Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy on the “Gender Barometry” of Children

May 4, 2016

crazy ass johanna olson <!--YouTube Error: bad URL entered-->  

 

There’s a big difference between the practice of bloodletting, phrenology, eugenics, lobotomy and gender barometry. The latter is the current recipient of five million dollars in government NIH funding.

 

Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy is a self-described physician-activist whose medical practice is devoted to promoting treatments that permanently retard the reproductive systems of children who are distressed by social sex roles. These treatments stunt the growth of adolescent’s sexual organs and cause sterility. They cause lifetime drug dependence, disability and perpetual medical monitoring among formerly healthy individuals. Most of the subjects are homosexual. By so doing Dr. Olson-Kennedy purports to enhance the ability of children who can’t conform to restrictive sex-roles to pass cosmetically as members of the opposite sex on a superficial social basis. Such treatment is intended to individualize and pathologize the distress caused by social sex-roles and abort any potential social unrest or organized revolt against cultural norms.  

 

Dr. Olson-Kennedy operates the largest pediatric eugenics sex-role clinic in the world, under the supervision of Dr. Marvin Belzer at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

 

In her own words: Dr. Olson-Kennedy’s theories of Gender Barometry, Brain Gender, Height Normality, Neural Grooving and Teen Malaise as excerpted from the ‘Straight Talk MD’ [http://straighttalkmd.com/transgender-transition-extended-episode/] podcast: Enjoy!

[Note: interviewer questions have been condensed and paraphrased and appear bolded and in brackets like this sentence.]

 

[Interviewer: Philosophical question- did you choose your destiny or did your destiny choose you?]

 

I think a little of both. I think we’re choosing our destiny today. So, I think I had the incredible fortune to land in a fellowship program where this work was already being done by my mentor and the division head Dr. Marvin Belzer. And when I arrived there to do my fellowship in Los Angeles I was struck by the multitude of programs that were in the division, and certainly caring for trans youth was one of those programs.

 

[how long has Dr. Marvin Belzer been doing this work?]

 

He started doing trans youth care in around 1993-94, really in the context of our HIV youth program, so we had some young people who were receiving care for HIV but who also were interested in care around their physical gender transition, so they needed hormones, hormone care monitoring, and Dr, Belzer just jumped right in at a time when youth care was really very scarce. And so this is kind of where this care lived for a while and then it started breaking out beyond that, taking care of young people who were not also needing care around HIV but who just were, who needed hormones or needed monitoring for their hormones, and then the age of access started getting younger and younger. I came on as a faculty member in 2006 and at that time it corresponded with when the Dutch had really published a protocol about using hormone blockers in early puberty in order to keep young people with gender dysphoria from going through a puberty that didn’t really match how they felt. And as a pediatrician I felt like -what an amazing thing. What an amazing thing to pick up a pen and a prescription pad and really give someone this opportunity that they wouldn’t have otherwise had in history. And that gift, being able to provide that gift to people is, it’s a remarkable thing to be able to do as a healer. And I said that’s, I think that’s what I want to do. I wanna do this blocker practice model of care and also do hormone care for older adolescents. And what’s remarkable is if you start doing this work I don’t think you stop. It’s really incredible. And it gives me this opportunity every day to have the fortune of helping people live authentically. And there’s really not a lot of people that can say that. That in the context of their work and every day they get to contribute to a human rights issue on a macro level, and also on a micro level be able to really impact somebody’s quality of life.

 

[the difference between biological sex and gender identity?]

 

I think that we have to be mindful of even saying “biological sex”. I think that it’s- the language has evolved very rapidly even over the last couple of years, where more, I think we have said in the past “biological sex” to mean something that it doesn’t necessarily mean. So I think “natal sex” or “assigned sex at birth” are probably more accurate reflections of what we mean when we talk about what happens with a baby who’s born who has certain appearing genitals, and the assumption that is then made that makes a marker, a sex marker of male or female on their birth certificate. Gender identity is really our own internal sense of maleness, femaleness, both, something else entirely [laughs] , neither. And that’s really a subjective experience as we know it right now. I do think though as we see increasing numbers of studies coming out about brain neuro-anatomy we’re really going to understand that gender identity most likely lives in the brain, the structures of the brain and the way that the connections are made in the brain. And so it then sheds light on the inadequacy of saying “biological male or female” because that assumes we separate our brain from the rest of our body. Or our brain from our genitals or reproductive tract, which is not really a complete way to talk about bodies.

 

[define transgender]

 

You know, “transgender” it certainly could mean different things to different people but I think we’ve broadly come to understand it as a word that really captures folks who have a gender identity or gender expression that is maybe stereotypically different from their assigned sex at birth. So somebody who has a gender identity that’s different from their assigned sex at birth, and I wanna be really clear because a lot of times we talk about this is if, first, that male and female are opposite. And that all trans people have, like if they’re identified female at birth or assigned female at birth that then they identify as male- or if you’re assigned male at birth you identify as female- but that is not the case for all of trans folks. And so I think it’s really important to be specific about that trans folks identify as a gender that’s different from their assigned sex at birth. It may not be quote unquote “opposite”.

 

[what is gender variance or gender nonconformity?]

 

I really love the word gender “nonconformity” and it’s probably because personally I put very little value on conforming. [laughs]. And so I think it puts the onus of the difference on the society around the individual. So conformity around assigned gender, assigned sex at birth, really has to do with the way that gender is experienced, performed, and expressed, and so for people who have an experienced gender identity or an expression of gender, or a performance of gender that might be not stereotypically associated with their assigned sex at birth – they can be broadly categorized as gender nonconforming.

 

[define transsexual]

 

Yeah, transsexual is an interesting word, and it has a long history. But it has in the past, a lot of times the language and the lexicon of gender has arisen out of the medical community or the academic community and really was developed to distinguish people who underwent physical either hormone or surgical models of care in order to change their physical body to more closely match their gender of identity. But it’s not exclusive to- not everybody who does that resonates with that term, and so some people do and some people don’t.

 

[the term transvestite -is it used anymore?]

 

Not really. I’m sure somewhere it is but it’s not commonly considered a word that we would, that really has a lot of meaning to people. I think, one of the best historical documents that we can read around the classification or lexicon of gender in the world of academia comes from Harry Benjamin’s book ‘The Transsexual Phenomenon’ that he wrote in 1966 and he talks about this. He talks about different categories of people with these different names, you know, “transsexual” and “transvestite” and it’s very interesting to read that document because the “true Harry Benjamin transsexual” which is how sort of how people were referred to back then are differentiated from folks who just wanted to wear clothing that may not have been stereotypically expected for their assigned sex at birth. And so there was sort of this classification done by non-trans people about ‘Oh this is what means you’re really transsexual versus a crossdressing’. [sic]

 

[biology of transgender- is there a hormonal factor or cause in utero?]

 

I mean I think the superficial answer is no, there’s not one single thing that has been identified in the world of science but it’s, but we can learn and understand about gender behavior from some of the populations that we know that are in the DSD community or intersex community. I think what’s likely is that there’s a complex interplay of hormones and hormone receptors that are all experienced in a huge spectrum, in a huge array in utero. And that likely is what’s impacting gender identity development prenatally. I mean, I really do… – in the past historically you know, folks of trans experience were always thought to have had childhood trauma or inadequate parenting or some other non-chemical, non-hormonal or non-physiologic experience to explain their trans experience and I think we’ve largely gotten away from that, I’m hoping at least in the world of science. I think that’s probably still a very predominant sort of lay community perspective but I do think we don’t, we don’t, -we’re just starting to get an understanding of even what’s happening in the hormone milieu of prenatal environments.

 

[biology of transgender, is there a genetic factor?]

 

Um, there have been..what I can tell you is that there have been twin concordance studies that look at, like, identical twins versus fraternal or sororal twins and certainly there is a higher concordance among identical twins, which speaks to the idea that there may be genetic factors that play a role. Which isn’t surprising because if, you know, if genetics are gonna have a role in the hormones and hormone receptor milieu that’s happening for people as they undergo brain development.

 

[neurological differences in transgender individuals?]

 

I think that’s what we have very, very preliminary data that started out asking the question ‘are there sexually dimorphic regions of the brain’ or ‘do the brains of men and women..’

 

[meaning of “dimorphic”?]

 

Yeah, so: ‘Are there parts of the brain that look different in men and women?’ And that’s definitively been shown in studies, brain studies that have been done. And then the next logical question in the world of trans science is well what do those places in the brain look like in trans folks? And this is certainly not my area of expertise but the earliest data has shown that…um, it points to that… really that trans folks may have hybrid, hybridized brains, so those sexually dimorphic regions may be partially masculinized, partially feminized. I think we have a lot more to learn about this and I certainly wouldn’t wanna definitively say ‘yes we know that these specific regions’, but it’s not surprising that some of those regions that are hybridized share ..uh, share.. sort of spaces where we think there might also be differences for people around sexuality. It stands to reason that those brain spaces maybe [laughs] may share compartments. I guess that’s the best way to say it.

 

[can you use MRI scans to confirm diagnosis?]

 

Yeah I think we always have to be very aware when, in the world of science, when we cross over to try and identify etiologies. I think we also don’t understand why people are “cisgender” or not transgender. [laughs] And we actually have a lot more people to study to understand that question. And I think it also is that slippery slope of -if you, if you do find some things that are- if lets say, we do figure out where gender identity lives in humans, for anyone, regardless if they’re a person of trans experience or not. I think we have to ask ourselves: do we really want some kind of litmus test and if that does exist, then if you have an MRI and your brain doesn’t look like that does that sort of nullify or make your experience less authentic? And that’s really a difficult place to be in. I think that right now it’s safe to say that gender identity is a subjective experience. We’re all the keepers of our own gender and it’s not really appropriate to either undergo medical testing or even have an outside mental health professional verify your gender identity. We don’t really ask people who are not transgender to undergo that same kind of process.

 

[can a five year old really know they’re transgender?]

 

I don’t know that a five year old knows that they’re transgender but a five year old can certainly know their gender. I think what happens is that one of the downsides of seeing only media about younger children or a preponderance of those stories is there’s an expectation that trans people would have known their gender at five and had been articulating it and talking about it and.. and so, that’s actually not the majority of cases. This is really an interesting phenomenon that’s happening because we have more permissive environments and we have parents that have a very different kind of relationship with their children then they have had in the past. (Not those same parents but parents of older generations). And so I –we- have information and knowledge about gender constancy that comes from data not related to trans experience at all but that asks the question ‘when do children come to know their gender?’ and it’s quite early. I think what happens for-

 

[how early?]

 

Early childhood. Three to five years old.

 

[but some kids don’t identify as trans until older?]

 

I think that kids of trans experience in the three to five year old age range are just doing what they like. And so a lot of their being able to “know” anything has to do with what’s around them. So kids three and four and five year olds don’t say “I’m transgender so I like toys that aren’t typically associated with my assigned sex at birth”. They don’t have that kind of nuanced, what I call, what I’ve been starting to call a “Gender Barometer” or a way to understand gender and all of the implications of gender that we come to understand as we get older. Little kids just do what they love: ‘I like this’ or ‘I like that’. And for a child who has people around them that say “That’s great! You can play with whatever things you want! You can wear whatever clothes you want. Whatever makes you feel comfortable.” That child’s gonna have a very different experience around understanding their gender than a child who hears “You can’t play with that because you’re a boy”. “That’s a girl’s toy”. Or, “That’s a dress and boys don’t wear dresses.” Or, – and that’s usually the direction by the way that I’m talking about- it’s very rare that someone says to their assigned female daughter “You can’t wear pants, that’s for boys”, you know, “You can’t play softball or baseball or football or basketball because you’re a girl”. That- we don’t generally hear that, we hear it in the other direction. And so as kids start to get older and they start to get more clear cultural messages about the adequacy or appropriateness of what they love, their reaction is going to strongly, most likely, determine what happens around their gender identity and their expression of it, if they are of trans experience.

 

[what should parents do if their kids want to play with toys or wear clothing not stereotypical for their sex?]

 

I think that parents can make the choice to allow their child or support their child in doing what they love within the space of their own house relatively safely and easily. If a parent has a lot of what I sort of call a “Psychic Earthquake” about this then that might be more difficult. I think there’s still a proclivity and certainly even in cases where parents are supportive -the earliest responses with a child that you think is your son, wanting to play with dolls or wanting to wear dresses, the earliest proclivities are to redirect. I think that this happens commonly. People really don’t know how to handle or can’t really wrap their head around or deal with the judgment around letting their son wear a dress. I think that’s really difficult for a lot of people. But I do think that they also recognize the distress that their child is in around sort of getting these messages of that’s not okay. Who you are is not okay. That’s really damaging for any human to hear repeatedly in covert and overt forms.

 

So parents can certainly support. Parents should seek resources for themselves. They should try to find mental health providers that they can work with so that they have space to talk about everything that’s happening for them. Because it’s really not fair to ask your five or six year old child to hold that space for you as a parent or caregiver, adult parent or caregiver. [sic]

 

The, more decisions come [sic] when a child is really interested in doing these, in doing, um, maybe gender nonconforming behaviors and expressions outside of the home. I think that safety is a really paramount concern. But I also think that safety shouldn’t be used as a reason not to support a child. But, um, there are logistical things that need to be thought about. What’s gonna happen in a setting for a child who is in school? What’s gonna happen in that school for that child? What’s gonna happen around, you know, extended family? What’s gonna happen in communities of faith? You know, church, temple, other places of worship? And thinking about those things and talking about those things are really important. How are parents going to explain to parents of other kids? About why their maybe perceived son is wearing a dress? These are all things that are logistical issues around supporting a child in doing gender nonconforming expressions or behaviors or even statements about their gender. [sic]

 

[what is gender dysphoria?]

 

Gender Dysphoria does have diagnostic criteria that are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness. But I do think that gender dysphoria is described as the distress that arises for some about the incongruence between their assigned sex at birth and their experience of gender. And the, you know, gender dysphoria can show up at any time. And it can show up for people who are 18 months or two years old. And it can show up for people who are twelve. And it can show up for people who are forty [laughs].

 

So I think the people who have the great fortune to be doing this work come to understand how gender dysphoria looks different in different age groups and developmental places. For little kids, there may be kids who are gender dysphoric but are not understanding that their distress is related to gender. Many, many people that I’ve seen that present for care in adolescent or young adulthood say ‘I knew that something was different or wrong”. A lot of time it’s languaged as “wrong”. ‘But I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t connect it to gender until I was a little bit older’.

 

And this is probably a great place to interject that, you know, for assigned males and assigned females at birth the experiences are different. That’s really important. Because if you’re assigned female at birth and you like to do sports and music and wear pants and boy’s clothing and maybe even boy’s swim trunks and a rash guard and there’s just not the same level of of red flag alert that happens for families or even caretakers and providers, pediatricians and family medicine doctors or other people that care for children, that there is when you’re assigned son wants to wear a dress as we were speaking about before. So that gender dysphoria looks different in those groups. For a kid who really wants to.. you know for an assigned boy who really wants to wear a dress there’s gonna be a different conversation that happens. So that young person may get very different messaging very early on.

 

[less social tolerance for boys?]

 

Absolutely, I mean we still live in a very patriarchal misogynist society and it’s very androcentric and the idea that, I mean if you are in a society that sort of believes covertly and overtly sends the message that femaleness is less than maleness it stands to reason that there will be little tolerance for feminine behavior among assigned boys. There’s a huge latitude for gender expression and clothing and things for girls and even the that way we talk about it, I mean we have a word that is not disparaging: “tomboy” that we use for assigned girls that are maybe doing more what we expect to be masculine things (feels weird even to say that, but umm) we have a word that’s not ostracizing and disparaging and the words that we use to describe assigned boys who wanna do quote unquote “girl’s things” are very disparaging. It’s considered an insult if you -when you insult a boy and you use female or feminine terms it’s insulting. But when you use male words to describe girls it’s considered a compliment.

 

[what are hormone blockers?]

 

So in 2006 we were so lucky to have the work from the Netherlands get published. This idea that you could suspend or block somebody’s endogenous puberty process. I think that puberty is a time that’s- as an adolescent medicine specialist- is the scariest for me with youth of trans experience because it really, it’s not just being in a body that you don’t necessarily resonate [sic] it’s the solidification of an adult version of that body. So in childhood it’s very easy to escape that reality because in many, many ways prepubertal boys and girls bodies look the same. And so I think that puberty and the development of secondary sex characteristics of the reminder of sort of childbearing potential and things like that is really traumatic for a lot of people. I’m a cisgender woman so I can’t put words into people’s mouths but certainly that has been described to me over and over and over again. That puberty is the time when, almost always, young people who were previously happy well adjusted kids kind of socially isolate, they go into their rooms, never to be seen again by the family. And this is really of great concern to parents. You know “I had a really happy child and then around the age of maybe ten or eleven my child disappeared and all they do is go online. All they do is sit in their room and don’t want to participate in family activities. They started struggling in school. And this is also an emergence of depression and anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Puberty blockers have opened up the landscape for really important piece of work for trans youth [sic]. This idea that you could avoid the development of certain secondary sex characteristics can be really helpful for people. So if you are an assigned girl at birth, not having to go through chest development can be really helpful. Not having to ever start a menstrual cycle. Not having some of the body developments that happen for, that happen for folks with ovaries. If, for folks with testicles not having your voice drop, not getting an adam’s apple, not starting the growth of facial and male pattern body hairs [sic]. It can be, can be really helpful in keeping some of that anxiety and distress down that happens for youth in the puberty process.

 

[Why not directly start cross sex hormones if the gender is established at the onset of puberty]

 

That’s a great question. There are reasons from a medical perspective and there are reasons from psychosocial perspective and there are reasons from existing data that we have from the Netherlands. So the medications that we’re using to do blocking are medications that we’ve used for thirty-five, forty years to stop puberty process in kids with central precocious puberty, or puberty that starts at four and five years old. We really don’t want kids going through puberty at that time. It’s a bad, that’s a (laughs) we don’t want a five year old to start their puberty process, there’s implications on not just their psychosocial self but on bone and growth. So the medications have really good safety profile they’re also reversible. So that means that if lets say a trans kid at eleven, you know, over time, the next year or two years says that “Hey this isn’t… I’m okay with going through my endogenous puberty”. And maybe that’s because they feel more gender fluid, or maybe that’s because they settle into their assigned sex at birth. It’s incredibly rare. There’s really only one child that has been reported in the literature that went on the blockers and did not go on to cross-sex hormones, or gender-affirming hormones. And that kid had come into the blocker process with a non-binary gender identity. So that was not a young person that was definitively saying “I identify as male or female”. This was a young person who said “I’m not entirely sure what that’s gonna look like.” So I think there are some kids who, starting cross sex hormones might be perfectly appropriate and bypassing blockers might be perfectly appropriate for those kids, but certainly giving young people this grey area where they can really get more cognitive development, get more social development, and frankly more linear growth (laughs). This is another thing-

 

[do blockers prevent continued growth/stature?]

 

No it does not. I mean, linear growth is really based on other factors, growth hormone and other things but the-

 

[so puberty blocking doesn’t block growth hormones?]

 

It does not. That’s the nice thing about puberty blockers, or gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues is they’re very specific for the process of the release of sex, sex steroids. So sex steroids do play a role in the growth spurt of adolescence but they certainly don’t inhibit linear growth [sic]. So this is one of the, let’s think about a trans-masculine person, so assigned female at birth, this is a person with ovaries that might start their chest development at the age of nine. Well it doesn’t make peer concordance sense to start a nine year old on testosterone. Because they’re not, their friends who are probably cisgender boys are not starting their puberty. It also is the case that if you use enough testosterone to induce secondary sex characteristics that are masculine you also have to use enough to suppress the development of the feminizing sex characteristics. So in order to suppress the menstrual cycle you might have to move a little quicker. And for a nine year old that doesn’t make sense ‘cause -who wants to rock a mustache at eleven? I mean that’s kinda weird, so (laughs).

 

[kinda wished I had one at that age(laughs)]

 

So I do think there are a lot of things that go into the decision making equation and what we don’t have, and we can certainly extrapolate from other populations, we don’t really know the best way to say, maximize growth, height, linear height potential, in transmasculine young people. Height is something that is maybe over valued, but it’s still valued for men in this country and certainly elsewhere and you know, height for women is not valued. Enough height: you wanna be tall enough, but not too tall, right? So there’s a whole lot of societal expectations around people’s heights. Height… and we need, we don’t really have any data on that at all in trans youth. So I think blockers can be really useful in that way. That we can have people continue to grow. One of the concerns that we have is if people are started on estrogen their growth plates are gonna close. So that can be, that’s what we want to happen for most people going through an endogenous puberty regulated by estrogen or ovaries but that’s not necessarily we want [sic], something we want to do in a person with testicles who’s very short at the beginning of their pubertal process.

 

[what age do you start cross sex hormones?]

 

I think it’s a real mistake for people to think about chronologic age. Just because the developmental process for each human is so different. There are kids that I think are perfectly appropriate for gender affirming hormones or cross sex hormones at thirteen, and some that for various and sorted reasons it’s at sixteen, it just really depends, this care really requires an individualized approach. And it’s one of the things that makes the care both amazing, enjoyable and lovely but also difficult is that these kinds of understanding of about where a person is at and understanding their level of anxiety and understanding where they are with their peers and their level of whether that’s important to them or not. Some kids want to take their time on starting hormones and some kids really don’t and all of that goes into the decision making. Their medical health is important. Their height is important. So there are so many things that have to be thought about in this decision, and I think one of the biggest unfortunate things that’s happened in this care is that there have been chronological ages that have been talked about in our care guidelines that are both validating of trans youth but also are very inhibiting of trans youth being able to do anything outside of those clinical care guidelines.

 

[social transition -what is the age for that?]

 

So I have about 101 kids that I put onto a protocol of the 600 that are in our practice, but a hundred of them that are new to hormones and I asked them “when was the first time that you really knew your gender was different from your assigned sex at birth?” Where you knew that. Not where you were doing gender, when you were doing gender non-conforming behavior, things like that, but when did you actually connect that you had a gender that was different than your assigned sex at birth. And the average age was eight. So, on average eight. And the next question was “When did you disclose this information to your parents?” And it was seventeen. And so, we’re talking about nine years, ten years where people really sit on what I consider to be a huge piece of information about their core self. And think about all the things that happened to them in that time and what goes into their neuralgrooving [sic] process and their internalization of negative messages. So I do think while it’s amazing that we’re getting more and more young people it’s really still the case that people are coming into the clinic at seventeen to twenty-five seeking care, they’ve already been through an endogenous puberty process. And so those kids, those young people, they’re not really kids but those young people and young adults when thinking back to their childhood, had we seen them at five years old, it might have been a really different story for them but because they’re now coming in post-pubertally they may have this order, this checklist of transition be very, very different.

 

For children who are talking about their authentic gender at a very young age most of them are going to be socially transitioned even before they start blockers. Now. That’s pretty common now. For kids who are entering into care later they may or may not want to do elements of social transition or complete social transition prior to using hormones because if you’ve already been through a quote “male puberty” you know, the development of an adam’s apple and their voice has dropped and the have a skeletal stature that’s distinctly masculine, genital changes and facial structure, there may be very, very good reasons that somebody doesn’t feel comfortable presenting as a more feminine version of themselves until they have been on hormones for some time. And that makes really a lot of sense because of what we were talking about earlier. The societal reaction to what appears to be men in female attire, make-up, or hairstyles is really difficult to navigate especially for a teenager.

 

So I think there have been occasions where people have said ‘I don’t understand why my teenager doesn’t wanna go out and buy dresses and wear make-up and all of this stuff”. And, first of all that’s not going to be important for every transfeminine person, but alon, maybe they have very good reasons for making those choices. And that’s again, part of that having conversations with people and seeing what works for them.

 

[challenges of social transition in high school or elementary school?]

 

I think, and again there’s some strategizing that happens for families around this. So does it make sense to do the social transition in the summer or does it make sense to do it prior to starting a new section of school, like elementary school or junior high or middle school or high school or college. You know -is there strategy in changing schools or going to a different district. And I’ve seen families do this in all of the above ways. (laughs) So I’ve seen families whose- the youth actually say “I’m leaving for spring break and I’m coming back with a different name” and what do we need to do in order to prepare that young person for that change? And again, like so much of this depends on where you are in the country. It’s gonna be very different if you do that in, you know, a very liberal sort of arts, small private school in Hollywood versus you know you’re in Arkansas in a public school where there’s very little experience of this within that school district. It’s just gonna matter. That’s very important. It’s important for the safety of the child. It’s important for even being able to productively function in a school environment. If a school environment is hostile for a young person then it’s going to be really hard to do what they need to do in school which is learn and make friends and academically achieve. So people do this in lots of different ways. The challenges that people face often come from the school setting, come from administration, they come from teachers, school psychologists, people that don’t have a lot of experience and are- definitely have their own opinions and ideas about whether or not, you know, youth can actually be transgender. I mean, it makes complete sense that transgender adults started as trans kids but a lot of people don’t really believe that. There are people who simply state “I don’t believe that this is a thing”. Which I always say is akin to not believing in cheese. It’s very strange, because gender really isn’t a belief system.

 

So I think it’s impossible to have a conversation with, I’ve never had a conversation about trans youth that doesn’t include a conversation about bathrooms and other sex segregated spaces because these seem to be the spaces where everyone around the young person gets very worked up, very knotted up. And it’s interesting because the person who really has the most anxiety about this is the young person. And so there’s a couple of things that we very rarely do hear public outcry about a trans masculine or trans boy who wants to use the boys restroom. You always hear the outcry from parents of cisgender girls who don’t want a trans girl in the bathroom with their kids. Which is very strange to me because something that’s universally true of women’s bathrooms is stalls. Private, privacy. And in the other direction in a much more public style restroom for trans boys it seems like it would be much more alarming, it comes from our constant societal view that transwomen are sexual predators. And even when they’re seven and eight years old there’s a feeling that somehow that lives and wellbeing of cisgender girls in that bathroom are in danger. The person who has the most to fear is actually the trans kid. And very, very few people are thinking about advocating for those youth.

 

[How long does hormonal transition take and how does it permanently affect fertility in kids?]

 

So hormones are basically inducing a puberty. So the puberty process does take time. It certainly doesn’t happen in weeks, unfortunately for the kids because they really, the young people would like it to go faster than it does. There are things about cross sex hormones that are permanent and some things that are, many things that are not. And it’s different, again for folks taking estrogen or feminizing hormones and folks taking masculinizing hormones. I think that what we know to be true in science and medicine is that testosterone is an incredibly powerful medication. It works quickly although it does take time for some of the more subtle changes. But- and this is also very different in kids who’ve been on puberty blockers versus kids who’ve already gone through one puberty. So for kids, you know it’s very- when somebody’s already gone through one puberty part of the job of hormones is, you’re almost thinking about layering one puberty on top of another because you actually can’t reverse the changes of an endogenous puberty, except through surgical means. So hormones are really additive. They can’t take away anything. Which is really hard because if you’ve already gone through a puberty with testicles your voice has dropped. Your voice isn’t gonna change when you take estrogen. Because you can’t ungrow your vocal chords, you have to retrain your voice or get vocal chord surgery. The same thing is true really of facial hair and body hair. Once you stimulate those particular glands in your body even if you completely eradicate all of your testosterone (which is not a good idea) but even if you did that those follicles would not stop. You’d still continue to grow that hair at a slower rate. So you can, um, so in, when you’re dealing with a person who’s already been through one puberty you’re really doing anything that you can to be additive with hormones. And so it’s a different, it’s sort of a different process. And a lot of times other ancillary things have to happen like lazer or surgery, electrolosis. Those are things that people have to consider if they want specific changes.

 

So it really, we tell people that it’s a two to five year process, a lot happens with masculinization in the first year, so people their voices will drop, they will get facial and body hair, they willl have fat redistribution and ability to to get muscle, especially in the upper body, and there will even be some, some facial restructuring because of soft tissue changes. For trans feminine folks breast development certainly starts in the first year, softening of the skin and again that body fat redistribution. But it’s a slower process and it takes longer and many times it’s inadequate.

 

People want to have surgery, chest surgery. So it’s definitely variable from person to person. It definitely matters if someone’s been on blockers, if they haven’t been on blockers, and I think talking about that is really important for providers who are going to be writing prescriptions for hormones and then monitoring, is talking about: what are things that are realistic? What are things that are not realistic? There are just some fundamental differences in sort of, nipple areolar complex placement, between xy and xx individuals, and those are all worth a conversation I think, for sure.

 

[mental health outcomes of pre-pubertal social and medical transitioners versus post pubertal transitioners?]

 

I think that for a long time, I mean the Dutch showed us this earlier, that young people who start transition earlier, because we have more hormone receptors in our bodies when we are younger, they definitely can expect more changes than somebody who started later for sure. And there’s been a clear link to people feeling better and having a better quality of life who’ve been able to achieve more of what they’ve wanted physically. I do think that this cohort of kids who are socially transitioned in childhood is really coming up, and we’re gonna learn more and more about them every year. But this idea of socially transitioning in early childhood is so very new that I don’t know that we could even make commentary about outcomes, but what I can tell you is that compared to… so there has been some very…

 

[objective outcome data? Scholastics or school performance?]

 

So there have been studies in the past looking at kids with gender dysphoria and showing clear levels of anxiety and levels of symptomatology that is in the clinical range. What’s exciting is that there’s some new data that’s going to be coming out in the next month or two that looked at anxiety and depression among kids who are socially transitioned and supported in childhood and it’s very favorable data, I’m really excited about it coming out. [Mental Health of Transgender Children Who Are Supported in Their Identities

Kristina R. Olson, PhD, Lily Durwood, BA, Madeleine DeMeules, BA, Katie A. McLaughlin, PhD

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2016/02/24/peds.2015-3223.full.pdf  . The study defines “living as their natal sex” as conformity with unwanted sex-role stereotypes and the study has no control group of children whose stereotypic sex-role noncompliance is supported without claiming to be the other sex -GM]

 

And that being said, I don’t think that we, that I, would not like to promote the idea that social transition is the panacea, and that it’s gonna eradicate gender dysphoria, because it’s not. Gender dysphoria is the distress that arises from the incongruence, and the incongruence is never gone. You can’t go back and unassign your gender at birth, your sex at birth. You can’t do that. And so, gender dysphoria shows up in a lot of ways. And we have to be mindful of that because what happens often is parents say “Well, we let you go on hormones, and we let you socially transition, then why are you still depressed?” or “why are you still anxious?” or “Why are you still self-harming?” And, as cisgender people, we can’t understand what it means to have gender dysphoria because we don’t have it, and so we have to be mindful as clinicians to look for it, and see how it waxes and wanes over time. And I think that we underestimate- so someone could be completely socially transitioned in childhood, they could go onto feminizing hormones at an early age, and they’re gonna navigate high school when sexuality is sort of at a premium, with genitals that may or may not be what they resonate with, or what feels right for them. And so that’s gonna be a big place of gender dysphoria for people, is, at the end of the day you have different challenges when you are non-disclosed, you’re completely perceived as your authentic self, but you are really restricted from entering into intimate spaces. Both with friends but also with potential partners, and that plays a big role in people’s lives. Especially teenagers.

 

[daily home school work challenges for these youth?]

 

I think that I could probably summarize it in a way that I heard from somebody else, from, about “gender noise”. The constant, ongoing bombardment of preoccupation and bandwidth about gender. The spaces, the covert and overt messages, about how to “do girl” right, how to “do boy” right. How to “do man” right. How to “do woman” right. It’s different things for different ages. When conformity is at a premium in the middle school years, feeling different for any reason is horrible. And so for a young person that either has not socially transitioned yet, I always say this: Before you disclose your authentic gender your secret is: you’re trans. And after you socially transition and you’re presenting as your authentic self, your secret is: you’re trans. And so there’s that ongoing…for younger kids, and for a lot of people, “secret” equals shame. And living with shame on a daily basis is hard. It’s a big task and it shows up in a lot of ways. For older kids I think there are things like “Who am I gonna partner with? How am I gonna tell people this truth about myself?” and “How am I going to talk about it?” and “Who do I have tell and when do I have to tell them?” And there’s a common perception that people have, and it comes from parents a lot as well, but, you know, “Oh, if I don’t disclose this information I’m lying to people”. And it’s like yeah, actually not. I mean this is private information. You should have the right to disclose it or not, depending on your situation and what feels right for you. And there is a constant and ongoing thing that I hear, which is that, you know, “Cisgender people feel entitled to know things about trans people that they have no right to know.” And empowering young people to say: “Google it”. You wanna know more about it? Google it. You know I don’t actually, I’m not obligated to tell you my life story. I’m not obligated to tell you about my body. I’m not obligated to tell you about my genitals. Or any of those things. And that’s a really important piece for both families and young people to have in order to be armed to move forward and feel better. At the end of the day, until we start celebrating trans identities we really can’t expect young people to integrate trans identity into their core self with great happiness. I think we need to start helping young people and helping the society be aware that this idea that there are only two genders is ridiculous. And that gender equals genitals? That’s just not real. And because young people who are disclosed and are incredibly brave and being advocates at very tender ages: they’re leading a gender revolution. And it’s exciting. And it frees us all. Whether we’re trans or whether we’re cisgender.

 

[has increased public visibility of transgender been helpful or hurtful?]

 

I think both. The answer is both. I think that as trans visibility becomes greater there are a couple things that we’ve seen happen. Which is: more violence against transgender women, of color, specifically. I think that we can-

 

[what do you attribute that to?]

 

Um, well I could do a whole show just about that. It’s… I think that, you know, there is violence against trans women of color that comes from within their own families, I think there is violence that comes from partners, intimate partner violence when people are disclosed, and I think there’s simply just stranger “I’m going to see someone who’s trans and it gets me so worked up that I just feel entitled to kill somebody, hurt somebody”. And I think those are probably all driven from different things. I think that at the end of the day people, when they don’t understand something, they’re ignorant about it, it makes them uncomfortable. Difference makes people uncomfortable and people deal with discomfort in different ways. And some people deal with it with violence. And there’s sort of an entitlement around that. Like, “I’m entitled to actually be violent towards something I don’t understand or someone I don’t understand”. And so I think that we have to be aware that trans visibility isn’t always a great wonderful celebratory thing, although the flip side of that is how many young people have accessed care because of the feeling that families have of sameness. If this can happen to the Khardashian family, to the Jenner family, then it seems more real. And it seems like “I can understand it more and maybe this is something that I really need to address in my own family”. What I’m really hoping is our amazing trans women of color, Janet Mock and Laverne Cox and others who have been amazing about sharing their stories, that that trickles into communities of color. Because something that is not happening is younger trans youth of color coming in to get blocked. We haven’t seen that. That’s pretty rare. In my clinic it’s… you know, some other clinics have more diversity in the young people that they’re seeing, but in the heart of Los Angeles, where we have a very diverse community, we really should be seeing more young people, more trans youth of color coming in for the opportunity to get puberty blockers, and I hope that we see that. It’s certainly not something that we’ve seen so far.

 

[is there any science on who would be a good candidate for sexual reassignment surgery and who would not?]

 

I think a couple things. The first thing is that we need to move away from even our language on that because the implication is that, you know, your sex will be reassigned after you have genitals that look different than your current ones. I really think gender- “genital reconstruction”, or “gender confirmation”, I mean, again, you don’t need certain genitals to have a gender. But I do think that, you know, genital surgery is something that is important for some people and not as important for other people. And I think that for a long time when genital surgery was not accessible to a lot of people because of finances it was something that a lot of people put off the table for themselves. But as it’s become now more increasingly covered by insurance I think we’re gonna- we have seen- skyrocketing numbers of people who are accessing genital surgery. There have been, you know, the research to date that’s looked at regret, I mean the numbers of people who regret genital surgery, are incredibly low, 0.5 to 1.0%. Those studies have really –

 

[better than hernia repairs]

 

Absolutely. [they both laugh]. That’s better than a lot of surgical interventions. And I think that even among the people that have, sort of, regretted that decision, it has to do not with that they have gender instability but that they were doing this whole physical or phenotypic gender transition in adulthood and they had an entire life in one gender role that they then lost. And that would be cause for regret I think for anyone, who lost everything in their life because they were pursuing their authentic self.

 

So I do think that surgery is really important for some people and not for others. I think chest surgery for transmasculine or transmen can be very important early in the process. But I do think that specifically genital dysphoria for trans women is a profound experience and I think sometimes that gender dysphoria is not even significantly impacted until genital surgery. We put… uh….a lot of… we really put a lot of meaning into genitals. Specifically, sort of, penises. And I think that for trans women who want to partner with cisgender men this is a major barrier for them. This is what young people tell me a lot, which is, you know “I just can’t even go into that, those spaces, because I’m scared for my health and my life and I don’t know how to talk about this”. There’s very few people who are really open in saying “Well that’s okay if you, you know, I really love you and it doesn’t matter what genitals you have”. That’s just, very difficult for people. Until things really change dramatically.

 

[Tell us about your research]

 

Over the last five years I’ve really been trying to investigate what the impact of early treatment is on youth who are getting blockers and youth who are starting hormones. Recently was, well over the summer, awarded a large NIH grant. I have three amazing PI colleagues at Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, UC San Francisco who are going to undertake this on a large scale. We’re really looking at young people from various parts of the country that are undergoing either hormone blocking or cross sex hormones and really trying to say definitively: Is this safe? Is this good for people’s mental health and wellbeing? And really our clinical experience, what we know to be true anecdotally, we need to put onto paper for the United States experience.

 

[specific parameters of health monitoring in your research?]

 

So certainly things that are just basic anthropometric measures like height and weight and BMI. Blood pressure, heart rate, things like that. But then we’re also looking at the impact of hormones on liver enzymes, and hormones on hormone levels, and lipids. Things like that where we know from other populations [*see class action lawsuits: testosterone mills-GM] they may be impacted from the use of hormones.

 

[Dr. Olson-Kennedy refers to [1] the measuring of liver damage caused by processing high doses of foreign synthetic cross sex hormones, and [2] measuring the suppression rate of endogenous (innate) hormone production/reception caused by flooding the endocrine system with high doses of foreign synthetic cross sex hormones, and [3] the increase in cholesterol level elevations caused by synthetic testosterone– GM].

 

For blockers our real physiologic interest is really about height and bone health [low mineral bone density-GM]. We know that when people go onto blockers they only accrue bone density at a pre-pubertal rate. Which makes sense because they’re not in puberty, that’s what we would expect them to do, but we want to make sure people are not dipping into osteopenic or osteoporotic levels of bone density. That’s a really important piece of information to have. And then, the mental health outcomes are largely what the focus of the study is on, so it’s really about: What are some of the symptoms that young people are having prior to starting treatment and how are they being impacted. What’s happening to some of those, even diagnosis, that young people are coming in with, over time as they’re undergoing hormone therapy. And then also looking at what the experience of parenting a gender nonconforming young person is. And that’s a piece that we haven’t heard enough about.

 

[what would you recommend society could do to help transgender people?]

 

I mean, we could make a better society for everyone if we weren’t so committed to, “if you have this assignment or these genitals at birth you have to behave and look like this”. I think we could really change the experience of all humans. I don’t think it’s good for anyone to be boxed in to any specific type of thing. You know, I don’t know what gender utopia looks like. I don’t know if that means no one’s identifiable as any gender or even what it’s gonna mean to be identified as male or female or neither or both in the future. But what I do know is that a lot of the societal constructs that exist today are harmful. And that if we really looked at them and said, you know, our human experience can evolve beyond this. And we can do better. I think that we would be better off. And I think that if we did less sex segregating, especially early on, it would be better. If we didn’t line up boys and line up girls and start sending those messages very early on. It’s really the covert messaging that happens that is harmful to all humans but especially, you know, kids of trans experience. That we’re taught really early on how to “do girl” and how to “do boy” and that if we’re not doing that correctly that something’s wrong with us.

 

[There don’t seem to be many centers like yours]

 

I think for trans youth especially you know not nearly as many as there need to be, certainly more and more people are digging into this work and getting excited about it. And that’s, that’s really good. I do think the danger is that people go into the work wanting to do the work but not really having all the resources that they need. I mean even in my clinic, the biggest clinic in the country we are completely resource poor. When I came into the program in 2006 we had 38 trans youth in the program, we have 600 now and the same staff and structure. And we are, you know, we are in danger of having to close our doors to new patients. So I think that having resources in place, and hospitals and academic institutions getting behind this work is really important. Really saying, “this is an important thing to incorporate”. I think what’s really new is that it’s gonna live in the world of pediatrics and adolescent medicine. That is very new for trans care, which has previously lived in the world of adult care. So pediatricians and academic institutions educating people about this is really important. Trans care getting taught in curriculums even in medical school, would be really important. And people just bringing on, at least even for consultation, people who’ve done the work or are experienced in it is really helpful. It’s unique in the sense that, you know, staff, front point people, and front office staff really are going to play in role in the experience that young people have. So cultural competency is really important. You know, if you were going to take on the care of individuals with diabetes you would not have to train your front office staff to use correct pronouns and names. That’s a whole added layer of care that needs to be considered. Because it can be really off-putting right from the outset. It can make a person feel very unwelcome if the first thing they’re met with is being called their birth name if that’s not the name they go by or being called “Mr. so and so” or “Miss so and so” if that’s not right for them. And so that’s an important piece. And really, until we do make some major paradigm shifts in our culture, making sure that young people are aware that there are safe spaces. And that has to be done through posters and signals, and things that people do to make their offices safe spaces.

 

[final thoughts?]

 

It’s important for people to know that trans experience has been around since the beginning of human experience. This is not a new thing. There are not more trans people than there ever have been and it’s not because of something we’re putting in our food [laughs].

 

[not BPA?]

 

No. [laughs] It’s not BPA. And so just acknowledging that there is an amazing and rich history that trans folks have. Knowing that history and understanding that, can help people recognize that the trans experience is not something to be scared of. It doesn’t mean people are mentally ill. It’s just an alternative trajectory from a cisgender experience.

 

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150 Responses to “Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy on the “Gender Barometry” of Children”

  1. Bob Doublin Says:

    That response to the question about the difference between biological sex and gender was just word salad. Incoherent. And they are getting funding. Wow.


  2. “I really love the word gender “nonconformity” and it’s probably because personally I put very little value on conforming. [laughs].” says the woman who looks 100% gender conforming. Haha. [laughs].

    The funny thing is, in her answer to what society could do to help transgender people she names the problem herself, that the social constructs of gender are harmful to boys and girls, and yet she’s so blinded by her own “I’m doing good!” righteousness and arrogance she can’t see it. All of these people need to be schooled by those who actually do defy gender norms and live happy, full lives as their “natal sex” without injections or surgeries.

  3. IronBatMaiden Says:

    Are you shitting me right now? This person needs to lose their license because her answers were full of bullshit!

    Where did we go wrong in allowing people to do this to themselves and/or their children? This is clearly a mental illness and the modern lefties are enabling them instead of treating them. Sure, the right wingers would treat them horribly, but at least we would give them mental therapy and actually tell them that biological sex matters.

    What they need to do is see gender for the bullshit it is. Not cater to it by creating an infinite amount of “gender identities.”

    • donesoverydone Says:

      Right wingers bash gay and lesbian kids and push conversion therapy and try to make it legal to discriminate against gay and lesbian people, sure, what great peeps you all are.

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        Forgive me for not clarifying, but I’m not a right winger. I can’t stand them. However, we cannot keep contributing to the trans madness. That’s also very anti-gay and anti-lesbian.

      • donesoverydone Says:

        Considering how many stories I’ve read of young people coming out as gay and lesbian in a conservative household and then deciding that their trans and receiving support from their family and that there are plenty of religious leaders who are anti gay and lesbian but pro trans, like Pat Robertson, I dont think expecting the right to do something about the excesses of trans politics is reasonable. You are also forgetting, or just ignorant, that it has been lesbian feminist who have been criticizing trans politics the longest. The right has come to the trans crit party late and that was only after they realized they can use the excesses of trans politics to fire up a culture war that they can use to advance their own political agenda.

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        Like I mentioned, I did come from a conservative background, but I do not adhere to conservative ideology any longer. From the short time I’ve lurked here, I now see that lesbian feminists have been the longest critics of trans.

        I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding and I’m sorry I didn’t clarify. I don’t expect the right wing to be any better. In fact, I expect them to be much worse! When I said “we” in the original comment, I was referring to we feminists. Not right wingers.

      • Loup-loup garou Says:

        The “modern lefties” IronBatMaiden is referring to aren’t remotely like lesbian feminists or radical feminists in the Gail Dines/Sheila Jeffreys/Janice Raymond mold. Think of a Huffpo-reading, Bernie-bro who totally supports a woman’s choice to work at k*nk.com because it’s empowering; think of an activisty-type woman who’s been supporting all the right progressive causes since the first Iraq war and who now has a young child whose sex-role non-compliance makes her a LOT more uncomfortable than she likes to admit, but who likes the idea of being über-tolerant; think of nice straight couple who graduated from college some time in the last decade, actually met in the Queer Identities course they both took to fulfill the a breadth requirement at Cal or Dartmouth or wherever, work for Verizon now, vote Democratic (occasionally Green or Independent), and haven’t had any particular reason to reconsider whether the “T” has anything to do with the “LGB,” or whether or not there’s something insidiously sexist about the whole idea of “gender identity,” because they’re just so busy making a living, and paying off student loans, and they don’t want to rock the boat or be on the wrong side of history…

        I know a lot of lefties and progressives. Many are very vocal about their support for what they call the LGBT community, or the queer community, but not all that comfortable around actual homosexuals — particularly lesbians. Right-wing homophobia can be brutal, but it’s usually straightforward — you know what’s motivating it and what you’re dealing with. Liberal homophobia is, well, complicated. But all too real.

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        Loup Loup clarified what I was thing to say. Again, I hate the right wing for their homophobia and sexism, but the left is guilt of the same thing, but it’s more complicated.

      • petuniacat00 Says:

        Loop-loop, that was superb! Write a book.

        Ironbatmaiden, got it. 👌🏼

      • Loup-loup garou Says:

        Thanks, petuniacat00. When I get a chance…

  4. Artemis Jade Says:

    She says there is less social tolerance for boys who exhibit the wrong gendered behavior and that girls are given more latitude. But in Europe at least, there’s been an explosion in the number of girls brought to clinics for gender dysphoria and the girls now outnumber the boys. I was surprised she did not try to address that fact.

    • Loup-loup garou Says:

      Ah, the old myth that refuse to die — that tomboys are considered okay, but sissies get beaten up. The truth is, the range of acceptable tomboyishness is pretty narrow. If you’re a cute and sporty tomboy who puts on a dress occasionally, you’ll probably get some sort of (very provisional) pass from your peers and the adults in your life. But girls who are perceived as just plain too “masculine” usually don’t. They get beaten up, just like the sissies.

  5. LC Says:

    ” I think that right now it’s safe to say that gender identity is a subjective experience. We’re all the keepers of our own gender and it’s not really appropriate to either undergo medical testing or even have an outside mental health professional verify your gender identity. We don’t really ask people who are not transgender to undergo that same kind of process.”

    So gender identity is real and it’s definitely probably part of the brain but we’ll never really find it and it’s offensive to even look. It’s a subjective feeling that you have to take as verifiable fact. Check. Doesn’t sound like a cult at all.

    People who are not transgender are not asking to be placed on a lifetime regimen of drugs and surgery, Ms Frankendoctor. The question is, can you verify objectively that anyone needs your treatment? No, no you can’t.

    • ImNoCissie Says:

      Exactly. No objectivity at all. Example:

      “[define transgender]

      You know, “transgender” it certainly could mean different things to different people but I think we’ve broadly come to understand it as a word … ”

      Replace transgender with “cancer”. Would an MD ever say: “..cancer it certainly could mean different things to different people..”

      NO.

      • K.Jane Says:

        No, they wouldn’t! It also makes no sense to have a civil rights movement based on something so subjective. Homosexuality has a clear definition and meaning. Race is more subjective since people can be multiracial and/or multi-ethinic, but it’s pretty obvious the the person with darker skin is going to be discriminated against. Unlike what wackjobs think, sex isn’t subjective; there are only two sexes and females are the ones who are oppressed.

        I am really mad that this eugenics crap is getting funding. The United States has been cutting funding for basic scientific research left and right and NHS grants are scarce, but the eugenics gets funding.

        And if transgender means a lot of different things to different people, then how is it ethical to decide that children are transgender and force plastic surgery and hormones on them?

  6. jummy Says:

    Can I do this? Next time another gushy Corey Maison story pollutes my FB feed, can I write:

    “If you ask me, I think they should chemically sterilize all these transgender kids before they hit puberty. Give them hormone suppressants like we do to pedophiles.”

    …and bask in the ignorant outrage?

    • Ashland Avenue Says:

      Pleeeeease do this! 😀

    • prozac Says:

      I was curious to see if anything had come out of Corey’s video fame last September. It seems that his mother booked a professional photo shoot, with makeup, hair, and Photoshop last December to commemorate the transition, and recently made a meme with the photos asking “if this was your daughter, would you send her to the men’s?” or something like that. You see, I thought Corey was 10, but apparently he’s just been on blockers and is 14! It’s a bit like watching toddlers and tiaras looking at this picture…

  7. Imnocissie Says:

    Five. Million. Dollars. Trans is the future. Get ready to accomodate.

  8. Franklin Says:

    This is terrifying. This is deeply incoherent intellectually but you can see the basis for a propaganda campaign larded with science speak (expect lots of ‘brain imaging’ studies) that will make it ever more difficult for people to speak up for common sense regarding physical sex differences.

  9. prozac Says:

    Wow, the complete and total dodge of the fertility question.

    Trans people have been here since before recorded time… There have been cave paintings of cave men, dressed as cave women, wearing makeup and high heels, affirming their authentic experience right from the get go… Or at age eight, whatever, children don’t really know what they are taking about until then… But they know they have a gender, unless they are cis, of course. If only sex segregation didn’t exist, as its sole purpose is to tell people how to “do boy” or “do girl” and of course, not anything to do with safety. Sex segregation only exists to oppress trans women! Or provide an outlet for their fetish, who cares, as long they feel like their authentic selves. BURN THE RAINBOW!

    Sarcasm aside, yesterday someone sent me a pic of a quote from an article (do not know the origins of it) stating that people can be sexually trans. “In some cases, fantasizing about gay sex can even be a sign of a woman feeling what Hardy describes as “sexually trans”. As in identifying as one gender emotionally and psychologically, but another sexually.” Homosexuality just doesn’t exist, only transgender heterosexuality. Welcome to Iran.

    • GallusMag Says:

      “Wow, the complete and total dodge of the fertility question.”

      YESSSSS!

      • Puzzled Says:

        She didn’t even bother to try to answer the fertility question. At all. She just ignored it. This is one of the “dirty little secrets” of the hormone+blocker protocol. The media are generally oblivious about it. The general public are oblivious. The activists just say “we’re saving their lives, who gives a shit about their fertility?” It’s viewed as utterly disposable. Just unavoidable collateral damage.

        I’m with jummy, above. If anyone was publicly saying “sterilize all the nonconforming kids,” there would be absolute outrage. It’d be a human rights issue. But that’s the bottom line to the Spack/Olson solution to kids’ bad feelings about gender.

      • kesher Says:

        She has answered that question before though, when Hoda Kotb interviewed her. Olson played the suicide card, of course. That’s all they have.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Right, better to rush into sterilization and lifetime disability than run the risk of self-harm. Of course, it’s unfair for cissie gatekeepers to expect self-harm to desist with treatment too!

        Her failure to answer here does seem to speak to the lack of importance, to her, of permanently stunting children’s reproductive systems before they mature.

    • Tina Says:

      I noticed that too. I wonder how many people know that trans activists support the permanent sterilization of children.

    • Biscuit Says:

      That jumped out at me too – she did not answer the question about sterility.

      She says:

      “There are kids that I think are perfectly appropriate for gender affirming hormones or cross sex hormones at thirteen, and some that for various and sorted reasons it’s at sixteen,”

      What she’s basically saying is:

      “There are kids that I think are perfectly appropriate to sterilize at thirteen, and some that for various and sorted reasons should be sterilized at sixteen.”

      What she’s saying sounds a lot more ominous when the euphemisms and bullshit terms are removed. Also, I’ve taught physiology classes at a university, and there’s no such category as “gender-affirming hormone.”

  10. Matt Says:

    Olson-Kennedy: when the science matches my socio-political dogma, it’s right. When it conflicts with it, it’s wrong.

  11. donesoverydone Says:

    Reblogged this on things I've read or intend to.

  12. ex home birthers Says:

    If its harder to be a gender non conforming boy, why are the majority of referrals to gender clinics for girls now?

    • GallusMag Says:

      Not only does she believe that it is easier for gender non conforming girls, and sidestep the fact that the ratio of girls to boys referred for treatment has skewed 2:1 in most clinics, but she believes it prevents girls from seeking “treatment”:

      From a radio interview today:

      “You think there’s more acceptance of the so-called tomboy?

      Olson-Kennedy: I think it’s so socially acceptable, that sometimes young people are not identified in childhood as having a gender different from their assigned sex.”

      http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2016/05/03/48501/parents-open-up-about-raising-transgender-kids/

      • morag99 Says:

        Oh my GOD.

        So, if more and more girls, in all their human diversity, become socially acceptable, then fewer and fewer girls will be identified as needing fixing with puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries. And that’s a problem. Because, how can we expect to fix girls, unless we’re breaking them to being with?

        Did Olson-Kennedy just admit, there, that her solution (the creation of disability, and the medicalized abuse of children’s bodies and minds called “treatment”) fully depends on maintaining and nurturing the very social problems from which transgenderism arises?

      • ShipRat Says:

        “You think there’s more acceptance of the so-called tomboy?
        Olson-Kennedy: I think it’s so socially acceptable, that sometimes young people are not identified in childhood as having a gender different from their assigned sex.”

        Perish the thought of any youngsters evading gender-based self-hatred and, more to the point, escaping our highly remunerative medical clutches

    • Jessica Says:

      Lesbophobia, that’s why. And these TGs are only enforcing gender roles on people. And it is GNC lesbians and women who will suffer the wrath of the bathroom police who are now on high alert.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Butch lesbians have been successfully negotiating restroom “misgendering” incidents since forever. Women have been ejecting males from female facilities since forever. Failing to allow men to access women’s facilities will not cause increased harm to women. That is disinformation.

      • Jessica Says:

        Gallus, I am agreeing with you. I have been posting here for a few months and on PSF’s blog and I oppose men in women’s facilities.

        My comment was that young women are being coerced into FTM due to lesbophobia. And that lesbians are suffering due to all of this trans stuff – they are being accused of being men, and thrown out of women’s facilities, by conservatives, who also expect women to conform to gender roles.

        I am sorry if I have not been clear.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Again, you just ignored my correction and restated the misinformation. That is like the fifth time this thread. Too much ongoing moderation required by your participation here. Putting you on ice, sorry. Take care.

  13. jule Says:

    She talks in such a nonsense way I got a migraine before the 4th question. Don’t have to read it to know she’s a quack creating an institution of child abuse to further her career. And getting money from the government? I think it’s time to let the govt know how much I resent this (among so much else they do)

    • Oak and Ash Says:

      “She talks in such a nonsense way I got a migraine before the 4th question.”

      I had the same reaction and couldn’t get through it all. It’s like trying to follow a medieval scholastic’s argument concerning how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or some other quasi-religious absurdity.

      Some day people will look back on this the way we do on trepanning or bloodletting or footbinding and think, “They did WHAT?”

    • petuniacat00 Says:

      Thank you for the ‘getting a migraine’ comment. I couldn’t finish this horror show. Thank you Gallus, for subjecting yourself to it.😖 In addition to the stuff everybody else has mentioned, she says things twice!
      “hormones and hormone receptors, it’s a spectrum it’s an array!”
      “Hybrid, hybridized”
      “around assigned gender, assigned sex at birth,”
      “gender identity or gender expression”
      “the language and the lexicon of gender”
      “has arisen out of the medical community or the academic community”
      Word salad is right.

      And a non-repeaty but squirrley way of saying things: “people of transgender experience”. WTF?:-/

      • Teal Deer Says:

        I couldn’t bear how often the word “really” was used. So much saccharin lacing that word salad.

  14. rheapdx1 Says:

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed…aside from those on this site..that the US has not learned a goddamned thing from the last century?

    Let alone the following: if anyone were to substitute a particular religion or ethnic group for the word ‘gender’ in the above litany of insanity by that doc, this would be outlawed and she would be in jail. Amazing that the NIH, et al have bought into the same eugenics crap that resulted in the internment and murder of so many. This is sickening.

  15. Magdalena Z. Says:

    “So I think “natal sex” or “assigned sex at birth” are probably more accurate reflections of what we mean when we talk about what happens with a baby who’s born who has certain appearing genitals, and the assumption that is then made that makes a marker, a sex marker of male or female on their birth certificate.”

    Can I change my species assignment to grizzly bear or something? Maybe a red panda, anything that can go hide in a cave from this shit. It makes my brain hurt.

    What I always think when I read shit like this is, why are all the legit doctors and scientist not disputing this and raising a stink to save the mental and physical health of these kids? Are they going to force delivery doctors from putting the sex of a baby on a birth certificate so as not to hurt tranny feelings?

    • Loup-loup garou Says:

      Your post has made me realize that I may be trans-grizzly bear. It seems so obvious now — I like berries, salmon, and sleeping a lot in the winter.

    • petuniacat00 Says:

      They don’t need to stop them doing that, because they’ve got everybody to say that idiotic phrase “assigned sex at birth”. Grrrrrrrrrr. They are the fake a left-wing creationists. Science hating scumbags.

    • Janetwo Says:

      They are not disputing it for fear of being hounded like Ken Zucker was. I am in STEM but not at all in the field of human biology and most of what is happening there, I learned here on gendertrender. I was shocked how far on the side of the crazies things have evolved. I had very little interest in soft sciences like sociology which are generally perceived as lacking rigor and method by folks in natural sciences and mathemathics. From what I understand, the tranny propagenda rot came from social sciences faculties and gained momentum before most people in hard sciences realized what was going on. Pomo word salad was successfully challenged by Alan Sokal. It should have settled the debate. In my experience, most scientists are socially really naive and used to assume that once a debate is settled rationally, its over. Not so much anymore…

      Transgenderism has a stronghold in my country, Canada. I would not be surprised that it would be linked to the state of fear, censorship and corporate takeover that the scientific community has been living with for the past 10 years of conservative federal government. Bad career move is the cute euphemism for opening your mouth on controversial topics. I would guess something similar was going on in the US. Corporations with financial interests have always promoted the idea that most research was done privately, while the truth is that most fundamental research is done publicly. This has given free reign to interest groups and deep pocketed organisations to slowly but surely silence impartial and dissenting voices from the public sector which are not on the payroll of people benefitting from socially engineering society for profits and power. This is just pure speculation from my part, as I do not have the expertise to backup my claims with a solid analysis. Like most people, I just rely on common sense and life experience to think that drugging kids because they prefer gender non conforming toys is batshit crazy.

      • ShipRat Says:

        @Janetwo: Just want to say I appreciate your comment; I am also in Canada.

      • Magdalena Z. Says:

        I agree, and with regards to your last sentence, I’m betting most doctors probably feel the same, at least I hope they do! It’s a real public harm that doctors are being threatened into silence, like if they felt they couldn’t speak up to debunk the suspicions and fear over children’s vaccines causing autism or the benefits of the hpv vaccine because of peoples religious ideologies or misinformed fears.

    • Tina Says:

      Yes, I assume the good doctor would support you transitioning into a grizzly bear. After all, “[g]ender identity is really our own internal sense of maleness, femaleness, both, something else entirely [laughs] , neither.” Something else entirely, she says. If you identify as grizzlygender who is she to say otherwise? It’s a deeply personal thing and you are the keeper of your own gender!

      • Magdalena Z. Says:

        Love it! No one says no to a transgrizzly or talks over them at meetings, grrrrrrr.

  16. Elle Driver Says:

    Does Dr. Olson-Kennedy prefer to be remembered as the Charles Davenport of the 21st century, or the John Money?

    • petuniacat00 Says:

      Ooooooooo, sharp. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 🏆 Have an award for your service to both Snark and the History of Medical Evil. 😊

  17. Carrie-Anne Says:

    I love how she dodged important questions, like the issue of future fertility. It was like nails on a chalkboard every time she used that stupid “assigned at birth” phrase. Biological sex is real and established, not mere opinion, suggestion, or outdated information.

    I wish the interviewer would’ve delved a lot more into the issue of social contagion, and how we’re seeing a beyond-disproportionate explosion in the number of children, teens, and twentysomethings claiming to be trans. These contemporary numbers aren’t at all supported by either science or history. In fact, there’s zero evidence in history of transkids.


    • There is definitely a history of little girls who identify with the sex stereotypes assigned to boys and who live “as men” while adults. They are lesbians. Lesbians do not need to be medically altered so that we appear to be men, we need to be allowed to be ourselves, express our personalities and love other women without being punished for it or told that we are men. Sex stereotypes need to be abolished.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Number of times the words Lesbian or Gay were uttered by either the interviewer of Dr. Olson-Kennedy: ZERO.


      • That was a deliberate omission. They cannot acknowledge that this whole operation is sterilizing the young gays and lesbians.

      • Janetwo Says:

        I believe many heterosexual women are not gender conforming. Same with men. Its actually normal for humans to vary a lot on an individual basis, independently of sexual orientation. What does your sex has anything to do with being good at math or enjoying cooking? Its some sort of Orwellian nightmare that a child is made to question her/his biology over the choice of the clothes he/she enjoys wearing. Its mindfucking on steroids. Transgenderism is just patriarchy in camo.

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        Sex roles need to die in a fire. They’ve done nothing but harm to women for eons.

        I’m with Janet. Transgenderism is covert patriarchy and the idiotic modern lefties are eating it up. If I remember correctly, it was the old school liberals who questioned the status quo. What happened to that?

        Right wing nutjobs are even crazier than before and they’re pretty much the inmates running the asylum. But with that said, the left needs to go back to its days of questioning everything, including the status quo regarding transgenderism. Nowadays, I find more leftists to use name calling in order to shut up debate.

        Have a question about transgenderism?

        “Transphobia1!1”

        Dare bring up the blatant misogyny from trans “women” (men in skirts) who demand access to lesbians?

        “Transphobic bigot1!1! Stfu1!1! Ur obsessed with genitals1!1 ewwwww!!”

        This whole culture is gas lighting women, lesbians, and gay men and reinforcing the very heteronormativity the modern left claims to hate.

    • MaryMacha Says:

      “there’s zero evidence in history of transkids”

      Meh. It’s just a matter of time before they claim the castrati as their own and rewrite history to make them willing participants in their own mutilation.

      • ShipRat Says:

        Castrati. Young boys mutilated to serve the ends of an all powerful institution. And many of them did not end up with decent adult voices, so they were unwanted in the role for they were castrated. So they lived their castrated lives as best they could.

        Of course boys were castrated for a variety of purposes throughout history😦

        Compare and contrast with the desexing of NGC boys under the current trans mania…


  18. I’m glad GM included the picture of Dr. Olson-Kennedy holding the device that I will refer to as a “gender abacus.” This thing makes it obvious that she is teaching children (and parents) that “male” and “female” is a continuum with infinite points in between. This goes along with her view of the human body as a set of parts to be mixed and matched according to whim, rather than the whole and well-functioning organic lifeform that it is. Male and female are not a continuum. Perhaps one could argue that the gender roles of masculinity and femininity exist on a continuum between more feminine and more masculine, (and even that is debatable), but biological sex is an either/or situation. Your body either produces sperm or it produces ova. Exceptions to this are rare. She is teaching children an incorrect idea that biological sex is a kaleidoscope of possibility, and she is teaching them to view their bodies as projects needing to be worked on. What she should be teaching these children and especially their parents, is that we need to accept and love ourselves as we are, and that it makes total sense that people don’t feel comfortable acting out sex-role stereotypes because sex-role stereotypes are bullshit, and that there is simply no such thing as playing with the wrong toys or liking the wrong clothes.
    For decades feminists have been describing and analyzing gender; what it is, who it serves, who enforces it, and who suffers from it. I noticed that she is completely lacking a feminist analysis of gender. I think this is deliberate. If she were to read the work of feminists who understand the system and how it works, then her whole operation would be revealed to be misguided. Unfortunately, she cannot build a career based on abolishing gender in order to liberate humans (especially females) from oppression; there’s no money in that. There is, apparently, lots of money in the business of sterilizing the homos before they’ve ever had a chance to realize they are gay.

    • Matt Says:

      Indeed. Her ‘Gender Abacus’ presents the same old, anti-science nonsense of people spread across continuous ‘spectrums’.

      1) There are two, and only two, sexes: male and female. Intersex conditions, which are in any case exceedingly rare, do not constitute extra sexes along a continuum. There is no sex spectrum;

      2) ~ 95% of people are heterosexual. Of the rest, ~ 1/2 are primarily homosexual, the tiny remainder bi. Thus, for attraction, ~ 97% of the population fall on one or the other pole, with ~3% left to be spread across the ‘spectrum’;

      3) Gender Identity is overwhelmingly ‘cis’ — 97.7%. Of the remaining 0.3% trans, nearly all identify decidedly as the gender opposite to their sex. There is no gender identity spectrum;

      4) Gender expression displays great variety and range across individuals, cultures, and epochs. People should be free to express however they like, but there is no need to concoct some pseudo-scientific explanation for it.

      I deal with these points in greater detail here:
      https://trueliberalnexus.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/what-gender-spectrum/

      • GallusMag Says:

        Most female transgenders are “non-binary”.

      • Magdalena Z. Says:

        “4) Gender expression displays great variety and range across individuals, cultures, and epochs. People should be free to express however they like, but there is no need to concoct some pseudo-scientific explanation for it.”

        Shouldn’t it just be called the expression of a personality rather than a gender?

      • Jessica Says:

        Great link Matt! I am going to use it as a source of information when debating idiots who claim that trans = intersex!

      • donesoverydone Says:

        Man reads gender abolitionist blog and concludes that gender is innate and women are naturally subservient to women- typical

      • Jessica Says:

        @donesoverydone

        donesoverydone Says:

        May 5, 2016 at 7:49 pm

        Man reads gender abolitionist blog and concludes that gender is innate and women are naturally subservient to women- typical

        Where? I didn’t see any such claim made.

      • Tina Says:

        donesoverydone is probably referring to this:

        =======

        “individuals fitting neatly into [social gender role] expectations rarely if ever question what gender really means. They have never had to, because the system has worked for them.”

        Could it be that the vast majority of people prefer these standard roles? Not the slightest effort has been made to produce concrete evidence showing otherwise — or to explain, exactly, why safeguarding the rights of a minority requires the majority to alter their private behavior and deepest self-perceptions. So, when Pistol Annies affirm that there’s nothing better than being loved by a workin’ man, who won’t do the dishes or laundry, but who can fix about anything and will keep your car real clean, instead of trying to re-educate those gals, we should take them at their word.

        =======

        Also, the insistence that there’s no such thing as “really” gay animals is pretty bad. I guess this guy has never been on a sheep farm, or he would know 1/10 rams are exclusively homosexual.

      • GallusMag Says:

        The no gay animals thing made me lol. Also his assertion that humans are the only species with elaborate mating rituals. LOL. What a maroon.

      • Matt Says:

        @ GallusMag: Is it MtF or FtM who are mostly ‘non-binary’?

        @ Magdalena: It surely ought to be.

        @ Jessica: Thanks! I can’t count how many times I’ve encountered that false conflation.

        @ donesoverydone: person reads comment, misses entire point of comment.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Females as I said.

      • donesoverydone Says:

        I read your article that you linked to, you believe gender is innate and that women are naturally submissive to men. I didn’t miss a thang

      • GallusMag Says:

        Matt is clueless on many levels. It is irritating to have to refute the same tired errors over and over and I don’t think it’s even worth our time. If people like Matt want to read advanced discussions on gender it’s all right here for the taking. Sadly, many men like him would rather pontificate about things they know nothing about and haven’t bothered to research in depth.

      • ShipRat Says:

        This is one of the creepier things I’ve read recently:

        “That being said, if, as a society moving toward greater egalitarianism and less gender-based dichotomy of labor, we now choose to relax enforcement of traditional gender roles [i.e. male and female] for those who choose to deviate from them, that’s a good thing”

        Why, Matt, thank you for your lofty benevolence in approving relaxation of gender enforcement upon people like me who choose to deviate.

        Do I detect an implicit threat which is not dissimilar to the one made by misogynist men everywhere: Women’s rights exist at our whim, we are the stronger and we will choose to reinstitute your subordination whenever we please.

      • ShipRat Says:

        “The no gay animals thing made me lol. Also his assertion that humans are the only species with elaborate mating rituals. LOL. What a maroon.”

        Natural history is my thing. And when someone (often male) bases an elaborate theory of human behaviour on “facts” he makes up about animal behaviour – a subject of which he knows little or nothing and which hasn’t bothered to research (presumably because it’s no more important to actually study real animals than it is to actually listen to women)…. I can’t tell you how it infuriates me. (OT for this blog, I apologize)

        Communicative & Integrative Biology 2012 May 1; 5(3): 281–283.
        Bowerbirds, art and aesthetics
        Are bowerbirds artists and do they have an aesthetic sense?
        John A. Endler*
        [Also] See the article “Great bowerbirds create theaters with forced perspective when seen by their audience.” in Curr Biol, volume 20 on page 1679.

        Male bowerbirds create and decorate a structure called a bower which serves only to attract females for mating, and females visit and choose one among many bower owners before deciding which male to mate with. Is what they do art, and do they have an aesthetic sense? I propose operational definitions of art, judgement, and an aesthetic sense which depend upon communication theory which allow one to get explicit answers to this question. By these definitions Great Bowerbirds are artists, judge art, and therefore have an aesthetic sense.
        Keywords: bowerbirds, animal construction, animal architecture, animal art, animal aesthetics

      • GallusMag Says:

        Very interesting.

  19. Em Says:

    This idiot has an MD? Why am I not surprised.

    • Biscuit Says:

      That…is scary, given her rambling, nonsense answers to questions about human physiology.

  20. AWESOME CAT Says:

    Completely debauched.

  21. AWESOME CAT Says:

    Reblogged this on The truth about AUTOGYNEPHILIA and commented:
    This “doctor” is a leader of the clique of criminal psychopaths in white coats who brainwash and mutilate children that don’t comply with sex role stereotypes (i.e. “gender”). She collaborates with Munchausen parents in normalizing medical child abuse. The guiding principle of Olson’s career is to service the urgent needs of male adult fetishists totally hopped up on their habit of sexualized cross-dressing. Olson does this by providing a fake alibi of “innate gender identity in children,” to thwart public awareness of what’s really happening in these adult males: their “gender identity” is based entirely on masturbation fantasies and pathological narcissism. Meanwhile, Olson works very hard to sacrifice children for this cause.

    • Loup-loup garou Says:

      I’m going to go tumblr here and start this with a CONTENT WARNING — DUTCH CREEPINESS

      The Netherlands practice something they call “psychiatric euthanasia.” Probably most readers here have heard about Nancy/Nathan Verhelst, a victim of this practice. She grew up with extreme misogyny and gender policing, transitioned medically (with surgery), and ended up profoundly traumatized. Her doctors were all too happy to help her end her life.

      The NYT recently ran an article on Dutch psych euthanasia, which they ought to just call socially-sanctioned murder. Most of the victims are women, 7 out of 10. In most cases, their underlying condition boils down to developmental trauma. Most are middle aged, some older, a few in their thirties. They’re people who are suffering because of something that happened to them. Not that anyone with an endogenous mental illness should be killed off “for their own good,” either. Even people who are severely psychotic can achieve some happiness, and they are people, and they are valuable.

      It’s almost as if the Dutch learned nothing from the 1930s and ’40s….

      • donesoverydone Says:

        Nancy/Nathan Verhelst was from Belgium, not the Netherlands

      • Loup-loup garou Says:

        Whoops. Thanks.

      • petuniacat00 Says:

        Thanks for this a loup-loup. I know Holland does that. They and Belgium also have government reports showing their voluntary euthanasia is abused. But they keep on doing it. The whole thing just sickens me. Now they’re going to bring that to Canada. The public loves it, the doctors don’t. The doctors know there will be problems. Seven out of 10 women? Holy fucking shit, it’s not the era of ‘mothers little helpers’ (Valium) anymore, is it? 😞

      • rheapdx1 Says:

        We are at a scary point, rather beyond same….when ‘treating’ gay and lesbian youth is to stetilize them…in turn creating pseudo-trans persons (who will have serious medical issues a few years into the chemical cocktails and mental stunting by pharmacologicals) or those who have suffered child physical and mental abuse are recommended euthanasia as a treatment. What is next….turning people into ‘Soylent Green’ due to being socially inconvenient?????

        Bring that one up the next time someone touts the idea that any of the two items mentioned above help the society. Something says some jerk will have an illogical, PC response.

  22. ephemeroptera Says:

    Did anyone else notice how she twice referenced the Netherlands like it was some country dropped from Heaven?

    The deadest giveaway of kneejerk liberalism is uncritical reverence of the Dutch.

    Also, sometimes, Canada.

  23. petuniacat00 Says:

    “…really that trans folks may have hybrid, hybridized brains, so those sexually dimorphic regions may be partially masculinized, partially feminized.”

    More word salad. Yes they NEED for trans people to have different and mixed-like brain anatomy in the areas that they also need for everyone to have that distinguish male from female. But they don’t have any of that. What would constitute a “hybridized between male and female brain structure”? How would a brain structure differ from male to female? Since no one has found any differences we don’t know what that would look like. Would the female ones just be smaller? 😂 If so what would a hybridized one look like? Middle sized? But in anything where you compare the sizes, which is a bizarre thing to do in anatomy, of a particular bit of brain in a whole bunch of different people what you get is a range of sizes. They don’t all have a brain hunk that is exactly the same size. So like most are going to be middle sized! The whole thing defies the most ordinary sort of competent scientific thinking. Scientific thinking of a sort that is not real hard. You just have to actually follow the rules. So yeah, scientifically she is not even trying. Pure propaganda.

    • Matt Says:

      Actually, there have been studies showing variances in cis vs. trans brains, particularly in the BSTc region, which is sexually dimorphic regarding size. IIRC, FtM had ‘man-sized’ BSTc, MtF had BSTc somewhere in the middle.

      n.b.: Correlation has been indicated; causation remains undetermined.

      A summary of several autopsy studies:
      http://openmindedhealth.com/2012/01/transsexual-brain-studies/

      Light gloss of a recent MRI study:
      https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20032-transsexual-differences-caught-on-brain-scan

      • GallusMag Says:

        Your stupid studies have been debunked over and over Matt, as in here:

        I suggest (or rather, I insist) that you do some more reading before busting in here and expecting us to waste our time debunking the same old tired disinformation that has already been covered so extensively.

      • Jessica Says:

        I did not read Matt as endorsing the concept of a ‘lady brain’ or a ‘man brain’

        Just that there is ‘correlation not causation’

        He was disagreeing with the TG’s who *claim* that lady brains and man brains exist.

        And as we all know, brains are plastic and all that. To do a properly controlled study you would have to scan every baby before they ‘discovered’ that they were trans. I mean, once parents start with the ‘you are trans’ thing with their kid, an argument could be made that the child’s brain is being moulded by the environment.

        So far, from everything that I have read, ‘trans people have unique brains but so far there is no way to scan someone and say ‘this person is trans’.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-something-unique-about-the-transgender-brain/

        Anyway, the TGs undercut their own arguments about brainsex when they go on to say that ‘no dysphoria is required’ which is of course an excuse for AGP to keep their dicks.

      • GallusMag Says:

        You are incorrect.
        1. There is no science that supports the idea of a “transgender brain”.
        2. Matt most certainly does endorse laydeebrains in his linked article.
        Stop posting disinformation. Thanks.

        Also stop wasting women’s energy by directing it to a clueless male troll.

      • Jessica Says:

        No problem Gallus. BTW, when I read ‘transgender brain’ I think, brain that is mentally disordered. Because that’s what it is, a mental disorder.

        And we don’t force society to conform to those with delusions, do we?

      • GallusMag Says:

        Huh? Is that supposed to divert from the fact that you’ve been posting repeated, extended misinformation in the guise of support?

        Are you just a troll or what?

      • petuniacat00 Says:

        Thank you Gallus, for your debunction! I’m so glad I saw it before I read Matt’s comment. “Man-sized BSTc”, WTF? Sounds like an ad for a Manwich©. The “manwich cortex was highly overdevelopedin this subject”. 😂

        Also, PetuniaCat Victory Lap: the studies ironfoxe described showed EXACTLY what I predicted! 🎈🎉🎈 The trans results were somewhere in the middle. 😁 Ooooo, informative. Actually it is informative, it shows these kinds of studies are stupid crap and they should stop doing them. 📉


    • Reminds me of the old term “psychic hermaphrodite” to describe someone with both “male” and “female” aspects to their brains. Each generation comes up with their own terminology for the enforcement of sex stereotypes and sex essentialism.

      • morag99 Says:

        Yeah. It’s in the everyday, Oprah-esque, popular psychology junk about people getting “in touch” with their masculine or feminine “sides.” But don’t be touching the other side too much, otherwise too much yang might get mixed up with your yin! We want to be progressive, but not TOO progressive, ya know?

  24. atranswidow Says:

    I tried reading this late when I was tired and then I tried next morning, but nope, it still didn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense because it’s a rambling stream of consciousness that has very little logical meaning.

    So she says near the beginning of the interview……..”What an amazing thing to pick up a pen and a prescription pad and really give someone this opportunity that they wouldn’t have otherwise had in history. And that gift, being able to provide that gift to people is, it’s a remarkable thing to be able to do as a healer. And I said that’s, I think that’s what I want to do. I wanna do this blocker practice model of care and also do hormone care for older adolescents. And what’s remarkable is if you start doing this work I don’t think you stop. It’s really incredible…….”

    Is this really how a doctor embarks on offering treatment to children and adolescents who are expecting that doctor to have answers about how their future is going to be if they follow ”this blocker practice model of care”? These kids, who want fixing now, who aren’t going to ask about long term health implications or whether or not they are putting their future fertility at risk, are they supposed to be eternally grateful because Doctor Olson is giving them a gift?
    Sometimes gifts can be a big let down once the fancy wrapping paper has been discarded.

    In answer to ”the difference between biological sex and gender identity?” she summarily dismisses biological sex and waxes on about finding ”gender identity” lodged somewhere in the brain…..this will then determine the outcome of whether the body is male or female because the brain and body are connected??? I thought that logic was a bit like saying she had the answer to ”which came first the chicken or the egg?”.

    That’s just the first two questions and answers. No wonder I thought my brain was being stupid when I read it the first time.

    Seriously though, this is appalling. It’s like a chapter waiting to be written in a follow up to Alice Dreger’s ”Galileo’s Middle Finger”. It’s the shameless erosion of gay and lesbian identities and of any kid who doesn’t fit in to today’s media led gender stereotypes.

  25. M. Says:

    This interview makes me feel hopeless and extremely sad.

  26. Janetwo Says:

    It makes sense, giving children the same type of treatments given to sexual criminal offenders. Dont you all love that new twist on punishing kids who are different? That gender abaccus scares the beejeezus out of me. How the heck do they decide what is a male trait and a female trait? I am grateful to have grown up in a time when the worst thing my parents could do was to force me to take ballet lessons instead of the karate class I wanted.

    Here is a new idea: how about explaining to children they cant decide their sex, the color of their skin or their eyes but they can explore all the other possibilities and figure on their own what brings them joy and fulfillment?

    I really cant stomach that expression: assigned at birth. It sounds like its totally arbitrary. The proper technical term , at least with other animals, is sexing. Its simply observing what is there. For laying chicken, the degree of accuracy for sexing is over 90% on day old chicks. You’d think its not beyond reasonable to expect trained medical professionals to be able to determine pretty accurately if a baby is male or a female without resorting to assigning at random pink and blue stickers.

    • rheapdx1 Says:

      @Janetwo…we did explain this. Many years ago, when science classes taught SCIENCE; explaining how DNA and RNA worked. Which meant that certain traits cannot be rewritten over (outside of enhancements like contact lenses, tanning of skin for the summer, or in some cases, skin lightening to even out or other purposes..those sorts of items) to fit a particular social concept. That is, if one were to exclude what the Nazis did.

      Which is where this insane, disgusting and reprehensible doctor and those like her fit in. And as bad as this is now, wait about 20-30 years. When these children come of age…..and the chemically induced illnesses arrive (as mentioned by Hopkins, Mayo, the PDR, et al), the government medical safety nets will be overwhelmed and stretched very thin. Then those who have illness that need medical treatment to LIVE will be fighting those who had this happen via the elective route. Scary thought….but this is where we are headed.

    • ShipRat Says:

      as we all know, birds have internal genitals, and even when exposed and inspected by a chicken sexer, a baby chick’s parts are very tiny and need magnification to be seen well…

      Rather unlike a human baby’s.

    • Tina Says:

      Yes, AFAB/AMAB makes it sound like it was arbitrary, which it isn’t in the VAST majority of cases. OFAB/OMAB (observed) would be a much more accurate term in the case of non-intersex infants. I wasn’t assigned my reproductive organs; I was just born with them.

  27. Annoyed Bi Chick Says:

    If these people are going to claim that there is some innate change in the brain between males and females, rather than what I think, which is that socialisation changes the brain (most of these studies have been done on adults or preschoolers, and even preschoolers have had a bachelor’s degree worth of gendered socialisation, right when their brains are most plastic), I think they’re going to have to find a way to put up or shut up. Demonstrate, for instance, that the areas that they claim are different between men and women are different in the same ways in various cultures, and I want to see them test people from, say, the Mosuo culture, which is as close to a matriarchy as can be found on Earth, or that culture in Nepal that practices polyandry, for instance, not just white European-derived people, who all share similar patriarchal gendered socialisation.

    This “It’s real but it’d be offensive to test for it” with crap studies behind it stuff is the phrenology of the 21st C., and reminds me not a little of early 20th C. “race science” phenotyping, where someone would be told they had a “Slavic head type,” or something.

    • rheapdx1 Says:

      On this one we concur in full.

      Over the past few years, when yours truly…either on Facebook or on other forums, brought up the fact that the ‘gender studies’ that were (and sadly, still are) being used to justify the chemical cocktails, as well as other items were no different than what was done in the last century…I was shouted down. Not just by those who drank the Kool-aid, but their toadies as well. These folks said these were [SIC] ‘valid, peer reviewed and based on logical principles’. Yeah……right.

      These are the same types who, via other words…will cite studies saying that certain ethnic groups are not in the same intellectual class, etc with little pushback. No challenges…unless it affects a bedmate (that is the clean version). As in a f_____buddy.

      One has to wonder how much longer the society on the whole is going to tolerate this crap. Lest we really want to be in a world out of ‘Idiocracy’.

    • Tina Says:

      “Delusions of Gender” is a pretty good intro book on this topic. The word you’re looking for is neuroplasticity, and it’s a word that a lot of trans activists choose to ignore. We know for a fact that our lifestyles have a great impact on our brain structure. There have been brain scan studies done on taxi drivers that prove this.

      • rheapdx1 Says:

        There are quite a few terms that are ignored. Truth, to some is a menace and a fire to be extinguished.

        Surgeries can be done to augment, cosmetics to enhance….but in the end, science and fact-based data will always win the day. And those who deny those studies in re:neuroplasticity…that is their right. But they will be wrong by several parsecs. Those of us who live outside of the cult know this, y’all know this as well. Those who want to be blinded by the blight…hell, that is their call.

    • petuniacat00 Says:

      To annoyed bi chick

      😂😂😂 “have a Slavic ahead or something”. Perfect! That is exactly what it’s like. Like the commentor who said does Olson want to be on the 21st century’s Charles Davenport (eugenics/Slavic head) or John Money (😱😱😱😱)?

      When these horseshit studies talk about difference in either sizes or responses between male and female or this and whatever brains they are often talking about differences that are vanishingly small. Differences that somebody else in another study would count as ‘the same’. This kind of brain science is the wild West. As Tina said Delusions of Gender, especially the third section, explains this stuff really well. And not full of impenetrable jargon. Oh, and once you’ve read about this stuff in a proper book by a proper prof and see how crappy it all is you don’t have to think about brain function studies ever again forever! 😊 Saves a lot of time.

    • ShipRat Says:

      We could compare the brain structure of 2nd wave feminists to that of 3rd wave feminists.

  28. tandrea101 Says:

    Hello Gallus… I am a background reader. Thank you for keeping up with the gender trend. I am just wondering if the readers here could help to support the HB2 Bill in North Carolina. The Department of Justice has intervened and I am just hoping and wondering if readers from your blog could send the DOJ an email with their thoughts on how allowing men into women’s restrooms, locker rooms and changing areas infringe our women’s and little girl’s right to privacy, bodily integrity and autonomy to be free from the presence of males in spaces where women and girls are partially dressed and most vulnerable. All emails can be sent to Vanita Gupta and Delora Kennebrew at Delora.kennebrew@usdoj.gov. Flood their inbox!

  29. Tina Says:

    I would love for someone to sit her down for a followup and get her to reconcile the logic between these two quotes:

    1: Kids three and four and five year olds don’t say “I’m transgender so I like toys that aren’t typically associated with my assigned sex at birth”. They don’t have that kind of nuanced, what I call, what I’ve been starting to call a “Gender Barometer” or a way to understand gender and all of the implications of gender that we come to understand as we get older.

    2: I mean, we could make a better society for everyone if we weren’t so committed to, “if you have this assignment or these genitals at birth you have to behave and look like this”.

    1 says that gender is about the association between sex and behaviour/appearance (toys & clothes, from question). 2 says that we should abolish these associations because they are harmful to transgender kids. But if we got rid of these associations then gender, and by extention transgenderism, would cease to exist. So what is the truth?

    Also please ask her to explain what the everloving fuck a “psychic earthquake” is. She sounds like a goddamn homeopath.

  30. morag99 Says:

    ‘Also, the insistence that there’s no such thing as “really” gay animals is pretty bad. I guess this guy has never been on a sheep farm, or he would know 1/10 rams are exclusively homosexual.’

    But do those sheep wear hoop earrings, drive raised pick-up trucks, and enjoy some line dancing down at the legion hall? Those are the questions we must ask to determine the validity of sexual preference in sheep. Ha!

    • morag99 Says:

      Oops, sorry. Thought I hit reply to Tina’s comment upthread.

    • Tina Says:

      Good point! Half of those rams that are observed as being “gay” are probably pre-op/no-op trans ewes. As any sex between a no-op trans ewe and a male cis ram is heterosexual, this means there are no gay animals, only transgendered ones. Apologies for my transphobia. I shouldn’t assume that every sheep with long horns and a penis is a ram.

      • morag99 Says:

        Right. Don’t reduce ewes to their udders! Is a ram without long horns any less of a ram? What about a ewe with long horns? Is she any less of a ewe for that? If you say yes, you are a sex essentialist. Spare me your White Sheepism! I drink White Sheepist tears! They are so delicious! Ha! ha! ha!

        (And so on, and so on …)

    • juno Says:

      They obviously haven’t spent any time with dogs either. We had a gay wolf once, his preference ran to old male bulldogs who looked like ernest borgnine, go figure.

      It was who he was and he was beloved for who he was. I wish people were given more acceptance for their human natures, this place would likely be a happier and richer one.

  31. Cassandra Says:

    Reading this woman’s words really bummed me out. It’s just absolute nonsense. I’d be embarrassed for her except for the fact that it’s being taken seriously. Try reading it out loud. It sounds absurd, like someone muttering in tongues in a religious trance. So depressing.

    Also, I didn’t see a way to reply to her but I loved loup loup’s description upthread of what’s going on. Just really excellent.

    • GallusMag Says:

      “Try reading it out loud.”

      Or listen to the podcast! I removed all the “ah….” “Ummm…” Uhh…” hesitations and pauses for cohesion as is typically done with transcription.

      • morag99 Says:

        What a lot of hard, time-consuming, brain-draining work. Thank you. I remember one other that you transcribed — a long interview that Meghan Murphy did with Sheila Jeffreys. That was also excellent.

        Turning speech into complete, readable sentences is difficult even at the best of times. Even with speakers who, unlike Olson-Kennedy, are NOT being evasive and manipulative and who actually WANT to be coherent to their listeners!

        I also want to say that I loved your witty opening paragraph here: “There’s a big difference between the practice of bloodletting, phrenology, eugenics, lobotomy and gender barometry … ” Such a good hook, but beyond that, it captures perfectly the dark-age quality of the “treatments” that adults are subjecting children to right under our noses. What’s happening really is nightmarish. Not only because kids’ health and lives are being ruined, but because there has been so little controversy, and so much suppression of criticism in the mainstream media.

        Your work is so important. Again, thank you, thank you!

      • GallusMag Says:

        thank you.❤

      • Cassandra Says:

        Yes, thank you for your hard work!


  32. @ironefox,

    Excellent work debunking the “trans brain” theories. All we have to do is use common sense. For example, how does the “trans brain” theory explain detransitioners? That is, males who identify as “women”, and then drop the notion that they are “women” as they age. Or, females who identify as “men”, and then realize that they are really women after all? Google detransition. What happens to the special “trans brain”? Actual brain disorders can’t magically undo themselves through sheer willpower, or a change in the way one thinks and perceives the world.

    This link is to a recent April 2016 article from a detransitioning FTM. She knows she is a different female, but she no longer identifies as a man. She has dropped trans identity and doesn’t identity as a man. So, tell me where did the trans brain go?

    “It took years of testosterone for me to finally realize it was okay to live in my own body without it, that making this peace with myself was possible, and that I deserved that chance. I didn’t know it was okay to be a dysphoric lesbian, that I could survive this way. I was almost 20 when I stopped hormones. I had been 20 for a little while when I stopped understanding myself as a trans man.

    Things changed. My mind changed.”

    https://4thwavenow.com/2016/04/27/shrinking-to-survive-a-former-trans-man-reports-on-life-inside-queer-youth-culture/

    This is another detransitioning link.

    https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/mtv-true-life-transgender-teens-change-their-minds-as-adults/

    This is another detransitioning FTM.

    https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/butch-lesbian-radical-feminist-and-former-ftm-heath-atom-russell-on-gender-dysphoria-de-transition-and-brain-sex/

    This is from a detransitioning MTF. Again, where did the trans brain go? Perhaps something cultural is going on, and it’s not really science at all. It’s dressed up science to fit a political and social narrative.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical/comments/21vhyl/mtf_detransitioning_after_5_mo_hrt_you_radfems/

    This is another detransitioning FTM who now identifies as a woman, and who wrote an insightful article, “Socialized Trans” in which she describes in detail the various social and cultural influences that pushed her into transitioning. We are presented with so-called science that tries to prove that there is such a thing as a “trans brain”, and then a detransitioning FTM comes along and says that in her personal experience it was social pressure and cultural influences.

    “One way to describe part of my experience is to say that I was socialized “trans”. That is, people assumed I was trans and treated me how they thought a trans person ought to be treated regardless of how I identified myself at the time. This treatment over time began to effect how I saw myself, helped to instill a trans male identity and encouraged me to transition. I think this is a phenomena that effects many females who are butch, “masculine” or otherwise don’t fit conventional “femininity”.

    When I say that females are socialized “trans”, I mean that we’re treated as though our qualities, behaviors, mannerisms, appearances, and so forth are taken as indicators that we’re trans and so we get male pronouns, get asked when we’re going to transition, complimented on how well we pass, etc.
    In my own circumstances, I would say being socialized “trans” included finding that my choice of name, clothing, physical features, interests, mannerisms and overall qualities were judged male by many people. These people decided that these qualities meant I was a boy with a female body rather than a girl with characteristics usually associated with boys and so it was therefore appropriate to use male pronouns without consulting me about my preferences. People used male pronouns to refer to me not only because they thought I preferred them but also because they seemed more comfortable using them to describe me. I was also told what a cute boy I made many times. On my own, I was considering that I could be trans but having many other people label me as such certainly reinforced that possibility and made it seem more likely.

    …Crucially, this socialization consisted of a lot of positive reinforcement. That is, when people decided I was trans and treated me accordingly they were often at the same time trying to show respect or be friendly. I didn’t receive the same sort of treatment as a butch dyke..

    …Trans can be another definition forced onto people, another idea through which a person’s being and behavior can be interpreted and judged. Just as there can be pressure for a male to be a “manly man” or a female to be “girly”, there can be pressure to call oneself trans or transition if one’s actions are considered “inappropriate” or strange for one’s sex. This is no theory, it’s a reality people live through. I have been socialized “trans” and I know I’m not alone.”

    https://crashchaoscats.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/socialized-trans/

    No one is allowed to state the obvious even though we see it all around us. The push to “transition” children and non-traditional girls and boys who don’t fit neatly into social norms is largely a cultural phenomenon.

    • Tina Says:

      I think the usual party line for detransitioners is that they were “never really trans at all”, i.e., they made a mistake from the beginning. So they never had “trans brain”. But actually testing people pre-transition to see if they have this “trans brain”, or even clearly defining what a “trans brain” looks like so that such a test could be done, is transphobic because it delegitimizes the “transness” of people without “trans brain”. Apparently.

      If they actually believe all this, they are TRULY terrible people. Think about it. It means that they want confused innocents (often children) to go through with social transition, permanently alter their bodies, permanently sterilize themselves, suffer for years as the wrong gender, go flat broke & into debt, AND THEN do it all over again in reverse. All so they can get the numbers up on their own movement. How absolutely despicable that they’re openly willing to drive other people’s lives into ruin to serve their own political needs.

      If there was a “trans brain” the ONLY responsible thing to do would be to develop a test for it, and test people before they transitioned. Having looked through the research, I’m pretty confident there’s no such thing as “trans brain” and I think it’s just a grasping attempt at gaining some legitimacy. I don’t think they actually believe in it themselves.

      PS: it makes me quite happy that “transphobia”, “transphobic”, etc., keep getting red underlines in my web browser🙂

  33. ShipRat Says:

    GallusMag, I’d like to express my appreciation for your work in transcribing this interview in full.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Thank you. It was a real pain in the ass.

      • ShipRat Says:

        There wasn’t just the regular chore of transcription, which is a hell of a lot of work. Her rambling unstructured way of speaking would make it even harder than usual. (not to mention the blood pressure effects of her ideas, or should I call them beliefs)

    • Tina Says:

      Ditto! There’s no way I could have sat through and listened to the whole thing. Text is much easier to skim, which is important when 99% of what is being said is completely devoid of any meaning.


  34. Isn’t it Orwellian in a creepy kind of way that a children’s hospital would be involved in the sterilization of healthy children? Think about it. Perhaps we shouldn’t talk about the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles because, after all, some of the most prestigious institutions used to perform lobotomies. The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles boasts that “We Treat Kids Better”, and it’s even on their official logo. I’m impressed.

    First, some background on Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy. She is partnered with an FTM social worker, Aydin Olson-Kennedy, whose entire work experience and practice centers on transitioning children and teenagers. This is some background information on Aydin Olson-Kennedy and Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy. If they see no problem in “transitioning” a young disabled woman with Down Syndrome, I guess anything goes. Seriously, there was a disabled woman with Down Syndrome in the ICU with a life threatening pulmonary embolism, and Andin Olson-Kennedy thought “top surgery” was a great idea. This disabled woman had leukemia when she was younger. It’s all okay. Let’s do “top surgery”.

    https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/aydin-olson-kennedy-msw-urges-gender-surgery-for-down-syndrome-child-in-intensive-care-unit/

    Minor surgery? Top US gender doc agitates to lower age for genital surgery

    https://4thwavenow.com/2016/03/20/minor-surgery-top-us-gender-doc-agitates-to-lower-age-for-genital-surgery/

    Second, both Aydin Olson-Kennedy and Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy are listed as consultants for Endo International Pharmaceutical corporation which formulates and markets the GnRH agonists and hormones being prescribed to children. Endocrinologists in the US make a lot of money off the GnRH agonists. As to GnRH agonists, the use of these drugs for what basically amounts to as a culturally defined psychological diagnosis in children is an off label use for this particular class of drugs. This class of drugs is used for advanced prostate cancer and endometriosis. They are also used for precocious puberty which is not the same as a questionable, culturally defined psychological diagnosis in healthy children. For precocious puberty, the GnRH agonists are never followed by cross gender hormones.

    (1.) As to drugging children with GnRH agonists, an unbiased PBS article states,

    “What makes treatment tricky is that there is no test that can tell whether a child experiencing distress about their gender will grow up to be transgender. The handful of studies that do exist suggest that gender dysphoria persists in a minority of children, but they involved very few children and were done mostly abroad.”
    “We do know that there is some decrease in bone density during treatment with pubertal suppression,” Finlayson said, adding that initial studies have shown that starting estrogen and testosterone can help regain the bone density. What Finlayson said there isn’t enough research on is whether someone who was on puberty blockers will regain all their bone strength, or if they might be at risk for osteoporosis in the future.

    Another area where doctors say there isn’t enough research is the impact that suppressing puberty has on brain development.

    “The bottom line is we don’t really know how sex hormones impact an adolescent’s brain development,” Dr. Lisa Simons, a pediatrician at Lurie Children’s, told FRONTLINE. “We know that there’s a lot of brain development between childhood and adulthood, but it’s not clear what’s behind that.” What’s lacking, she said, are specific studies that look at the neurocognitive effects of puberty blockers.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/when-transgender-kids-transition-medical-risks-are-both-known-and-unknown/

    (2.) At least she is right about one thing. Gender identity is a subjective experience.

    “And that’s really a difficult place to be in. I think that right now it’s safe to say that gender identity is a subjective experience.

    (3.) A physician says we must be mindful of even saying “biological sex” because it’s offensive to tell children that they are males and females. Kids see male and female animals all the time, their pets have babies, but the concept of biological sex doesn’t apply to humans. Kids see little puppies and kittens born, but sex doesn’t exist for people. No, humans don’t have biological sex. The human species is sexually dimorphic and all primates reproduce sexually. Primates can’t change their sex. Rare disorders of sexual development are not the same as transgender. The vast majority of children labeled “gender dysphoric” have no disorder of sexual development.

    “I think that we have to be mindful of even saying “biological sex”. And so it then sheds light on the inadequacy of saying “biological male or female” because that assumes we separate our brain from the rest of our body. Or our brain from our genitals or reproductive tract, which is not really a complete way to talk about bodies.
    She repeatedly says that “gender identity is a subjective experience”, and then she says a subjective experience, as in what we experience in our brain, is more important than things that are quantifiable such as chromosomes, genitals, pregnancy, and reproductive systems.

    (4.) Question: [biology of transgender- is there a hormonal factor or cause in utero?]

    I mean I think the superficial answer is no, there’s not one single thing that has been identified in the world of science but it’s, but we can learn and understand about gender behavior from some of the populations that we know that are in the DSD community or intersex community.

    [can a five year old really know they’re transgender?]
    [how early?]

    (5.) Early childhood. Three to five years old.

    [but some kids don’t identify as trans until older?]

    (6.) “Gender dysphoria” can show up at 18 months of age, or at any time.

    “Gender Dysphoria does have diagnostic criteria that are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness. But I do think that gender dysphoria is described as the distress that arises for some about the incongruence between their assigned sex at birth and their experience of gender. And the, you know, gender dysphoria can show up at any time. And it can show up for people who are 18 months or two years old. And it can show up for people who are twelve. And it can show up for people who are forty [laughs].”

    (7.) Question: [what age do you start cross sex hormones?] (age 13 is not too young – it all depends)

    I think it’s a real mistake for people to think about chronologic age. Just because the developmental process for each human is so different. There are kids that I think are perfectly appropriate for gender affirming hormones or cross sex hormones at thirteen, and some that for various and sorted reasons it’s at sixteen, it just really depends, this care really requires an individualized approach.

    Some kids are more mature than others, so let’s let children drive and buy alcohol at age thirteen. Let’s try an “individualized approach” to alcohol use, and bring the age down to thirteen. The prefrontal cortex of the human brain called the judgment center of the brain isn’t fully developed until the early twenties. We don’t let children take out bank loans or buy alcohol, but they are supposedly mature enough to willingly give up their fertility and possibly endanger their health. There is a scientific reason why teenagers act impulsively. It has to do with the development of the prefrontal cortex.

    Doctors are giving cross gender hormones to eleven, twelve, and thirteen year old children.

    https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/skipping-the-puberty-blockers-american-transgender-children-doctors-are-going-rogue/

    This is a typical “Informed Consent” form for testosterone that lists all the potential side effects. Adult patients are supposed to read all this, check everything off, and sign saying that they understand the risks involved. Doctors are basically covering their ass in case there are side effects, or someone regrets taking these medications as they age. How does this relate to children? Children lack the maturity to understand all the side effects of these hormones.

    http://www.dimensionsclinic.org/docs/trans/testosterone_ftm.pdf

    For minors, don’t parents have to sign the form? This assumes that children actually understand all the risks involved.

    (8.) Question: [How long does hormonal transition take and how does it permanently affect fertility in kids?]

    She completely dodged this question because they know they are sterilizing healthy children. Children who go from the GnRH agonists to cross gender hormones without experiencing puberty are rendered infertile.

    Sterilizing children is usually viewed as a human rights abuse.
    This is an unbiased article from PBS.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/when-transgender-kids-transition-medical-risks-are-both-known-and-unknown/

    As to fertility, this PBS article states,

    “Another potential dilemma facing transgender children, their families and their doctors is this: Taking cross hormones can reduce fertility. And there isn’t enough research to find out of it is reversible or not. So when children make the decision to start taking hormones, they have to consider whether they ever want to have biological children. (* read this again – they are asking children if they want to have children)

    “I think it’s really important to talk to these children and families about fertility,” Finlayson says. “I do worry that at that stage in life many of them may not be able to realize how important that would be to them someday.”

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/when-transgender-kids-transition-medical-risks-are-both-known-and-unknown/

    4th Wave Now is a very good source of information.

    https://4thwavenow.com/

    https://youthtranscriticalprofessionals.org/

    http://www.transgendertrend.com/

    (9.) There is also the pesky taboo subject of what some argue is another form of gay and lesbian eugenics. Perhaps not on the same scale as what has been going on in Iran, but this issue has been discussed on blogs for years.

    President Obama, how is this not anti-gay conversion therapy?

    “On April 8, 2015 the New York Times reported that President Obama has called for an “end to conversion therapy for gay and transgender youth.”

    Somebody explain to me, please: If most children–especially girls–resolve gender dysphoria and grow up to be non-heterosexual adults (and study after study corroborates this finding), how is childhood “gender reassignment” not proactive conversion therapy to prevent adult homosexuality?

    Given these findings, why do doctors, psychologists–and increasingly, compliant parents–assign gender non-conforming children as trans until proven otherwise?

    And can it even be “proven otherwise” if they spend their entire childhoods being told, and treated as if, they are actually the opposite sex?”

    https://4thwavenow.com/2015/04/09/president-obama-how-is-this-not-conversion-therapy/

    Thank you 4th Wave Now and gendertrender.

    Johanna, cute “Gender Barometer” abacus looking whatever WTF it is. I wonder if she is going to patent the thing and try and sell it at Toys R Us. If little 2 year old Susie pushes the magical special colored beads one way, it means she is really a boy. See, mommy, I got five beads over here.

    • GallusMag Says:

      “Isn’t it Orwellian in a creepy kind of way that a children’s hospital would be involved in the sterilization of healthy children?”

      The whole transgender children trend of using hormones to compromise reproductive systems pre-pubertally was precipitated by the “Attenuating Growth” movement in pediatric endocrinology. Attenuating Growth started in the 1970’s to prevent female children from growing too tall. In the 1990’s pediatric endocrinologists began giving high doses of estrogen and other drugs to children with profound developmental disabilities, in order to force their growth plates to close and stop them from growing. The goal was to make them easier, as small bodied individuals, to be lifted, transferred, turned, washed, and toileted by caregivers. Sterilization also is done, as hysterectomies are performed on these children to halt the uterine bleeding caused by high dose estrogen administered to female children to halt their growth.

      Once the ethical leap was taken in pediatric endocrinology to retard the growth and sterilize disabled children via the Attenuated Growth movement, it wasn’t such a big step to start introducing elements of these procedures into healthy pediatric populations. If the flood gates hadn’t already been opened by Attenuated Growth it is feasible that the sterilization of transgender children would have been met with more controversy within the field of pediatric endocrinology.

      https://aaidd.org/news-policy/policy/position-statements/growth-attenuation#.Vyxd0RwyyIw

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/magazine/should-parents-of-severely-disabled-children-be-allowed-to-stop-their-growth.html?_r=0

      • Janetwo Says:

        Gallus,

        I really like the posts when you or other regular contributors give historical background. Its very hard to comprehend how transgenderism has become such a strong movement under our nose. One of these days, you’ll have to write a book.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Waiting for that book deal!😉

      • red Says:

        Book?!

        Every author writes to be read: There’s not an author alive who could sell books equivalent to the #’s of your readership.

        Commenters: You have to get out there: Kudos to Ajna Starheart and Julian Vigo and others I know to be GT readers who are on that FB thread. C’mon the rest of you get on there. There’s your opportunity to put down some common sense. Think of the lurking reader who needs to read what you have to say.

      • Loup-loup garou Says:

        I think this has also gone hand-in-hand with the increase in the psychiatric drugging of kids. It has become almost completely acceptable to modify kids for the parents’ convenience — normal but hard-to-handle emotions get labeled as symptoms of some sort of pathology, and “treated” with drug cocktails that are hard to get off of and cause all kinds of physical and cognitive harm. We still have this antiquated idea that children aren’t complicated, and don’t have the full range of human emotions, including rage and existential despair. (Disclaimer, I’m excluding the adult sexual feelings that develop with physical maturation from this list.) If a child isn’t sunny, extroverted, and compliant most of the time, and his or her parents have a problem with that, they can almost always find a doctor or a psychologist to slap a label on the poor kid and put them on an SSRI, an antipsychotic, and a stimulant.

        I wonder sometimes if this willingness to tinker and tamper with kids’ brains and bodies is connected to the “baby as commodity” phenomenon that got going in the eighties. Having trouble conceiving? Just shell out for fertility treatments or a surrogate, same as you did for the BMW. Hear a weird rattle in the engine? Take it to the mechanic. Worried the temperament your child was born with is the equivalent of an engine rattle? Don’t waste time trying to understand and accept someone who may simply be quite different from you in ways neither of you will fully understand for a long time, just take him or her to the mechanic, er, pediatrician or child psychologist. You paid for that kid, he or she is your miracle baby, and you are by God going to be the best parent ever, and FIX him or her. Of course, none of this is for your own convenience, it’s because you really, really love your kid, your very expensive kid…

        With so many people waiting until later and later in life to have kids, this attitude seems to have become more common. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with having your first child in your late thirties or your forties, but with our society being what it is, there have been some unintended consequences. If you’re a later-in-life parent who isn’t like this, don’t take offense. I know it’s not everyone. I’m just reporting what I observed from the sidelines.

      • GallusMag Says:

        ” It has become almost completely acceptable to modify kids for the parents’ convenience…”

        Yes and Olson-Kennedy repeatedly centers the needs of the parents in her “care”. Reminiscent of the adolescent mental hospital wings opened to accommodate middle class white rebellious teens in the 1980’s before managed care shut them down.

        https://books.google.com/books?id=_GQw5iMODRoC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=adolescent+mental+hospitals+teens+1980s&source=bl&ots=OuhJ03bNDj&sig=buPVM7natw2bYtWSA_MseO1FPwo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3pfr658XMAhVLPj4KHcvNAgoQ6AEIHjAC#v=onepage&q=adolescent%20mental%20hospitals%20teens%201980s&f=false

  35. Janetwo Says:

    In reaction to Johanna Olson-Kennedy on the repeated ad nauseum commentary about the murder of transwomen of color: would it be accurate to assume that many of them engage in prostitution? And if so, how does the violence they are victims compare to that of the general population of sex workers?
    Should the debate not be about the risks of sex work rather than the risks of being transgender? I dont want to derail the discussion and its probably a topic for another thread. But it seems to be completely disingenuous to talk constantly about the murder of transgenders of color without discussing others factors like homophobia, race, poverty and the violence associated with prostitution that would explain the numbers better than just filing it under hate crimes. If we remove all the these factors from the picture (gay, poor, race, prostitution), is it still honest to market hormone therapy to worried parents as a safer option for their kids than doing nothing. The same argument could be made for the suicide rate of transgenders if sex disphoria is comorbid with other mental health issues like chronic depression. If I was a white, middle-class parent with a kid claiming he/she wants to pass as different sex, I would want to have a real risks assessment before making any decision. I am sure some actuary could crunch some numbers. Johanna article sorely lacks in hard data to justify messing up with the long term consequences of hormone therapy. Its general knowledge that corporations create markets for their products in any way they can by inflating the benefits and downplaying the risks.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Lol her response to the transwomen of color was bizarre. Essentially: ‘Because some people do violence because they are ignorant of people who are different’. Huh? Completely apolitical answer devoid of race, sex, orientation and economic class analysis. Her solution? Get more black kids on blockers. Jesus.

      • prozac Says:

        I meant to comment on that remark too, my understanding is she is implying the majority of kids she has put on the protocol are white, leading me to wonder how much of this is a baseless search for authenticity, by not only the children but their parents. Her statement of how it would be great to have more patients of colour in her clinic, which is really an astonishing thing to wish on anyone, seems more about validation for her, again authenticity comes into play. In thinking of the reasons why her clientele is not racially diverse (unless I’m mistaken about that) this was the first idea that came to mind, although I’d love to hear what thoughts others have on this. Of course, I understand this trend isn’t exclusive to white children, although they do seem massively over-represented. I suppose it’s a sticky topic to explore.

    • kesher Says:

      Black and Latino MTFs seem to have murder rates on par with other black and Latino men. But MTFs think they should be above the trials and tribulations of us little people, so a murder rate suffered by millions of men in the U.S. is suddenly a crisis when applied to them. The plight of white MTFs’ (who are more safe from violence than white women) black and Latino brothers is also a very effective rallying cry and silencing tactic that white MTFs are not shy about using.

    • Elle Driver Says:

      While I cannot vouch for any ulterior motives behind this site, from my own research they’ve done a pretty thorough job of breaking down the homicide stats.

      https://atkinsjournal.com

      It should be noted that it is difficult to verify which victims explicitly identified as transgender before their death. Even with this detailed breakdown individuals like Brian Golec, who by all accounts was most decidedly *not* trans, are still represented.

      *Apologies if this is too off-topic.

      • rheapdx1 Says:

        @kesher and @Elle_Driver both of you are on point. As well as that the T community in the main only really sees their (pardon this one) ‘own of color’ worthy of being called human if they are playing down to the stereotypes or if there is a chance of a carnal interlude.

        With that said…it needs to be mentioned that this dovetails on what that cretin, whose last name rhymes with ‘poppycock’ proudly sees as a right of passage. Maybe it is us who see through this BS. but being encouraged to be a part of that underbelly where either death at the hands of some jackass or via STD is insanity. Just as insane and ugly as their counterparts, only caring about this form human degradation when affects those who are more apt to shop at Macy’s….as opposed to Dollar Tree.

        (sorry if this is another detour…just concuring).


  36. Gallus, thanks for the information on “growth attenuation”. I heard about this, but it’s still hard to believe that doctors used to give hormones to healthy girls to stunt their growth because tall girls were less likely to find a husband, and tall girls didn’t fit the 1950s image of proper womanhood. Shortening the height of women was purely a culturally driven practice. Pumping kids full of estrogen when they are young fuses the growth plates. Doctors and scientists have known this for a long time. This article from a medical journal basically says that it was the feminist movement in the 1970s that was the primary factor that reduced the demand for this misogynistic awful practice.

    “In the 1950s, the most important “career” for women to pursue was that of homemaker and mother. Individuals who did not marry were considered “immoral, selfish, or neurotic,”and even Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover suggested that women should marry early and have children to fight “the twin enemies of freedom—crime and Communism.” Popular magazines such as Life emphasized homemaking for women as a full-time profession, home economics textbooks offered women practical advice about how to be a good wife, and Hollywood movies reinforced the sentiment that “marriage is the most important thing in the world” to women. If a woman’s ideal goal was to be successful at marriage, girls who became excessively tall and who did not embody the feminine ideal would have difficulty in finding marriage partners.”

    Published scientific literature written mostly by prominent pediatric endocrinologists about “tall girl therapy” proliferated in the 1960s and peaked in the 1970s. Case reports and physician surveys from the United States, Australia, and Europe discussed the administration of estrogen therapy to girls aged 9 to 16 years (mean age, 12 or 13 years) until fusion of the epiphyses was documented, which occurred for most girls at age 15 or 16 years.”

    http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=205658#ref-pra60000-11

    The practice of deliberately stunting the growth of severely disabled kids because their parents say it makes them easier to physically handle as adults outrages disability rights groups. Although the most famous case was a young disabled woman named Ashley, “growth attenuation” has been done on one disabled boy.

    http://www.disabilityrightswa.org/ashley-treatment-investigation

    • GallusMag Says:

      “Although the most famous case was a young disabled woman named Ashley, “growth attenuation” has been done on one disabled boy.”

      Growth attenuation has been done on hundreds of disabled children.

  37. atranswidow Says:

    Shocked. Excuse my ignorance, but I wasn’t aware of ”Tall Girl Therapy” or ”Ashley treatment”. The parallels with with Olson-Kennedy’s work are astonishing. The treatment of inter sex children is another medical abuse example. That last video that Skylark linked to is very impressive. Only a matter of time before the kids who have been subjected to the ”blocker practice model of care” are sitting round a table as adults having a very similar conversation. Thanks for documenting all of this Gallus. I’m sure your blog will be an important reference resource when lawyers start representing these kids in the future.


  38. This isn’t about Johanna Olson-Kennedy. It’s about another young disabled woman being “transitioned”. When will this nightmare end? Someone needs to be sued, and disability rights advocates need to step in.

    *A developmentally disabled woman with Down Syndrome who had a history of childhood leukemia was “transitioned”. While she was laying in the ICU with a pulmonary embolism, Aydin Olson-Kennedy and others thought “top surgery” was a great idea.

    https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/aydin-olson-kennedy-msw-urges-gender-surgery-for-down-syndrome-child-in-intensive-care-unit/

    http://dirtywhiteboi67.blogspot.com/2015/08/ftm-top-surgery-for-sky-tragic-story-in.html

    *They just don’t stop at young women with Down Syndrome. These ghastly quacks “transition” mentally ill women with bipolar disorder. Mood swings are possible side effects of testosterone, and there have been reports of testosterone destabilizing bipolar. People with bipolar depression usually take medication for life, and how wise is it to take psych medications with testosterone.

    https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/gender-blah/

    *So, why should it surprise anyone that disabled autistic women are getting “top surgery”. This is from the mother of a autistic woman. Because she can’t handle her own money, she has a representative payee for her SSDI disability check. No, too disabled to handle her own finances, but possesses the maturity to decide whether or not to get her breasts lopped off.

    The mother in this article is a PhD, LCSW, LMSW and is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Flint. So, this woman is educated, and she knows what she is talking about.

    Social work professor speaks out on behalf of her FtM autistic daughter

    May 6, 2016

    “My daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, as am I, is now 19 years old. She had felt (and told others) that she was a lesbian most of her life. When she was 16, she began watching a TV show called “Degrassi,” which featured an FtoM character. After a few weeks, she announced that she was not actually a butch lesbian, as she had previously said, but was in fact trans. She started attending a local PFLAG meeting, where she met many trans people, including a number of FtoM trans teenagers who were raving about a certain “gender therapist.” Although the APA recommends a minimum of one year of “gender counseling” before surgery, this gender therapist (whom I consented to, before really understanding what I was doing) gave my daughter the go-ahead to have a bilateral mastectomy after only two sessions.

    To give you some sense of my daughter’s level of understanding of what it means to transition, she told me recently that she believes that the testosterone “will grow her a penis.” I had to break the news to her that, although this is the mythology in the PFLAG meetings (where a number of the other young trans people are also autistic), this is not the case.

    My daughter has a representative payee on her SSDI [disability] check, as it was felt that she was unable to handle her own money. This was of little concern to the gender therapist. I believe that once the therapist realized the “treatment” would be covered by the University of Michigan insurance (*I assume the mother’s insurance), it was full speed ahead.

    ….My daughter has severe Crohn’s Disease, and currently, she is having grave reactions to the testosterone. She has been hospitalized three times now for complications.”

    https://4thwavenow.com/2016/05/06/social-work-prof-speaks-out-on-behalf-of-her-ftm-autistic-daughter/

  39. grumpyuncleR Says:

    Bringing this to your attention-
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/school-principal-concerned-at-boy-s-transgender-process-1.2651155
    School principal concerned at boy’s transgender process
    Boy’s father has completed transgender process and now goes under female name


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