Thursday, February 15, 2018

A sad story out of Ohio and a priest adds to the misery

Father Mark Hodges
Fr. Mark Hodges
In Columbus, Ohio parents are struggling to retain custody of their 17-year-old trans son in order to prevent him from receiving hormone therapy. According to the testimony of medical experts, the father refuses to call the boy by his chosen name and the kid is near suicidal. Presently he resides with his supportive maternal grandparents. The court appointed guardian concurs that he should stay where he is and receive the appropriate treatment.

In 2016 the teen was hospitalized. He has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and the typical symptoms including an anxiety disorder and depression. Some of the local media have been suggesting that the anxiety and depression are comorbid with the gender dysphoria.

Just to be clear, based on the research, this is almost certainly not a mentally ill teen who also suffers from gender dysphoria. Nor does he have gender dysphoria because he is anxious and depressed. Rather, he is anxious and depressed because he has gender dysphoria and because his parents have stifled gender affirmation. In response to my email, Fox 61 has made the cause and effect clearer (the story originated with the CNN Wire and my concerns were forwarded to the original author).

I am hoping (but doubt) that he received puberty blockers to prevent the development of breast tissue. Aside from complicating transition, developing breasts would add significantly to the boy's distress.

The parents' lawyer, Karen Riestenberg Brinkman, argues that the teen lacks the mental competence to make a life altering decision to have hormone therapy. Consider that conundrum for a moment. Gender dysphoria is creating symptomatic mental problems for the teen. Therefore, this attorney is arguing that those challenges disqualify him from making decisions that will treat the underlying condition and alleviate his suffering from anxiety and depression.

It is not like this is all done in a vacuum. Hopefully the boy is in the care of competent doctors who have the necessary experience to evaluate the situation.

Enter Father Mark Hodges from Lima, Ohio

Father Mark insists on adding to the suffering by purposely using the wrong pronouns and references. It is as if he can pretend that the situation is not what it is and it will disappear:
Ohio government authorities forced parents to give up legal custody of their daughter after the mother and father said they opposed the girl’s decision to identify as a ‘boy’ and transition to being 'male.'
He also just misstated the case which was before a judge and included testimony from medical experts along with an opinion from the teen's guardian ad litem.

Father Mark's use of quotation marks is downright confusing:
The minor was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and gender dysphoria after being hospitalized in 2016. Doctors decided that because she wants to identify as a male, she should be given testosterone and sex “change” drugs.

But the girl’s parents objected, arguing that they did not think that such "treatment" was in their daughter’s best interest.
I give Hodges a pass on the first sentence because that is the way that CNN phrased the issue. The second sentence is pure bullshit. The teen has not “decided to identify as a male.” The far greater likelihood is that the kid insists and knows that he is a boy. Hodges has a need to falsely inject a form of choice into the issue. When gender and natal sex collide, gender usually wins. Why must Hodges be so adamant over a very small segment of the population? As for the parents I would ask what the hell they know about gender. A minor should not be forced to suffer because his parents are ignoramuses.

The parents' level of knowledge becomes more apparent later in this article.
Pro-transgender doctors pressured the court in closing arguments, saying a ruling must come quickly, claiming that the girl needed opposite-sex hormones or else she may kill herself. Medical witnesses said that the parents’ rejection of their daughter’s decision to identify as a male has made her suicidal. They termed the girl’s circumstances a life-or-death situation.
Uh, with the exception of the 200 or so whack jobs at the American College of Pediatricians (an anti-LGBT hate group) and a few folks at the Catholic Medical Association, the entire psychiatric and counseling professions support gender affirmation as does the American Academy of Pediatrics. That makes tens of thousands of clinicians “pro-transgender.” That should make Hodges, … anxious and depressed.
The girl’s and the grandparents’ lawyers both listed additional complaints about alleged parental mistreatment. The former claimed the parents’ sending their daughter to Catholic school where the dress code requires female clothing “caused additional trauma and anxiety” increasing her “suicidal ideation.” The later said answering to her real (female) name or even hearing it, or just seeing it on documents “has become a very big trigger” which “caused trauma.”
That sounds about right to me. It is called child abuse Mark. When faith alters sound medical judgment it becomes silly superstition. What? Did the parents think that by sending the kid to a Catholic school they would wring the gender identity problems out of him?
Like the pro-transgender doctors, the grandparents urged immediate action…
Pro-transgender Hamilton County Prosecutor Donald Clancy argued that the parents are religiously motivated. He said the father commented that “any kind of transition at all would go against his core beliefs.”
Seems like Hodges is dividing people up by “pro-transgender” and whatever is left over.
The complaint alleges that the father told his daughter to kill herself because she was “going to hell anyway” for rejecting her female biology. It also accuses the parents of removing their daughter from transgender therapy and seeking “Christian” counseling for her. The complaint claims the counseling simply consisted of the girl sitting for six hours listening to the Bible.

The parents' attorney denied the prosecution’s allegations. Brinkman affirmed that the parents “have done their due diligence contacting medical professionals, collecting thousands of hours of research and relying on … their observation of their own child … that led them to the conclusion that (a sex change hormone injection) is not in their child’s best interest.”

The parents believe opposite-sex hormones “would do more harm than good,” Brinkman said.
I am happy that Hodges provides all of this context. He probably thinks that this is persuasive in favor of the parents. I might have a question or two for those parents including which medical professionals they contacted and what research they collected. I feel sorry for them. While they allowed it to happen, they have been misinformed by religious zealots and their own Church. They have a lawyer (who attended Xavier University) who is reinforcing the religion-based gibberish.

Meanwhile this poor kid has been terribly mistreated. It is no wonder that he has an anxiety disorder. The story might actually get worse. It seems that lawyer Brinkman specializes in juvenile law and family relations. She has the potential to cause considerably more damage in other cases. Suppose, for example, the kid were gay instead of trans. There are a whole lot more of those. I will have an email for her later in the day.

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