For LGBT people, things have been getting better. The cisgender among us have won the right to live openly in the military and we’ve all won the right to marry whomever we please. Our trans siblings have had fewer victories but more mainstream recognition which normally brings us in the direction of progress.
Naturally, it’s time for conservatives to act like they’ve been our friends all along and to co-opt our struggles as theirs to fight for so long as it serves their interests. This change of heart made for a confusing display as Trump made himself the first conservative candidate to pay lip service to the LGBT community on the campaign trail, holding up a rainbow flag at one rally, supporting Caitlyn Jenner’s right to use bathrooms in a statement to the press, and at one point even betraying his religious base by calling the issue of marriage “settled.” Continue reading →
In late 2015, the Child and Adolescent Gender Identity Clinic at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health was closed following a review of its practices in the treatment of gender-nonconforming children. The clinic, founded by Dr. Susan Bradley in the 1970s and later directed by her frequent collaborator Dr. Kenneth Zucker, was notable for its use of an approach focused on discouraging children from identifying with or expressing a gender other than the one they were assigned, with the intention of ensuring that they would grow up to be cisgender rather than transgender. This clinical goal does not reflect the contemporary professional consensus that gender-affirming therapy and watchful waiting are the healthiest approaches when treating children who are potentially transgender or gender-questioning.
The allegation that the closure of the Gender Identity Clinic was purely “politically motivated” has received extensive coverage in an investigation by New York magazine, a recent BBC Two documentary on transgender children, and severalarticles in the Globe and Mail. However, considerably less attention has been given to Zucker’s and Bradley’s lengthy history of inflammatory and self-promoting rhetoric which irresponsibly plays to popular prejudices. While these researchers have claimed to support transgender adolescents and adults in transitioning, they continue to issue statements which misinform the public about the nature of transgender identity and are scientifically unfounded – in some cases going so far as to offer their tacit approval to religiously-motivated transphobia and long-running malicious rumors about queer and trans “recruitment” of children. Their misleading claims in the media do a disservice to transgender youth and adults, as well as the wider public. Continue reading →
While I’ve previously covered transgender sexuality from a mostly academic perspective, I haven’t spent much time on firsthand experiences of sex as a trans woman throughout transition. Hormone therapy has had an extensive range of effects on my sexual response, and even though I haven’t had genital surgery, sex is hardly anything like it was before I started estrogen. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive change, but making it there meant relearning a great deal about how my body works. Continue reading →
It’s common nowadays to encounter the insistent claim that “there are only two genders, male and female”. These simplistic and loud declarations resemble nothing more than a random interjection by a person who’s shouting for no clear reason. This is one of those instances where a statement manages to be as wrong as it is brief. Inaccuracy is compact like that – reality is detailed, and the more details you strip away, the further you get from reality. Continue reading →
Summary: Transphobes are irresponsibly promoting the idea that trans people should be treated with ineffective antipsychotic drugs. The “evidence” they present is so weak as to be practically nonexistent. Such a claim could only be plausible to those with no knowledge whatsoever of the broad consensus of scientific research: that transitioning is the only effective treatment for gender dysphoria.
There’s a particularly odd belief that’s been popularized by transphobes over the past few years: the claim that the antipsychotic drug pimozide can treat gender dysphoria in trans people by removing their desire to transition. This idea has been promoted in videoslikethese describing trans people as ‘mentally ill’, some of which have several hundred thousand views:
[08:11] Also echoing the research thus stated are pharmacotherapy studies that are 20 years old that used the drug pimozide on a cross-dressing man with a strong wish to undergo a sex change. The outcome of the study, as far as I know, has never been mentioned in the mainstream media, or at least I’ve never heard about it between the cacophony of how Caitlyn Jenner is so brave and so beautiful. But, “There was an excellent response to pimozide 2 mg daily, with a cessation of both cross-dressing and the wish for sex reassignment. When, after 1 year, the dose was reduced to 1 mg daily, there was a rapid return of the cross-dressing and the wish for sex reassignment. An increase in the dose again led to a remission which has been maintained since then.” And the conclusion was that, “Pharmacotherapy with pimozide should be considered in cases of doubtful gender dysphoria.” But in all reality, this is one of those cases where you don’t really need to appeal to scientific authority, as it’s clear even enough to a layman to come to these conclusions.