Discover more from Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (PITT)
A Tutorial in Trans:
“Wait – if gender is a social construct, why does my son need to cut off his dick?”
Parents of ROGD kids often joke that we have a “PhD in Trans.” We know the influential researchers, the major studies, the doctors, the major psychologists and thinkers. This goes waaaay beyond Dylan Mulvaney or Jazz Jennings or Jordan Peterson. We know the lawsuits, the active legislation, the journalists, the clinics, the different surveys outcomes, and the WPATH SOC. If we personally don’t know the details of a specific issue, we know another parent who does. Want to know the impact of cross-sex hormones on brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and the link with neurodegenerative disorders? I know a guy.
And just about all of us have found ourselves in a crazed state of trying to explain these issues to a bewildered friend or skeptical school principal or exhausted spouse. Listen! We cry, If you just listen you will understand why I am freaking out and why we need to stop this!
After three years of this (and despite my son’s total desistence). I’m still trying to crack the code. What are the magic words that will get people to stop, listen, and learn? I try the dangers of hormones and surgeries, the high rates of autism, the colonization of women’s spaces, or the sterilization of gay and lesbian kids. Sometimes that piques their curiosity.
But often I stumble right out of the gate: I’m saying “gender” and people hear “sex.” I say “trans woman” and people think “a woman who is trans.” There are confusing, conflicting, and shifting terms here. How can we even discuss “trans issues” when we have no idea who is trans? (According to some definitions, anyone who is gender non-conforming is trans. Like tomboys. Or, you know, nuns. In narrower definitions, only someone who takes drugs or has surgeries is trans.)
So… here’s my latest insight: there are three main schools of thought about “gender,” and people don’t even know which school they are in. When your son screams “transwomen are women” he’s in the “True Trans School.” When your daughter says she is “non-binary” she parroting “Queer School.” You and your spouse were probably raised in “Traditional Psychology” school, but good luck talking to the new school therapist. If she’s got blue hair or a nose ring, she’s “Queer School” all the way. Trying to talk across these schools of thought is impossible until you recognize where the other person is coming from.
So wait – if gender is a social construct, why does my son need to cut off his dick?
Below is a handy-dandy chart to compare and contrast the major schools of thought. Print and cut out to take to your next school-sponsored speaker event. If you can get tic-tac-toe, Congratulations! You’ve earned yourself an Honorary PhD in Trans.
For more on the “True Trans” School of Thought.
For more on “Queer” School of Thought.
See also Exulansic’s work on “Church of the non-binaries” and “Church of the Nonbinaries: Saving the Breast for Last”.
For the “Traditional Psychology” school of thought, see anything published before 2010, or see Stephen B. Levine’s testimony.