I recall seeing a cartoon by a great cartoonist called Kathryn Lamb, which shows a teacher standing at the front of her class and asking those who are the same sex this term as last term to put their hands up. We all get the joke these days but it wouldn’t have made any sense when my kids were little.
When my daughter was in her third year of life, she announced she was a boy. Her brother put her straight. He was the big boy in the family and she was the little girl. She wasn’t best pleased and argued that she could be a boy if she wanted to.
I wasn’t particularly surprised that she either wanted to be a boy or believed she was one. She had short hair and hardly ever wore dresses, which meant she looked more like the boys than the girls in her picture books and she was mistaken for a boy every single time by strangers. What’s more, she didn’t know any girls. She had one older brother – two years her senior – and there was a dearth of girls her age amongst friends and neighbours, so all her playmates were boys. She would share a bedtime bath with her brother, so she knew they had different genitalia. But at that age she didn’t understand what that difference meant or what being a girl meant.
I responded to her declaration that she was in fact a girl, that there was no reason to want to be a boy because a girl could do everything a boy could do, that I was a girl myself albeit now grown up. Soon afterwards she started pre-school playgroup, where she met other little girls and that was the end of the matter. She was never a girly girl but she never again expressed a desire to be anything other than a girl. Whether she spent her childhood as I’d spent my own, secretly hating the fact that she was a girl, I don’t know.
That was back in 1990. I wonder if, in today’s climate, whether anyone would have suggested she might actually be a boy born in the wrong body and, if so, whether she would have latched onto the idea and refused to let it go. This article, which describes a girl whose behaviour – rejecting dolls, playing football, etc – sounds exactly like my daughter’s, inclines me to think she would have. It actually doesn’t bear thinking about and my heart breaks for all parents who find themselves in this situation. I admit I find it hard not to judge those who take a different approach to the one I think I would have taken.
On this page I put links to websites of adults – parents, professionals and anyone else with something relevant to say – who are concerned with the rise in the number of children who want to transition, as well as to the stories of families who are going through it and to an assortment of articles, the inclusion of which isn’t intended to imply endorsement.
Campaigning, Support and Advice
“4thWaveNow was started by the mother of a teenage girl who suddenly announced she was a “trans man” after a few weeks of total immersion in YouTube transition vlogs. (The daughter has since desisted from identifying as transgender.) After much research and fruitless searching for an alternative online viewpoint, this mom began writing about her deepening skepticism of the ever-accelerating medical and media fascination with the phenomenon of “transgender children.”
4thWaveNow has now expanded to feature not only the writing of the founder of this blog, but that of other parents, formerly trans-identified people, and people with professional expertise and experience with young people questioning their gender identity.”
One of the most moving stories I’ve ever read comes from a tireless campaigner called Lily Maynard, whose story about what she and her daughter went through is on both the 4thWaveNow site and on her personal blog. It heads the list of real life stories lower down this page.
“We are a group of parents based mainly in the UK, who are concerned about the current trend to diagnose ‘gender non-conforming’ children as transgender. We reject current conservative, reactionary, religious-fundamentalist views about sexuality and we have no political affiliation. We are also concerned about legislation which places transgender rights above the right to safety for girls and young women in public bathrooms and changing rooms.”
“We are a group of parents whose children have suddenly—seemingly out of the blue—decided they identify strongly with the opposite sex and are at various stages in transitioning. This is a new phenomenon that has only recently been identified. Researchers are calling it Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), and it is epidemic among our most vulnerable youth.
Our children are young, naïve and impressionable, many of them are experiencing emotional or social difficulties. They are strongly influenced by their peers and by the media, who are promoting the transgender lifestyle as popular, desirable and the solution to all of their problems. And they are being misled by authority figures, such as teachers, doctors and counselors, who rush to “affirm” their chosen gender without ever questioning why.”
“The Gender Critical Support Board is run for parents and families by parents and families who share the experience of coping with a child, teenager or young adult who believes she or he is transgender.
We are critical of the phenomenon of transgender youth growing at epidemic rates.
The forum provides support for parents and families who would like a thoughtful and cautious approach to intervention for their gender dysphoric child.”
TV Documentary: Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?
A fascinating and, in my opinion, well-balanced BBC documentary giving both sides of the argument. It was pulled from the viewing schedule at very short notice by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It can be viewed here on GenderTrender.
Transgender Kids: why doctors are right to be cautious about childhood transition Sarah Ditum New Statesman
“The BBC Two documentary Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? won’t be broadcast until 9pm this evening, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from forming very firm opinions about it. There has been the inevitable petition, and yesterday, the Guardian published a critical article stating that “the transgender community is ‘very scared and very worried’” by a programme that no one interviewed had, as yet, seen.”
Statistics faulty on how many trans- kids grow up to stay trans? Dr James Cantor
“The National Post recently covered the CBC’s cancellation of a BBC documentary about transgender children (Why CBC cancelled a BBC documentary that activists claimed was ‘transphobic’). In that coverage, the Post shared claims made by some activists criticizing some scientific studies, but did not apparently fact-check those claims, so I thought I would outline the studies here.”
“Supporting transgender people, including their right to dignity, support and medical intervention, isn’t at odds with taking a scientifically guided approach to determining the best outcomes for children. But as is commonly the case with political movements, these nuances only complicate the narrative and cede opportunities for activists to gain further ground.
Those complicit in the silencing of legitimate science have lost sight of the forest for the trees. The issue is no longer about what’s in the best interest of these children, but about winning, at any cost, the ideological war.”
Articles from blogs, newspapers and journals
Meet Alex Bertie, the transgender poster boy Janice Turner
“A woman I will call Dr K expresses years of frustration dealing with an unacknowledged epidemic of dysphoric teenage girls. ‘They are all the same, dozens and dozens of them. Short hair, boys’ clothes, probably liked rough and tumble play as small children. Now they like comic books or skateboarding or video gaming. Geeky, gauche, not many friends. They came out as lesbians, but then they went on Reddit and Tumblr and saw these transitioning videos. They decide they are trans. Suddenly they get lots of attention with everyone calling them by a new name, they get to chide anyone who uses the wrong pronoun while everyone tells them they are brave. They might get a special assembly at school.'”
“there is a real danger that gender non-confirming behaviour in children is being interpreted not as this being a child who will grow up to be homosexual, rather our feminine boys and masculine girls are being perceived to be and treated as being ‘transgender’.”
“Part of problem is that some people don’t accept the desistance findings at all — they argue that the studies demonstrating high levels of desistance in gender-dysphoric kids are fatally flawed, and further that the very concept of desistance itself is really just a pretense for allowing bigots to deny the reality of trans people’s identities. This is understandable, in light of the very real discrimination trans people face every day and past misdeeds committed by the mental-health Establishment, but it’s also unfortunate: We can’t have an intelligent, informed discussion about these tricky issues if we’re going to ignore what is, at the moment, a solid scientific consensus.”
Do trans kids stay trans when they grow up? Dr James Cantor
“Despite the differences in country, culture, decade, and follow-up length and method, all the studies have come to a remarkably similar conclusion: Only very few trans- kids still want to transition by the time they are adults. Instead, they generally turn out to be regular gay or lesbian folks. The exact number varies by study, but roughly 60–90% of trans- kids turn out no longer to be trans by adulthood.”
Eugenics and the practice of transgendering children Sheila Jeffreys
“There are similarities between the eugenic sexual surgeries and drug treatments of the past and the transgendering of children now. The ideas for both treatments come from scientists of sex such as biologists, endocrinologists and psychiatrists. Both practices are based on the idea that certain problematic behaviours have a biological basis and can be “cured” by treatments which alter sexual characteristics.”
How Conversion Therapy Bans Will Trap Transgender Children Marcus Gregory
“While attempts to make gays straight may have little value, that little “or gender identity” nonchalantly added to the end is a live grenade. In disguised language, it ensures no American child unhappy with his or her natural sexed body will have access to therapy other than drastically changing the body.”
“As the debate continues over which bathroom transgender people should use, families and doctors are rewriting the rules as they decide when and how to start medical intervention, with some deciding to start before transgender youth hit puberty.”
Huge rise in puberty-blocker jabs revealed as transgender 17-year-old who was born a boy claims the NHS treatment saved her life,
Minority of children with gender issues diagnosed with gender dysphoria Brisbane Courier-Mail
“MANY children and adolescents are identifying as transgender because they are confused about sexuality or think it will make them “different”. Psychiatrist Dr Stephen Stathis, who runs a gender clinic, said he had seen girls who had been sexually abused and wanted to identify as transgender.
“The girls say, ‘If only I had been a male I wouldn’t have been abused’,’’ Dr Stathis said.”
Misunderstanding a New Kind of Gender Dysphoria Lisa Marchiano
“A year ago, as a result of a blog post I wrote, I began offering consultations to parents of teens who had announced “out of the blue” that they were transgender. Each week, several new families made contact with me, and their stories are remarkably similar to one another. Most have 14 or 15-year-old daughters who are smart, quirky, and struggling socially. Many of these kids are on the autism spectrum.”
NHS pressured our kids to change sex Daily Mail
“Hundreds of alarming stories have been posted over the past two months on an online forum set up by a father who says his teenage daughter is making a mistake in seeking to change gender. The father, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘The universal experience [of the parents] is that whether the child has been diagnosed with autism, depression or ADHD, the therapists are completely discounting any other symptoms.’”
Nearly 2,000 children referred for help with gender identity The Times (paywall)
“According to data released by the Gender Identity Development Service, commissioned by NHS England, 1,986 people under 18 were referred and accepted for specialist treatment in the past year, compared with 94 in 2009-10. The youngest were aged just three, with seven children that age referred since 2009. The most common age at referral was 16, accounting for 24 per cent of all cases since 2009.”
“Children – encouraged by their experiences at school – are beginning to question their gender identity at ever younger ages. In doing more than just supporting transgender children, and instead sowing confusion about gender identity, schools do neither boys nor girls any favours.”
“There have been different ideas put forward. Some people have talked about how it is easier for girls to cross-gender identify because it’s a positive image to be a tomboy.”People are also wondering what it is to be a female at the moment and whether that’s something that is a cause for concern for young people.”
“In an interview on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 (and also reported in the Telegraph) Professor Winston expressed his concerns that we do not yet know enough about what happens in the cognitive development of children to cause their gender discomfort. This makes it very difficult to know how best to support them. He spoke about how the brain is reassigning itself in a major way during puberty and how we don’t really know the long-term effects of intervening in that process for young children who present with gender issues.”
Schools rushing ‘on whisper’ to label pupils as transgender Sian Griffiths, The Times
“If a school just gets a whisper of a child who may be querying their gender and within minutes they are doing everything to make sure that child is regarded as a member of the opposite sex right from the word go — that may not be the best for that child.”
“Should I take testosterone when I’m 16?” Lisa Marchiano
“A few weeks ago, I received a very thoughtful email from someone who had read my blog. This young person suffers from gender dysphoria and is considering taking testosterone upon turning 16. We agreed together that I would answer the email here on my blog, in public.”
“Another wrote that “transphobic posts on the union’s Facebook page have been really impacting my levels of dysphoria”. They said that when Wilkes wrote that he did not agree that trans women were women “that comment made me feel physically sick and the palpitations that I’ve been suffering from started again”.”
Transgender fetish is a truly shameful modern invention Stuart Waiton
“Of course, one of the ironies of transgenderism is that rather than liberating gender, it is a caricature of it. “Don’t like all things pink and frilly? That must mean you’re a boy. Don’t like football and fighting? You must be a girl.” The transgender trend is not only inward looking — it is profoundly conservative.”
“The number of children being treated for gender identity disorder in Scotland has quadrupled in just three years – to more than 200 cases last year.”
“A doctor in Wales is prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12 who say they want to change sex, arguing that if they are confident of their gender identity they should not have to wait until 16 to get the treatment. Helen Webberley, a GP in Wales, has set up a private gender clinic and recently started treating children, a “handful” of whom she has started on cross-sex hormones, including a 12-year-old.”
“The conservatism of transgender ideology is often absent from modern discussions about gender, and there is a lazy conflation of transgender issues with gender neutrality. The moves by John Lewis and some schools to introduce “gender neutral” clothing are to be welcomed, but it is baffling that they have been heralded across the liberal media as a victory for “transgender pupils”.”
“The Endocrine Society’s guidelines suggest starting puberty blockers for transgender children when they hit a stage of development known as Tanner stage 2 — usually around 10 or 11 years old for a girl and 11 or 12 years old for a boy. The same guidelines suggest giving cross sex hormones — estrogen for transgender girls and testosterone for transgender boys — at age 16. However, doctors caution that estrogen and testosterone, the hormones that are blocked by these medications, also play a role in a child’s neurological development and bone growth.”
“Kids need to know their sex. Not least in part for medical reasons… Understanding their own biology is pivotal, but teaching them about gender is unnecessary. And in some cases it is harmful.”
World’s youngest sex-change operation The Telegraph
“I was always against such operations on children so young but after seeing how happy one of my patients was and how well adjusted after returning from having the operation abroad while still a teenager – I realised that in some cases it is the right decision.”
This kid dodged transgenderism Mancheeze
Mutilating Healthy Kids Mancheeze
I don’t know the source of this screenshot.
There are many more stories at 4thWaveNow – I only link to the few there that I’ve read.
From Blue to Pink – When the Trans Virus strikes home Feudal Times blog
Hitting Peak Trans and Becoming a Minority of One Gender Critical Dad
I Had 4 Boys — Until One of Them Told Me She Was Really a Girl Good Housekeeping
I was an eight-year-old drag queen Chad Felix Greene
My daughter is not transgender. She’s a tomboy Lisa Selin Davis
These fathers are fighting for their trans kids too Outsmart magazine
12-year-old describes growing up transgender New Hampshire News Site
We Still Have a Son and Daughter — Just Not the Way We Expected Good Housekeeping
Spotted on reddit:
Stories concerning Mermaids charity
Where on the spectrum might your gender be? Gender Trender
A complaint about an article reporting alleged against Mermaids Critical Sisters site
Mermaids TG are either lying or hopelessly unprofessional Fair play for Women site
The case of Child J
Mermaids UK charity ban as boy forced to live as girl The Times (paywall)
Page last updated: 11.02.18