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Countering the dangerous claims of LGBTYS

LGBTYS​ Psychological Harms

Central and a counter to all of the claims made by groups like LGBTYS is the clear evidence that affirming treatments for gender questioning children including social transition, puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and surgery demonstrate a lack of good quality evidence that there are any positive outcomes to such approaches. In addition, the long-term physical and psychological damage caused has been highlighted by Cass and others eg Micheal Biggs, Az Hakeem, and David Bell. Dr David Bell recently commented, (Guardian 26/04/24 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/apr/26/cass-review-gender-identity-services-report ), ‘The policy of “affirmation”- that is, speedily agreeing with a child that they are in the wrong gender- was an inappropriate clinical stance brought about by influential activist groups ….’.

The fact that LGBTYS present gender questioning children with the concept that there is such a thing as a ‘trans’ child and that children can be born in the wrong body and that a child can choose to be the opposite sex extremely confusing and psychologically harmful for the following reasons:

1. The concept of ’trans’ is ill-defined and therefore what is being presented to children is fictional. This would not be so damaging if the end point was not leading to a path of medicalization for which there is not evidence of successful outcomes.

2. There is a real risk of the LGBTYS approach of affirming inducing bodily hatred especially in vulnerable and anxious teenagers.

3. The affirming approach taken by LGBTYS is reinforcing delusional thinking in the children involved and in associated peer groups.

4. Affirmation of social transition and celebration of ‘trans’ is basically celebrating a lie and is likely to cause confusion and anxiety amongst peers.

Such an approach is in effect, encouraging peers to collude in a fantasy; this is unhelpful preparation for adult living.

5. LGBTYS by employing an affirmative approach to the concept of ‘trans’ is also encouraging some adults/parents to collude in a fantasy about their own children.

6. LGBTYS has also been part of the misinformation process of frightening parents with exaggerated claims that their children will commit suicide if their child is not affirmed. This is totally incorrect information and is not borne out by robust research, in fact suicide risk is no different to any other child/teenage mental health issue.

7. The LGBTYS approach of affirming the concept of ‘trans’ risks other additional support needs and mental health issues not being addressed (eg ASD, trauma, care issues, physical/sexual abuse, homophobic bullying, anxiety)

Encouraging a child or teenager onto a pathway for which there is little evidence in the first place will compound the difficulties that the child already has. LGBTYS are not psychologists or clinicians and do not have the professional competencies to direct these children.

8.To affirm a child who thinks they are ‘trans’ is completely avoiding any understanding about why they think they are ‘trans’ and it avoids exploring what that child even understands about the term. Bell and others researchers have noted that a high proportion of gender questioning children are gay and have experienced homophobia. There is already evidence (Bell 2024, Barnes, 2023) that there real risk of misdirecting suggestible children down a regressive, ‘transing pathway’ which they will come to regret.

9.Affirming a child as ‘trans’ takes advantage of the fact that a child is simply not cognitively or emotionally mature enough to either understand or think through the consequences of social transitioning or taking further medical steps. As Dr David Bell states, ‘Children struggle to even imagine themselves in an adult sexual body.’

Dr David Bell states,

‘Characterizing a child as, “being transgender’ is harmful as it forecloses the situation and also implies that this is a unitary condition for which there is a unitary treatment. It is much more helpful to use a description: the the child suffers from distress in relation to gender/sexuality, and this needs to be explored in terms of the narrative of their lives, the presence of other difficulties such as autism, depression, histories of abuse and trauma, and confusion about sexuality.’

In short, it is more than fair to argue that affirming the concept of ‘trans’ amounts to potentially grooming the child towards a lifetime of delusion, confusion, psychological & physical harm

This is not about a hostility to whatever we mean by transgender people, but what is needed is safe evidenced-based care. It is not helpful to have leading ideologically-led input in any public service, but even more so with vulnerable children. D Bell, ‘Wha we have opposed is the precipitate placing of children on a potentially damaging pathway for which there is considerable evidence of harm.’

There is much evidence that the organization LGBTYS has presented the concept of ‘trans’ as a idealized alternative to who they actually, an identity that will make the child popular and special with their peers, an escape from reality. Such a presentation is highly attractive to suggestible and vulnerable children, especially those who are struggling with other additional support needs.

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