“Gender identity refers to a person’s sense of fitting into social categories”: Wisdom for the Youth of Today from GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society)
April 18, 2016
The following gems are excerpted from GIRES’ submission to the proposed new NHS Service Specification (“treatment guidelines” to you and me) for the UK Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescents (GIDS). The ‘fitting-youth-into-social-sex-categories-development-service’ in question operates out of the Tavistock and Portman facility and is run by Dr. Polly Carmichael.
The clinic, which attempts to treat children who are disturbed by sex-based social roles with pharmaceuticals, has quietly posted two items on their website for public feedback without notifying the press or public. The deadline for replies is April 20.
The first item is a ‘Policy Proposal’ which quite sensibly rejects lowering the age for cross-sex hormones below the age of sixteen in the UK. This is a response to transgender industry and activist lobbying to allow permanent irreversible changes to be performed on children below the age of legal consent. You can read that policy proposal, and rationale, in full here: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/clinical-commissioning-wave8/user_uploads/e03x16-policy-prop.pdf
The second item is a 62-page proposed service specification (treatment pathway) for the kids and teens referred to the clinic. No huge surprises. The usual circular definitions, which avoid outlining specifically what is actually being “treated” (“Gender Identity is an individual’s personal experience of their own gender”, LOL). The usual confusion and conflation of sex with gender (“biological natal gender” OH MY).
It is truly amazing that 50 years of existing work on gender: Analysis of what gender is, how it functions, its specific characteristics, modes of violent enforcement, harms, and lived experiences of such, is completely ignored because the authors of those five decades of work are Women. Lesbians. Feminists.
The proposed new GIDS service policy does mention obliquely in the most understated way imaginable that massive numbers of adolescent lesbians are seeking escape from sexual objectification and pornification and second-class humanity by adopting “anything but female” identities en masse. (“Gender identification is diversifying!”). (“The number of adolescents referred to specialized gender identity clinics for GD appears to be increasing. There also appears to be a corresponding shift in the sex ratio, from predominantly favouring natal males to one favouring natal females.”) (“Social and sociocultural explanations are offered to account for this recent inversion in the sex ratio of adolescents with GD.” ) COUGH.
And that trans-trending is now a subcultural teen fashion statement for entitled tumblrite millenials weaned on non-essential daily prescription pharmaceuticals that form their consumer identity every bit as much as the brands of clothing or carbonated beverage or types of piercing they express their core selves by sporting (“Yet it is also true that many youngsters who present to gender services are not acutely distressed”) LOL.
They also manage to note the absurdly high concurrence of social category dysphoria (gender identity malfeasance) among individuals who are less likely to observe social norms, ie. those on the autism spectrum. And that most “transgender” children will desist in adulthood. And that “social transition” in childhood results in distress, fear of teasing, and shame for those who wish to revert. And that a potential outcome of treatment for 2% (one youth out of 55 study participants in the only existing outcome study) is death due to complications from surgical castration and genital reshaping.
You can read the proposed service specification in full here: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/clinical-commissioning-wave8/user_uploads/gids-serv-spec-upd.pdf
And leave your comments, corrections or concerns, here:
The largest transgender industry lobbying group in the country, GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) has already posted their response. GIRES is run by a straight non-transgender couple, Bernard and Terry Reed. Bernard has an MBA from Oxford and serves as treasurer. Terry has a degree in Physiotherapy (occupational therapy) and serves as secretary. They started the group after their son, Niki Reed, suffered harassment when he transitioned on the job as a carnival ride operator and went on to win a groundbreaking 1997 employment tribunal that created precedent for transsexual individuals to sue on the basis of sex discrimination. (Chessington World of Adventures ltd v Reed, 1997)
Niki is heterosexual and went on to marry his female partner as a legal male. He does not publicly support the group his parents started and seems to have dropped out of sight. In all their public appearances his parents never speak of him.
What’s interesting is that GIRES is basically part of the UK government. They are “partners” with the Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership Foundation Trust which is their largest funder, and they co-produce educational materials on gender for providers together [PDF].
In addition, GIRES claims at least 79 “corporate members” of their group, including the Office for Nuclear Regulation, Imperial College London, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Learning and skills improvement service, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, among others. They were awarded the Orders of the British Empire in 2010. They donated over fifty thousand dollars to WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health) ostensibly to fund foreign language translations of the lobbying group’s standards of care. They are the establishment. A revolutionary besieged minority group fighting the power they are not. They are the power of the state. They are the state.
Here are a few nuggets of gender wisdom from Bernard and Terry Reed at GIRES to the youth of today, excerpted from their submission to the Gender Identity Development Service. You can read their full submission here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7n9HajupVrLSzdzVEhvaEVhZmRBNzVXMkMxdlZlZlV4SGFv/view?pref=2&pli=1 or here: http://archive.is/6rm1m
[Page 2 Gender Identity refers to conformity to sexist social categories]
Gender identity refers to a person’s sense of fitting into social categories of boys/men; women/girls. These are binary identities, but identities may also be non-binary, that is somewhere on a spectrum between the two, or outside that spectrum, known as non-gender. More of these widely diverse identities are now emerging, and many will be needing the support of medical services.
Gender dysphoria describes the unease experienced when the gender identity is not aligned with the sex assigned at birth: the gender role and expression typically associated with that sex are also sources of unease.
[Page 3 Absent all data, “associations” and “suggestions” “support” biologically based sexist social categories]
“Although no studies to date demonstrate the mechanism, multiple studies have reported associations with gender identity that support it being a biologic phenomenon.[…] Current data suggest a biologic etiology for transgender identity” (Saraswat et al 2015) [sic]
[Page 4 Skip the blockers]
Cross-sex hormones are acknowledged to be effective in treating gender dysphoria (which hormone blockers are not).
[Page 4 Hormones are harmless]
N.b. Cross-sex hormones are partially reversible.
[Page 4 Failure to attempt correction of sex role nonconformity is like waterboarding]
Delaying treatment causes “Psychological torture”.
[Page 5 Give kids who are still in the closet at puberty hormones]
It is not always possible to know whether gender non-conforming behaviors in a child are actually a reflection of gender dysphoria, or whether they are related to some other possible outcome, such as being gay, lesbian or bisexual. Usually, at the onset of puberty, the outcome becomes clearer to the child, and therefore to the relevant adults, including clinicians if they are already involved.
[Page 5 When in doubt: prescribe hormones]
The argument that the possibility of ‘desistance’ exists, is neither relevant nor a rational excuse for withholding cross-sex hormones. ‘Desistance’ should be completely detached from decisions about cross-sex hormones.
[Page 7 Hormones cure autism]
Anecdotally, young people who have been successfully treated, are often described as having no residual ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder]. The symptoms have disappeared once the dysphoria has been treated.
[Page 9 Actual death is a scare tactic compared to threat of potential self harm due to waiting for hormones]
The tragic death of a young person is not really a useful anecdote in this context. All surgeries carry risk, but unless you give the figures to show how many have had surgery, sometimes several surgeries and survived, mentioning one death is not meaningful. It seems like a deliberate scare tactic.
[Page 9 Hormones are the grail, the truth, the light. Nonconformity is death]
Preventing premature death would be overcome by providing cross-sex hormones to overcome the misery of gender dysphoria [sic]
[Page 9 Social sex role nonconformists provoke abuse upon themselves.]
Refusing timely interventions for adolescents might prolong gender dysphoria and contribute to an appearance that could provoke abuse and stigmatization
[Page 9 Social sex category nonconformity is ghastly, bleak, mentally ill, fatal.]
Psychological support is important but if the current reluctance to provide timely cross-sex hormones, young people will not recover from dips in their mental health but will continue to deteriorate.
[Page 14 The vast majority of people that quit hormones after a few months or years don’t exist]
Therefore it is extremely rare for CSH [cross-sex hormones] to be started and then have the young person decide they want to stop.
Introducing: ‘Transgender Trend’ an international organization for parents skeptical of the “trans kids” narrative
November 20, 2015
A group of concerned parents has announced the formation of ‘Transgender Trend’, an international organization that aims to educate the public, support families and youth, and provide an alternative to the medical “transgender children” trend.
From their website:
Welcome to Transgender Trend
We have set up this website with the aim of providing an alternative source of evidence-based information which questions the theory, diagnosis and treatment of ‘trans kids.’ The mainstream media has been uniformly and uncritically accepting of the transgender diagnosis of children and in the absence of any public scrutiny the number of children referred to gender clinics has risen exponentially over the last few years.
We question who gains from this lifelong medicalisation of children, and whose vested interests are fueling the promotion of transgender ideology. We ask why it has become impossible to debate the subject without being labeled ‘transphobic.’
We’re not ‘anti’ transgender; those who suffer true ‘gender dysphoria’ need access to treatment, understanding and support, but we have serious questions about the current treatment paradigm. In particular we think there needs to be extreme caution before treating children. The theory of gender as an identity which overrides biological sex is just that: a theory. It is new, untested, and its application to children who are in the process of developing their identities contradicts all we know about child and adolescent development and psychology.
There are very different reasons why a four-year-old may insist they are the opposite sex compared to a teenager making the decision after searching online; there are also different reasons why boys and girls may want to transition. We will be differentiating between the ages and sexes of children as we build the content of this site, rather than lumping all kids together as a homogeneous group under the ‘trans’ umbrella. Much more research needs to be done regarding these distinct groups.
This site is not a forum for debate about our position, so please respect the fact that we are not interested in hearing arguments ‘for’ the transgender diagnosis of kids. Any such comments will not be published. That view is extensively available online already and is not the point of this site. However, we welcome contributions from supporters, please email us at the address at the top of the page.
Huge thanks to the feminists who have been documenting the rise of transactivist ideology for years, it would have taken a lot longer to get this far on the site without your work.
We hope that parents, the media and policy-makers will all make use of this site as a source of information, as well as young people and anyone who would like to know more about the subject and is frustrated at the one-sided view currently promoted.
Everyone is very welcome.
‘Transgender Trend’ Spokesperson Stephanie Davies-Arai is a specialist in teacher training and the author of “Communicating With Kids”
Please take a few moments to forward this information to media contacts, particularly those with an interest in covering the “transgender children” trend.
October 2, 2015
With a name sounding more like something out of a sci-fi film, the US National Institutes of Health in partnership with former medical leaders of transgender industry group WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) have formed “TransNet”, a research consortium merging commercial, academic, and government interests in data collection, funding, and regulation of the medicalization of gender. The project aims to set the groundwork for the mainstreaming of transgender medical care by conducting research that supports the practice.
Recent Obama administration changes to Medicare/VA/IRS regulations allow for taxpayer subsidized cosmetic breast implants, facelifts, genital re-shaping and off-label drugs as treatment for transgender individuals. These patients seek to alleviate distress caused by possessing what they believe are innate psychological or mental traits related to the reproductive biology of the opposite sex. The goal of the treatments is an attempt to create the appearance that their bodies are the opposite sex: the sex the patient believes is congruent with their experienced personality traits. But such interventions (and beliefs) have no established scientific rationale. While there is indeed a political will behind performing these treatments, a very profitable medical/psychiatric/therapeutic industry to accommodate them, and an increasing number of patients demanding the treatments, there is an absence of science to support them.
Self-diagnosed consumer-driven “pathology” that mainly afflicts objectively healthy patients seeking off-label care has been a boon for providers and suppliers such as cosmetic surgeons, pharmaceutical companies, rogue physicians and gate-keeping therapists but there comes a point- say, when government bureaucrats become involved, that certain boxes need to be checked and forms filled out.
None of the only fifty or so “sex-change” surgeons worldwide that provide genital reconfiguring for this population accept Medicare reimbursed clients. And why would they? Their specialty has thrived as an underground economy. Their procedures are incredibly risky with high rates of complication. Long-term outcomes are, objectively, poor. Yet their clients will pay through the ear, and sign waivers to boot, and are lined up on waiting lists.
You would think surgeons would be clamoring to get aboard this gravy train but they aren’t. New York State and Massachusetts provider networks have been aggressively recruiting surgical providers for over a year since their states’ Medicaid began covering these procedures, to no avail. The only surgical group that stepped up in California when the Department of Corrections mandated the high-profile state-funded surgery for incarcerated murderer Jeffrey “Michelle” Norsworthy was Brownstein and Crane, whose practice specializes in bilateral mastectomies for healthy genetic females who believe their personalities are in conflict with their secondary sex characteristics.
The mainstreaming of medical body modification for those who clamor to look like members of the other sex has outpaced the usual steps that precede any generic medical care: basic scientific research. While authorities in medicine, government, and the highest courts have jumped on an opportunity to “correct” those who struggle at conforming to social sex-roles (not coincidentally rolling-back decades of gains made by the women’s liberation movement), they did so using the aegis of WPATH, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, a transgender industry lobbying group comprised of two groups: those who seek such body modification and those who make a good income providing it.
WPATH had never based their suggested practices on any scientific study, which was unnecessary to represent the interests of their two codependent groups of constituents. The American Psychiatric Association however, who invented the pathology of Gender Identity in the first place, lurched awake in 2008 after thirty years of slumber and decided that maybe now was the time for some follow up to their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual GID (Gender Identity Disorder)/ GD (Gender Dysphoria) diagnosis. Some sort of data or guidelines related to the care of this population would be appropriate, in light of the explosion of numbers of patients now presenting with this diagnosis. WPATH, whose last transgender “Standards of Care” had been issued in 2001, realized that they needed to start presenting themselves as an evidence-based authority. They publicly resolved to create new, updated, plausibly authoritative Standards, this time including research citations.
But there was no science. The WPATH board was infested by grifters such as Randi Ettner,PhD who specializes in pseudoscientific “energy” and “body meridian” psychology and her husband Frederic who runs a family practice for anti-vaxxers and sponsors testosterone mills (“Low T?”) for men desiring rejuvenation.
In 2009 two mainstream doctors, both providers to transgender clients, saw the pseudoscientific writing on the wall and attempted to stay the inevitable WPATH disaster. They collaborated to produce a document pointedly suggesting evidence-based revisions to the WPATH standards of care. These physicians were Dr. Jamie Feldman, a family practitioner specializing in transgender care and doctorate of anthropology and associate professor at University of Minnesota and Dr. Joshua Safer, an endocrinologist and associate professor at Boston University.
Their paper: “Feldman, J., & Safer, J. (2009). Hormone therapy in adults: Suggested revisions to the sixth version of the standards of care.” was cited 22 times in the eventual 7th edition WPATH standards of care [PDF].
Despite the efforts of Feldman and Safer, the APA announced they rejected WPATH Standards due to the overall lack of scientific research supporting them, and would begin the long process of formulating their own evidence-based recommended treatment guidelines. The APA issued press releases to calm the resulting panic in the transgender patient population. They affirmed APA support of the Gender Identity diagnosis and their intent to continue authorizing medical body modification services to those so afflicted. “The quality of evidence pertaining to most aspects of treatment in all subgroups was determined to be low; however, areas of broad clinical consensus were identified and were deemed sufficient to support recommendations for treatment in all subgroups.”
Doctors Jamie Feldman and Joshua Safer are at the helm of the new NIH TransNet project.
Project Goals at the initial TransNet meeting, “TransNet: Developing a Research Agenda in Transgender Health and Medicine”, which was held this May in Washington DC, included:
“1) further develop a productive transgender health and medicine research consortium that would become a national forum for an evolving comprehensive research agenda in transgender health, as well as a mechanism for interdisciplinary collaboration in research on cross-sex hormone therapies, surgical interventions, STI/HIV prevention, and trans-appropriate primary and mental health care; 2) develop new research methodologies effective in conducting clinical research with transgender people, a stigmatized, vulnerable, and underserved population; 3) develop and use of standardized approaches to data collection, management, and analysis across a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings; and 4) incorporate community engagement in the research process within the structure and function of the consortium, including transgender community advisory representatives, LGBT community health centers, and community engagement procedures throughout the research process.”
|Project Number:||1R13HD084267-01||Contact PI / Project Leader:||FELDMAN, JAMIE|
|Title:||TRANSNET: DEVELOPING A RESEARCH AGENDA IN TRANSGENDER HEALTH AND MEDICINE|
One of the interesting implications of the TransNet project is the development of a National Institutes of Health “national database of transgender persons”. From the Daily Free Press:
“Members of the NIH are hoping to develop a national database of transgender people to see what trends appear from different types of intervention. “They want to know what kind of things we could be learning over the next five or ten years depending on how much money is available for research, and the purpose of this conference is to set that strategy and create some priorities for NIH,” [Dr. Joshua Safer] said.”
Such a database has been a long-running goal for Dr. Safer, author of “Out of the Shadows: It is Time to Mainstream Treatment for Transgender Patients (2008)”.
Safer created one himself at Boston Medical Center but due to HIPAA regulations patients were required to give informed consent to being listed in the registry:
“[O]ur work includes the development of a Transgender Health Registry at BMC. All transgender-identified individuals who have had hormone therapy or other transgender health care management at Boston Medical Center (BMC) who give consent to participate will have their name, date of birth, and medical record number recorded in a registry. By compiling a list of those treated here at BMC, researchers (approved by the Institutional Review Board) will be able to access more complete data when studying the long term effects of hormonal treatment and/or other aspects of care. It is our hope that by establishing the first BMC registry of Transgender Health, we will be able to better serve individuals who identify as transgender within our community both now and in the future.” [sic]
The coming TransNet national database of transgender people, operating and funded by the National Institutes of Health under the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, using standardized and regulated data collection, promises to be the most vast and comprehensive pool of research subjects ever studied in the history of the medical industry practice of treating gender.
Our daughter in college just announced her/hir intent to start taking Testosterone. What should we do?
April 23, 2015
Request for advice and guidance from a concerned parent:
Our almost 21 year child just announced yesterday her/hir intent to start taking T and said that she was considering top surgery eventually as well but “that’s all”. Ze has been wearing men’s clothes for a couple of years now, hates having a period, and appears very butch. Seems most interested in/connected with other butch/lesbian individuals. We have tried to understand and have asked if hir intent is to transition to a male, but she claims not; stating that she’s just tired of being seen as a female, despite the butch clothes etc but does not want to be a “full male”..more like androgynous or “non-binary”.
It’s a long story, like many, but it started when she went to college and found her “place/home” in the LGBTQ community, and then changed her major to “Gender & Women’s Studies”. We are so concerned about whether this T medical treatment and surgery is truly what will make her happy versus being pressured by the environment she is currently in. She wants to change her name legally this summer. She seems attracted to other lesbians from what I can tell which may not be much! I know this may not be PC but what we’ve seen develop in her school experience feels “cultish” to us. Maybe we’re in denial? We are so very concerned about the permanent nature of this “transition” and that it is being done without any in-depth psychological evaluation or counseling. There is a possible history of abuse from a male babysitter when she was 4, but it was never possible to establish exactly what happened..she was examined and no physical evidence of anything was found. We did take her to counseling of course. She was also bullied in both middle and high school. She does suffer from anxiety and has trouble handling “stress” She has done extremely well academically and is very bright. She has always been quite nurturing and wonderful with babies and young children and even thought about becoming a preschool/elementary school teacher up until fairly recently.
What should we say to her about this upcoming transition? Should we give her any advice or information? We have tried to be accepting/loving parents but we are so afraid she is making a mistake that she could seriously regret later in life once the changes are permanent and that her decision to do this is encouraged so much by the community she is now involved with.
Thank you so much for reading this and any suggestions you can make would be very welcome.
From comment left HERE.
Insurers struggle to justify the sex discrimination of legally mandated “transgender care” while surgical providers continue to decline
October 30, 2014
Less than 50 physicians worldwide are willing to provide transgender surgical “sex reassignment” or “sex change” procedures, and as the few existing practitioners retire, no one is replacing them. Modern cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons at large are opting not to do these procedures, even when they are state mandated and funded.
Now, insurers are struggling to fulfill state mandates covering transgender surgical procedures for men that are excluded for women based on sex discrimination. Transgender state medical mandates pushed by lobbyists insist that procedures such as breast implants and “face lifts” are medically necessary for men who wish to look more like women, while denying coverage for those same procedures to actual women. Transgender advocates have successfully lobbied for such government provided “care” on the grounds that without such procedures men may become depressed or abuse alcohol or other substances, and that such men have a state-protected right to avoid being mocked or socially ostracized for their appearance. Males must declare a “transgender identity” to receive coverage.
From the Boston Herald:
Four months after the state Division of Insurance put health plans on notice that denying medically necessary treatment to transgender people is prohibited sex discrimination, insurers are still grappling with what constitutes medical necessity, and patients are struggling to find doctors who’ll treat them.
“We were concerned people were having to go all over the country for this surgery,” Dr. Joel Rubenstein of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care said yesterday at a Division of Insurance informational session. “We’re hopeful somebody would step up to put together the surgical piece so it could all be in one place.”
On the other hand, he said, Harvard Pilgrim does not want to approve procedures such as facial feminization for transgender people if those procedures would be considered merely cosmetic for other people.
But Ruben Hopwood of Fenway Health said facial feminization is not about wanting a “cuter nose.” A transgender person’s appearance is more likely to be the difference between getting a job or not getting one, and walking down the street unafraid or being attacked, Hopwood said.
Getting the proper treatment also can save money that might otherwise be spent on treatment for alcohol or substance abuse or depression, said Pam Klein, a nurse at Boston Health Care for the Homeless.
[bolding by me-GM]
October 22, 2014
From a reader:
I just wanted to make you aware of something that is going on a lot in the various trans communities on reddit: they are falling all over themselves encouraging underage kids to order and take puberty blockers/hormones without doctor supervision and without their parents knowing.
“Just do your best to get a job, or ask your parents for allowance and order meds online. You probably can’t buy much with the amount a 14 year old would make, but it’s better than nothing, since you’re that upset about it.”
A fourteen year old kid (same kid that is featured here btw: http://bbrightstar.tumblr.com/post/98511520156/thirdwaytrans-atranspaige-does-anyone), is encouraged to get puberty blockers without his parents knowing about it.
In this post, commenters tell the kid that “puberty blockers have no side effects” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jitun/im_not_allowed_to_transition_even_socially_im/clchmu1)
They also tell him to “Just DIY secretly. Make friends with a transgender who lives near your area and ask them to help you get hormones.” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jitun/im_not_allowed_to_transition_even_socially_im/clcacyk)
Telling 14 year old kids to befriend random adults for favors is absolutely appaling.
And lastly: yesterday, that same kid made a post titled “What’s the safest way to DIY hormones(mtf, age 14)” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jx9hm/whats_the_safest_way_to_diy_hormonesmtf_age_14/)
And again, the posters are being very “helpful”, telling the kid to go ahead and import presciption drugs illegaly and behind the backs of his parents. Some posters tell him that it is dangerous, but they are downvoted. The kid also explicitly says that his pediatrician has advised against blockers and hormone treatment, but that is apparently not relevant to the good posters at r/asktransgender.
I’ve read a lot of this kids’ posts, and not surprisingly his parents are extremely rigid enforcers of gender stereotypes. He’s not allowed to grow out his hair or paint his nails.