Today my copy of "Gender Explorers: Our Stories of Growing Up Trans and Changing the World" by Juno Roche @JustJuno1 arrived. I sat down and didn’t stop reading until the end. Here’s a short review. 1/10
I've chatted with Juno at a Mermaids residential. They are lovely. Yet I still opened the book with some trepidation. Books about trans children can be heavily impacted by an author's own agenda, & tend to pathologise either the children or the parents (or both). 2/10
This book is so different. Juno has very cleverly stepped back and allowed the voices of trans children & adolescents to take centre stage. And their voices shine. 3/10
@KatyMontgomerie The majority of the studies from which the 80% average is calculated were published prior to 1988, namely Bakwin 1968; Lebowitz 1972; Zuber 1984; Money and Russo 1979; Green 1987 etc. These papers were based on data from even earlier (50’s, 60’s, 70’s).
@KatyMontgomerie They didn't bother to distinguish between trans girls and feminine boys as both were considered equally pathological. The author of some of the above studies literally had a study called "The Sissy Boy" study.
@KatyMontgomerie Hi Katy. Great blog. One important clarification - the old 'desistance' studies were on kids diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, which measured non-conformity (playing with dolls). They were not kids diagnosed with Gender dysphoria. This is a really important difference.
@KatyMontgomerie The majority of kids whose parents took them to a Gender Clinic in the 70s and 80s for being too feminine did indeed grow up to be cis gay men. But these were not the same children as trans children - my daughter couldn't care less about feminine clothes or dolls.
@KatyMontgomerie This false idea that a huge percentage of trans kids magically change their identity at the start of puberty is not supported at all in the literature. And this idea causes massive harm to those kids who assert their identities at a young age.
"Understand that gender questioning and gender diversity are common, not pathological and frequently begin in early childhood". 2/6
Health professionals need to:
"Help parents, schools & other agencies to adopt a supportive, flexible and responsive attitude to affirm a child’s expressed sexuality and gender, whilst being sensitive to change over time. This will involve making appropriate adjustments." 3/6
Dear clever twitter, I want to collate my understanding of the countries where trans kids already have full right to get all legal identity documents updated (birth cert, ID, passport. And countries where this is being debated. Grateful if people could post info and links 1/
Your regular reminder that UK media is incapable of high quality reporting on the topic of trans kids, and in ten years time we'll look back at even this less transphobic reporting and ask why the UK media failed trans kids so badly in 2019. 1/
Four themes on show, that are always weaponised against trans children & supportive parents.
Firstly, the focus on stereotypes throughout, with identity & expression conflated. Research shows trans kids are more likely to fight against stereotypes 2/ onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.111…
Of course some trans girls love dolls. Mine doesn't. This girl's story, her interests etc, are absolutely valid. But when the media only showcases trans girls who love dolls and trans boys who hate dolls, it feeds into a misleading & harmful discourse. 3/ growinguptransgender.com/2018/02/06/on-…
So I just finished reading 'love lives here' by @MavenOfMayhem. It is a beautiful very accessible book. It is the kind of book that would be a good starter for clueless cis people. Maybe the kind of book that would have helped our extended family members start to understand.
@MavenOfMayhem It is not always an easy read. Both for the hard bits and the good ones. I couldn't help little spikes of jealously popping up at descriptions of high levels of community love, understanding and support.
@MavenOfMayhem Maybe Canada's more enlightened, without the UK's hateful media. Maybe ppl are more inclined to support a family with an older trans child. Most probably the book skims some of the rejection and hate to show cis readers what reactions are expected of them.
Here's a new blog post on New Zealand's trans healthcare guidelines, focusing on the relevance for trans children and adolescents. In this short thread I'll summarise the blog and these guidelines in ten short points growinguptransgender.com/2019/07/22/new…
1. New Zealand endorses gender affirmative healthcare for trans children and adolescents.
2. New Zealand acknowledges that some children are trans at a young age, that some adolescents come to understand their gender identity at or after puberty, and that all are valid and in need of affirmation and support.
Social transition, ie an end to the daily rejection of our daughter, is the most important thing we could have done for her. For GIDS to say to BBC that they do not recommend social transition is outrageous negligence of their duty of care to trans kids. 1/
Health services in US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, advise parents not to reject their trans kids. They cite the evidence of the known harm of rejection. They emphasise the importance of kids feeling accepted, safe, loved 2/
Health service in UK recommends parents to continue rejecting their trans kids indefinitely. For years and years and years. They cite no evidence for this recommendation (occasionally citing an old Dutch study sample size two, neither of whom socially transitioned 3/
As my blood pressure rises on yet another Saturday night reading Times hate targeted at supporters of trans kids, I want to make a plea to trans allies and trans advocates 1/
Anti LGBT haters target trans people as the easiest target. The ones with least power & support. Transphobes target trans kids as the weakest part of trans communities, the ones who often cannot speak up. This is a concerted attack tactic 2/
Attacking trans kids is easy. Few trans advocates or allies can speak up confidently about trans kids. Concerns of 'safeguarding' are thrown at any trans adult who speaks up for trans kids, a tactic aimed at silencing adult trans supporters of trans kids eg @MunroeBergdorf 3/
Been thinking about trans & LGBT & human rights solidarity in UK. When @gmcuk shut down the only affirmative care for trans adolescents, whilst psychologists who don't believe trans kids exist are still in NHS GIDS, why is there no outcry? Silence or business as usual. What?
@gmcuk With no other service now in the UK, our kids are forced to see GIDS staff, some of whom are deeply harmful to our kids. Why do so few trans and LGBT organisations stand up for trans kids?
@gmcuk And I know some people will respond with 'questions' about Gender GP. But the @gmcuk keeps closing people down without ever outlining what route to provision of affirmative care for trans adolescents they would support
It gets worse. New GIDS article states no social transition till 10. Wren 'fears' harm with no evidence. She is working on cisnormative instinct. journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.11…
My daughter is enjoying a happy carefree childhood. I cannot imagine what state she would be in if we had rejected her for her whole childhood til she was 10.
I feel like only ten people on twitter will care, but this really is devastating. Some trans kids have a strong need to assert their identity at a young age, being mis-seen, being rejected for who they are, is a huge deal.
Societal judgement, hostility, ignorance, transphobia, is biggest threat to trans kids and biggest barrier to parents supporting them. GIDS have responsibility to normalise trans kids, to encourage support
Instead we get this shite. On need for psychological assessment, psychologist checking in case there is external pressure to be trans (!), vague references to culture, sexuality. Emphasising kids in turmoil over gender, suggesting they have no idea what is best for these kids
@Tara_Hewitt@EnbyLawyer@PeterDunneLaw It is so important to hear from trans positive experts in other countries, to see just how far behind the UK GIDS is. Dr Jo O-K obviously cares for our trans kids, I would trust her to care for my child
@Tara_Hewitt@EnbyLawyer@PeterDunneLaw It is important to know Dr Jo O-K is not an exception. Another year I'd love us to invite @michelle_telfer , expert of the Australian children/youth service. Canada has good clinicians. Spain is ahead of UK. The Canary Islands are ahead of us.
As a mum of a young trans child, I want to talk about the ‘meaningful discussions with parents’ that is being proposed to gain consensus on whether school educations should include LGBT people. Thread 1/ theguardian.com/education/2019…
If my school holds such a meaningful discussions with parents, what does that mean for my family? For my trans child? For parents who are LGBT?
Would I go to such a ‘discussion’? 2/
Would I be forced to listen to other parents expounding the ignorant, misinformed & prejudicial views that I know are out there?
Would the school be powerless to protect my child, from being forced to listen to bigoted views, in the interests of ‘meaningful discussions’? 3/
@TGEUorg@_oatc_@ILGAEurope@hrw@GATEOrg I am based in the UK where trans kids rights are regularly ignored and trans kids harmed as a result. Rights focused orgs in the UK (esp England) do not stick up for trans kids. TGEU could help highlight the rights violations trans kids suffer.
@TGEUorg@_oatc_@ILGAEurope@hrw@GATEOrg I am also in a network of parents advocating for trans kids rights from across the world, with members across Europe. Trans kids rights are violated in countries across Europe (every country). We need TGEU speaking up for trans kids. Please get in touch.
@TGEUorg@_oatc_@ILGAEurope@hrw@GATEOrg There is a long list of things that my daughter needs for a life of dignity, equality and wellbeing. Things that she is currently denied in a transphobic UK. One way TGEU can help is by including trans kids specifically in reports on rights violations and discrimination
Something else on the 20 month wait for appointments. GIDS quotes to new kids/families the time people currently being seen have waited. Which is 20 months. BUT, the wait time over the past 2 years has grown by half a month every month.
For the past 2+ years, the actual wait has never matched the quoted 'current wait time'. Meaning kids & families are continually disappointed when they reach their expected wait time, with no appointment in sight.
Why won't GIDS acknowledge the wait time has for 2+ years grown by half a month every month. They say the current wait time is 20 months. Kids & families referred now (Feb 19) expect to be seen in Dec 20.
"3.28. Mental health support for children and young people will be embedded in schools and colleges. The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper set out proposals to improve mental health support in schools and colleges. Over the next five years
the NHS will fund.."
"new Mental Health Support Teams working in schools and colleges, building
on the support already available, which will be rolled out to between one-fifth and a quarter of the country by the end of 2023. These school and college-based services will be supervised by..."
For anyone who has shown love, support, care, for trans children in 2018 – Thank you! Here is a Christmas Eve treat. Curl up with a cup of tea and a mince pie, and enjoy a Christmas Eve story, read by UK trans children, aged 6-12. #NightBeforeChristmas
Trans kids who are supported are thriving – enjoying happy childhoods. Our kids are super excited for Christmas, surrounded by families who love them unconditionally. Love. Support. Happiness. #SupportTransKids@Mermaids_Gender
To those spreading hate and fear about trans people, who attack the few who stick up for trans kids – these are the children harmed by your fear mongering. Trans children in the UK were bullied by powerful adults week after week in 2018. Shame on you. In 2019 – be better. Be kind