Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Trans youth - The conspiracy edition

Jeremiah Keenan proves yet again that nothing is too idiotic for The Federalist. Keenan, a recent college graduate (apparently a mathematics major) has penned: Doctors Insist Canadian 14-Year-Old Needs No Parent Consent For Trans Hormone Injections.

In point of fact British Columbia law makes certain minors independent for the purpose of medical treatment. It is based on two factors:
  1. Does the minor fully appreciate the benefits, risks and consequences of a course of treatment and;
  2. Is the course of treatment, in the opinion of the minor's doctor or doctors, in his or her best medical interests.
In this instance, divorced parents disagree. Instead of providing correspondence to someone who writes for The Federalist, the father should have requested a second opinion by a qualified psychiatrist. Instead he seems to have involved a bigoted conservative Christian organization as anti-trans activists (see below).

It is safe to say that Mr. Keenan has never met this child and has no training or education relative to gender dysphoria. Nevertheless, Keenan has a medical opinion:
Maxine’s rapidly changing identities seem like a coping mechanism or phase. Her father thinks doctors should hold off on pumping her full of hormones.
And;
Ever since her parents separated in 2013, Maxine had struggled emotionally to cope, experiencing behavioral problems and depression which Clark felt left her “very vulnerable” and searching for a place to belong. During the same school year that she took on a transgender identity, Maxine had apparently also gone through a lesbian phase. Clark couldn’t help but wonder if her new transgender identity might likewise come and go.
I know nothing of Jeremiah Keenan's religious persuasions. However he writes like a religious conservative who is attempting to assign underlying emotional trauma to gender dysphoria in spite of the fact that there is nothing in current medical literature to support that hypothesis. If gender dysphoria can be associated with a psychological condition then — the thinking goes — it can be resolved with talk therapy. This is the trans version of crackpot gay conversion therapy. It exists because the existence of transgender people is at odds with a passage in Genesis.

Fact: There is no intervention known to medical science to address gender dysphoria.

Mr. Keenan claims to be a conservative. Perhaps he is really a religious conservative. Those two things are radically different in spite of the fact that they have merged somewhat over the past two decades.

As for the supposed phases that this young girl experienced there is often some confusion between gender dysphoria and homosexuality. Only an experienced professional can properly assess a medical condition. Properly evaluated, gender dysphoria can be objectively diagnosed. Neither Keenan nor I have access to the medical information of this child so we are both speculating.

Mr. Keenan, however, seems to think that some conspiracy is afoot.
Maxine’s counselors at school were of a different mind. They referred Maxine and her mother, Sarah, to a “Dr.” Wallace Wong — a psychologist and LGBT activist who predictably decided that Maxine should be referred to a children’s hospital for testosterone injections when she was only 13. Not to be outdone, the children’s hospital asked Maxine’s parents for permission to begin injecting Maxine with testosterone on her very first visit. Clark said no and refused to sign.
The defensive quotes around Dr. Wong's honorific are clues to Keenan's predisposition. But I digress. Dr. Wong is an advocate in contrast to being an activist and there is a difference. But it is irrelevant because I seriously doubt that endocrinologists at BC Children's hospital are going to opt for hormones without first obtaining an independent evaluation. It is obvious from correspondence that the child has been evaluated at the hospital's gender clinic. (Keenan uploaded the letter.)

Contrary to popular conservative Christian mythology, gender clinics are not determined to turn cisgender kids into transgender kids. The only agenda is what is best for each individual child. Prior to transition the desistance rate of dysphoric children is very high. After transition it is very low. That is because pre and post-transition rates depict the severity of the child's condition which means that most children who experience gender incongruence are not being persuaded to transition. Quite the opposite.

I have more questions than answers. Was this kid evaluated six years ago? What was his condition then? The fact that problems arose at the time of a divorce is more likely to be correlation than causation but I am not a doctor. I have never met this kid. I haven't the training or experience to expound on conclusions or assumptions.

I can, however, safely hypothesize. Suppose that this child's condition was diagnosed in 2013 at age (eight or nine) at the onset of behavioral issues. Let us further suppose that the child experienced a persistent sense of gender incongruence. By age 11 or so then her parents might have agreed on puberty blockers as a stop-gap measure. After all, at some point the child socially transitioned for school. How different would things be today if that course of action had been followed? Would the kid be healthier and happier?

Keenan goes on to answer some of the questions:
Clark and Sarah separated in 2013. Their separation and subsequent divorce seems to have been a relatively peaceful one–their agreement involved a high level of mutual cooperation and custody time shared equally between mother and father. But Clark believes that the parental split still hit Maxine pretty hard. Not yet 10 years old at the time, Maxine began to make some poor choices of friendship at school. Her difficulties escalated as she began adolescence, and by grade six her school was frequently reporting her to her parents for misbehavior. In grade seven, at around the same time that Maxine began experimenting with her gender identity, she developed an infatuation with her first male teacher. When Maxine was forced by the school to stop writing this teacher love notes, she sunk into a period of depression and self-imposed isolation, during which she declared herself a lesbian and spent copious amounts of time secluded in her room with the lights off and the shades down, limiting her social interaction to online chat rooms.
Keenan lacks the intellectual curiosity to determine what experience and training daddy has. The father expresses again, via Keenan, this idea that the divorce hit the child hard. It that his feeling now or was that his feeling then? If then, was the child referred for counseling. Clearly he was experiencing something.

Then there is this supposed period of depression. Was this known then or is it a reflection now? If then, why not refer the child for counseling. I am no doctor but I do know that depression and anxiety can be symptoms of gender incongruence.
In grade eight, while she was being affirmed in her transgender identity, Maxine had a second infatuation, this time with a male P.E. teacher. Her advances were, of course, not requited, and she was removed from that teacher’s class. Nevertheless, she continued to stalk.
All of this irrelevant. What is the condition of the child (now “Quinn”) today? Trying to explain why a kid has gender dysphoria is a) impossible and; b) pointless.

We may find out:
Last week, the British Columbia Supreme Court considered a motion to prevent the hospital from injecting Maxine with testosterone for another 45 days in order to allow a full adjudication of the case. The judge’s decision, which has not yet been made public, may shed some light on the likely trajectory of the case.
I am going to assume that the Court has the necessary information to reach a conclusion in the best interests of the child.
Daddy is self-absorbed:
To Clark, the case is not so much about transgenderism as it is about parental rights.
Nonsense! This case is about what is in the best interests of the child. That is the only thing that matters. It should be the only thing that matters to Quinn's father.
Did I mention that passage in Genesis:
Agenda: Via Culture Guard website
Kari Simpson, head of Canadian pro-family organization Culture Guard, places a similar emphasis on the importance of the case. She has sought to draw attention to Clark’s case since January, describing the case as “crucial” from a legal standpoint because of the impact it will have on the manner in which schools and hospitals have been fast-tracking children into cross-sex hormones, against their best interests and sometimes against their parent’s will.
Perhaps this is how Keenan became aware of this. In any event, “pro-family” means two things: Conservative Christian and antagonistic towards LGBT people. How did they even become aware of this case? From the father? Probably:
Simpson has also started a Gogetfunding page for Clark to help defray the legal fees which are likely to mount in the coming months.
What does this coalition say about the father?

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