May 27, 2015
The following was written by Diane Ehrensaft, Director of Mental Health at the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at University of California, San Francisco. Ehrensaft’s clinic is devoted to the controversial practice of sterilizing pre-pubertal children with off-label medications which stunt the growth of their genitals and reproductive system, preventing them from ever maturing. The formerly healthy children are then made dependent on cross-sex hormones, and the medical system, for life. Ehrensaft’s rationale for this practice is outlined in the writing excerpted below. The full text can be read here.
[*For the sake of clarity, each usage of the term “gender” in the text below has been replaced with the term “sex-role”.]
“In traditional theories, it is assumed that children clearly know their own [sex-role] by the age of six, based on the sex assigned to them at birth, the early knowledge of that assignment, the [sex-role] socialisation that helps a child know how their [sex-role] should be performed and the evolving cognitive understanding of the stability of their [sex-role] identity. Yet if a child deviates from the sex assigned to them at birth or rejects the rules of [sex-role] embedded in the socialisation process, they are assumed to be too young to know their [sex-role], suffering from either [sex-role] confusion or a [sex-role] disorder.
Following this logic, if you are “cis-[sex-role]” (your sense of your [sex-role] matches the sex assigned on your birth certificate), you can know your [sex-role], but if you are trans-[sex-role] or [sex-role]-nonconforming, you cannot possibly know.
Yet a macro survey of trans-[sex-role] adults conducted in the US indicated that a large proportion of respondents knew at an early age what their true [sex-role] was – they just kept it under wraps because of social stigma in their childhood years. So we could say that [sex-role]-creative children can possibly know their [sex-role] – and do, at a very young age.”
“Over the course of time, if we do not impose our own reactions and feelings on the children, like the ones above, and allow a space for their [sex-role] narrative to unfold, the [sex-role] they know themselves to be will come into clearer focus. From there we can give them the opportunity to transition to the [sex-role] that feels most authentic, followed later by the choice to use puberty blockers to put natal puberty on hold and later cross-sex hormones to bring their bodies into better sync with their psyche.
If we do not give them this opportunity, they may feel thwarted, frustrated, despondent, angry, deflated – feelings reflected in the symptoms correlated with being a [sex-role]-nonconforming or [sex-role]-dysphoric child. The root of these symptoms is not the child’s [sex-role], but rather the environment’s negative reactions to the child’s [sex-role].
When acceptance and allowance of the child to live in their authentic [sex-role] replace negation or suppression of a child’s nonconforming [sex-role], the symptoms have been known to subside or disappear completely, much to the surprise of those caring for the child. We might even consider [sex-role] as the cure, rather than the problem, privileging the child’s ability to not only feel, but know their [sex-role].”
From 4th Wave Now: “They pull no punches: they discuss Lupron lawsuits, the possibility that hormone treatments will aggravate issues like cutting/self harm, and the folly of dosing kids with hormones when their frontal lobes aren’t developed. They criticize the doctors who are too quick to diagnose gender dysphoria when many other mental health issues are prominent. They acknowledge the homophobia (internalized, as well as of professionals and parents) that feeds into transition of kids–a point of view that is pretty much heresy in trans activist circles. They even take on the biggest taboo of all: Suicidal threats by kids if they don’t get hormones and surgery. They contrast the initial glow of transition with the reality of years on hormones when the excitement fades.” Read more on the excellent 4th Wave Now site here, including a partial transcript: https://4thwavenow.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/video-advice-from-an-ftm-and-mtf-dont-take-this-rocky-road/
I’m planning to sterilize my seven year old son before he sexually matures, then freeze my own eggs so he can one day find a surrogate and raise my offspring (his siblings) as their “mother”. Is that weird?
April 26, 2015
submitted 2 hours ago * by jamiemommax3
I have a transgender 7 year old daughter. She has become a beautiful, happy, vibrant person since she started transitioning a year ago. I have no reason to think her identity will change and neither does her therapist.
Because she is so young, she will most likely go on puberty blockers before she ever creates sperm. If she then goes onto hormone treatments directly from the blockers, she will be sterile. She will never create sperm.
She’s too young to tell me whether she might someday want biological children, and I strongly suspect, knowing her personality as I do, that she will not want to give up hormone treatments for the length of time it would take to create sperm, because the effects on HER would be, well, significant.
I am in a “Parent of Trans kids” group online and several of the moms mentioned that they were freezing their own eggs for their transgender daughters, so that their daughters could someday have the option of having children who are at least partially related to them. On the one hand, it seems like a huge expense for my daughter to be able to have a child who is a genetic half-sibling… but on the other hand, I see the reasoning. I am also a chronic worrier and I wonder if doing this would cause the child to feel pressured to use the eggs even if they didn’t really want to. :-/
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.
December 17, 2014
“A divided federal appeals court in Boston on Tuesday overturned a lower court’s ruling that a transgender Massachusetts prison inmate, convicted of committing a domestic murder, was entitled to taxpayer-funded sex change surgery.
The ruling by the First US Circuit Court of Appeals came after a 2012 ruling by US District Judge Mark Wolf, who ordered the surgery after finding that the state’s failure to provide it violated the inmate’s Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
In January, a three-judge panel of the appeals court upheld Wolf’s 2012 decision, but the state of Massachusetts then asked for an en banc, or full bench, review, which led to Tuesday’s ruling.
The ruling came in the case of Michelle Kosilek, who was born Robert Kosilek. Kosilek is serving a life sentence for killing her wife, Cheryl Kosilek, in 1990.
The court ruled 3-2, with Judges O. Rogeriee Thompson and William J. Kayatta Jr. filing separate dissenting opinions..
“We are faced with the question whether the [state Department of Correction’s] choice of a particular medical treatment is constitutionally inadequate,” the court said in the majority opinion.
“After carefully considering the community standard of medical care, the adequacy of the provided treatment, and the valid security concerns articulated by the DOC, we conclude that the district court erred and that the care provided to Kosilek by the DOC does not violate the Eighth Amendment,” said the opinion, which was written by Judge Juan R. Torruella.
Kosilek and the DOC — under successive administrations, both Democratic and Republican — have battled in the courts for decades over what medical treatment, clothing, makeup should be provided to deal with Kosilek’s gender identity disorder.
Wolf ruled in 2012 that the only medically appropriate treatment for Kosiliek’s condition was the surgery, which would be paid for by the state since Kosilek is a state prison inmate.
But the appeals court ruled Tuesday that Wolf had wrongly substituted his own judgment for the medical professionals, who did not unanimously endorse the surgery as the only appropriate solution for the condition that all sides acknowledged contributed to a depressed mental state and suicide attempts by Kosilek.
Wolf also went too far by “circumvent[ing] the deference owed to prison administrators’’ under federal laws when the issue is the safety of prison inmates, Torruella wrote.
“The prison administrators in this case have decades of combined experience in the management of penological institutions, and it is they, not the court, who are best situated to determine what security concerns will arise,’’ Torruella wrote.
The ruling said the DOC made a valid argument when it expressed concern about the safety of Kosilek and women prisoners he potentially could be housed with once the surgery was done.
“The DOC’s security report reflected that significant concerns would also arise from housing a formerly male inmate — with a criminal history of extreme violence against a female domestic partner — within a female prison population containing high numbers of domestic violence survivors,’’ Torruella wrote.
In a statement, Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral said the DOC accepts as true that Kosilek suffers from gender identity disorder diagnosis, and added that was not the issue that the latest round of Kosilek litigation was resolved by the courts on Tuesday.
“The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the medical and mental health care provided to Kosilek by the DOC did not violate the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constituion,’’ Cabral said in the statement.
“While we acknowledge the legitimacy of a gender identity disorder diagnosis, DOC’s appeal was based on the lower court’s significant expansion of the standard for what constitutes adequate care under the Eighth Amendment, and on substantial safety and security concerns regarding Ms. Kosilek’s post-surgery needs,’’ Cabral said in the statement.”
Read more at the link.
[Bolding by me- GM]
Read the court decision here [PDF]: http://media.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/12-2194P2-01A.pdf
Read more about Kosilek HERE.
November 11, 2014
We’ve all seen the television shows and news reports on “Transgender Children”. They all state that “Nothing permanent is being done to children before the age of consent! Oh gosh no!”
Here’s a typical example of this rhetoric from yesterday’s Irish Examiner:
“Young children don’t need treatment yet,” explains Lacey. “They can make a social transition at home and at school. But older children may need hormone suppressors to delay puberty for a while. This gives them and their families breathing space to decide what’s best for the future.”
Hormone suppressors ((known as anti-androgens) delay the development of breasts, facial hair and other secondary sex characteristics. Males who identify as female take anti-androgens to block testosterone while females identifying as male take anti-androgens to block oestrogen.
“These suppressors are 100% reversible,” says Lacey. “Young people resume puberty if they stop taking them.”
The article continues:
“Prescribing cross-sex hormones is taken more seriously than hormone blockers. Teenagers must have socially transitioned and be aged over 16 to qualify.
“We have to be sure it’s the right thing to do,” explains Dr Brinkmann. “Cross-sex hormones have irreversible effects on fertility. There’s no going back.”
Guidelines from various pro-gender lobbying and medical groups back up this claim. The Endocrine Society states that no child under the age of sixteen should ever be administered cross-sex hormones by physicians under “parental consent” for the purpose of physically disguising the reproductive sex of the child to promote gender conformity. Even WPATH, the powerful pharmaceutical-industry funded transgender lobbying group acknowledges that decades of research show the majority of children who claim a “cross-sex identity” do not mature into transgender adults if left untreated, and in fact many grow up to be well-adjusted lesbian and gay adults. WPATH also states that children under sixteen should not be given cross-sex hormones which cause permanent changes (including sterilization). None of the “transgender children” clinics in the Netherlands, which pioneered the practice, have ever administered cross-sex hormones to children under sixteen. In the UK, parents who desire to have their children placed on puberty blockers (which paralyze the pituitary gland) must meet strict guidelines and be entered into a government research protocol. Cross-sex hormones are not administered prior to the age of sixteen. In Australia, a court order is required to provide “blockers” in an attempt to formalize oversight of these practices and protect children from abuse.
In the United States, however, it is coming to light that “transgender children” physicians, (that is, the doctors who have been championing and pioneering this practice without oversight), have been “going rogue” since the very start, ignoring all research and guidelines and pushing the limits of what the human bodies of these gender-nonconforming children are medically able to endure.
Last month, in a program specifically addressed to medical students, Dr. Johanna Olson, director of the LA Children’s Hospital transgender children clinic, admitted that she has been “skipping the blockers” and placing children as young as twelve directly on cross-sex hormones, starting with her very first patient. Read the rest of this entry »