Bernard Lane Profile picture
Roving editor (editor-at-small), poetry tragic. Reporting the gender clinic debate. Usual disclaimers. Trolls get epigrams or lyrics. laneb@theaustralian.com.au
dniklasd Profile picture Graeme Bowman Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
27 May
"Australia's federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has rejected any suggestion that he & his medical college advisers have endorsed the 'affirmative' treatment model of children’s hospital gender clinics." 1/
theaustralian.com.au/nation/politic…
"He was responding to Monday’s @AustralianStory program, in which the general medicine director of Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Sarah McNab, claimed a 2020 medical college report to Mr Hunt was 'incredibly validating' for the hospital’s influential gender clinic."
"Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley was quoted (by @ABCaustralia as saying) he had to 'give Greg Hunt and the federal government kudos' for letting the medical college @TheRACP 'determine the outcome'."
Read 8 tweets
2 Mar
.@GDSNsupport holds online support meetings for family & friends of those affected by gender dysphoria. It was founded in 2020 by a therapist & two mums of natal daughters who identify as trans. The group is looking for more therapists as demand rises. 1/ Image
In the last 2 years there's been a surge of new groups driven by concern about gender clinic medicine. They cover parents, health professionals, detransitioners, LGB people, trans care consumers & trans adults worried about the risks to minors. Here's a sample of this new push:
Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine @SEGMtweets
segm.org
Read 26 tweets
17 Feb
"We petition the American Academy of Pediatrics to renounce its scientifically unsupported 'affirmative' policy for young people with gender dysphoria." Interesting petition given role of guidelines/policies in promoting gender hormone drugs & surgery. 1/
change.org/p/american-aca… https://www.change.org/p/am...
Gender clinic hormonal treatments for under-18s are based on "low quality" evidence, according to reviews of the medical literature, including the first systematic review by Chew et al 2018 published in the AAP's official journal. blogs.bmj.com/bmjebmspotligh… https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih...
In the absence of high quality evidence for gender medicine, treatment guidelines & position statements from medical associations take on more significance -- and they have their critics.
Read 11 tweets
5 Feb
"(Victoria's anti-conversion therapy bill), which could mean up to a decade in jail or fines of almost $10,000 for anyone found trying to suppress or change another person’s sexuality or gender identity, passed by 27-9 votes late on Thursday." 1/
theaustralian.com.au/nation/politic… https://twitter.com/JaclynSymes/status/1357292434598682627?s
Not a surprise, given the numbers. More significant, I think, was hearing several Australian MPs literate in the Tavistock court ruling, risks to minors in "affirmative" gender clinics, questions of consent to gender transition, & the emergence of regretful "detransitioners".
In the debate, some MPs, notably Liberal Democrat David Limbrick, tried to tease out the logic & possible consequences of this use of coercive state power. What does it mean to "change or suppress" sexuality or gender identity? He worried aloud about real-world scenarios. https://spectator.com.au/2021/01/its-shameful-being-gay-was-
Read 21 tweets
4 Feb
"Overcoming the flesh: the transgender movement wants to legally abolish physical sex. Risks and side effects are kept silent" | Big-hit 1400-word report in Germany's influential centre-right newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine @faznet #GenderClinics 1/
zeitung.faz.net/faz/feuilleton…
"(The @FDP party & Greens) have presented drafts for a (gender) self-determination law that for long stretches seem as if they were written by the activists themselves. At age 14, everyone should be able to decide each year whether they are legally to be considered man or woman."
Germany is the latest country to launch a dissident LGB group in protest & alarm at what they see as the capture of establishment LGBT organisations by the radical project to topple biological sex & erect self-declared "gender identity" in its place.
Read 21 tweets
2 Feb
"Doctors and psychiatrists want the Andrews government (in the Australian state of Victoria) to make changes to its plan to ban gay conversion therapy, due to concerns it will discourage some practitioners from treating vulnerable patients."
theage.com.au/politics/victo…
This is significant criticism from the main medical body @amavictoria & college of psychiatry @RANZCP, which calls out the conflation of sexual orientation & gender identity that is the hallmark of activist-driven "conversion therapy" bans globally.
This concern raised by the college's Victorian branch is also interesting because the RANZCP's own policy arguably involves a more general, Queer Theory-style conflation of sexual orientation & gender identity.
ranzcp.org/news-policy/po…
Read 5 tweets
19 Jan
Two courts on the opposite side of the world recently made decisions on children & puberty blocker drugs which stop natural development. In the English case, the High Court said it was "highly unlikely" that a child 13 or under could consent to this "experimental" treatment. 1/
In Australia, the court decided it was in the "best interests" of a 12 year-old to begin puberty blockers to prevent "life-long damaging masculinisation". Born a boy, the child identifies as female.
Both rulings came down in December 2020 but a key difference is that the English court was considering whether children could give informed consent to their own treatment, while the Australian judge allowed doctors to proceed with the mother consenting on behalf of the child.
Read 20 tweets
13 Dec 20
In Australia, public media outlet @abcnews has showcased children's hospital gender medicine for years. This treatment was found to be "experimental" in Keira Bell's court challenge to the UK Tavistock clinic. The ruling has global significance, but not on the ABC website.
Even before the Tavistock ruling, the UK had adopted a more cautious approach to this medicalisation. Finland & Sweden have edged away from the "gender affirming" medical model used in Oz. The pioneering Dutch clinic has expressed concern about a shift in patient profile.
But Australian readers were told back in April this was just a rightwing culture war, and that the gender medical model had prevailed. Now this Melbourne newspaper has had a "struggle session" with staff angry it ran the story of a worried (& obviously not bigoted) parent.
Read 10 tweets
21 Nov 20
An American appeals court has ruled that "conversion therapy" bans offend the First Amendment right to free speech in the constitution. Here's a news report with the basic facts -- and significant omissions. This case looks important. THREAD

reuters.com/article/us-usa…
The two therapists who challenged the "conversion therapy" bans say they offer counselling: just talking. The Florida authorities lawmakers argue this does serious psychological harm to minors. Image
But these restrictive "ordinances" give a green light to one form of counselling. This "carveout" is a hallmark of the new-wave "LGBT conversion therapy" bans being pushed by "gender identity" activists around the world. Image
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov 20
Canada's Bill C-6 would criminalise "conversion therapy". This is part of an international project pitched as an urgent rescue of "LGBTQ people" from right-wing religious bigots bent on forcibly changing their identity.
cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
If people in the mainstream hear about this new wave of bans on "gay conversion therapy", their reaction is revulsion, then puzzlement: "Surely all that horrible electric shock stuff is a thing of the past? Nobody's even arguing about gay marriage any more."
What's new -- the heart of the controversy about these laws -- is "gender identity", not sexual orientation. It ties in to the global debate about the exponential surge in teenagers seeking to transition with hormonal drugs & surgery to an "inner gender" at odds with biology. Sex researcher James Cantor on the "gender identity&quo
Read 13 tweets
5 Nov 20
Australia has taxpayer-funded sport guidelines promoting transgender inclusion, launched in 2019 after "confidential, targeted and respectful” consultations with unnamed groups. But whose idea was this? Senator Claire Chandler asked some months ago & got this answer --
In October, Chandler & Robert Dalton, acting CEO of @sportaustralia, the top government agency, were back in the Senate. In preamble to a question, Chandler reminded Dalton about his agency having kicked off the guideline project.
Dalton said: "If I can correct you ... the guidelines were in fact initiated by the human rights commission ... we supported the human rights commission."
Read 16 tweets
1 Oct 20
With transgender lobby @PrideinSportAU, 8 major sport bodies put out a statement on trans "inclusion" @RugbyAU @AFL @NetballAust @TennisAustralia @unisportAU @WaterpoloAus @touchfootyaus @HockeyAustralia Their policy enables male-bodied transfemales to compete in female sport. 1/
They justify this with the suggestion that if trans players are not included, suicide may result. That's a serious issue -- & there are serious questions about activist use of statistics on suicide risk. Did those 8 sporting bodies do their due diligence?
medianet.com.au/releases/19226…
Their statement says: "Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance state that trans & gender diverse adults are nearly 11 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population, with 35% of trans & gender diverse adults having attempted suicide in their lifetime".
Read 12 tweets
17 Sep 20
No doubt Harvard's @jack_turban has reason to worry about trans people. Many teens in gender clinics present with a host of problems but is there any good data on how much suicide risk is *because* of trans issues versus, say, autism, same-sex attraction or family trauma? 1/
As for this new study, Dr Turban admits it uses a "convenience sample". Suicide risk studies relied on to promote gender clinic medicine typically claim very high risk but are low-quality from a research design point of view. I base this thread on talks with experts & reading.
These trans suicide studies can't be taken to be representative of trans people generally. They recruit participants via sources such as social media & trans activist groups, where the narrative of trans suicide risk circulates and may be reinforced by each successive study.
Read 19 tweets
29 Aug 20
Here are parents' voices, rarely heard in mainstream media, warning that "conversion therapy" bans will make it harder to ensure that troubled kids get honest, thoughtful help from those who love them, and expert, cautious care, not just uncritical "gender affirmation". THREAD
A mother of a trans-identifying teenager (with mental health problems and school refusal) points out the brain does not fully develop until the mid-20s, and children need “the support, guidance and education from the mature minds of their parents, therapists and carers."
“(The latest Australian conversion therapy ban) is eroding the role and responsibility of parents as children and teenagers navigate the most vulnerable years of their lives,” this mother tells @australian

theaustralian.com.au/nation/gender-…
Read 21 tweets
13 Aug 20
Journalists & youth gender clinics, THREAD #health

At a gender clinicians' meeting in 2018 @RCHMelbourne's Dr Ken Pang predicted new referrals of under-18s at Australia's busiest clinic would plateau by 2019, but keep rising until 2023 at the UK Tavistock GIDS clinic. WPATH 2018, Dr Ken Pang's p...
Dr Pang, who runs research at the RCH Melbourne gender clinic, documented spikes in new referrals following high-profile media coverage by Australia's public broadcaster @abcnews & @theage newspaper showcasing the clinic & positive stories of under-18s on hormonal treatment. 2018 WPATH, Dr Ken Pang on ...
In line with the "gender affirming" narrative that media coverage promotes awareness of an inner trans identity immune from outside influence Dr Pang reportedly told the 2018 meeting: "What I'm not saying is that this media is turning cis (non-trans) people into trans people".
Read 25 tweets
19 May 20
Does "gender fluidity" teaching in schools lead to any cases of overdiagnosis of gender dysphoria ("born in the wrong body") and life-altering medical interventions in children's hospital gender clinics? theaustralian.com.au/nation/parents… @australian #health #education #auspol | THREAD
In Queensland, Australia, education bureaucrats work to “strengthen relationships” with the Queensland Children's Hospital gender clinic — where under-18 patient numbers have risen 1,172% since 2014 — and liaise with a "Queensland Queering Education Consultative Committee".
In Victoria, the pioneer state for teaching fluidity, education minister James Merlino cites “confidentiality” when asked how many under-18s have been referred to the Royal Children’s Hospital gender clinic by GPs, trained by that clinic, under his Doctors in Schools program.
Read 13 tweets
13 May 20
Sweden has reportedly abandoned a plan to allow transgender genital surgery at age 15. Medical & legal experts had protested, driving media scrutiny & now the National Board of Health & Welfare has backflipped. svt.se/nyheter/gransk… @Sven_Roman @socialstyrelsen #policy | THREAD
The board's head Thomas Lindén cites the rapid increase in young patients with neuropsychiatric disorders in gender clinics, reports Swedish news program @granskning which had revealed a lack of evidence for official claims that lowering the age from 18 would prevent suicides.
The surge in patients may be over & @granskning reports that referrals fell 65% in the last quarter of 2019 at Stockholm's youth gender clinic. svt.se/nyheter/gransk… | From 2008-2017, the number of girls aged 10-19 treated for "gender dysphoria" in Sweden rose 1800%.
Read 8 tweets