Thanks to my downtime on Twitter right now I’m able to catch up on the backlog of things I wanted to write about properly but haven’t managed to find the time for it yet. This one is a follow on from another post so if you haven’t read that yet you probably should, but it isn’t super necessary. So strap in and get ready for reading about things that will likely never affect you personally. Woo!
Though they may not affect you personally, they’re pretty big issues for trans people right now. They’re like the front lines and its unfortunate as heck that kids are being used on either side as appeal to emotion mortar fire. That shit has got to stop, hands down, so we really need to get to the bottom of the issue ASAP.
First lets take a look at what each of these approaches are. We’ll start with the “gender affirmative approach”. It’s called this because there’s an emphasis to the parents in accepting and understanding their child’s gender and, if they’re trans, the dysphoria created as a result of the mix match with biological sex. This is the route that nearly all gender clinics across the world practice for children and with good reason too.
In a study cited by the NHS’s official policy on how to treat trans kids they make it very clear that trans children supported in their gender through childhood by their parents have psychopathology to the same extent as cis kids. That means they aren’t depressed, they aren’t anxious, they aren’t mentally unwell. They’re just regular kids with no worries about that kinda jazz – which is what we want kids to be, happy and “free to be kids” as I keep hearing from rad fems.
The approach itself is cited as being a “watchful, waiting & educating” approach. In essence that’s exactly what happens. The clinic acts as a safe space to allow kids who believe they are experiencing gender dysphoria to not have to repress how they want to feel, behave etc. All of which is super great for that lack of psychopathology stuff I mentioned earlier. Though there are concerns about this approach that its “conversion therapy” for gay kids. Turning any gender non-conformity (which typically happens amongst gay kids, according to the non-homophobes, yes, I know, they’re retarded) straight into an issue of transsexualism.
Obviously this is nonsense, statistics such as the infamous 80% figure only work to prove that GNC kids are not transitioning unnecessarily. Not suggest that they are at risk in these services. Not to mention they are really bad statistics and clinics have made significant leaps in understanding dysphoria making them able to recognise it sooner. Furthermore, only 8.9% of kids in these services have undergone a full social transition. So that’s new clothes, new hair, new name, new pronouns and nothing more. Again disproving this idea that all GNC is automatically being treated with transition.
So all in all its a pretty good approach, it seems like GNC kids are being safeguarded as they don’t tend to end up transitioning – which is great. Whereas the trans kids who are being referred to these services are showing that its possible to be trans without psychopathology – and the cure for that depression and anxiety was just love and support from their parents. Isn’t that super?
Not according to the Zucker fans. They argue the above approach is bad because of all the above concerns. You know the ones that are easily debunked with simple statistics and stuff? Yeah those. They argue Zucker’s methodology is the best way to go about it, so lets discuss his “biological sex affirmation” approach.
Zucker is absolutely right that not all gender dysphoria instantly implies someone is trans. A girl struggling with accepting her boobs during puberty may be experiencing dysphoria, which appears to be related to her gender. However, this could be due to a multitude of other reasons such as the societal pressures we put on young girls. A child could easily see a younger sister getting more attention and then start to emulate her behaviour etc to gain that same attention. I think it would be silly to deny this fact.
For these people, an approach which is affirmative of their biological sex is super valuable. It can seriously help them to accept their biology and live happily without the need for transition and some of the negatives that come with that. I will not deny that affirming the biology of children who are merely GNC is absolutely great for these kids, because it really is – they shouldn’t transition, they are not trans kids.
That’s the whole point though, they are not trans kids and at a service which is, in essence, there to support trans kids it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to put a focus on supporting biological sex. Especially not when you know of the above statistics which seem to indicate that a support for gender helps remove psychopathology. This implies that being affirmative of biological sex would be harmful to these children.
To have a biological sex affirmative approach applied to all children would cause the repression, the depression, the anxiety that we see in transitioners who manage to transition later in life. On average we suffer with more mental illnesses and a huge percentage of us have attempted suicide.
The way I see it, we have two approaches. One is harmful to group A but super helpful to group B. The other is super helpful to group A and in most cases – obviously not all as there are false positives – not harmful to B at all. The false positives are important, yes, nobody denies this. The people who transition needlessly deserve all the support they can get in reversing any steps they took, absolutely. However, they are a teeny tiny minority of the group.
Here’s Dr Stuart Lorimer’s own numbers on trans people. He works with Gender Care who I emailed a while back to try and get some help from and they were super helpful – though I got busy and never actually followed up on what I wanted help with. Sorry about that guys, I’ll get back in touch eventually I promise! Not that you’ll know I suppose, cos of the whole anonymous blog thing…
… I digress.
So we’ve ruled out all of the major concerns of the gender affirmative approach whilst showing a yuuuuuge flaw in the biological sex approach. Yet people, namely in my experience the “butch dyke” radical feminist types, seem to cling to it despite that. They have the audacity to call people like me homophobic for our beliefs. All whilst believing that feminine behaviour in little boys means they’re instantly gay. They don’t see the irony of that because their own gayness is intrinsically linked to their identity as “butch” or masculine. So you know, obviously if they were masculine girls – all masculine girls must have just been gay the whole time. Ofcourse, why didn’t we think of this sooner!?
Next time someone insists gender affirmation is damaging or that biological sex affirmation is the way forwards, hit them with this post. Hopefully it will knock some sense into them.