Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Let me state, for the record, I don’t believe anyone has an innate “Gender Identity”. Gender is a social construct, super-imposed on biological sex to uphold Patriarchal structures.
Gendered expectations limit and constrain women whilst grooming boys to occupy a dominant role, as men. Historically, feminists made a distinction between “sex” and “gender” to deconstruct, biologically determinist, theories of sex differences. It was never a radical feminist position that women, or men, were born with a “natural” gender. (Note to evolutionary biologists. I am not a proponent of blank slate theory. I am, however, wary when biology is used to justify women’s position in the sex hierarchy). Feminists dispute that gendered roles are a natural, inevitable, consequence of our biology. Our Gendered role is distinct from our Biological Sex.
Gender versus Sex discourse is now distorted into the antithesis of a feminist analysis. We now have a political class who have accepted the proposition that “gender” is real and innate, and biological sex merely “assigned at birth“. Since gender comprises sexist, stereotypes the reification of “gender” is regressive. Furthermore medicalising gender non-conformity, has some serious implications for the health and well-being of our youth.
As a feminist I have principally registered the impact of sex stereotypes, on women. As a mother of two sons I have an increasing awareness of gendered expectations, for males. Watching them navigate the world, as boys, inducted into the male tribe, exposed the deployment of, often brutal, sanctions for boys who don’t perform “male” behaviours. As a parent of a same sex attracted, son, this has brought things into even sharper focus.
Not conforming to sex stereotypical behaviour is not unusual for Gay males (& Lesbians). They may exhibit non-conformity early and it will often pre-date sexual awareness. Many of these children, like mine, will be brutally punished because they are deviating from expected “normal” behaviour. They may have atypical interests for their sex, hang out with, and even identify “with” members of the opposite sex. For males they are often explicitly rejected by their own sex and isolated by their peers. All of this is painful and confusing and years of bullying can, and does, lead to internalised homophobia.
Homophobia & The Cotton Ceiling
Homophobia is not a thing of the past. A focus on the UK context can, superficially, suggest the main battles are won. Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic, under The Equality Act 2010. Same sex marriage is legal. Currently we are seeing a vicious attack on same sex attraction from within the LGBT community. For Lesbians their same sex attraction is badged as transphobic. There is even a name for this: “Cotton Ceiling”. This is a play on the notion of a “glass-ceiling”, a phrase coined to describe the barrier to female achievement. This term has been repurposed to refer to Lesbian underwear, as a barrier to “all-inclusive” sexual availability. Lesbians are explicitly under attack for rejecting male bodies in their “Lesbian” dating pool! This is the new “progressive” Corrective Rape. Article here: Cotton Ceiling.
As always this is a tale of two sexes. There is no comparable campaign to shame gay males over their vagina-exclusionary orientation. They are not, on any significant scale, condemned and policed about their sexual orientation. Some of the battles we thought had been won are being undermined, ironically, under the banner of “progressive” thinking. None of the leading Gay publications, or Advocacy groups, have condemned the rhetoric of #CottonCeiling, indeed most deny it exists. Same sex attraction is being undermined by organisations which purport to represent the gay community. (Cough…Stonewall).
Inculcating Gender Dysphoria
It is in this context we need to examine how the concept of an “innate Gender Identity” is being proselytised in our schools. Children are being taught that “sex” is no longer dimorphic but exists on a spectrum. Homosexuality is the attraction to one’s own sex. Its predicated on the notion of two sexes. How do prospective gay adults reconcile this to the idea that they exist “on a spectrum?
The phrase “assigned male at birth” is being used in the media, by medical professionals and by our political elite. Somehow the idea that a small number of disorders of sexual development (DSD), leading to “intersex” conditions, has morphed into a belief that accurate determination of sex is not possible, at birth. There is no evidence that DSDs are more prevalent. This belief is not borne out of concern for people with intersex conditions. It is ideologically predicated to privilege “gender identity” above sex. Same sex orientation is then seen as in conflict with attraction based on “gender”. Gender can be de-coupled from “sex” and even sexual characteristics. This places definitively homosexual males, & females. in the “wrong” for excluding opposite sex partners.
Here is an example of school based training. A pack which has been used in various forms across the Education Sector: All sorts Trans Inclusion Kit Here is a critique from the Transgender Trend organisation of the training in our schools: Transgender Trend
It is my contention that this training is inculcating Gender Dysphoria: a disassociation from biological sex. Nobody conforms 100% with the expected behaviour for their sex. Yet children are being taught that failure to adhere to these , culturally determined, expectations may mean they are “Born in the Wrong Body”. Lesbians and Gay Males frequently deviate from “gendered” behaviour and are much more vulnerable to this ideology. Its confusing and de-stabilising. The meme below was sent out by a young, gay male. 👇
Here is an example of Mermaids training slides. (Mermaids is an organisation which exists to support “trans” children and youth). This is being rolled out to schools and teaches a spectrum of “gender identities” with which children are asked to “identify”. At one end of the spectrum is Barbie and at the other end is GI Jo.
The use of regressive stereotypes is only one area vulnerable to critique. If we were teaching the variety of ways people express themselves and deconstructing sex stereotypes this could be a force for positive change. We are , instead, using it to push the notion that one can be, literally, “Born in the Wrong Body”. Instead of celebrating difference we are instead advocating that these children/teens should be medicalised and handed over to #BigPharma for Life.
I have one son who does sport most days, captains football and rugby teams, and has, largely, gender typical interests. Based on that criteria you could allocate him to one end of the spectrum. The same son does his own washing , irons clothes, watches boxing but also likes poetry. Where does he now go on this “spectrum”?. Are we not just pathologizing personalities which deviate from the “man-box”?
I have another son who loves music, hates sport, identifies “with” girls and has always had female friends. He also came out as “gay” when he was in his early teens. When puberty hit he was still not accepted by his male peers but now female peers were retreating into same sex friendship groups. Parents were not including him in female bonding experiences, like sleepovers. Those parents had every right to exclude him but it did increase his isolation. Its not difficult to understand why a boy like this would identify out of his male sex, and his homosexuality, by retreating into a faux-straight, medicalised closet. Superficially this can look like an attractive option.
Gender Dysphoria is a relatively recent historical phenomenon. In the last decade, in the UK, we have seen a spike of over 4000% increase in girls referred to Gender Identity Clinics. For boys the figure is 1152%. Parents who are resistant to the dominant “affirmation” model of treatment won’t be included in these figure. Many know better than to enrol our offspring in these “treatment” centres. Article here: Behind a paywall. Rise in Gender Identity Clinic referrals
Are we medicalising away the Gay?
Recently whistle-blowers at the UK’s main Gender Identity Clinic ,The Tavistock, have broken ranks to highlight the real threat to gay children who are using their service. Below is a clip from this article in The Times newspaper. Full article here (paywall) Transgender Experiment
Here is a youtube from another expert in this field asking: Why are lesbian and gay children being transitioned?
Here is another article summarising studies which show that most children who identify as the opposite sex eventually reconcile to biological sex and, many are gay. Author is James Cantor who works in this field. Remember also that this much of this research predates the meteoric rise in referrals. There is every reason to suspect that desistance rates would be much higher in the current “crop” of trans kids IF (and its a big IF) they were not subject to irreversible medical treatment.
Here are quotes from two other experts about the impact of early medicalisation on children. Dr James Barret, a consultant at the UKs oldest Gender Identity Clinic, makes it clear most would desist, reconcile to biological sex, and be gay IF allowed to go through a natural puberty.
Ray Blanchard another expert, in this field, makes it clear that the addition of Puberty Blockers locks those self-same children on an irreversible path to medicalisation.
Proposal to criminalise “affirming” Biological Sex?
The standard model of “treatment” is to accept the child/teens self-assessment of their “Gender” and to socially, leading to medical, affirm that identity. Affirming a child in their biological sex is the least invasive approach. Since most desist from a “trans-identity” and many are merely gay this seems to be the obvious approach and indeed has been the standard treatment for decades. Fast forward to 2019 and this is seen as akin to Gay Conversion Therapy. At this very moment affirming biological sex is outlawed in many US states. Here is the UK we have a bill, currently going through parliament, which proposes to outlaw my parental practice. Now I am told it is unlikely this will proceed but I have lost all faith in our political class over this specific issue so I am keeping it under scrutiny. (Clip from Hansard below).
Silencing dissenting Parents.
On Social Media parents, like me, adopting a cautious approach, to medicalising our children, are subjected to quite a lot of criticism. Little of it is evidenced based. Here is a sample. Not all of these screenshots were to myself but I have had pretty much all of this type of abuse.
@Terfblocker were particularly egregious and their follow up, to the tweet above, was to find my real name and add it below to “out” my son. Nice Touch. Here is a reminder of the person who set up @TerfBlocker.
Former Green party candidate now ensconced in the Liberal Democrats. You may remember the name and a public statement that this person was dangerously unaware of basic safeguarding. Also, as of June 2019, still appears an advisor to Stonewall. Stonewall Trans Advisory Group
More here if you are unfamiliar with. Aimee Challenor
What other alleged campaign for “Civil Rights” routinely labels caution and research as bigoted? What other campaign uses the threat of children’s suicide as a tactic to terrorise parents into submission? If anything the vehemence of the attacks has made me more confident that this is wrong.
Since writing this I commented on the issue of trans sports and was treated to another lovely comment, No wonder perceptions of hate crime are sky-rocketing when someone sees hate in this comment.
There will be a reckoning when society wakes up to what is being done to children under the, mistaken, belief that they are Born In The Wrong Body. I hope we wake up to the problematic, and unquestioning, affirmation of a child/teens belief that this is the right path for them. My biggest fear is that EVERY single political party and most politicians have gone along with this. What will it take for them to reverse this position? Are our children to be electoral cannon fodder?
What other issue has cognitively captured the political elite so swiftly? One thing for certain is that this is not a grass roots movement!