Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body is an important new book edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore and published by Cambridge Scholars. It brings together a diverse selection of writers, all concerned about the current trend to medically transition children and adolescents. Each author – parents, academics, activists, professionals, an adult transsexual, a lesbian and a detransitioned young woman – contribute a chapter from their unique perspective.
Here’s a short excerpt from each chapter to whet your appetite:
Chapter One: The Fabrication of the ‘Transgender Child’ by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore
“The purpose of the book is to extend the conversation about transgenderism. Lack of open debate about transgendering children is a casualty of a current culture of offense-taking and identity politics which has had a serious impact on many aspects of free speech. Progressive politics and ethics should surely compel us to reflect upon and discuss theories and practices that may lead to the chemical and surgical transformation of the healthy bodies of children and teenagers. As a society, we are all morally responsible for our young people and, in our view, it is a derogation of our responsibility if, as adults, we did not openly talk about such a serious topic.”
Chapter Two: The Transgender Experiment on Children by Stephanie Davies-Arai
“In using the term ‘transgender kids’ it is not the kids we are protecting and advocating for but the ideology itself. More sinisterly, the word is used by transgender organisations as an umbrella term for all so-called ‘gender questioning’, ‘gender non-conforming’ and ‘gender variant’ children, thus sweeping up all children who don’t conform 100% to stereotype. The ‘transgender’ label treats all ‘gender dysphoric’ children as a homogenous group; the reason an infant boy who loves playing with dolls believes he is really a girl becomes exactly the same reason a troubled autism spectrum teenage girl thinks she is really a boy: ‘because they are transgender.'”
Chapter Three: Gendered Mis-Intelligence: The Fabrication Of ‘The Transgender Child’ by Heather Brunskell-Evans
“I demonstrate that the figure of the ‘transgender child’ is no more objective and no less political than the figure of the ‘pathological homosexual’, ‘the macho man’ and ‘the inferior woman’ that conventional liberal wisdom is now happy to consign to history. I suggest that ‘the transgender child’ should be equally understood as a socially constructed identity that should be rejected. In contrast to enabling freedom, by insisting that gender is inherent rather than a social construct, the gendered intelligence offered by transgender doctrine to children, parents and society at large endorses the very gendered norms of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ it is purported to revolutionize.”
Chapter Four: I’m Not A Hideously Bigoted Parent Who Doesn’t Get It by Gender Critical Dad
“I write my blog in part, because it’s better than having a chest full of feelings that I can’t make sense of as a parent with a daughter who says she wants to be a man. If I can write my confusions down it becomes easier to understand myself. I write the blog in part, to let other people know they are not alone if they question trans dogma. My personal story seems to have connected with some people and sometimes helped them, which is just so good. I write the blog in part to contribute to the cause of transcritical thinking; ‘defeating the Transgender doctrine and the dogma of Gender Identity’ I mean.”
Chapter Five: ‘Trans’ Kids: LGB Adults Come Out by Josephine Bartosch
“My partner and I have had many conversations about how if we were coming out now it would likely be as ‘transgender’ because neither of us fit into the rigid category of ‘feminine’. While my thirteen year-old peers were watching Friends and coating themselves with Impulse body spray I reeked of bonfire smoke and was reading The Beano. My partner was gazing at her baseball boots and shuffling to Indie bands. I am grateful that we grew into healthy women and found one another. Our scars have healed and we have learnt to accept, if not love, our female bodies and we still don’t fit the conventional feminine mould.”
Chapter Six: The Language Of The Psyche: Symptoms And Symbols by Lisa Marchiano
“To take something seriously, however, does not mean taking it literally. There is a space in between where metaphor proliferates, and curiosity is cultivated. If we cannot access the in between, we either reject expressions of soul as mere delusion, or we take such expressions concretely. The symbolic content that the psyche would have us look at becomes concretized and flattened, or brushed aside as “nothing but”. Either way, we forfeit the ability to see a larger psychic and symbolic meaning. The work of attending to soul means trying to carefully inhabit that middle, in between space of the symbolic realm.”
Chapter Seven: The Body Factory: Twentieth Century Stories Of Sex Change by Susan Matthews
“The twentieth century marked a growing tendency to view experience “in a medical framework where the medical view is seen as the authoritative, if not hegemonic, view”. The first novel to describe a physical sex change may be Gore Vidal’s 1968 Myra Breckinbridge, published soon after the John Hopkins gender identity clinic began surgical gender reassignment. Twentieth century fictions show that the story of “transgender” is a recent invention that the “authentic self” realized through “gender affirmation” is, historically, as new as the technologies that make it possible.”
Chapter Eight: A Full Life Uninterrupted By Transition by Miranda Yardley
“If we can accept that “gender identity” is a preference for the cultural conventions applicable to a particular sex, is it such a leap to suggest that for girls who are masculine (or boys who are feminine), such personality traits are being interpreted as an indicator that the child’s “gender identity” is not correspondent with the child’s sex? Is this not tantamount to suggesting that personality determines sex? Of course, children’s preferences can change suddenly and just as cultural ideas of gender are not stable over time, neither is the gender non-conforming behaviour of children.”
Chapter Nine: Unheard Voices Of Detransitioners by Carey Maria Catt Callahan
“We talked about all the ways we had hurt ourselves. Transition was only one way out of many. There were drugs, starving yourself, abusive relationships disguised as kinky ones. There were groups of “friends” who we believed it was normal to be scared of, normal to find that one day you were the one called out, and on that day it would be normal for you to lose all of your important relationships at once. There were radical queer scenes where credibility depended on sexual availability – attending the right sex parties, proving you would date or at least have sex with every gender in every kind of body. We talked about the times we had given ourselves away trying to measure up, to prove ourselves righteous standard bearers for a radical queer politic that more than our action, more than our intelligence, more than our solidarity, demanded sexual access.”
Chapter Ten: The View From The Consulting Room by Robert Withers
“What are some of the possible unconscious psychological factors underlying gender dysphoria? I realise that asking this question makes me vulnerable to accusations of transphobia. But I believe that such accusations do trans-people a disservice by discouraging them from considering alternatives to life-long hormone treatment and surgery. They also perpetuate the cultural stigmatisation of mental illness by bowing to it. That stigmatisation probably arises from a deep seated fear of our own madness. With the publication of books such as the present one, comes the hope that the tide is finally turning as a growing number of health professionals, trans-individuals and their friends and families become willing to consider alternatives to the medicalisation of transgendered states.”
Chapter Eleven: Trans Utopias: Transhumanism, Transfeminism and Manufacturing The Self by Jen Izaakson
“In the usual case of gender policing the person is objectified by someone else: a young female body scrutinised and coerced into coming into line with the gendered expectations of ‘girl’ ‘woman’ and femininity. The affects of gender are awarded to sex. The policing of gender non-conformity by those acting with the assumptions of gender identity theory encourages you to objectify yourself: are the affects of gender awarded to your sex out of sync? Are you a female-bodied individual who fails at femininity? If so, alter your sex or find an identity that clarifies this inconsistency. This lack or deficit needs remedy.”
Chapter Twelve: Standing Up For Girls And Boys by Michele Moore
“In the UK, as in a number of other countries, pressure on parents to accept medical practices which intervene to transform the bodies of their gender nonconforming children is increasing. Even though there is no evidence base for medical transition of children, parents who worry about medicalisation are assured by a number of sources (media, doctors, teachers, transgender activists) that subjecting their child to social and physical gender correction will empower their child, make them less anxious about their personal choices, allow them to ‘fit in’ socially when they are older and, by implication, facilitate them to have comfortable sexual partnerships as adolescents and adults.”
If these extracts have tempted you and you want to read more, the book is available at a 50% discount this month and you can get a further 20% discount by using the code TRANSGENDER20. We are happy to report that the reason the publisher is offering this amazing deal is that sales of the book so far have exceeded all expectations. We hope this indicates a shift in public consciousness about the issue of medical transitioning of children and a realisation of the need for open debate.
Please encourage your local library, school or relevant organisation to buy a copy now while this offer is on and help spread the word!
This Post Has 8 Comments
Is it possible to buy this as an ebook?
We have asked the editors to suggest this to the publisher so hopefully there will be an ebook version coming.
I have drafted a letter and plan to send it to every school district, principal, “gender clinic”, college, gender professor, state representative, and medical doctor in my state and with whom I’ve been in contact with. And some parents as well.
i believe that no man can be a human female a woman, i agree with the trans-exclusif women feminists
but there is one thing that worries me, is the continuation that a man or male has to be big tall muscular or if he is short he has to look like a man has to accept of being hairy have short hair or have to accept of being bald has to accept or has to have a high concentration of testostérone, all physical traits inforcement
i am a very short (161 cm) thin bone white caucasian male, i have all my white hair neck length, i never had facial nor body hair because being vegetarian all my Life, i look like a manga character and i like myself in that image and i would like to be allowed to look like this in my country
i am also asexual (by choice), i also would like to be allowed in my country
My local library has a form to recommend the purchase of books. I filled it out for this one. I hope they take me on on it. They always have a huge display of books pushing gender theory on teenagers.
Thank you so much!
Trans activists are giving the book 1 star reviews at Amazon UK. I doubt any of them have read it. If you do purchase a copy, please consider posting an honest review at Amazon(although it is considerably cheaper to get it direct from cambridgescholars.com)
Pingback: What we need is education. - Lily MaynardLily Maynard