Monday, March 4, 2019

Calling hate compassion

The phony compassion “is just bigotry stemming from religious disapproval.”
Monday, Jean C. Lloyd writes: Equip Yourself to Become A True Trans Ally: Read Walt Heyer’s Trans Life Survivors. The outlet for this spellbinding treatise is Witherspoon Institute's pseudo-intellectual blog.

Jean C. Lloyd is a lesbian married to a gay man she met through the oddly named Courage Ministry. She is also a professional Catholic. Lloyd sports a PhD. In what discipline and from where are never disclosed. Suffice it to say that her advanced degree does not enhance her credibility. If it did we we know its source and subject.
Mr. Heyer:

Walt Heyer is a professional transgender regretter. Driven by personal experience and religion he is on tour to promote the notion that no one should transition. That is contrary to the overwhelming consensus of medical science. But Heyer needs an income and he is a conservative Christian hypocrite.

Heyer is representative of nothing. Heyer claims that he was misdiagnosed with gender dysphoria. Through self-diagnosis he has concluded that he has, or had, DID — dissociative identity disorder (fka multiple personality disorder). A diagnosis of DID requires amnesia (one identity doesn't always know what other identities experienced.)

Heyer had surgery about 37 years ago at about 42 (which these days is quite late in life for the procedure). He reversed his surgery eight years later. Many things have changed over the last nearly four decades in both diagnosis and treatment. It appears that Heyer did not live extensively as a woman prior to surgery. The current requirement is at least one year “in-gender” with intensive counseling during that time.

Bottom line: Heyer's experience is anecdotal, unsupported by medical records and highly dated. It is irrelevant. Imagine using anecdotal 1970s chemotherapy experiences to guide treatment today.
Getting back to Ms. Lloyd:
The subtitle to this intellectual grandeur:
By sharing the stories of real people suffering real pain and struggling with enormous regret, Walt Heyer enables us to gain the first thing a person seeking to be a true trans ally needs: compassion.
These are 30 anonymous people Heyer has never met who might, or might not, be real persons. I sent “my” story to Heyer a year ago under a pseudonym. At the age of 18 my unbalanced aunt (my parents died in a car accident) insisted that I have surgery to make me a girl which I never wanted to be. Still attracted to females I became a lesbian. 20 years later I had the surgery reversed with some artful reconstructive surgery to my penis. Now I am happily married to a former lesbian. I have not purchased Heyer's book (nor will I). I wonder if I am included.

In any event Ms. Lloyd is torturing logic. A true trans ally accepts the medical science and accepts the gender of transgender people. Denying scientific realities is hate; not compassion. Calling it compassion is self-inflicted banality.
[Heyer's book] begins with snapshots of thirty people who have corresponded with Walt to express confusion, fears, and regrets over their gender transitions. By sharing their stories, Walt gives a voice to a growing group of people whom many seek to silence. Like victims who give impact statements in a courtroom, these individuals line up to testify to the harms they have suffered. As you read, you dignify them by listening to their stories in a world that seeks to deny their experiences and even their existence.
Lloyd has created a fictitious victims group — people who are persecuted at the hands of mythical LGBT activists. People who desist do not pose a threat to transgender people in any way whatsoever. Thus there is no basis for their supposed persecution. After all, no form of medical treatment is right all the time for all of those who receive it. No one seeks to deny either the existence of destisters or their experiences.

I would welcome any one of their stories. Why do these people only seem to exist in conservative Christian circles and why are they not documented in the medical literature? The fabricated victimization is a device to explain it all away without scrutiny by claiming that they are justifiably afraid.

One thing is for sure. None of these people would risk being asked questions by a knowledgeable person without an agenda. Mr. Heyer, for example, would have some credibility if he would simply admit that his case is atypical. Furthermore, if his advice was something to the effect that transition isn't right for all people, he might actually make some sense. Heyer is neither credible nor sensible.

Ms. Lloyd does not ask the important questions because she has an agenda. Lloyd is a religious fanatic and, according to the Vatican, no one should ever transition but should seek professional “reparative” therapy to align their gender with their natal sex. The fact that such therapy does not exist is immaterial to the dedicated prelates. It is immaterial to Lloyd. She mindlessly defends the faith which constitutes her truth.
Requisite causes:
Underpinning the religious approach to sexuality that is disapproved of is always a contrived underlying cause. According to lore, LGBT people are LGBT because of sexual abuse or bad parenting. Imagine the percentage of people who would be gay or transgender were it because of less than optimal parenting.

The reason for contriving a cause is that a cause is necessary to pose a cure. If anyone knew why, for example, a child suffered from gender dysphoria then they would be a candidate for a Nobel Prize. If they are unable to assign a cause for the sexuality that they do not like then the cure is a miracle and most people do not believe in miracles. Here is the perfect example:
Among those you’ll meet is Sam, who sought counseling to help with unresolved issues related to childhood sexual abuse and psychotic depression. However, because Sam was also presenting as a female at the time, his psychologist did not help him address these known traumas; instead, she referred him for surgery after only thirty days, telling him that he had been “born into the wrong body and really should have been female.” Sam had surgery a few months later, never even having been on female hormones. Afterwards, he became suicidal and filled with regret. After numerous hospitalizations over several years, he finally found a counselor who would help him reintegrate his body and mind and deal with his traumas, which now included PTSD from the transition process itself. Today, Sam is finally finding healing, although his body can never be fully restored.
Sam, if you are out there I have a few questions. Among the obvious is to obtain an understanding of counseling he received prior to transitioning and for how long he was living as his gender. How old was he when he had surgery? How was he presenting as female without hormones? What were the qualifications of Sam's doctors and so on. Ms. Lloyd accepts the narrative because it is what she wants to hear. Transition — bad! That settles it.

Another individual, complete with cause and a gay priest for good measure:
Tim had been presenting as a female as well, but he began to realize that this was connected to the sexual abuse and adult-initiated cross-dressing to which he had been subjected as a child. When he tried to discuss this with his therapist, she felt that it was “irrelevant” to his gender dysphoria diagnosis. The psychologists and clinic tried to fast-track him to surgery, even arranging for him to meet with a gay priest to alleviate any religious concerns. Tim resisted because he was concerned by “their wanton disregard of the possibility that my gender discomfort was from other reasons.” Tim has since detransitioned and is happy living as a male. He is thankful that he “escaped the clutches of the sex change industry” and did not go through with having the genital mutilation that is euphemistically called “bottom” surgery.
There is no known connection of sexual abuse to gender dysphoria. Tim's supposed version of Satan was “the sex change industry.” If you believe Tim's tale, people were pressuring him to have surgery that he did not want. Just the opposite seems to be the case with gender-affirming surgery. Patients need to convince a surgeon that they are mentally prepared to benefit from the procedure. If Tim really exists I have a few questions for him as well.

Are there medical charlatans? Sure. Are there people who have gender-affirming surgery who should not? Very few I think due to the existence of WPATH, the standards of care which they have published and a great deal of outreach to the trans community. A few excerpts from the standards:
Follow-up studies have shown an undeniable beneficial effect of sex reassignment surgery on postoperative outcomes such as subjective well being, cosmesis, and sexual function (De Cuypere et al., 2005; Gijs & Brewaeys, 2007; Klein & Gorzalka, 2009; Pfäfflin & Junge, 1998).
It is important that health professionals caring for patients with gender dysphoria feel comfortable about altering anatomically normal structures. In order to understand how surgery can alleviate the psychological discomfort and distress of individuals with gender dysphoria, professionals need to listen to these patients discuss their symptoms, dilemmas, and life histories. The resistance against performing surgery on the ethical basis of “above all do no harm” should be respected, discussed, and met with the opportunity to learn from patients themselves about the psychological distress of having gender dysphoria and the potential for harm caused by denying access to appropriate treatments.
The role of a surgeon in the treatment of gender dysphoria is not that of a mere technician. Rather, conscientious surgeons will have insight into each patient’s history and the rationale that led to the referral for surgery. To that end, surgeons must talk at length with their patients and have close working relationships with other health professionals who have been actively involved in their clinical care.
Criteria for breast augmentation (implants/lipofilling) in MtF patients:
  1. Persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria;
  2. Capacity to make a fully informed decision and to consent for treatment;
  3. Age of majority in a given country (if younger, follow the SOC for children and adolescents);
  4. If significant medical or mental health concerns are present, they must be reasonably well controlled.
Although not an explicit criterion, it is recommended that MtF patients undergo feminizing hormone therapy (minimum 12 months) prior to breast augmentation surgery. The purpose is to maximize breast growth in order to obtain better surgical (aesthetic) results.
Genital surgery requires two referrals. In addition to the requirements for breast augmentation:
12 continuous months of hormone therapy as appropriate to the patient’s gender goals (unless the patient has a medical contraindication or is otherwise unable or unwilling to take hormones).

The aim of hormone therapy prior to gonadectomy is primarily to introduce a period of reversible estrogen or testosterone suppression, before the patient undergoes irreversible surgical intervention.
In other words, the stories of “Sam” and “Tim” are highly improbable unless their experiences were a very long time ago. The WPATH Standards of Care date back to 1979. Both of these people are telling tales of medical professionals not complying with the best medical standards. Even if true, how applicable are those stories to decisions that trans people need to make.
Requisite pediatric desistance:
In his section on children, Walt cites numerous studies showing that the majority of gender-distressed children naturally desist from their dysphoria, meaning that they grow to accept their biological sex. One study found rates between 80 and 95 percent. In light of these numbers, why have activists and many professionals worked to make “gender affirming” therapy (in the form of social transition, hormones, and surgical interventions) the only acceptable form of care?
In there is a cite to a blog post by James Cantor and a cite to a study from the Netherlands. The latter discusses issues associated with determining the best care for children with gender dysphoria. The bottom line to those desistance rates is that, aside from the fact, that they are based on old and unrelated studies, desistance occurs prior to transition.

Apparently amorphous activists have some role in how children are treated. In any event, transition tracks to the severity of the condition which can be objectively diagnosed by clinicians who specialize in this area. What these religious crackpots never seem to realize is that the high desistance rates mean just the opposite of what they are trying to argue.

Lloyd and Heyer are on a mission to prevent transitions for religious reasons. They want to scare parents away with the idea that they should not treat children because most will grow out of the condition. Activists and gender specialists are bogeymen. The existence of high desistance rates prior to transitions means that clinicians are not persuading children to transition. Quite the contrary. They demonstrate discernment on the part of medical professionals.

Furthermore, doctors do not transition children. Children transition children. By the time they get to the point of discussing puberty blockers, the child has probably been experimenting, often in secret, with parental or sibling attire compatible with their gender. If that offers relief from their symptoms they will continue. If not then they will not. This relationship of medical professionals with kids does not sit well with people like Lloyd and Heyer. Their world is one requiring devils and angels.
Turning logic on its head:
Often the rationale behind giving children puberty-blockers is said to be “buying time” for them to decide about their identity, but what actually happens is that they become “locked into” a transgender life. One follow-up study on 70 twelve- to sixteen-year-olds who had received puberty blockers showed that all of them went on to request cross-sex hormones: the first step toward actual gender reassignment. In other words, “buying time” led to 100% transitioning.
Make up your mind. Either they are locked in or most desist. When presented with hoof beats, these people think zebras instead of horses. They are referring to a study from the Netherlands which says precisely what they claim. Their interpretation is nuts. When the severity of the condition results in transitioning, kids do not desist. If a child was incorrectly treated with puberty blockers and then transitioned, they would experience physician-induced gender dysphoria since their presentation would be out of alignment with their gender. The kid would be miserable and demand to detransition — which doesn't seem to be the case.
This outcome led the American College of Pediatricians to declare: “There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging a young child with GD to socially impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression.” …
The American College of Pediatricians is a minuscule hate group based in Florida. The recommendation of the real professional association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, is the gender-affirming care model.
Stories of regret are beginning to emerge from this younger “trans generation.” Take Max, who transitioned to female in his teens, genital surgery included. Now in his mid-twenties, he says that he was too young to make such a decision. … Derrick also transitioned to female in his late teens … However, after receiving counseling for other childhood traumas, his feelings did indeed change, and he embraced his natal sex.
I doubt that Max and Derrick actually exist. Surgery in late teens is generally avoided through hormones and requires an enormous and compelling level of informed consent. Two referring doctors and the surgeon have to be convinced.

If Max was too young emotionally then that would have been known and his maintenance would have been a continuation of hormones. As for “Derrick,” medical science knows of no such counseling. These stories have a smell of bullshit associated with them. “Lying for the Lord?”
Calling hate and bigotry compassion:
True Allies: Clothed with Compassion and Armed with Truth

By sharing the stories of real people suffering real pain and struggling with enormous regret, Walt enables us to gain the first thing a person seeking to be a true ally needs to help those caught in this battle: compassion. No matter what stage of the transgender journey a person is on, these men, women, boys, and girls are all dealing with deep pain and have been lied to by numerous individuals and professional groups about the solutions to their problems. They deserve to be treated tenderly and with honor and respect as they seek real healing from their confusion and pain.
Simply stated, when someone has a medical condition a true ally supports the medical science. The notion that transgender people are confused and make terrible decisions which they regret is not only untrue by demeaning. It is just bigotry stemming from religious disapproval. People with gender dysphoria are not confused and “real healing” for these religious fanatics means conforming to ancient texts. They make the same arguments about gay people. They do so with less frequency today because we have identified them as the superstitious fools that they are.
Eventually we get to the Grade-A crackpottery:
Walt will teach you to critically evaluate the studies that are released on transgender success and regret, and to identify their frequent and fatal flaws. He’ll equip you with hard facts about the suicide rates: surgery does nothing to alleviate these sadly high rates, whereas treating the pervasive comorbid mental health conditions first could. He’ll also show you how politicized professional organizations are not only promoting harmful treatments but actively working to prohibit—even criminalize—psychotherapy that would help.
Walt Heyer, in case you haven't noticed from his essays, is not terribly smart and the suicide rates work in favor of transitioning. He is referring to a Swedish study over 40 years. Yeah, people who had surgery in the 1970s are going to be at risk for suicide due to social opprobrium. Were Heyer really concerned then he would stop spreading the manure which, for religious purposes, hopes to make people ignorant and trans people miserable. And, yes, Heyer is an advocate of reparative therapy which is thoroughly discredited pseudoscience.
As she considers detransitioning, Michelle writes: “I know the trans community will hate me, but will my friends and the public see me as courageous?”
No. It's “Walt writes.” If Michelle exists her detransitioning would be irrelevant to the trans community unless she uses it to promote ignorance. Moreover, there is nothing courageous about it. Hopefully, if she is a real person, she is working with a professional secular mental health professional.
As a woman who formerly identified as a lesbian and was on the butch end of the spectrum, I could easily have been encouraged down a “trans masculine” path in my youth. I weep for Michelle’s loss as I give her my resounding “yes.” Michelle is courageous beyond words, and she needs and deserves a community of support as she makes the long journey home to herself.
Jean C. Lloyd is still a lesbian and she still has the same attractions. Religion has no place in the exam room. Religion provides nothing for people with a medical condition. Using it to offer impediments to proper treatment so that the deity is not offended is unconscionable. Intentionally misinforming parents whose kids have a medical condition is a form of sociopathy which, if put in perspective, would have the individual claim: “God made me do it!” Well, Ms. Lloyd,       you very much.

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