Harming Gay, Autistic and Vulnerable young people
Whilst a co-founder and Liaison for LGB Alliance Australia I worked with a number of mental health professionals and sent a letter and evidence to the Australian Psychological Society of the harm of mandatory gender affirming 'care' was doing to vulnerable young people in particular LGB youth, Autistic and other Gender non-conforming children along with vulnerable youth, primarily young girls who had experienced abuse).
"Given that we are talking grievous harm, involving sterilisation, removal of organs and permanent injuries
to LGB and other vulnerable young people, there will inevitably be legal cases. In sending you this letter
with its attachments, we are providing you with the means to critically examine the needs of LGB and
other young people vulnerable to the networked surge in trans identification. We urge you to base your
policies on high quality evidence rather than inconclusive, poor-quality research pushed by queer ideology.
While our primary intent is that the APS should cease reckless automatic gender affirmation, this
submission also provides a record that you have been alerted to the risks. Such a record may be useful to future litigants."
Why does this matter?
The exponential increase in children and adolescents referred to gender clinics in Australia, North America and Europe has been accompanied by a reversal in demographics. Whereas most children presenting with gender dysphoria used to be natal males, now the majority are girls identifying as male during adolescence. During this period, health governance organisations ended the ‘watchful waiting’ approach that had hitherto been associated with high desistance rates and high likelihood of LGB outcomes. This has been replaced with ‘affirmative care’ in which every child or young person presenting with gender dysphoria and/or trans identity is assumed to be a ‘trans kid’. With this policy switch came serious risks for children likely to grow up to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults.
A ‘ gender affirmation only’ policy is unsafe for LGB and other vulnerable young people.
As teenage trans identification has surged across western countries, red flags have been raised that youth likely to grow up as a lesbian, gay or bisexual are being swept into a one-size-fits-all model of care. Staff at the UK Tavistock Clinic stated it feels like conversion therapy for gay children:
“So many potentially gay children were being sent down the pathway to change gender...there was a dark joke among staff that “there would be no gay people left”
“I frequently had cases where people started identifying as trans after months of horrendous bullying for being gay”
“Young lesbians considered at the bottom of the heap suddenly found they were really popular when they said they were trans”
“We heard a lot of homophobia which we felt nobody was challenging. A lot of the girls would come in and say, ‘I’m not a lesbian. I fell in love with my best girlfriend but then I went online and realised I’m not a lesbian, I’m a boy. Phew.’
In the first instance read the following essay that describes the risks and the consequences of ignoring them:
Examine evidence relating to risks outlined in this document.
(The influence of social contagion, social media influencers etc.)
(Psychologists have been verbally attacked for expressing concern about the surge in adolescent trans identification. Psychologists need an environment that fosters the ability to learn, question and consider evidence in relation to these issues, that a diversity of opinion, respectfully conveyed, is not just acceptable but desirable for development of safe practice.)
We recommend that the APS task force:
Seek to understand the needs of same-sex attracted people by exploring the information in the appended document A: Evidence that must be examined in order to create safe policy.’
Convey to your member's withdrawal of your current guidelines on commencement of the review period. This is important because your current one-size-fits-all ‘affirmation-only’ policy is unsafe for LGB people.
Educate psychologists about the body of evidence that shows that the majority of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria resolve it as they mature through puberty, with most becoming gay, lesbian or bisexual. Convey this in your policy, InPsych articles and other communications. This is important because your members have been denied this crucial information.
Educate psychologists about the importance of exploring gender stereotypes in work with clients who experience gender incongruence and dysphoria. Convey this via policy and InPsych articles. This is important because gender stereotypes are particularly toxic for gender-nonconforming children and youth and remain problematic for many gender-nonconforming adults such as ‘masculine’ lesbians and ‘feminine’ gay men.
Educate psychologists about the experiences of detransitioners and their needs. Convey this via policy and InPsych articles. This is important because detransitioners may seek help from your members.
Commit to comprehensive assessment and exploratory therapy with children and adults identifying as transgender.
Recommend against the medical transitioning of children and adolescents. This is important because it is unclear if any psychologist can distinguish between the majority of children with gender dysphoria likely to desist, and the minority likely to continue to experience intense gender dysphoria after maturation.
Recommend against ‘conversion therapy’ laws that deter or ban exploratory therapy for gender questioning youth and adults. These laws have a chilling effect on clinical interventions needed to help people make sense of their gender nonconformity and dysphoria. With LGB youth swept up in the surge in adolescents identifying as trans, the laws make it even more likely that young people will end up suffering regret for body modification undertaken before they learnt that they were lesbian or gay. APS advocacy for bans on the exploratory therapy needed by LGB people is egregious and constitutes human rights abuse. We urge you to rescind APS support for these ill-conceived laws, and to communicate this on your website.
Make a clear distinction between sex and gender in your communications. Sex is biological. Gender is social. While gender expression is a spectrum, sex is binary, and no mammal has ever changed sex.
Maintain clear language that sexual orientation relates to biological sex, not gender. Lesbians are women who are same-sex attracted to women. Gay men are same-sex attracted to men. Heterosexuals have a stable attraction to people of the opposite sex. There are other words for people who are attracted to diverse sexes AND gender identities, such as ‘pansexual.’ We ask you not to collude with queer ideology’s refusal to acknowledge the same-sex orientation of gay men and lesbians. This new homophobia, like the old homophobia, requires homosexuals to change sexual orientation.
Educate psychologists about the pressures exerted by queer ideology on same-sex attracted youth, so that they can support self-esteem in LGB people who maintain sexual boundaries.
Distinguish between ideas driven by queer ideology and evidence-based practice and policy.
Acknowledge that LGB Defence, LGB Alliances around the world represent the needs of LGB people. See our statement here. LGB youth and adults are being harmed by policies promoted by LGBTQ organisations which should have:
Known about gender dysphoria and desistance in LGB youth and advised accordingly, and
Picked up on the signals that young LGB people are being harmed.
These safeguarding failures have shown us that groups driven by queer ideology cannot be trusted to protect the interests of LGB people. (By definition, they cannot represent the interests of same-sex oriented people if they no longer recognise homosexuality as ‘same-sex’). As you revise APS policies to align with safe practice, we ask that you seek input from the original authors*, SEGM and the professionals that contributed to this paper. We represent the interests of same-sex attracted people and would look forward to working with you.
14. Commit to protecting LGB people from harm, by examining the evidence presented in this submission. We understand that the current APS policy results from queer ideology advocacy. However, should you fail to correct this, the APS will shift from ‘ill-informed’ to ‘wilful neglect.’ This would be indefensible from any ethical standpoint.
We also attach separately a critical review of AusPATH guidelines from the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine.
And the only guide to Managing Gender Dysphoria/Incongruence in Young People: A Guide for Health Practitioners produced by the NAAP (National Association of Practising Psychiatrists).
*Catherine Karena is now founder of LGB Defence, a LGB organisation specifically addressing the harms of Gender Identity Ideology on LGB people, direct correspondence to LGBDefence@protonmail.com