Ah, the anti-trans crowd are desperately trying to get #ROGD traction and legitimacy by trying to get it trending on Twitter.

So let's break it down.

#ROGD is pseudo-scientific bunkum that has less credibility than the flat earth theory.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

1/n
But in all seriousness, #ROGD is nothing more than the #transphobic denial of reality, and an attempt to explain away a phenomenon that has parallels running throughout history and is already well understood.

See, here's the thing. As the results of the UK LGBT Survey...

2/n
showed, trans ppl in the UK still face horrific levels of abuse and discrimination in society. And, as with any marginalised group in society that faces that level of threat to their safety and health, anybody who wants to come out as being trans has to make a calculation...
3/n
about whether it's relatively safe for them to do so. And part of that can be influenced by seeing your peers coming out. The more that you see other trans ppl in the public eye, or out in your own social circles, the more confidence you have in coming out yourself...

4/n
And that's assuming that you are aware that you are trans to begin with. Most English speakers grow up in a society that is only just now beginning to accept the validity of trans ppls existence, so it is hardly a surprise that most of us will have grown up with no idea...

5/n
about what being transgender is, or what it means, or what forms it can take. We grow up knowing that something isn't right with us, but without any part of the toolkit that allows us to begin to understand what is happening. But as society changes, as trans issues...

6/n
are discussed more and more openly, more and more young ppl are gaining the information, the tools, that they need to understand themselves, and trans kids are gaining both the tools, and the confidence, and the understanding that there is help for them that allows them...

7/n
to come forward and express themselves, and to state that they are trans.

So what about those historical analogues?

Well, an easy one to spot was the sudden rise in the number of gay ppl who publicly came out. And why did this happen? Because issues around gay...

8/n
ppl started being publicly discussed in a way that was considerably less discriminatory against gay ppl that it had been, gay ppl were being represented in media in a way that owed considerably less to the discriminatory stereotypes that had existed before, and the...
increase in the number of ppl who publicly came out as gay (consider, for instance, the impact on US society when Ellen DeGeneres very publicly came out), all fed into creating a situation where gay ppl began to feel more comfortable coming out in their own lives.

10/n
There was no Rapid Onset Gayness, just an increasing acceptance and visibility within society that allowed a space for gay ppl to come out.

And yet...

And yet, those close friends of the anti-trans mob, the far-right US evangelical fundamentalist movement tried to...

11/n
paint the rise in the numbers of gay ppl coming out as being rapid, as being a contagion that was sweeping the US that was being fuelled by, yes you guessed it, the media (social media hadn't really taken off, but once it did, that also got blamed).

What do you know,...

12/n
,turns out that the anti-trans mob are once more playing exactly the same cards and deploying the same rhetoric as their far-right US fundie chummies.

And, of course, the "cure" being offered in both cases are the same: media and education is to blame for...

13/n
corrupting the youth, therefore both must be censored to stop kids catching the gay or the trans, and until that can be put into place, kids must be quarantined from this hideous mind control going around!⸮

It is also no coincidence, by the way, that both the anti-trans...14/n
mob and the fundie hate groups truly believe that being LGBT+ is a choice. They passionately believe it because they have to, because otherwise they have no way to argue their bullshit claims that children catch "the gay" or "the trans".

15/n
But there is another parallel beyond this one.

And I will get to that, but first I'm off to my GP, so a bit of a time gap in me posting.

16/n
Dressings have been changed and so onwards and sideways.

17/n
Another historical parallel can be found in the rise of the number of children being diagnosed with autism, and the Wakefield scandal.

The 90s saw an increase in the number of children being diagnosed with autism and when graphed that rise bears a certain similarity to...

18/n
the current rise in the number of young trans ppl seeking help from NHS gender identity services, and elicited a strikingly similar response when, in 1998, the thoroughly discredited fraud Andrew Wakefield authored a paper claiming a spurious link between the...

19/n
administration of the MMR vaccine and autism. And this gained rapid acceptance amongst a certain section of society which, even to this day, claim that autism must be cause by vaccines, because that's the only way to explain the sudden rise in the number of children...

20/n
diagnosed with what is now known as ASD.

Now, when you realise that most ppl have no understanding of the history and study of autism, and most ppl have a very primitive and underdeveloped sense of cause and effect, correlation, and causation and, in addition, are...

21/n
heavily influenced by the stories that society tells them (more on that later), it's easy to see why ppl wanted to believe this. There was a sudden rise in the number of children being diagnosed with ASD, and there was also a rise in the number of children receiving...

22/n
the MMR vaccine, therefore it must make sense that those two things are connected, how could they not be?

But, of course, when you are on the inside of the story looking out it becomes immediately obvious why there was a sudden increase in the number of children being...

23/n
diagnosed with ASD, and why it had nothing to do with the uptake in the administration of vaccines.

So let's go inside the story of autism and to do that, we need to jump back in history. Autism has been known about and studied since not long after the discovery of...

24/n
antibiotics. The problem was that the scientific field that was studying autism was psychology and, as anyone who knows the story of Morfydd Llwyn Owen (thanks #promsextras for that bit of knowledge) will know, psychology was a subject that was held in deep suspicion...

25/n
and disdain. And so, as a result, the work surrounding the study of autism was pretty much ignored, certainly within the field of healthcare. Even when psychology gained more respectability, the acceptance that autism was real, and could be diagnosed, and wasn't...

26/n
merely bad behaviour would be an incredibly long time coming. Indeed, the medical profession, and more importantly, the political forces that govern what medical provision is available to the public, only really started to accept that autism was real, and needed to be...

27/n
diagnosed, and provision put into place to help children with ASD, especially within education, was very late arriving.

But arrive it did, and so children began to be diagnosed with ASD at a much higher rate. It wasn't that there were any more children as a percentage...

28/n
of the population with ASD than before, it's just that now there was a mechanism that allowed those children to be diagnosed.

So, if you were on the outside and didn't know any of this, and only knew through the media that there's an increased number of stories on...

29/n
children being diagnosed with ASD, and what that means, and then there's media stories about how more children are being diagnosed than before, and then somebody comes along and offers a very simple, if very wrong, answer as to why that is, well it comes as no surprise...

30/n
that ppl will want to believe that simple story, no matter how many times it's pointed out that it's wrong.

But then, to pick up on a point I raised earlier on, why do ppl want to believe simple stories? In fact, why do they want to believe stories at all, especially...

31/n
the stories that their peers and elders tell them?

There's a theory, one that I happen to agree with, that the reason that we, as humans, are currently sat or stood here doing human things, rather than being a bunch of hairless apes sat around on a savanna picking lice...

32/n
off of each other is down to the fact that we tell stories. And not just tell stories. We use stories nearly all the time when communicating with each other. This thread, this is me telling you a story, and the stories that are told can be factual, or fictional...

33/n
allegorical, or plain and straightforward. But mostly we use stories to educate. To teach. And nowhere is that more obvious than in the stories and fairy tales that we were told, and that we then pass on to our children.

So, to borrow from, and paraphrase, the...

34/n
start of S1.Ep4 of Legion, there are two types of story. The fuzzy bunny story designed to teach empathy, and the other kind designed to teach fear. Now, the fact that we teach children to fear is important in this discussion, and I'll come back to that later on, but...

35/n
let's have a look at the fuzzy bunny story. Yes, they are designed to teach empathy. But they also teach other things, not the least of which is that actions have consequences. Good actions are rewarded and result in good things happening, bad actions are punished and...

36/n
result in bad things happening. And, insidiously, at the same time we get taught that good things happen to good ppl because they've earned it, and bad things happen to bad ppl because they deserve it, and so when a bad thing happens to somebody they must have done...

37/n
something to deserve having it happen to them.

Yes, that means from the earliest age all of us have been taught victim-blaming. No surprise that victim-blaming is so prevalent in society. But what has that got to do with ppl with ASD, or even trans kids?

38/n
There's a long and nasty history in story-telling that equates being different with otherness.

With strangeness.

With being suspicious.

With being cursed.

Story after story have historically shown that those who are different, especially those with disabilities or...

39/n
those who refuse to conform to society's demands of what is normal and acceptable, are cursed, often having arisen from cursed bloodlines, and, in some way or another, deserve their disability or otherness.

And we're not talking about stories from the dawn of time here.

40/n
Consider how ppl with epilepsy were treated and seen by society in the first half of the 20th century. Ppl with epilepsy were shunned. And even now there is still an undercurrent that ppl with disabilities, or those that don't conform to what ppl think that society...

41/n
demands as being normal, are somehow defective. Wrong. A bad thing that's happened. A view that is completely wrong, and yet still too prevalent.

And that is where the stories come in. A child is diagnosed with ASD and without thinking about it, unconsciously, their...

42/n
parents tap into all the stories they were ever taught about fear, and the stories that have taught them that bad things happen to bad ppl. But their child isn't bad, and they aren't bad, so how can this be? But wait, the stories also tell that bad things happen to good...
43/n
ppl because bad ppl make them happen! That's it. That must be the answer! The MMR vaccine is responsible! It must be, because that is true to every story society has ever taught us!

Can you spot why that mistake is made?

It's born right at the beginning...

44/n
with the thought that a child with ASD must somehow be wrong, or that it's something bad that's happened to them.

And, of course, the same is happening now with trans kids. A trans child comes out and a parent who can't accept it immediately thinks that the child...

45/n
is somehow 'wrong', or that something bad must have happened to them to make them this way.

And ROGD is a story specifically designed to tap into that fear, and to feed the idea that because being 'trans' is a bad thing this can only have happened to their child because...

46/n
bad ppl have done it to their child. Bad ppl have 'turned their child trans'.

It's an insidious and nasty bit of storytelling designed to get into ppls heads, to prey on ppl at their most vulnerable point, to stop them from accepting their trans child, or to give them...

47/n
an excuse not to accept and help their trans child.

'But my child's not really trans, it's just social contagion'

No, that's your fears, your blindness to the stories that have shaped you, being deliberately manipulated into making you think that having a trans kid...

48/n
is a bad thing, and that because your kid isn't bad, and you aren't bad, this must be something that bad ppl have done to corrupt your child.

ROGD - not just pseudoscience, but a deeply nasty piece of propaganda designed solely to play to, and influence, ppls worst fears.

49/49
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