Reading Articles #2

There’s lots of great things to read! Today I’d like to bring your attention to Katelyn Burns

What the battle over a 7-year-old trans girl could mean for families nationwide.

There’s a lot more to this article, but my main takeaway as an experienced trans person is: the Alt Right’s a bunch of lying liars who lie. I highly recommend reading the article in full if you want a general breakdown of how trans rights are going in America. TL;DR, they’re not. Because of people who say anything, including that we’re castrating children, in order to murder us.

Without further ado, my own specially-curated highlight reel. The highest level bullets are quotes, the lower level bullets are

  • “The father doesn’t follow the recommendations of the counselor or the pediatrician, and he shames her to try to make her feel bad for wanting to dress as a girl,” Meaders, Georgulas’s attorney, told the court. “Even though the father knows she wants super-long hair, he shaves her head when he has the opportunity and leaves the other twin’s hair long,” referring to her twin brother Jude.
    • (Slightly edited to remove misgendering. It felt like one reference to gender was implying Luna was a boy, although I may have just read it wrong).
  • It is the hair-shaving detail that stands out as especially cruel to trans people and advocates. “Luna’s father has been very insistent on cutting her hair extremely short, and that is like one of my daughter’s biggest dysphoric points,” Jane, a Dallas-area mother of a trans kid who knows Luna (and whose name has been changed for this story) told Vox. “For her, all of this is about the fact that Luna is being forced to have short hair. She doesn’t understand all the other ramifications.”

  • “There is no medical intervention of any sort prior to someone hitting puberty,” Dr. Joshua Safer, executive director at the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai and president of the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health, told Vox. “So small children do not get medicines and small children do not get surgeries, for sure.
  • “The standard approach when kids are gender expansive — when they say they’re transgender, when they think they’re transgender, whatever that might happen, to get a clue that this might be going on — is pretty much to listen to the kid and to kind of follow their guidance in terms of what they want to do, what the child wants to do,” he added.
  • Safer says it’s important to develop an individualized plan for mental and physical health for gender dysphoric kids and adolescents. Varying degrees of family support for transition means coexisting mental health issues are important to examine for any trans child; there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for all kids. Most of all, the child must feel comfortable with the plan.
    • It cannot possibly be any clearer to people what treatment of gender dysphoric minors actually is. Transgender advocates have said this over and over and over again, and yet people keep lying about it anyway! It’s not only frustrating as hell, it’s lethal. We are not a trend, we are people. Cis apathy―including cis queer apathy―is killing us too. Be loud and proud of your support for us. We’re not coming for your kids or whatever; your willful ignorance and inaction is what’s most dangerous to them.
    • Stop debating our humanity. We’re human too whether you like it or not! You’re not the only humans who deserve life and happiness.

  • The affirming model has been recommended by nearly every major American medical association, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the Endocrine Society, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and many others. “What is most important is for a parent to listen, respect and support their child’s self-expressed identity. This encourages open conversations that may be difficult but key to the child’s mental health and the family’s resilience and wellbeing,” wrote Jason Rafferty, a doctor at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and a professor at Brown University, in a key AAP statement on affirming the gender identities of trans youth released last October.
  • “The kid isn’t going to brainwash him or herself into being transgender [if their gender identity is affirmed],” Safer said. “They’re going to say how they feel and you can pretty much be respectful and they won’t be railroaded into anything, which I think is the anxiety that people still have, and there was some anxiety in the past in the medical establishment, but I think the medical establishment is getting more and more comfortable that that does not seem like a likely event.”
    • There’s a paragraph right after this that mentions the common fear of cis kids getting caught up and accidentally trans-ing themselves. Sometimes, even I’ve questioned whether or not I’m really trans or am I just so traumatized by my family’s rampant misogyny and my dysphoria (you don’t need dysphoria to be trans and you don’t need to be trans to be dysphoric). And then I remember that every time I have a choice in my character’s gender―whether that’s a game, a story, or a picrew―the only time I ever choose to play a girl is when they’ve got better outfits. For me, a lot of these questions are the result of a version of Stockholm Syndrome. I could potentially be murdered if I were to transition at this point in my life, so sometimes, my brain tricks me into accepting this iron maiden. Do I want to be fake happy or sincerely sad all the time? Those are the choices I’ve got. I’ve been retreating into my imagination since childhood, it’s the only real coping mechanism I’ve got for anything. It doesn’t solve any of the problems, but since people refuse to implement the actual solutions―or even recognize that the “business as usual” is slaughtering people daily―this is the best I can do.
    • Besides, if “becoming” trans was about escaping bigotry, why would anyone want to be a trans woman? Not only is misogyny still rampant all over the world, including so-called developed countries, transmisogyny is misogyny times a thousand.
    • I’m nonbinary anyway, so the whole boy’s life vs girl’s life debate gets complicated fast.
    • And also, fuck cis people. There’s more of us, myself included, who need gender affirming healthcare than there are of them getting swept away into an unwanted gender / body / etc.

The next Burns article you should read is The rise of anti-trans “radical” feminists, explained. Just be warned, these articles are long and meaty. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to write something about a king punishing a rebel.

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