A dangerous craze
Parents and experts speak up about transgenderism’s effect on children
A billboard at a prominent Los Angeles intersection states, “Your child is learning about gender identity in school. Puberty is not a medical condition.” It encourages parents to read Abigail Shrier’s recent book, Irreversible Damage: How the Transgender Craze is Seducing Our Daughters. A group called Concerned Parents paid for the billboard and set up a GoFundMe campaign to fund similar messages in other major cities.
Shrier’s book, released this past summer, is emboldening parents to push back against transgender ideology. When GoFundMe removed Concerned Parents’ page on Wednesday for unknown reasons, the group moved to a different crowdfunding site by Thursday, saying, “We will never give up on our daughters.”
WORLD contacted GoFundMe to ask why it removed the page but did not receive a response.
These new parent-activists say they want to counter the deluge of transgender-affirming messages their children hear from news and entertainment, public schools, counselors, medical professionals, and, most importantly, peer groups and social media.
“We are determined to do something,” said Keith Jordan, co-founder of the U.K.-based parent group Our Duty. “Transgenderism is being portrayed as something to be celebrated on a massive scale. This makes it harder for parents to resist and easier for a child to say, ‘That is what I am.’”
Jordan, whose daughter identifies as male, founded Our Duty in 2018 with six other parents to receive and provide support. The group now has hundreds of members, some of whom are considering opening a U.S. chapter.
Other groups such as Transgender Trend, 4thWaveNow, and Parents of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria have sprung up as parents look for ways to fight the cultural pressure to treat gender-dysphoric children with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex change surgeries.
“There is growing public disquiet about the transitioning of children,” said Stephanie Davies-Arai, a British mother of four and founder of the U.K.-based Transgender Trend.
The United Kingdom offers a case study in the growing backlash. The number of children referred to the country’s only “gender identity development” center, Tavistock and Portman National Health Service Foundation Trust, rose from 94 in 2010 to 2,519 in 2018-19. In 2017, 70 percent of children who received referrals were female, The Guardian reported. One former patient, Keira Bell, sued the Tavistock Center, saying workers should have challenged her more before giving her puberty blockers at age 16.
The U.K.’s National Health Services announced on Sept. 22 that it opened an independent review of Tavistock’s gender identity services for children and young people. Allegations have surfaced of doctors rushing children to take puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones without explanation of the physical and psychological risks.
A growing body of research from psychiatrists, endocrinologists, clinical social workers, and others raises serious questions about the science behind transgenderism. A group of medical professionals recently challenged a study asserting that any treatment other than affirmative therapy for gender-dysphoric youth causes harm and should be banned. In an October letter to the editor published in the Archives for Sexual Behavior, the authors said a study linking gender identity “conversion” efforts to psychological distress and suicide attempts relied on biased and flawed data.
“Transgenderism is being sold to young people, particularly young girls, as a way to deal with their discomfort with their bodies,” Davies-Arai said. “But it is based on a myth. It only leads to a medical pathway of treatments … that have irreversible effects and ensure a lifetime as a medical patient. Nobody needs that to become their true self.”
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