Boys Don’t Cry, 1999
In 1999, just six years after the rape and murder of a young gender variant person, Brandon Teena, and two friends in a small town in Nebraska, Kim Peirce released her first film, a dramatic account of the incident. The film, Boys Don’t Cry, which took years to research, write, fund, cast and shoot, was released to superb reviews and went on to garner awards and praise for the lead actor, Hilary Swank, and the young director, Kim Peirce, not to mention the film’s production team led by Christine Vachon. The film was hard hitting, visually innovative and marked a massive breakthrough in the representation of gender variant bodies. While there were certainly debates about decisions that Peirce made within the film’s narrative arc (the omission of the murder of an African American friend, Philip DeVine, at the same time that Brandon was killed),
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Open letter to the National Post: resistance to gender identity laws is about much more than political correctness
October 8, 2016
Recent articles (here and here) in the National Post have exposed a dispute surrounding gender identity taking place at U of T, one of many universities trying to navigate this polarizing issue. It’s critical that the public be informed that there’s more at stake than just transgender rights and freedom of expression.
Gender identity is indeed, as Jordan Peterson says, philosophically incoherent and scientifically unfounded. It’s also true that forcing others to participate in affirming one’s self-perception is a violation of individual autonomy. The more pressing concern, however, is not political correctness but rather that gender identity has created a dangerous landscape of competing rights that adversely impacts females. As such, dissension shouldn’t be monopolized by people who aren’t invested or interested in women’s rights.
According to NatPo writer Chris Selley, resistance to recognizing people’s chosen identity (the list is huge and continually expanding) comes down to a straightforward matter…
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April 28, 2016
December 24, 2015
December 4, 2015
A few months ago, my teenage daughter stopped trying to “pass” as male. She dropped the self-defined-as-male uniform, the stereotyped swagger and the fake-deepened voice and just—moved on. Her fervent desire to be seen and treated as a boy faded away, just as other formerly unshakable ideas and urges had in the past. And our relationship has never been better.
Although I’ve allowed myself to exhale, just a little, she will remain at risk, because every sector of society—the media, the government, the schools, medicine and psychology–is now saturated with the message that trans is real; trans is good; and if you’re a “gender nonconforming” girl, you just might actually be a boy.
What did I, and the other adults who love her, do? It hasn’t been easy. In fact, for a time it was a living hell, a purgatory of slammed doors, stony silence, yelling matches, and mostly—waiting.
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August 22, 2015
This is a guest post submitted by Lane Anderson (a pseudonym), a practicing psychotherapist who has worked extensively with “trans kids” and their families. She shares with us her clinical insights into her clients, child psychology, and the impact of the transgender phenomenon on our society as a whole.
If there are other mental health providers reading this post, please consider guest posting or responding in the comments section below the article.
I am a licensed psychotherapist. I’m writing this post on my last day at a teen health clinic, where I’ve seen patients and their families for nearly a decade.
In the past year especially, it’s become increasingly clear to me that I cannot uphold the primary value of my profession, to do no harm, without also seriously jeopardizing my standing in the professional community. It’s a terrible and unfortunate conflict of interest. I’ve lost much sleep over the fact that, for a significant portion of my clients and their parents, I am unable to provide what they profess…
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August 12, 2015
By Kathy Mandigo
I am packing up my stuff to move, and I came across a folder of work-related papers. One item was a card I had forgotten I had, but as soon as I opened it, I remembered it and the sender. It was a card of thanks from a transgendered patient, a lesbian who transitioned to a man, expressing appreciation for my help in her* journey to become the man she felt she was.
*(While I used to accede to my patients’ chosen pronouns, I now use the biologically appropriate one.)
I saw this patient at a youth clinic (patients under 26), and she was usually accompanied by her girlfriend. She had been seen and assessed and started on treatment at the Gender Dysphoria Clinic that ran at the time in a local hospital. I initiated nothing, merely administered the testosterone injections they prescribed.
I watched my patient…
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