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Zack Ford @ZackFord
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MEGATHREAD: Today's the release of @RyanTAnd's new anti-trans book, When Harry Became Sally, so let's review some of the many lies and distortions he relies upon to justify his prejudice.

Reminder: He seemingly didn't speak to a single trans person for a book about trans issues.
2. I've already written on the book twice, but this thread will include many flaws that didn't make it into my review, because it was already too long.


Follow-up reporting on detransitioners' stories used w/o permission:…
3. @RyanTAnd's main premise is that being transgender is a mental illness and trans people should not be affirmed in their gender ID.

He ignores all evidence as to why transition is good and provides no ideas as to what would work better (let alone any evidence to support them).
4. His only strategy, then, is to distort the research to paint a picture that transitioning doesn't help trans people, playing into a reader's prejudices to reinforce the idea that rejecting transgender people isn't only justified, but somehow in trans people's own interests.
5. Not only does @RyanTAnd believe that trans people are inherently delusional, he believes that trans allies are too, "as if they realize that their claims are contrary to basic, self-evident truths."

But he relies on SO MANY falsehoods to fill in what he thinks is the truth...
6. He claims a June 2016 @CMSGov report shows Obama's "own medical experts" believe transition isn't medically beneficial.

But that was a DRAFT. The final AUGUST report removed the language Ryan cites. CMS still covers transition on a case-by-case basis:…
7. Ryan never mentions:

A) the final August memo,
B) @CMSGov regards the @wpath standards of care, including surgery, as the guiding standards for trans care,
C) CMS has always covered psychotherapy and hormone therapy,
Or that
D) Medicare covers surgery on a case-by-case basis
8. Ryan calls North Carolina's anti-trans law #HB2 "common sense" and a "reasonable compromise" even though it was

A) Forced through in a single day with no trans input:…

B) Universally opposed by trans people and their allies:…
9. Ryan claims the NBA and WNBA "determine participation in their leagues according to biology." Neither league has ever said this.

The WNBA has explicitly said a trans woman could play:…

The NBA resisted NC's #HB2:…
10. Ryan claims the case of David Remier, who was raised as a girl because of a botched circumcision and ultimately committed suicide, undermines the separation of gender from bodily sex. But it actually proves it.…
11. Ryan claims @HopkinsMedicine resumed transition surgery due to “political pressure and a shift in cultural attitudes."

But Hopkins said it was to reflect the "best practices and the appropriate provision of care for transgender individuals" -…
12. Ryan describes Jesse Singal as a "trans-friendly journalist."

But the trans movement regards him as a concern troll. He defends anti-trans perspectives and has harassed trans women who don't give him the answers that he wants:…
13. Ryan claims transgender activists are “always changing their creed and expanding their demands," but he didn't bother to interview a single trans activist to help answer his questions.

He just assumes because he can't understand trans identities, then no one can. FALSE.
14. ?'s like:

- "If gender is a social construct, how can gender identity be innate and immutable?"
- "Why should feeling like a man — whatever that means — make someone a man?"
- “Why accept transgender ‘reality,’ but not trans-racial, trans-species, and trans-abled reality?”
15. Ryan claims "depression, psychosis, and suicide occur frequently both before and after sex reassignment therapies," but he doesn't bother to investigate the research showing consistent, significant correlations between these negative outcomes and discrimination…
16. Here are just a few studies documenting the connection between stigma/discrimination and negative health consequences:…………

None were mentioned in Ryan's book.
17. “The poor outcomes can’t be blamed on a hostile or bigoted society," Ryan arbitrarily concludes, "since they are reported even in the cultures most accepting of people who identify as transgender.”

"Most accepting" and "accepting" aren't the same thing.
18. Ryan relies on a familiar Swedish study to substantiate his claim that transitioning doesn't help improve trans people's well-being, but the author of that study has repeatedly repudiated such claims.

Like here:…

And here:…
19. Ryan also offers a bizarre claim that the Swedish study was partly what helped get anti-trans therapist Ken Zucker fired. But author Cecilia Dhejne explained to ThinkProgress that this was complete hogwash:…
20. Because he dismisses transitioning as healthy, he fearmongers that anti-trans parents will lose their kids.

He's capitalized on that this week, defending a family that wanted to force their suicidal kid into Christian anti-trans therapy:…
21. Ryan claims, "While environmental factors are likely to influence many of these differences, there’s no denying the role of biology.”

But he has no problem denying the biological differences documented in trans people:…
22. Ryan mentions intersex people, but nothing about the non-binary way many experience gender. He also expresses no objection to the corrective genital surgeries often performed on intersex infants:…
23. Ryan claims twin studies support his position trans isn't biological, that "clearly, life experiences play a large role."

But the twin studies demonstrate the very opposite:…
24. Ryan claims people who transition are not "objectively well off": "Someone could make it through life believing and living out a falsehood without experiencing psychiatric distress, but that person would not fully flourish.”

His prejudice is, apparently, "objective."
25. Ryan's chapter on trans kids relies entirely on the belief that they will "desist" and turn out not to be trans, but as my investigation last year showed, there's no scientific basis for this "desistance myth" -…
26. Ryan wants to force trans kids through puberty because hormones "may be the very things that help an adolescent come to identify with his or her biological sex.”

He has no evidence to support this claim. It's just a belief that reinforces his prejudice.
27. Ryan claims, “It’s hard to avoid the sense that an underlying motive for promoting social transition followed by puberty blockers is to ‘lock in’ a transgender identity.”

He believes the priority is making kids trans, not helping them be healthy. Pure paranoia.
28. Ryan claims, “If a particular boy tends to be more interested in stereotypically girl toys, we shouldn’t jump to the false conclusion that he must be a girl trapped in a girl’s body — or vice versa.”

No one is actually jumping to that conclusion!…
29. Ryan also dedicates a whole chapter to reinforcing archaic, gender norms: "It means cultivating modesty and self-respect in girls as they grow to womanhood, and it means teaching boys to respect women and to discipline their impulses.”

Transphobia is always rooted in sexism.
30. Ryan's sexism also echoes that of James Damore, the fired Google employee: "We’ll need to begin by acknowledging that men and women really are different, and taking those differences seriously in how we structure the workplace, rather than promoting a policy of sameness.”
31. Ryan claims that recognizing gender fluidity and allowing children to express their own gender is "a burden that introduces confusion when children need clarity and guidance."

He provides no evidence for this "burden" of "confusion."
32. Ryan warns "of the harm done to the common good, particularly to children, when transgender identity is normalized.”

His SOURCE for this "harm"? An article about how the Catholic Church should be careful it doesn't encourage more kids to be trans:…
33. Ryan claims schools that implemented anti-trans policies "found a way to accommodate both the student who identified as transgender and the rest of the students."

This is false, which is why those students keep suing:…
34. School policies that affirm trans students, Ryan warns, "may prevent some gender-confused children from coming to accept their true sex."

He provides no evidence to support this claim. He just inherently believes it's a bad thing if kids turn out trans.
35. Ryan insists trans discrimination is the only way to protect women: “The existing laws against sex crimes are inadequate to address the potential for abuse of [gender-identity-based access policies] by male sex offenders."

He offers no suggestions for, you know, fixing them.
36. Likewise, if Ryan had consulted any advocates for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, they'd have contradicted his anti-trans conclusions:…
37. Ryan also claims that respecting trans identities will give trans athletes an unfair advantage, ignoring that the NCAA and IOC have come to the opposite conclusions based on extensive research on the effects of hormones:…
38. Ryan insists, "Gender identity is not an objective, verifiable trait, but an expressly subjective one."

Not only is this false, but he neglects to mention this DOES describe religion, which he nevertheless does believe is worthy of recognition and protection.
39. Ryan insists, “There is nothing akin to Jim Crow laws designed to segregate people who identify as transgender and make them second-class citizens.”

But limiting trans people to single-use bathrooms so others aren't uncomfortable, as he espouses, is LITERALLY segregation.
40. Ryan concludes that "ordinary Americans recognize the transgender moment to be a politically correct fad build on a shaky platform, and many are pushing back."

He calls trans people a fad without talking to ONE trans person, gender therapist, or researcher. Incredible.
41. Also, don’t be fooled by anyone who claims he has a lot of citations. He technically has a lot of footnotes, but so often they lead to the same sources he’s used before — predominantly sources affiliated with the anti-trans hate group @ACPeds.….
42. All in all, Ryan's book is just an attempt to legitimize his own anti-transgender prejudice and encourage others to do the same.

This book and the flawed ideas he espouses will do great harm to many people.
43. And I know Ryan snidely believes the attention I pay his book only increases his publicity, but almost every conservative outlet is already praising it. It's important to equip others to debunk his junk science and "compassionate" bigotry.
44. If you feel compelled to read “When Harry Became Sally” for yourself, please do so with a critical eye. Note the studies Ryan avoids and the voices he excludes. These choices are intentional.…
45. Trans people are still VERY vulnerable throughout society, and I'm proud to be an ally that lifts up their voices and defends them from the discrimination, stigma, and rejection Ryan promotes.…

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