Transgender

I've no expertise in the area. It is affecting my extended family, of which I don't have much, so we all get quite involved. You might not have guessed it from my persona on SOF, but I'm the calm, sensible, and supportive one, who keeps opinions to himself - you guys get more of my turmoil and your discussion is appreciated. Probably transgender affects many? I'm thinking that there are at least 4 things:
  1. fully affirming approach - someone says they are trans and it is accepted and supported without any or much question, and doctors who are in to this start on hormones and easily and quickly refer to surgery.
  2. a watchful waiting approach - someone says they are trans and people are supportive, say go slowly, and there is a bit of inquiry and scepticism
  3. sceptical approach - see trans as part of a development process is an open society which has made it possible to question gender identity
  4. mental health approach - sees gender questioning and trans as part of a mental illness issue where depression and other mood problems use trans and gender as solutions, much like people use substance abuse or self harm to deal with feelings

We seem to be dealing with the fully affirming 1st approach, and the mental health 4th approach in my list. I've developed the understanding that the fully affirming approach is too much, that there is merit to the mental health approach, and that the 2nd approach is probably best.

I'm also not finding myself agreeing that gender and biological sex are fully different. Obviously for the vast majority, they are coincident. So the the norm is they are the same. That's not necessarily to judge abnormal when they are different, but to say that they usually (normatively) coincide.

I found this article thoughtfully written:
When Children Say They’re Trans. Hormones? Surgery? The choices are fraught—and there are no easy answers
(The Atlantic).
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Comments

  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    I didn’t realise choice 1 was possible in terms of doctors referring for hormone therapy and surgery. When I studied this from a healthcare perspective, which was around ten years ago, we were taught that a person had to first have counselling to ensure they were of sound mind and sure about it, and they also had to live for a year (or maybe two years?) as the gender they identified with before they could be referred for gender reassignment, to confirm to the doctors a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. A watchful waiting approach, I guess.

    It was back then (maybe still is) classified in the DSM as a mental disorder. Something we discussed was the idea that it was more like a physical disorder - if a person’s body doesn’t match their inner gender, that is something wrong with the body rather than the mind, and can be addressed by altering the body.
  • edited June 24
    I get the idea that there are "best practices" and that these may not be followed. The experience seems to be that you go to a family doctor who sends a referral. The gender clinic spends 2-4 hours sorting a bit out and within a couple of weeks you may be taking hormones. The surgery is a year wait. The problems seem to arise that the hormones may change things permanently.

    The "sound mind" bit seems to be that if you aren't then it may be that the lack of acceptance by others and yourself caused the mental health issues. Which is from my view probably an association with causation a whole other thing - correlation. The affirming way seems to march along the path that if you aren't affirming you may be "evil". And then we have announcements of changes to pronouns and names....
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    I can’t remember the details of the sound mind thing, but I think it’s more about not being able to make a rational decision and understand the implications of the decision - which is why living as one’s identified gender is also seen as important, because that gives a person chance to understand through experience what it will be like. Many people who are referred do have mental health problems which do not prevent them having surgery. And after gender reassignment their mental health problems often get better, which suggests that they were situational, caused by the discomfort of being in the wrong body.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    To clarify, ‘sound mind’ is something very specific and does not simply mean lack of mental health issues. Most people with mental health issues have sound mind.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    Does your watching and waiting option not include change of pronouns? Surely living as the identified gender is part of watching and waiting, so then pronouns should be changed at that point. Surgery is permanent as you say, so surely better to start living as the identified gender beforehand to make sure that one really does identify with it, and is comfortable being referred to by different pronouns.
  • Except the last statement "And after gender reassignment their mental health problems often get better, which suggests that they were situational, caused by the discomfort of being in the wrong body. "

    I cannot find any decent data at all for this contention. It seems to be in the realm of opinion and ideology. Like the research which is said to support drinking
  • FirenzeFirenze Heaven Host
    edited June 24
    You cannot discuss something until the words exist. Until gender fluidity became an acknowledged thing, how could you identify with it?

    What I would be interested to know is, how much is profound response and how much, in a sense, fashion of the moment? No one could doubt Jan Morris living at a time when the topic was at the wilder margins of NoW sensationalism. But now, is it in danger of being flavour of the month, the answer to all and every discontent with societal expectations?

    I was a big, boisterous, ungirly girl, reading boys’ comics and modelling myself on my older brother. I am not unhappy with my biological identity, while noting how differently my personality would have been perceived if it had been packaged in a male body. Is the problem with the individual or with what society decides is ‘male’ or ‘female’ attributes?
  • I know, or know of, five (possibly 6) people of my children's generation who are transitioning, ranging in age from 15 to 23. I am baffled by this upswing and will be following this thread with interest.

  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    Except the last statement "And after gender reassignment their mental health problems often get better, which suggests that they were situational, caused by the discomfort of being in the wrong body. "

    I cannot find any decent data at all for this contention. It seems to be in the realm of opinion and ideology. Like the research which is said to support drinking

    We were taught that there was a lot of research evidencing it, but as I didn’t specialise in this subject, I didn’t read it, so I did just pretty much take their word for it. I can see though, thinking about it, that it must be something quite difficult to get thorough research evidence on, as it wouldn’t be experimental, so no control groups, and maybe nothing longterm yet either, and accounts of mental health are to a large extent subjective.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I get the idea that there are "best practices" and that these may not be followed. The experience seems to be that you go to a family doctor who sends a referral. The gender clinic spends 2-4 hours sorting a bit out and within a couple of weeks you may be taking hormones. The surgery is a year wait. The problems seem to arise that the hormones may change things permanently.

    AIUI, the process here is much slower, especially with those under 18. It used be the case that an order from the Family Court was needed at least for those under 15, but my recollection is that that is being changed - and I'm not sure if abolition a useful step or not. Even for adults, the hormone-taking stage is not reached until the person has had an extended period of living as a person of the chosen gender. In other words, the whole procedure is very much of your 2nd approach.

    Like NEQ, we're baffled by the upswing. It certainly seems flavour of the month with the press here (and that's not a comment on No Prophet's relation).
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    Firenze wrote: »
    Is the problem with the individual or with what society decides is ‘male’ or ‘female’ attributes?

    For a while, people were thinking it was all societal - that gender identity was simply learnt from cultural norms rather than inbuilt sense of gender. Then there was that case in Winnipeg of the boy whose penis was removed when he was a baby because of a circumcision surgery gone wrong, so his parents decided to raise him as a girl, not telling him that he was born a boy. He always felt uncomfortable and wrong, not inderstanding why - and when they finally told him, it made sense to him and he decided to switch back to being a male. Sadly, he later decided to end his life. This case made people rethink the whole idea of gender as purely a social construct. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

    To me, it is fascinating because I seem to have no sense of gender identity at all. So I can understand people not identifying with a particular gender - but I can’t imagine what it must be like to identify with a particular gender, whether it is the one that matches your body or the one that doesn’t match it. I tend to think my lack of gender identity must be to some extent a societal thing - the same reason I don’t have the body shame that so many women have, because I’m quite a solitary person who doesn’t easily pick up on subtle societal messages. But I imagine it is inbuilt too.
  • I think in the UK, it's a slow process. You would not be taking hormones in 2 weeks. Will come back to this, late here.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    This is what the NHS site says, which is what I’d thought (though I thought it applied to hormone therapy too - maybe it used to).

    ‘If you want to have genital reconstructive surgery, you'll usually first need to live in your preferred gender identity full time for at least a year. This is known as "social gender role transition" (previously known as "real life experience" or "RLE") and it will help in confirming whether permanent surgery is the right option.’

    It does also say: ‘One review of a number of studies that were carried out over a 20-year period found that 96% of people who had genital reconstructive surgery were satisfied.’

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/treatment/
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    One famous person who transitioned from male to female is Catherine McGregor. She transitioned in her mid-50's. She was quite well known as a military officer before her transition, and part of the commentariat. She remains an excellent analyst of Test Cricket, and I bought one of her books for my brother for Christmas. I like Cate because she is smart, has a similar background to me in terms of upbringing and is a true lover of test cricket as well as a handy batter.

    I don't know about the medical stuff. I just hope that if someone close to me transitioned I would react with love. I'm sure most of the people visiting this page would do the same.
  • I think being concerned about the long term implications for an individual is "reacting with love." Starting to transition as a teenager is a fairly new possibility; the long term effects of some drugs, such as Lupron, are unknown. Reality programmes such as "I am Jazz" and the fictional TV series (can't remember the name) about a boy becoming "Amy" in primary school are introducing transgenderism to children who aren't of an age to make many big decisions about their lives.
  • Found it! "Just a Girl" was a TV programme aimed at 10 year olds, about Ben who started living as Amy at the age of 11, and who was taking puberty-blockers.

    I didn't see the TV programme, but it was serialised on Radio 4, and I listened to it then. It bothered me, partially because it seemed to me that Amy wasn't living like most of the 10/11 year old girls I knew, going to Guides, taking part in sports, having sleepovers etc, but was into make -up and, by the end of the series, going on her first "date" at not quite 12.

    I would not have been happy if my 11 year old daughter was obsessing about clothes, make-up and fancying boys whilst still in primary school.
  • One of my daughter's peers transitioned as soon as he became an adult. He had been traumatised by menstruation throughout his teenage years and coped very badly as a teenager. If he had been allowed the hormones as a teenager he would have had fewer hospital stays and achieved better academically.

    Incidentally his partner did consider transitioning too, but in the end didn't. The partner is now a well-known drag artist. I am not sure if they are still together or not.

    I knew them both as the safe adult who would take them to Camden Market at the weekend - with my daughter.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    Transitioning as a teenager also has the advantage that the person’s body more easily changes and they look more like the gender they identify with. A much smoother transition, and easier maybe to enter adulthood with that dealt with, as transition to adulthood is in itself a huge transition. A common problem with middle aged male-to-female transitions, which is also influenced by societal attitudes, is that many have done weight lifting and taken supplements to develop a very ‘macho’ looking body - because of the shame they felt and trying to deny their feelings and become the man they felt they should be. So when they finally transition, now that society is more accepting of it, they still look very much like a man.
  • Jane RJane R Shipmate
    I would not have been happy if my 11 year old daughter was obsessing about clothes, make-up and fancying boys whilst still in primary school.

    Nor would I, but this is within the normal range of possibilities for cisgendered girls. Some of my daughter's classmates in primary school were like this (she herself was more interested in ponies).

    All I have to offer in this discussion (bearing in mind that the plural of anecdote is not data) is my trans friend T, who is far happier living as a woman than she ever was in her assigned birth gender.

    ISTM that best practice is npnp's option 2. You would definitely want to wait until the person was old enough to understand all the implications of gender reassignment treatment.

  • WildHaggisWildHaggis Shipmate
    Fineline, how right you are.

    We are in a sexualised world like it or not. I have seen some of my Reception class pupils in the last 10 years dancing very provocatively and using sexualised langauge - and knowing what it means!. The world is very different from when we were growing up.

    Gender issues aren't new. They were hidden and not talked about - or people ended up mentally ill or worse because of the strain. At least now people can explore non-binary sexual identities as the grow into teenage years - or even younger now. Young people are not stupid. They know what they feel. If they need help and support to work through these issues wherever they might lead, we need to listen to them and support them and help them find help they need. Sadly waiting lists are long and the only gender counselling for under 18's in England is still in London at the Tavistock, with a long waiting list..

    As a leader, in my last youth group I had a young friend whom I supported. She could not tell anyone else in the church, except my husband and I what she was going through - not even her dad, to begin with. She knew she would be condemned and shunned and whispered about. So she dyed her hair different colours, then went goth, then dyed her hair again and then went black haired and psudo-Asian wearing non-sexual clothes. It worked, in the end people just accepted her as an oddball Christian young teen and she didn't have to explain that she was trying to work out who she was in gender terms

    Having gone through the horrors self-unacceptance, self-harming and even attempted suicide several times, it was certainly not a "passing phase" nor a "fashion statement". Fortunately her school were supportive, and her father eventually realised what she was going through was not just a mental health issue and she got good gender couselling. But had to wait for some time, so we took the strain to support her. She came through not as trans, which she thought she might be, but as a gloriously beautiful young gay woman.

    Because we didn't condemn she hasn't lost her Christian faith but she has not found a church in her area, with the kind of worship she likes that will accept her.
  • IkkyuIkkyu Shipmate
    edited June 25
    My son who is now 14 came out to us as transgender around 2 years ago. This happened after his stay at an inpatient Psychiatry unit for suicidal ideation. I have always considered myself open minded and never thought I would have any issues if my son came out as LGBTQ. But just the thinking on how difficult his life would be made me really sad. At first I was really counting on "Its just a phase". But even with my internal issues I started using his pronouns and chosen name. When it really hit me that this might be more than a "phase" was first attending a local support group for families of trangender kids. I heard stories of kids that were just like mine. I was half hoping that when I went there I would be able to say that my kid is completely different and I could discard that as a possibility. Another big moment was when he came out to his teachers in a meeting we had at the school in which he asked for his chosen name and pronouns to be used. He was very brave and articulate when he spoke and that also contributed to dispel many of my doubts. I have met several wonderful kids that are thriving while they are transitioning. The suicide rates for kids in this situation are heartbreaking and are a lot lower for those with supportive families. Of course one would want to follow the WPATH standards of care and make a well thought out plan that considers all issues carefully before starting any irreversible steps. He is sill dealing with lots of issues, being a teenager these days is not easy.
    But we have been able to accept him just as he is and I believe it is possible he would not be alive at this point if we had not.
  • WildHaggisWildHaggis Shipmate
    Thank you for sharing that. I wish more people were like you. You have had a tough journey but I'm sure that your son loves and appreciates you for the care and acceptance you have shown.
  • Good of you to comment Ikkyu. What I take, in part from it, which wasn't formed well in my mind is that there is probably a group of people for whom it is obvious and necessary. Then there is another group for which it might be possibly true, but may or may not be. I might also think as a continuum, where at one end are the certain. Or we may be discussing very different types of people.

    The problem I see is that for those in the confirmed group to be models for the not certain group may well be a problem, and the supporters of the well meaning confirming group may extend their support too soon and too assertively to the not certain.

    In the situation to which I refer, a young person announced just after adulthood age that gender was changed. All of a sudden. Bang, with new name and insistence on it being used with threats if not. No signs of anything at all. With psychiatric history of hospitalization, and may have been influenced within a first love relationship. And less than 3 months later, hormones. Even getting attention to previous unstable history which contains nothing about gender orientation is very difficulty because now legally adult. So our situation is entirely difference I think.
  • IkkyuIkkyu Shipmate
    While each person is different less than 3 months does not sound right to me. This probably damages the reputation of Providers that follow clear guidelines and give proper counseling
    to patients. And it feeds the arguments of those that would claim that any affirming treatment for transgender persons is wrong. The number of doctors willing to provide this care and properly trained to do so is a lot smaller than the need. At least were I live. Hopefully this will
    improve as more people successfully transition. More and better data is needed.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited June 25
    I'm also not finding myself agreeing that gender and biological sex are fully different. Obviously for the vast majority, they are coincident. So the the norm is they are the same. That's not necessarily to judge abnormal when they are different, but to say that they usually (normatively) coincide.

    Yes, they usually coincide. But it is also usual for people not to question their gender identity. If you ask the question "how many people who question their gender identity eventually decide that they are trans" then perhaps it's not so unlikely. I don't have the close experience that Ikkyu has, but I do have two young friends who are trans girls, and who I have known since before their transitions.

    You draw a distinction between your 1 "fully affirming" and 2 "watchful waiting" approaches that seems to give the idea that in 1 everyone is rushing under the surgeon's knife at the slightest whim. That really doesn't happen, especially in kids.

    I wouldn't want to be anything less than fully affirming, by which I mean accepting that when someone (child or adult) tells me that they feel a certain way, that they're honestly describing their feelings. Taking on a new name and new pronouns is a big step - it's not something that people do on a whim. Going to school, seeing all your friends, when you used to be Richard and now you're Rachel? Worrying how they're going to react? This is a big deal. Nobody decides they want to go through that lightly. So if your young relative decides that that's what they want, then what they need is support.

    And sure, sometimes people change their minds. That's OK. Names and pronouns can be changed. Puberty blockers, if those are on the cards, aren't permanent. "I thought I might be a woman but now I realize I'm not" isn't a shameful thing, and your job is to not imply that it is.

  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    Watching this thread with some interest and trying not to get distressed. I'm a trans woman.
  • IkkyuIkkyu Shipmate
    I agree fully with Leorning Cniht. I have seen no sign of rushing in the families I have interacted with. If anything the opposite is true, I have seen some people regret taking to long to be accepting. Another problem I see is lack of access to competent providers and lack of medical insurance support.
    I just remembered something I read about people that come out. It may seem surprising and new to you but it often takes months or years before people are able to get to the point of sharing it with you. I had not seen any sign before my son came out, but after the initial surprise I started remembering things that did not make sense previously that now do.
    For example he had been depressed so we were happy to go with him and a friend to a wave pool. Something he previously enjoyed, we figured that this would only help. To our surprise his mood dropped so far as to self-harm afterwards. Something that did not make sense to me
    at the time but now makes more sense if you take gender dysphoria into account.
  • In the situation to which I refer, a young person announced just after adulthood age that gender was changed. All of a sudden. Bang, with new name and insistence on it being used with threats if not. No signs of anything at all.

    Or just no signs to you?

    One of my trans friends spent six months discussing how she felt with her parents before she felt ready to come out as trans in public. And then she did, and so she had a new name and new pronouns, and of course we all immediately started using her new name. She, you will note, has supportive parents.

    You seem to be under the impression that calling someone by the name they prefer is somehow optional. Yes, of course it's a sudden change. Yesterday you called this person Richard, and now she wants to be called Rachel. What else do you expect - for her to be called Rachel for a couple of hours a day for a while? But it is not your choice. If your relative says that her name is Rachel, then you bloody well call her Rachel. She'll understand if you accidentally call her Richard and correct yourself, as long as you're making an effort to get it right, but you just don't get to say that it's too difficult for you, or that you're in the habit of calling her Richard and don't want to change, or even (and I hope this isn't the position you find yourself in) that you don't think she's serious, and so you're going to go on using male names and pronouns because you think you know better.

    This is not your decision. This is not a family decision. This is your relative's decision.

    You don't know how long your relative spent talking to friends about this issue. You are, perhaps, in a position to know how much they talked to their parents about it, and the impression I get from your comments is that the parents are opposed to the whole idea in general, and particularly in the case of their child. If that is the environment that the child has grown up in, then I'm not surprised that this transition came "all of a sudden" to you - if the child's parents are not prepared to be supportive, it's unlikely that they would seek support from more distant relatives.

  • In the situation to which I refer, a young person announced just after adulthood age that gender was changed. All of a sudden. Bang, with new name and insistence on it being used with threats if not. No signs of anything at all.

    Or just no signs to you?

    One of my trans friends spent six months discussing how she felt with her parents before she felt ready to come out as trans in public. And then she did, and so she had a new name and new pronouns, and of course we all immediately started using her new name. She, you will note, has supportive parents.

    You seem to be under the impression that calling someone by the name they prefer is somehow optional. Yes, of course it's a sudden change. Yesterday you called this person Richard, and now she wants to be called Rachel. What else do you expect - for her to be called Rachel for a couple of hours a day for a while? But it is not your choice. If your relative says that her name is Rachel, then you bloody well call her Rachel. She'll understand if you accidentally call her Richard and correct yourself, as long as you're making an effort to get it right, but you just don't get to say that it's too difficult for you, or that you're in the habit of calling her Richard and don't want to change, or even (and I hope this isn't the position you find yourself in) that you don't think she's serious, and so you're going to go on using male names and pronouns because you think you know better.

    This is not your decision. This is not a family decision. This is your relative's decision.

    You don't know how long your relative spent talking to friends about this issue. You are, perhaps, in a position to know how much they talked to their parents about it, and the impression I get from your comments is that the parents are opposed to the whole idea in general, and particularly in the case of their child. If that is the environment that the child has grown up in, then I'm not surprised that this transition came "all of a sudden" to you - if the child's parents are not prepared to be supportive, it's unlikely that they would seek support from more distant relatives.
    I don't think anyone should be trying to given advice in any specific situation. And you do not know the details because I've not disclosed them. So no, we're not in a position to do much of anything in terms of confirming or not confirming at this time, and we're dealing with a medical and counselling system which does what you suggest: immediately confirm everything. It isn't my decision to make anyhow. But I'll post a little detail so you get that your ideas may not apply always. It wouldn't be okay to accept financial planning nor legal advice either.

    I'm not the primary relative, and the primary relatives have been dealing with this young person's instability, manipulation and behaviour problems since school age. With an early developmental history in addition. We're talking violence to parents and then teachers as a young child, suspensions, eating problems, various forms of self harm in the context of "look at what I'm doing", apparent enjoyment of causing emotional upset in others etc. The mental health records (psychiatry, psychology and counselling) from before 3 months haven't anything within of trans. So I support the immediate family's skepticism and I don't think it is okay to apply some general principle of accepting everything to a specific case.
  • The mental health records (psychiatry, psychology and counselling) from before 3 months haven't anything within of trans. So I support the immediate family's skepticism and I don't think it is okay to apply some general principle of accepting everything to a specific case.

    I haven't been "trying to give advice" - unless you count things like me saying that you should call people by their chosen name as specific advice. It's not. That's completely general advice.

    I'm also addressing your absence of logic. You are complaining that you heard all-of-a-sudden about the relative being trans, as if this suddenness were unexpected. I claim that this is exactly expected. In general, no extended family of a trans person will hear about anything until the person is ready to go public, and at that point, there will exactly be a sudden new name and new pronouns. You're right - I don't know anything about the details of your relative's life, but you really can't infer anything from the fact that you weren't told.

    Now in your new post, you bring up your relative's extensive mental health history, with your suspicion that this claim to be trans might be another manipulative game they are playing. You claim that your relative's case is sufficiently unusual that general principles aren't useful.

    As you point out, we are not here to give specific advice, and we are certainly not here to attempt to analyse your relative third-hand. But if your relative is sufficiently unusual that you don't think general principles are helpful, then making them the focus of this (necessarily general) thread wasn't terribly helpful.

    I'm not going to attempt to engage with your relative's mental health history. That's not what we're here for. But again in general terms, if a young person has a poor relationship with their parents, and their parents are not likely to be supportive, then that young person isn't going to go to their parents for advice if they think they might be trans.

    What I would expect from a young person in such a position would be to seek advice and counsel from friends, from a school LGBT organization, perhaps from a supportive teacher, and not come out to their parents until they had a fully-formed plan. And I would expect such a coming-out to be angry and aggressive.

  • I certainly read a very directive acceptance idea from you Leorning Cniht: acceptance. At risks of offending at least 2 on this thread perhaps 3, I do not consider immediate acceptance without some inquiry as reasonable at all. About anything life changing. For goodness sake, we at least read the banns of marriage several times, and have a couple meet with the priest or minister, and we also wisely ask them to attend premarital courses and counselling. Why should this be so quick? I get from at least one who posted that it was explored and inquired, then confirmed. I also begin to understand that protocols may not be followed when this is mostly outside of the public system in our sadly defunded jurisdiction.

    My concerns certainly include the ease with which such a thing is confirmed. And what may be inadequate allowing of unconfirmed exploration by the very affirming and facilitating ideas such as you wrote Leorning Cniht. It seems to be precisely the sort of attitude that we've experienced as quickly promoted by the gender clinic people and a group of physicians. What they do may well be too much too soon for some while probably exactly what some others need. I detect a lack of discernment about it, non-scientific and political advocacy, and too little assessment about the specifics of the individuals who express it. I am willing to localize this, and see that it is perhaps a flaw in the system where we are. But it is at the level of complaint to ask if it is reasonable to consider all people as the same re an expression of being transgender, and to assert that it is unwise to do so, without taking into account the specifics of the individual. Not everyone is the same are they? My concern is systemic, and concern that a meme has caught the imagination and then if we question we are told to not do so, and we fear the term "transphobic".
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    There's a link to Canadian standards of care here. If you think the people treating your relative were seriously offside the SOC in your relative's case, that would be a discussion worth having with someone.

    I know that transgender has not been in the public mind for that long, but the clinical experience behind the SOC goes back for decades, and is based on certain amount of clinical trial and error. As I've said here before, the clinical consensus on these issues is not the product of what some oddball gender theorist came up with last year, despite what some people in the media would like you to believe. There are a lot of people on all sides of the political spectrum with ideological axes to grind against transgender people and unfortunately even media that I would consider "quality" media are often all too happy to give them a soapbox.

  • The other thing to consider is that someone who is "acting out" or demonstrating challenging behaviour is trying to communicate something. That something is usually that they are self destructing as they are not happy with themselves - in my world it's often a signal that that young person has been abused in some way. In other young people it is that they are unable to express their needs as they have speech and language difficulties. In others it can be that their sexuality or gender identity is the source of the dis-ease.
  • It's an interesting point about a meme that has caught the public imagination. However, in my limited experience treatment of various kinds saves lives, and makes lives happier. In fact, if your child is insisting on a trans identity, are parents really going to say no to this? That may well turn a crisis into a catastrophe.

    As already said, I've never heard of such speeded up treatment. In the UK, it's very doubtful if anyone could go to a doctor or clinic, and receive immediate treatment.

    I'm also very conscious of tabloid distortions about trans people, well, downright hostility. I'm also wary of anecdotes.
  • I forgot to say that I'm reminded of initial reactions to gays and lesbians coming out, which included fear, distaste, hostility, as well as of course, acceptance by many.
  • Marsupial wrote: »
    There's a link to Canadian standards of care here. If you think the people treating your relative were seriously offside the SOC in your relative's case, that would be a discussion worth having with someone.
    Those don't appear to be standards per se. Looks like an association's guidelines. Health is provincially regulated in Canada. Which makes standards across the country troublesome it seems.
    I forgot to say that I'm reminded of initial reactions to gays and lesbians coming out, which included fear, distaste, hostility, as well as of course, acceptance by many.
    Isn't there a profound difference? Medication and medical procedures being a particularly significant one. Not thinking this is an apt analogy. There's certainly information about people living as non-biological gender over history and in various cultures, with the significant change today being the access to things that will medically change what's going on physiologically in the body, and surgical structural changes. I'm also not pleased that inquiry seems to be categorized as hostile "transphobia" by some.
  • Well, an analogy is not meant to agree in all aspects. If it did, it wouldn't be an analogy. I'm just saying that transphobia reminds me of homophobia.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    There's a difference between trans and gay, to be sure. The public reaction in this country is much the same, with the exception that there is a not-tiny proportion of Lesbians who are transphobic as well. The "medical" thing seems to slip by the haters' radar.
  • It's interesting that homosexuality was considerably medicalized for a period, and various gruesome remedies given, but there are obvious differences from trans. I suppose people have largely stopped trying to cure gays, although not in some countries.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    There's a difference between trans and gay, to be sure. The public reaction in this country is much the same, with the exception that there is a not-tiny proportion of Lesbians who are transphobic as well.
    Not just in America. I'd add that, in my experience, there are a significant amount af gay men that are not positive towards trans. The alphabet soup designation of non-cis, non straight people is unified only in concept. It is not completely homogeneous in its thinking. Though, I would say that this is generational and changing.



  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The alphabet soup designation of non-cis, non straight people is unified only in concept. It is not completely homogeneous in its thinking.

    Which I think is as should be expected. Just because two people are both (say) gay, doesn't mean they're going to agree on everything having to do with being gay, let alone the whole alphabet soup. One would however think that someone who has been on the ugly end of discrimination and hate would have compassion and understanding for another person at the ugly end of a different (but closely related) hate.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    One would however think that someone who has been on the ugly end of discrimination and hate would have compassion and understanding for another person at the ugly end of a different (but closely related) hate.
    Yeah, one would. But the LGBT+ crowd are as racist as the straits, gay men as sexist, feminists as racist and homophobic, PoC can be racist towards other PoC, etc.
    Humans can reason, but we are not reasonable.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Those don't appear to be standards per se. Looks like an association's guidelines. Health is provincially regulated in Canada. Which makes standards across the country troublesome it seems.

    I could be wrong, but I don't think governments generally legislate standards for treating specific health issues. It's a question of professional medical judgment. The WPATH standards linked to in the page I linked to are established by the international professional organization for health professionals who serve trans clients. They should give you some sense of whether what's happening locally in your case is consistent with international practice.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Though if you are Googling for the document you should look for version 7, which is the most recent version. The Canadian professional organization appears to now endorse version 7 even though they are still linking to version 6 for some reason.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I believe the only proper response to an individual who declares themselves transgender is " Great!" Unless someone has had an obvious psychotic break, I don't consider it my place to question their self-identity. I understand that others may not agree.
  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    Just popping up here to observe that cis people wondering whether they should believe us when we finally tell them our real gender, is a factor in our delaying that until we've suffered significant mental health damage. I admit to considerable discomfort with this thread, watching as it is a lot of cis people discussing trans rights, trans medical treatment and so on. Thanks for the support from those on the thread that get it. To those who are advocating deadnaming or who think that treatment is too fast (really, don't make me laugh), I offer a voice of experience. You are part of the problem.
  • WildHaggis wrote: »
    We are in a sexualised world like it or not. I have seen some of my Reception class pupils in the last 10 years dancing very provocatively and using sexualised langauge - and knowing what it means!. The world is very different from when we were growing up.

    Just to flag this one - age inappropriate sexualised behaviour or knowledge are red flags for recognising sexual abuse in young children.

    Information from the NSPCC

  • I certainly read a very directive acceptance idea from you Leorning Cniht: acceptance. At risks of offending at least 2 on this thread perhaps 3, I do not consider immediate acceptance without some inquiry as reasonable at all. About anything life changing. For goodness sake, we at least read the banns of marriage several times, and have a couple meet with the priest or minister, and we also wisely ask them to attend premarital courses and counselling. Why should this be so quick?

    But who says it is quick, and why is it your place to undertake an inquiry?

    The trans folks I know spent at least several months figuring out what was going on with them, and didn't go public with any of this until they had it figured out. Until they came out, nobody knew anything except for their trusted confidantes and advisors. For the rest of us, it was very sudden. Suddenly Richard doesn't exist but Rachel does. I'm confused as to why you would expect anything different.
    "it was explored and inquired, then confirmed."

    "the ease with which such a thing is confirmed. And what may be inadequate allowing of unconfirmed exploration by the very affirming and facilitating ideas such as you wrote Leorning Cniht."

    Ah, the passive voice. Such a convenient tool.

    But let's settle a few other things. A person asking to be called by a different name and to have different pronouns used for them is not the end of a process of exploration - it is a part of it. Most people, by the time they reach that stage, don't go back. Some do - and that's OK. A name and pronoun change is completely reversible. Hormones have not completely reversible effects, depending on how long you take them and which ones. Surgery is obviously permanent. Although at this point I should also mention that not taking hormones (and so continuing to age under the influence of the hormones that accompany your biological sex) also has long-term effects, particularly in adolescents and young adults whose bodies are still altering. You don't get a time-out.
    But it is at the level of complaint to ask if it is reasonable to consider all people as the same re an expression of being transgender, and to assert that it is unwise to do so, without taking into account the specifics of the individual. Not everyone is the same are they? My concern is systemic, and concern that a meme has caught the imagination and then if we question we are told to not do so, and we fear the term "transphobic".

    No, of course everyone isn't the same. Most people aren't trans at all, some people identify as agender or nonbinary, and some people indentify as transgender. Given that we don't know what causes transgenderism, it's hard to say whether these are all part of the same thing, and trans is a spectrum, or whether these are similar but distinct things.

    I'm not asking you to "consider all people as the same re an expression of being transgender". I am asking you to call people by the name that they ask to be called by. If someone asks to be called Rachel, is it really so much to ask for you to try and not call them Richard?

    I am also suggesting that you are not the judge of someone else's identity. The person best placed to know how they feel is the person with the feelings. This is true for everything - it's not specific to transgenderism. In some cases, their feelings might be clear to them. In other cases, they might not, and they might need extensive counselling in order to understand them. Both of these are OK. A person's feelings are their own - they do not require external validation from some kind of feelings police.

    And yes, I quite firmly believe that the first step in interacting with another human is to believe them when they tell you about how they are feeling.
  • This all seems obvious in a way. How can I tell someone else what they are feeling, or what their identity is? It's both absurd and tyrannical. But then prejudice and bigotry are not too fussed about interfering in this way; and the bigots often dress up their negativity with fake concern and a forest of straw men.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    edited June 27
    Grayface wrote: »
    I admit to considerable discomfort with this thread, watching as it is a lot of cis people discussing trans rights, trans medical treatment and so on.

    I was going to ask after your previous post if you'd feel comfortable specifying what is distressing about this discussion, and this answers my question. The thing is, your answer, the very existence of the discussion itself, hadn't come to my mind. Perhaps it should have. Men discussing, nay, deciding what healthcare women in my country get to have, white people discussing whether people of color are truly experiencing discrimination, straight people questioning why gay people need to have their own parades and complaining about gay people being so "in your face" when they're holding hands in public -- I get why those things are crazy and infuriating. So now I get to expand my understanding to include cis people discussing trans rights and medical treatment, i.e., what trans people can do with their own bodies. Duh. I'm a fool.

    Without discussions, though, I'll remain a fool. You may need to look away while some of us cis people make asses of ourselves, flailing around trying to figure this out. I accidently misgendered an old friend at his wedding reception. He blew right past it like it hadn't happened and I was grateful, but one way or another I need to wrap my head around this if I'm going to be a decent friend to him and a decent ally to trans people.
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