Trigger warning: Zack Ford
Zack Ford’s recent post at Think Progress, where he comes out strongly in favor of sterilizing and/or amputating the genitals of minor children in response to the American College of Pediatricians, is so reflexively contrarian, I worry about what would happen if the ACP released a statement opposing jumping off cliffs.
Ford is the LGBT Editor at ThinkProgress.org, affiliated with the highly influential Center for American Progress. Think Progress is shared widely on Capitol Hill, and is a commonly-read news source for anyone working on the political left. Whether you’ve heard of the site or not, when an editor at Think Progress feels comfortable promoting chemical castration for misfit children, you can be sure that they’re speaking from within the political comfort zone of the highest ranks of the Democrat Party and its allies.
Putting aside the uncommon phrases and words you may see in stories about so-called ‘transgender children’, a large number of gender warriors ignore the fact that a common side effect of putting a young child on “reversible” puberty blockers, and then giving them high doses of cross-sex hormones throughout their adolescent development window, is lifetime sterility. That’s before anyone goes under the knife, though cosmetic genital surgery is being pushed at ever-earlier ages as well.
Transitioning teens are even being chemically sterilized in front of an adoring nation on YouTube and on reality TV. It’s a spectacle of depravity for entertainment unparalleled since the castrati sang to packed opera houses in Europe. In cruelty, it matches the British government’s chemical castration of gay WWII codebreaker, Alan Turing.
When you watch these “heartwarming” transgender child stories — the ones where the kids look like they’re 11 at the age of 14 because they’ve been on hormone blockers for years — of parents giving their children cross-sex hormones, you’re watching the likely chemical sterilization of a child as an entertainment. If you like to think of yourself as a nice liberal, you probably watch these videos to feel good about your own broadmindedness.
It’s as if Toddlers and Tiaras was co-ed and gave the pageant winner a free tubal ligation or vasectomy. Pass the popcorn!
Meanwhile, Zack Ford and the transgender activist movement seem to be suggesting that all the weird little kids need to be encouraged to have their gonads destroyed before they’re old enough to even try them out.
Here’s a seven-year-old who seems to be transitioning because he wanted a Hello Kitty backpack and had a history of liking the colors pink and purple. This sounds like punishing children’s fashion tastes with castration.
Here’s a six-year-old boy who likes Barbie and wearing dresses. Because no one wants to hurt his self-esteem by telling him that what he’s wearing is wrong, they’re prepping him for body modification as if his entire body is wrong. Why are clothing choices a medical problem?
Here’s a teenager who seems to be transitioning because she wanted to get out of shaving her legs. Why does she have to shave her legs? Why is the better option a possible lifetime of hormone therapy that makes the doctors for the former East Germany’s Olympics team look like hobbyists?
There’s a four-year-old being socially transitioned and prepared for medicalized sex alteration in Australia because … why? They are four years old. Who is standing up for this child to say that their guardians and doctors need to respect their bodily integrity?
Ford acknowledges the issue of permanent sterility but seems unworried by it because these children might otherwise look “wrong” when they grow up. This is a reason both sinister and shallow. Ford says that no families are consenting to irreversible procedures. This is wrong, but it isn’t as though he seems to care. He dismisses the question this way:
“ACP wants to force trans kids to go through the wrong puberty, which would guarantee changes that could intensify their gender dysphoria, to avoid the risk of one possible side effect if they don’t. It’s actually proof of the double standard that Serano outlined — that it’s okay for a transgender kid to go through the wrong puberty, but not a cisgender kid.”
The “wrong puberty,” in this case, means not attaining reproductive maturity at all. This is serious, where Ford and his compatriots seem utterly dismissive. It should be frightening to parents, educators, and medical professionals, who might have thought that surely no one would be cavalier about minors being denied the possibility of ever having their own children. To Ford, this is just “one possible side effect.”
So it’s worth thinking about what Ford means when he refers to transgender kids. Many people react to this term as though we’re talking about a newly discovered sex of person, or as though the word transgender meant a different species. If there were such a physical classification, there would be a lab test for it. There isn’t one, unless children’s self-reported dissatisfaction with the prospect of growing up now counts as a modern scientific revelation.
Instead, the majority of children who go through what has been classed as gender dysphoria, somewhere between 60 to 90 percent of them, once stopped identifying as the opposite sex. But according to the study Zack Ford quotes, the “best outcomes” for children with gender dysphoria, or extreme unhappiness with their expected social roles, come from hormone treatments and surgical sexual transition. In other words, he mainly means to class these children as transsexuals.
Yes, Zack Ford is pushing the idea that there are transsexual children who urgently require what are known as sex changes because they are otherwise doomed to unhappiness. Instead of suggesting treatment for what sounds like depression, transgender ideologues want kids on hormones. Though cross-sex hormones won’t give a person an alternate reproductive system, and “sex change” or “gender confirmation” surgeries can’t change sex. These treatments can damage or remove your gonads, but not give you new ones. Surgeons can remove your genitals, but replacing them is a work in progress.
I was a weird little kid once. So was Rupert Everett, and here’s what he said about that, “I really wanted to be a girl. Thank God the world of now wasn’t then, because I’d be on hormones and I’d be a woman. After I was 15 I never wanted to be a woman again.”
Statistically, Rupert Everett represents the most likely outcome for children with gender dysphoria: they grow out of it. The majority of them used to grow up to be as satisfied with their bodies as anyone else, before they began to be socially transitioned and put on treatments that block the adolescent hormone surges that act to mature the brain as well as the body.
Or too frequently, transitioning children have a condition on the autism spectrum, and they are often girls whose social delays and sensory integration problems make them feel like they’re failures at performing feminine social roles. Sometimes these young people are told lies in their so-called support groups, like that taking testosterone can grow male genitalia for biological females. When you fit in as badly at school as many autistic young people do, I can see wanting to believe that someone can give you a treatment that will fix it.
Now the misfit kids are too often being recruited and groomed at school and over social media to seek genital amputation and sterilization. Some of them are being recruited and groomed by therapists and other medical professionals. A child may end up surrounded by adults who are now forbidden by law to try to help them overcome discomfort with social expectations or their bodies, forbidden to oppose anyone encouraging them down a path of transsexual medicalization.
After an amputation or extraction of the gonads, someone who’s had a full course of transsexual medical treatment is likely to need a lifetime of urgent medical intervention.
Zack Ford writes of avoiding extreme medical intervention as “privileging” one type of person over another, as if it were discriminatory to allow puberty to take its normal, healthy course.
These children aren’t a new sex, they are girls and boys who are often being neutered, if not, groomed from a young age to seek medical de-sexing. How long will the manufacture of new labels for these children hide that from view?
*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.
“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”