The Anti-trans Cabal

Why the anti-trans cabal should stop interfering in the lives of others.

Stephanie Davies-Arai of Transgender Trend, a leading light of the anti-trans cabal movement.Why is it that people with little or no knowledge or experience of transgender people, especially transgender children see fit to try and bully these children and their parents into conforming to their view of transgender people’s lives? A prime example of this is Stephanie Davies-Arai, who is a sculptor by profession – but with no training in psychiatry, psychology, endocrinology or any of the other areas of clinical skills needed to assess and help these children. She runs a hate website called Transgender Trend aimed at shaming and harming transgender children and their parents. Davies-Arai claims on her LinkedIn profile that she is an expert on bullying and gives talks on anti-bullying – however she is very fond of trying to bully parents into preventing their child from transitioning and has accused the parents of child abuse when they do. This coming from somebody with no formal qualifications in psychology or child welfare is in itself tantamount to bullying. She also boasts about her “communication skills” – but when has she ever communicated or listened to the voices of the parents that she consistently abuses, or indeed, the medical experts?

The anti-trans cabal go on radio and television and in the print media to promulgate their hatred, often quoting (and misquoting) scientific studies that they don’t understand (well, that is the kindest interpretation) as they are interpreting the researchers results in ways that are opposite to what the actual research found.

Take the Desistance figures which they are so fervent in quoting (they quote 80% of children desist from transitioning at, or shortly after puberty), when more modern studies show nothing like that rate. The earlier studies from which they quote did not separate out those children with gender dysphoria from those who were simply displaying gender non-conforming behaviour, or who were simply gender creative. Those studies also included children who stopped attending the clinic doing the studies as desisting – when in actual fact they could simply have moved to a different location and it was no longer convenient to travel large distances to the clinic. Children might also have dropped out because even just 10 years ago, parents and schools were still very much ignorant of transgender children and bullying was even more prevalent than it is today. So children could have changed back to live in their birth assigned sex simply because they did not have the fortitude to deal with the bullying. No studies have been done to see if they came back into the system when they were older. Another factor which they completely ignore is that because of the time that these studies were done, the sample size of the children in the studies was extremely small – meaning that they were probably statistically insignificant.

One of the psychiatrists who they are fond of quoting is Kenneth Zucker who used techniques which are now regarded as reparative therapy, which has been condemned by all the major bodies of psychology and psychiatry in the UK and other parts of the world. However, even Dr. Zucker (unlike some in the anti-trans cabal) conceded that if gender dysphoria was still present at puberty, the child would invariably continue and seek GnRH agonist blockers (to block puberty) and then later on at the age of 16+ would seek cross-sex hormones and later on still (at ages of 18+) would want surgery to correct their bodies – but they conveniently ignore this bit.
The anti- trans cabal’s rhetoric is always:-

  1. Think of the child – 80% grow out of it
  2. If they want to do it when they are adults, OK, but not children
  3. You shouldn’t be treating children with life changing drugs and surgeries
  4. This is child abuse

The 80% desistance myth has already been discounted.

They can’t have it both ways – trans women are accused of being men and one of the reasons is that we have grown up with male privilege and have not had to endure a lifetime of patriarchy. However, this reason becomes non-viable for children who transition young.

The third point is – this is simply not done. Blockers may be given in certain circumstances (after a prolonged period of consultation and observation) – but these are fully reversible and have been used to treat precocious puberty in children since the early 1980’s. Body changing hormones are not given to children, they might be prescribed in certain circumstances once the child is 16 and no surgery is performed until the child is an adult (at the age of 18+). The media talks about giving these children “powerful, dangerous body changing drugs”, failing to understand that these exact same chemicals have been circulating around every person’s body since humankind first descended from the trees to walk upright across the plains of Africa and then onwards to populate the whole of the planet.

If the child transitions and then decides that it doesn’t really feel right for them, then they can detransition and no harm has been done. However if the child is then a lot happier after transitioning – how can it be child abuse? Many studies have been done in recent years that show trans children who transition and are given loving support both at home and at school, do equally as well as their cisgender peers and siblings. However, when parents try and dissuade their child from being who they are, then other studies show that the rates of mental ill-health soar and about 70% end up self-harming and around 45% attempt suicide. Surely this is more fitting of the term child abuse? Ruth Hunt, the CEO of Stonewall wrote today in the Huffington Post about the need for society to change and become trans allies – and this is one way that society could change to become more supportive of transgender people.

Some recent media has concentrated on regret – but every recent study that I have seen puts the regret rate at 1 to 2%, which is exceedingly small, especially when compared with the regret rate of other elective surgeries. Also that 1-2% includes many that regret it because of surgery that has gone badly wrong, or that they are still socially excluded by their families or at work. Obviously if society were to be more accepting of transgender people and surgical success rates were to improve, then these rates of regret would fall to infinitesimally small numbers.

I was debating with some of the anti-trans cabal on Twitter recently and one person challenged me by saying “How dare you tell me how to raise my child” – it wasn’t something I had actually said, just that she had misinterpreted something that I said. When I tweeted back to her “How dare YOU tell other parents how to raise their trans child” she fell silent and left the conversation.

I think that in a nutshell sums up the attitude of the anti-trans cabal.

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4 Replies to “The Anti-trans Cabal”

  1. There seems to be 3 schools of thought around medicating trans identified children, the first being, under no circumstances should they receive any form of medication, they do not know enough about life to make any changes what so ever. Second is, trans children should be allowed puberty blockers which will give them time to decide if transitioning is right for them or not. Third, and probably the most controversial is, children who know who they are and are fully supported by their parents and family, should be allowed to transition with the aid of cross sex hormones.

    From my experience as a therapeutic counsellor working in this area, and being trans identified myself, I have been privileged to meet children who have come out as trans (both boys and girls) and witnessed the social pressures that these children are under, and equally, the pressure their families and clinicians are under. The public scrutiny is tangibly oppressive, I feel the weight of public opinion on my shoulders, it hangs over me like the sword of Damaclese, ready to cut me down at the first sign of a desister. I also carry the weight of my own trans identity, that I am viewed as biased, that I will be in some way encouraging the child’s feelings by my very presence, or, I am a child recruiter in to the cult of transness. I also know, from within the trans community, there is an uncomfortable atmosphere when this subject is mentioned, because this very subject could turn public opinion against us, making our lives harder.

    I am not interested in the politics around this whole subject, I focus on helping my clients, their wellbeing is my concern, but, the politics is ever present, as all my clients are carrying the politics in to the therapy room. Every news paper article, every news report, every documentary has impacted on my clients, so much so, therapy is a balancing act between what the client perceives the world to be, rather than how they have experienced the world. For children to have their sense of self battered by some troll who just doesn’t like trans identified people is bullying on an industrial scale through the media, in any other walk of life this kind of talk would be outlawed, yet, a news corporation can profit from false and sensational headlines, causing trauma to the families concerned!!!!

    Sorry I could go on, but, emotionally I feel drained at times, however, if anyone’s would like to talk to me about what I have learned through my client work with regards to my experience, I would be happy to engage. I do over 1000 hours of client work a year with trans adults and children, not to mention the reports I read from my team of counsellors and the 20 emails a day I reply to from trans people who feel isolated and alone, my experience as a professional in this field has to have some value?

    1. You do a wonderful job Marianne – giving these children the hope for a future whereas before there was only the well of loneliness, of darkness. Keep strong for those children x

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