One Month Left

Zinnia JonesAs we approach the end of 2019, a meme has been circulating around Twitter: “there’s only ONE MONTH left in the decade. what have you accomplished?” Some have responded with a laundry list of accomplishments and ways that their lives have dramatically changed for the better. For others this was occasion for despair over the realization of how little they’ve managed to progress for a significant fraction of their lives. Still others helpfully pointed out that the decade will not actually end until the arrival of 2021, which surely takes the sting out of looking back over the past 10 years and being disappointed at your wasted decade of stagnation and underachievement.

After seeing how many people were displeased with what their lives have amounted to over this time, it occurred to me how taking this perspective played a crucial role in one of the most significant decisions of my life: transitioning. And, at least in that area of life, imagining that point of view helped me avoid an outcome of looking back on the past 10 years with regret. Continue reading

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“Rapid onset gender dysphoria” and unfulfilled predictions of transition regret

Zinnia Jones

A frequent feature of “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) advocacy is the claim that increasing numbers of trans youth receiving gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers will surely lead to a massive wave of regret among these youth in the future. As proponents believe these youth are simply misguided cis kids and not “really” gender dysphoric, they consider it inevitable that these children will grow up to realize their supposed transness was false, and that any transition procedures they underwent were unnecessary. Jungian psychoanalyst Lisa Marchiano writes: Continue reading

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“Rapid onset gender dysphoria” proponents tip their hand with transphobic “mutilation” rhetoric

Zinnia Jones

Proponents of the “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) hoax diagnosis often walk a fine line when it comes to distinguishing this “new” condition from “classical” gender dysphoria. Many make a perfunctory gesture toward supporting gender-affirmative care and transition treatment for those who do have gender dysphoria and not “ROGD”. Lisa Marchiano, a Jungian psychoanalyst and key figure in promoting this condition, states:

I believe that transition may be a viable and even necessary option for some people. I support the right of adults to choose this option with appropriate therapeutic care and support.

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“Rapid onset gender dysphoria” and the demand for transgender isolation

Zinnia Jones

An especially disturbing aspect of the “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) hoax diagnosis is what the proposed “social contagion” hypothesis implies for the wider transgender community. ROGD proponents frequently attribute this condition to adolescents spending time online seeking out resources and support regarding gender identity:

Thousands of home-made videos on sites such as YouTube chronicle the gender transitions of teenagers. These teens show off their new-found muscles or facial hair. The Tumblr blog Fuck Yeah FTMs  features photo after photo of young FtMs celebrating the changes wrought by testosterone. “I finally have freedom!” posters boast under photographs of their scarred chests post mastectomy. “I’m no longer pre-T!” boasts another under a video of someone injecting testosterone. Almost all of these posters are under 25 years of age. According to Jen Jack Gieseking, a New York academic and researcher who was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 last May, “There really isn’t a trans person I’ve met under the age of 30 who hasn’t been on Tumblr.”

This is first and foremost a plainly spurious notion of what “causes” gender dysphoria. Curiosity, exploration, and questioning about one’s gender identity is quite frequently followed by seeking out resources that can aid in understanding transness and clarifying its possible role in one’s life. This does not therefore mean that having learned about transness must have “made” a person trans, nor does it mean that in the absence of these resources, such a person would not be trans.

But the use of this flimsy argument to dismiss some youths’ transness as not being genuine is only one side of the equation. This is argument that is not limited to concern for potentially misguided cis people. It openly depicts supportive communities and resources for trans people – even those people ROGD proponents might theoretically accept as being “genuinely trans” – as being inherently dangerous by their very existence. 

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“Rapid onset gender dysphoria” and the preference for psychoanalytic explanations

Zinnia Jones

One feature you really can’t help but notice after extensively reading “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) literature is the prolific endorsement of psychoanalytic explanations for this “new” form of gender dysphoria. “Parents of ROGD Kids” claims:

Typically, the individual is not consciously aware of any psychological reasons for their dysphoria and cannot articulate it beyond “it’s just a feeling I have”. . . . Uncovering the root causes of gender dysphoria is a difficult process and can be emotionally painful. . . .

Careful, in-depth psychological assessment is required to determine the source of an individual’s dysphoria.

This can be a long and difficult process, as the roots can be buried deep in the subconscious.  It requires the skills of a highly-trained, insightful therapist.  Only after this is done can appropriate treatment be determined.

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