Stereotype-based fears over the effects of HRT

Trans activists say that becoming trans is not based on stereotypes, yet previous posts have shown time and time again that gender stereotypes are a motive for transitioning, e.g. a male thinking he must really be a female because he did not like to play sports as a child. What role do stereotypes play in transitioning itself?

Many transgender people believe that a MtF’s brain is meant to “run on estrogen”:

A few months later, I’d begun to experience the physical and mental impact of the hormones, and with it a new sense of clarity, peace and happiness. The chronic aches in my joints and pains in my stomach that had been a staple of my life since puberty dissipated. My mind and body began repairing themselves. It’s as though my brain was meant to run on estrogen my whole life.

Other transgender people claim their brains are  meant to be like female brains. What do they mean by having a female brain? The concerns that they raise about what neurological and psychological changes they will experience after taking hormone replacement therapy is revealing as to what they think women’s brains are like.

drivingskillsrs
This Reddit user believes that sexual reassignment surgery lead to becoming a worse driver and wonders if HRT and SRS damage driving skills. Poor driving skill is a commonly held negative stereotype about women.

Women are stereotyped as being worse than men at logic, reasoning, and scientific skills. It’s  not  unusual to find comments  from Reddit users afraid that taking female hormones, i.e. becoming more “like a woman” will lead to the deterioration of these skills, or to find those who feel those skills have indeed changed:

greatatlogicandphysics
This user is concerned over the potential loss of logic and physics capabilities
worseatphysics
Some feel their skills have already changed due to hormones. This user believes they have become worse at physics and gained increased verbal skills
videogamesandscienceandfury
This user is concerned over losing interest in science or losing a sense of “righteous fury over the injustice in the world.”

Males dominate the business world (and thus are stereotyped as better at business), and we see concerns that HRT will damage one’s business skills or make them poorer at managing money:

affectbusinessskill
Concern over losing business skills
abilitytomanagemoney
Concern that HRT affects the ability to manage money

Then there are downright bizarre concerns over the effects of HRT, such as worrying it will change one’s sense of humor:

senseofhumorchange.png

A reply to this user explained that their personality did change on HRT- they became less interested in talking about ideas, became more easy to manipulate, and became more empathetic:

lotsofpersonalitychanges.png

Sounds an awful lot like stereotypes of a vapid woman…

These concerns are both bizarre and insulting to women. But the concerns they hold are revealing about what they believe women are like, which in turn is revealing about their understanding of gender and motives for transition.

Non-conformity to gender roles as “red flags”

This blog talks about gender stereotypes as motive for transitioning all the time, so much so that’s there’s a tag for it. Anyone critical of transgender ideology has noticed it, even though trans people often try to deny it:

it-is-not-about-gender-roles
it is not a case of gender roles causing transition
its-not-about-stereotypes-gosh
It’s not about fitting gender stereotypes and transitioning because of that!
nothing-to-do-with-feminine-or-masculine
Nobody transitions so that they can dress a certain way

In other words, trans people claim that being transgender has nothing to do with gender roles and stererotypes about clothes and hairstyles.

Why is it then, that on their own forums, when talking among themselves, trans people readily admit that it IS about gender roles?

What were your childhood red flags? asks a poster on a transgender forum on reddit. This person’s “red flags” include:

Around age 4 there were moments that i actually thought that I’m a girl. Also sometimes thought that I will grow to be a girl

I hated boyish sports, screaming, muscles, demonstrating strength and seeking dominance. However, I really tried to suppress my nature and fit in, for ex. by going to the gym. I always hated that i had to act manly to be treated seriously as an AMAB person.

 

Note that it’s developentally normal to not understand that sex is permanent at age 4. And not enjoying masculine sports means you’re a girl?

Some comments:

wanted sleepovers and loved girly tv shows

Wanting sleepovers and watching “girly” TV shows are red flags that a male child is actually a girl, apparently.

wanting girl toys

Liking girl characters on TV shows, wanting to wear brigthly colored clothes, and wanting to play with “girl toys” are similarly “red flags” that means a male child is transgender. Take note, parents of boys: it could be your child!

hated clipping my nails

But watch out, a hatred of girly things can also mean a male child is really a girl! Also, hating having your nails clipped. Most babies are probably actually girls then.

butt

Putting things inside your bumhole is another red flag that you’re actually a girl, according to the comment above.

no sporsts

And yet again, not liking sports.

sex symbol

Not treating women like objects is actually a red flag that you yourself are a woman, Because surely no man would feel that way? And not least, preferring your hair long. No man ever preferred long hair.

makeup and ballett

Enjoying wearing makeup and taking ballet, also red flags you’re actually a girl.

powerpuff

Admiring female cartoon characters = girl. It’s literally impossible to admire characters of the opposite sex, you know?

hair and clothes

Being curious about the differences betwen boys and girls, wanting long hair, wanting to be cute, and liking “girls’ clothing” = GIRL.

anal play

And once again – putting stuff up your anus for pleasure means you’re actually a girl.

But there’s something more sinister here, as ridiculous as it seems to see grown men talk about how putting fingers up their bums made them realize they were girls. These comments are taken from ONE POST on ONE FORUM for transgender people. There are posts like these every single day – too many for this blog to cover. What happens to impressionable kids and teens who curiously read these posts over and over? Slowly internalizing the idea that liking long hair, liking makeup, having female friends, liking ballett, are “red flags” that means they are actually transgender? When these same kids turn up to these forums, they are often given the advice that they should hurry up and transition. They tell them how to obtain hormones illegally and hide them from their parents. This is a public health crisis unfolding before our eyes. It’s a narrowing of gender roles, not a diminishing of gender roles.

“I feel higly emotional like a female”

Over and over again, transpeople assure anyone who asks that of course being transgender has nothing to do with stereotypes. Gosh, it’s not about clothes or makeup or mannerism, they say.

Then in their own forums, they turn right around and contradict this tale.

And they keep doing it. In fact, there is so much material only on reddit that this blog doesn’t have time to cover it all. Here are a few gems from a post in a large forum for transpeople:

In Retrospect, What Was The Most Obvious Sign You Were Trans? (Lighthearted/Funny):

stereotypes 6
Using a towel as a skirt
enjoying makeup
Enjoying makeup
hormonal and emotional
Being emotional
enjoying dance
Enjoying dance
wanting pretty shoes.JPG
Wanting pretty shoes and clothes
liking stuffed animals
Being super into stuffed animals
not liking gender norms for clothes
Not liking gender norms for clothes
liking long hair
Liking long hair
playing pretend as a small child
Playing pretend as a young child
playing with princesses
Playing “pretty princess”
skipping
I’d constantly skip everywhere
i knew i was a girl mentally
I knew I was a girl mentally

This was just a few of the comments in a single reddit post. How many of these must we post before the trans community admits that stereotypes of what women and men are play a role in the increase of people transitioning?

Wearing the most comfortable sandals ever – more stereotypes about men and women

Trans people online are quick to assure us that being transgender has nothing to do with stereotypes, with clothes or hairstyles.

it-is-not-about-gender-roles
it is not a case of gender roles causing transition
its-not-about-stereotypes-gosh
It’s not about fitting gender stereotypes and transitioning because of that!
nothing-to-do-with-feminine-or-masculine
Nobody transitions so that they can dress a certain way

So being transgender is not anything to do with stereotypes about clothes and hairstyles, and nobody thinks they are transgender or transition because of hairstyles and clothes.

Except for when putting on a dress and some makeup is a way of diagnosing someone with a “female brain”:

try-dressing-up-for-a-test-run
If you feel right, seek out a gender therapist for confirmation

And except when you feel like the most exciting part of transitioning to a woman is all the shoes you can now wear!

buying-all-the-shoes
the thought of buying all the shoes I always wanted makes me feel through the roof

And except when going clothes shopping is the most exciting part of transition!

shopping for clothes.PNG
shopping for clothes

Or when you’re finally able to get the haircut you want:

haircut

Or, if you’re transitioning from female to male, having clothing with pockets and comfortable sandals!

pockets
wearing the most comfortable sandals

It is well known that women can’t ever wear clothing with pockets, or comfortable sandals, so it’s good people can undergo medical treatments and surgeries so that they can wear these things. Wait, what?

 

 

 

“Do you feel uncomfortable with yourself in some way?”

Many young teens come to the realization that they are transgender through watching videos online, particularly on YouTube. There has been a dramatic increase in young people being referred for treatment because they are transgender. The increase is so large that many people, especially parents of young trans people, are beginning to ask the question if we are witnessing the phenomenon of social contagion.

Clinic sees 20-fold increase in referrals

Number of pediatric referrals quadruple

This graph comes from an article about the rise of gender identity related referrals in the UK:

download

Source: The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Many parents of young people tell similar stories about kids who go on YouTube binges, and end up identifying as transgender, and then go on to wanting to transition medically. This is especially common for girls. So what are they being told in these YouTube videos? Let us have a look at one example:

Partial transcript:

[1:09]: Do you feel uncomfortable with yourself in some way? (…) There must be some sort of discomfort with yourself currently. Look inside yourself and think about the times where you may have felt discomfort from hearing your birth name, from being referred as though your assigned sex, or simply feeling discomfort on wearing the clothes off your back. Those are just general examples but really look inside yourself and think back  on to the past of situations that really should have been taken as no big deal but they were taken as such and you never really knew why.

[1:42]: Have you tried experimenting outside your assigned sex? Maybe if you have an inkling that you’re trans, but you don’t know where to go from here. Try experimenting by wearing things that are not typical of your assigned sex, you know like wear T-shirts if you’ve been used to wearing dresses or something like that. (…)

[3:43]: Have you seen or are familiar with other stories of transgender people? If (…) you’re still somewhat on the fence, ah, I would definitely check out some other people’s narratives or stories, and find if you’re, if there are some that are relatable to you. Find like you identify, or you’re finding like, similar struggles with other people who are going through somewhat the same, similar struggles as you. (…) They will definitely  be helpful to you, to help you figure out whether or not you are trans

There are three points about this video that should give you pause. One, viewers are urged to comb through their memories for any discomfort they recollect, and such memories are to be taken as signs of trans-ness. No other options are even acknowledged. Two, superficial preferences like clothing are taken as proof of trans-ness. Feeling comfortable in a T-shirt is a diagnostic sign. Three, the viewer is encouraged to delve into the stories of  people with “similar struggles” to find experiences that are similar to their own. The video goes on to mention the video blogs of other trans people. This means that the viewer is encouraged to seek only confirming evidence. What if there are stories by people who felt the same way but were not actually trans? Such people certainly exist, as seen here, here and here (just a few examples), but these stories never come up in the types of videos shown here.

These YouTubers are giving young people bad advice. They mean well, but the results have chilling consequences when young people go on to medically transition based on the type of advice presented here.

“We tried to make this kid be a boy”

In an article about a child who wants to be a boy, the parents talk about how the child “began taking on names commonly used for boys during playtime and displayed ‘male role modeling’.” They talk about how the child was happy when allowed to wear “boy clothes”. They talk about taking their child to a pediatrician and then to a psychologist.

Their pediatrician recommended visiting with a child psychologist who, after a three-hour evaluation, determined the child was gender variant. The psychologist explained it could be a phase or the child could later affirm a male identity — either way, she recommended that Ann support him by letting him play and dress as he wanted.

Then two years later:

When Ben turned 7, the child psychologist formally determined Ben was transgender.

This is eyebrow-raising (or should be), because according to research, most children who are “gender dysphoric” go on to become regular adults satisfied with their biological sex. From the WPATH  (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) guidelines: (note: link goes to a pdf file)

most cases of childhood gender dsyphoria do not persist into adulthood

and,

Gender variance in childhood is normal. Risks of a GI-Childhood diagnosis include: Stigmatizing children with a diagnostic label when there is no disorder; diagnosis can become iatrogenic, instilling a sense in the child that “there is something wrong with me”; and a poor predictive value – 80% of children diagnosed with GID do not continue to have GID of adolescence or adulthood.

4 out of 5 children who experience gender identity disorder do not persist. They grow up to become well-functioning adults. Often, they grow up to be gay or lesbian. Furthermore, as the WPATH document points out, giving children a diagnostic label can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What is even more worrying is that so often these diagnoses are given to children that have been heavily policed by their parents regarding how they are allowed to express themselves. This story of a conservatively religious parent is a good example:

For Shappley and her family, it all began with a hair bow.

“I want a bow like Daisy,” her then-three-year-old son Joseph Paul begged of her. Shappley knew the big red bow, ponytails and princess dresses were things almost every little girl wished for. However, these weren’t for a daughter — Shappley reminded herself these were the requests of her son.

So a child with a penis asks for a hair bow. Instead of just letting the child wear a hair bow and not making a huge deal out of it, the parents tell him he can’t have them because they are for girls. They make him do “boy stuff”:

His desire to dress in little girl’s clothes is a secret Shappley has kept from the outside world since Joseph was just a toddler. As an infant, she put him in blue clothes. As a toddler, she made him do what shes says is ‘typical boy stuff,’ like fishing, playing football with his siblings and throwing little boy’s birthday parties.

“We tried to make this kid be a boy,” said Shappley. Still, Joseph kept seeking out what the girls had and, by the age of three, he was telling everyone he was a girl.

Of course the kid is telling people he’s a girl! You’ve been telling him that the thing he wants, that his female peers have, are only for girls. Why wouldn’t he try to get access to the pretty bows by saying he’s a girl? Three year old children do typically not have a good understanding of what it means to be a boy or a girl, most commonly understanding the terms by using stereotypes.

Shappley sought out more help, turning to pastors and her faith. Her hope was that her young boy would act like one.

The mother is hoping her child will “act like a boy”. What do  boys act like? Why does this child have to act in a certain way?

“So Christians are not gay, OK, that’s the mindset that I had.”

Having a gay child would of course be difficult for a person belonging to a religion in which being gay is seen as wrong. And children who strongly identify with the opposite sex in childhood do often grow into homosexual adults. This mother will now have a straight daughter.

Parents and children like these are now wildly popular in the news, there’s hardly a week or even a day without a story like this, a documentary, a reality show. How easy will it be for these children to change their minds, as 4 out of 5 of them will, statistically? How easy is it to change your mind about being the opposite sex when your parents have campaigned for your right to use the opposite bathroom and changing room at school? When your parents have spent money to sue the school district? When your entire family makes money and is famous from your transness?

 

“Feeling pretty and delicate, that is clearly female behavioral traits, right?”

A recurring theme on this blog is the relationship between transgender identity and gender roles and stereotypes. We have seen over and over and over again that when trans people talk about how they experience being transgender, they rely heavily, if not exclusively, on gender stereotypes. From wanting to wear specific clothes as toddlers to wanting specific hair cuts as teens, to wanting specific fashion choices as an adult, all kids of superficial things are taken as evidence of some innate identity.

However, since most people agree that gender roles are not actually progressive or good, but actually restrictive and bad, there is also a rush to assure people that being transgender does not actually have anything to do with gender roles or stereotypes:

gender identity doesnt know about gender roles
“Gender identity doesn’t know about gender roles”

Except for when these same stereotypes and roles are used as a direct reason for transitioning:

feeling pretty and delicate
“Feeling pretty and delicate”

But when someone explicitly asks about the connection between stereotypes and transitioning, they are quickly told that the two are never connected:

nothing to do with feminine or masculine
“Nobody transitions so that they can dress a certain way”

So nobody transitions so that they can dress a certain way, except this person, who wants to wear short shorts and knee-high boots, but cannot because they are for girls:

i wanna wear knee high boots
“I wanna wear knee high boots so bad”

Or this person, who wishes to “rock this or that outfit”.

I wish i could rock that outfit
“I wish I too could try to rock this or that outfit”

Or this person, who upon transitioning from male to female looks forward to never having to wear a tie again:

never having to wear a tie
“I am looking forward to never having to wear a tie again”

Or this person, who is looking forward to buying clothes from any store:

buying clothes in any store
“being able to buy clothes in pretty much any store”

Funny how many examples there are of this thing that supposedly doesn’t happen, isn’t it?