Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Transgender Kids: Fear Of Change

So, as well as paying for women to have Double D breasts because they're depressed they were born with Double A's; as well as paying for fatties to have gastric bands because they refuse to stop stuffing their faces, the NHS has now decided that our hard-earned cash should be spent treating three-year-olds who think they were born in the wrong body. Seriously?

Your average three-year-old can't decide whether he wants fish fingers or baked beans for tea. So how on earth would he know he was born in the wrong body? And how would such a young child be able to express that kind of emotion?

It all sounds like PC nonsense to me. However, not according to experts at the Tavistock and Portman Trust - two NHS hospitals which specialise in gender issues - which says the numbers of Under 11's referred to them has quadrupled in the last four years. And nearly a third of those were aged between three and four.

But are those children really concerned about gender issues or is their thinking being influenced by other people i.e parents who themselves might be transgender? Parents who might have wanted a girl instead of a boy or vice versa and are unconsciously projecting that onto their child? Or might they just be idiots who have looked at something their child has done and come to a completely uninformed conclusion about it...

Oh dear. This is more Daily Express or Daily Mail than Daily Mirror.* 

Mail Online.
Note the grand total of three year olds who've been referred to the NHS is two.

That number again... TWO!

And puffing that the number has quadrupled (in six years) when the earlier number was just 17, is what's known as base rate fallacy.

And what's wrong with offering them counselling?

Ho hum...

Transgender kids is clearly this month's thing.

Here's Louis Theroux more level-headed look at the media's latest moral panic broadcast on Sunday.

Paris Lee wondered, What's the big deal?

The issue of trans children became a national talking point thanks to Louis Theroux's bold BBC documentary Transgender Kids. #TransgenderKids trended for hours on social media and, aside from the usual ignorance and bigotry, which I expected, there was also an outpouring of empathy, understanding and support for the families featured. Good. This is what happens when real people are allowed to tell their own stories.

Much of the media coverage I've seen so far has focused on the ages of the kids Louis interviewed - some, like Lady Gaga lover Camille, as young as five. How could they possibly know? Aren't they too young? What if they're making a huge mistake? ...

In my head though I couldn't help but respond with a question of my own, one that Camille's parents eventually voiced: "What does it matter?" What's the big deal if a feminine boy or a masculine girl changes their social gender? What is so wrong about supporting them to transition socially, or to delay puberty with blockers? People who object are usually seeing it from their own subjective point of view. But it's not about them. The idea of changing gender terrifies most people who are not trans precisely because they are not trans - the same way that the idea of not transitioning seems awful to trans people.

Just let kids be who they need to be. If they can transition one way, they can transition back again...


Why do some people get so worked up about policing gender norms?

And what are the alternatives?

Conversion therapy?


PS It doesn't have to be this way, Paris Lees on trans teen suicides, Attitude.

* Edit: You may want to compare and contrast this with How can a child of three need transgender counselling?, asks Libby Purves, in the Mail, Thursday.

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