Aren’t you just transphobic?
No, we believe that the trans community deserve the same civil and human rights as all of us. As the term ‘phobic’ literally means ‘irrational fear’ we want to make it very clear that we are not afraid of, or prejudiced against, trans people in any way.
You’re just part of the intolerant religious Right aren’t you?
No again. Within our group we have different or no religious or political affiliations. We set up this project only to support parents (and, indirectly, children) and we are examining the trans narrative only in how it is being applied to children and young people.
What do you mean by ‘the trans narrative’?
We mean the stories surrounding trans issues which have become regarded as fact and interpreted as universal truth. Although we respect everyone’s individual story and acknowledge the importance of hearing personal testimony, we feel this needs to be balanced with research and scientific inquiry in order to arrive at a realistic picture unprejudiced by personal beliefs.
Why can’t you just support trans people if you’ve got nothing against them?
Our concern is children. Whilst we have no objection to adults behaving in any way they choose (as long as they are not harming others) we also feel a responsibility to get things right for children, as they are the ones who may be harmed if the theories are wrong.
But if kids are really trans shouldn’t we just help them?
We don’t have any evidence that children really are trans, this is a very new phenomenon which is based on no credible scientific research. Children’s preference for particular toys and activities just reflects their personalities and we need to take care not to read any deeper meaning into their choices, but allow children to explore and form their own identities at their own pace. Behaviour which does not conform to rigid gender ‘norms’ is not unusual, and is not the same as the ‘gender dysphoria’ which causes the distress leading people to seek medical treatment. We are in danger of jumping to assumptions about children which are based on adult diagnoses.
What about the trans people who knew they were trans from a very young age?
We can’t speak for individuals and their personal experiences. We do know, however, that the nature of memory is to project current awareness backwards in time in order to affirm a present belief, so this has to be taken into account when we hear such experiences. In any case, it is reverse logic to say that because some people ‘always knew’ they were trans this means that every child exhibiting non gender-conforming behaviour must also therefore be trans.
Why do you deny that kids are much happier when parents accept they are trans?
We do hear these reports from parents in media stories about ‘trans kids,’ we don’t deny this can happen. We do, however, question the assumption that this happiness stems from being accepted for ‘who they really are’ or whether it is a result of the satisfaction gained in becoming the centre of attention and achieving special status amongst parents, teachers and peers. ‘Trans kids’ gain a lot of power amongst the adults around them, especially if the school also takes part in their ‘social transition.’ This is an irresistable situation for many children. We believe that children would ultimately be happier if parents accepted them for who they are, without labeling them ‘trans.’
You’re just forcing your own beliefs onto other people aren’t you?
No, our aim is just to provide an alternative source of information for parents worried that their child may be trans, as the information currently available online is overwhelmingly biased in one direction only. We believe that parents have a right to access all the relevant facts in order to be able to make informed decisions regarding their own children. Nobody is forced to agree with us.
You just can’t accept that the world has moved on, aren’t you just resisting reality like the homophobes of the past?
We abhor homophobia, just to make that clear. We wholeheartedly support everyone’s right to their own sexual orientation, and we agree that lesbian, gay and bi-sexual people had (and still have) a hard fight against discrimination. Transgender is not a sexual orientation and we don’t believe that current trans theory is ‘moving on’, but rather regressing to a state of conservative gender ‘norms’ which we are now imposing on children. We feel that truly progressive thought would accept that (for example) a boy can play with dolls, dress up in pretty things and enjoy female company and still be a boy. If left alone, most of these kids would grow up to be gay or lesbian, so labeling them ‘trans’ and setting them on a path of medication and sterilisation for life can be seen as a form of homophobia in itself.
Do your research! Don’t you know that gender is innate in the brain and some people are just born in the wrong body?
It’s more accurate to say that some people feel as if they have been born in the wrong body. To be a true conflict between brain and body at birth, there would need to be a ‘gender’ area of the brain which is innate, fixed, and as impervious to influence as the biologically sexed human body is. Everything we know about brain function suggests the opposite; the human brain is plastic, open to influence and suggestion, and responsive to nurture, environment and experience. We don’t mean to minimise the distress of sex dysphoria (which we accept is real) but we question its application to children. We reject the (discredited) idea that ‘gender’ is innate in the brain. Gender is a set of behaviour and personality expectations applied to sexed bodies, which can differ from culture to culture. It is impossible to separate any cognitive brain function from the environmental influences which help to shape it.