Stuff co.nz 19 November 2019
Family First Comment: There is plenty of help available for people who want to transition – but precious little for those who then change their minds. There is so little acknowledgement that not everyone who transitions remains aligned with the opposite sex that Keira cannot easily undo her gender recognition certificate, which leaves her as legally male; she would have to apply for another one to transition back to her birth sex. “There’s a lack of interest in detransitioner studies and outcomes and data, because it doesn’t really suit the people pushing this ideology to know about the bad outcomes.”
Keira attended the Gender Identity Development Service at London’s Tavistock and Portman Trust, the only NHS facility for transgender young people.
She says that when she was 16, after just three appointments, she was referred to an endocrinologist for puberty-blockers. Prescribed to “press pause” on puberty for children distressed by their developing bodies, the hormones do, however, carry health risks, including to bone density and cognitive development.
For Keira, who had already started puberty, the effect was to halt future development and stop her periods. She then moved on to cross-sex hormones – testosterone for women transitioning, oestrogen for males – and appointments at the adult clinic at Charing Cross Hospital in London.
Her voice deepened, she developed body hair and grew a beard. At the age of 21, she had her breasts removed. After realising her mistake, Keira had her last testosterone injection at the start of this year – yet she is still having to shave and is routinely mistaken for a man.
It is not just a permanently lowered voice that is the legacy of Keira’s foray into gender reassignment, however. “I am so angry and I can’t see that going away,” she says. “Nothing was explored that may have better explained the way I felt about myself than that it must have meant I was born in the wrong body.”
She describes an unhappy childhood, deeply affected by her parents’ divorce and her mother’s alcoholism, leading her to retreat into a world where being a boy felt like it offered escape.
Now, she says, “I feel sick, I feel like I’ve been lied to. There’s no evidence for the treatments I’ve had, and they didn’t make me feel any better. It was maturity that did that.”
Her view is echoed by Sue Evans, a psychoanalyst who used to work at the Tavistock and is now crowdfunding to bring a test case against the trust to establish that children cannot give their informed consent to what she describes as radical, experimental treatment.
Evans will be speaking about her case at the Detransition Advocacy Network’s first event in Manchester at the end of the month. However, there is as yet no data on the number of people unhappy in their new gender, or those who are seeking to detransition.
“I’m about the science, the research and evidence-based good practice in medicine,” says Evans. “And it just doesn’t exist when it comes to how we treat trans patients.
“This has been moved out of the medical domain and has become political and ideological,” she adds. “But the problem is it absolutely is a medical issue, because you’re about to launch people on a pathway that chemically and medically interferes with the basis of their body, who they are and their identity.”
There is plenty of help available for people who want to transition – but precious little for those who then change their minds.
There is so little acknowledgement that not everyone who transitions remains aligned with the opposite sex that Keira cannot easily undo her gender recognition certificate, which leaves her as legally male; she would have to apply for another one to transition back to her birth sex.
“There’s a lack of interest in detransitioner studies and outcomes and data, because it doesn’t really suit the people pushing this ideology to know about the bad outcomes,” says Evans.
“Part of the trans message is, you’re the consumer, you make a choice about your gender and we will curate a body for you to fit in with your requirements,” she continues. “Detransitioners are the rejects who go into the seconds shop. They’re not the good examples from the production line of bodies that transition. In a sense, they’re the damaged goods no one wants to acknowledge.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/117553613/detransitioners-girls-who-became-boys-who-want-to-be-girls-again?fbclid=IwAR0hJua3FsJaxcmyGN3S-w4MLWKY7EG5k_FoVSExvIeVtwJJz3nkL2X-mEM