I’m quite sure you won’t read a word of this response, but we’ve discussed these issues long ago.

I think this piece displays nicely the ways in which your natural biases make you ill-suited to cover these issues. This reads like a PR statement from clinicians but so much of journalism is challenging the status quo.

I’ve never been given a chance to write an in depth criticism of this science and I have several basic questions for the assumptions you’ve presented in this piece.

First and foremost, you’re arguing that social transition should be prevented because an unknown percentage of these kids will desist. Let’s look at that for a second.

When your trans critics tell you this would be harmful to all trans kids, they are correct. We do know that preventing transition can itself create comorbid psychological issues.

This approach is designed to protect potentially cisgender kids from being thrust into transition. The approach does nothing for actual trans kids in fear that some (assumed superior?) cisgender kids may make a mistake.

I agree this issue is fraught but I fail to see any harm in socially transitioning. Where are the studies of children who socially transitioned and then desisted? I agree this conversation should be informed, so I would expect that a mental health approach that puts all transgender kids on hold for as many as 10 years comes from an informed place. Scientifically, what are the harms of socially transitioning and then desisting? To my knowledge, this hasn’t been studied and yet it’s a standard gut reaction to question the value of socially transitioning for cis neutrals. We should be aware of that bias as we discuss this issue.

Secondly, I question the research on desistance. To my knowledge, there are no studies that follow up with people several decades into the future, can we really assume the gender dysphoria desisted?

The way we measure desistance is dependent on what people tell researchers, how do we know these children didn’t just closet themselves? It is possible to swallow gender dysphoria for long periods of time, as evident by the millions of adult transitioners. How do we know for sure that all of these people genuinely desisted and didn’t run into a life situation where it was easier to just swallow their dysphoria? Especially if they get deeper into puberty and feel hopeless about potential results of a hormonal transition?

I think there needs to be more study of desistance before we use it to justify clinically dictating a decade of the lives of all transgender children.

The affirming model is the first in which a trans and cis outcome are considered on equal footing. I don’t think it’s fair to lump any trans people who look at this system of care and question how their experience would have been treated to be lumped in as some crazy anti-scientific SJW mob.

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Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe

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