Blocker Medication for trans kids


So I’ve been having a lot of conversations in regards to trans kids and the medical support available to them. There are a lot of concerns from people and I’ve been doing my best to try and keep on top of them and talk it out with folk. Most of whom realise there is no need to be concerned once its properly explained and we have a pretty nice conversation about it. Not always, but most. That’s when Blaire White dropped a le so funny tweet mentioning this.

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If you follow my blogging adventures you’d know I’ve already posted this image making fun of her for blocking me, making her an SJW too. However that’s not why I posted it here. I posted it because of her dismissal of blocking puberty for children as if its bad. In reality it really isn’t, yet 3,600 people have liked this tweet and 830 have shared it. That spread of misinformation needs to be challenged. So I figured I’d do a blog post with all the information in one place and you can share it with you friends whenever they tell you blockers are so dangerous and wrong.

First lets discuss what blocker medication is and where it came from.  Blockers are medication which, as Blaire suggests, block puberty. This medication was originally used to treat something known as “precocious puberty” – which we’ve known about since the 19th century. In short precocious puberty is puberty happening before it should, hence the need to block it. You don’t need an 8 year old with a deep voice and a moustache giving you back chat. No way no how.

An 8 year old you say? Yes. An 8 year old I said. Here’s a study in which the author specifies the current lower limit for puberty to be considered “precocious” is 8 years old in girls, who can be as far a long the tanner scale of puberty as stage 2. For those who don’t know what that means, here’s a pic.

tanner

Basically. Little girls with pubic hair and small boobs. Not super and that’s why puberty blocking medication is often prescribed to these children for several years until they reach an age where its more appropriate to begin puberty for them. Nobody has ever bat an eye lid about this, because its medical professionals prescribing medical treatment to patients based on their medical condition. Something which somehow seems to disappear when we talk about trans kids.

Now we know what puberty blockers are and that they have been used for many years before trans kids were given access to them, lets discuss some of the common concerns people have about them in regards to trans kids.

The easiest one to get out of the way is they’re too young!!! Which if you’re speaking about how they’re too young to take puberty blocking medication; then you’re objectively wrong about that. See the whole above section about precocious puberty. However if you’re talking about how they’re too young to decide to transition – you would be correct. They are. This is the entire point of puberty medication, it buys them some more time to decide what they want to do.

Natural puberty in someone who is trans causes dysphoria, which is traumatic as all heck. I remember my youth and puberty too well; wearing my PE kit under my clothes, changing in bathrooms for PE classes, wearing tshirts in swimming pools. I started drinking, smoking cannabis, making poppy seed tea; basically anything I could do to escape what was happening. I was rarely sober, even in school I would sneak vodka in mixed with juice drinks. I got suspended twice and had my parents called in several times. I was struggling and nobody, not even me, knew why.

See dysphoria isn’t merely just hating your body, its far more insidious than ugh I feel a bit fat. If I could have avoided experiencing that through my teens, you betcha I would have. I would have taken any medication you could give me to help those feelings stop. To help me get some kind of control back over my mental state. It’s truly an awful experience, one of the worst of my life. Nobody is too young to experience this pain and want to stop it. I’m not so sure I would’ve wanted to transition there and then – but having the ability to put a pause button on everything while I worked it all out would’ve been super.

Next concern is the the long term side effects are unknown! argument. Which again, doesn’t really hold as much water as you think. Trans kids take this medication from around 12 years old according to NHS policy. According to the same NHS policies, we know that children are offered hormone replacement therapy around their 16th birthday. So that’s four years, that’s not really long term by medical standards at all. That’s a hop skip and a jump.

Yet people still bring concerns such as bone density to the table and use it as though it totally destroys the option. Which its true, long term use of puberty blocker medication will in fact make you have lower bone density. Hormones during puberty are responsible for increasing bone density and if you block them, you don’t begin that process. However, its not like puberty is going to be blocked indefinitely, its blocked temporarily after which patients are given hormone replacement therapy beginning puberty and reversing that bone density issue entirely. There have been no studies to suggest that bone density is permanently reduced – at least none of which have followed people through adulthood & been repeated.

Another concern is the what if puberty makes the trans go away? argument. Which is a totally fair one and in fact is one that is totally mitigated against by medical professionals. This is why trans kids are forced to wait until 12 here in the UK before puberty medication, and until tanner stage II/III under the care of Dr Norman Spack in the USA. Here’s another pic:9032ef384903d0f98d98e4b60cb9a42b.png

As you can see, the average age of puberty beginning in girls is 8 years old and in boys is about 1/3rd through 10 years old. This is a minimum of 2 years before boys can receive hormone blockers and 4 years before girls can. Obviously this isn’t perfect or applicable to every child, that’s why trans kids are dealt with on a case by case basis. No two trans kids are treated exactly the same, they really are the special-est snowflakes.

As Dr Spack above and Dr Polly Carmichael in the UK suggest – some puberty is necessary before giving children blocking medication. This is because the brain is still developing and perhaps the feelings of gender dysphoria will fix themselves given time. Which in a lot of cases they do and this is absolutely great. However we still have some trans kids whose dysphoria won’t simply develop itself away. If puberty exacerbates dysphoria, they are given hormone blocker medication to stop that pain. Make no mistake though, they do experience natural puberty up until a point where it becomes too hard for them to continue.

This feeds into the isnt this just gay conversion therapy argument. Which is a less fair concern, some people even quote figures as high as 80% at me in regards to trans kids who ended up just being gay instead. If you have statistics which show 80% of kids who visited gender services for gender dysphoria later decided not to transition and were just gay the whole time. Then doesn’t that kind of prove that the system works and that there isn’t a gay conversion therapy conspiracy going on?

For those statistics to exist, 80% of the kids must have made the decision, after being given the time and support to understand themselves a bit better, to not transition. So clearly they’re not erasing gay kids by making them trans, clearly this isn’t some sort of twisted gay conversion therapy. Clearly the system of “lets wait and see if they need medication” is working out perfectly. Even despite how the 80% statistic itself has been debunked separately to this already anyway.

The only real concern we’re left with is so there will be 16 year olds who haven’t began puberty? Isn’t that hard for them? Which yeah, I imagine it is. Not as hard as dealing with dysphoria would be, but still difficult. Ideally speaking, I would love for it to be possible to mitigate this concern too. The only way everyone wins here is if we find some sort of way to diagnose – with a high accuracy – who is trans and who isn’t. That way we wouldn’t need to give puberty blocking medication at all, we could just give them the ability to transition as soon as they wanted it.

Unfortunately that’s not where we’re at right now. Currently all we have is a bunch of kids coming forward and saying they’re experiencing something strange and then going through a system which in the majority of cases helps them work through the problem they’re experiencing. Most of whom don’t become trans or want to take medications, and instead realise they were just gender non conforming kids. The rest who, fortunately, are able to access treatment to help put off the dysphoria for as long as possible until they have to make a decision on what they want to do. This system is currently the best of both worlds, and until we have new information available on how to diagnose trans kids properly, I don’t think it should change.

In closing, no – bone density is not a problem. Gay conversion is not happening here. Long term effects being unknown don’t apply here. And yes, doctors do take precautions to make sure trans kids are actually trans before giving them these medications. There is nothing to worry about, and frankly if you still have a problem with any of the things above after reading this, you should probably just admit the truth. You’ve got a prejudice against trans people for some, probably irrational, reason.

I totally get the initial concerns and if you have any others that I haven’t discussed here, feel free to post them at me, and I’ll try and find out the information about it for you. I think we’re all on the same team of trying to do the best thing we can regarding kids, we just need someone giving clear and concise information, rather than spewing misinformation and fuelling the fires of confusion and anger.

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Blocker Medication for trans kids

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is why I tend to be libertarian.People, generally speaking, need to stay out of the lives of others and not politicize what are very personal life choices.Yes, if there was evidence that puberty blockers had serious irreversible side effects or they were just handing them out to every kid who thought they might be transgender then that would be a legitimate point of contention but as of right now that’s not the case.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for taking the time to write concise and informative articles that help educate people on issues that are important to the transgender community. If more people took the time to learn about gender dysphoria and its treatment options it would probably go a long way to making the lives of those who have to cope with it that much easier.It would also help if high profile members of the community like Blair White weren’t so dissmisive of those who had to deal with the depression associated with gender dysphoria just to pander to her conservative fan base.Granted, that’s my opinion as someone who’s not transgender, so if I’m speaking out of turn then I apologize.

        Liked by 1 person

        • cursede says:

          Honestly, we’re all equal in discussion in my opinion. It makes no sense to elevate someone based upon their identity, a trans person is just as capable of thinking about life as a cis person as any cis person is. Like-wise for you too! Never stop being part of the discussion!

          I agree, there’s SO MUCH out there regarding trans people and it really doesn’t help when people like Blaire White and Riley Jay Dennis use it for their agenda. I’m trying to cut through the bullshit as best as possible, and I’m really appreciative of your kind words! It’s what keeps me going! Thank you 🙂

          Like

          • Anonymous says:

            While I certainly agree that an opinion should never be dismissed off hand because of ones identity, I also believe that more weight should be give to the opinion’s of those with personal experience with the subject at hand. Especially when it’s something tangible like gender dysmorphia as opposed to something subjective like people who believe they’re the victims of some perceived offense.Regardless, thank you for making me feel welcome to speak openly without the fear of recrimination.If more people encouraged open discourse it would go a long way towards solving society’s problems and just make the world a better place for everyone or at least make it easier to identify the assholes who should be ignored.😂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Red Goner says:

    I recently talked to Blaire White over Twitter. She deleted all of her tweets, a tad sketchy, but I have the ones I sent to her linked.

    She opened with saying that puberty wasn’t “agonizing” for her, in quite a casual manner. “nah”.

    In response, I tweeted this: https://twitter.com/Red_Goner/status/820403281818251266
    The tweet was partially a response to the fact that she was replying to a fan out of the blue, and not in the public retweet way you can usually find her doing, along with the content of her response. I mean, this might be me projecting a bit, but… puberty not being complete hell? Especially for a trans person who needed hormones and is currently on them, objective proof that she experiences dysphoria? It fucking dumbfounded me.

    She responded with something along the lines of “she wants kids to go through natural puberty, what’s wrong with her?” I don’t remember if that was the exact quote, but it was something alone the lines of sarcastically mocking my reply, believing that it was pointed primarily at her opposition to the use of blockers.

    I personally support using blockers, and I can honestly say that, if I’d known about them at the time (and if they even were around? Not sure how long they’ve been a thing), I probably would have used them myself, or at least been very open about wanting to. But my tweet wasn’t about that– as I said here: https://twitter.com/Red_Goner/status/820405149801779201

    Blaire then posted something along the lines of “It’s a popular narrative that trans people are suicidal and miserable all their lives,” implying that said narrative is (at least in some notable level) false, and then she followed it up with “well, I don’t need anybody to tell me who I am. I’m not miserable now.”

    I replied with this: https://twitter.com/Red_Goner/status/820405671569006592

    I could understand that *now* her dysphoria probably is not an overbearing problem for her, at least from my view she’s practically impossible to clock, and she seems to have a supportive community and decent life, so it makes sense that she’s not super depressed now. What I was confused about was the idea that before transitioning and before getting hormones, she wasn’t depressed as fuck– I might be projecting a bit, I can understand, as it’s sometimes the case that dysphoria isn’t as extreme for some trans folks as it is for myself, but, again, I would’ve thought that she felt strongly enough at least to take action… as is implied by the fact that she took action.

    She then replied with something along the lines of “well yeah it sucked a lot, but I just choose not to let it overcome me, I got out of it and made a life for myself.” (Again, sorry, but my memory of these gets worse the farther along it went. I think she actually made two tweets here, I can’t for the life of me remember what the differences between them were. Kind of lame of me to mess that up because, apparently, what she said was “inspiring,” according to someone else who replied to that tweet.)

    The last part of the conversation were these tweets from me, after this she didn’t reply to me: https://twitter.com/Red_Goner/status/820406694631145472

    I’ll go ahead and say that throughout this all I was being super cautious, because I was a bit scared that if I went off on how she was wrong and dumb about this, she’d retweet it and get all her fans to mindlessly go off on me, and if she did that then I’d probably protect my account for a while– because the last time somebody retweeted me disagreeing with them, I was busy for the longest time arguing with scores of idiotic fuckfaces, and I was almost tempted to go into protected mode then. In fact, I earlier posted a tweet saying that Blaire White panders to her audience, but I deleted it quickly once she responded to my tweet because I was afraid she’d see it, retweet it, and send me into the shitstorm zone with her fans. I won’t deny, I stopped having a backbone when the prospect of a dozen or more idiots arguing with me over something came into view. I’m more confident about posting what I really felt here, because I feel like whoever finds their way onto this article is more likely to not go into ape mode, seeing as this article backs up the point which I’m saying Blaire is horribly wrong about. Anyway, enough ass-covering out of me.

    The fact is, Blaire White… well, I feel like her consistency of “pandering to the right-wing hysteria,” as you put it, kind of diminished a level of sensitivity she had to trans issues. She didn’t use puberty blockers, I’m aware– but she straight up disconnects herself from the idea that trans people are sometimes suicidal/miserable, or that puberty is something that can hugely exacerbate dysphoria. This… can’t she see that someone can use this stuff as an argument against the interests of trans people as a whole? Even for herself! Imagine if someone said “The idea that trans people are miserable is a false narrative, therefore hormones aren’t necessary.” This seems like something that Blaire White should be vehemently opposed to, given her situation, but it’s her very own words that are being used to justify the argument.

    No judgement, I’m all for freedom of speech and opinion and all that, and I doubt what she says will have a major cultural effect (like I doubt that doctors will stop using puberty blockers because Blaire’s fans start a protest for it), just… she’s kind of putting her foot in her mouth and her head up her ass when she says things like this, it makes me double-take from the secondhand self-loathing. This is just a bunch of lame fake outrage, stemmed from pandering that’s so obvious it stinks. She loses a lot of respect points from me because of this, and they’ll be gone until she comes out publicly saying she was wrong about this shit, but I doubt she will because I’m irrelevant and it should definitely be no skin off anybody’s teeth to not be liked by me, because I’m not that great, anyway.

    And I’ll say it again, it’s sketchy that she deleted those tweets all of a sudden. Not sure why she did that. :/

    Well, that’s my opinion about The Blaire Witch Project after talking to her. Sorry I wrote a goddamn essay about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cursede says:

    She always deletes tweets. So people can’t use them against her later on – she’s done it with me a few times. That’s how she manages to have a 80k following with only like what, 2,000 tweets or something? She often says stuff that would lose her audience and if people could find them and repost them she’d be done for.

    Her whole argument is “it wasn’t this way for me so it cant be that way for anyone else” and that’s just retarded. She clearly had a better genetic lottery than some people I know as well as a potentially more supportive and understanding environment. There’s lots of variables of her life that just don’t gel with literally everyone else, and to ignore that they exist because it doesn’t suit your “just do it” narrative is retarded too.

    And don’t worry about the essay, I like the comments. Being part of the discussion is what it’s all about! 😀

    Like

    • Red Goner says:

      I understand that, but it’s like I said: It makes all the sense in the world that she’s happy *now*, but I would’ve thought that, oh, I don’t know, the near decade of her life pre-transition where she experienced dysphoria but didn’t receive any treatment would’ve been… noticeably shittier, to say the least? Like, is that a reasonable conclusion to come to, or am I just projecting my own feelings heavily here???

      It seems as if this personal incredulity of hers is not only narrowed to just her own situation, it’s narrowed to just her own situation only at the current (or very near) point in time she exists in. And, that’s kind of lame, if I do say so myself.

      Like

      • cursede says:

        I’d definitely say so, but theres so many variables to her whole life that dont necessarily apply to everyone to say for sure.

        Her saying “it was so easy for me” is exactly like you saying “it was so hard for me”. You’re both right – but you’re speaking anecdotally and specifically about yourself in your situation.

        On average though that isn’t the way trans people live, by any means.

        Like

  4. Louis Naughtic says:

    Lacking irrefutable scientific evidence, and not being trans myself, I have no awareness of the legitimacy of dysphoria. Is there any actual scientific proof that dysphoria isn’t primarily psychosomatic? I would love a link if anyone has it.

    If no such proof exists, wouldn’t be applying these procedures to children essentially be a form of human medical testing? That is illegal. And, shouldn’t children be denied the choice? We deny them nearly all decisions, due to their extreme lack of reasoning skills and self-awareness, yet we allow them such a gargantuan choice? Fascinating lunacy.

    Like

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