We don’t normalise having cancer and we don’t normalise medical conditions, yet society is normalising transgenderism, which trivialises my grief and pain. My earliest memory of sensing that I might be different to the other kids was as a four-year old boy trying on a white frilly girl’s dress. It felt comfortable, but I didn’t give it further thought after that. At that stage in life I didn’t exhibit behaviour and thought typical of acute early onset gender dysphoria, such as using a nail clipper to try to cut off my penis. I was just a typical boy who had an inkling that he might’ve been different to the other boys.
I started to play around in my mother’s wardrobe during primary school, and it wasn’t until I was 11 did I start to feel I was in the wrong body, and recognise that I was experiencing gender dysphoria. My dysphoria grew naturally, and started to eat up a lot of my time on a daily basis. Despite frequent contact with healthcare professionals during my teenage years, none were willing or able to support my parents in understanding my life debilitation, which didn’t start to alleviate until I started my male-to-female transition circa 2010.
Fast forward to 2017, the normalisation of transgenderism in Western society has been a swing too far to the left. In the early years of my transition, I felt justified in believing this would be good for society. It was an immature Roz Ward-style response to the perceived injustice I experienced as a teenager. But I’ve come to realise that I was wrong – as a trans woman I should’ve known better about the dangers of normalising transgenderism in society.
Transgender people should be vetted thoroughly before receiving medical treatment, and should be rare. Once upon a time it was rare, and generally stigmatised by society. While I’m grateful that the stigma has significantly diminished in recent years, I am disturbed by the social normalisation and demedicalisation of transgenderism. Despite receiving the best ongoing medical treatment for gender dysphoria I could ever ask for, my dysphoria still causes me grief and pain. But that’s my grief and pain to carry. And it’s the responsibility of adults to deal with the struggles of life.
Sadly, some adults in positions of power think it’s okay to send the message to children that they can be whatever gender they want to be. The push to normalise transgenderism in schools breaks my heart. My grief and pain has turned into a political football, known as radical gender theory, for children to play with under the guise of Safe Schools and similar programs. Transgenderism should stick to the doctor’s room, not the classroom.
With the exception of a tiny minority of genuine cases of gender dysphoria, children are not capable of experiencing gender dysphoria. I myself a genuine case of gender dysphoria, did not experience serious gender dysphoria until my teenage years. Known research on this matter show that many children who think they have gender dysphoria will grow out of it. We should be thankful that children can grow out of the grief and pain that I still experience. After all, children are impressionable.
The life that awaits a transgender child is a life of grief and pain, that is, if the child does genuinely have gender dysphoria. Indeed, it’s much more difficult these days to tell if a child does have real gender dysphoria or not. The rise of “rapid onset gender dysphoria”, or ROGD, is the result of the normalisation of transgenderism.
ROGD, as opposed to traditional early onset gender dysphoria, which is what I have, has only appeared in the past decade in Western society, in which teenagers suddenly identify as transgender, without any typical childhood history of gender dysphoria. This out-of-the-blue phenomenon is cause for concern, and will only continue to pervade society as we continue to normalise transgenderism. This is all more the reason why Safe Schools and the like have to go.
Whatever happened to the healthcare professional’s moral obligation to “first, do no harm”? Medical treatment should always be the last resort for treating children with alleged gender dysphoria, and I don’t take that position comfortably. As it turns out, I, a 20-something-year-old trans woman, genuinely have gender dysphoria since childhood, but it didn’t even become serious until my teenage years.
My message to the adults who support Safe Schools: just because we may have had it hard growing up and beyond, it doesn’t make it right to pass the pain and grief onto our children. Our children are impressionable. They’re vulnerable. Why would we want them to go through with it early in life when none of that’s necessary? Let kids be kids, and as adults, we have a moral responsibility to ensure that.
Libby DownUnder is an Australian video blogger on social media (mainly Facebook). She’s in her late twenties, and she transitioned to the female gender in her early twenties.
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