PART 2 - Trans Movement - The Drugs, the Surgeries, the Regret, and Desistance
In Part I of this series, I gave a big-picture of the modern trans movement. Today I'll cover common medical treatments in the U.S. and the many problems they cause for their recipients, as well as some initial strategies for dealing with trans-identified teenagers. The psychological strategies used by therapists will not be covered here. It goes without saying that believing you're "trapped in the wrong body" is a psychological problem, but unfortunately these sad, confused children are nearly always offered biological solutions that make their situations worse.
Strangely enough, most "gender-affirming" medical authorities in the U.S. regard psychologists with suspicion if they attempt to discover the origin of a child's unhappiness with their body. Many of these psychologists have been accused of forcing "conversion therapy," a term for an old-fashioned and ineffective method of using aversive stimuli to make gay patients go straight. Applying such a term to an inquiry regarding the source of a patient's problem is absurd, to say the least, but that's the usual claim when such therapists fired from their jobs. And since there's no diagnostic test that will prove "gender" and DNA tests are rejected by the medical elites, there's no scientific basis for any of this.
Puberty blockers are the first category of drugs for trans-identifying children. The use of these drugs in children under the age of 16 has just been banned by Sweden's Karolinska Institute, which is remarkable considering the history of Sweden and sexual reassignment surgeries.
Once used as chemical castration agents for sex offenders, the puberty blockers are now used to halt puberty in children from the ages of 8 to 12. This is described as a way to "push the pause button" for gender-confused children. Since there are no studies or drug trials for this use in children, puberty blockers have not been approved by the FDA, and are considered "off-label." That means a drug can still be prescribed, but the provider should be held to a somewhat higher standard to justify its use.
These drugs are best exemplified by Lupron, leuprolide acetate, a gonadatropin-releasing hormone agonist that strongly reduces both testosterone and estrogen. In other words, the child's puberty is blocked so completely, his or her body is plunged into chemical menopause. Common side effects are: testicular atrophy, vaginitis, abnormal vaginal bleeding or no periods at all, edema, depression, weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, loss of sexual interest, irregular heartbeat, UTIs, GI bleed, peptic ulcer, rectal polyps, hair loss, bone pain, decreased bone density, anemia, chest tightness, pulmonary embolism. We don't have good data on long-term side effects, but we do know that, so far, one hundred percent of children on puberty blockers have gone on to cross-sex hormones and sex reassignment surgery. Clearly, puberty blockers are not pushing the pause button in any meaningful way.
Testosterone is a powerful anabolic steroid hormone and Schedule III prescription drug. Long available as an injection, cream, or implantable pellet, it now has an oral dosage form available, which is also likely to cause more liver damage. Once abused by gym rats in multiple chemical variants known as "roids," testosterone is now widely available at Planned Parenthood and Student Health at most colleges in the U.S. With Planned Parenthood setting up clinics in California high schools, it is likely that other blue states will soon follow suit, enabling high school students to obtain hormones without parental consent or having to leave school grounds.
Testosterone: affects the brain, muscle size and strength, body fat distribution, facial and body hair, red blood cell production, sex drive, and sperm production. Within three months of starting high doses of this hormone, young women will start to grow beards. The effect is not reversible, other than by electrolysis. The voice change is permanent. Available in a variety of esters such as propionate, phenylpropionate, isocaproate, and decanoate, testosterone replacement therapy for men is not as popular as it once was due to recent findings on heart attack and stroke risks. In Oct 2016, the FDA added a warning about this as well as the mental health risks of prescription testosterone products. (Estrogen's protective effect on the brain is lost with high testosterone doses.) The FDA has never approved the use of testosterone for women or children. Reports of liver and kidney failure in these young patients are coming in, and they are very concerning.
While we don't have any data on the chronic overuse of testosterone in women, there are medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome which cause women to make their own high doses of testosterone.
PCOS causes missed or irregular periods, weight gain, fatigue, acne, increased facial hair, male pattern baldness, mood changes, infertility, sleep problems, infertility, depression, increased risk of endometrial cancer, and enlarged ovaries with multiple cysts. Most of these problems are due to high testosterone levels, and in fact the increased cancer risk is why young women on high doses of testosterone are advised to have a hysterectomy along with all the other surgeries.
Boys who want cross-sex hormones are usually put on estradiol, the most powerful of the estrogens. Again, we have no data on the use of this hormone in children or males. Side effects include abdominal pain, headache, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, pulmonary emboli, deep vein thrombosis, breast cancer, chest tightness, noisy breathing, joint pain, and tachycardia. Of course, giving estradiol to males will cause infertility. Long-term side effects of cross-sex hormones, prescribed off-label for uses not approved by the FDA, are unknown.
There are many, many more differences between men and women than hormones and sex organs, and none of those differences can be addressed by sex reassignment surgery. Many years ago, F. Paul Wilson and Matthew J. Costello wrote a science-fiction novel called _Masque_, about an artificially-created human whose metamorphic DNA could be programmed to turn him into anyone his masters wanted him to be. Unlike the delusional members of our current woke mob, the hero of this story really could be a man or a woman. It's going to be a while before DNA reprogramming is available.
Sex reassignment surgery cannot even duplicate a natural sex organ. A penis made from arm skin, nerve, and muscle must be inflated with a pump to simulate an erection. The best vagina created by a plastic surgeon is no more than a wound kept open with regular dilation (insertion of a foreign object). These "organs" have limited sensation and the surgical risks are incontinence, numbness, and infection. Additionally, the area from which the skin and nerves are harvested can become gangrenous or excruciatingly sensitive to pain. If the patient still has any interest in sex, which is unlikely, orgasm is impossible. This is probably one of the reasons the suicide rates are so high in these patients, but that is conjecture on my part.
And the financial price tag? That depends. Some girls only have the mastectomy, or "top surgery," which costs about $15,000. But if they have all the surgeries, the cost is over $100,000 (and some have gone up to $1,000,000 thanks to complications). That doesn't count the cross-sex hormones, which must be taken for the rest of the patient's lifetime. Or until they decide to detransition (live once again as his or her birth sex). You can see why trans activists are lobbying to have all this covered by health insurance. It's easier than setting up a GoFundMe account or finding a glitter sugar daddy, though both of those are becoming more and more common.
According to statistics available from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, 73-94% of children who experience confusion about their gender will align with their birth sex if allowed to pass through puberty naturally. So why has this suddenly become so unpopular? An unmedicated life is in every way preferable to a lifetime of drugs and surgeries whose side effects don't match up with a long, healthy life. And that's not just my opinion -- it's shared by 19,000 detransitioners on Reddit.
So how do you talk to a child who's suddenly announced that they're trans? That depends on why the child has decided this. If there's been no hint of this before the child got a smartphone, it could be because of online influencers. Or maybe a friend who's decided that she's trans? A really difficult and painful puberty? Self-hatred from being overweight, or being bullied? Most drinking water has a disturbing amount of hormones and estrogen-mimicking chemicals, which can make their problems worse, especially for boys. (A good water filter such as a Berkey is a necessity.) Once they pick a new name and pronouns and their teachers start using these, things start to go downhill from there.
I recommend that you find out as much as you can about the why. When you talk to your child, don't tell them their feelings are wrong. Their conclusions are wrong, but you can't win an argument -- or a discussion -- with anyone by leading with that. The trans agenda contains a great many logical fallacies wrapped in frank deception underlain with malice, but it is an unfortunate reality of human nature that the better your argument is about an emotional problem, the more the other person will dig in their heels and refuse to listen. There's nothing to be gained by coming up with the perfect argument to point out all the craziness of the trans agenda. No matter how true, how perfectly well-crafted, it won't persuade those who most need to hear it because it doesn't address their emotional issues. Ask them why they feel this way. Tell them you want to understand, and then listen without interrupting. Try not to frown -- the brains of kids interpret facial expressions in a quick-and-dirty way that often mistakes a frown of confusion for a scowl. Assure your child that you love him or her, no matter what. Do not use their new name or pronouns. After this conversation, start asking questions, like "If gender is fluid, does that mean it goes back and forth from trans to cis? If it's fixed, when is it fixed?" Asking questions is the Socratic method for undermining the trans agenda.
Be prepared for push-back. Door-slamming tirades punctuated by "Everyone at school loves me the way I am; why don't you?" can be expected. It may also be a clue that the school is the problem. You don't need school teachers, counselers, or the school's Gay Straight Alliance Club undermining you behind your back. The woke mob call anyone who disagrees with their narrative "hateful" and "transphobic." Well, fine. There's never been a better time to homeschool.
I recommend the following books and websites. Nobody should have to go through this alone.
Desist, Detrans, and Detox: Getting Your Child out of the Gender Cult by Maria Keffler
Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier
partnersforethicalcare.com thecompassioncoalition.com transgendertrend.com savewomenssports.com peaktrans.org/detransitioning parentsofrogdkids.com sexchangeregret.com handsacrosstheaislewomen.com genderresourceguide.com arlingtonparentcoalition.org
Here's a link to a horrifying photo that one of those creepy surgeons put on his page to advertise his "services." Since he did nothing to disguise the girl's face, I guess he's not worried about the $25,000 fine that he should've gotten from HIPPAA. Look at your own risk...
PART 1 - Trans Movement
Imagine living in an upside-down world where half the children at the school your child attends decide they're born in the wrong body. At lunch these children head to the school clinic, where after a quick visit with the attending doctor, they order cross-sex hormones without the knowledge or consent of their parents. After school, they talk enviously about 13-year-old classmates whose post-mastectomy photos they saw on YouTube. They can't wait to "change gender," an odd turn of phrase given that the photos make it clear that all the assorted surgeries do is chop healthy children into sterilized Ken dolls. And if you don't agree to the surgeries? If, God forbid, you still insist on calling them by the name and pronoun they've had since birth? They'll call CPS on you, or if you live in Canada, you'll be sent to jail for 6 months and fined $30,000 for "family violence." And if your state bans these drugs and surgeries in children? Chelsea Manning has volunteered to smuggle Russian-made testosterone to your daughters. Not your sons -- they've got estrogen for them.
That's the world we live in now.
How in God's name did we get here? There are many answers.
-a mental-health crisis among teens, largely created by the smartphone
-science has been deeply undermined in America
-free speech ditto
-government healthcare laws as well as public schools have hidden consequences
-pseudo-intellectual "experts" are over-relied upon (see the undermining of science)
-the middle class, whose children comprise a disproportionate number of the trans-identified, have the money to feed the always-hungry plastic surgeons. (That is, they find the money after being told their child will commit suicide if they don't.)
What, exactly, is the appeal of transgender identification to lonely young people? It's complicated, and teenage years have always been painful. But being a teen is worse now. The average middle-schooler has already seen porn online . They are afraid that this often-violent fiction is how men and women are supposed to relate to one another. And they are miserably unhappy when their bodies fail to live up to the idealized images everywhere online. The trans kids? They're hip, popular, and everyone tells them how brave they are. They have their own YouTube channels and TV shows.
According to DSM-V, gender dysphoria such as trans identification is not a sexual identity, but a mental illness. Only a decade ago, it was one that belonged to 0.01% of the population, and it was almost exclusively a male problem. Before 2012, there was no scientific literature on girls under the age of 21 ever having gender dysphoria. Now girls make up the majority of the staggering increase -- the Tavistock Gender Clinic in the U.K. has seen a greater than 5,000% increase in less than 10 years. The U.S. has seen similiar numbers, though spread out into an ever-expanding number of clinics.
It may or may not be a coincidence that during this same time period, Precocious Puberty (a condition in which girls hit puberty before the age of 8 and boys do so before the age of 9) has also become more common. The cause has yet to be determined, though it is likely due to chemicals in the water and food. (Perhaps different chemicals than those causing the worldwide dive in testosterone and male fertility.) One hundred years ago, puberty before age 16 was more the exception than the rule. Like many things, the age of precocious puberty has been re-defined. Is it too much to speculate that our bodies know when they are supposed to mature, and when that happens too early, we might feel that we don't really belong in these bodies?
At any rate, Trans Identification has become big business. The Transgender Medical-Industrial Complex now receives more than $424 million in funding every year. According to the Feb. 2018 issue of 'The Federalist,' donors include George Soros, Warren and Peter Buffet, Jennifer Pritzker (trans woman and Hyatt heir worth $29 billion), Tim Gill, Drummond Pike, Martine Rothblatt, and the U.S. government.
Other supporters of trans identification for children include Janssen Therapeutics, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Boehringer-Ingleheim Pharmaceuticals, Abbott, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Big tech supporters include Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Dell, Intel, IBM, Apple, Yelp, PayPal, and dozens of smaller companies. You can expect a serious lack of objective reporting on this subject from NBC, MSNBC, Time, CBS, ABC, and CNN. Breitbart and Fox News, on the other hand, are refreshingly plain-spoken, as are a large number of the foreign press.
But none of this really explains how a mental illness has suddenly become so popular that half the kids in the freshman class of certain Ivy League Colleges claim to have it. Sure, they're constantly exposed to that post-modern nonsense where feelings trump facts. But apparently they don't laugh it off when they leave the classroom. Why not?
Well, who doesn't want to believe that reality will conform to their emotional need? Why can't we triumph against all odds including reality, the way it happens in fantasy novels? Unfortunately the liberal left and Social Justice Warriors are the darlings of the teacher's unions, so there will not be any critical thinking about such angsty questions in their classroom.Instead of living in a world where people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, we live in a world where lonely white children become popular when they identify with a minority group.
The lockdowns have made these kids lonelier than ever, so they go online to YouTube, Tumblr, DeviantArt, and TikTok. This is the world of popular online trans gurus, people like 28-year-old Chase Ross, a female-to-male trans who has 166,000 subscribers to his signature blend of humor, confession, and advice on all things trans. He gives away breast binders, reviews trans sex toys, and honestly believes he's helping teens.
A smartphone means you don't have to meet people face to face to have the madness of crowds with you all the time. Unfortunately, neither madness nor fads are the exclusive domain of the young. Though lately it seems that more people than ever have become magpies chasing the shiny new gadget, crazy medical fads have been with us for a long time.
When Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium in 1902, the purveyors of snake oil began marketing radium-infused water and cosmetics (for a lovely inner glow) along with radium toothpaste and even radium chocolate. Despte Marie Curie's death from cancer, it still took more years than you might imagine before scientists realized that the same thing would happen to those who drank this radioactive substance or slathered it on their skin. In the 19th century, Heroin Cough Syrup became popular, so much so that in the 1890s, Bayer Pharmaceuticals added aspirin to it and branded this new product as a cough and cold remedy for children. No one knows how many children died from this treatment; it was finally taken off the market in 1924. Then the frontal lobotomy became popular in the 1930s. At its peak in 1949, when Dr. Egan Moniz won the Nobel Prize for its invention, 5,000 people a year had this horrific procedure performed on them, including children as young as four years old.
Unlike these other fads, Transgender Ideology contains psychological techniques that bear striking parallels to a cult. These incude: Target the vulnerable as potential recruits; draw the recruit in and promise them love, joy, and meaning; require the renunciation of loved ones; create terminology that others don't understand; zero tolerance of criticism; the ruthless casting out of anyone who appears even slightly non-conforming. Lots of irony here, given the claim to be gender non-conforming.
Once upon a time, the word "gender" belonged solely to the field of linguistics. But thanks to the absurdities of academia, the word has matastasized into a collection of rigid stereotypes of human behaviour. Those of us who grew up in the sixties know that such statements as "only boys are good at math" and "girls like the color pink" are ridiculous. Unfortunately, today's kids don't know that, and the culture they are exposed to daily -- from public school to counselers to the internet -- is constantly browbeating them into believing this nonsense.
If the child doesn't conform to the stereotypes, then the gender authorities solemnly assert that this means the child is transgender. Oh, and if the child is sad, lonely, has ADHD, is autistic, or has any other reason to feel like she or he doesn't fit in at school? Yes, according to "experts" such as the Los Angeles Gender Center, which exhibits helpful posters on this subject, these too are signs of being transgender. There really seems to be no mood problem that does not lead to the conclusion that a child is "trapped in the wrong body" and in immediate need of cross-sex hormones.
This viewpoint has suddenly become entrenched in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and much of Asia. Of course, views spread pretty quickly when you can de-platform anyone who disagrees with you.
Just ask Maria Keffler, author of 'Desist, Detrans, and Detox,' which was de-platformed twice in one week, first by Amazon and then by Lulu for being "offensive." After numerous complaints, Amazon apologized and allowed the book back on its website. Another good non-fiction book that vanished, 'When Harry Became Sally,' has yet to be restored by Amazon.
Aside from a number of Republican legislators and a few brave authors, there is one vocally opposed group that has drawn a line in the sand about the medicalization of trans-identifying children, and that is the gay community itself.
It's probably more accurate to say that the gay community is at war with itself over transgender ideology. Lesbians in particular are angry that very few young women identify as lesbians now -- thanks to trans activists, lesbians are regarded as uncool, hateful, and yes, even deserving of homophobia. Lesbian bars are closing down, their magazines have disappeared, and they are relentlessly attacked by trans activists because they want to date biological women and not trans women.
Miriam Ben-Shalom is a lesbian activist who runs the Compassion Coalition on Facebook, "an international group for those fighting to ban invasive, harmful, unproven medical interventions for gender-confused children." She is right in saying that these drugs and surgeries are untested in children, and that it is inaccurate to call it "health care" when you're cutting off healthy organs. When she hears so many trans-identifying girls claim they're being bullied if they can't have surgery, Ben-Shalom says sadly, "Women are being erased." Such statements enrage trans activists, who regularly send her obscene images and death threats. She shrugs them off. As an Israeli Army veteran, online trolls don't frighten her.
Bisexual U.S. Army veteran activist Cliff Arnesen, whose Congressional testimony in 1989 and 1990; and written testimony before Senator Samm Nunn's Senate Committee -along with national GLB veterans organizations and individual GLB veterans- led to the eventual demise of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," is in complete agreement with Ben-Shalom. He's extremely concerned about the danger of assault posed to biological women and girls now that women's shelters, women's prisons, girls' bathrooms, and girls' sports are being invaded by males who claim to be women. A lifelong Democrat, Arnesen told me he agrees with the Republicans on this issue. "I know I will lose friends over this," he said. "But I don't care, because my concern lies with these kids. What happened to common sense?"
It's a great question. I wish I could answer it.
In Part II of this series, I'll cover the drugs, the surgeries, the regret, and some tactics to help a trans-identified child call a truce with their birth sex.