Exiles in their own flesh: A psychotherapist speaks

August 22, 2015

4thWaveNow

This is a guest post submitted by Lane Anderson (a pseudonym), a practicing psychotherapist who has worked extensively with “trans kids” and their families. She shares with us her clinical insights into her clients, child psychology, and the impact of the transgender phenomenon on our society as a whole.

If there are other mental health providers reading this post, please consider guest posting or responding in the comments section below the article.


I am a licensed psychotherapist. I’m writing this post on my last day at a teen health clinic, where I’ve seen patients and their families for nearly a decade.

In the past year especially, it’s become increasingly clear to me that I cannot uphold the primary value of my profession, to do no harm, without also seriously jeopardizing my standing in the professional community.  It’s a terrible and unfortunate conflict of interest. I’ve lost much sleep over the fact that, for a significant portion of my clients and their parents, I am unable to provide what they profess…

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18 Responses to “Exiles in their own flesh: A psychotherapist speaks”

  1. Ashland Avenue Says:

    Here’s the comment I left over at 4thwavenow: This is a stunning essay. It’s simply brilliant. In this comment, I wanted to highlight a few choice quotes, but there are so many I’d end up just re-posting it in its entirety. Thank you for this, and thank you for your bravery.

  2. amazondream Says:

    Powerful piece. Two things that popped out for me were the immaturity & need to control. In the eary 90’s when this started surfacing the first impressions I had were “these must be the ‘latch key’ kids, the kids who were suddenly coming home to empty houses and what I saw as a huge need for attention. The other impression I had was the requirement that everyone be silent and compliant props for their needs whenever they came into a room. This happened to me at the VA hospital when my therapist tried to set me up with a tranny without discussing it with me. Can you fucking believe that happened in a PTSD clinic?? Luckily I found this out before anything happened. But that’s exactly how I felt, like I was being used as a prop in this fucker’s malignant fantasy and that my needs, concerns or safety went right out the door.


  3. Reading this took my breath away.

    Having spent decades with one of these men, I recognize so many things I could never describe or articulate but always felt in some gut-level primal way.

    “What I think has happened is that people are now phobic about their own gut responses to life. We are being systematically separated from our own intuition.”

    I never lost my gut response to life and have complete trust my intuition and instincts.
    They have protected and served me well.

    “They think these new friends they’ve made online understand them perfectly. And in believing this unquestioningly, they find themselves lulled by the frictionless experience delivered most powerfully by group think.”

    Bullseye!
    Lulled by the frictionless experience…
    And to anyone who disturbs this fragile mirage of delusion, unleashes all their accumulated self-hate.

  4. petuniacat00 Says:

    Yeah. If we want a psychotherapist to validate our negative opinion of transitioning kids then this essay is great. But psychology is not going to help us. It’s the evidence-free category of “gender dysphoria” from the DSM that paved our way into this mess. The public, including legislators, really do think that “transgender” is biological. In a bizarre piece of intellectual sleight-of-hand it’s believed to be biological because it’s psychological. In other words psychiatry saying ‘blah blah gender dysphoria’ gave it legitimacy. And that legitimacy has morphed into “biological” in many peoples’ heads. That’s why there’s so willing to believe that people like us who criticize it are bigots. This giant institutional/knowledge mess is the problem. A psychotherapist ruminating about “intuition” is not going to help us. (Although calling groupthink a “frictionless experience” is a great line.)

  5. petuniacat00 Says:

    Also meant to add Kathy Mandingo, the MD, talked in concrete terms about the transgender medical scene. That was phenomenal.


  6. @petuniacatoo,

    “But psychology is not going to help us. It’s the evidence-free category of “gender dysphoria” from the DSM that paved our way into this mess….In other words psychiatry saying ‘blah blah gender dysphoria’ gave it legitimacy. ”

    Who trusts psychologists anyway? The largest organization of psychologists in the U.S., the American Psychological Association, collaborated with the Bush administration on its “enhanced interrogations” (waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc.) There was a big stink about it, and some people resigned. What psychologists do and say means diddly squat to me. They have collaborated with various corrupt and brutal regimes throughout history. Also, look at shock treatments and lobotomies. What they say means nothing. The APA singed off on George W. Bush’s “enhanced interrogations”, and the American Psychiatric Association gave us shock treatments and lobotomies. Psychologists and psychiatrists have been experimenting on people for decades, especially gay men and lesbians. In Iran, gay men and lesbians are trotted before psychologist and psychiatrists and told that they need to get their genitals mutilated. This form of gay and lesbian eugenics has been going on in Iran for years.

  7. RadicalGrandma Says:

    Brilliant, just brilliant. She says a lot of what I’ve been thinking, esp about young kids and teens, and I pity those who simply swallow whole the mess the trans movement is pushing. For society to simply accept this trans shit as gospel because those pushing it are articulate, educated, blah, blah, blah, is simply abominable.

    Always fight back against agendas. It may save your life.

  8. RadicalGrandma Says:

    Don’t know if you’re familiar with Carl Elliott, the bio-ethicist.

    From Elliott’s 2000 article in The Atlantic, where his main them is about apotemnophilics, but he does mention the use of surgery to change normal, healthy genitalia and appearance in transgendering.

    “But it is possible to imagine another story: that our cultural and historical conditions have not just revealed transsexuals but created them. That is, once “transsexual” and “gender-identity disorder” and “sex-reassignment surgery” became common linguistic currency, more people began conceptualizing and interpreting their experience in these terms. They began to make sense of their lives in a way that hadn’t been available to them before, and to some degree they actually became the kinds of people described by these terms.

    I don’t want to take a stand on whether either of these accounts is right. It may be that neither is. It may be that there are elements of truth in both. But let us suppose that there is some truth to the idea that sex-reassignment surgery and diagnoses of gender-identity disorder have helped to create the growing number of cases we are seeing. Would this mean that there is no biological basis for gender-identity disorder? No. Would it mean that the term is a sham? Again, no. Would it mean that these people are faking their dissatisfaction with their sex? No. What it would mean is that certain social and structural conditions—diagnostic categories, medical clinics, reimbursement schedules, a common language to describe the experience, and, recently, a large body of academic work and transgender activism—have made this way of interpreting an experience not only possible but more likely.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2000/12/a-new-way-to-be-mad/304671/

    I would like to see him write something on the experimentation with children and underaged teens by the trans movement.

    • petuniacat00 Says:

      This is fantastic, Radical Grandma! This is almost exactly what has been fluttering around in my head since I first started learning about the whole transgender thing only just last month. Thank you. I will look up Carl Elliot. And maybe write and suggest this to him. 😃

    • gchild Says:

      Yes, Dr. Carl Elliot. I believe this very thing:

      “…that our cultural and historical conditions have not just revealed transsexuals but created them.”

      When two (or more) roads diverge in a yellow wood, a choice exists. If a choice exists, we make one. Why, how, or on what conscious or unconscious level is debatable. And in most cases irrelevant.

      Seeking acceptance and tolerance doesnt have to involve lies and manipulation. On the other hand, seeking POWER often does require a pack of lies, propaganda, and manipulation.

    • coelacanth Says:

      Thank you for sharing this important article. Another critical idea from this article:

      “philosopher and historian of science Ian Hacking, who in a series of strikingly innovative books and articles has attempted to explain just how ‘transient mental illnesses’ such as the fugue state and multiple-personality disorder arise. A transient mental illness is by no means an imaginary mental illness, though in what ways it is real (or ‘real,’ as the social constructionists would have it) is a matter for philosophical debate. A transient mental illness is a mental illness that is limited to a certain time and place. It finds an ecological niche, as Hacking puts it—an idea that helps to explain how it thrives. In the same way that the idea of an ecological niche helps to explain why the polar bear is adapted to the Arctic ecosystem, or the chigger to the South Carolina woods, Hacking’s ecological niches help to explain the conditions that made it possible for multiple-personality disorder to flourish in late-twentieth-century America and the fugue state to flourish in nineteenth-century Bordeaux. If the niche disappears, the mental illness disappears along with it…Fifty years ago the suggestion that tens of thousands of people would someday want their genitals surgically altered so that they could change their sex would have been ludicrous. But it has happened. The question is why.”

      If the niche disappears, the mental illness disappears along with it — dismantling this Trans niche is a challenging task since there are so many players with financial, personal and political stakes in maintaining it for their own ends.

    • 1234lane Says:

      I wrote the post and did link to Carl Elliot’s article you discussed. It’s the work that corroborated my own thoughts and what I observed happening with the trans teens I met with. The vast majority of us are pretty unoriginal. We mirror the world in which we live. I’ve looked to see if Elliot has written anything more current on the transgender experience. Haven’t found anything.

    • bacopa Says:

      I read the “A New Way to be Mad” article in The Atlantic when it first came out and discovered a whole new side to Ian Hacking. I knew him as a philosopher and a early pioneer of the polyvalent logics that have come to be known in computer science as “fuzzy logic”. I went to a university library and read Hacking’s Mad Travelers, an account of the Fugue plague of the late 1800’s in France and Germany. Incredible! The book proposed “transient mental illness” as a bridge between so-called culture bound syndromes and what are these days accepted as real mental illnesses. Transgenderism has all the symptoms of a transient mental illness.

      I would also recommend Hacking’s Rewriting the Soul, an analysis of the multiple personality and recovered memory movement of the 80’s and 90’s. This book is a bit controversial because it denied that there were any generational Satanic conspiracies, but he did recognize there was a shit-ton of abuse. And he did point out that the whole affair turned away from male abusers and toward female business owners. Daycare operators became the main targets by the late 80s.

      So pretty much a 1600’s witch hunt victim profile. Women property owners. And the last two remaining imprisoned persons from the 80’s panic are two lesbians who ran a daycare in San Antonio. The “fact” that they were “perverts” got them long sentences. Other women in similar cases in California and South Carolina were released ten years ago.

  9. Free Jason Says:

    Reading this makes me glad that I grew up in a time and place where such resources weren’t present. If I may tell a bit of my story to highlight why I agree with this doctor. Born male, I can only speak to my experience regarding the homosexual mtt side, so I don’t discuss the ftt side because it isn’t my place to do so.

    I was a young gay kid, constantly attacked for being ‘feminine’, in a violently homophobic environment which militantly guarded classical gender roles. Eventually I learned how to play the right role and stopped getting harassed, but this was very taxing, depressing, and repulsive to me. It wore me down to such an extent that it became easier to fall for the transgender tropes than it was to accept that my situation was hopeless.

    Homelessness as a young teenager was a distinct possibility if I didn’t learn to conform–a stated policy in my house in fact. I see now that my situation rhymes in some ways with the situation many gays and lesbians face in Iran, where the state and society attempt to erase their homosexuality via surgery in order to preserve the social regime. To my shame, though there was no state forcing me down this path, I stumbled down it on my own because, absurdly enough, it was easier for me (in my mind) to try to erase my homosexuality and natural deviation from gender norms, than to stand up for myself and face the consequences. By thinking I was trans, I was suddenly (in my mind) no longer a hated and self-loathing effeminate gay boy but somebody with a fixable medical condition who would, after fixing it, end up leading a perfectly normal life. It was a false hope that made the years of conforming more bearable when I really should have been looking towards the hope of change, the hope of resisting, the hope of breaking the chains of homophobia and patriarchy. The trans propaganda can be enticing for some vulnerable young gay minds since it offers a sort of out to the seeming contradiction of being biologically male (or female) yet not behaving or loving like males (or females) are supposed to behave or love. But it is a hope that affirms rather than resists classic patriarchy.

    Last year (I’m in my early 30s now), I nearly started down a path of trans medical intervention that would have bankrupted me and damaged my body. Just before an appointment, a friend had a personal tragedy and needed the money I had saved up more than I did. This delayed my entry into the medical path and gave me time to think more carefully and do more research. This website above all others helped me see through the confusion, helped me realize that I could only find happiness by living my life as a proud gay man, that I could only honor women by respecting them, listening to them, and resisting patriarchy where I could.

    What if I had gone down the medical path as I almost did last year as an adult, or worse yet, what if I had these resources available as a teenager when I was at my most vulnerable? I think I would have created a miserable life for myself. As of now, I’m finding happiness honoring my biology, honoring my sexuality, honoring my difference. I am grateful that I was never “blessed” so early by access to a medical establishment that is alarmingly eager to let people damage their bodies. I am learning to unwind the masks I created to protect myself as a teen as I build the courage to be who I am openly and proudly.

    If you are under 16, you can’t vote, you can’t drive, you can’t smoke or drink alcohol, you can’t gamble, you can’t enter into a contract, you can’t live on your own, but in our brave new world you can elect to make radical hormonal and physical changes to your body. The justice system recognizes that the teenage brain is not fully formed and doesn’t hold juveniles to the same level of accountability as it does adults; yet the trans movement says that they should be virtually handed pills and a scalpel. Thank you for continuing to point out the absurdity of this.

    I think most people on either side of this issue want the same thing: a better world for the next generation. I strongly suspect that this better world can be found through social change rather than surgical intervention. The former is a lot harder than the latter, but it’s also the only path that will improve the world for everyone, not just the few.

  10. nonny Says:

    If we don’t fry the earth to a crisp in the meantime, I truly believe that in the future the current trans phenomenon is going to stand out as such a bizarre time in history. I truly believe it is going to be studied and pointed to as a form of mass hysteria/delusion.

    That’s little solace now, as we’re living in the midst of it. But this miserable wave is cresting and it’s going to crash.

  11. ephemeroptera Says:

    A development since this post, on related themes:

    Duke opens a “Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care” –

    http://www.newsobserver.com/living/health-fitness/article35994582.html


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