As a transsexual woman, I have been accused of betraying the trans ‘community’, just because I oppose Safe Schools. I didn’t leave the trans ‘community’, rather, the ‘community’ left me. They left me, once I realised that the trans activists have taken the ‘community’ for a postmodernist ride to attempt to socially normalise and cultural demedicalise gender dysphoria in Western society.
Like all wild joyrides, this one will end in a car crash. It’s not a matter of if, but when, because this joyride has given rise to the pending car crash known as rapid-onset gender dysphoria or ROGD. This is why I oppose Safe Schools. This is why I am disturbed by the valourisation and glamourisation of trans people, especially trans children, whether in the mainstream or social media.
ROGD describes apparent dysphoria where “teens and tweens suddenly [come] out as transgender without a prior history of discomfort with their sex”, and where the “young person’s coming out as transgender is often preceded by increased social media use and/or having one or more peers also come out as transgender”. This has coincided with the recent, and strangely exponential, increase in the number of children and teenagers seeking medical treatment for gender dysphoria. Doesn’t this sound a bit like the Recovered Memory Syndrome and Multiple Personality Disorder social contagions of the 1990s?
And yet they say we need Safe Schools, the same indoctrination program that’s inflated the percentage of the general adolescent population who identify as transgender from 1.2 per cent to four per cent. The 1.2 per cent figure is questionable, and for Safe Schools to then teach that one in twenty-five children are transgender is laughable. To the best of my knowledge, of all the 200-and-something kids in my grade in high school who turned out to be trans, I’m the only one. Inflating the 1.2 per cent figure is an attempt to justify Safe Schools for grooming schoolkids to ‘transtrend’, which trivialises gender dysphoria. It is clear that the social engineers behind Safe Schools and similar programs are happy to see my medical condition go contagious — the thought of that is sickening.
And what has been the mainstream healthcare response to this phenomenon? Today’s psychotherapeutic practice involves “immediate affirmation of a young person’s self-diagnosis, which often leads to support for social and even medical transition”. Not what I would call psychotherapy proper, and such affirmation practices have limited scientific evidence to show for it. Of course, adults and children with genuine and acute gender dysphoria have existed arguably since time immemorial (think Elagabalus), but as was the case decades ago, real gender dysphoria is rare, and the Great Gender Dysphoria Inflation is harmful.
Most harmful is the push for trans children to be allowed to have gender transition-related surgeries under the age of 16, noting that the minimum legal age for smoking, drinking and voting in Australia is 18. It’s also worth mentioning that conventionally, trans teenagers, don’t start on cross-sex hormones until the age of 16. But the unfortunate reality is that there is also the push for these teenagers to be allowed access to those hormones at the age below the minimum age of sexual consent. This is happening all whilst the scientific jury on the safeness and reversibility of puberty blockers to ‘buy time’ is still out.
The truth is, puberty can cause body discomfort for teenagers in general, so this isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to gender dysphoria. And probably the most inconvenient truth for the trans activists to swallow is that for a myriad of underlying reasons, many children with apparent gender dysphoria can grow out of it precisely because their dysphoria was not real to begin with — this truth is supported by the official bible of psychiatry, DSM-V. Such conditions may relate to social awkwardness, homosexuality, anxiety, depression, self-harming, anorexia, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder.
In my teenage years, I had at least one of these underlying conditions. In hindsight, it was the result of my gender dysphoria, that my dysphoria was not masking another problem that’s real. But that’s just me, and unfortunately not every gender dysphoria patient out there avoid disaster. Since at least 70 percent of people with gender dysphoria also experience psychiatric comorbidity at some point, prudence must trump rashness, because sometimes hindsight is just too late to unravel the damage done. There was a time when the gender dysphoria diagnosis was well guarded against misuse to deal with unrelated pain and distress. The 1998 Harry Benjamin Standards of Care states reasonably that:
Adolescents should be dealt with conservatively because gender identity development can rapidly and unexpectedly evolve. They should be followed, provided psychotherapeutic support, educated about gender options, and encouraged to pay attention to other aspects of their social, intellectual, vocational, and interpersonal development. Because an adolescent shift toward gender conformity can occur primarily to please the family, it may not persist or reflect a permanent change in gender identity. Clinical follow-up is encouraged.
Adolescents may be eligible for beginning triadic therapy as early as age 18, preferably with parental consent. Parental consent presumes a good working relationship between the mental health professional and the parents, so that they, too, fully understand the nature of the GID. In many European countries 16 to 18 year-olds are legal adults for medical decision making, and do not require parental consent.
The age at which adolescents who consistently maintain an unwavering desire to live permanently in the opposite gender role should be permitted to begin the real life experience or hormonal therapy is 18 years.
Today’s trans activists would deride this common-sense healthcare approach as transphobic. Maybe it is transphobic, but a 20-year-old document could do with an update without throwing common-sense and family values out the window. But alas, the postmodernist approach is now the establishment it seems, and the trans activists expect me to be part of this new establishment. “It’s 2018, and you must defend the new establishment we’ve built for you using Safe Schools and the like”, they say to me (paraphrase). I will not acquiesce, however, because my transgender contagion must come to a grinding halt.
There are many good reasons why Australian parents must win back their right to protect their children from Safe Schools, but the transgender contagion reason gets little airplay. I’m not in the healthcare profession, and many in the same profession are afraid of speaking out about my contagion, almost as if the trans activists have them on their payroll. Will you support me and my petition to stop my transgender contagion?
Libby DownUnder is in her early thirties, and she transitioned to female in her early twenties. This article orginally appeared in the Spectator Australia where she is also a contributor.