Thursday, October 12, 2017

No Mr. Staver - A Serbian doctor does not serve your bigoted cause

Mat Staver
Mat Staver is a hate group leader. His hate group is Liberty Counsel and its primary goal is to prevent states and municipalities from passing nondiscrimination measures. As an adjunct to that, Liberty Counsel vigorously opposes laws banning gay or trans conversion therapy (which has no scientific basis) on minors. Staver considers those bans an imposition on Christianity.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Staver has sent out an email titled: “Sex-Change Surgery Regrets on the Rise.” The intent is to demonize transgender people as irrational.

According to Staver:
According to a report in The Telegraph, Professor Miroslav Djordjevic has seen a high number of "transgender" people who have undergone sex-change surgeries later express regrets and experience crippling depression and suicidal thoughts. Djordjevic cites two reasons: a lack of robust research on the topic and a lack of psychiatric evaluation and counseling before the surgeries. While Djordjevic requires his patients to undergo a year or more of psychiatric evaluation followed by hormone evaluation and therapy, some patients seeking reversals have told him that they were only asked if they had the money for the surgery beforehand.
I wrote about the piece in The Telegraph on October 4. This is something that has been bouncing around the right wing echo chamber and Staver is late to the party. I think that the piece in The Telegraph is the result of some self-promotion on the part of Dr. Djordjevic. Perhaps that is unfair and less relevant than the fact that Djordjevic is not calling for an end to gender affirming surgery. A year ago we learned that Johns Hopkins resumed the service.

I think that the most determined trans activist would concur with Djordjevic that surgical candidates require comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. That is what Djordjevic is calling for. My fear is that some people being treated for gender dysphoria, particularly children, are in the clinical care of people who are not specialists in this area. Djordjevic seems to really be saying that malpractice is on the rise. Perhaps it is but I would question if Djordjevic's sample is representative. After all, his primary practice is in Serbia.

I have not done the research but in my reading the biggest regret that I have come across is not the surgical procedure. Rather, it is that the patient did not receive the surgery earlier in life. I would also agree with Dr. Djordjevic in that more research is required to assist in the treatment decisions of transgender people.

Dr. Sari Reisner
Harvard Medical
School
Sari Reisner, who is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, has quite a lot of research in the works. Reisner happens to be a trans man.

As for Mr. Staver, he is not the least bit interested in the wellbeing of transgender people. His true agenda is confirmed in the closing paragraph of his email:
Liberty Counsel has been instrumental in defeating proposed laws in numerous states which sought to prohibit counselors - including pastors, teachers, and parents - from providing counsel to any minor (including a parent's own child) about the child's unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion.
Parents? No, that's fiction. By referring to “gender confusion,” Staver forfeits any right to be taken seriously. Sadly that is not always the case. Staver's only concern is for that small percentage of people who are right-wing Christian literalists. Those are the folks who claim that the Bible is the literal and inerrant word of God.

When science does not conform to scripture, Staver accepts the scripture as correct over the science. Staver is a young-earth creationist believing that Earth is less than 10,000 years old. Whether or not he is a geocentrist is unknown. What is known is that Staver does not believe that trans people really exist. What is also known is that Staver is a rabid, unhinged bigot and a purveyor of anti-LGBT hate.

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