, 18 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter

In response to the anonymized leaks our source provided to 4thWaveNow from the affirmative parent forum, some angry members of the forum have appeared on Twitter to criticize us for “cherry picking” a “miniscule number of posts.”
2. They rightly point out that not everyone is talking about fake penises for preschoolers, the best tucking underwear to hide a 4-yr-old’s male genitalia, ER visits due to binding, & other things our source exposed.
3. They say we aren’t revealing the forum posts about happy trans kids in less extreme contexts.

Those purportedly happy trans kids are the subject of 10000s of media stories over the last 5+ years. In fact, many of their parents are members of the forum; some are celebrities.
4. But there are some general patterns to the forum, which has several moderators: The kinds of posts we’ve publicized don’t attract disagreement or a call for more nuanced thought.
5. No moderator is tagged, no one appears to question a parent (for example) whose child shows no dysphoria about their body yet the parent still wants to purchase a “packer" for their young female child, or tape their male child's penis down with duct tape.
6. There is a clear bias towards the idea that even the youngest child will (and should) continue to be transgender for life. When a child or teen shows possible signs of wavering in their identity, forum members err on the side of disbelieving the child;
7. Conversely, any sign a toddler--even a baby--is behaving in a manner more typical of the opp sex is scrutinized as a likely sign the child is transgender. (As always, we emphasize that this attitude is the result of "affirmative" clinicians who encourage such monitoring.)
8. In general, desistance (and therefore present or future avoidance of hormones or surgeries) is not seen as a positive outcome. The notion that desistance is a “myth” except in the rarest circumstances is heavily promoted.
9. Any discussion of rapid onset dysphoria, any indication a parent is thinking critically about “affirmation” is quickly denounced & a moderator tagged to bring the member into line (which may include ejection from the group). Such members are treated as heretics.
10. Many posts we’ve seen promote earlier medical intervention, & that insurance companies should be pressured to (for example) pay for mastectomies and/or hormones for young teens. Forum members who are leaders of trans lobby orgs are often tagged to assist in this effort.
11. One frequent poster even discussed contacting surgeons to ask whether they could perform genital surgery on her elementary-school-aged child. (No surgeon would touch it). Out of over 40 responses on this thread, only 1 commenter thought the surgeons might have a point.
12. Those who appear on Twitter to denounce our anonymized exposure of leaks seem to want to distance themselves from the more extreme posts. Why did those same people not question the judgment of some of those expressing those more extreme ideas, on the forum itself?
13. Why do moderators effectively ban any nuanced discussion, especially about desistance and rapid onset dysphoria?
14. We get the same sort of criticism for talking about desistance/detransition on our Twitter feed and our website. Our critics claim few people regret or desist, and our talking about it (even when it is our own children who desisted) makes us bigots who “hate trans kids.”
15. There is a growing cohort of regretters starting to speak up publicly. Leaving aside how rare they actually are, since when is it verboten to talk about a minority—especially when that minority has undergone irreversible medical intervention which they regret?
16. Similarly, even if (despite their deafening silence on the forum) most members on the affirmative parent forum don’t agree with (say) packers for toddler girls, why is it an outrage that we are raising awareness about those who do agree? “Methinks thou doth protest too much.”
17. We have already heard from some members of this group, thanking us for bringing to light the pressure applied to them when they raise reasonable questions about their children's distress. We promise confidentiality to anyone who cares to reach out.
18. In the US one would be hard pressed to find any legacy media coverage of troubling aspects of pediatric transition or transgender regret. The fact that certain activists & leaders of a 8000+member group want to prevent vigorous discussion about these matters speaks volumes.
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