September 2, 2012

Summer camp for "kids who don’t fit into society, gender-wise."

Founded by Nick Teich, identified by the Boston Globe as "a social worker who is pursuing a doctorate in social policy from Brandeis."
“Before camp, I was really shy and not confident,” said Gabriel, 15, who has attended camp all three sessions it has been open. “Now, I feel less alone and way more confident.... Here, I realized there isn’t anything wrong with me and there were people like me,” he said. In fact, transgender topics don’t come up all that often at camp, he said. “It’s like it’s not even there, but if we want to talk, we feel totally safe talking to each other.”...
Damien Gabriel, like some of the others, had been on hormone blockers to keep the estrogen at bay and last year started taking testosterone. Two months ago, he had chest surgery to remove breast tissue; he also had a hysterectomy, “which really hurt.”...
The girls tend to wear bikini tops with shorts or little skirts, while the boys wear knee-length swim trunks but leave their T-shirts on. Some, Teich said, wear a binder to flatten their chests. The few who have had chest surgery display bare chests — with horizontal scars.

87 comments:

bagoh20 said...

I got a Doctor Moreau vibe while reading that.

ricpic said...

Totally safe, totally safe, no matter how much freakish,
We'll shove it in society's face and then its nose we'll tweakish.

EDH said...

"Hello muddah, hello..."

Oh, fahgettaboudit, it's too confusing.

Shouting Thomas said...

I really wondered about my own reaction to the previous post about a German dad who started wearing a dress to support his son, who had supposedly decided to wear dresses of his own volition.

Sounded like a scam by an activist journalist and dad to me.

So, I consulted a few of my Filipino friends. In the Philippines transvestites seem to have a honored and comfortable place.

I asked when a Filipino kid might take to cross dressing. The answer is... at puberty.

Ann Althouse said...

This is the line that upset me: "he also had a hysterectomy, “which really hurt.”..."

The finality... These are children.

Kate Danaher said...

I would appreciate reading a follow up in 10 yrs - who stuck with the reassignment and who fell off the path.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm going to say the perfectly obvious. I come from a tiny Republican farming town in central Illinois, and I've lived as an adult in SF, NYC and Chicago.

The notion that hetero Americans are hostile and punitive in their relationship with gays or transvestites is absolute bullshit.

I'm tired of this martyrdom fantasy that gay activists are trying to push. It's just bullshit.

Do people sometimes dislike a particular gay or transvestite individual? Yes.

The activists are doing everybody a disservice by trying to attribute this to a societal problem.

Some gays and transvestites are absolute assholes.

Kate Danaher said...

And yes Ann - the line about the hysterectomy got to me too.

Andy R. said...

I love the world that queer and transgressive people are creating. This makes me happy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

the line about the hysterectomy got to me too.

Me too. I thought about that irreversible step. These are young children who have taken steps, with the help and probably encouragement of adults who have their own ideological agenda. Steps that will never be able to be changed.

At that young age, the child thinks he/she wants to be all sorts of things and eventually as they gain some life experience, the wants and desires also change. To make such a wrenching biological decision as children is just wrong. The adults who participate and encourage are indulging in child abuse.

Horrific.

Ann Althouse said...

"I love the world that queer and transgressive people are creating. This makes me happy."

+

"These are young children who have taken steps, with the help and probably encouragement of adults who have their own ideological agenda."

= Children making adults happy/child abuse.

Shouting Thomas said...

I love the world that queer and transgressive people are creating. This makes me happy.

Andy, visit the Philippines. You can learn a lot there.

I'll get you in touch with my gay Filipino hairdresser friend, Ricky. He's fabulous and hilarious.

You need to spend some time in a place where people have a traditional role for gays and transvestites that goes back hundreds or thousands of years.

Andy R. said...

Ann, are you friends with any transgender people?

Shouting Thomas said...

Andy, everybody has friends who are sexually different, because all people are sexually different.

Including heteros. There are very decided differences among heteros, and many heteros fall outside the boundaries of what is thought of as normal.

It is you who has the "binary" fixation.

Most of the people you're speaking of are old farts who've been through the sexual wars on a wide variety of fronts.

Unlike you, most of us have decided to take our bumps and bruises in stride instead of making a crusade out of our butt hurt.

sydney said...

It is sad and sickening that the medical profession would go along with performing a hysterectomy on a 15 year. We used to give more than lip service to the idea of "first do no harm," but now the customer is always right. No harm would have been done to this child if she had waited until adulthood to take steps to permanently alter her gender. But a great deal of harm may have been done by the pubescent hysterectomy.

And by what logic can a child under 18 not vote, but be permitted to alter her body forever?

Alex said...

Andy - TG are such a tiny %, I bet 99% of us don't even know one. Of course you are right? When are you getting your sexual reassignment?

Tim said...

"The finality... These are children."

...in the service of a political agenda, no doubt.

And, no doubt, the people running this odd stepford village are all voting for Romney.

What's that you say?

Alex said...

No doubt Andy thinks sexual reassignment surgery is A-OK at 15 too.

acm said...

Andy R, you love a world in which a doctor performs a non-reversible life-altering, quite risky and painful and COMPLETELY elective procedure on a child too young to drive a car, consent to sex, vote, or rent a carpet shampooer?

I have no problem with the camp itself---my brother might've gone if it had been available when we were kids. But the idea of young teenagers---was Daniel 14 when the hysterectomy was performed?---altering their bodies in this fearful way is what makes me so sad.

If an adult wants to alter his/her gender, surgically, fine. But a 15-year-old has never been a woman, and can't really know that surgery is worth ending that fate. I wouldn't recommend it for a 25-year-old, but at least someone that old would've spent some time as his/her born gender as an adult and could make an informed decision. Chopping off your breasts before they are formed seems, to me, to be such a fearful thing. Let the poor child grow his or her own body and then decide whether it's worth risking your life to change it.

Yes, people who were sure of their desire for gender reassignment at 10, 12, 14 do change their minds. My brother was one.

gerry said...

Progressives have to self-hate to elevate their assertions into moral absolutes. Projecting the self-hate onto children is abhorrent, but that's the way confused permissiveness leads.

acm said...

Andy, I know someone who identified as tg ever since hearing the word. And this person was thankful that our parents didn't rush off to some ethically-challenged surgeon to have the brain match the body before either was fully formed.

Alex said...

But go ahead Andy, keep pushing the myth that most Americans are tolerant of the entire freak agenda. Tolerance for gays does not mean tolerance for ALL of it.

YoungHegelian said...

i remember watching a documentary on Discovery Health a few years ago on the process of changing gender.

One of the surgeons interviewed bemoaned "the ravages of testosterone" in the bodies of the M to F patients. It seems that the sex hormones through our adolescent years permanently shapes our bodies (especially our bone structures) in ways that mark us as male or female. These changes are very difficult to undo in an adult (e.g. shaving the bone off the skull to reduce the heavy forehead of a male), so the surgeon would have preferred to have worked on the patients pre-puberty.

I'm not saying this as a mark of approval. I share the moral objections raised here, especially to the hysterectomy on the 14 year old, but I'm just pointing out why doctors sympathetic to the cause might want to start work at a morally dubious age.

Andy R. said...

No harm would have been done to this child if she had waited until adulthood to take steps to permanently alter her gender.
...
COMPLETELY elective procedure


This makes it sound like you don't actually know anything about transgender people.

EDH said...

"[A]re you friends with any transgender people?"

I have my hair cut by a male=>female transgender. Witnessed the whole transformation over a couple of years after he opened his shop across from my office.

He immigrated from Vietnam.

It's gratifying to witness someone come to this country and work his balls off, literally.

And yes, he built that.

YoungHegelian said...

This story, like the documentary I referenced before, shares a the heavy dose of credulity that marks most stories on transgenderism in the MSM.

We really don't know shit about what's going on in the brains of these people, and what folks like Andy take at face value is the personal stories of the TGs. That's fine, except in psychology, the last thing that one puts any trust in is the subject's explanation of why he is what is or did what he did.

And, if you think it's okay to slice off perfectly healthy genitals, then you need to tell us what's the matter with chopping off perfectly healthy arms and legs, because there are folks who want that, too.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Interesting about the kid who identifies as a girl, but has an identical twin brother. How can this be, if identification/gender identity is genetically determined?

It was also strange to read in the article that, while a 14-year-old can have an elective hysterectomy, gender reassignment surgery can't be done before the age of 18. One seems just as drastic to me as the other.

FWIW, I do have a (pre-op) MTF friend. Apart from being about six feet tall, she looks fabulous as a woman; I would not have guessed that she was biologically XY had she not told me.

harrogate said...

"But go ahead Andy, keep pushing the myth that most Americans are tolerant of the entire freak agenda. Tolerance for gays does not mean tolerance for ALL of it."

Alex, out of curiosity, how does lack of "tolerance" manifest itself in your imagination and according to your social vision anyway? Is it something other than, "Me no likey?"

As usual, I await a very thoughtful answer from you.

EDH said...

Young Hegalian said...
"And, if you think it's okay to slice off perfectly healthy genitals, then you need to tell us what's the matter with chopping off perfectly healthy arms and legs, because there are folks who want that, too."

Apotemnophilia is sexual arousal based on the image or fantasy of one's self as an amputee... in which otherwise sane and rational individuals express a strong and specific desire for the amputation of a healthy limb or limbs.

Flagpole Sitta

Been around the world and found
That only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don't even own a TV

Put me in the hospital for nerves
And then they had to commit me
You told them all I was crazy
They cut off my legs now I'm an amputee, Goddamn you

I'm not sick, but I'm not well
And I'm so hot cause I'm in hell
I'm not sick, but I'm not well
And it's a sin, to live so well

I wanna publish 'zines
And rage against machines
I wanna pierce my tongue
It doesn't hurt, it feels fine
The trivial sublime
I'd like to turn off time
And kill my mind
You kill my mind
Mind...

Paranoia, paranoia
Everybody's comin' to get me
Just say you never met me
I'm runnin' underground with the moles
Diggin' holes
Hear the voices in my head
I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring
But if you're bored then you're boring
The agony and the irony, they're killing me, whoa!

sydney said...

YoungHegelian,

One of the surgeons interviewed bemoaned "the ravages of testosterone" in the bodies of the M to F patients. It seems that the sex hormones through our adolescent years permanently shapes our bodies (especially our bone structures) in ways that mark us as male or female. These changes are very difficult to undo in an adult (e.g. shaving the bone off the skull to reduce the heavy forehead of a male), so the surgeon would have preferred to have worked on the patients pre-puberty.

I think the surgeon is overstating his case. Sure, there are some males who have obviously masculine faces and bone structure, but there are also males who don't. There are also natural women with very masculine faces and bone structure. Changing that is not changing the gender so much as it is changing cosmetics. Like Michael Jackson's surgeries.

rhhardin said...

There should be a camp for words with the wrong gender.

Conserve Liberty said...

They do really exist. I once was acquainted with a family whose teenaged daughter requested what we then called a sex-change operation.

Mother supported her decision, father didn't, so they divorced - and the judge forced the father to pay for the surgery.

We've lost track of them but it sure felt tragic and enabling at the time - the ultimate spoiling of a child.

Greg Hlatky said...

I sympathize. I feel that I'm a Klingon trapped in the body of a Earthling. Where's the help for me?

YoungHegelian said...

@rhhardin,

My favorite cheerleading cheer from Latin Camp:

"To nouns that cannot be declined, the neuter gender is assigned."

(e.g. nihil)

Kelly said...

Most people agree that 18 is to young to marry because what we are at 18 can change so much by the age of 25. Yet, someone thought a hysterectomy is a good idea for a teenager and they actually found a doctor willing to go along with it. At least marriage is reversible.

Alex said...

Greg - I sympathize. Sometimes I wish I was born a Vulcan.

wyo sis said...

I had the same reaction as bagoh and Ann.
What are we thinking?
When my daughter was 12 she wanted purple carpet in her room. We settled on lavender. Now she hates it and wants either black or white.
There could be a metaphore there.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I very much doubt that a person who is uncomfortable with himself before gender reassignment surgery will be happy after it. Self-loathing can't be surgically removed.

jr565 said...

Andy R wrote:

I love the world that queer and transgressive people are creating. This makes me happy.

A world where we're giving otherwise totally healthy kids hysterectomies, and lopping off their nuts/and or giving them fake vaginas?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

rhhardin said...

There should be a camp for words with the wrong gender.


Back when I was a student of German I would really have appreciated a gender-free summer camp.

Ann Althouse said...

I think these medical treatments are horrible. Dress and act and feel however you want, but why don't you value and respect the body you are in? If you don't, how can you be so absolutely sure that you know why you don't, such that you can take a permanent surgical treatment to alter it? How can a child do that? We're talking about individuals whom the law doesn't permit to have sexual intercourse, even if they've thought a lot about it and dearly want it, even under the most gentle and loving circumstances. They are below the age of consent.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

wyo sis,

When my daughter was 12 she wanted purple carpet in her room. We settled on lavender. Now she hates it and wants either black or white.
There could be a metaphor there.


When I was about the same age, I really loved teal, and wanted pale teal walls and darker teal trim. My parents eventually granted the wall color, but not the trim, because they figured they'd have to repaint it before they could sell the house, and it would be a pain in the butt. (This bedroom was part of an extension we built onto the house -- I know, I know, "you didn't build that" -- except we did, with Dad drawing the plans and laying the hardwood floors, and everyone pitching in on the drywall. The framing and the electrical & plumbing work we left to pros. Anyway, both bedrooms in the extension had lofts to them, with very high ceilings in consequence, so just painting the walls was a chore, and repainting the trim would have been nightmarish.)

Their solution: Chocolate-brown trim; they figured it would go with most colors. As a result, I spent the next few years living in a giant mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream-themed environment. Nasty. By the time I graduated high school, I was practically ready to repaint the damn room myself. In, say, ivory or something.

Andy R. said...

Dress and act and feel however you want, but why don't you value and respect the body you are in?

This is what I would expect to hear from a cisgender person that doesn't know what it's like to be transgender.

jr565 said...

There are many cases of people who get a sex change to one sex, then get another sex change back to their original sex (and a repeat of the process).

http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc3=&id=88502

From the link:
At 51, she’s (Robin Goldstein) gone from male to female to male and back again to female. This decades-long process has inspired its share of perplexed reactions.

Asked what she identifies as now, Goldstein describes herself only half jokingly as "a straight, white, Buddhist, vegetarian, lesbian fraternity boy trapped in the body of a recovering transsexual patent attorney with a bizarre sense of humor, and a master’s degree in city planning."

That laundry list acknowledges the humor and absurdity surrounding the misconception that any of us can be summed up by one simple reference to gender, career or disposition.

For Goldstein, the point she arrived at after the long process of transition and detransition is confidence and contentment -- society be damned. "The first time I transitioned," Goldstein recalls, "I felt I needed to ask permission to those around me. Some people freaked out." The second time, "I was still concerned about it, but had more of a sense of power." By the third time, "It was like, dude, whatever. I am who I am. If you love and support me, great -- and if you don’t, fuck you."

No longer concerned with justifying her motives, Goldstein says her journey is not so different than others who go through a succession of jobs, homes, or significant others before settling down. "It’s not about being trans. It’s about reaching our potential fulfillment as human beings."
S/he has had FOUR sex change operations!!!! And I love how s/he says if you don't support her then fuck you. Who is she? Does she even know? How do you support someone if they don't even know who/what they are? And each time s/he is altering her body in dramatic ways, getting operations, taking hormones, all to fee what is essentially some sort of neuroses and/or insanity.
If she has been both a man and a woman, and has to keep switching back and forth, perhaps the issue is not her body at all. When she was a woman did she think she was a man? And vice versa? IF she's both, why does she have to keep changing? Maybe she should become a hermaphrodite just so s/he doesn't have to keep chaging her body parts out?
This whole dsymorphia thing, strikes me a lot like people who need to keep getting plastic surgery to the point where they start looking like they're made of plastic. Its really unsettling and sad.
The last thing we should be doing is kowtowning to kids who think they are one way, since kids in general do not even understand gender. We all know girls who were tomboys, and guys who were into dolls and stuff, but those actions didn't necessarily define them later in life. And yet we're giving the ok to give young kids hysterectomies? That is pure insanity.

jr565 said...

Andy R wrote:
This is what I would expect to hear from a cisgender person that doesn't know what it's like to be transgender.

Just because you get a fake penis or vagina doesn't mean that you have become a different gender.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Tyrone Slothrop,

Back when I was a student of German I would really have appreciated a gender-free summer camp.

German has its points, but one of the few design virtues of English (the stupendously large vocabulary is its really incomparable feature) is: No gendered nouns, no gender-inflected adjectives or articles.

Have you run across Mark Twain's "The Awful German Language"? It's a sort of appendix to A Tramp Abroad, and really indispensable if you are studying German. I quote from memory part of the section on gender:

"Where is the onion?"
-- "She has gone to the kitchen."
"Where is the accomplished and beautiful German maiden?"
-- "It has gone to the opera."

It includes also the tale of a foreign student in Germany (an Englishman, IIRC) who said he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective.

YoungHegelian said...

@jr565,

As I've pointed out here & in another recent posting, we know almost nothing about the psychology of gender identity.

It just amazes me that the Left, which routinely (and sometimes rightfully) excoriates the Right for being anti-science believers that Adam rode a dinosaur 6000 years ago, have based so much of their zeal for LGTB causes on what amounts to scientifically, nothing.

Don't even get me started on the Left and GM crops, because unlike creationism people in Africa have actually died based on that nonsense.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

jr565,

I remember an SF Weekly article from, I don't know, ca. 1990 about transgendered folk that included the tale of a (biological) guy who went the whole MTF route, surgery and all ... to become a lesbian. S/he was always interested sexually only in women, but s/he was also convinced s/he was one him-, er, herself. I've heard of other cases of that since, MTF and FTM both.

Another thing missing (to my mind surprisingly) from the Globe article: Intersexed kids. There are a small number of people who are, biologically speaking, gender-ambiguous. Until relatively recently, they were always sexually "altered" at birth to whichever sex was closest, as it were. That's not automatic any more, and I'd think the camp would be an obvious haven for the kid born with (say) testicles and a vagina. Yep, it's rare, but it does happen.

jr565 said...

Actually is their a hermaphrodite gender where you are both male and female at the same time, and are a lot of people getting a vagina added without removing their penis, by choice?

Titus said...

I am a big fag but trannies make me kind of sick.

It's all about sex and who is going to do a tranny?

I don't know any tranny's either.

I wish trannies had their own group. No trannies in the gay world please.

I hate the term glbt. Who the fuck came up with that?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

jr565,

Actually is there a hermaphrodite gender where you are both male and female at the same time, and are a lot of people getting a vagina added without removing their penis, by choice?

As I understand it, you can't really do that, as the way they make a vagina in MTF surgery is to, well, remove the penis and turn it inside out. You kind of have to choose one or the other.

The Wiki article on intersexuals appears to me quite comprehensive, but there are a couple of images there that might be unsafe to view in some contexts.

mariner said...

Sydney,
And by what logic can a child under 18 not vote, but be permitted to alter her body forever?

A voter inflicts her idiocy on the rest of us. Altering her body inflicts only herself.

mariner said...

YoungHegelian,

Ah, yes. The "ravages of testosterone". I wonder how many of those moral midgets lament "the ravages of estrogen"?

mtrobertsattorney said...

Hetrosexual, homosexual, bisexual, bestiasexual, transgender and, waiting in the wings, trans-species.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Hetrosexual, homosexual, bisexual, bestiasexual, transgender and, waiting in the wings, trans-species.

Alex said...

Honestly they're not my kids, so go ahead they can mutilate themselves all they want. What do I care?

harrogate said...

Alex, in addition to the penetrating prose you've been generating on what "tolerance" and "intolerance" means, I'd also be interested to know what it is you mean when you say "freak agenda." Is it limited to the idea of the types of surgeries, medical procedures for minors described here? Or, does the "freak agenda," the "ALL of it" that you so eruditely interrogate, also include consenting adult behavior?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Titus,


It's all about sex and who is going to do a tranny?


Enh, it's not all about sex, at least if the Globe piece is to be believed. Kids are not thinking about sex at age 8, at least not if they haven't been abused.

I hate the term glbt. Who the fuck came up with that?

Someone who subsisted largely on BLTs is my guess. But you're behind the times; current is glbtq, with the "q" for either "queer" or "questioning," depending on whom you ask.

I think it really ought to be "glbtqhnfi," for "gay/lesbian/bi/transgender/queer/have-no-frickin'-idea." But that's just me, and I'm a mere heterosexual-American.

Alex said...

I thought BLT was Bacon Lettuce and Tomato.

n.n said...

"Age of Consent" is a cultural standard. As our society evolves, so will our arbitrary standards. What was previously considered to be dysfunctional will be normalized.

acm said...

Andy, genius, yes, a hysterectomy on a 14-or-15-year-old with no physical reason to have one (like ovarian cancer or somesuch, which I don't imagine Damien had) is full-caps COMPLETELY elective. Damien wouldn't have died by reason of menstruation between 15 and 21, I promise. In fact F-to-M people who have hit menopause at the time of their transition (there are quite a few who take that time and come completely to terms with being biologically women before becoming men) don't even do it because it adds to the risk, expense and recovery time of the surgery. The irritating monthly reminder of D's biological gender would've been distressing and I'm sure it would've sucked, but we can't go around letting teenagers cut out healthy organs because they are temporarily distressed, and afraid.

I'm actually on the fence about the use of hormones/hormone blockers in teens with a long history of gender identity issues. I don't know that much about it, but it seems (to me, a layperson) a lot less risky and reversible. If a 14-year-old starts taking hormones to avoid developing certain male features like facial hair and more masculine facial features, and decides at 20 that he is happy as a man, he may develop into a man more feminine in appearance, but he'd still be a man, as far as I can tell. A 14-year-old who undergoes surgery as extensive as this may well die on the operating table---general anesthesia and abdominal surgery are risky, risky things. Most OB/GYNs are horrified at the thought of a hysterectomy on a healthy adult woman, let alone a child.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Insanity, the predictable. Fruit of insane times.

As mentioned, there are likely to be those whose happiness demands amputation of toes, ears, hands etc. why not amputate a 14 year olds hand if he/she/it's insists?

There are those who--how to put this delicately--have their identity all mixed up with another species. I bet, with some ingenuity, your daughter can be suitably altered, giving "my little pony" a new meaning. Oh happy day!

I won't even get into the age of consent "construct," it's too repulsive. But mark my words, further along this path...no, it's too repulsive to say.

Oh,and I predict, as night follows day, a set of parents will be sued--maybe the doctor too!--by an unhappy recipient of reassignment as a child. What sort of damages might be collected there? And what will Andy say to that victim?

Yep, it seemed like such a good idea to disregard Natural law. As Catholic writer Mark Shea says, we go through these phases: first, it's, "what could it hurt?"; later it's "how were we supposed to know?"

Stay tuned.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Oh, and for those who don't like me saying these things, just close your eyes, cover your ears, stamp your feet, and loudly say, "nah, nah, priest scandal! Priest scandal! Nah, nah,nah!" till those unpleasant feelings go away.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

We used to put people who wanted to mutilate themselves in mental hospitals. Now we celebrate their insanity and enable them.

Dave said...

"Ann Althouse said...I think these medical treatments are horrible. Dress and act and feel however you want, but why don't you value and respect the body you are in?"

It is hard to understand. But, perhaps learning more about the subject rather than expressing your knee-jerk reaction could be valuable - to you, to the people in your life, and to your "fans". A hint - saying "feel however you want" suggests that feelings are somehow volitional which is, of course, not true. Have you ever wanted in vain to feel happy, loved, appreciated, etc.? Perhaps you have a colleague at UW with expertise who could provide some insight.

n.n said...

Fr Martin Fox:

Exactly right. All standards, whether derived from the natural order or individual cultures, are arbitrary and therefore malleable. There are people with sadistic and masochistic predispositions. They should not be denied their pleasure or preference.

The lawyers and activists love the progress of dysfunction. It's become an industry from which they reap perpetual benefit.

acm:

You're still passing judgement according to your standards. This is a traditional perspective of what constitutes normal or reasonable.

Dave said...

I said ...."Perhaps you have a colleague at UW with expertise who could provide some insight." to Ann Althouse.

To clarify, I meant a colleague with expertise in transgender issues who could provide insight regarding current understandings and appropriate medical support of children manifesting gender-identity issues.

Dave said...

"Fr Martin Fox said...
Insanity, the predictable. Fruit of insane times.

As mentioned, there are likely to be those whose happiness demands amputation of toes, ears, hands etc. why not amputate a 14 year olds hand if he/she/it's insists?"

Wow - what a twisted thought - if you're actually a priest, I'd stay away from your sacristy!

In response to your vile argument, however, children do have medically appropriate amputations such as the South African runner just in the Olympics. This subject is also about medical professionals caring for a child based on a body of research and knowledge - not a creepy slasher fantasy! Enjoy your dinner of fava beans and that fine Chianti!

Alex said...

Martin Fox is way more sane on this then Dave. Dave supports 14yo lopping off their own body parts, while the rest of us would put that kid in a mental hospital to undergo evaluation.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Dave --

Congratulations! You parroted the priest-scandal ad hominem non-argument amazingly fast!

Not a record, but keep trying!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Dave. The issue isn't being transgendered or eventually having medical treatments, amputating your genitals or what ever floats your boat.

The issue is that these are children who are not capable of making a fully informed decision. Their brains are not fully developed and they don't have the benefit of life experiences. This is why children are seldom tried as adults for very serious crimes. This is why children are not allowed the privileges of adulthood until after 18 or 21 years of age. We even allow adults up to the age of 26 to be considered 'children' for the purposes of health insurance.

To do these irreversible procedures on minor children is the issue. If the child thinks he is a girl in a male body, then there should be some support to help him/her/it deal with those feelings.

Radical procedures like amputating organs and removing body parts should be left until the person is an adult. THEN as an adult he/she/it can do whatever they want.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

It seems like prudence would dictate some form of psycological treatment as a first course of action, followed by surgury as a last resort.

And yet our resident activist sees the first methodology--which unlike the second--does not do anything irreversable, as the worst kind of abuse.

Darrell said...

Peg-leg surgery will be available for those 6-10 years of age who think they are/might be pirates. Contact the wellness center for further details.

Future news you can use.

Shana said...

"Oh,and I predict, as night follows day, a set of parents will be sued--maybe the doctor too!--by an unhappy recipient of reassignment as a child. What sort of damages might be collected there? And what will Andy say to that victim?"

What will the court say when the girl with a hysterectomy realizes she will never be able to carry a child? How much will the court award in damages then?

This reminds me of the lobotomy craze. I think future generations will look on this kind of stuff as extreme barbarism.

SukieTawdry said...

Since when are children deemed sufficiently competent to make decisions about hormones, breast surgery and, God help us, hysterectomies?? As if it's reasonable to think a 13, 14 or 15-year old has a handle on his/her own sexuality. What happens if this girl discovers at 25 that he's actually a woman trapped in the male body he constructed for herself? Will he be able to sue the parents who most certainly had to give their consent to this surgery?

Advocates are always stressing the high rate of attempted suicide in the transgender world. Have they ever considered it might be because many of these people are seriously fucked up? That their transgender proclivities might stem from actual psychological/psychiatric problems having nothing to do with gender or sexuality?

As for the kids, let them playact at being the other sex if that's what you must do, but see to their general mental health and, please, no surgery (including chemo-surgery). How many of us would want our whole lives and futures altered based on the things we thought we wanted when we were teenagers??!

chickelit said...

Andy R. riffed on olefin terminology (cis, trans, geminal):

This is what I would expect to hear from a cisgender person that doesn't know what it's like to be transgender.

Gemgenders are obviously bisexuals.

Alex said...

Do you guys get it now? Our entire society must be restructured for the sake of transgendered people.

Freeman Hunt said...

In a few decades they can have alumni retreats and reterm it for survivors of political and psychological abuse.

harrogate said...

"Do you guys get it now? Our entire society must be restructured for the sake of transgendered people."

Yeah, it is going to deeply affect all of our lives to not be able to dictate to and denigrate them. The old routes to work will close down. The grocery will shed half its inventory. And on and on the horror.

Alex said...

How am I denigrating a mentally disturbed young person by suggesting they should get treated in a mental ward? I'm looking out for their best interest!

Michael Haz said...

I had a nasty bout of cancer when I was nineteen. Tumors took over one of my legs and grew and grew and grew.

The MDs told me and my parents that this was pretty dire. I thought it over for a day and told the MD to take my leg off at the hip. I wanted it to be over with.

What the hell did I know? I was nineteen and thought I was bulletproof.

On the day of the surgery I patted my leg goodbye as the anesthesia flowed in. I woke up in the recovery room six hours later with both legs.

I asked the surgeon what happened. He answered that (1) I was nineteen and didn't know a damn thing, (2) He is the surgeon, not me, and (3)He was not going to cut off a leg if there was any other way to cure the cancer.

I had six surgeries, chemo and radiation. I spent four months in Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee. I walked out on two legs. I still have them.

I'd damn glad the adults were in charge of the medical decision making.

Too bad those kids don't have adults they can rely on to save them from really, really bad ideas. And from people like Andy who are all too eager to have minors sliced up just to satisfy his agenda.

kentuckyliz said...

Under PPACA, a 12 year old girl can decide to be permanently sterilized.

Rich Rostrom said...

1) Internal gender identity is real. Verified by the case of Bruce/Brenda/David Reimer, a male whose penis was severely damaged by a botched circumcision. His remaining male genitals were removed and he was raised as a "girl". But all through childhood, despite appearances and what he was told, he knew he was a boy (and was miserable). This was somehow wired into his brain. When finally told the truth at 13, he was overjoyed to learn that he wasn't crazy.

2) There appear to be cases where the brain wiring develops wrong, resulting in gender dysphoria. People with this condition are miserable.

3) It appears that some cases of gender dysphoria clear up, while other cases are intractable.

4) For intractable gender dysphoria, the only solution that provides relief to the patient is sexual reassignment surgery (SRS).

5) SRS is more successful if done before puberty.

6) SRS is at best an inferior substitute, and should not be inflicted on any patient if there is any possibility of the dysphoria clearing up.

7) There is no reliable way to differentiate between children whose gender dysphoria is intractable, for whom early SRS is the best choice, and those who will "get over it", for whom SRS would be a disaster.


9/4/12 2:29 AM

Alan said...

One of my greatest concerns about "sex change" operations (which really don't change sex since sex is determined by chromosomes): are the changees physiologically capable of enjoying sex as much as they could before the operation?

Where's Andrew Sullivan on this? Doesn't he get bent nine ways out of shape over circumcision?

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