How many children between 10 and 14 are not going through a phase where they wonder who or what they are?
In some countries, such as Belgium among others, there is a view that there are not two genders but that genderless people should be taken into account, i.e. people who feel neither male nor female and often have no need for a person ‘of the opposite sex’. In Belgium, they are given the designation X under their gender. The genderless, a grammatical category, often designated as male, female, or neuter, used in the classification of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and, in some languages, verbs that may be arbitrary or based on characteristics such as sex or animacy and that determines agreement with or selection of modifiers, referents, or grammatical forms.
In other countries, such as the United States of America, then, people who feel genderless or feel that they are in a body of another gender are more likely to be regarded as “devilish” and are taunted and humiliated, as well as dismissed as perverts. For many citizens over there it is normal that the man should have the highest position and that the woman should be considered the lower one, and coloured people the lowest. Equality is out of the question, whilst in other countries, it is not the priority at the moment. Worse is it when there are people who admit they feel attracted to both sexes, male and female. From searching by whom they feel most at ease, some enjoy their being with both genders and enjoying sex with as well as male as female persons. such persons are often between two camps; for one group they are cowards, not gay enough, unfaithful, untrustworthy, indecisive, and confused, for others, they are doing it for attention, or just for sex and their own selfish physical satisfaction. In some cases it is also part of the experimenting, looking for their own particular favourite, on the way to gay or on the way to find out that they are sitting in a wrong appearance male or female body. For lots of people, their wondering and feelings, being afraid of what others would say, make them suppress their sexuality and their true inner feelings. For most Americans, it seems that only the “normal” (heterosexual) kind is valid, making it very difficult for those who feel differently, to express their feeling or to accept what they really are.
In the USA, there is a very dangerous development going on at the moment, with a certain grassroots group wishing to have all kinds of books removed from libraries and schools. Books for children and young adults containing themes of race, gender and sexual identity received an “unprecedented” number of challenges last year, the American Library Association (ALA) has said, reflecting a growing national trend of attempted censorship. The challenges came from conservative parent groups and others. In some cases, the group says, librarians and elected officials were threatened with violence by members of the Proud Boys and armed activists at school board and library board meetings. In April, Pen America, a non-profit organisation that works to protect freedom of expression in the US, reported that 1,586 bans were implemented in 86 school districts across 26 states in the nine months to the end of March. The challenges reported to ALA in 2021, it said, represented the highest number of attempted book bans since the list began more than 20 years ago.
Already two years ago Republican state Rep. Tony Randolph introduced a bill that would outlaw marriage equality, permanently legalise conversion therapy, ban changes to legal gender markers, and block the passage of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.
In February 2020 House Bill 1215 (prohibit the state from endorsing or enforcing certain policies regarding domestic relations) was the third in a trio of anti-LGBTQ bills brought to the state’s legislature, the House passed a bill that criminalised trans-affirming medical care for minors. The other, Senate Bill 88, would require mental health providers to out kids expressing gender dysphoria to their parents. Anti-LGBTQ lawmakers and organisers use the state as a test case for the nation, experts say.
Kara Ingelhart, a staff attorney at Lambda Legal, characterises HB 1215 in particular as one of the most comprehensive bills to date targeting LGBTQ people.
Such laws and attacks from thought-limiting groups are also happening also more in some countries of Eastern Europe, where one can see that people’s freedoms and rights are gradually becoming more and more restricted.
“We don’t allow children’s parents to decide whether or not they can drink underage, whether they can smoke underage, whether they marry underage, and we certainly should not allow a child to be disfigured in a horrible way, in an irreversible procedure before they’re 18 years of age,”
Rep. Williams Lamberth, R-Portland, said.
The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) said they require parental consent to treat minors who are being seen for issues to those receiving gender-affirming care and never refuse parental involvement for those under 18. VUMC officials said they began their Transgender Health Clinic because
“transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the U.S. health system.”
“We have been and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and in line with professional practice standards and guidance established by medical specialty societies,”
officials said in the statement.
In some countries, people go so far as to consider it plausible that those who dress or behave differently from their physical appearance may be freely harassed, humiliated in words but also in deeds, even raped.
Countries already immersed in a civil — rather, uncivil —war between two distinct political ideologies, the last five years seem to have come into a #MeToo rage and starting another uncivil war between the two genders.
During childhood, it often happens that parents want to steer their children into certain role patterns that are traditionally constructed. The search for “being” and dealing with attraction towards others, be they persons of the opposite or same sex, is part of growing up and belongs to peculiarities of puberty and adolescence that most young people have to go through.
During the search for one’s own personality and sexual identity, it does happen more than once that a conflict situation arises between parents and child because the parent cannot enter the child’s own emotional world and feels hurt or feels a sense of failure because the child chooses a different sex than the parent has in mind.
In September of this year Tennessee lawmakers made their way into the discourse about providing gender-affirming care. Matt Walsh — a Daily Wire conservative commentator, who questions LGBTQ rights — said he considered the care to be that of castration and mutilation to minors and adults.
According NHS England most children who believe that they are transgender are just going through a “phase”, and therefore it has announced plans for tightening controls on the treatment of under 18s questioning their gender, including a ban on prescribing puberty blockers, outside of strict clinical trials. The last few years in the states as well as in England we could see more clinics where such puberty inhibitors or hormone blockers, medicines used to postpone puberty in children.
Several campaign groups in Britain, receiving taxpayers’ money have told teachers to drop all gendered toilets and language – and not to tell parents if they change their child’s identity.
The Cass Review, commissioned by NHS England, has found
“there is a disproportionate number of children on the spectrum, in care, same-sex attracted or with trauma in their background who identify as trans.”
Victoria Atkins, who has responsibility for the Government’s gender equality policy, expressed concern that a rising number of teenagers were seeking “life-changing” medical interventions. Young people were undergoing treatment to change their gender because they regard it as
“an answer to questions they are not asking themselves”,
the minister said.
“It may simply be a case of greater awareness, it may be that for some they see it as an answer to questions they are perhaps not asking themselves. We need to be particularly alert to this with regard to young people. The treatments are so serious and life-changing, I’m a little cautious of the use of those treatments because of the potential for the rest of their lives.
“Lots of questions are rightly being asked about how we treat young people, people whose bodies perhaps haven’t developed yet.”
The NHS services note that there is a need to change the services because there is currently
“scarce and inconclusive evidence to support clinical decision-making”.
NHS England says that the interim Cass Report has advised that even social transition, such as changing a young person’s name and pronouns or the way that they dress, is not a “neutral act” that could have “significant effects” in terms of “psychological functioning”.
Parent groups and professionals have long raised concerns that NHS medics have taken an “affirmative” approach to treating children, including using their preferred names and pronouns.
The proposals say that the new clinical approach will for younger children
“reflect evidence that in most cases gender incongruence does not persist into adolescence” and doctors should be mindful this might be a “transient phase”.
Instead of encouraging transition, medics should take “a watchful approach” to see how a young person’s conditions develop, the plans state.
When a prepubescent child has already socially transitioned,
“the clinical approach has to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that the child may experience in returning to the original gender role upon entering puberty if the gender incongruence does not persist”.
In March 2022 there were 5,500 children on an NHS waiting list for gender swap treatment at the Tavistock and Portman Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in London, after a “surge in demand”.
In 2010/11 this were only 138 children and in 2020/21 a 17-fold increase could be noted, that number had grown to 2,383 children.
Could the surge in demand for help and treatment possibly be linked to a global pandemic and the three lockdowns that left vulnerable youngsters imprisoned, isolated and glued to their screens?
By January 2021, a report compiled by the Care Quality Commission showed that the waiting list had already reached 4,600. In March, Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of campaign group Transgender Trend, explained that during those lockdowns,
“life stopped, really – so adolescents at that stage in their lives, where they’re really searching for their identity, turn online”.
The public consultation documents say that change is necessary against a backdrop of a sharp rise in referrals to the gender identity service, from just under 250 in 2011-12 to over 5,000 last year.
In recent years there has also been a spike, with
“the number of referrals currently at 8.7 per 100,000 population per year in 2021-22 compared to four per 100,000 in 2020-21 and 4.5 per 100,000 in 2019-20”.
On the day that Tom Daley marched into the Commonwealth Games with a pride flag bearing trans colours, the health service announced in July that it would be closing the Tavistock and replacing it with two regional centres based in specialist children’s hospitals.
Trans-ideology according to some is the inevitable culmination of left-wingers deconstructing gender and sexuality in the 1960s cultural revolution. Several conservatives are asking for a serious look at the consequences of the previous era of free expression of opinion and free sex.
Gay activists discredited the notion of aberrant sexual activity. Feminists said gender was a construct and a prison. This coincided with a new take on children, insisting they weren’t miniature versions of their parents but autonomous human beings who should control their own destiny, even their education.
The move is aimed at taking a more “holistic” approach to treating children and looking at the reasons why they are questioning their gender.
It is expected that the regional centres will be operating by the spring, whilst long-term plans for the gender identity services for under 18s, based on the final recommendation of the Cass review, will come into effect in 2023-24.
Rather than being delivered by therapists and hormone specialists, the new clinical teams will include experts “in paediatric medicine, autism, neurodisability and mental health”.
The proposals note that a “significant proportion of children” who are referred for treatment have neuro-development issues or family of social problems.
The new treatment teams will be led by a medical doctor and the service will only take referrals from GPs and other NHS professionals.
NHS England will also “strongly discourage” young people from buying hormones from private clinicians and will not accept clinical responsibility for the treatment of those who have done so.
Is one prepared to bear the consequences that children with yet serious questions regarding their identities and gender have to resolve, and how?
How exactly does the NHS plan to clear up the mess and plan for the fallout of mental health issues that will emerge?
The consultation on the plans closes in December.
It is the task of the adults to help children to accept themselves as they are and to get them to feel happy in their own bodies, even when it is not fitting in the general traditional idea of the mainstream. Parents and health workers should not teach them that mutilating their genitals and living inside a skin costume of the opposite sex is the way to peace and contentment, because studies have shown this is not the case. A life lived in medicalised pretence is not a happy or healthy one.
But we should be open to helping those who have come into adult age, and even when for some that may look late, when they are in their twenties and then changing, there are still many years to come to live in a ‘renewed body’.
Let’s hope the tide is turning, for the sake of our children.
Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms
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