Here’s a quick one in regards to trans kids. I’m still putting together a big post in regards to trans kids that isn’t just a response to someone else’s bad information. Hopefully that will be coming soon, in the meantime however there’s still a lot of misinformation flying around and this is no different. Emily M of Newsnight (@maitlis on Twitter) posted something really bloody stupid and irresponsible.
Emily, while writing this, thought that they give children gender reassignment surgery. Let that sink in a little.
No child receives reassignment surgery, there is one case I know of where a child did receive reassignment surgery – however this wasn’t because the kid was trans. It was an experiment by an abusive and monstrous psychologist. This story is often quoted as evidence both for and against trans and I plan to write a post about this soon with a lot of the missing information people ‘forget’ to include. Point remains – children do not receive ANY surgical intervention in regards to trans.
Its this kind of misinformation which is wildly irresponsible, its profiting from false outrage in its most basic form. Emily isn’t the first and only person to do this though, this kind of thing is rife within journalism regarding trans people. Here’s an article from Inquistr – who report on a 4 year old about to undergo a sex change operation. If you follow the backlinks through Metro and to the Evening Standard however, you find the original article mentions nothing of surgery. Of course, even the original article makes sure to be vague by what is meant by transition in children – because the outrage sells more than the truth. The truth being that transition for children is a change of clothes and social/parental support for who they say they are. Which is proven to have positive mental health outcomes for those children.
Credit where credit is due though, Emily M did correct her statement:
Unfortunately she still managed to get it wrong and maintain her streak of irresponsible journalism. Primary school age children, so up to age 12, do not receive hormone medication. But hey, don’t take my word for it – take the NHS England Policy – Prescribing of Cross Sex Hormones as part of the Gender Identity Development Service for children and adolescents for it:
NHS England will, as part of the Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescents, commission cross sex hormones for young people with continuing gender dysphoria from around their 16th birthday subject to individuals meeting the eligibility and readiness criteria as set out in Section 6 of this document.
One of the most common things I hear in response to this sort of thing is that children are just “too young to know” – something which is actually covered in Section 6 of the document.
“That the client is able to give informed consent and has cognitive and emotional maturity. That is, they can understand the long term implications of cross sex hormone treatment, can retain this knowledge, can weigh in the balance the benefits and drawbacks of the treatment and can come to a decision. Particular care will be taken to ensure these conditions are met with clients who have a learning disability and those for whom English is a second language.”
It didn’t take me long to dig out this information and oh so much more regarding the policies surrounding treatment of trans children. Like honestly, 20 minutes on Google. This is why her “”””journalism”””” is lazy, and the effect of spreading misinformation is false outrage. Which is why its irresponsible. Don’t do it again Emily.
And @ everyone else, when you see this kind of blatant misinformation, correct it. Don’t be an asshole about it, don’t spew vitriol and accuse people of transphobia – just correct the misinformation. When you’re right you don’t need to be angry and emotional, you just need to post the correct information and explain why they’re wrong. You’re doing yourselves no favours spewing hate at people like some of you did.