Thursday, August 18, 2016

What medical school did David French attend?

David A. French
David French is a lawyer and staff writer for the National Review. In spite of having a JD from Harvard Law he has been aligned with Alliance Defending Freedom. I note that he did his undergrad at the Church of Christ's Lipscomb University in Tennessee. Presumably he is a religious conservative. One thing is for sure. Mr. French is not a medical doctor.

Today, French writes a lengthy hate piece in the National Review. Its basic premise is that transgender kids are making a fashion statement. I am not going to go through it paragraph by paragraph as I ordinarily do. It makes no sense to reprint nonsense and it is unnecessary. The link is above. You can read it yourself. French expresses himself very well. He is absolutely wrong but he expresses his misinformation well.

The simple fact is that there are a few teens who are transgender. Being transgender is very difficult. Not every trans girl looks like Jazz Jennings. The notion that kids make a gratuitous choice is absurd.

Research tells us that the earlier in life someone transitions, the happier they will be later on in life. Perhaps the staggering suicide rate among transgender people will decrease. As I said it is not an easy path through life. Getting a job or even a place to live is a challenge. The high suicide rate says more about our society than transgender people.

Medical and counseling professionals have become more adept at determining whether a child is going through a phase (which is the case most of the time) or are really transgender. It is not perfect but those kids who are diagnosed as transgender will not receive hormones until as late as possible. I encourage everyone who is interested in this issue to watch Growing Up Trans produced by Frontline for PBS. In one part a trans boy is horrified at the prospect of growing breasts. The administration of puberty blockers or hormones requires the approval of parents and the medical professionals. It is a decision made with informed consent.

It is not perfect. There are knowns and there are unknowns. However, with proper medical care by people who specialize in child sexuality the risks are held to a minimum.

French finds a young woman who de-transitioned. She relates how she was prescribed testosterone after a mere “three or four” visits to a therapist. Perhaps Mr. French should offer his legal services to sue for malpractice. Transgender youth and their parents need reliable information more than anything else. The conservative noise which is the product of religious superstition doesn't do anyone any good.

Contrary to Mr. French's  strange idea, children are not becoming transgender because they think it is cool. Transgender kids face numerous risks including bullying. Hopefully a trans child is being treated by medical and counseling professionals with the right experience and training. I concede that is not always the case. It has to start with a knowledgeable primary care provider. That, too, is not always the case.
There is no reason for anyone to get information from non-experts. Just for starters:

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