What the New York Times gets wrong about detransitioning
The newspaper is painting a one-sided picture
Yesterday, the New York Times ran a hit piece on a handful of young detransitioners who have been criss-crossing the United States to speak out about their experiences on the wrong end of “gender-affirming care”.
If taken seriously, detransition threatens the very foundation of “gender-affirming care” — because if patients can be mistaken, then clinicians can harm. The experiences of detransitioners like Chloe Cole clearly show the need for careful evaluation — gatekeeping, in other words — and the risk that affirming a patient’s fluctuating sense of identity with irreversible interventions like hormones and surgeries can pose. That’s why clinicians, researchers and, yes, reporters who are committed to affirmation spend more time and energy waging war on detransitioners, rather than reforming their approach to working with gender-questioning patients to prevent medical harm and regret.
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High-quality research on detransitioning is hard to come by. Most studies that follow patients long enough to capture regret focus on an entirely different patient population (adult males who transitioned after undergoing intensive clinical screening) and tell us next to nothing about how today’s crop of trans-identifying patients — dominated by adolescent girls — will fare. The research that exists suffers from high loss-to-follow-up and researchers go out of their way to bury or muddle inconvenient findings.
Dutch researchers decided to lump all changes of patient self-identification together — from “nonbinary” to “elf” to “human” to “detransitioner” — under the heading of patients experiencing “multiple attenuations” of gender identity. This means that there is no detransition head count, and enables researchers to focus on the creativity and diversity of gender identifications their research subjects adopted, while minimising evidence of regret. Some researchers point to studies of people who currently identify as transgender to argue that detransition is rare — and temporary — and that the solution to detransition is more affirmation, not less. Some claim that detransitioners were never trans in the first place. Others insist that detransitioners still fall under the trans umbrella today (so much for self-identification!).
Affirming clinicians increasingly speak of “gender fluidity”, “gender journeys” and “dynamic desires for gender-affirming interventions” (a near-perfect ideological specimen but, alas, a real mouthful). Thomas Steensma and Annelou De Vries, who champion early interventions like puberty suppression for gender-questioning kids, disparage the concept of “regret” as “too binary”. “[R]egret is a complex and heterogeneous concept,” according to some of the United States’ leading gender clinicians. When asked about the possibility of her patients regretting the decision to transition in the future, Johanna Olson-Kennedy mused:
Or maybe a patient had her breasts removed — at the tender age of 15, say, like the main character in the New York Times’ story — but “if you want breasts at a later point in your life, you can go and get them.” Clinicians rebrand “detransition” as “retransition”, an attempt to portray transition — which involves intervening on a healthy body in ways that introduce injury and induce an endocrine condition — and detransition as ethical equivalents, rather than acknowledge the possibility of medical harm.
The reality is that an unknown but growing number of young patients regret pharmaceutical and surgical interventions they received under an affirmative-care model that does not take the possibility of medical harm, regret, and detransition seriously.
Affirming clinicians, researchers, and their allies in the press want to protect the anything-goes model of care at all costs. But transport the problem of medical harm and regret from “gender-affirming care” to any other area of medicine and the abuse detransitioners attract stands out starkly. This is how Scientologists treat Suppressive Persons, not how medicine treats patients harmed by its practitioners.
Detransitioners will be suppressed at all costs. They must be, since they are walking, blinking, neon signs that say “REALITY EXISTS”.
Postmodernism requires reality to be a “social construct”. Our words aren’t describing an objective reality (that’s what Plato’s cave is all about) but are creating a subjective reality (essentially a shared delusion). If words create reality, then talking about detransitioners destroys reality for other trans people. When they say you’re “committing violence against them with your words”, they mean it, and by their own warped philosophy, it’s actually true.
If this strikes you as insane, that’s because it is. But the social construction of reality is literally the corner foundation stone of postmodernism, so the hill must be defended at all costs. Even if that means castrating children and refusing to acknowledge the regrets of those who grow out of their “identity”.
” When they say you’re “committing violence against them with your words”, they mean it, and by their own warped philosophy, it’s actually true.”
Spot on. Disagreement with their theories about themselves is existential death to them. The problem is that people who don’t understand this hear their claims of “we’re being killed!” and terms like “trans genocide” and think it’s literally true, and therefore they need to be allowed to set the agenda.
You’d like to what – starve yourself to death in search of your idea of the perfect body?NO. You have a mental health condition.
You’d like to what – self-induce repeated vomiting until your stomach ruptures? NO. You have a mental health condition.
You want to what – cause irreparable damage by chemically halting puberty, and then cut your body to pieces? YEAH, okay, then.
The world has gone mad.
Yes, the world has gone mad. But the trick is to explain where the ‘madness’ line should be drawn – and why. “You’d like to what – insert male genitals into the lower intestinal track?” “No, you have a mental condition,” or “Yeah OK then” – and why? If suddenly medical outcomes are going to be our guide to human sexuality, a whole lot is going to have to change.
We must take this back to the very beginning. We have to stop using the term trans and transitioning. You cannot transition full stop. Using these terms in public gives children the idea that you can transition. These are men who think they are women and these girls think they are boys. Most likely fetishes for the men and social contagion for the girls. Like they are forcing their language on us we must resist and use the language of truth. This is pure and simple child abuse caused by a mental health disorder in men, homophobia and sexual deviency.
Too late for that, I fear.
I am grateful for this post. Until now I had not seen that the very word “trans” must not be allowed by “trans-skeptics”. For of course, we reject the very possibility of transition when we see that there are only two sexes, and one cannot change from one to the other. So we implicitly deny the conceptual possibility of the T in LGBT.
Misuse of language is their instrument and weapon. Don’t use that weapon against yourself– it’s bad enough when they do.
It’s not so “pure and simple” as you suggest. Of current referrals to gender clinics, around 50 percent are autistic children with social difficulties, who have been confused and misled by gender indoctrination in schools. And around 70 percent of those would otherwise develop as gay or lesbian, allowed to go through puberty. Most of these children are bullied at school for being “different”. And social contagion, via social media, completes the process. Children with gender dysphoria also suffer a high rate of comorbidities: typically up to five other conditions like anxiety, depression, eating disorders. These are most often correlated with bullying at school or at home, being fostered, adopted or coming from children’s homes, or from physically, emotionally ir sexually abusive homes or from homes with drug or alcohol addiction.
These comorbidities are usually not addressed given a “gender-affirming” attitude, so they persist after transition. They are not addresssed partly as there is also a four years long waiting list for gender clinic on the NHS Child & Adult Mental Health service.
There is also increasing evidence of the influence of online pornography in creating or confirming male autogynephilia aka “tranvestic fetishism” for whom self-ideation as a woman and cross dressing has traditionally contributed half of the “trans” population, with homophobia creating the other half. Exposure to “sissy porn” of “forced feminisation” as a sado-masochistic or bondage category is often quoted by AGPs as the cause of their affliction.
Interesting insights in a Swedish documentary called ‘Regretters’ featuring two men discussing their sex changes and reversals – Netflix. I am more than uneasy with the current (quick and easy) approach to transitioning of young people and although this film is a cautionary tale featuring two mature adults, it nevertheless confirms my wider concerns.
You may be interested in *the Trans Train and Teenage Girls*, also from Sweden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDV-ZL6-Gu0
Showing this film to girls here made them change their minds about wanting to transition. This leads me to believe that they had developed a false idea of what a transition would mean, probably from the internet.
Many thanks for the link and I will definitely watch it. You are not alone in the belief that the rush to transition immature minds is dangerous and a future scandal waiting to happen.But do the activists care? It seems not!”
Perhaps the rush to transition mature minds is also dangerous and a future scandal waiting to happen. Perhaps the mental illness that expresses itself as gender dysphoria – even in full-grown adults – is not curable ‘from the outside.’
The way adults treat children says a lot about society IMO. That we even consider performing life altering and unnecessary medical interventions on children is a disturbing and horrific recent development. Whether it’s genital mutilations or Covid vaccines, adults are routinely betraying children to further their political or personal agendas. It’s another crack in the foundation that supports the west. How many cracks before it all falls apart?
Chloe Cole herself does a compelling takedown on Twitter of the NYT hit piece.
As do all the popular comments below the article – with up to 1,000 upticks each. At least they allowed comments this time – in the last few years the NYT and Guardian almost always turn off comments on the subject (and similar woke topics), no doubt as they present inconvenient truths that deflate the writer/paper’s grandstanding.
Guardian Australia always removes comments that fail to affirm the TQ agenda.
Do you have a link? I can’t find it.
Check out Chloe Cole …. Posted 2 days ago. Thread starts “I AM BRINGING THE RECEIPTS”.
Thank you that was really interesting, clicked through to read a few articles as well – so young and such a great writer already! She is clearly a fantastic advocate for young de-transitioners and the amount of abuse she receives is just disgusting!
The so called progressives once raged against FGM. Now they advocate universal gender mutilation. The world has gone mad.
Many “so called progressives” are appalled BOTH by female genital mutilation — which continues to cause untold misery, deaths and lifelong medical problems — AND by current gender-affirming “care” mutilation. Political parties on the left might have been captured by the gender cult, but that means many of us cannot remain members or vote for them any longer. But the trouble with voting Tory is all their OTHER policies. So we are disenfranchised.
“Affirming clinicians, researchers, and their allies in the press want to protect the anything-goes model of care at all costs. ”
I can almost live with it, as this is their job and business model.
What I can’t sympathise with are the pious governments who are pretty much saying the same things – being too scared to say otherwise.
The Hippocratic oath sums up what these so called doctors should be doing:
“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know.
Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.
Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter.
May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”
Trouble is, do all doctors take the Hippocratic oath these days? They do not in UK If one is to believe the many recent strikers challenged by the public as to whether their actions were breaking the oath.
What motivates adolescents to transition is complex. What motivates trans activists is no doubt often noble. But what motivates surgeons to perform irreversible interventions, not based on any evidence of their effectiveness?
Perhaps they will lose their jobs and get cancelled if they refuse?
I’m sure money plays some modest role, but surgeons competent enough to perform these complex surgeries have other potential revenue streams. No, what motivates surgeons is the same ideological confusion that motivates the activists, throwing out the notion of a created order and fully embracing the lie that ‘we are masters of our fate.’ No, we are born into times and places and relationships – and bodies – that determine a great deal of our lives.
Didn’t Elvis have a song ” Return to gender”?
A Dress Unknown
No Such Person
No Such Clone
It doesn’t matter if they are all as happy as clams without functioning adult bodies. As with the old style lobotomies, it is immoral to remove their free will to choose their fate, which you undoubtedly do if they are not competent adults which they can only become if their puberty is not blocked. Everything about this ideology is inverted. It is marketed as an expression of self, of a child’s free will, but the moment that needle goes into an 11 year olds arm, his free will is lost. He’s been checked into Hotel California & he can never leave.
The idea can a woman who had breasts removed as a teenager can reverse the process through silicon implants shows what this is about – money.
Our culture is far too focused on mechanistic “solutions”, outwardly visible changes that demonstrate that “something was done”. Motion replacing action. No value is given to approaches that are outwardly invisible, but focus on the psychological and spiritual, even though those approaches go to the root of the problem.
But psychological and spiritual solutions are not open to quantification; quality control here is inevitably based on peer expert evaluation. Since we see evaluations not based on quantifications as unscientific, there are in fact no evaluations, and quacks have open season.
Common sense is actually a valuable commodity.
Was it just me or was the article jibberish?
Enough of this drivel unheard!!!!
You think that the brainwashing, puberty suppression, hormone treatment and surgical mutilation of children is ‘drivel’? Wow. What would you consider to be newsworthy?
To be fair, their insistence on the topic would make you think that the trans debate is *the* single most important issue in the UK and elsewhere at the moment. While certainly relevant, this subject doesn’t justify the daily articles preaching to the convert (mostly repeating themselves at this point). In the absence of anything new to say on this matter, I’d personally welcome a change of subject for a few days.
I agree that there are bigger issues, the housing crisis for one. How are people taking the impossibility of living under their own roofs, rented or bought, lying down?
However the trans issue is one of the rings of the circus of distraction that they use to keep Madame Guillotine at bay and is doing enormous permanent damage to these children, as is the pornography industry, the drop off in actual education as in teaching kids how, not what, to think, and the instability of family life. In short, the internet.
We have created at least two generations of thrown away lives and there is no end in sight.
It is the single most important issue in the UK and the entire world.
Not only because of its direct consequences but of what comes with it.
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