The Lollerskates Theory at the Heart of the Canceled Left Forum Panel

“Hormones can’t melt biological sex”

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This past weekend, a panel called “Misery for Profit/Who is Funding the Transgender Movement and the Impact on LGB” was announced and then quickly canceled and deleted by Left Forum, an organization that seeks to “bring together organizers, intellectuals and the public from across the globe to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world.” Left Forum is being held June 2–4 at John Jay college in New York City. According to the panel’s participants they were going to discuss the financial connection between Big Pharma and the movement for transgender rights. The theory itself is bananas and let me tell you why.

I’m a transgender woman and I’m currently on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). My HRT drug regimen consists of a synthetic estrogen called estradiol, a testosterone blocker called spironolactone, and a DHT blocker, finasteride. Each has their own purpose. Because testosterone is the stronger acting sex hormone of the two, blocking it is necessary for trans women who seek medical transitions. The finasteride is Propecia, it blocks the effects of DHT which causes male pattern baldness. The estradiol should be self explanatory. All told, my out of pocket (I don’t currently have insurance) for three months of all three comes out to about $40. That’s 765 pills for $40, or 5 cents per pill. Hmmm… I can see the conspiracy building already….

Here’s the second part of it though. None of these drugs are approved by the FDA to treat trans people. My use is off label, despite perfectly legitimate doctor prescriptions and very effective results which have caused a massive drop in my gender dysphoria (the clinical term used to describe the physical effects of a mismatch between my external sex and my inner sense of my own gender). The drugs are all generic and designed to treat other things. Spiro is commonly prescribed to treat acne in cisgender (meaning opposite of trans) women and several conditions in cisgender men. The finasteride is a very common prescription among cisgender men, and the estradiol is the same given to menopausal women who are being treated with HRT.

These drugs are not exotic, or expensive. In fact, there are no drugs at all that have been specifically designed to help trans people medically transition. So to recap, we have three very inexpensive, generic drugs with a lot of competition, and their use for trans people is off label. So obviously this is a giant push for more prof… I… well… let’s move on.

The claim of the panelists is that some how, some way, Big Pharma is behind the push for transgender rights. For $0.05 pills that any drug manufacturer is allowed to start producing. No really, it’s right there in the panel description. Here, read it yourself:

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The panel echoes, almost exactly, the rhetoric of the anti-vaccine movement. But still, maybe there’s something to this medical conspiracy. After all, there’s Genital Reconstruction Surgery, maybe that’s the key to the theory. Let’s look at that for a bit. There’s a bit of mystique surrounding GRS. For our purposes here, I’m going to focus on GRS for trans women, as that seems to be the one society is obsessed with. Imagine that, a male-dominated society obsessed with whether or not a woman has an effective fuckhole… Oops sorry, that was meant for my feminist manifesto, let me digress.

GRS for trans women is actually a relatively simple operation, technique wise. Essentially the penile tissue gets inverted into a functioning vagina. Have a look for yourself, bye bye penis, hello vagina (trigger warning: dudes who overly value their penises usually can’t finish the video, sorry). On the grand scale of complicated surgeries, it rates at about the knee surgery level. That probably explains why it costs roughly the same for both! My own GRS was priced out at $25,000 Canadian, so hopefully we can keep those Canucks down a bit longer till momma gets that new vagina.

But why Canada? Well the surgeon I was looking into, Dr. Brassard, is one of the top GRS surgeons in the world, with years of experience. Doctors with experience performing GRS are still relatively rare in the US and Dr. Brassard in Montreal, is a better option for me than Boston Medical Center, who just started offering GRS for patients. For years insurance didn’t cover GRS or any other transition care, thanks to radical feminists like Janice Raymond. Raymond wrote in her 1979 book “The Transsexual Empire: The Making of a She Male” that trans women “rape women’s bodies” by appropriating the female body for ourselves. It’s… well it’s a theory, I guess.

Lesser known is Raymond’s impact on transgender healthcare. In 1981, she was tasked with writing a government white paper in which she argued that transexualism should be eradicated through the denial of medical care. This white paper was used as the basis of Medicare’s blanket exclusion of trans care as well as the exclusions of most private health insurers. It’s ironic now to see the very same radical feminists who once bent the health care industry to their will, now decrying that trans rights are a medical conspiracy. It’s chilling stuff when you step back and look at the “Gender Critical Feminism” movement as a whole.

Speaking of gendercrits, the three women who were set to put on the Left Forum panel also subscribe to Gender Critical Theory. The rest of us generally call them Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs, but I’ve been told this is a (completely accurate and highly descriptive) slur.

It’s no coincidence that these gendercrits are specifically targeting the pharmaceutical industry with their wild conspiracy that the whole trans rights movement is funded and designed to increase sales of a five cent pill. The denial of trans healthcare has been at the center of TERF, sorry, I mean gender critical feminism for decades. The panel is nothing new.

And now when the conspiracy theory panel has been rightfully canceled because, lol, it’s off the wall, they’re claiming their free speech has been squelched. But… should flat earthers be allowed an audience at NASA? No because that would be equally ridiculous. Are anti-vaxxers given a forum at every medical conference? LOL. Yes everyone has the right to free speech, but that doesn’t mean that everyone with every idea is allowed an officially sanctioned forum at whatever venue or with whatever audience they want.

I’m a professional writer. When I have an idea that I want to share on a larger platform, I have to pitch it to said platform. I only get access to that platform if they buy my idea. This is called the marketplace of ideas. Better ideas are more likely to be bought. Now I can self publish anything I want on my own platform (as I’m doing now! Yay!) but that doesn’t mean that Teen Vogue or The New York Times has an obligation to publish my ideas. My free speech rights aren’t being violated every time The LA Times rejects a pitch. The panelists aren’t being denied their free speech rights because their panel was cancelled, the marketplace of ideas very obviously rejected their sales pitch. Their panel was canceled because, frankly, their idea kinda sucked.

Sorry ladies.

Written by

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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