Friday, June 2, 2017

A new "expert" on gender identity

Doug Mainwaring
Doug Mainwaring
Note: This post is not as much about transgenderism as it is about the pervasive and pernicious penchant of conservative Christians to redefine science and reality. More and more I realize the portability of their bigotry. With few changes they can re-purpose anti-gay arguments or anti marriage equality arguments to become anti-trans arguments.

At LifeSiteNews.com, Doug Mainwaring writes: "Christians who reject transgenderism banned from adoption, working with children in Illinois." Apparently, conservative Catholics in the employ of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services must be permitted to impose their superstitions on the families and children in their care.

Mainwaring, who is a miserable, repressed, self-loathing gay man, has become a regular contributor to the ultra-orthodox Catholic LifeSiteNews. It is a hate site, obsessed with LGBT people. Mainwaring has a form of Stockholm Syndrome. The Catholic Church is directly responsible for making Mainwaring miserable and irrational. His response is to become an apologist for the Church, thus enabling his own further oppression.

Mainwaring writes:
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has instituted sweeping changes to its policies and procedures in caring for children who experience gender dysphoria that essentially weed out all employees and volunteers who cannot in good conscience support and promote transgender ideology.
That might not be the most idiotic paragraph I will read today but it will surely be a contender. The word "experience" is right out of the Church's customary babble about gay men "who experience same-sex attraction" (whatever the hell that means). One can correctly state that a child has gender dysphoria but "experiences" suggests something that is transitory.

Transgender is not an ideology. That is one of the more imbecilic memes of the current pope.  The fact that the Church does not approve of transgender people should, in no way, affect the care that they receive. We would not allow a Scientologist employee of DFS to deny a severely depressed child anti-depressants. L. Ron Hubbard's crazed blather should not affect how the state treats children and neither should the pope's. Neither were trained as psychiatrists - nor is Mainwaring.

Gender dysphoria can be a very serious condition. Untreated in children it can lead to self-harm. What does Mainwaring propose? It is the overwhelming consensus of medical science that the best treatment is gender affirmation which relieves the discomfort.
Illinois now "requires that all LGBTQ children and youth be placed in an affirming safe housing, receive LGBTQ competent medical and mental health services, and have equal opportunity and access to care."
That is the correct approach according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association (among other peer groups). Should we ignore them and rely upon Church teachings based on ancient manuscripts?
Purging transgenderism’s non-believers

According to attorney Mary Hasson, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C, “The new DCFS policies are less about safety and well being and more about using state power to ‘overrule’ basic, empirical (and common sense) truths about human beings and to replace them with ideological assertions that validate adult feelings rather than benefit children.”
The idiocy is endless. Transgenderism is not something to believe in or not believe in. Neither are X-ray machines.

Hasson is a lawyer (not a medical professional) in the employ of a conservative Catholic pressure group. If she really believes her stated conspiracy theory that treating gender dysphoria in accordance with best medical practices is about leveraging the state's power then she is also crazy. That nonsense; "validate adult feelings" is re-purposed rhetoric from the opposition to marriage equality. Is is also plain stupid. We are to substitute the judgment of religious crackpots for highly trained and skilled medical professionals. That makes no sense at all.
Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council observes that, “While this portrays itself as being based in science, it is 100 percent ideological.”
Sprigg is a spokesman for a conservative Christian hate group. He has no applicable training.

Another crank:
Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute agrees. “There is no research proving that children are best served by having gender dysphoria affirmed. Quite the contrary, the best research to date suggests that if gender dysphoria is not affirmed in young children, it diminishes over time,” she explained. “Does the DCFS believe it’s better for children to endure castration or double mastectomies, a lifetime of cross-sex hormone-doping with its unknown health risks, and social struggles than to accept their immutable sex?
Higgins is also in the employ of a conservative Christian anti-LGBT hate group and she also lacks any suitable training or expertise. Moreover, she is completely wrong about current research. The notion that gender dysphoria just goes away is unsupported by the research. It dates to the nearly 40 year old "Sissy Boy Study" which conflated sexual orientation with gender identity.

The continuing hyperbole is also dishonest. Young children are candidates for puberty blockers which are entirely reversible.

And what would a conservative Catholic anti-LGBT piece be without some quotes from Defender of the Faith and octogenarian, Dr. Paul McHugh. They never mention that McHugh and Mayer posted an opinion piece to a conservative Christian blog and that it was not peer reviewed:
Mayer and McHugh added, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents, although some children may have improved psychological well-being if they are encouraged and supported in their cross-gender identification. There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”
There is an abundance of evidence that gender affirming therapy provides relief. That "although" is an attempt to be closer to the actual science. The last sentence is correct but it is a strawman. No one has ever suggested that all children who might be gender nonconforming should become transgender.

Back to the Sprigg:
Beyond being harmful policy, the new directive is, according to Sprigg, “Discriminatory against anyone with traditional moral values, in particular, Christians” and “will hurt children” by limiting available resources.
OK it discriminates. If we allow everyone's beliefs to dictate policy we will accomplish nothing. Sprigg doesn't think like that because he is an advocate for Christian supremacy.  Accommodating him doesn't require considerations for Jews, Muslims, Scientologists or Hindus. The only thing that should inform us when drafting policy affecting medical care is the opinions of medical professionals.

I will spare you the three final paragraphs which are comprised of confused babble from Laurie Higgins. She is a certified bigot and in the end none of these people give a rat's ass for the best interests of children. They are simply trying to conform real life and science to scripture. They will torture both facts and logic to do so.

In the end this is also about their penchant for claiming victimhood. Victimization is conservative Christian Viagra.

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