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Social Justice Transgender and gender identity discussion

SKL

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why don't you want to find a safe way for trans individuals to live happy and fulfilled lives ?
This is an emotionally manipulative argument, but not only that, it's based on false assumptions. There is simply not good evidence that medical and surgical intervention improves social or mental health outcomes for trans-identified individuals who experience gender dysphoria (who are often already very troubled individuals beyond their gender issues. Psychiatric comorbidity is high across the board. I've mentioned cluster "B" personality disorders and autism, but comorbidity is high in almost every category.) By saying there is "not good evidence" I don't mean that you won't find studies that find improvement, but that at the very best, that the jury is still out on this one. Much work in this field is also tainted by politics.

The most recent, largest, and arguably the best study on this issue to date, published in 2019 in AJP (one of the few journals I read faithfully every issue) is an interesting case: it was initially touted as finding benefit to "transition" (both by the authors, to a degree, and by the media, to an extreme degree, enter the political taint as I called it before.) A correction was rather swiftly issued saying that such benefit was not actually found, based on the same data set. The study as originally presented got a significant amount of attention. The correction, which is written in very careful and not entirely easy to parse language, got nowhere near as much love from the press, both popular and professional.

This argument also contains the assumption that the only "safe way for trans individuals to live happy and fulfilled lives" necessarily involves medical/surgical intervention, the object of which is a mostly cosmetic (and to a some degree hormonal) change to resemble the opposite natal sex ("transition"), and not only that but such intervention done at a young age. The jury is very much still out on that one too.
Yep. Still plenty of bisexual or pansexual people out there who would be into [a trans-identified partner] though.
Depends on the definition of "plenty," I suppose. "Pansexual," a recent concept, implicitly seems to refer to trans-identified individuals, so I'll grant you that. The assumption that bisexuality would mean you are more into them seems to invoke a rather crude and possibly offensive understanding of bisexuality, though.

Regardless, the pool of possible partners is very small. Trans-identified individuals often complain that it winds up being limited to "chasers" and other trans-identified, especially in the case of persons who are not attracted to their natal sex.

There was recently a kerfuffle on social media that made it to some mainstream outlets relating to a "zoomer" (Gen Z) kid who made a video on TikTok (of course) saying he "made a new sexuality, SuperStraight" which meant an individual interested only in natal members of the opposite sex, to wit, not trans-identified ones. There are a number of interesting things baked in here ("made a new sexuality?") but perhaps the most interesting is the implication that an individual who is "straight," without the "super" qualification, would by default be interested in trans-identified partners. I feel like only a zoomer raised on social media and "TWAW" could come up with this.

While the whole "SuperStraight" thing was decried as "transphobic," this implication is at the very least optimistic, if not outright trans-affirming! This leads into the who question if individuals being somehow obligated to consider or even choose trans-identified partners, something which I've discussed above. The pressure here is particularly acute in young "LGBTQ+" circles and is particularly felt by young natal female lesbians. From the outside the whole thing looks an awful lot like male-socialized individuals putting sexual pressure on female-socialized individuals, a story as old as time. With regards to natal males, homosexual or heterosexual, the dynamic is just not the same. Androphilic (and perhaps "autoandropilic") trans-identified females often seek out gay male partners but, I would posit due to male and female socialization once again, the pressure dynamic is not the same. What's more there's a lot of fetishization of homosexual members of the opposite sex both among natal males and natal females (just look at the popularity of "lesbian" porn, "slash" and yaoi, respectively.)
When you get to a certain age a full transition isn't reasonable for some people.
"Full transition" is a problematic descriptor. What exactly do you mean? Full hormonal and surgical intervention including genital surgery? Not an option for everyone and not necessarily a good thing to do on a body that is not yet developed, either for health reasons or to achieve the optimal cosmetic and functional result. Or do you mean the best aesthetic results?
That's why we need to continue to discuss and research trans individuals being able to start young.
What would such research look like, ethically conducted? What's going on in society generally now amounts to a massive uncontrolled experiment which would never pass muster at an ethics board.
If they're able to grow into the body that matches their gender
This rhetoric assumes a concept of an essentialist and permanent quality of "gender" which can differ from biological sex, something I've discussed at some length in earlier posts. This is a different claim than one that states that "transition" is a treatment for "gender dysphoria," something that unlike the former claim, which is almost theological ("female soul in a male body"), admits at least some scientific study. Where, again, there are a lot of unknowns.
they will be able to live more fulfilled lives.
I understand the risks , but we need to find a way instead of just running from the problem.
You understand the risks? Even experts do not understand the risks. Giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, let alone surgical "transition," to young individuals with immature bodies and minds is utterly uncharted territory. Long-term effects are just unknown. With regards to surgery, it's problematic when done to immature bodies (see the celebrated case of Jazz Jennings, trans-identified male who began medical/surgical "transition" very young and documented on a reality TV show: genital surgery had to be revised, essentially due to it having been done before full body maturity.) Hormones just have effects that are unknown. I discussed puberty blockers at some length above.

But even if these are benign procedures, which is a big if, we are left with the fact that not only some but a very significant majority, as high as 80%, of youth who trans-identify at some point revert to identification with their natal sex. Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) is significant here but this applies to trans-identification in general. With this in mind intervention before the time at which most of them "desist" is grossly irresponsible and likely to cause irreparable harm, especially to natal females, where hormones have a more permanent effect and (leaving aside genital surgery, which is less commonly done) double mastectomy, which is becoming increasingly common in natal females who identify as either male or "nonbinary", is a fairly extreme procedure.

The case for early intervention essentially boils down to cosmetic (and to a fairly unknown extent, hormonal) results being better if intervention starts at a young age before pubertal changes are finished. This is much more true of early male-to-female interventions than female-to-male (which follows from the same facts that cause cross-sex hormonal interventions in trans-identified females to have more permanent effects: testosterone causes more permanent cosmetic changes than estrogen does.) These changes are then attached to putative benefits to mental health. Of note, estrogen is a mild mood elevator (in anyone; and testosterone has it's psychological effects as well, as anyone who has juiced can attest), so trans-identified persons of both natal sexes have that going for them (the neuropsychiatric role of cross-sex hormones is very understudied, though.) The development of evidence for mental health benefits of puberty blockers in trans-identified youth is still ongoing but studies appear to show that something is there. However it's very difficult to control for the fact that, inter alia, that puberty is in itself distressing and that the child who is getting the blockers is going to be thrust into a very different social context.

The benefits of any of these interventions in the long term are simply unknown (will they fare better than adults undergoing transition?) as intervening with children at such a young age is such a novel phenomenon. This alone, not even going into the possible medical risks, should give us significant pause, but we are jumping wholeheartedly into doing such interventions. What will happen to these children as the mature, and especially to the significant portion of them who "desist" and even desire "detransition" (and those who do not do so because of social pressure or "sunk cost fallacy" but who still cease to experience the identification they did when younger) is simply unknown but it is entirely reasonable to foresee significant problems on the horizon. Excessive optimism is not only unwarranted but is potentially dangerous. What we are doing now is likely to have huge consequences, not only for the individuals directly getting these interventions and their families, but for society at large. What consequences remain to be seen, but what's going on now is simply irresponsible in the light of that very uncertainty.
 
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PriestTheyCalledHim

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It depends on how it's used, and by who. It used to be a slur. It still can be, I suppose, but it's generally used in a more positive way now.



Yep. Still plenty of bisexual or pansexual people out there who would be into it though.



When you get to a certain age a full transition isn't reasonable for some people. That's why we need to continue to discuss and research trans individuals being able to start young. If they're able to grow into the body that matches their gender they will be able to live more fulfilled lives. I understand the risks , but we need to find a way instead of just running from the problem.
Which age is this? I know a trans woman who has to be over 70 now that started transitioning in her 50s and had the full SRS at 60. She has had decades of therapy and lived most of her life as a man before ever taking any hormones or having any surgery. This is not happening with children or teens who are sex/gender non-conforming, and who are told or are convinced they are trans and that they must take hormones, have surgeries, etc.

I know androgynous/femme, and hyper-effeminate gay and bisexual men, and butch/androgynous lesbian and bisexual women, who if they were teens or children today would be told they are trans, and that they must take hormones and have surgery. None of these people are trans even if some of the men are part time drag queens.

How is 'queer' used more positive now? I have met and know people who are not LGB/LGBT at all but are heterosexual who call themselves queer because they think it makes them edgy, en vogue, etc.

I have heard the argument that it is 'reclaiming' a slur, or a silly political label, but I do not agree with this. To me it it will always be a slur and it reminds me of complacent and boring gay men who call themselves faggots and faeries as they think this is shocking and do it for attention, or because they hate the terms gay/homosexual.
 
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PriestTheyCalledHim

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I'm surprised anyone would think you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I didn't know that was a thing.
People also claim the same about the arm/leg fake penis looking flesh transplant some transmen get done via surgery. Sorry, I do not know the name for this surgery or what it is called? There are pictures of this surgery online, it is not a simple surgery, and of course it is very graphic.

I have often heard the myth that nobody can tell if someone is trans. This is not true. The older trans woman I mentioned in another reply told me how it is very obvious when someone is FTM or MTF, even if they transition at a young age, and how misgendering, calling the person by their previous name, etc. will happen and that it can take time for people to understand the person is trans and goes by a new name is called by the opposite sex/gender terms, etc. She also told me how hormones, and surgery do not magically make the trans person's personal problems or issues go away and that this is not being told to younger trans people at all.
 

SKL

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People also claim the same about the arm/leg fake penis looking flesh transplant some transmen get done via surgery. Sorry, I do not know the name for this surgery or what it is called? There are pictures of this surgery online, it is not a simple surgery, and of course it is very graphic.
Neophallus/phalloplasty. Yes the outcomes of this surgery leave much to be desired, to the extent that fewer FtMs seem to want it than MtFs. Lots and lots and lots of FtMs want mastectomy though, which is to be frank not very aesthetically pleasing either in the outcome (sorry) and obviously a major surgery with all the permanence and attendant problems that implies. I'll continue not getting into much surgical detail here as it's not necessary for the discussion and graphic descriptions and photos are easily found via Dr. Google.

She also told me how hormones, and surgery do not magically make the trans person's personal problems or issues go away and that this is not being told to younger trans people at all.
In fact, the very opposite is being told to young people. Informal descriptions of "gender dysphoria" circulating online that are often instrumental in young people's beginning to trans-identify often contain all sorts of vague "symptoms" that also correspond to regular old depression, anxiety, teenage angst and the results of a certain overall sexual anomie in the currently young generation.

I know androgynous/femme, and hyper-effeminate gay and bisexual men, and butch/androgynous lesbian and bisexual women, who if they were teens or children today would be told they are trans, and that they must take hormones and have surgery.
It's hard to overemphasize how big a phenomenon this is, particularly in natal females who identify as male or "nonbinary" (TiFs, 'trans-identified females') who are gender non-conforming (GNC) and gynephilic. And it's a disturbing phenomenon at that. For some, and I will try to say this as gently possible, I think it is a bit of a case of being simply homosexual not being outré enough for a rebellious youth (elsewhere you used the term "edgy.") These people have been rather offensively termed "transtrenders," and however you want to frame it, they exist, and their GNC behavior and identification is to some degree an affectation. (I once again find myself in the position of saying "sorry to say it, but it is true.") The fact that some of them are choosing to, or even effectively encouraged to, undertake medical "transition" is seriously problematic: how many youthful "phases" do you cringe at when you remember them?

That population aside, there is another group with what could be called more authentic "gender dysphoria" (GD) and "gender non-conformity" (GNC). GNC youth, who, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are indeed pressured both in general (by social trends) and specific (by trends among friends) ways to identify as "transgender." This is a very noticeable trend, even by casual observation, especially among GNC and natal female lesbians. There is a very dramatic increase in the number of mostly young trans-identified females presenting for medical intervention. There are a number of factors at play and some are anyone's guess but many of them in previous generations would probably simply be "butch lesbians." It is almost like this category is disappearing among young people and they are becoming FtM instead. It begs the question whether that many butch lesbians in prior generations secretly or unconsciously were trans-identified or suffered from GD. While they certainly presented as "mannish", they in no way identified as "men." So something new is happening.

It's interesting that at least some subcategory of trans-identified males (TiMs), so-called "homosexual-transsexuals" (HSTS), seem to be motivated by "internalized homophobia," something I discussed in an earlier post, and it would be an entirely reasonable assumption that some TiFs are similar, although there has been less work done with that population. However, why would trans-identification as an "alternative" to GNC homosexuality rise as homosexuality has never been more socially acceptable and homophobia itself taboo? I don't have an answer here, but there is some interesting room for discussion. Some of the more radical gender-critical feminists have even spoken of transition as a covert form of (attempted) "conversion therapy" that threatens to lead lesbians to go moct. I wouldn't go that far, but it's certainly an interesting phenomenon.

The fact that trans-identified females are showing up practically an order of magnitude more commonly certainly brings a lot of things into question. If incongruent "gender identity" is a self-contained, persistent, ontological category, then why would so many more people trans-identify at this point in time? Were that many people suppressing it? I find that exceedingly hard to believe. I have no trouble accepting that some portion of the increase in overt trans-identification, in both natal sexes, involves people who experience gender dysphoria who, at a time when such identification was more taboo, might have kept it to themselves, but not that many, and not with such a dramatic change in ratio of TiFs to TiMs. So there is something else going on.

Enter "rapid onset gender dysphoria" (ROGD.) The term comes from an study published in PLoS One in 2018, Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria, by Lisa Littman, MD. It is also, more or less, the topic of several books published of late, probably most notably Abigail Shrier's Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. While Ms. Shrier's book wears it's conclusion on it's sleeve, Dr Littman's work is more objective or even sympathetic, although remaining critical (here and throughout, by "critical" I do not mean "negative," but rather in the sense of examining and drawing conclusions.) Both works received acclaim but also generated an enormous amount of controversy and attempts were made to "cancel" them. I will not get into this at length but suffice it to say that there is a very powerful lobby that wants to push their narrative of "gender identity" to the exclusion of any critical discussion of the transgender phenomenon.

I encourage everyone to stop reading the shit that I'm writing for a little while, open another window, and read Dr. Littman's study, beginning to end. It is that important.

There, finished? Bottom line, we're dealing with a new phenomenon, ROGD. It is on the most basic level what it sounds like: rapid onset gender dysphoria in individuals, seemingly primarily female, with no prior gender issues. Some of them, as girls, are feminine, some GNC. Some gynephilic, some androphilic, some bisexual. Some want surgery, some don't. Some don't even want hormones. Some even maintain a feminine appearance but assert a masculine identity. Some seem very well adjusted prior to the onset of ROGD, while have preexisting psychiatric issues particularly around body image. Some have trauma histories (which often couples with body issues and are possibly contributory to GNC/trans-id). Some are without psychiatric issues as such but going through standard teenage shit. In short, it's a diverse lot. What do these ROGD cases have in common?

"Social contagion."

The term sounds a bit unpleasant, but "contagion" here is not meant to pathologize behavior, but rather is an analogy to how behaviors spread. It is a quite old term borrowed from sociology. Social contagion is about how behaviors and attitudes spread among groups of people. It has been widely studied in various contexts. The Wikipedia article on the subject is pretty good if rather abstract. Social contagion has been studied in issues like self-harm and eating disorders. It seems to be more potent among (natal and female-socialized) females than (ditto) males, to once again bring up the issue of socialization: females are socialized to, and probably to some degree "hard-wired" to, react to social pressures in a different way than males are. This may explain some of the prevalence of ROGD in new TiFs vs TiMs.

How is it spread? These kids are highly online, and find themselves in communities which strongly reinforce their assumed identity. They often announce their trans-identification in "clusters" or shortly after another person they know "comes out." An interesting example is presented in the Littman paper of a "cluster" of TiFs "coming out" after a transgender activist spoke at their school. Now, it is not unreasonable to think that a person with heretofore unannounced or even psychologically suppressed gender dysphoria or identity issues might feel comfortable enough to "come out" in such a circumstance, but the "clusters" that are seen in ROGD are not only statistical aberrations but essentially numerically impossible, to be expected only in such numbers in beyond lighting-strike rare situations. This is of course only if we are to believe that they are acting accoding to some intrinsic ontological fact of their gender identity, rather than something else which is mutable and responsive to psychological and social conditions. Even if we are to believe even the most wildly inflated estimates of how frequently the supposed essentialist identity is incongruent with natal sex in the general population, it is not common enough to explain "clusters" nor the huge spike in TiF identification generally.

All of this suggests a "pied piper" type narrative, with young people, particular natal girls, getting caught up in the prevailing winds of the transgender movement and then being lead to identify a certain way. We can speak very little to their internal experience as to how much is an affectation and how much is genuine dysphoria. However, to me, the most compelling explanation is neither: that these natal girls, and some natal boys as well, have come to believe that some generalized psychiatric symptoms and the alienation of youth are in fact indication that they have been "born in the wrong body." After this, they immerse themselves in a "trans-affirming" community where this is encouraged and further formed. If one believes this narrative, then transition becomes an attractive possible solution. As I've mentioned above, it isn't. Even if it has it's benefits, it simultaneously has it's drawbacks, and the effects of undergoing that process or even that of "social transition" on a person who is not gender-dysphoric in the classic sense are totally unknown.

We are only starting to make the barest of a beginning in studying desisters or detransitioners, who come to regret transition usually due to no longer trans-identifying. Desisting seems almost like a difficult "coming out" in itself and is subject to a lot of social pressures against it, not to mention a kind of "sunk cost fallacy" where if interventions have already been undertaken, it is difficult to say "stop" and try to go back to square one. Not to mention the fact that trans-identification gives one an essentially "ready made" community to fit in to, which is perhaps part of what makes it attractive particularly to the alienated. This is a community that is often unkind to desisters.

Trans-identification for these young people is indeed so compelling that they will engage in dramatic changes, try to get hormones and surgery (sometimes even ordering hormones off the Internet covertly: and there are personalities in the online trans community who provide them, even knowing that they are dealing with teens), spend unhealthy amounts of time online in trans-related communities, and even go to the point of threatening suicide if their demands are not met. Remember that these are young people who often have personality issues, autism spectrum issues, etc. comorbid with, and likely in their own way reinforcing, their gender issues. The question is, what to do with them? The long-term outcomes of ROGD are unknown, but it is quite possible, likely even, that many people with ROGD will "desist" and no longer identify with the opposite gender at some point as they grow older. So this would suggest a conservative approach, but the individuals with ROGD, backed by a huge social movement, insist on dramatic interventions.

This is a tremendous social problem with no immediate or apparent answers. "Wait and see" with regards to transition in young people is wise in a blindingly obvious manner but nonetheless is attacked with counterarguments about people needing to "become their true selves" as soon as possible. The question becomes, to what extent do we actually need to, essentially, protect these kids from themselves? We are right back at the question of "gatekeeping." I would say that in youth gates should be kept tightly locked, even simply due to the huge number of potential desisters, let alone other potential problems. This is complicated by the fact that we are not just dealing with patients who will intransigently insist that we undertake a particular treatment that may be problematic for them (difficult enough but hardly new ground for psychiatry or indeed medicine generally) but that we are simultaneously dealing with a huge social phenomenon that is behind them in doing so and seeks to define the entire discourse in ways that reinforce their ideology.

In my various long posts here I've tried to break down what is going on in that social phenomenon to some extent, but honestly I've just scratched the surface. I am going to leave it here for now, though. I am sure I will be back though. I have more to say and have finally started (only started) to give the TiFs their due and talk a little about ROGD, which to me are probably the most salient issues going as far as the modern transgender phenomenon goes, and the most tragic. As I described in another post I have worked extensively with young women with personality issues (and by extension, on a more fundamental and existential level, these are identity issues) and trauma, etc. This is a population which I have an enormous amount of sympathy for, you might even say holds a special place in my heart.

This naturally makes reading and talking about TiF issues compelling for me in a particular way, as it features a not-dissimilar population. This is in large part actually the starting point of my particular interest in trans issues. Almost all of the discourse about transgender/transsexual issues seems to center on TiMs (bathrooms and such), in a way that can only be called frankly and obviously sexist. It is in fact TiFs that need our attention most urgently, although the TiMs seem to be more apt to draw it (something about a natal male adopting femininity seems more striking and worthy of comment in our society, for whatever probably sexist reason, than does a natal female doing the converse.) But the population, primarily natal females, that is dealing with ROGD, needs our close attention because it is occurring in an incredibly vulnerable subset of the population, with the rapid onset occuring at an incredibly vulnerable time during their teenage years in terms of psychosexual and general development.

Regardless of what group we are talking about, though, this is an incredibly urgent topic. It is too easily dismissed with the cry of "trans women are women (TWAW)" or in this case "trans men are men" and the model of an essentialistic gender ontology that this implies. This ontological model has no evidence whatsoever for it's existence other than the fact that people subjectively experience gender dysphoria and cross-gender identification. Now, I have said earlier and will say it again, these people are not "delusional." They are, barring comorbid psychiatric issues, essentially in their right mind, and they have certain subjective experiences and ideas around their gender that those of us who have not experienced the same almost certainly cannot understand. Psychology makes it's efforts at description, which are useful to an extent, but we do not have the lived experience.

The trans-identified population deserves the greatest respect and sympathy. Medical intervention seems to help some of them, even if on population-wide terms it is not necessarily so. Nonetheless it is something that can't be ruled out, but, like any medical intervention, it must be given in due context and in accordance with the Hippocratic oath: "first, do no harm." The massive and very rapid explosion of "gender ideology" onto popular culture cannot override this. This ideology is perhaps benign initially: it is born out of the same respect and sympathy I have just said that trans-identified people should be accorded. The broader ideology, however, has become pervasive in society. It is interesting how fast it has done so: people who just a few years ago would have given no thought to trans isues now readily say "TWAW" as a sort of "thought-terminating cliché."

With respect to the fact that it is no longer acceptable to throw around "tranny" and "shemale" jokes and disrespect people with that lived experience, that is good. However, when we get down to the nitty grity and broader societal and medical issues surrounding trans-identified people, it is not sufficient to say "TWAW" and "respect people's gender identity." Critical discourse is needed, both in abstract and strictly factual terms. We especially need to address certain misogynistic undercurrents and others that are dangerous for children. If we do not have such discourse, then the current trends will only escalate and have every potential to not only lead to a lot of social problems but to lead a lot of vulnerable individuals to a very dark place in the future.
 
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Snafu of the Forest

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I feel like when I was a kid nobody EVER discussed gender identity. If it was ever brought up it was some bad joke about a guy not knowing the hooker was a man.

These days teens seem obsessed with gender identity. My cousin is a trans man. I saw him grow up and he lived in a broken home. His only friend was this gay kid, who even at 11 or 12 was already identifying as gay. That always confused me how you could know that young. Anyways I always question in he questioned his identity because of his friends influence.

Now I remember being about 13 and questioning if I was gay or not. It took a day or two to confirm that I was not and never thought about it again. Being a teen is confusing with so much coming at you.

I understand homosexuality but I may never understand trans or other identifiers. I try to imagine myself if I felt like I was a woman in a man's body. I'd just say fuck it and try to make the best of it. HRT and surgery and all the other hardships trans people go through doesn't seem worth it. I just don't understand.

I think what baffles me the most is asexuality. I hear about asexuals with high libidos and I just don't understand how that works.

Anyways. I do believe the large emphasis on the lgbtq+ movement may be somewhat confusing to an already confused child. With that said I fully support lgbt rights and normalcy - just don't shove it down kids throats.

Just my uneducated 2 cents
 

PriestTheyCalledHim

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Neophallus/phalloplasty. Yes the outcomes of this surgery leave much to be desired, to the extent that fewer FtMs seem to want it than MtFs. Lots and lots and lots of FtMs want mastectomy though, which is to be frank not very aesthetically pleasing either in the outcome (sorry) and obviously a major surgery with all the permanence and attendant problems that implies. I'll continue not getting into much surgical detail here as it's not necessary for the discussion and graphic descriptions and photos are easily found via Dr. Google.


In fact, the very opposite is being told to young people. Informal descriptions of "gender dysphoria" circulating online that are often instrumental in young people's beginning to trans-identify often contain all sorts of vague "symptoms" that also correspond to regular old depression, anxiety, teenage angst and the results of a certain overall sexual anomie in the currently young generation.


It's hard to overemphasize how big a phenomenon this is, particularly in natal females who identify as male or "nonbinary" (TiFs, 'trans-identified females') who are gender non-conforming (GNC) and gynephilic. And it's a disturbing phenomenon at that. For some, and I will try to say this as gently possible, I think it is a bit of a case of being simply homosexual not being outré enough for a rebellious youth (elsewhere you used the term "edgy.") These people have been rather offensively termed "transtrenders," and however you want to frame it, they exist, and their GNC behavior and identification is to some degree an affectation. (I once again find myself in the position of saying "sorry to say it, but it is true.") The fact that some of them are choosing to, or even effectively encouraged to, undertake medical "transition" is seriously problematic: how many youthful "phases" do you cringe at when you remember them?

That population aside, there is another group with what could be called more authentic "gender dysphoria" (GD) and "gender non-conformity" (GNC). GNC youth, who, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are indeed pressured both in general (by social trends) and specific (by trends among friends) ways to identify as "transgender." This is a very noticeable trend, even by casual observation, especially among GNC and natal female lesbians. There is a very dramatic increase in the number of mostly young trans-identified females presenting for medical intervention. There are a number of factors at play and some are anyone's guess but many of them in previous generations would probably simply be "butch lesbians." It is almost like this category is disappearing among young people and they are becoming FtM instead. It begs the question whether that many butch lesbians in prior generations secretly or unconsciously were trans-identified or suffered from GD. While they certainly presented as "mannish", they in no way identified as "men." So something new is happening.

It's interesting that at least some subcategory of trans-identified males (TiMs), so-called "homosexual-transsexuals" (HSTS), seem to be motivated by "internalized homophobia," something I discussed in an earlier post, and it would be an entirely reasonable assumption that some TiFs are similar, although there has been less work done with that population. However, why would trans-identification as an "alternative" to GNC homosexuality rise as homosexuality has never been more socially acceptable and homophobia itself taboo? I don't have an answer here, but there is some interesting room for discussion. Some of the more radical gender-critical feminists have even spoken of transition as a covert form of (attempted) "conversion therapy" that threatens to lead lesbians to go moct. I wouldn't go that far, but it's certainly an interesting phenomenon.

The fact that trans-identified females are showing up practically an order of magnitude more commonly certainly brings a lot of things into question. If incongruent "gender identity" is a self-contained, persistent, ontological category, then why would so many more people trans-identify at this point in time? Were that many people suppressing it? I find that exceedingly hard to believe. I have no trouble accepting that some portion of the increase in overt trans-identification, in both natal sexes, involves people who experience gender dysphoria who, at a time when such identification was more taboo, might have kept it to themselves, but not that many, and not with such a dramatic change in ratio of TiFs to TiMs. So there is something else going on.

Enter "rapid onset gender dysphoria" (ROGD.) The term comes from an study published in PLoS One in 2018, Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria, by Lisa Littman, MD. It is also, more or less, the topic of several books published of late, probably most notably Abigail Shrier's Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. While Ms. Shrier's book wears it's conclusion on it's sleeve, Dr Littman's work is more objective or even sympathetic, although remaining critical (here and throughout, by "critical" I do not mean "negative," but rather in the sense of examining and drawing conclusions.) Both works received acclaim but also generated an enormous amount of controversy and attempts were made to "cancel" them. I will not get into this at length but suffice it to say that there is a very powerful lobby that wants to push their narrative of "gender identity" to the exclusion of any critical discussion of the transgender phenomenon.

I encourage everyone to stop reading the shit that I'm writing for a little while, open another window, and read Dr. Littman's study, beginning to end. It is that important.

There, finished? Bottom line, we're dealing with a new phenomenon, ROGD. It is on the most basic level what it sounds like: rapid onset gender dysphoria in individuals, seemingly primarily female, with no prior gender issues. Some of them, as girls, are feminine, some GNC. Some gynephilic, some androphilic, some bisexual. Some want surgery, some don't. Some don't even want hormones. Some even maintain a feminine appearance but assert a masculine identity. Some seem very well adjusted prior to the onset of ROGD, while have preexisting psychiatric issues particularly around body image. Some have trauma histories (which often couples with body issues and are possibly contributory to GNC/trans-id). Some are without psychiatric issues as such but going through standard teenage shit. In short, it's a diverse lot. What do these ROGD cases have in common?

"Social contagion."

The term sounds a bit unpleasant, but "contagion" here is not meant to pathologize behavior, but rather is an analogy to how behaviors spread. It is a quite old term borrowed from sociology. Social contagion is about how behaviors and attitudes spread among groups of people. It has been widely studied in various contexts. The Wikipedia article on the subject is pretty good if rather abstract. Social contagion has been studied in issues like self-harm and eating disorders. It seems to be more potent among (natal and female-socialized) females than (ditto) males, to once again bring up the issue of socialization: females are socialized to, and probably to some degree "hard-wired" to, react to social pressures in a different way than males are. This may explain some of the prevalence of ROGD in new TiFs vs TiMs.

How is it spread? These kids are highly online, and find themselves in communities which strongly reinforce their assumed identity. They often announce their trans-identification in "clusters" or shortly after another person they know "comes out." An interesting example is presented in the Littman paper of a "cluster" of TiFs "coming out" after a transgender activist spoke at their school. Now, it is not unreasonable to think that a person with heretofore unannounced or even psychologically suppressed gender dysphoria or identity issues might feel comfortable enough to "come out" in such a circumstance, but the "clusters" that are seen in ROGD are not only statistical aberrations but essentially numerically impossible, to be expected only in such numbers in beyond lighting-strike rare situations. This is of course only if we are to believe that they are acting accoding to some intrinsic ontological fact of their gender identity, rather than something else which is mutable and responsive to psychological and social conditions. Even if we are to believe even the most wildly inflated estimates of how frequently the supposed essentialist identity is incongruent with natal sex in the general population, it is not common enough to explain "clusters" nor the huge spike in TiF identification generally.

All of this suggests a "pied piper" type narrative, with young people, particular natal girls, getting caught up in the prevailing winds of the transgender movement and then being lead to identify a certain way. We can speak very little to their internal experience as to how much is an affectation and how much is genuine dysphoria. However, to me, the most compelling explanation is neither: that these natal girls, and some natal boys as well, have come to believe that some generalized psychiatric symptoms and the alienation of youth are in fact indication that they have been "born in the wrong body." After this, they immerse themselves in a "trans-affirming" community where this is encouraged and further formed. If one believes this narrative, then transition becomes an attractive possible solution. As I've mentioned above, it isn't. Even if it has it's benefits, it simultaneously has it's drawbacks, and the effects of undergoing that process or even that of "social transition" on a person who is not gender-dysphoric in the classic sense are totally unknown.

We are only starting to make the barest of a beginning in studying desisters or detransitioners, who come to regret transition usually due to no longer trans-identifying. Desisting seems almost like a difficult "coming out" in itself and is subject to a lot of social pressures against it, not to mention a kind of "sunk cost fallacy" where if interventions have already been undertaken, it is difficult to say "stop" and try to go back to square one. Not to mention the fact that trans-identification gives one an essentially "ready made" community to fit in to, which is perhaps part of what makes it attractive particularly to the alienated. This is a community that is often unkind to desisters.

Trans-identification for these young people is indeed so compelling that they will engage in dramatic changes, try to get hormones and surgery (sometimes even ordering hormones off the Internet covertly: and there are personalities in the online trans community who provide them, even knowing that they are dealing with teens), spend unhealthy amounts of time online in trans-related communities, and even go to the point of threatening suicide if their demands are not met. Remember that these are young people who often have personality issues, autism spectrum issues, etc. comorbid with, and likely in their own way reinforcing, their gender issues. The question is, what to do with them? The long-term outcomes of ROGD are unknown, but it is quite possible, likely even, that many people with ROGD will "desist" and no longer identify with the opposite gender at some point as they grow older. So this would suggest a conservative approach, but the individuals with ROGD, backed by a huge social movement, insist on dramatic interventions.

This is a tremendous social problem with no immediate or apparent answers. "Wait and see" with regards to transition in young people is wise in a blindingly obvious manner but nonetheless is attacked with counterarguments about people needing to "become their true selves" as soon as possible. The question becomes, to what extent do we actually need to, essentially, protect these kids from themselves? We are right back at the question of "gatekeeping." I would say that in youth gates should be kept tightly locked, even simply due to the huge number of potential desisters, let alone other potential problems. This is complicated by the fact that we are not just dealing with patients who will intransigently insist that we undertake a particular treatment that may be problematic for them (difficult enough but hardly new ground for psychiatry or indeed medicine generally) but that we are simultaneously dealing with a huge social phenomenon that is behind them in doing so and seeks to define the entire discourse in ways that reinforce their ideology.

In my various long posts here I've tried to break down what is going on in that social phenomenon to some extent, but honestly I've just scratched the surface. I am going to leave it here for now, though. I am sure I will be back though. I have more to say and have finally started (only started) to give the TiFs their due and talk a little about ROGD, which to me are probably the most salient issues going as far as the modern transgender phenomenon goes, and the most tragic. As I described in another post I have worked extensively with young women with personality issues (and by extension, on a more fundamental and existential level, these are identity issues) and trauma, etc. This is a population which I have an enormous amount of sympathy for, you might even say holds a special place in my heart.

This naturally makes reading and talking about TiF issues compelling for me in a particular way, as it features a not-dissimilar population. This is in large part actually the starting point of my particular interest in trans issues. Almost all of the discourse about transgender/transsexual issues seems to center on TiMs (bathrooms and such), in a way that can only be called frankly and obviously sexist. It is in fact TiFs that need our attention most urgently, although the TiMs seem to be more apt to draw it (something about a natal male adopting femininity seems more striking and worthy of comment in our society, for whatever probably sexist reason, than does a natal female doing the converse.) But the population, primarily natal females, that is dealing with ROGD, needs our close attention because it is occurring in an incredibly vulnerable subset of the population, with the rapid onset occuring at an incredibly vulnerable time during their teenage years in terms of psychosexual and general development.

Regardless of what group we are talking about, though, this is an incredibly urgent topic. It is too easily dismissed with the cry of "trans women are women (TWAW)" or in this case "trans men are men" and the model of an essentialistic gender ontology that this implies. This ontological model has no evidence whatsoever for it's existence other than the fact that people subjectively experience gender dysphoria and cross-gender identification. Now, I have said earlier and will say it again, these people are not "delusional." They are, barring comorbid psychiatric issues, essentially in their right mind, and they have certain subjective experiences and ideas around their gender that those of us who have not experienced the same almost certainly cannot understand. Psychology makes it's efforts at description, which are useful to an extent, but we do not have the lived experience.

The trans-identified population the greatest deserves respect and sympathy. Medical intervention seems to help some of them, even if on population-wide terms it is not necessarily so. Nonetheless it is something that can't be ruled out, but, like any medical intervention, it must be given in due context and in accordance with the Hippocratic oath: "first, do no harm." The massive and very rapid explosion of "gender ideology" onto popular culture cannot override this. This ideology is perhaps benign initially: it is born out of the same respect and sympathy I have just said that trans-identified people should be accorded. The broader ideology, however, has become pervasive in society. It is interesting how fast it has done so: people who just a few years ago would have given no thought to trans isues now readily say "TWAW" as a sort of "thought-terminating cliché."

With respect to the fact that it is no longer acceptable to throw around "tranny" and "shemale" jokes and disrespect people with that lived experience, that is good. However, when we get down to the nitty grity and broader societal and medical issues surrounding trans-identified people, it is not sufficient to say "TWAW" and "respect people's gender identity." Critical discourse is needed, both in abstract and strictly factual terms. We especially need to address certain misogynistic undercurrents and others that are dangerous for children. If we do not have such discourse, then the current trends will only escalate and have every potential to not only lead to a lot of social problems but to lead a lot of vulnerable individuals to a very dark place in the future.
A friend has a pre-teen GNC daughter who started saying she is a boy. He is not putting her on hormones and he thinks she might eventually come out as lesbian, but if she/he is trans it is not an issue.
 

SKL

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I feel like when I was a kid nobody EVER discussed gender identity. If it was ever brought up it was some bad joke about a guy not knowing the hooker was a man.
Yeah, I don't know when it was that I became aware of transsexuality. Fairly late, even though I was raised around a lot of gay and lesbian people. I had only the vaguest ideas of what trans issues entailed even then. And in fact it was not really all that long ago that I learned that not all transsexuals were hypereffeminate and androphilic, having started out as especially flamboyant gay men. (I even knew some HSTS like this socially. New York club scene and all that. I have a funny story about that I'll share at some point.) But it came as a surprise to me, and I did not consider myself particularly naïve on these matters, that there were a substantial number of trans-identified males who are attracted to females. Furthermore, I had been aware, vaguely, of clinical transvestism (having been familiar with the DSM and the case study companion-there's a lot of fucked up stuff in the latter), but not really of autogynephilia as such: as I mentioned quite a while back in this thread, it was not long ago a pretty esoteric subject. I also knew very little (as I think did most people) about trans-identified females, let alone that there was anything resembling ROGD (which in fairness to me hadn't been described yet.)

Learning that there were (quite a lot of, and more recently) gynephilic MtFs running around might change a lot of people's perspectives on stuff like bathrooms, while learning that there are a lot of TiFs, who until recently have usually escaped notice almost entirely, raises it's own questions too. We all have learned a lot recently. Society just didn't used to be aware, or very much care, about this stuff.
These days teens seem obsessed with gender identity. My cousin is a trans man. I saw him grow up and he lived in a broken home. His only friend was this gay kid, who even at 11 or 12 was already identifying as gay. That always confused me how you could know that young. Anyways I always question in he questioned his identity because of his friends influence.

Now I remember being about 13 and questioning if I was gay or not. It took a day or two to confirm that I was not and never thought about it again. Being a teen is confusing with so much coming at you.
Some people have much more complicated identities. In fact, some people want much more complicated identities because today it is somehow glamorized. You're right the youth of today is fascinated with sexual and gender identity questions. They are really the first generation of ours raised in a society where homosexuality carries very little stigma. Even gay marriage has been allowed for a significant portion of their lives. And the media is absolutely saturated with gay and trans stuff. There a line to be drawn here somewhere between fair and positive "representation" and what you might call "glamorization" of alternative sexualities/identities. We as a society crossed it a while ago but certainly in the post-"Call Me Caitlyn" media world.

We shouldn't unnecessarily stigmatize people's identities and lifestyles, certainly, but the way that they are presented sometimes seems to convey the message that having an "alternative" sexual identity or practices in some way makes one more interesting, or validates one as a person in a way that vanilla, straight individuals can't be validated. And it does afford one access to a readymade community that can be very welcoming and supportive especially to the alienated, outcast, and simply "different." With all this there, why wouldn't a troubled young person want a piece of that, honestly? That may be why you see a lot of embracing of vague and rather low-maintenance "queer" identities. Almost certainly a factor in ROGD as well.
I understand homosexuality but I may never understand trans or other identifiers. I try to imagine myself if I felt like I was a woman in a man's body. I'd just say fuck it and try to make the best of it. HRT and surgery and all the other hardships trans people go through doesn't seem worth it. I just don't understand.
Yeah, as I mentioned above, it's not something that I think we can identify with or have anything to compare it to, other than imagining some kind of permanent and all-encompassing dread or alienation towards oneself and one's body. I can only imagine it to be extremely distressing and as I have repeatedly stressed knowing that this is so should lead us to be very sympathetic towards trans-identified persons and to treat the with care. I'm speaking here people experiencing "gender dysphoria." As for having a different "gender identity," some inherent feeling that you are the opposite sex, no clue what that could possibly be like. My own sex is not something I think about, I merely inhabit it and live in it and through it and experience the consequences of it and the socialization that comes along with it. Contrasting to this, the subjective experience of internal trans-identity is hard to imagine, not having experienced it myself. But people report it with some consistency, so there is certainly a particular psychological phenomenon there. To some extent we must accept that at it's own value but also must seek to understand the context and consequences, and understand that a psychological phenomenon does not necessarily correlate with some inherent ontological "gender identity" the way TRAs tend to describe it.
I think what baffles me the most is asexuality. I hear about asexuals with high libidos and I just don't understand how that works.
It is a symptom of a society oversaturated with sex that "asexuality" is an identity. Even more wild is "demisexual," which evidently means that you only want to sleep with people you are emotionally connected to. I don't know if I am a prude but that sounds pretty normal to me, and not in need of a label. Part of it is, I guess, that everyone wants a label, but the "asexual" stuff seems to have a lot to do with the perception that everyone around you is having a lot of sex and you aren't feeling the same. Which is more or less the same feeling that produces the "incel," only instead of a preoccupation with wanting sex the preoccupation is with not wanting sex. I also suspect some "asexual"-identified people have body issues and/or sexual trauma (probably mostly females, but also males.)
Anyways. I do believe the large emphasis on the lgbtq+ movement may be somewhat confusing to an already confused child. With that said I fully support lgbt rights and normalcy - just don't shove it down kids throats.
Yes. And it is indeed "shoved down kids' throats." I am reminded of the 1968-era Sexual Revolution in France and Germany (especially) where in radical "intentional communities," pedophilia was normalized or even institutionalized under the notion of aiding "natural" child sexual development, aided and abetted by some of the most notable radicals of the day. The same kind of thing went on in some religious cults like "The Family"/"Children of God" (no relation to the Grateful Dead "Family.") New information about what went on is still emerging but a lot of it was actually quite out in the open. Quite a few articles have come out on the subject recently, including about the pedophilic escapades of some very prominent intellectuals, particularly in France. But anyway, in various situations related to these, a pattern repeats itself: children were deliberately made to interact with each other and with adults sexually because it fit the radical ideology of the group.

I'm not making this comparison to accuse people of pedophilia, generally speaking, and know this is a sensitive subject. Pedophilia is not necessarily the motivation for involving kids in trans stuff, in fact it probably usually isn't, although some situations definitely suggest it: for instance, a preteen boy "drag queen" dances for adult men and has money thrown at him, while the whole thing is published on social media. Online "affirmation" of trans-questioning youth (sometimes called "hatching eggs" in the community) also sometimes has seriously pedophilic (or rather, usually ephebophilic) undertones. Again for the sake of decency I will not link publicly.

Most people, though, I think, are trying on some level and from their perspective, to do what they think is right by the kids. Unfortunately, they are coming from a place that has very questionable ideas, and their actions have the potential to be very damaging. I make the connection to the radical pedophilia of the communities I mentioned because both feature intervening with the psychosexual development of children motivated by radical ideology as part of an agenda towards "remaking" things, here, gender; there, society in general. This sort of radical agenda is certainly present with many people who advocated childhood "transition."

A friend has a pre-teen GNC daughter who started saying she is a boy. He is not putting her on hormones and he thinks she might eventually come out as lesbian, but if she/he is trans it is not an issue.
That's a hard situation. Our society is saturated with messages about trans-identification and in a child's mind GNC easily translates into identification with the opposite sex which I would imagine can lead to dysphoric feelings even if they are not there originally as well as, and this is perhaps the most important part, the interpretation of other distress or a general sense of alienation as gender dysphoria. Of course, it's very hard to tell from the outside looking in. I am glad your friend is taking a conservative approach and although I know nothing about the situation other than the bare facts you present, if his intuition is that she may be just a GNC lesbian, there is probably a very good chance this is the case. That is also probably the population that is at some of the very highest risk for sort of absorbing ideas about identity via a kind of cultural osmosis. Little kids pick up a lot but also play around in their heads with concepts they don't fully understand. "Not being girly/like other girls" and possibly "developing feelings for other girls" could easily translate into "being a boy," especially if her mind has been primed for it. I hope your friend's situation and his daughter's work out OK.
 
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Perforated

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@PriestTheyCalledHim, you’ve brought up the issue of whether ‘queer’ is a negative slur or not. Like most derogatory words it depends when and where it is used (in Australia one may call one’s best friend a ‘cunt’ for example). To the best of my knowledge the word has been used in a derogatory sense to label homosexuals since the 1800’s. However, during the AIDS epidemic it was adopted or claimed or rehabilitated by a number of activist groups, most notably Queer Nation. To this day many people of varied non-cis sexuality proudly use the term to label themselves.

However, during the 1980’s and 1990’s a discipline of Queer Studies developed in Western Universities and ‘queer’ became more commonly used as a verb rather than a noun. There are thousands of academic papers ‘queering’ different aspects of society. These have primarily developed out of French post-modern/ structuralist thought of the late 1960s and 1970s. Although the full meaning of the term is unstable (as is every term deployed by postmodernists, since instability is their stock-in-trade) to queer something means to destabilise its normative foundations in society. That is, to question the foundations upon which it is commonly valued or disvalued.

The first thing to be queered, and still the ongoing target of Queer Studies, was the heteronormative family. This was attacked initially primarily on the basis of several streams of argument emerging from Michele Foucault’s ‘archaeology’ of human sexuality tied into Derrida’s attempts to destabilise the idea of ontological permanence in language and therefore our thoughts.

The interesting thing is how, in another example of how the left will always eat itself, transactivism works to fundamentally destabilise the categories of gay and lesbian. This is right out of the Queer Studies playbook.
 
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Xorkoth

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I know androgynous/femme, and hyper-effeminate gay and bisexual men, and butch/androgynous lesbian and bisexual women, who if they were teens or children today would be told they are trans, and that they must take hormones and have surgery

Are kids really being told they "must" take hormones and have surgery? I mean if so that's fucked up. If people are trying to pressure kids into any of this that is really wrong and fucked up. But other than inevitable edge cases of some fucked up people doing so, I seriously doubt it is happening on a wide scale.

His only friend was this gay kid, who even at 11 or 12 was already identifying as gay. That always confused me how you could know that young

I mean at 11-12 (actually much younger) I was into girls. I had a massive crush on this girl in first grade all the way through 8th grade. In 4th grade I had a dream we were kissing and she spit in my mouth and I was aroused (lol). I mean I wasn't trying to fuck or even knew what that was, but I wanted to kiss girls, and when some of them started to get boobs in 5th/6th grade, I was really into it. I imagine it's the same for gay kids, except they're finding themselves attracted to the same sex.

Also, regarding "queer", it is my perception that it's somewhat like the word "nigga" became used among black people as something entirely different from the "er" version. Basically, taking back a painful word and making it something else to defeat its power to hurt. I have met plenty of gay people who call themselves "queer" in recent times, in fact they will refer to their community as "the queer community".
 

mal3volent

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I have zero interest in having a discussion with people who bait me like that.

you said you disagreed with everything I said. That is pretty much the only thing I said.

"We need to find a way". If you disagree with that idk how you can claim I'm misrepresenting your views.

I've said there needs to be more dialogue and MUCH more scientific study.

@PriestTheyCalledHim, you’ve brought up the issue of whether ‘queer’ is a negative slur or not. Like most derogatory words it depends when and where it is used (in Australia one may call one’s best friend a ‘cunt’ for example). To the best of my knowledge the word has been used in a derogatory sense to label homosexuals since the 1800’s. However, during the AIDS epidemic it was adopted or claimed or rehabilitated by a number of activist groups, most notably Queer Nation. To this day many people of varied non-cis sexuality proudly use the term to label themselves.

However, during the 1980’s and 1990’s a discipline of Queer Studies developed in Western Universities and ‘queer’ became more commonly used as a verb rather than a noun. There are thousands of academic papers ‘queering’ different aspects of society. These have primarily developed out of French post-modern/ structuralist thought of the late 1960s and 1970s. Although the full meaning of the term is unstable (as is every term deployed by postmodernists, since instability is their stock-in-trade) to queer something means to destabilise its normative foundations in society. That is, to question the foundations upon which it is commonly valued or disvalued.

The first thing to be queered, and still the ongoing target of Queer Studies, was the heteronormative family. This was attacked initially primarily on the basis of several streams of argument emerging from Michele Foucault’s ‘archaeology’ of human sexuality tied into Derrida’s attempts to destabilise the idea of ontological permanence in language and therefore our thoughts.

The interesting thing is how, in another example of how the left will always eat itself, transactivism works to fundamentally destabilise the categories of gay and lesbian. This is right out of the Queer Studies playbook.

Not disputing anything you said, just adding my own anecdote. Queer definitely WAS a slur to me growing up. A very potent one honestly. Such an odd word with a very deliberate purpose for people around where I'm from. Queer and faggot were on the same level to me. Both hit me the same way.

I'd say in the last ten years or so is when I noticed Queer being taken back. I've never been on the cutting edge so it was probably well before that. It's an umbrella term to describe anyone outside the heteronormative sphere.

Which age is this?

I don't know. But I do know at some point trans folks get old enough that they simply cannot undertake such a seismic physiological change. They just say, "well I'm too old now, maybe if I were younger...". It's different for everyone obviously. But I've talked to multiple older people who have told me they wish they were born into this generation.

I just don't want to see young people live in the wrong body for so long that it becomes intimidating to make the leap. But as I continue to say , I recognize that there are risks and challenges and this decision should never be made lightly. It requires more honest dialogue than either side is willing to participate in right, it seems.

This argument also contains the assumption that the only "safe way for trans individuals to live happy and fulfilled lives" necessarily involves medical/surgical intervention, the object of which is a mostly cosmetic

no, I think you should take my comment in context. I was responding specifically to birdup.

Depends on the definition of "plenty," I suppose. "Pansexual," a recent concept, implicitly seems to refer to trans-identified individuals, so I'll grant you that. The assumption that bisexuality would mean you are more into them seems to invoke a rather crude and possibly offensive understanding of bisexuality, though.

How so? I have a very good comprehension of bisexuality, I'm curious as to what I said that was crude or offensive? I'm friends with a guy who dated a trans female and viewed her purely as a female. These things aren't cut and dry. He could identify as pansexual if he wanted, but doesn't.

"Full transition" is a problematic descriptor. What exactly do you mean?

From where they are to where they want to be. For many people this involves surgery. Not for everyone.

This rhetoric assumes a concept of an essentialist and permanent quality of "gender" which can differ from biological sex, something I've discussed at some length in earlier posts. This is a different claim than one that states that "transition" is a treatment for "gender dysphoria," something that unlike the former claim, which is almost theological ("female soul in a male body"), admits at least some scientific study. Where, again, there are a lot of unknowns.

Yeah, I'm honestly not interested in peddling rhetoric or talking points or anything like that. I'm only interested in the truth. And I think both sides have room to grow in this discourse. We are still at the infancy of this movement and it's going to require a lot of research and generations of sacrifice to get to where we need to be.
 

SKL

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Wow @SKL

You must've written like 100,000 words in this thread so far.
The ought to be published, he’s been very compelling in his arguments.
I'm flattered. I'm glad people read, let alone liked, the stuff I've posted here. I wrote the stuff I've said in dialogue with people (one of whom has sadly deleted all the relevant posts) and in a somewhat haphazard and stream-of-consciousness manner but sometimes this is the best way for me to get stuff out of my head and onto "paper." I hope I have not been overly repetitive though and that I've been able to at least impart some new information and perspective each time I've posted here. What I've posted here is as I've said my own views which derive from a couple of different perspectives and what I have learned from observing various online communities and reading the literature.

Observing the communities has actually been probably the most enlightening for me. Given how hyper-online these individuals tend to be, more people should probably be doing this type of research. Littman does some digging in this arena as does 4th Wave Now, but there's really a lot of untapped potential to learn about people's experiences by simply "listening" to what they write online. I owe much of perspective and the development of my case to doing this.

Having said "my case," and you having referred to my "convincing argument," I'm not even sure what that is. I'm just calling it as I see it. Getting this stuff written down helps me figure things out, too.
The first thing to be queered, and still the ongoing target of Queer Studies, was the heteronormative family. This was attacked initially primarily on the basis of several streams of argument emerging from Michele Foucault’s ‘archaeology’ of human sexuality tied into Derrida’s attempts to destabilise the idea of ontological permanence in language and therefore our thoughts.
Speaking of French pedophiles, eh?
The interesting thing is how, in another example of how the left will always eat itself, transactivism works to fundamentally destabilise the categories of gay and lesbian. This is right out of the Queer Studies playbook.
QFT
I just don't want to see young people live in the wrong body for so long that it becomes intimidating to make the leap. But as I continue to say , I recognize that there are risks and challenges and this decision should never be made lightly. It requires more honest dialogue than either side is willing to participate in right, it seems.
"Live in the wrong body." This is as I've said a number of times in a number of ways a problematic way to refer to the issue of gender dysphoria or trans-identification. I won't reiterate why as I already have, a few times. And in fact you replied to my critique of a similar statement by saying:
Yeah, I'm honestly not interested in peddling rhetoric or talking points or anything like that. I'm only interested in the truth. And I think both sides have room to grow in this discourse. We are still at the infancy of this movement and it's going to require a lot of research and generations of sacrifice to get to where we need to be.
Being "only interested in the truth" here means that you will have to deal with some uncomfortable facts and uncomfortable ways of reading these issues. By dropping statements like "living in the wrong body" you have already subscribed to an ideological and non-falsifiable exegesis of trans-identification. However, you're very much spot on that both sides have room to grow. I've tried in my posts in this thread so far to not get too hung up on one particular "pole" in this controversy. I'm neither "TERF" nor "TRA" (both of which actually mean something but which have been reappropriated as general snarlwords/terms of opprobrium going in opposite directions). I just try to proceed with both compassion and a critical eye.

You're also right that this "movement" is in it's infancy. But it is an enfant terrible which is starting to grow too fast. Many in the transgender movement have exceeded the bounds of reason and safety in a number of places. Certainly the bounds of what we have scientific evidence for. Intervening with children is a prime example here. So too is the extension of the "trans" label to a variety of different kinds of GNC which are not all the same, as is making broad and unsubstantiated claims about the nature of gender identity. All of this muddies the waters considerably and makes it difficult to have a conversation about the issues.
How so? I have a very good comprehension of bisexuality, I'm curious as to what I said that was crude or offensive? I'm friends with a guy who dated a trans female and viewed her purely as a female. These things aren't cut and dry. He could identify as pansexual if he wanted, but doesn't.
Thinking that a trans-identified person would be more acceptable to a bisexual person seems to me to invoke something of the "will fuck anything" stereotype that sometimes surrounds bisexuals. I'll accept that maybe I am reading too much into what you said, though.
Are kids really being told they "must" take hormones and have surgery? I mean if so that's fucked up. If people are trying to pressure kids into any of this that is really wrong and fucked up. But other than inevitable edge cases of some fucked up people doing so, I seriously doubt it is happening on a wide scale.
"Must?" Depends on what you mean. There is a lot of pressure on GNC youth from a variety of places in a variety of ways to identify as "trans" and to, once doing so, transition. Transition is also sometimes touted as a cure-all for various things which are either problems of teenhood or genuine emotional issues as well as a way to be "your authentic best self." It is also presented from some quarters as being the only way to be GNC. And trans-identification is rewarded with a lot of attention and a readymade social group, very appealing to the same young people. Some of the more toxic online communities operate much like cults, with "love-bombing," their regimented way of thinking replete with thought-terminating cliché, stuff like that. For a confused teenager looking to belong, some or all of this very well may add up to what seems like a "must."

I think that's it for me for tonight though. Cheers, folks.
 
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Xorkoth

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"Must?" Depends on what you mean. There is a lot of pressure on GNC youth from a variety of places in a variety of ways to identify as "trans" and to, once doing so, transition. Transition is also sometimes touted as a cure-all for various things which are either problems of teenhood or genuine emotional issues as well as a way to be "your authentic best self." It is also presented from some quarters as being the only way to be GNC. And trans-identification is rewarded with a lot of attention and a readymade social group, very appealing to the same young people. Some of the more toxic online communities operate much like cults, with "love-bombing," their regimented way of thinking replete with thought-terminating cliché, stuff like that. For a confused teenager looking to belong, some or all of this very well may add up to what seems like a "must."

I will say that I have seen this somewhat, though not towards children. Specifically, my girlfriend's sister, who has always been gay, has recently decided to transition to a man and has been taking hormones. She's 35, though. My girlfriend says she never had any idea she felt herself to actually be a man, though of course that could be something she just didn't know, as they haven't been very close since becoming adults. But her queer community (she's one of the people who I have heard use this term a lot) has a lot of people transitioning. She told us one time recently that we're such normies for being cis-gendered and heterosexual. I was like... okay come on, that's not only insulting, it's dumb. Most people identify with the gender they were born as, and that's not going to change, nor should anyone hope it does. It seems, to me, that it's a very trendy thing for her that is giving her some sort of feeling of validation or something. But I don't want to assume too much as I actually don't know her very well at all, we've only met a couple of times, even my girlfriend has only seen her 3 times in the 6 and a half years we've been together.

I shared that anecdote to say that I can see where some people could be influenced by it being trendy, and I could see where that could be something negative about the movement. But at the same time, it's still an important movement because there are people for whom all they seek is acceptance and the ability to be who they really are without living a lie to others. Rather than being some sort of liberal plot to destabilize society or whatever some people think it is, I think it's just growing pains and in some decades, or a generation, or two, it will just be normal and everyone will simply be who they are and it won't be such a big deal one way or the other. At least I hope so.
 

birdup.snaildown

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@SKL

I second @Atelier3. Your posts are worthy of publication. Very impressive stuff. Extremely well written.

mal3volent said:
you said you disagreed with everything I said. That is pretty much the only thing I said.

"We need to find a way". If you disagree with that idk how you can claim I'm misrepresenting your views.

I've said there needs to be more dialogue and MUCH more scientific study.

You said 3 things that I quoted.

1) We need to research trans people starting young.
2) They will be able to live more fulfilled lives if they can transition young.
3) We need to find a way despite the risks.

Here are my problems with those statements:

1) You can't research without conducting unethical trial-and-error medical experiments on children.
2) There is no evidence of this. I'm yet to be convinced that transitioning at any age helps people.
3) The risk is greater than the reward.

You then said this:

mal3volent said:
why don't you want... trans individuals to live happy and fulfilled lives ?

Don't tell me I don't want people to be happy.
We disagree about what is the right thing to do.

Frankly, you often do this. I'm happy to have a discussion with you if you're respectful and you give me the benefit of the doubt and you don't post strawman BS. Please don't question my humanity. I am very caring person. I look after people for a living. I don't want anyone to suffer and I really don't appreciate you (or anyone else) suggesting otherwise.

Thanks.
 

mal3volent

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Don't tell me I don't want people to be happy.
We disagree about what is the right thing to do.

Frankly, you often do this. I'm happy to have a discussion with you if you're respectful and you give me the benefit of the doubt and you don't post strawman BS. Please don't question my humanity. I am very caring person. I look after people for a living. I don't want anyone to suffer and I really don't appreciate you (or anyone else) suggesting otherwise.

Thanks.

You're welcome. (I despise sarcastic "thanks" at the end of posts. Just tell me to go fuck myself, I won't mind. Well I guess you can't do that huh. Against the rules and all. Ok fine.)

In all seriousness, you are the one who chose to make the very dramatic statement that you disagree with ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of what I said. Part of what I said is that we need to find a way to help these people despite the risks. If you think "the risk is greater than the reward", fine. That doesn't mean we disagree that we want to find a way to help people. It means we disagree with what "helping" means.

You see, we actually agree on something, which is what I was trying to highlight by calling you out on the 100% thing.

Being "only interested in the truth" here means that you will have to deal with some uncomfortable facts and uncomfortable ways of reading these issues. By dropping statements like "living in the wrong body" you have already subscribed to an ideological and non-falsifiable exegesis of trans-identification.

My favorite facts are the uncomfortable ones. As long as they're actual literal facts and not just strongly held opinions. Living in the wrong body is not just a cliche. That's how I've heard it described over and over. It's existential terror and tragically the only escape some people see is death.
 
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