Check out this article from USA TODAY:
Gen Z is driving force among adults identifying as LGBTQ, poll shows. Here’s a breakdown.
Best Wishes and Hugs,
Published by Scotties Playtime
I am an older gay guy in a long-term wonderful relationship. My spouse and I are in our 33rd year together. I love politics and news. I enjoy civil discussions and have no taboo subjects. My pronouns are he / him / his and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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40 thoughts on “Gen Z is driving force among adults identifying as LGBTQ, poll shows. Here’s a breakdown.”
… those 25 and under – are driving the numbers
And, IMO, this is extremely unfortunate because MANY of them are far too young to be making this type of decision and even worse, to change their bodies to match their “feelings.”
The number refers to those who are LGBTQIA+, not those who are specifically trans AND desiring to have gender affirming surgery. I don’t know of any jurisdiction where surgery is permitted on those under 18 years of age, which, as far as I’m concerned is certainly old enough. If one can vote, serve in the military, undertake jury service, and marry at 18 (16 with parental or Family Court consent) then I can see no justification for denying those who feel compelled to undertake gender affirming surgery.
I also find your use of feelings inside quotes inappropriate as it implies something that might not necessarily be real. No one chooses to be trans any more than someone chooses to be gay. Prejudice against gays is bad enough, but it’s nothing compared to being trans – especially against trans women. Most trans folk know (not “feel”) that have been assigned the wrong gender from an early age, usually before they start school, although they may not know how to express it at that age. Coming out at any age is never easy due to social expectations.
In Aotearoa, 5% of the population identify as LGBTQIA+ and 0.8% identify as transgender. That’s over all ages from the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers to Generation Z. No doubt it is higher among younger generations due to the gradual, albeit slow, acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. I believe that’s a sign of a healthy society.
Some gender affirming surgery is funded by the health system but it’s so little that the waiting list is currently something like 70 years. At present there’s no surgeons qualified to perform such surgery working in NZ (apart from breast augmentation or removal) – any so qualified can make better money overseas. Those who wish to undergo surgery must travel overseas to have it performed, therefore most trans folk in this country spend their entire life without gender affirming surgery and instead rely on hormone treatment alone. I can only reiterate the affirmation by the New Zealand Council of women (500,000 affiliated members): Trans women are women, trans men are men. In other words, it’s how one expresses one’s identity that determines one’s gender.
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From the beginning of the article: “A total of 7.2% of U.S. adults identify as LGBTQ, and younger generations – particularly those 25 and under …” are driving the numbers … (My emphasis)
IMO, it is a moot point to segregate the fact that a person identifies as a multi-letter individual. If they “identify,” they most likely either have had or desire to have or have had surgery to match their “identity.”
BTW, there is a transgender hospital in St. Louis that is treating children who are far too young to be making decisions to alter their bodies to “match” their feelings.
I’m NOT going to get into a prolonged discussion on this subject. Suffice it to say that I have no problem with what any ADULT individual wants to do with their body, but to allow children to alter their sex to match their gender “feelings” is unacceptable.
I see this issue a lot like abortion: I can never have one, so my opinion is – well, you know they old saying about opinions and butt-holes. But, thought out opinions and understanding another’s position helps me define myself.
Please be sure: I respect your position (ie: I’m not trying to argue right or wrong with you) and that you do not want to get into this and I hope you don’t mind me “talking to you” via your comment. I really would like to know what “treatment” means, in this case of the St. Louis hospital. Can you offer a link or something where I can be on the same page as you?
Please forgive me as I’m going to be somewhat in disagreement with you in that I believe a young person, having had serious counselling and understanding, should be given the options of things like puberty blockers that are easily reversible. This allows people to LATER guide their body along a path of their choosing without the obvious hinderances of secondary sex characteristics. (I don’t believe surgery should be done when a child)
We live in a world that has quickly changed. When I was a kid, I learned to type on an IBM selectric II. Thought I was the bomb. There were no things like Iphones. Computers were in their relative infancy. Remember punch cards? I do. There were transsexuals’ then. Do you recall “World According to Garp”? This is not a new event. What is new is that people now have options that were not available before. What the problem with that is, we older people are not a part of that new generation of hope, and we look at what the younger people go through now, feel now, see now, and we relate it to our youth, our memories and sensibilities. How could we not?
I recently emailed with a young man that was suicidal. I was scared to death with every word I typed that I’d say the wrong thing. All I could do was say that he was worth love, acceptance, peace of heart and that his future was full of opportunity. I was scared to death! I kicked myself at every word. But, I wanted him to know that he had a life yet to live.
I’m sorry, Nan. You know I love you. I don’t mean to preach or anything. I’m still reeling from that email. But, there are a lot of people telling others what they can’t be, how they can’t be their genuine self. And I am most assuredly NOT saying this is you. What I am saying is that we need to accept that there are people who do not conform to what we think ought to be. If some boy, say my nephew or the neighbor boy, tells me he is a girl in the wrong wrapper, I’d be struggling to accept that too. I don’t have to accept that he is right or wrong, I just have to accept that he is searching to find who he is. Who am I to deny him that?
All my love and respect, Nan;
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First … the link: https://www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/transgender-center
Thank you for the thoughtful –and respectful– reply, Randy. I hope you realize I’m not telling anyone how to live their lives, but by the same token, I don’t want them telling me how to think or believe. If I feel uncomfortable with transgenderism, that’s my problem. Not anyone else’s.
However, since it seems to be a trendy topic to discuss, I will on occasion express my concerns related to adolescent children being allowed to make decisions for themselves on their gender … and being approved for “treatment.” Some may feel that puberty blockers are harmless, but studies have shown this is not always the case.
I’m smart enough to know that people are going to do what they want, regardless of what others say, believe, or think. And that’s their prerogative. But it is also mine to express my reluctance in giving a thumbs-up to their actions.
Sending back love and respect to you, Randy.
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Thank you for the link. And, of course, I believe you are 100% allowed your concerns and opinions. And as always, you are a very realistic person in your expectations.
I did read their service offerings: they do say that they do not offer surgical options until after age 18.
Also, I’ll admit ignorance on the hormones and such. It’s fair to presume a consequence to those things, but I have no clue what it is.
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Of all the letters in LGBTQIA+ only the “T” is there likely to be a desire for surgery to match their identity. For most of those 7.2%, all they want is to have the right to express their gender/sexuality and have that accepted in the same way society accepts straight+cis expression. I identify as “A” in LGBTQIA+, and I can assure you from bitter experience going back over 60 years that if others identify you as any letter (or letters), even “A”, it can result not only in constant bullying but at times violent assaults. No one chooses any part of being LGBTQIA+ simply because of “feelings”. I don’t choose to be Agendered and Asexual any more than I choose to be Autistic, and having Prosopagnosia, Aphantasia, and Alexithymia, all of which society views negatively and treats me accordingly. That’s just who I am.
I’m not persuaded that the proportion of the population who are LGBTQIA+ has changed in recent decades, probably centuries, any more than I’m persuaded that autism has increased. but those who come out as being so has increased, largely influenced by two factors.
(1) the Internet allows minorities to find similar individuals – something that was not possible a generation ago – so that they can find mutual support and they can speak in a unified voice that’s more difficult for society to dismiss.
(2) Possibly because of the above, but maybe independently due to a better understanding of how the brain works, there is now a wider acceptance in Western society that gender and sexualtiy identity/expression is not binary, but lies along multiple spectrums. Many other cultures have long recognised and accepted such a perspective.
I’ve started watching the video that tildeb links to in his comment further down this page. Personally I think it’s biased as are some of tildebs comments – particularly that there’s an agender to persuade gay and lesbian youth that they are actually trans. Despite tildeb’s claim to the contrary, a person can be born trans just as they can be born gay (or autistic). Gender identity and sexual preferences are unrelated, and anyone who conflates the two is confused. What I would say about the video – as far as I have watched it so far – is that it reflects poorly on the American health system where it would seem that the profit motive often overrides any ethical considerations.
I’m not denying that there’s a possibility that gender affirming treatment (whatever form that takes) can pose some risks, but that has to be weighed up against the risks of no treatment – especially mental health and self harm including suicide. Any ethical doctor will discuss with their patient all possible scenarios include potential harm before undergoing any form of treatment beit gender affirming treatment or otherwise. And as I have previously indicated, in Aotearoa, genital reconstruction surgery to conform with one’s gender identity is not available here.
A more sympathetic documentary in a NZ context is Born This Way: Awa’s Story (45 minutes). It’s availability seems to vary by geolocation but a Google search should help you find a version that’s available in your location. Currently there’s a version available for almost everywhere (outside NZ) on the Sunday TVNZ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SundayTVNZ/videos/born-this-way-awas-story/1625052140838291/ . Anyone who watches that documentary and claims Awa’s gender affirming treatment was inappropriate because she was entering (male) puberty needs their head read.
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Are you not somewhat curious… perhaps a little concerned… that nearly half of children (under the age of 18) being treated for ‘gender dysphoria’ at England’s largest gender clinic (Tavistock) were previously diagnosed as autistic and yet stopped receiving any treatment whatsoever for this condition as soon as they were ‘identified’ by Tavistock staff as ‘needing’ transition? Perhaps you believe that autism in many cases is caused by gender dysphoria so one might reasonably expect the autism to be cured or reduced after transitioning (which never ends, BTW). This, unfortunately, is not the case, which may help explain the suicide rate of those who have transitioned is roughly 17 times that of the same age cohort… if suicide prevention/treating autism is indeed a leading concern for treating gender dysphoria.
Question: what IS gender if not a feeling?
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Just saw this: Gendering soaps seems a bit much—can’t men and women use the same products? Is THIS what the world of genderism is coming to?
Nan, I can’t even figure out what ‘gender’ is. So marketing to gender means marketing to stereotypes (as far as I can determine) which I thought we had already moved past as nothing more than artificial constructs that fail to account for the wide spectrum within any assigned group members made up of real people! Go figure.
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Depending on how gender nonconforming is defined, between 20% and 60% of autistics are gender nonconforming and as autistics make up between 1% and 2% of the population, it’s hardly surprising that they make up a large percentage of those receiving help at Tavistock.
According to their website, the GIC is “For children and young people, and their families, who experience difficulties in the development of their gender identity.” That does not necessarily imply every young person referred there is receiving treatment that will lead to gender confirming surgery, and I’d be very disappointed if that is what in fact happens. Having said that, in the UK one must commit to gender reassignment surgery if one desires to legally change assigned gender, so it’s possible that treatment leading to surgery may be more frequent than necessary or desirable.
As an aside, receiving coaching/counselling at such a centre might have helped me understand how society expects those born male to behave. I had no idea, and was at the receiving end of bullying and not a small amount of violence for not understanding the unspoken social rules.
I’d be interested where you found the evidence that the suicide rate of those who have transitioned is 17 times those of their cis peers. The evidence I have seen is that those who have transitioned are less suicidal than they were prior to transitioning. I wonder if the high rate is due primarily to the way society reacts negatively to transgender people and those transitioning have a false expectation of how they will be accepted in a cis normative society. Autistic people also have a high suicide rate due society’s negative attitude towards autism. Autistics are 9 time more likely to die by suicide than their neurotypical peers while female autistics are a whopping 35 times more likely to die by suicide than their neurotypical female peers. It’s a significant factor in the reason why autistics have a life expectancy some 20 years less than the neurotypical population.
Autism is not curable or treatable unless you believe aversion/conversion “therapy” a valid form of treatment. All “treatment” does is to condition autistics to behave in an unnatural manner so that they appear less autistic to the neurotypical community. Autistic people are actively discouraged and punished for being their true selves. Are you aware that autistic people have a 130% increased chance of meeting the PTSD criteria as adults if they were exposed to ABA “therapy” as children compared to autistic peers who were not so exposed? So my response to the news that autistic children at Tavistock stopped receiving “treatment” is one of relief tinged with sadness that they were exposed to such “treatment” in the first place.
And please stop making assumptions about what I might or not not believe and then proceed as if your assumption is correct. Of course I’m not persuaded that autism is caused by gender dysphoria any more than I am persuaded that it is caused by vaccinations or “refrigerator mothers” or cell phone towers, or the many other nonsensical notions as to the “causes” of autism. It’s true that autistics are more likely to be LGBTQIA+ than their neurotypical peers – by more than an order of magnitude when it comes to gender nonconformity. Essentially, autistic folk are less likely to view gender expression/identity and sexuality/sexual attraction as binary than do neurotypical folk.
As to your question what IS gender if not a feeling? Perhaps you are asking the wrong person as I am alexithymic, but I’d venture to say it’s more along the lines of how one responds to the experience of living as an assigned gender – typically one of two genders assigned at birth according to external genitalia. I accept that’s somewhat of a circular response. Call it “feelings” if you wish, but I perceive that for most people, gender goes to the core of one’s being and identity. How much this is influenced by the binary gender paradigm I’m not sure. I wager that if Western society could get past the binary gender paradigm, fewer people would experience gender dysphoria and fewer would feel the need to seek surgery in order to feel comfortable in their chosen gender.
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So you’re neither curious nor concerned. Hmm. I have to say I’m surprised, Barry. Oh well, how about one of the two case workers for the St Louis Children’s Hospital gender clinic – married to a transman, no less, calling what’s going on with affirmation ‘therapy’, “morally and medically appalling.” What does she know that perhaps you don’t know?
But then, you’d find all the answers to your questions in the video rather than assuming it has anything to do with me and what you presume must be ‘biased’ because I am the one referencing it. That’s the same line of reasoning many religious people certain in their faith-based beliefs use to dismiss anything from reality that disagrees with the faith-based beliefs atheists might raise. This video is a comprehensive and fair assessment of what’s going on and uses the best information available to date. And yes, they too reference Jamie Reed’s whistle blowing Nan referred to because this what’s REALLY going on here.
What part of “That does not necessarily imply every young person referred there is receiving treatment that will lead to gender confirming surgery, and I’d be very disappointed if that is what in fact happens.” implies I am “neither curious nor concerned“? Rather it’s the opposite. However, for every example of someone regretting transition I could find you multiple examples of people being thankful that they were able to transition. And I’m certainly not going to take a single documentary that set out to demonstrate how harmful the gender affirmation/care industry in the US is as more authoritative than the many more sympathetic articles I’ve seen and including the experience of a number of transitioners I have the good fortune to know.
Perhaps I should be surprised that you seem to be “neither curious nor concerned” about how ABA causes PTSD in autistic children and adults. How about if I said that SCOTUS has ruled that it’s ok to electrocute autistic children and adults in order to “modify their behaviour” but that doing the same to animals is cruel and inhumane? The electrocuting device is strapped to the autistic person’s body and has a output similar to that of a taser gun. Still neither curious nor concerned?
As I have already pointed out, Western society has placed gender identity/expression firmly on a binary paradigm, and until that shifts, gender will always be a complicated issue. And the law in both the UK and many US states complicate matters further, as no doubt does the profit motive in the American health “system”. I have little doubt that there are excesses in the gender affirmation/care sector, but throwing out the baby with the bath water is not the solution. Besides there are worse atrocities inflicted on autistic people.
May I point out that just as there are some climate scientists who still argue against human induced climate change, so too are there those in the gender affirmation/care sector who hold a different perspective than their colleagues. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the case as gender is somewhat more abstract than climate. A similar situation occurs within the autism care sector. I don’t turn a blind eye to criticism but I do temper it with skepticism when there’s a weight evidence contradicting such criticism.
Finally, I primarily focus is on rights for, and the abuses of, the autistic community, and my interest in LGBTQIA+ arises out of that due to the intersection of neurodiversity and diversity in gender identity and sexual orientation, not specifically with gender transition. And until there’s a paradigm shift in how the wider society responds to the autistic community, that is where my focus will remain. “Hmm” as much as you like, but I am just one (autistic) person doing what I can in a field I have had a lifetime of experience of and where I’m more likely to make a difference.
Affirmation only is a very real medical policy directive in several western countries and it has profound consequences on children who, like you, have been taught to believe there really is something called gender to which each of us identifies and, in some cases, does not comport to our physical bodies and so we alter these bodies to address it. Altering these bodies is the ‘only’ part of this that is medically sanctioned. So here’s the point: what if gender is not real but is based on variable feelings of how well or poorly one’s sexual identity matches the stereotypical idea of either male or female? I can think of no more vulnerable a population than children on the autism spectrum falling into lifelong medicalization under this directive that everyone from counselors to doctors must submit. And I find that, if true, this directive is both morally and medically appalling because it seems to be creating a vast pool of victims (over 40,000 detransitioners and resistors so far on Reddit). And it does seem to be true. So I am concerned. But what’s fascinating is how this concern casts me in the eyes of those who believe in gender identity as a morally suspect person.
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“…and it has profound consequences on children who, like you, have been taught to believe there really is something called gender …” No matter how I try to interpret that, it always reads that I, as a child, was taught gender was “something” If my interpretation is correct (and I do want it to be wrong), then you are wide of the mark. For all of my early life I was under the impression that gender was just another word for biological sex – that female and woman/girlwere exactly the same in meaning as were male and man/boy. I never understood why playing with dolls was something boys shouldn’t do or that playing contact games was something boys are expected do. I learnt to imitate mannerisms of both genders without realising that many were gender specific. Let’s just say I was a slow learner and I have the scars to prove it.
It was my wife that first pointed out my error as I discovered how she was brought up to take on the responsibilities and also the role that would normally be expected of a male head of a feudal land owning household. In her culture, differences in appropriate behaviour for each gender is much much more pronounced than in the West, so she had to learn two ways of being: As a man when she was acting in her role as head of the household and as landowner, and as a woman at other times. She was one of only 2 females among some 1500 students attending the local university.
I think I have responded to the other parts of your comment elsewhere on this page.
So you believe a significant number of children are born in the wrong body? That children can self-diagnose ‘gender’ dysphoria and should be able to direct their own medical transitioning (imagine if this were done for anorexia!) and that the entire medical profession is justified in going along. Do you believe children can alter their biological sex, that – to quote the oft chanted ‘right’ – a transwoman is in fact a woman? These are the underlying beliefs that justify pathologizing children into a medical stream leading to significant life long health problems (especially stroke, bone loss, and unknown cognitive effects) – sterility, and never-ending medical services to ‘align’ ‘gender’ with ‘identity’. You’re good with all of this. I’m not.
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So you believe a significant number of children are born in the wrong body? No That children can self-diagnose ‘gender’ dysphoria No and should be able to direct their own medical transitioning No and that the entire medical profession is justified in going along. No Do you believe children can alter their biological sex, No one can change their biological sex that – to quote the oft chanted ‘right’ – a transwoman is in fact a woman? A trans woman is a woman These are the underlying beliefs that justify pathologizing children into a medical stream leading to significant life long health problems (especially stroke, bone loss, and unknown cognitive effects) – sterility, and never-ending medical services to ‘align’ ‘gender’ with ‘identity’. You are conflating gender nonconformity and gender diversity with gender dysphoria. You’re good with all of this. You are conflating gender with biological sex I’m not.
In December 2017, I wrote an article condeming the medicalisation of transgendrism in Being transgender is a mental disorder!. My stance hasn’t changed.
Let me quote from the American Psychological Association website on what transgender means:
Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Gender identity refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female or something else; gender expression refers to the way a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice or body characteristics. “Trans” is sometimes used as shorthand for “transgender.” While transgender is generally a good term to use, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-nonconforming will identify as a transgender person..
What it’s stating is that anyone who isn’t comfortable with being pigeonholed into one of two possible genders as defined by our culture is transgender. As I keep repeating, gender is a social construct that requires persons of a particular biological sex to behave, dress speak etc in a specific manner. It’s quite possible to be transgender in one culture, and then move to a different culture where one’s gender more closely aligns with one of the genders as defined by that culture, and hence no longer be transgender.
By way of an example, my wife is quite comfortable being a woman in Aotearoa where our social construct of what is appropriate for women aligns closely with what she is comfortable with. However, in her country of birth, she didn’t like behaving, speaking or having interests that aligned with was was considered appropriate for women in her culture. She struggled and often felt like a fish out of water. While I don’t think it reached anywhere near the level of gender dysphoria (especially as there were occasions when her role required her to act more like a man), she she felt like a square peg being forced through a round hole in the way she was expected to behave as a woman, and that resulted in bouts of depression. It never occurred to her that one possible “solution” might be to change gender, but I can understand how someone in a similar position might feel compelled to do so. Instead, her solution was to emigrate. When she moved to Aotearoa, she didn’t change – the culture did. To quote from the APA website: “While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ..
Referring to the APA definition above, by that definition, I would be classified as transgender but I’d be highly pissed off if anyone referred to me as transgender I view myself as gender nonconforming, not transgender. I’ve revealed more about my personal life than I feel comfortable with during this conversation, but I’ve done so to illustrate my perspective, which you seem to have completely misread judging by the nature of the comment above.
It’s the belief that biological sex and gender identity are one and the same thing that leads to gender dysphoria, or more specifically “wrong body syndrome”, not the belief that gender is a social construct. Here’s my reasoning:
Consider Janet who is finds presenting as a woman extremely uncomfortable and would much rather prefer being John and live according to the social expectations of a man. But society says “No, you were born female, so whether you like it or not you must be constrained by the social construct we have defined as womanhood”. Janet draws the following conclusion:
* I am more comfortable behaving and interacting the way men do
* But only men are permitted to behave and interact this way
* I am required to behave and interact in a way that makes me uncomfortable.
* I am required to behave and interact this way because I was born female
* Therefore I must really be a man
* But I was born female
* Therefore I must have been born into the wrong body.
* If I change my body to make mike it more like a male, then perhaps I’ll be allowed to behave like a man.
So Janet seeks gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatment. She is diagnosed as having gender dysphoria and becomes a porn in a multi-billion dollar gender identity industry and eventually applies to the appropriate authority to have his new gender legally recognised – subject to the whims of that authority.
In jurisdictions that understand gender is a social and cultural construct, Janet isn’t told she must behave and interact as a woman because she was born female. Her line of thinking is this:
* I am more comfortable behaving and interacting the way men are expected to
* I am uncomfortable behaving and interacting the way women are expected to
* Therefore I am a man
Janet changes her birth certificate, drivers licence and passport to record his name as John and his gender marker to M. End of story. No “born in the wrong body”. No gender dysphoria. No medicalisation. No doctors. No psychiatrists. And if in the unlikely event that John discovers being a man doesn’t live up to his expectations, she can revert be being Janet. Alternatively he might realise he’s gender fluid, so they change their name to Jonnie and their gender marker on their documents to X.
I appreciate that’s very much a simplification, but to suggest self identification results in increased gender dysphoria is a nonsense in my view. Legislation was introduced into the NZ Parliament in 2019 to allow for gender self identification, and in 2021 the law to make gender self ID the only form of gender recognition was passed. Among the aims of the law is to reduce the medicalisation of gender identification and allow every person to present in the gender they feel most comfortable with.
You may not agree with this nation’s choice, but considering there were 100,000 submissions presented to the parliamentary select committee considering the law change, the fact that the change was promoted by women and the fact that the legislation passed into law by a unanimous vote in the parliament means I have more confidence in this nation’s choice than I have in the nature of your objections. And with that I’m bowing out of this discussion.
Barry, you answer ‘No’ to the foundational beliefs that justifies Affirmation Only but then believe a man who identifies as a woman IS a woman. On what basis if you’ve already rejected the justification for it? For example, you go along with the notion that children are ASSIGNED their sex at birth from some nearby observer rather than RECOGNIZE the biological sex… and then accuse me of conflating gender with biological sex! Methinks thou art trying to have it both ways. The problem is, the two are incompatible: either gender is real and biological sex is just a social construct or sex is real and gender is just a social construct. If the latter, then no amount of chemically and surgically altering children’s bodies will address the sudden onset of ‘gender’ dysphoria.
Youre going to have to help me out here. What are these foundational beliefs that justify Affirmation Only to which I answered ‘No’ ? And while you’re at it, perhaps you can say why these are foundational beliefs. I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m genuinely puzzled. For the most part, you’ll notice that I’m not discussing ‘beliefs’ or ‘principles’, I’m using real lived experiences – either my own or those of people I know. My understanding of gender and biological sex, their intersections and differences are based on those varied experiences.
Perhaps i can offer a prompt as I assume because you have capitalised ‘assigned’ and ‘recognize’ that you are assigning some significance to the meanings of these words that in some subtle way differs from how I might be using them.
You state that I go along with the notion that children are ASSIGNED their sex at birth. No I do not. For approximately 99.7% of births, the child’s sex is obvious. It’s only in the remIning 0.3% that historically sex has been assigned, and more frequently these days that’s being left to the child to decide at an appropriate age. What I state is that a child is assigned a gender at birth based on the child’s sex. From that point onwards the child is socialised according to the assigned gender, not biological sex. I am stating that if a female baby is socialised as a boy, then the odds are that they will self identify as a boy. It’s only when that child discoverers that their body is different from every other boy and is the same as a girl’s body that confusion and possibly distress arises.
What I am arguing is that in Western culture, gender and biological sex thought of as being identical. We tend to see differences in the way men and women socialise as being inherently related to their biological sex, when in fact for the most part it is related to the way they have been socialised. It’s the socialisation that a developing child receives that, for most children, sets in place their gender identity.
In cultures that recognise more than two genders, or permit more gender fluidity than in the West, the process can be different. In some cultures the gender is assigned by the parents or the community but not necessarily at birth. In others, the child is allowed to grow into the gender they feel they belong to.
Finally, while I am comfortable with the trend of more people identifying as transgender (in the sense that they are gender diverse or gender nonconforming), the matter of gender dysphoria is more complex and more nuanced. I have my own theories on this, but I will agree with you that in many cases it appears to be a medicalisation of a social problem.
One question I would like answered is whether there is an actual increase in the number of people who experience gender dysphoria, or whether it is an increase in the number who present with gender dysphoria because, due to the advances in medicine, there is now a realisation that it is possible to be cosmetically altered to have the appearance of the opposite sex whereas previously this was in the realms of fantasy.
For those interested in Tavistock, here’s a 10 minute video exploring with a respected journalist/author why it was shut down. Both autism and same sex attraction are mentioned.
I don’t have a good WiFi connection at the moment, so I’ll watch it later. In return for completing the two videos you have linked to, will you watch “Awa’s Story” which I have linked to in a reply to Nan elsewhere on this page and then tell me if you agree or disagree with the chosen course of action? I don’t know Awa personally, but in a nation as small as ours where a mobile phone company names itself after the supposed levels of separation between any two Kiwis (2 Degrees), it’s not really surprising that I know someone whose child shared some classes with Awa.
Barry, the presumption behind criticizing Affirmation Only for the medicalization of thousands of healthy bodies into all kinds of long term life-altering and very serious health issues is that one must be either a transphobe/bigot/ignoramus or against anyone receiving any medical interventions for sex-based dysphoria. This presumption is wrong. The criticism is founded on compelling evidence of real world harm being done to vulnerable children. It’s not a political disagreement but all about healthcare.
Back in the late 90s, I was part of a small team of teachers charged in the late spring with preparing a school and the community for the inclusion of a trans student for fall enrollment. The leading experts at the time were out of Toronto and so we were in close contact with Dr Ken Zucker, his research and clinic, and became quite familiar with this dysphoria in order to offer informed advice on how the Board, the particular high school, its students and their parents, could best prepare for receiving a transitioned student. When the student arrived in the fall, everything went so well that it was a non story and she graduated along with all of his classmates years later. She was a natal male. A small number of changes were made with the school’s facilities, talks were held, fears allayed, policies put in place, teachers and staff advised, but for a reputed blue collar redneck community, people treated the entire situation and student as nothing but normal. (There was far more concern about Goths!)
I have followed the research ever since and, with the rise of social media and cell phones in the mid 2000 and teens, was not surprised that the cohort of young males that once were over 90% of all such cases has now reversed to about 75% now made up of girls who have previously exhibited zero dysphoria (and the Toronto clinic shut down and Zucker and his team of clinicians cancelled).
So of course I’m concerned that healthcare has rejected the entire scope of knowledge about sex-based dysphoria (with about 80-90% self resolving by the end of the teen years) and has instead inserted a medicalized ‘therapy’ full of factual and biological risks that are simply waved away. This is true for blockers, true for hormones, true for surgeries. And this has been accomplished by the creation of an entire language that shifts sex-based meaning of biological terminology to a ‘gender’-based meaning of ideological terminology. What once was a healthcare issue has been entirely hijacked into a political/religious/moral issue. And that needs to change.
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As I have stated previously and will state for the last time, my concerns are with human rights. The right for a person to be treated with respect and dignity no matter what their gender, sex, sexual orientation, neurology, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, or any other difference, and that all such people are legally protected from discrimination, abuse and exclusion in any form. Every gender diverse person deserves those rights. The claimed excessive medicalisation of people who Identify as transgender is a separate issue, and one I am not knowledgeable enough to make in depth comment.
When you consider that in the EU, there are an estimated 1.5 million transgender people but only about 33,000 have sought treatment by the way of surgery or hormones, I’m not persuaded that over medicalisation is as prevalent as you seem to believe. In the US, there’s around 1.6 million transgendered people, but only 140,000 people have sought to change their name from one usually associated gender to a name of the other gender according to the Social Security Administration (records date back to the 1930s). the 2010 US census reported that 90,000 people had changed their name to the opposite gender from the name assigned at birth.
This tells me that most people who identify as transgender to not seek medical treatment for gender dysphoria. That is why In Aotearoa, the law was changed to 2021 so that people could legally change their gender without the necessity of having medical treatment – in other words, Self Identification. I support that as did 99,000 of the 100,000 submitters to the parliamentary select committee considering the law change and as did every member of parliament. In the US, the rights of women, and the LGBTQIA+ are being eroded in many states, and history is being erased. That is why Scottie feels so strongly about those matters. As I have no wish to outstay Scottie’s hospitality, I feel I have taken this matter as far as I can.
IMO, doing things (activities) that are opposite of society’s “accepted” roles of male or female is FAR different than what is happening now in the gender identification world.
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It’s not just about doing things. It’s also the relationships between men and women, amongst other things. 200 years ago women were the property of their father or their husband, they had no property rights, and not much in the way of personal independence. Acceptable behaviour for men and women was very different from what it is now. Attitudes as to what being a woman or a man actually meant was very different then. Women were considered very much inferior to men and this was reflected in both custom and law. Times change, and I think we’re in the middle of a paradigm shift over what gender means. It’s a shift where the US and NZ seem to be moving in opposite directions, where the US is pathologising/medicalising gender identity and turning it into a multi-billion dollar industry, while NZ has moved to view gender entirely as a social construct and not tied to one’s biological sex. One’s gender is determined by stating it is so, and we’re not limited to a choice of only two genders. My reply to tildeb today goes into more detail on this.
Are you not concretizing the sex stereotypes as the case against which one then assigns the spectrum of gender? Didn’t we just spend 60 years breaking down these concretized sex stereotypes so that individuals could pursue their happiness without being constrained by societal roles of their natal sex? And now you want to go back, claim the stereotypes are real and think this is ‘progressive’?
The problem is that those sex stereotypes (which I perceive as gender stereotypes) that you say have been broken down, are in large measure still remaining. One only needs to look at the gender discrepancies in commerce and government to see that. At lower, middle and upper levels of management in government, the genders are distributed more or less evenly, whereas in commerce, there is a glass ceiling at lower middle management that women find is extremely difficult to break through. That’s just one example.
Have you ever been with a group of people seeking a solution to a problem and a possible solution offered by a woman is downplayed until the same or similar suggestion is made by a man? I think you’ll find few women who haven’t experienced that. While older women tend to resignedly accept that as part of the misogynist culture they live in, younger women are less forgiving. You only need to ask my granddaughter about the social injustices that women still face and experience her very heated response to understand how real it still is. And this is the response from a person living in a nation with a relatively high level of gender equality and equity.
Isn’t reproductive rights in a nation not far from you ample evidence that there is still a very long way to go?
One can appreciate support for other groups that encounter abuse simply because of certain somatogenetic factors present at birth. But, IMO, gender uncertainty is far different than, for example, autism because being “born in the wrong body” is a mental determination, not a physical one.
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At the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session this weekend present a study to the World Congress of Cardiology:
In the study, people with gender dysphoria who had ever used hormone replacements saw “nearly seven times the risk of ischemic stroke (a blockage in a vessel supplying blood to the brain), nearly six times the risk of ST elevation myocardial infarction (the most serious type of heart attack) and nearly five times the risk of pulmonary embolism (a blockage in an artery in the lung), compared with people with gender dysphoria who had never used hormone replacements.”
Again, this isn’t my opinion. This isn’t my belief. This isn’t my political position. It’s simply another brick of knowledge about what an Affirmation Only medical directive is doing to children, many of whom are autistic and gay and seriously questioning why they feel differently. The medical answer under Affirmation Only is ALWAYS gender dysphoria, which is then addressed not by wait and see (knowing about three quarters of all questioning children report no ‘gender dysphoria’ by age 19), not by talk therapy and B Mod (behavioural modification strategies) but with puberty blockers, hormones, and then surgeries. That’s the path. At Tavistock, for example, over 95% of ALL children went on blockers and proceeded to hormones. In the States, this move to hormones often occurs on Day 1 of ‘therapy’ (usually through a single session at Planned Parenthood and most often without the parents having any idea this is happening). The risks of these stages (WPATH – one of the Big Three bodies that write what the medical community swallows whole, recommends Tanner Stage 2 as sufficient to begin this ‘therapy’ – disregarding that sometimes kids reach this state as young as age 8) are not known (this is the major conclusion of reviews in Britain, France, Sweden, Denmark, and the only American medical association out of Florida). But the lack of knowledge is ignored by medical practitioners practicing Affirmation Only. The actualization of the risks seen by Jamie Reed at her clinic is what turned her from supporter to whistleblower. Something is not right. Pointing out these risks and advocating for a serious review by countries continuing to promote Affirmation Only is not a transphobic act but a legitimate concern. Assuming this issue is somehow political or tribal is a way to divert attention from a very serious experimental program now being carried out on children that needs serious review.
So? I too have taken many forms of medication that present exactly the same risks you describe above and some with even higher risks, and if they had proved effective I would still be on them (if they hadn’t already killed me). The medications were to enhance my “quality of life”, not to extend it or to protect me from a life threatening condition. As it is, the medication has lead to, or significantly contributed to chronic renal failure, among a number of other conditions that are less serious. In the words of one of my previous doctors: “All medicines are harmful, but they can have beneficial side effects”.
I have no faith in the medical profession when it comes to the pathologising of autism, and most autistics view the largest autism “advocacy” organisation as a hate group, so I’m not closed to the idea that a similar problem occurs when it comes to transgender issues. However I take my lead on matters transgender from those who are actually transgender rather from those who have an interest in it (whether pro or anti). Of all the transgender people I know, only know of only one who openly admits to having gender reassignment surgery. Of the rest, I have no idea if they have had surgery or not, nor whether they take “gender affirming” medication, and what’s more, it’s actually none of my business.
The point is to question and criticize the pathologizing of vulnerable children (like autistics, like gays and lesbians, like children with comorbidities) and offering exactly one way forward. Transitioning. That’s what affirmation only therapy is: the road to transitioning because feeling uncomfortable is assumed to be irrefutable evidence of being born in the wrong-sexed body in need of life long medicalization to ‘correct’ this error. The point is not to vilify anyone other than those who believe (belief in the religious sense) that this assumption is morally, ethically, and professionally the right way – the only way – to treat these kids in spite of compelling evidence of harm to the contrary. We need to back up and re-examine what’s really going on here. (In 2022, the percentage of ALL children claiming trans identity has now risen to almost 20%!) Hence the call for a systemic review. Every organization that has done so has stopped this practice dead in its tracks because the evidence in its favour is testimonial, the risks either lacking or unknown, the harm accrued undeniable to over 40,000 children to date, and the long term effects (as a percentage of those who have undergone treatment while still a minor) seem to be astronomically bad. Calling for a review, however, automatically casts one as a transphobe participating in hate speech. That should be a red flag to any rational person.
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So I take it that you would support an immediate moratorium on all autism treatment until such time as a full review, has been conducted, and in which autistic people have their voices heard?
My understanding of affirmation only therapy is that it means affirmation only. In other words take the claims of the client as being the truth as the client perceives it and then working from there with the client to help them sort out how the client wishes to live. That may involve “gender affirming” treatment, but I would hope that is a last resort, not the first step. That’s how it is here, bearing in mind that the last resort in not available in this country.
You may consider that gender doesn’t exist, but I beg to differ. It is a social construct that does affect everyone. Just ask any career minded woman about the “glass ceiling” she hits when it comes to promotions. Or after I bought a new vehicle for my fledgling business, men would query me about why I chose that particular make and model and whether it met my needs. On the other hand, numerous women would volunteer the comment without any prompting on my part “Nice car. Pity about the feminine [or girlish] colour”. Or when our children were babies and toddlers, we didn’t pay any heed to “gender appropriate” clothing, and we avoided gender specific pronouns as much as possible given it was the 1970s. The wife and I quickly discovered, much to our surprise, that people would interact with each of our children differently depending on whether they thought they interacting with a boy or girl. I did most of the raising of our children with the exception of cooking and purchasing their clothes, I was the one who read them stories, listened to their concerns, took them to their sports and activities or the doctor and practically every other parental duty. We joined a babysitting club so that we could have the occasional evening out, and I was nominated as the parent to do the babysitting when it was our turn. Of the approximately 25 families in the club only 4 would permit a man to undertake babysitting duties. Or when I was a child, one household in the street that had a stay at home father and a working mother. More than half the children in our neighbourhood were not permitted to visit that household because any man who “stayed home instead of working” or “sent his wife out to work” was, by definition untrustworthy. My parents held no such notion. Or a mother we know who refuses to consider her son’s request to allow him to grow his hair long and refuses her daughter’s request for short hair as she found managing long hair too difficult. Those examples have everything to do with gender and nothing to do with one’s biological sex.
As for your claim that 20% of all children claiming a trans identity, if that’s factually true, it wouldn’t surprise me, nor would it it particularly worry me. Here’s why.
The word transgender is an all encompassing term that includes everyone who is gender non-conforming or gender diverse. What is gender diverse you ask? Anyone who does not conform to the gender stereotype(s) as currently accepted within a society or community. Using that definition, I and perhaps half of all autistics are trans, whereas I simply see myself as agendered.
For us autistics, I suspect it is because we don’t pick up on all the social cues that tell others what is and isn’t “appropriate” or “desirable” for their assigned gender. As for the youth of today, I suspect that it’s a realisation that the binary gender stereotype that still pervades most Western societies causes an incongruence between the ideals of the younger generation and the realities imposed on them by older, gender conforming generations. While there has always been a small proportion of the population who feel the need to alter their bodies to match the appearance of the sex that is typically associated with their gender identity, my gut feeling is that as gender stereotypes becomes more fluid and less strictly associated with biological sex, then “gender dysphoria” or “gender identity disorder” will decrease at the same time as gender diversity increases.
In this regard, I consider the law in most Western jurisdictions conflates gender and biological sex by requiring surgery or other medical intervention in order to change one’s “official” gender. The law thereby becomes one of the most significant contributors to gender dysphoria. In this regard I think the law in Aotearoa is well ahead of most nations, and while there’s still a long way to go, public opinion is starting to catch up, particularly in today’s youth.
While my trans friends don’t see the same problems you see, I’m not going to cast you as a transphobe for that. On the other hand, if you support suppression of transgender rights and the expression of gender diversity (and also gay rights and expression) that is underway in in many US states, then the term fits.
There are folks who honestly search for understanding, and others who are proselytizing. Scottie has always been welcoming to seekers.
So, I want to be very careful how I word this as I likely speak out of turn: Scottie has made his views on this topic well understood. I think if there are people here who disagree with him, that is ok. He doesn’t demand that you follow his opinion. But, just like I wouldn’t go into my neighbor’s home and demand to “debate” an issue he holds clear and well expressed, I think it very rude to endlessly argue against Scottie’s well expressed position.
Out of simple decency, I would strongly recommend we honor his previously expressed irritation that this abuse of his space has taken place while he is ill.
Randy, I do appreciate you standing up for Scottie. However, blogs in general are essentially open forums — and so long as he allows comments related to a topic he has posted, I fail to see that those who participate should be reined in. (Further, going into a home is far different than making comments on an open blog.)
Moreover, if Scottie is upset with comments on any particular post, he has full authority to close the post to further remarks. If you feel he is unaware of the situation, perhaps you should contact him personally and suggest this.
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Hello Nan. Randy has tried to keep me up to date on what is going on. I thought I made my current medical situation clear. I have been very close to having strokes / Afib more times than is good the last few months. My blood pressure and my heart rate is out of control, and my doctors are fighting over what to do. And in the land of the wealthiest country in the world I have been waiting for the last five months to even get a call back from my heart doctors’ group because I guess my last heart doctor retired. I will again try to deal with that tomorrow. That plus the issues with my blood sugar and pain / spine issues I have right now has limited my ability to process information to a minimum. I thought everyone that followed my blog or talked to me knew how precarious my health was. Thank you to those that did and especially to Jill who reached out to me.
I have made it clear that I expect facts on my blog comments, not disinformation. How ever you are correct on one thing I do have authority over this blog. So until I can get to all the misinformation posted and check each comment personally, I am going to do two things. I will close comments on any future posts, and I will stop posting until I can get to the comments. Over kill doing both but it is the only way to address this issue. Ron and James have been trying to get me to allow them to set me up something in the bedroom to do more online but that won’t really help as I don’t feel up to doing stuff there even with a good set up. The problem is I am very tired and the more pain medication I take the more tired I feel. There is now a question if my right shoulder joint has decayed causing the issues I am having with my right hand /arm. See my body is falling apart, a condition I have had for most of my life.
Anyway my health is not really the issue. What is the issue is I post factual stuff. Comments and discussions are welcome as long as they stay in the reality of modern science and the understanding that society has advanced over all the centuries of human evolution. I have not gone back over the comments that went before this one but trust me I will.
Anyway. I will address this personally in the next few days. To those dealing in good faith I thank you, for those who are not I will be addressing you. For those that wanted to keep me from getting to anything new or posting new stuff, congratulations you got your way, Best wishes. Scottie
Scottie, so long as you are suffering from a multitude of health issues and are unable to put the time and effort into your blog that you have always done, I sincerely think it would be best for you to exercise your authority and close comments … especially on this particular post since since you are uncomfortable with what is being presented.
Further, to allow yourself to get upset and anxious over what others are presenting simply isn’t worth the drain it puts on your health.
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Hello Nan. I have done so on all future posts. I have also stopped posting on all but the most egregious right / republicans attempt to wipe out the LGBTQ+ or other attempts to push fascism on the US. Later I hope to read and maybe post two headlines I read one which a speaker at CPAC called for eliminating transgenderism entirely by any means possible and the other was DerSantis trying out the campaign theme of “Make America Florida. You are correct it upsets me that I cannot get to comments. I used to enjoy comments even thought that disagreed with me. I also hate that I set up dozens of headlines from different sites and at the end of the day they are unread. I used to be a voracious reader, right now I struggle to read and process what I am reading to an extent I never had before. I do better with videos than written words. Ron thinks I had a mini stroke called a TIA because of the drastic change in my abilities. But with my pain levels so high that I am on the maximum amount of morphine that Florida allows, plus the max of muscle relaxers making me very tired then add the other pain medications I take, my blood sugar is under control with my A1C at 6.5 but after eating I also get very tired along with my neuropathy being much worse, and my heart rate uncontrolled staying high with peaks that are super dangerous, and to add to that I get short of breath just walking down the hall or from my desk to the coffee maker in the morning. I have developed much stronger tremors in my hands and the tendency to jerk my hands around which makes using a mouse difficult at times as you might imagine. To add to everything, last week my legs / ankles started to swell which caused Ron to restart our morning walks but make them much shorter for me. To your question closing comments I cannot close the current ones as I really want to deal with misinformation. But for future ones until I am better comments must remain off as you recommend. It is nearly 2:30 PM, I have 12 open headlines from about 8 AM this morning I am struggling to read and then by the time I get them done I have to see if there is more stuff I missed since then. I have cut back on what news / information sites I open because I cannot read it all and it upsets me not to be able to do so. Anyways thanks for the suggestion. Hugs
Thanks for the reply, Scottie. I only have one VERY strong suggestion. You wrote: I cannot close the current ones as I really want to deal with misinformation. If you’re speaking of this (or any) of your posts related to the multi-letter community, you have presented your information multiple times so I doubt very much adding anything is going to change anyone’s mind — and it will just add to your discomfort. But of course, it’s always YOUR choice/decision.
As for your health situation, it certainly doesn’t sound good. I am sending good thoughts and wishes that things will get better.
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Hello Nan Thank you. I just got up again. It is not (damn I am struggling to even type) about changing the minds of the haters who spread disinformation. It really is about the people on the fence, or those who don’t really understand what the issues really are. My replying is really about (sorry so you understand I just took an 8- or 10-minute break) letting those who are not getting what this is all about or the people behind it. I want to counter the misinformation and the horribly regressive traditions that things were not like this when I was young so why bother with it now. For example I have often said how isolated I felt in the 1970s being a young gay kid / teen with deeply uneducated backwards adoptive parents who agreed with and made every anti-homo joke / statement made people like Anita Bryant the beauty queen from Florida possible who claimed that gays raped and molested kids to recruit them while I was being raped / used by multiple family members for their own satisfaction. It is not about making the haters change their minds, those minds are set as you already understand. Like Ark said it is about those reading along who never comment or respond but those reading along. Shit Ron just talked to me and I realized I forgot about what I was doing. I want to go to bed, but James and Ron are making supper while my hands keep hitting many keys at once. I am going back to laying down while they make supper. Hugs
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I know you like videos so, if there’s one that’s worth watching, it’s here. It’s called Affirmation Generation done entirely by west coast life long Democrats. They have a message for you. At an hour and a half in length the video – already banned on Vimeo, of course – is a time commitment but – like reading Hitchens or Dawkins if one is a religious person – it’s an absolute eye opener for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. I know you don’t want to hear or see valid criticism but, in particular, please note the percentage who are gay and lesbian youths who are erased from this pool of real people and then sterilized by the natural effects of participating in this sex-change therapy.
Anyway, I hope you bother to find out why and how I think you are being played not because you are some kind of Other – and therefore a Bad Person – but because I think you are being successfully manipulated at an emotional level (I always claim you have a good heart and I think this is being taken advantage of) to believe in an ideology that (sounds so good, I know) not only doesn’t comport with reality but targets and attacks young gays and lesbians in particular, insisting that they have been ‘born in the wrong body’. I don’t believe that for one second any more than I don’t believe you were born hetero and chose to be gay. You – like so many of these kids – should be welcome to live an honest and authentic life caring about others without anyone telling you your body must be wrong for you to be attracted to another of the same sex AND that you are some kind of horrible person for disagreeing with that belief. But… see for yourself.