I don’t mean to write everyday. Honestly, I don’t. However, when I watch something like this, put out by Blaire White, a 22 year old transgender woman, it makes my irritation rise. I couldn’t help but respond to her on her YouTube page, and to also write a little here where those seeking answers might find it. Now, to be clear, I think she is out to make a name for herself (and a career) by taking up positions that could be perceived as incendiary by many members of the LGBTQ community, and this is just another incendiary doozy.
In the spirit of fairness, I’ve included a link to her video for you to watch for yourself:
My response to her video was as follows, please excuse any grammar issues, I pasted it here as I wrote it:
“Blaire, as the father of a genderfluid son, on the verge of social transition, I think you leave some very important information out out of your video. Puberty blockers cause no lasting harm on a child, and American Endocrine Society guidelines recommend children should not be prescribed blockers until around the age of 11, or for MTFs when they reach what is known as Tanner Stage 2. If a child changes his or her mind then they simply go off the blockers and puberty commences in a normal fashion. As to your comments on hormones…you are correct in that they sterilize, but again the AES recommends children not be started on hormones until the age of 16, two years shy of the age of consent. There are also therapeutic guidelines that must be met before this can be allowed. Jazz Jennings was put on hormones younger, but she had also been living female for about 11 years at that point. Many insurance plans do not cover any procedures, and such procedures can run up and over $20,000, meaning that even if kids want it they couldn’t afford it. Finally, no American surgeon will perform top or bottom surgery until the age of consent, making them…an adult. So, in reality the only irreversible medical care a transgender child would receive does not come until around the age of 16, and then again at the age of consent when they are adults and free to decide. As for the comment about trendy…c’mon, you know better than that. Sure there are some, but no responsible medical professional in the United States would perform the surgery without letters from therapists, and a person having been on hormones for at least a year. I know of numerous therapists who have told their patients…No. Until you get your therapy and medical certifications, leave that to the professionals. Over 40% of transgender kids will attempt suicide before the age of 18, and if these medical interventions can prevent suffering and attempted suicide then they should be valid options. I don’t profess to know you, and your journey, so don’t profess to know others just because you are transgender, that’s like me saying I get what it is to be another person simply because he is a man, or because she is white. Sure we share commonalities, but our experiences may be drastically different. My seven year old does not watch YouTube, social media, etc. He doesn’t even know the term transgender, but what he has been saying since the age of 3 is that he is going to be a girl when he gets older, and that has only become more persistent and urgent in the last year. I think having a solid team of parents, therapist, and medical professionals in place is essential, but if you are going to throw your “expertise” on the internet…facts are always useful along with your opinions. I suspect you may know much of this, but for those looking for answers, I’ll leave this here as a counterpoint.”
This is the kind of thing I hate to see out there in the media, because it might persuade a parent to ignore their child’s pleading request for his or her needs to be met. It also provides validation for those that believe a child cannot know what he or she wants, as if turning 18 magically gives you wisdom and real common sense. It also goes against current medical research that has found a younger social transition may be beneficial to a child’s mental health, and ultimately his or her physical well-being.
Finally, I find it funny that a 22 year-old thinks she has the answers for thousands of children world-wide. I chuckle to myself at the thought of my 22 year-old self giving advice to parents twice my age on any child-rearing topic.
I’m not going to attack Ms. White on any other grounds, and feel I provided more a counterpoint to an attack. She may be a lovely person, who is just expressing her opinion with good intentions. However, I’m sick of people expressing opinions without sharing any real facts to back them up. This can be especially dangerous where desperate people looking for answers might find them.
Feel free to hit the comment button, and let me know what you think…I’m always interested in other viewpoints, especially from other parents and allies.