Trans Youth Family Allies Suicides

December 3, 2011

I got the following message from TYFA’s Director Kim Pearson yesterday. It was such an alarming comment that I thought I would respond to it in a post. Trans Youth Family Allies is an organization dedicated to promoting medicalized transsexualization before the age of informed consent on minor children who don’t conform to sex-roles, even though all research shows that 97% of children who present for professional intervention for gender dysphoria distress-if left alone- grow up to be happy, healthy non-gender dysphoric adults (often, but not always, gay or lesbian).

Ms. Pearson advocates injecting these pre-pubertal children with experimental drugs that suppress puberty, followed by synthetic hormone treatments designed to sterilize the children before sexual maturation. Absent all scientific evidence, she believes that children who reject their assigned sex roles have been born with a congenital birth defect of the brain. Since there is no scientific evidence of such a brain defect, and thus no “cure” for one, she promotes medical sterilization, lifetime disability and drug dependence, and radical plastic surgery treatments for these formerly-healthy children. The organization is funded by adult transsexuals. Here is her comment and my reply:

———————————————————————————-

Submitted on 2011/12/01 at 5:59 pm

Thank you all so very much for spreading the word about our organization; for raising our profile on the internet and driving hits to our website. There are many many families out there who will read what you write and be frightened and others who see through you and find the compassion and support they need with TYFA. The attempted suicide rate among transgender folks is 41%; in the general population 1.6%; in families supported by TYFA…LESS THAN 1.5%. Entertain the possibility that we are providing unconditional love and compassionate support to an under-served and misunderstood community.

-Kim Pearson

————————————————————————————–

Hi Kim. I’m glad you approve of my posts about TYFA, particularly since they’ve been quite critical of your program. You offered no critique nor dispute of anything stated in the post you commented on, which I take to mean that you confirm the accuracy of my report. As for your assertion that the facts as reported will “frighten” the families of gender rebellious children, I have to disagree. I don’t think the families of these children are as “frightful” as you seem to think they are. At least here on my site, the families of gender-nonconforming children are intelligent, inquisitive, concerned, and perfectly capable of doing their own research and making up their own minds. Perhaps things are different on your site. The families that click on my “transgender children” tag and read the relevant posts, and follow the references and links to supportive data are doing their homework, researching the facts, and making their own informed decisions, not cowering fearfully. Knowledge is power. From the feedback I’ve gotten from families- the more information the better. I notice your site does not cite any supportive data or research, so perhaps folks are different over at your place.

The only “compassion and support” I see you offering is the “support” of reparative treatment designed to promote sex-role conformity: experimental medical regimes that cause lifetime irreversible sterility, drug dependence, and physical disability, as outlined in the intro to this post, for kids whose parents are struggling, adjusting and looking for ways to be supportive of their kids just the way they are. Radical drug and surgical “correction” seems a heck of a way to support kids to be themselves.

Speaking of frightening the parents of gender non-conforming children, what I find so astounding about your comment are your suicide statistics. I know you’ve refused to cite any data backing up the claims you make in your “educational” presentations to church groups, and you have declined to reveal any source for the extremely controversial assertions you make about child development (assertions that run in opposition to all published research). You claim your mystical contrarian data will be revealed only after scientific bodies will support it (even though you have not ever submitted such data to any scientific board).

I’m addressing your comment here because I’m sure it’s in the best interest of all concerned if we deal in facts when presenting data, and I’d like to provide you with an opportunity to correct the inaccuracy of the statistics you have used in your comment here and elsewhere. Unless your intent is to deliberately distort the facts I am sure you will correct this information the next time you “educate” the public about the suicide attempt rates of children in your program.

We know that there are around 390 million people living in the United States, and that there are around 38,000 completed suicides annually. About one in 10,260 people commit suicide annually (0.0097 of the US population).

There is no reliable data available on the prevalence of suicide attempts, but there are estimates. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that for every suicide there are 11 attempted suicides. The CDC places that estimate at 25 attempts per completed suicide. So we can say that the estimated rate of attempted suicides relative to the 38,000 completed suicides is estimated to be 418,000 to 950,000 annually. This means that between one in 933 people, to one in 411 people are estimated to attempt suicide annually in the United States.  (0.107 – 0.24 % of the US population are estimated to attempt suicide annually). These estimates are a far cry from the numbers you claimed as fact. The attempted suicide rate that you cited for the children in the TYFA program (1.5%) would be an incredibly high rate compared to the general population (0.107-0.24%).

I’m interested to know how you calculated your numbers of estimated suicide attempts for the general population and especially for the minor children you claim to be representing. Perhaps you were estimating the lifetime rate of suicide attempts, but since the CDC estimates the lifetime suicide attempt rate in the US to be 4.6% I don’t see how you arrived at your estimated figures which by any measure are in stark disagreement with any estimates that anyone else is proposing. If you are attempting to calculate lifetime attempt rates of a small group of children, then those lifetime rates should be far lower than the national lifetime average since the lifespan you are measuring is much shorter than the average US lifespan, which according to the CDC is now 77.9 years. In fact comparison of such a lifetime attempt rate between those who have lived 12 years and those who have lived 77.9 would be essentially meaningless, even if your control number for the average lifetime attempt rate wasn’t completely inaccurate. Which it unquestionably is. Any lifetime average for children should be far lower than lifetime averages for the general population.

I can’t find anyone, worldwide, presenting anything close to your 1.6% figure except one solitary source: The trans-activist group behind the “Injustice at Every Turn” report, which conducted internet polls and tried to pass them off as data. And they cited a source which contradicts that statistic completely. Incredibly sloppy and inaccurate false data that contradicts all known research to such a great degree that one questions whether it was simply a matter of incompetent, inept miscalculation. Child suicides are nothing to play fast and loose with. Dead children are not just “statistics” to be fudged.

I’m very interested to see where you find the calculations of the CDC and NIMH to be incorrect. I’m sure you wouldn’t just make things up out of thin air (?) -so if we could all see where these numbers come from it would be an excellent learning experience for us all. I look forward to your corrections. Thanks in advance.

Speaking of lifetime rates of suicide attempts, the 41% transgender rate you quoted comes from an anonymous internet poll conducted by the same group that fabricated the 1.6% figure: an activist group with the expressed intent of collecting evidence of high morbidity among online transgender respondents. Any time surveys are conducted online, particularly those with an expressed agenda, the results are essentially meaningless. Add in the fact that the publishers have been proven to fabricate data. Regardless, life-span rates (even fabricated ones)  cannot be meaningfully compared with childen who have not even reached adulthood. As someone who heads an organization which purports to specialize in pediatrics you must be aware of that.

Have you even surveyed the children in your organization for their pre-TYFA suicide attempt rates? You should certainly have done that, particularly because you cite post-intervention suicide attempt rates as evidence of your program’s effectiveness. Comparison of pre-TYFA and post-TYFA suicide attempt rates is the only way to evaluate a change in attempted suicide rates. Seems like that would be common sense. So. What is that number? And is the 1.5% rate you claimed an annual rate or a lifetime one? Or an “after joining TYFA” rate with no set duration? (In which case it would be an incredibly high rate compared to that of the general public). How does that 1.5% compare with the “pre-TYFA” attempt rate- or did you neglect to poll for that? A comparison of pre and post TYFA rates might be illuminating. Look forward to hearing.

A skeptical person might think that inaccurate suicide statistics are being manufactured or misrepresented in attempt to “frighten” the families of gender non-conforming children into following and supporting your program, especially since you stated that you personally believe these families are prone to being steered by fear. Telling parents that their kids are going to DIE if they don’t follow your program is about as fear-mongering as it gets. Which is all the more reason why we’d like to see those suicide statistics. The real ones.

I think we would also like to know the TYFA participant rate of actual completed suicides. I know that your TYFA co-founder’s 16 year old daughter committed suicide two years after “transitioning” and being celebrated as one of the “success stories”of TYFA’s program.

How many other TYFA “successes” have committed suicide after following your program? What percentage of TYFA children have committed suicide after joining TYFA? That would also be a helpful statistic to know.

 ———————————————————-

  • For concerned parents that would like an alternate viewpoint to the TYFA program the following articles (several of which are written by concerned trans people) may be helpful. There’s much more info out there too. Follow links! It’s hard to be a parent when your kid refuses to conform. Hang in there! You are not alone!

Leave the Kids Alone

Eugenics and the Practice of Transgendering Children

What to do if your child shows gender confusion

Trans Advocates- You’re Doing it Wrong

Say No to coercive Child Transition

Transgender Children

28 Responses to “Trans Youth Family Allies Suicides”

  1. Feminist at Sea Says:

    Gallus you baffle me with every post. I am really impressed with the amount of research you do to back up your claims and I wish more bloggers would do that. Unfortunately you don’t see it that much beyond the radical feminist sphere.

    I used to consider trans-gendering as merely offensive, in the same way that doing black-face is offensive. But having read your posts over the last few months, I have started to see it as dangerous, particularly because the push to get other people to conform to the gender binary seems to be getting greater and more normalized with each day.

    It seems that mainstream patriarchy sees trans-gendering as the next best thing to conforming to ones assigned gender.

  2. smash Says:

    Brilliant work GM!

  3. Nicky Says:

    Brilliant work, I like how you dug deep to look for answers that no one else is going to look for.

  4. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you so much again, for your brilliant work, Gallus. You exposed what looks like another criminal classic in the US medical/pharmaceutical tradition where people are experimented on, injured, sterilized, not given informed consent, etc. — all for profit and fame. I’m guessing this organization is really about the money and career. Good for you to know the real statistics. This is so awful on so many levels –female-hating, Lesbian and Gay male-hating, right wing, etc. And the irreparable injury and damage to children is criminal.

    There is already an epidemic among younger women (under 45 and especially those in their twenties) having severe hormonal disruption that has resulted in physical damage and pain (endometriosis, ovarian cysts, cancer, etc.) as well as serious mental and emotional pain. It is like nothing previous generations experienced — it’s almost everyone I know. It seems to be from massive exposure to xenoestrogens from soy in almost all food, food cooked and stored in plastic, hormones in non-organic meat and dairy, pesticides, etc. from being a fetus and growing up. This is already like an enormous experiment gone wrong. I wonder how many have committed suicide from this? I know several young women with permanent damage from surgeries to deal with the pain and many more addicted to psychiatric drugs. Already a fourth of females are on psychiatric drugs. I know so many brilliant young Feminists who say they are mentally ill from the symptoms they have. (Some changes can be done with careful eating, but really the damage is mostly permanent.)

    The last thing needed is to try to give even more children more dangerous, permanently damaging drugs.

    And yes, I agree with Gallus’ question of this organization:

    “How many other TYFA “successes” have committed suicide after following your program? What percentage of TYFA children have committed suicide after joining TYFA? That would also be a helpful statistic to know.”

  5. Noanodyne Says:

    This is vital information, Mag; your thoroughness and attention to detail make it exceptionally useful for people who want to do something about this issue. It’s so telling that it would be dangerous for you to publish this factual information under your own name and fight the good fight for science and reason as others have in other arenas on behalf of children’s health. People who have reasoned and reasonable arguments for their cause don’t need to threaten, harass, and bully to have their voices heard; but we know that’s not the case with the pro-transition mob. In spite of their efforts to keep this information away from the public, you’re providing a huge service to parents and others who work with children. Transitioners who prey on children in this way will be one of the things that turns public sentiment against the trans trend; that can’t happen soon enough and your work is hastening the arrival of that day, thankfully.

    • yerb Says:

      Here, here, Noanodyne! Thanks for putting it so well. Mag once again is doing an amazing job of informing us all and helping to expose the dangers for the general public as well of the neo-patriarchal trans movement.

      Transpolitics are patriarchy in drag.

  6. FeistyAmazon Says:

    Goddess, this is the thing that scares me the most…I think to what my family did to me once I rejected dolls at age 7, dresses at age 10, and telling them I’d never wanted to marry a man or have a child at age 12, and was a hardcore tomboy from age 7 on, once I figured out the discrepancy between how boys and girls were treated and opportunities opened and closed to us(mostly to girls).
    They had me in therapy for all my young years, but never explained to me WHY I was in therapy. They got me into ‘charm school’ to get me to feminize but that never worked, and also into Girl Scouts, which I hated,cuz it was mostly about domestic and girly stuff….while I bugged, and bugged and bugged ’em to get into ice hockey instead(which they finally allowed me to do for two years) and then eventually the martial arts which was my lifetime niche, from 14 years old on…but they NEVER accepted my hardcore tomboy/masculine/Butch behaviors…NEVER…or my hardcore feminist attitude or my Lesbianism once I came out. And this was a so called liberal Jewish family. And I hated being a girl because of the shaming, the limiting, the restrictions and being made to wear skirts and dresses for formal events…not because I wanted a penis! It disgusted me in Chaz’s video about just such an organization that Chaz put in the documentary, and appeared in, bonding with a boyish girl in a hottub as ‘boys’ together. That boyish girl coulda been me, way back when.

    The kids that attempt suicide often come from very strict fundamentalist homes where any deviance of role or sexual orientation is greatly looked down upon, and there’s ALWAYS an anti-homosexual/lesbian agenda behind it….otherwise what would it matter if the girl is more tomboyish, androgynous whatever if she’s just gonna grow up and fuck a man, or an effeminate boy is gonna grow up and marry a woman? No, the SECRET agenda behind it is the elimination of homosexuality and percieved homosexual behaviors along with the hetero assigned gender bones…..the more fundamentalist the religion the more pressure and shaming around gender behaviors.

    This is just like those who think that genetically modified foods are all well and good….now we have hormonally and surgically modified kids, to conform to another straitjacket and box….it is really getting to be a very scary Brave New World. And there’s been no rigourous scientific studies on how dangerous genetically modified foods can be. Good for you GallusMag for mentioning the lack of statistics around the kids….because they will NEVER have normal bodies with normal function once all these artificial hormones and surgeries take effect. Nor the longterm risk of introducing such young beings to such hormones. It’s bad enough all the 20 something young boyish women are on them now!

    I will not give ONE DIME to a Transgender organization…not one….Leave the kids alone! Let them just be their natural selves.
    They can then decide at age 21 which direction they want to go.
    -FeistyAmazon

    • Nicky Says:

      That’s like that within the Intersex community as well. We’ve been fighting long and hard to stop genital mutilation and forced genital surgeries on intersex babies and intersex kids. We’ve been fighting to stop the transitioners who prey on intersex kids and Infants, who think that intersex kids and infants needs surgery.

      It’s bad enough that you have Intersex adults like me who have been abused and traumatized by the medical system, parents and transitioners who think and intersex child is a social/medical emergency. As a result, you get intersex kids who grow up into adults, that are traumatized and scared for life all because the parents didn’t do enough to protect their intersex kids from the medical system and the transitioners who prey on these kids. Then you have intersex kids who don’t have a normal life because the transitioners and medical system abuse them and scar them for the rest of their life.

      That’s why intersex people like me who fight long and hard for intersex kids to just let them grow up and let them be normal kids as possible until they get to an age where they can decide what they want and not what the medical system, parents or transitioners want out of the intersex kids. It’s why intersex people try very hard to distance ourselves from the transgender community and the transitioners who want to harm and experiment on intersex kids. It’s what they do, dose more harm and damage to the intersex community than good.

      It’s why you see people slowly wising up to what transgender groups such as TYFA is doing to those kids and the harm and damage they are doing to them. It almost reminds you of the harm that was done to intersex kids in the same way TYFA is doing to kids as well.

      It just makes you wonder, why hasn’t child protective services hasn’t launched investigation them. Why hasn’t anyone stopped TYFA and put an end on their practice.

      • yerb Says:

        Nicky, I’m so glad you post here, pointing out the horrible injustices done to intersex children, the similarities to what is being done to gender non-conforming children, and telling us about how trans try to capitalize on and cannibalize intersex people’s lives and experiences.

        I’m so sorry to learn of the little bit you have shared about your experiences with the medical system and what society foists on intersex people. It breaks my heart, and I thank you for sharing any of your story.

        I appreciate and admire you for speaking out and working to prevent such abuses happening to any other child or adult. What a wonderful person you are for providing your courageous and caring voice on behalf of those at great risk, who need voices such as yours, providing first-hand accounts, to prevent them from being harmed.

      • kaypasser Says:

        great comment – thanks so much for speaking about this issue..
        with the advent of karyotyping, it has become a lot easier to develop a more informed approach to medical intervention.. protocols for intersex infants have begun to evolve around a ‘wait and see’ approach, enabling people born with these conditions to freely develop their identity and retain their bodily integrity until they can be considered old enough to make informed, autonomous choices.
        there is still work to be done on supporting and informing the parents and families of intersex children and my fear is that the trans agenda will derail and confuse some parents of genuinely intersexed kids when theyre desperately looking for answers, facing a hugely difficult task and years of uncertainty and ambiguity..as your painful experiences show, some parents are far from up to it because of their own socialisation.
        i hope more individuals like you will start to speak your experiences and put an end to the conflation in the minds of the public, and an end to the transhive self-justification strategies which seem to cluster around, latch onto and start to colonise the identities and struggles of other oppressed groups… LGB’s, atypical gender expressing children with homophobic parents, feminism, those born with real, biological intersex conditions, to gain political traction for their false beliefs.Particularly in the latter case, in order to suggest in the minds of the public that the normal functional healthy genitals they were born with are somehow a ‘genetic defect’ based on the mostly correct assumption that they can get away with outright lies because most people have better things to do than ask questions and research this stuff and wouldn’t dare speak out publicly if they did.

  7. FeistyAmazon Says:

    Yep, not much different than the ‘ex-gay movement, and we know just how successful THAT has been..when some of the top leaders got caught in gay bars doing the naughty….and when the ex-gays finally came BACK out and began to form an ex ex gay movement..or
    FINALLY learning self acceptance to their gayness/lesbianism and showing what a fraud ‘reparative therapy’ is! Same with this b.s.!

  8. Feuerwerferin Says:

    Gallus, a kick ass post again! Maybe it would be good to refresh “old” arguments for parent and get them to accept their children’s sexual orientation?

    The first site I have found directed at parents of homosexual children included trans😦

  9. kittybarber Says:

    Thank you, Gallus–you are brilliant. Please consider posting this at Billecero or whatever that is–they need to see that this Kim Whatever is bogus–and they need some decent writing too. You have done it again, thank you so much. I only hope that some lost kids get to ee your writing.

  10. kittybarber Says:

    Also, the TYFOID co-founder, would that be our pornographer friend and M2T? With a parent like that, no wonder the kids are messed up. Good Goddess….

  11. mishmich Says:

    Thank you for linking to my site, GM, where I have been running something on a similar theme for the past week. I have received quite a number of visitors, who are welcome. I must say that I never expected to find my blog listed alongside something by Jeffreys, let alone agreeing with her on this.

  12. GallusMag Says:

    My pleasure Mishmich- it’s a great post.
    Thanks everyone for your comments.

  13. FeistyAmazon Says:

    I just want to say to Nicky, that we had this discussion in the gender section in the past on the Michfest list…and that some intersex women came on with EXACTLY the same comments and observations as you, and the cooptation of intersex people by the trans movement and especially MTFs, and the Michfest womyn were incredibly supportive of your stance…I do agree, NOBODY should be pressured into body mutilating genital surgeries at a young age(unless it’s a matter of life or death or serious harm, like being able to pee or eliminate) or forced onto hormones before the age of consent, preferably 21! And there’s no scientific studies on the longrange effect of these hormones on such young bodies(well there CERTAINLY WERE for women on Estrogen and such, and all the disasters there!), as well as the effects of the surgeries. Leave the kids alone!
    -FeistyAmazon

    • Nicky Says:

      The only problem with that is transitioners and the medical community will stop at nothing in causing more harm and more damage to kids and even intersex kids.


  14. I just want to echo what the others have said—this is a REALLY excellent article, and I am so glad you have not stopped blogging! If anyone is not convinced trans, including and especially TYFA, a favorite of the trans community, has not taken over LGBT, see the following list of workshops to be presented at a major LGBT shindig: http://www.scribd.com/doc/73598258/CC12-Workshops-by-Topic-and-Title-C-Brennan

    Apparently, the word “lesbian” only appears in one workshop title while the transgenders/sexuals get an entire section to themselves.


  15. What I’m really shocked about is that there are ZERO longterm studies about the side effects of blocked puberty and sex steroid usage on children (or are there any??). It’s not only about the secondary sex characteristics! How does it help a young boy if he looks like a girl but is mentally and/or physical ill? Another thing is that trans activists saying that the blockers help the children to avoid the (oh so evil) puberty and that the children can change their minds later. But I’ll wonder how exactly should the children change their minds if the developing stops? Doesn’t it effect the developing of the brain too? (does any of you know this?) It’s terrifying that the children are used as guinea pigs and people are propagating this. And what parents are letting this experiments happen to their children? How can they be so blind and naive? If I were a parent it would be the most important thing for me to know if the health of my child is effected and if so in which way. It’s sad enough that the children are castrated and I wonder how parents are dealing with this. Do they care that the right to reproduce is taken away from their children? This is truly the most horrible thing trans activists ever propagated. Even normal trans people and their allies can’t be so blind that they can’t see what’s going on here (I hope). Shouldn’t trans activists have a lot of information about long term risks and so on?? To me it seems they don’t have any.

    I really hope that I’m wrong because I’m concerned about the children. So trans activists and other people who are reading this: Show me that I’m wrong. If there are longterm studies please link them. Does anybody have more information about possible problems children can or do face by taking puberty blockers and cross gendered hormones?

  16. Feuerwerferin Says:

    On second thought, you know it is strange that homosexuals are willing to be associated with trans at all. Homosexuals aren’t sick. Trans say they are sick and need medication (and they really are but in a different way than they think). Thus: Trans and homosexuals don’t even have common goals because homosexuals don’t want medication or name changes. Especially if you buy the brain defect claim, you will have to build your activism around other people who have brain defects or are sick in a different way. But because homosexuals associate with trans it seems as if homosexuals were somewhat sick too whereas trans were more “normal” despite being sick. A “normal sickness” and that’s what they say. It’s actually an ingenious homophobia.
    Dear lesbians, gays and bis, please don’t pretend to be sick and don’t pretend to have something in common with sick people. Think about what medicine and psychiatry have done to gays and lesbians several decades ago because they thought homosexuality was a desease (castration and experiments…). At least, that’s not what I want.


  17. “Think about what medicine and psychiatry have done to gays and lesbians several decades ago because they thought homosexuality was a desease ”

    They do it still to these days. By altering the bodies of gay children.
    (again dear trans activists prove me wrong).

    • Nicky Says:

      Look at what medicine has done to Intersex people as well. Look at what Trans are trying to do by trying to associate themselves with intersex people.

      • Feuerwerferin Says:

        Nicky, yes, they insult and endanger intersex people, lesbians and gays. Thank you for pointing it out. I’m honestly sorry about this.

        “LGBT” doesn’t make any sense. Usually, people work together when they have common goals (or experience a common condition), but that’s not the case AT ALL! Make a chart/list and you’ll see. It’s time to end this strange “alliance” (where lesbians and gays are being fucked over).

  18. FeistyAmazon Says:

    And especially us Lesbians and Butch Lesbians particularly since it seems every young Butch/boyish/tomboy coming up the pike who is homosexually/Lesbian oriented is being convinced she’s ‘really a dude’ and should either consider herself a dude or some version thereof or get on hormones and possibly to have surgery as well(mostly the breast removal ones, since the bottom surgeries really don’t work well and are extremely expensive and unconvincing to ANYBODY).

    I’ve seen blogs where young Butch Lesbian youth are looking around and NOBODY is considering themselves Lesbians anymore, and most are calling themselves ‘transgender’ if they have any smack of not exclusive femininity in their female behavior(that is: resistance to feminization, but NOT Feminism, sadly).

    And you look at all the videos for FTM’s on youtube and their endless tirade of self confessions as they go through their transition ‘process’ and almost NO videos of Butch Lesbians, very, very few….

  19. FeistyAmazon Says:

    This is PRECISELY WHY I say “I’m not ‘queer’, I’m a DYKE!” Nor am I an “LGBT”. Just the L thank you! Complete resistance to past, present or future males in my most intimate life or my sex life…..


  20. […] no attention to the children who are committing suicide after graduating from “transgender youth” […]


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