your child to think over the course of a few days about how going online really makes them feel. Some studies suggest that most of us feel more anxious after spending time on social media.

A September 2019 study of over 6,000 American teenagers showed that those who spent more than three hours a day on social media were ‘more likely to develop mental health problems including depression, anxiety, aggression, and antisocial behavior’.

Suicide

Child suicides are thankfully incredibly rare. The idea that trans-identified children will kill themselves if not transitioned is irresponsibly promoted on television, on websites, in interviews and perpetuated by the media and transgender ‘support’ groups.   It is almost as if the idea of suicide ideation is marketed to confused and unhappy children as a bargaining and silencing tool and an essential facet of a trans-identity. Such reporting contravenes Samaritans guidelines, whose research shows links between media coverage of suicide and increases in suicidal behaviour.

You can read Transgender Trend’s piece ‘Suicide Facts and Mythshere.

If a young person is threatening suicide there are likely to be multiple reasons. If you feel your child may be suicidal, seek help as soon as possible from a professional who is willing to look at the bigger picture. Help for suicidal thoughts should be sought from counsellors trained specifically in this area.

Social transition

There have been nearly a dozen studies undertaken into gender dysphoria and desistance. Current evidence suggests that following the traditional path of ‘watchful waiting’ around 80% of children outgrow gender dysphoria by the end of puberty, and that many grow up to be lesbian or gay. The new fashion is for ‘affirmation’, changing pronouns and perpetuating the idea that a girl is actually a boy or vice versa.

Is social transition more likely to lead to a child following the route of puberty blockers, which almost inevitably lead to cross sex hormones and potential sterility?

 

“For some families the social transition can work as a kind of ‘it’s all going to be fine’ and actually the system is way more complicated than that.”

Dr Bernadette Wren, Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock

“We have never recommended complete social transitioning” said Polly Carmichael of GIDS, “but it has become a really popular thing and many advocacy groups really promote it.”

 

Earlier this year, five clinicians resigned from the Tavistock, asserting that charities such as Mermaids were having a harmful effect by allegedly promoting transition as a cure-all solution for confused adolescents.

We are told that children as young as six are attending school ‘incognito’ as the opposite sex. This is especially concerning in the light of one study which suggests that children up to the age of seven may believe that a boy who puts on a dress literally becomes a girl. Can children this young really understand the concept of ‘gender identity’?

“It is beyond children’s cognitive abilities to understand the biological impossibility of a male child growing up to become an adult woman or a female child growing up to become an adult man, that a ‘girl’ is not who you are, but what you are and that no amount of medical innovation can change the biological reality.” writes Davies-Arai.

“Unquestioning affirmation of a child’s belief is not a neutral act of kindness, but an active intervention that shapes and changes a child’s understanding and development. Affirmation by trusted adults forms or reinforces a child’s perception of reality. Living, and being affirmed daily as the opposite sex will affect and change the child’s developing sense of self, which risks creating a self-fulfilling prophesy.”

Some GIDS psychologists assert that parents risk psychologically damaging their children by allowing them to socially transition. Others fear schools are rushing to allow pupils to change their names, uniforms and gender pronouns as soon as they “got a whisper that a child might be querying their identity”.

“Where are the parents in all of this?” asks Madeline Kearns in the Spectator“They are often not told if their child is worried about their gender. During my (teacher) training, we were told to avoid ‘outing’ potential transgender children to their families. If the child so wished, we might want to keep mummy and daddy out of the loop.”

“There is no way that professionals can possibly pass on concerns… without being considered transphobic or bigoted,”  a Child Protection officer told Jo Bartosh. “Many of us share the same concerns… I see children changing their name, turning against their family, rewriting their past.”

While GIDS clinicians concur that children should be allowed to explore behaviours more usually associated with the opposite sex (such as clothing or types of play) many agree that actions such as changing a child’s pronouns and affirming a child in the idea that they can ‘change gender’ can be harmful.  They warn that ‘to formally socially transition before puberty risks pre-determining the outcome’.

If you aren’t letting your child cut/grow their hair and dress (within reason) in clothes they choose themselves, ask yourself why not? If you’re forcing your daughter to do ballet, or your son to play football, encouraging a girl with no interest in performing femininity to “make herself pretty” or berating a sensitive boy to “man up”, this may be part of the problem.  Gender roles are everywhere and often we don’t even consciously notice them. While many people slip fairly happily into the behaviours and clothing choices society expects from them, many don’t.  And that’s just fine. There are plenty of happy, successful and super-cool people who don’t ‘perform masculinity or femininity’.  Sometimes, but not always, they’re gay.

“Trans the gay away”

While some trans advocacy groups accuse parents who don’t affirm their child’s transition of conversion therapy, many of us see the opposite as true. People who feel their gods may have a problem with homosexuality, or who feel uncomfortable with it themselves, may feel more comfortable with a ‘born in the wrong body’ narrative. Converting your gay child into a straight trans child may seem a viable option, especially if the idea is instigated by the child itself.

Many trans people report that their parents and peers were unhappy with their inability to perform the gender stereotypes required of their sex. Sometimes they had homophobic parents or they themselves hated the idea of being gay.  Paris Lees (MTF) says he was bullied at school for being ‘too weak to fight back’ and that his dad mocked his accent and accused him of “talking like a poof“. Munroe Bergdorf (MTF) called one of his Twitter followers a “hairy barren lesbian” and expressed a desire to ‘gay bash’ a TV star. Alex Bertie (FTM) told Janice Turner of the Times. “I was known as the ‘weird lesbian girl’ and nobody would speak to me… my sexuality tainted their perception of me entirely”. After declaring herself a boy she found, “suddenly, my teachers looked out for me in class.”

In an article in the METRO this month, transactivist Owl writes,“I was six years old when I was first told I was a sissy, because I threw a basketball ‘like a girl,” causing academic Susan Matthews to observe  that the idea of ‘throwing like a girl’ is a misogynist comment that also hurts girls. Embracing the stereotypes, such as ‘girls throw basketballs badly’ seems to be at the heart of an ideology which goes nowhere without emphasis on clothing, hair and make up choices; which hobbies someone enjoys and how bad or good they are at certain things.

One of the clinicians who recently resigned from the Tavistock recently told the Times  “many children decided they wanted to change gender after suffering homophobic bullying”.

Strong Lesbian Role Models

Our culture is still incredibly homophobic and hetronormative. When mainstream TV series do celebrate lesbians they can be amazing- but they are always pretty, skinny and pert: think Willow and Tara, Waverley and Nicole, Alex and Maggie.

The media does not celebrate young women who don’t want to play the patriarchy game. They are invisible. Think I’m exaggerating?

Try to think of a famous woman, a good role model for young women, who is a lesbian and doesn’t perform femininity. Most people are stumped.

Then they say “Oh, Ellen Degeneres!”

Degeneres is brilliant, charismatic and talented and has done a great deal to promote lesbian visibility; however she also fronts several ‘beauty campaigns’ as the face of Cover Girl make up and Olay ‘ageless foundation’.

So think again.

Big Boo – IKR

“What about Big Boo in Orange is the New Black?” someone once offered. Lea DeLaria who plays the character is a powerful actress and singer, but they weren’t referring to DeLaria. They were referring to Boo.

Think about that for a moment.

I asked someone to name a strong, gender non-conforming, lesbian role model and the best they could come up with was a prison inmate in an American sit com.

Are we surprised when some of these girls start thinking that maybe they’re boys?

Binding

‘Chest binding’, the action of wrapping ones breasts up so tightly that they become less visible, is popular among trans and non-binary-identified girls.

A survey of 1,800 women who bound their breasts showed that 97% of respondents reported at least one negative outcome from binding. Surprisingly, commercial binders were the binding method most consistently associated with negative health outcomes. Young women who identify as trans or non-binary may bind using methods including from cling film and duct tape to wearing multiple too-tight sports bras.

We reject foot binding and chest ironing as barbaric practices, yet some schools enable this process of breast-crushing. Some UK schools have official policies to help girls in this endeavour. While acknowledging that binding ‘may even impair breathing‘, they suggest  ‘short breaks could be offered discreetly’ to ease the discomfort of girls who want to bind their breasts. Even mainstream magazines like Cosmopolitan run articles on ‘how to do it’.

Some of the symptoms reported in the study mentioned above include: back pain, overheating, chest pain, shortness of breath, posture problems, itching, shoulder pains, rib fractures, spine problems, shoulder joint popping, numbness, headaches, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, heartburn, abdominal pain, muscle wasting, digestive issues, breast changes and tenderness, scarring, swelling, acne, coughs &  respiratory infections.

You can read my article Bind Me here.

 

Autism

Bradley in conversation with Soh – see ‘podcasts’ at the end of this article for a link.

Austistic Spectrum Disorder studies in the UK suggest roughly 1% of the child population places somewhere on the autistic spectrum. In the USA approximately 1.7% of children are diagnosed with an ASD. Brugha’s 2009 survey of adults in England found that 1.8% of men and boys surveyed had a diagnosis of autism, compared to 0.2% of women and girls.

Yet almost HALF of trans-identified children seen by GIDS in the UK are on the autistic spectrum.

“Between April 2011 and August 2018, 48% of children and young people who were seen in GIDS and whose parents completed the social responsiveness scale (SRS), a quantitative measure of autistic behaviours in children and young people, scored in the mild to severe range” report Clarke and Spiliadis of the GIDS.

As Jane Galloway observes in her article Autistic Girls, Gender’s Silent Frontier‘:

‘If there was any other connective factor affecting nearly 50% of all children referred to a particular service, there would be huge national interest and attendant press coverage.

“Adolescents by definition, have very little filter, no long term outlook, and a gigantic desire to have their desires indulged right now;” observes Galloway, “not because they are spoilt, but because impulse control and delayed gratification are far off distant concepts when you are a teenager.”

If a child doesn’t ‘feel like a girl’ then it may seem a logical progression to conclude that she must be a boy. Trans-lobby groups guidance does not addresses the issue of autism beyond suggesting  trans-identified autistic children may need to have transition options explained to them more carefully.

The ‘Autism Speakswebsite suggests that encouraging health providers to “use preferred pronouns during an office visit can go a long way toward establishing trust with your (undiagnosed, trans-identified, autistic) child.” Yet many critics feel that the affirmation model may be particularly damaging to autistic children.

Physical transition

In the UK surgeries are not performed on children under the age of 18, and NHS gender clinics have long waiting lists. However, those who are willing to pay privately can access hormones and surgery with relative ease. In the USA and Canada girls as young as 13 have had their breasts removed. Complications with the coyly named ‘top surgery’ are not infrequent. Testosterone has been privately prescribed to girls as young as 12 in the UK. Susie Green, CEO and figurehead of the UK charity ‘Mermaids’ took her child to Thailand where, on his 16th birthday, his male genitalia were crafted into a semblance of a vagina. The minimum age for this operation was changed to eighteen shortly afterwards (the two events were unrelated).

Trans ‘support’ groups in the UK advocate not only for social transition but claim that some of these medical interventions are harmless or reversible.

Susie Green gives out mixed messages on this issue. In 2016 she tweeted “between your ears needs match what’s between your legs. Not your choice.” She has also told newspapers,  “Medical intervention is very important, especially for teenagers who are already in puberty. It’s absolutely vital.”

Yet Mermaids claims to support both ‘trans and gender diverse’ children and according to an Independent article of December 2018,  ‘primarily exists to support the families of trans and gender non-conforming children, not to coordinate their transition. It has no agenda.’

Dr Norman Spack, a paediatric endocrinologist at the Boston Children’s Hospital (USA), who treated Green’s child, has prescribed puberty blockers to ‘about 200 children’.

He believes trans-identified children should be given blockers at the start of puberty, moving on to ‘sex-change’  hormones and surgery. He claims all of these 200 children have moved on to hormones and that ‘no one changes their mind’. He also recognises one of  the more disturbing side effects of this combination:

When young people halt their puberty before their bodies have developed, and then take cross-hormones for a few years, they’ll probably be infertile.

“We don’t reassign a person’s gender,” he told The Guardian, in another interview, “we just acknowledge what it really is and fix it.”

Do these children really need ‘fixing’?

Remember that under the pre-affirmation model of  ‘watchful waiting’ guidelines, around 80% of young people have desisted. It is not such a stretch of the imagination to consider that perhaps an affirmation model – with or without drugs- may be playing a part in fixing the idea of being ‘in the wrong body’ in children’s heads.

Currently around 40% of children seen by the GIDS service go on to take puberty blockers. These drugs are used ‘off label’ and have been linked to problems with bone density. Almost all children who start on puberty blockers go on to take cross-sex hormones. The combination of the two is a recipe for sterile and inorgasmic young people.

You could be the most transgender friendly service in the world and you would still have to consider some very, very grave issues. The timing of puberty suspension, for instance. Whether they can tolerate enough treatment to develop the lower part of the body so they develop physical sensations.Bernadette Wren, GIDS

“Transgender youth may be interested in becoming biological parents, and should be counseled about potential risk of fertility impairment and fertility preservation options before initiation of hormonal or surgical therapies which may impact reproductive potential.” reports the Journal of Paediatrics in an article entitled ‘Understudied and Under-Reported: Fertility Issues in Transgender Youth’.

Dr Michael Biggs, an associate professor at Oxford’s Department of Sociology, has carried out research that suggests that puberty blockers can increase suicidal feelings; after a year of treatment a significant increase was found in female patients self-reporting to staff that they “deliberately try to hurt or kill myself”. Parents also reported “a significant increase in behavioural and emotional problems” and a “significant decrease in physical wellbeing” in these children after a year on medication, he told the Telegraph.

At the WPATH Symposium in Amsterdam in 2016, GIDS (UK) reported  statistics showing that children put on puberty blockers did not desist, as opposed to children not put on blockers, of whom 90% desisted.

The same report said children felt ‘happy and more confident‘ in the first six months on blockers, but after a year reported ‘an increase in internalising problems and body dissatisfaction, especially natal girls’.

“We have shifted to make the treatment (puberty blockers) available earlier and earlier,”  Bernadette Wren of GIDS is quoted as saying in The Guardian“But the earlier you do it, the more you run the risk that it’s an intervention people would say yes to at a young age, but perhaps would not be so happy with when they move into their later adulthood.”

The potential medical complications involved with ‘gender reassignment surgery’ (GRS) are multitudinous.  The procedures- for example ‘skinning’ a female arm or thigh to create a roll of flesh which is attached between the legs to mimic a flaccid penis- are complex and the results are not always as desired.  A boy moves from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones and then desires vaginoplasty as a young adult, his pre-pubescent penis may not provide enough skin to create the neo-vagina and portions of gut may have to be used.

In one ‘phalloplasty regret‘ video on YouTube, a phalloplasty recipient tells viewers “There’s no erectile ability, there’s no ability to urinate, it’s basically just a piece of tissue sitting there.”

A Swedish study from 2011 suggested that “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.”

Detransition

Desister Charlie Evans, who has written and spoken about her struggle with gender dysphoria.

There are a growing number of young people, primarily young women, talking about desistance (stopping a social transition) and detransition (stopping a physical transition).

 

Desister Charlie Evans has recently co-founded the Detransition Advocacy Network in England. Their website is currently under construction. You can read more about it here.

The Pique Resilience Project

The Pique Resilience Project is a  ‘collective of detransitioned & desisted women igniting inspired and nuanced conversation that empowers’All four young women experienced ROGD ‘and subsequently identified as trans men for several of our teenage years. We have all since detransitioned/desisted, and have been able to explore other individual factors that may have caused or exacerbated our dysphoria.”

 

PART TWO of this article (coming soon) will link to useful groups, resources, articles, studies, videos and podcasts.

Think of it as a little library….

 

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