CITIZEN SCIENCE - Gender identity: don't look away
Last year, under cover of the conversion therapy bill, the gender affirming care model was enshrined in law as the only clinically acceptable approach to treating young people who identify as trans. While it has not yet been tested in law, it is now essentially illegal not to immediately “affirm” that a young person is the opposite sex if they tell you so. It is illegal to be curious, to say “let’s hold off for a while and explore why you feel the need to think that.” It’s transphobic, you see.
Norway recently became the latest country to reject the gender affirming care model on the basis that it is unevidenced, experimental, physically largely irreversible, and that there is likely to be an element of social contagion in the growing number of adolescents identifying as trans. It joined Sweden, Finland and the UK in the past year alone. The main gender clinics in the Netherlands and France have publicly stated that they are taking a much more precautionary approach to the treatment of gender dysphoria.
In New Zealand we have adopted an extreme form of gender affirming care. Young people over the age of 16 don’t even have to have gender dysphoria to receive cross sex hormones and surgeries, it is enough for them to merely identify as trans because it is no longer classified as a mental health problem – that is pathologising and transphobic.
If you subscribe to gender identity ideology, trans is an innate attribute like same sex attraction. Never mind that gays and lesbians don’t need to take a single pill or alter their bodies in any way to be attracted to whomever they like. Same sex attraction is not a mind state or an internal conception of the self, it is a physical reaction of desire.
The conflating of gay and lesbian sexuality with gender identity is a false teaming designed to obscure its flimsy and frankly ridiculous underpinnings in a mash up of critical theory, political radicalism, fetishism, mental illness and social contagion. This false teaming of the L,G and B with the TQ and all their implausible rainbow cousins is taught uncritically in schools and is confusing many same sex attracted young people into believing they are actually of the opposite sex, and instead of growing up as healthy, bodily intact gays and lesbians they are becoming sterile lifelong medical patients. If you are afraid of your sexuality, which is common for same sex attracted teenagers, the idea that you were born in the wrong body is a seductive refuge.
Around thirty percent of young people who identify as trans are autistic, a much higher proportion than in the general population, but this is also not regarded as a reason to hold off on giving them cross sex hormones and chopping off their healthy body parts if they say that’s what they want. It is apparently discriminatory towards the neurodiverse community to recognise their well-documented developmental delay and black-and-white thinking.
It gets even worse. In New Zealand, 16 year olds are able to start on cross sex hormones without their parents’ knowledge or consent if they refuse to “affirm” their child’s gender identity (and in “exceptional circumstances” even under 16). Parents are evaluated in struggle sessions with ideologue psychologists, and if they refuse to submit they are shut out of the clinical conversation. More often than not, these parents just believe that the denial of material reality cannot be a healthy response to their child’s misery, or just want to give them time to grow up before going down such a drastic road, or think (with growing evidence) that kids are doing it because their friends are. But after a literal tick-box GP referral, teenagers can go down to your local hospital and get chemically sterilised after three appointments with a gender affirming clinical psychologist, who then refers them to an endocrinologist for medical assessment and prescription. That is it.
The vast majority of gender critical parents, as they are known, are not abusers in any normally recognised sense of the word, but because the clinical pathway cannot accommodate non-subscribers to the ideology, they and all their intimate knowledge are shut out of their child’s medical “care”. Parents find themselves in the devastating situation of living with girls whose voices have dropped and who are growing beards, boys who are growing breasts, after being silenced and damned as bigots. They are still their children’s legal guardians until 18 but they are unable to protect them from foreclosing on their future fertility and health. This estrangement is instigated and perpetuated by an ecosystem of trans cheerleaders online, in schools, and in the entirely captured psychology professions.
And now there is literally no regulatory mechanism to prevent any teenager over the age of 16 from medically transitioning not in response to any clinically diagnosable illness, but to realise their often very recently perceived “identity” – a thing that resides entirely in their imagination.
England’s gender identity service (known as the Tavistock Centre) is closing down after the interim report of the Cass Review – an enquiry into the treatment of gender dysphoria – found that it was ideologically captured and clinically unsafe, and heaven knows what the full review will reveal when it is published later this year. Now British journalist Hannah Barnes has written a book, Time to Think, revealing the extent of the damage done at the Tavistock. It was rejected by 22 publishers but is currently in the top ten best sellers in the UK, despite not being stocked by many bookshops because apparently it is transphobic to investigate this massive medical misadventure. Nevertheless, the British Medical Journal recently published an article raising the alarm on the lack of an evidence base for these drastic interventions into adolescents’ bodies and minds. All over the world the risks and the evidence of harm are being openly discussed, action is being taken, but not here.
We don’t know how many young people are on puberty blockers or cross sex hormones in New Zealand because the Ministry of Health is not keeping track and our fourth estate is refusing to investigate. But citizen journalist Laura Lopez (substack: Arguments with Friends) has painstakingly gathered information from DHBs that indicates they are prescribing puberty blockers at more than ten times the rate of the UK. And that’s just puberty blockers.
One of these days this will all end in a public enquiry like the recent one into the abuse of children in care, because child abuse is exactly what it is. It is truly astonishing to witness the act of collective denial and silencing that is enabling it to happen. To everyone who prefers to think it’s none of your business because it doesn’t affect you personally: Don’t look away.
Citizen Science is a pseudonym