, 13 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
This question by @ollylambert is circulating in the gender-critical circles today and I want to address it. I can't speak as a trans person, but I will speak as a mom of a trans child/partner of a trans person who regularly works with media why I won't debate their validity.
@ollylambert First, it’s important to understand that trans people – and in particular trans kids – are one of the most marginalized & misunderstood people on the planet. Trans people have worked HARD to get the recognition and acceptance they have and are nowhere near done.
@ollylambert Second, not long ago, it was impossible to get ANY support for trans kids. None. The amount of work that’s been done to get here is enormous. That work, and those treatments, are saving lives. Trans youth have far better outcomes when affirmed.
@ollylambert How do we know this? Science. Modern research is clearly showing that trans youth who meet the criteria for gender dysphoria and receive the supports and medical treatment they need are growing up happier and face better outcomes.
@ollylambert Sadly, we know science doesn’t dictate public opinion. Just look at the anti-vax campaigns. Fear over vaccines has sparked outbreaks of measles & influenza. No matter how much work goes into undoing one bad study, people still buy in. Climate change is another example of this.
@ollylambert Issues surrounding trans people are the same. Bathrooms. Change rooms. Inclusive sex-ed. Blockers. Hormones. Surgery. Regret. It doesn’t matter how many positive stories and good research goes into this, people will latch onto years-old faulty, debunked studies.
@ollylambert Thankfully, the world’s largest medical orgs support affirming trans people, including trans kids. They do this because the science and positive outcomes are there. Trans people themselves say this is the best way, and the medical community is finally listening to them.
@ollylambert As an affirming parent, I won’t provide ‘the other side’ of a debate. I’ve turned down several.

Here’s why: Debate lends credibility to there being an argument against affirming my trans child - another way that could be better. I won't take part in a conversation like this.
@ollylambert If I debate someone on a documentary, I risk lending my voice to a piece that can cause a societal backlash against trans youth. I refuse to potentially cause harm to their community and removal of their hard-earned supports. I will not participate in the next anti-vax frenzy.
@ollylambert Instead, I'll tell our story in book form, in blog form, and I'll work with media who aren’t looking to stir the pot. I’ve done too many interviews to count now, and none of them have been to provide a counterpoint. I don't owe anyone a debate on the validity of my child.
@ollylambert And no, trans people and their supporters aren’t the only group who refuse to debate. There are good reasons not to share space with bigotry and amplify its voice. Here’s a solid essay on that from @PennyRed longreads.com/2018/09/18/no-…
@ollylambert @PennyRed Do journalists ask people of color “hey, we’re doing a documentary on why the KKK & we’d like to get the other side. Want to do that?"

No, because that’s wrong.

The trans community is repeatedly asked to debate their validity with hate groups. Think about that.
@ollylambert @PennyRed In short, refusing to debate does not mean someone is wrong. It often means we’re using our time and energy to do work that will ACTUALLY make a difference and move the conversation forward.

The time for debate on trans lives is OVER.
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