Dr. Michael Laidlaw et al. publish anti-trans letter with more errors than paragraphs (part 2)

Previously in Part 1: Endocrine aspects, cardiovascular risk, and sexual functioning.

No “objective tests”? Affirming treatment and persistent gender dysphoria in youth

There are no laboratory, imaging, or other objective tests to diagnose a “true transgender” child. Children with GD will outgrow this condition in 61% to 98% of cases by adulthood (3). There is currently no way to predict who will desist and who will remain dysphoric. The degree to which GAT has contributed to the rapidly increasing prevalence of GD in children is unknown. The recent phenomenon of teenage girls suddenly developing GD (rapid onset GD) without prior history through social contagion is particularly concerning (4).

Laidlaw et al.’s argument from the lack of “laboratory, imagining, or other objective tests to diagnose” gender dysphoria is far less persuasive than they seem to believe. There may not be one perfectly definitive and binary biomarker for gender dysphoria or transgender identification. There aren’t perfectly definitive biomarkers for a broad array of known and recognized conditions which are not ever invalidated solely on this basis. By the authors’ reasoning, one could likewise note that there is no blood test for major depression, and speculate that perhaps we can’t or shouldn’t diagnose or treat depression at all if we lack the ability to identify a “true depressed” person in this manner. Continue reading

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Dr. Michael Laidlaw et al. publish anti-trans letter with more errors than paragraphs (part 1)

Zinnia JonesThis March, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a letter to the editor from an active voice in the anti-trans movement, Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw, and four other medical professionals who oppose the mainstream affirming treatment of gender dysphoria in youth (Laidlaw et al., 2019). This is not a lengthy article, consisting of only eight paragraphs, and it does not present any new findings – as the authors note, the content of this letter is “in our opinion”. Nevertheless, this brief letter is impressive simply due to how many errors, misrepresentations, and falsehoods are packed into just those eight paragraphs. Continue reading

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Missouri Supreme Court Makes Sense for Once

By Penny Robo

Penny RoboIn 2014, the family of RJ Appleberry filed a lawsuit claiming sex discrimination against Missouri’s Blue Springs School District. It went to the Court of Appeals after being dismissed by a circuit judge in Jackson County, and found its way to the Missouri Supreme Court where the dismissal was finally overturned in February of 2019. Five years later, the original lawsuit can finally proceed. Continue reading

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Study: Moral beliefs about gender are linked to personal perceptions of trans attractiveness

Zinnia JonesOther individuals’ perception of a person as a given gender – that is, reading and interpreting them as being female or male – is a subjective phenomenon, with these processes and results varying among perceivers due to numerous factors such as perceptual and cognitive biases and other influences. This greatly complicates the lay notions of the concept of “passing” as a cis person of one’s gender for trans people: this is not a yes-or-no binary trait, or a single fixed value somewhere along a range. It is a set of distributions, because the phenomenon of passing or not passing as it plays out in practice essentially consists of a very large number of scattered data points across many variables. Continue reading

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Machine Bodies, Human Hearts

By Penny Robo

Penny RoboI noticed early on in my life that when I consumed narrative media, the easiest way to tug at my heartstrings was to introduce a machine character and then prove that their synthetic nature made them no less a person.

Even the dodgiest of movies or shows could, without fail, get me to feel more than showing a regular everyday human going through the same event and it took me an embarrassingly long time to connect all those dots. You all know what I’m talking about: that one movie or genre or show or character that affected you in ways you couldn’t start to grasp, till one day you recognize that some part of yourself was reflected there all along. For a lot of trans women it’s The Little Mermaid. And while I’ll admit that I have never not loved that movie – it’s still tied for my favorite Disney Renaissance pic – for me it was always the machines. Continue reading

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