Bring on 2023: The Year The Tide Will Turn
2022 has been a hard year for parents with trans identifying children—especially for parents like me, with children that are 18 and older and can now legally harm themselves. But—a lot of good things happened in 2022, and I feel that the tide is beginning to turn.
My excruciating story started in 2019. Back then, it was taboo in mainstream media to discuss the harms of transitioning or the social contagion of gender identity, and there were only a few brave and lonely pieces to be found, including an Atlantic piece from 2018 by Jesse Singal titled WHEN CHILDREN SAY THEY’RE TRANS, and writings from 4th Wave Now, Lily Mayard, and Transgender Trend. Everything else in the media was radiating positivity about trans.
Despite the lack of public information, I knew in my gut that there was something else going on with my child other than “trans”, and I was looking for explanations. I found lots of information except from mainstream media. The first break through in mainstream was a 60 minutes segment on Detransitioners in May of 2021 followed by silence. Finally, at the end of 2021, The Washington Post published The mental health establishment is failing trans kids. My hopes soared—finally, this is it! But the article seemed to be ignored.
At the beginning of 2022, the wave of dissent began. Articles seemed to be coming out daily from all kinds of publications and substacks about the harms of gender transition, but this wave was limited to fringe publications, and blogs. There seemed to be a huge blackout from mainstream media, especially from the New York Times.
As 2022 wore on, there was a seismic shift—at (what seemed to me) a glacial pace since I was in a race to save my child, but probably faster than shifts usually occur in the court of public opinion. The first phase of articles reporting from mainstream liberal-leaning news outlets to trickle in were a mixed bag—still not perfect, but better than before in that they were not glowingly pro-trans and had some nuance—these were articles that gave people who were willfully or unknowingly ignorant about gender ideology, and medically transitioning children a seed of doubt and something to think about. It turns out that these baby step articles were the cracks in the foundation of the gender system — finally the truth was beginning to seep in.
In January, in the US, a gender Psychologist, Erica Andersen wrote an article for the SF Examiner: Opinion: When it comes to trans youth, we’re in danger of losing our way.
In March, another article came out by Erica Anderson also from the SF Examiner: Opinion: The health establishment is failing young adults who question their gender. Also in March from Australia, the National Association of Practicing Psychiatrists published: Managing Gender Dysphoria/Incongruence in Young People: A Guide for Health Practitioners. And in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy: Reconsidering Informed Consent for Trans-Identified Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults.
In April, The New York Times finally published a piece, How to Make Sense of the New L.G.B.T.Q. Culture War, and the Los Angeles Times published A transgender psychologist has helped hundreds of teens transition. But rising numbers have her concerned.
Then in June, The New York Times published a ground breaking piece, The Battle Over Gender Therapy.
In August, from Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Absolutely devastating’: woman sues psychiatrist over gender transition. In Canada, The National Post published two pieces, Canadian specialist urges MDs to 'slow down' in treating transgender patients after U.K. clinic closed, and NP View: Canada must slow down and reform transgender treatments for minors.
October followed up with, Reuters publishing three pieces, As more transgender children seek medical care, families confront many unknowns, and Putting numbers on the rise in children seeking gender care, and Number of transgender children seeking treatment surges in U.S..
November exploded with a bolder piece from New York Times: They Paused Puberty, but Is There a Cost? Reuters published a SPECIAL REPORT-Gender imbalance emerges among trans teens seeking treatment, and Politico published Accord and discord on transgender care. In the UK, the Guardian published ‘An explosion’: what is behind the rise in girls questioning their gender identity?, and the Economist published Britain changes tack in its treatment of trans-identifying children. Gender Clinic News in Australia published: No blockers.
In December another great piece from The New York Times, Free to Be You and Me. Or Not. The New York Magazine published Helping Trans Kids Means Admitting What We Don’t Know. The Telegraph in the UK published Mermaids: why has the trans charity been in the news? Reuters published a very important piece: Why detransitioners are crucial to the science of gender care. And a peer reviewed critique of the quick route to medicalization appeared in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
Other big changes in the world in 2022 include:
Also in July, The FDA added a warning to the labeling for puberty blocking hormones (GnRH agonists):
These hormones [puberty blockers] have FDA approval only for the treatment of precocious puberty [not gender dysphoria] in pediatric patients. They are not approved for...halting normally timed puberty. (AbbVie, 2018).
The Cass Review Interim Report from the UK was a bombshell in Feb 2022, this review was published in October.
The interim findings of The Cass Review are likely to have significant consequences for children with gender dysphoria and for their families, as well as for those who commission and run gender identity development services. It is the view of the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK (ACP-UK) that an evidence-based framework will be required to ensure that regional services are able to offer appropriate and timely care to this vulnerable group. We offer a number of reflections which we believe are crucial to that process.
In November, Florida adopted a “more cautious European model of pediatric care—and exposes American “gender-affirming” advocates as incompetent and dishonest”. In writing about the Florida developments, the New York Times even quoted detransitioners.
In December, South Carolina announced The Medical University of South Carolina will drop pediatric transgender clinics, Sweden announced it will no longer follow WPATH—instead, "Care will now primarily consist of psych support to help the youth [under 18s] live with the healthy body they were born with." And (GETA) Gender Exploratory Therapy Association announced a guideline: A Clinical Guide for Therapists Working with Gender-Questioning Youth.
Mermaids, in the UK, a controversial charity, has come under investigation. It supports and encourages children to transition.
Detransitioners lawsuits are starting in the US, and in the UK, and Australia. In the UK Tavistock is expected to be sued by over 1000 families. Some believe the explosion of Detransitioners will be a tsunami in 2023. the Detransitioner Movement Is Surging. Let’s hope.
Amazing documentaries came out this year trying to bring awareness to the public. What is a Woman, Detransitioner Diaries: Saving Our Sisters, Dysconnected Documentary The Real Story Behind the Transgender Explosion, Adult Human Female, Dead Name, and AFFIRMATION GENERATION: THE LIES OF TRANSGENDER MEDICINE coming out in February.
Doctors, teachers, therapists, journalists, scientists, politicians, feminists, writers, scholars, detransitioners, concerned citizens, comedians, great thinkers, parents, activists, reporters, LGB writers and groups, and many others are writing and speaking out. You can too. Parents, write your stories and send them to Pitt@genspect.org. Your voices need to be heard.
A lot of good happened in 2022. The cracks are widening.
2023 is going to be the year that this nightmare ends. I’m tired of living in a sci-fi dystopian novel. Let’s all believe this is possible and do our part to make it so.