Mar 11Liked by Gender: A Wider Lens

Thank you for this wonderful interview! Laura, you have described my daughter perfectly, diagnosed with autism at age 17 after coming out as trans at 16. She was completely isolated, angry, terrified and depressed. It has been amazing to watch her journey into appreciating her differences with her peers as autism, not because she’s a guy (although she still says she’s a guy). And now two years after the autism diagnosis, she is now starting to say her autism won’t hold her back and is starting to reengage with the world, planning a future, thinking about a career. We are buying her some more time to grow into herself by moving us all to Europe this summer where she can be more independent. When you mentioned in the bonus episode how European doctors are more open to listening to you makes me feel so much better about our decision as we have had to police every visit with doctors in the US for four years. I truly, truly appreciate you for speaking out. I look forward to reading your memoir!

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Great conversation thank you and looking forward to the finale.

It has occurred to me with all the conversations about "informed consent" and the failures of WPath, that there is this myth that informed consent exists at all here, or that there was an olden days when there was proper gatekeeping.

I don't think that anyone can really give informed consent to these things at the moment, even adults, because there is so much misinformation. If you are told that you were born in the wrong body and you agree to procedures to change your body based on that belief, then this is minsinformed consent. I recall so many stories of the person who had second thoughts going into surgery but was reassured that this surgery would make them feel better. That is misinformation because there is no empirical basis to make such an assurance.

The good gatekeeping of old was was never diagnostic accuracy based on evidence to recommend proven treatments. It was always just what you would expect doctors to do before giving someone a boob job etc. - making sure someone had capacity to consent. I feel that this particular story needs telling. Perhaps it has been told. But I've been following this and I haven't seen anyone put these things together in these terms. Focusing on what consent really means.

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Such good points. I think, even before they got rid of the "gatekeeping" there was the fact that a lot of people who transitioned had a fantasy about what it would be like that often did not line up well with reality, and I thought Az Hakeem's observations were rather relevant with his therapy groups that included people in every stage of transition. It's hard to say if those groups would still be as effective with the cult like atmosphere surrounding this, but I think it goes to show that even before this modern craze most people who wanted to transition did not have a good idea of what the reality would be.

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I have given this some serious thought and have now produced a podcast episode analysing this issue. Please do listen and I would love feedback.

WPATH and the Queering of Consent

It is a mistake to focus excessively on the problem that children lack capacity to consent to trans medicalisation. The problem is much more serious than that. https://shirabatya.substack.com/p/trans-healthcare-is-healthcare-wpath

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I found Laura's concept of the "trans fantasy" useful and alarming.

It's a protean fantasy that allows youth who are bereft of real human sounding boards to fool themselves into thinking they can transcend the limitations of nature, their bodies and the culture in which they live.

So focused are they on themselves and their imminent liberation from the confinement imposed on them by sex and sex roles that they don't give a moment's thought to the real-world consequences of realizing their fantasy.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Laura's remark that some FTM believe that having a penis is not a prerequisite to holding themselves out to the world as a gay man. As a gay man myself, I find this presumptuousness horrifying. The only equally dark parallels are the entities in the Matrix whose physicality is just a "neural interactive simulation."

Putting all campiness aside for a moment, being gay is not just a state of mind. We have long and intimate histories with our male bodies that no trans man could ever have. Our gay male minds and bodies have long and complex experiences with our culture, society and other people that no trans man could ever understand. This trans fantasy is a bloody narcissistic nightmare.

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