'Why are we so scared to admit many people regret changing their gender?' - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14988702
Joe Shute wrote:This week – as has been the case on some 50 previous occasions since he first made headlines for attempting to conduct research into people who had regretted changing their gender – James Caspian received a poignant email.

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Confidentiality is paramount to Caspian, a trained psychotherapist, and so he is careful on which details he discloses. The note was written by a British woman who transitioned to a man after being sexually abused as a child. It was only much later, the correspondent informed him, that they realised it was a terrible mistake. The decision to transition was an attempt to escape the trauma of the abuse. But at the time, no professional who assisted in the process had attempted to delve into the reasons why.

His correspondent stressed there were others, too, in a similar situation whose voices needed to be heard. ‘This is a massive wheel that needs to start rolling,’ the letter said.

Next week marks 59-year-old Caspian’s latest attempt to do just that. On Tuesday, his barrister will conduct an oral hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in his latest bid to secure a judicial review into a decision by Bath Spa University to ban a proposed piece of research on people reversing their gender reassignment surgery and transition.

Caspian wanted to undertake the self-funded research exploring issues around a perceived rise in the number of people undergoing such operations, which they later revoked.

But the university rejected his proposal. Caspian had previously warned them that it might be deemed “politically incorrect” to discuss transitioning, and was subsequently told that doing so ‘carried a risk to the university’ and made it liable to attacks on social media – as well as himself.

An unassuming, intensely private man, Caspian hoped by this stage of his career to be quietly focusing on his academic research and specialist psychotherapy work.

But instead he has found himself embroiled in a long-running and very public spat. He believes his case underlines a wider point about fear over sensitivity towards trans issues stifling public debate.

The complexity of this conversation was further highlighted last week as the most senior judge in the Family Division of the High Court heard a case bought by a transgender man, identified only as TT, who has given birth to a child, referred to as YY, and wants to be referred to on the birth certificate as the father, not the mother.

The Registrar-General, though, has insisted that TT is YY’s mother. That, according to TT’s legal team, amounts to “discrimination”. Were the case to be decided in his favour, it would make the baby the first in Britain to be born without a mother.

Caspian is too keenly aware of the irascible nature of the trans lobby to comment specifically on that case. But he does say the minefield posed by identity politics has spread fear among the establishment.

“I hear many doctors, psychiatrists and clinicians very worried about what is happening and will openly say in private they can’t say anything because they might get sacked,” he says. “What is happening is policy and law is being made without due consideration of solid research and scientific reviewed evidence.”

It has been more than a year since I first met Caspian at his seaside home near Hastings in the midst of a crowd funding campaign which has since raised £23,000 towards his appeal.

Since then his beloved German shepherd, Sparky, has passed away and been replaced by another, Brodie, and he has switched allegiances from the Hastings Philharmonic Choir to the Hastings Occasional Consort with whom he sings bass.

His legal bid, however, remains in stasis. This week’s hearing marks his third attempt to secure a judicial review. While deeply frustrating, the process has hardened his ambition.

“It has made me see even more how much research is needed than I did before,” he says. “The numbers are rising and will continue as far as I can see. We need to hear from these people. That work needs to be done. It doesn’t matter who does it. It needs to be really critically examined.”

After his case came to light, several academics have spoken out in support. Last October a group of 54 academics from a range of universities (including Bath Spa) wrote a letter to the Guardian newspaper outlining their concerns over ‘the suppression of proper academic analysis and discussion of the social phenomenon of transgenderism’ including campus protests, calls for dismissal in the press, harassment and attempts to censor research and publications.

‘We maintain that it is not transphobic to investigate and analyse this area from a range of critical academic perspectives,’ the letter concluded. ‘We think this research is sorely needed and urge the government to take the lead in protecting any such research from ideologically driven attack’.

The great irony of Caspian’s story is that it would be hard to find a professional more attuned to transgender issues. A psychotherapist and trustee of the transgender charity the Beaumont Trust, Caspian had worked with transgender patients for eight years when he enrolled for the MA at Bath Spa University, which he planned to undertake in his spare time on top of his professional work.

He proposed the research following a discussion with a leading surgeon in the field called Dr Miroslav Djordjevic, who said he had recently carried out seven reversal surgeries.

Caspian had also received online approaches from young women in the US who told him they had undergone double mastectomies and been injected with male hormones, only to change their minds.

Noticing how quickly any discussion around the subject was dismissed by trans activists, he warned the university that he may face attacks on social media, but was willing to do so in order to explore the subject fully.

“It was clear something was happening in the field of transgender medicine that had not happened before and furthermore had never been researched,” he says. “We needed to know about it in order to practise ethically.”

His intention was to present the research at the European Professional Association for Transgender Health in Belgrade, but in late 2016, was informed by the university that the application had been declined.

“I was shocked but immediately knew I was in the eye of a storm,” he says. “The reason for refusing permission fed into the reason why so important to do this research. Because it was something people didn’t want to talk about.”

Caspian’s dispute with the university has raged on ever since. In a statement released to the Telegraph, Bath Spa University insisted it has carried out a full internal investigation and added that the case had been separately considered by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education which determined last October that its conclusion in respect of the research was “reasonable."

The University claims the research proposal “was not refused on the grounds of topic, but on the methodological approach” following concerns over the “anonymity of participants and the confidentiality of data”.

When the story came to light, as well as many messages of support Caspian, was subjected to online abuse by the trans lobby, with people questioning his professional qualifications. He says the criticism has since calmed down, although he admits he has largely stopped looking for it.

At the forefront of his mind remains the harrowing messages from those who have transitioned and since regretted it.

“Some of them have been very desperate,” he says. “Some have really disturbed me. I’ve been worried for their safety and urged them to contact somebody who can council them and support them emotionally.”

Caspian’s wish throughout all of this remains simple – a desire for academic rigour to examine the scale of the issue. “We need to hear from these people,” he says. “This needs to be critically examined.”

The Telegraph
#14988762
People regret a lot of things in life that they do. Some things are easier to change than others. Allowing people the freedom to do these things however, is one of the issues.

For every one who makes a mistake, there is someone who is happy because they made the choice right for them.

I don't believe that there's any fear involved, unless you happen to be a trans person in the USA...
#14989157
I think it's pretty mental how quick doctors offer gender reassignment surgery over therapy for why someone isn't comfortable in their body, you know, like what they offer anorexics.

I don't understand how anyone can feel like they're the opposite sex when they've never had any real experience of being the opposite sex.

I also don't think changing your genitalia or getting hormones blockers are going to turn you into the opposite sex, but it might make you feel better.
#14989161
Well, no doctor wants to go down in history as the Joseph Mengele of his day. Butchering peoples' genitalia and pumping them full of hormones when their genetic code tells a different story isn't likely to hold up scientifically in the future. I imagine when this practice comes crashing down the legal industry is going to have a field day with it.

"Did you have transgender surgery and post surgical regrets? Call 1 800 SUE TRANS for your free consultation. You may be entitled to multi-million dollar damages. Call now!"
#14989164
skinster wrote:I think it's pretty mental how quick doctors offer gender reassignment surgery over therapy for why someone isn't comfortable in their body, you know, like what they offer anorexics.

I don't understand how anyone can feel like they're the opposite sex when they've never had any real experience of being the opposite sex.

I also don't think changing your genitalia or getting hormones blockers are going to turn you into the opposite sex, but it might make you feel better.


What is truly mental is this self-righteous sense that many people in our society have about controlling other people's life. If they regret the decision they made... if they can revert it fine, if they can't too bad, they should have thought the consequences better and end of story. It works with a tattoo, with a shitty boyfriend/girlfriend, boob job or even gender re-assignment.

The only caveat I see, is that people should be assessed in their decision-making capacity and when warranted psychological evaluation might be indicated. And this should not be limited to gender re-assignment. This is something that is expected for any type of surgery and especially cosmetic surgery. There are people that have psychological issues that drive them towards doing harmful stuff to themselves and if there is good reason to believe patient X suffers from one of such conditions, his/her doctor should postpone a nose job, tummy tuck, boob job or penis cutting until further psychological evaluation.

Minors is another difficult issue. In one hand we might have babies with genetic disorders and ambiguous genitalia that might benefit from their parents making a decision on his/her behalf as intervening early might lead to better physical appearance/health as well as a more "traditional" psychological development. In the other hand, you might have a teenager that is still not a legal adult that wants to proceed with gender re-assignment. These are ethical/moral problems that are very difficult to address.
#14989166
blackjack21 wrote:Well, no doctor wants to go down in history as the Joseph Mengele of his day. Butchering peoples' genitalia and pumping them full of hormones when their genetic code tells a different story isn't likely to hold up scientifically in the future. I imagine when this practice comes crashing down the legal industry is going to have a field day with it.

"Did you have transgender surgery and post surgical regrets? Call 1 800 SUE TRANS for your free consultation. You may be entitled to multi-million dollar damages. Call now!"

Nonsense. You could not sue a surgeon for a gender reassignment surgery for the sole reason that you changed your mind AFTER the fact in the same way you cannot sue a surgeon for giving you the D tits you asked for if you later changed your mind, or a tattoo "artist" for giving you a tattoo and then you change your mind.
#14989173
skinster wrote:Not sure how having an opinion is trying to change anyone's life, but ok.

As to the other stuff you mentioned, I think it'd be cool if doctors waited until kids were at least 18, before offering surgery. Like they do with boob jobs and such.

Sometimes it is not as simple as just saying that.
First, the "18 years" is just an arbitrary number that we have customary come to accept but it ultimately does not mean anything. There is evidence that suggests that brain continues to develop until our mid 20's and certainly we have all met plenty of 12-15-year-old adolescent kids that are WAY WAY WAY more mature, intelligent, wise than many other adults or even people into their 40's and 50's. Age is just a number.

Most importantly, "just wait" can be just as harmful to everyone involved. Just google "ambiguous genitalia" and ask yourself if you would have wanted to live into your teens with any of such defects without your parents intervening early on as to avoid your pain, health problems, and psychological stress.

Again. Many people in their mind think there are some kind of evil scientists trying to chop infants penis for some weird fetish but that is far from the case.
#14989179
XogGyux wrote:Many people in their mind think there are some kind of evil scientists trying to chop infants penis for some weird fetish but that is far from the case.

Ah c'mon. Just admit it...
#14989182
skinster wrote:"Just wait" can also be not harmful and a responsible way to deal with this issue. Like, maybe prescribe a bunch of therapy until that age to see if the child is ready for such life-changing surgery, rather than offering it immediately to children like what goes on today.

Again, you seem to be under the impression that any surgeon or parent that is in this position is in this position because they have some kind of fetish to snip penises or mutilate vaginas or that a decision such as this "imposed" on a baby would be because parents would whimsically want to change their perfect baby's gender just because they want to... This is the problem with the oversimplification of complex issues.
Would you feel the same about every other procedure? What about cleft palate? do you want to wait until 18 years of age to fix that as well?
#14989186
@XogGyux do you really think there are no ethical issues involved in giving life-changing hormone treatments to pre-pubescent children? To liken it to surgery to fix a cleft palate is absurd.

Also the idea that @skinster is the one "oversimplifying a complex issue" when you're the one who has come in raging at the very idea that we should stop and consider the harm/benefits of gender reassignment, is actually laughable.

Gender reassignment surgery, particularly of children, is an incredibly serious decision with life-changing consequences. It shouldn't be trivialised by anyone, particularly not those who are simply trying to win woke-points on the internet.
#14989189
skinster wrote:I think it's you that considers surgery to be a fetish, since only you keeps mentioning it.

And I suppose you're right I am over-simplifying this issue where cleft palate surgery is the same as gender reassignment surgery.

No, on the contrary, I am exposing the flaws of your line of thinking.
I clearly stated that some situations, specially those involving minors and/or people that could have psychological issues are trickier and ethically difficult to address. An all-inclusive method of "baning prior 18y of age" is not only unfeasable and unethical but also closed minded, idiotic and harmful for those minors and their parents.

Clearly, a parent seeking to pursue such kind of surgery in an otherwise healthy kid without said obvious deformity/ambiguity should not be able to proceed with such plan. As for adolescent in their 10-17 year of age, this can be extremely tricky with ethical, psychological and physical ramifications that should be addressed on a case by case fashion in a multidisciplinary way.

@XogGyux do you really think there are no ethical issues involved in giving life-changing hormone treatments to pre-pubescent children? To liken it to surgery to fix a cleft palate is absurd.

Read again my posts. You are mistaken that I am not considering the ethical issues, in fact, I put them forth.
#14989197
The reason why some people are reluctant to discuss this regret is because it has been wraponised against trans people by transphobes.

While trans people would probably benefit from the work of the professor in the OP, it would also add ammunition to those who want to focus on this regret as a sign that trans people are just mentally confused weirdos with unrealistic ideas.



    This can’t be stressed enough; no one would choose to transition given the resistance to it within society. I never wanted to be Transgender, and the fact that I personally wasted 39 years trying to be a man should be proof of my attempt to resist this identity crisis.

    Our detractors like to spill lies about “Transition Regret;” as though everyone who does transition will immediately suffer from some form of remorse. Statistically 2–3% of people will have this issue. That being said, 97% of transitioners will be better, happier individuals after they transition. My question for the 2–3% who regret their transition would be: If society didn’t hate Transgender individuals or you never lost the love of your family and friends over the course of your transition, would you regret the change?
    My follow-up to anyone who would still regret their transition would involve their own mental health.

    The woefully ironic part of the anti-trans narrative has a lot to do with pegging us as “Mentally ill,” and that we need mental health. The irony, of course, is that those making such a statement are often too ignorant to understand that most Transgender individuals are in counseling. The WPATH standards of care have guidelines for counseling as it pertains to transition milestones; it is almost always necessary to further a medical transition because counseling letters facilitate hormonal and surgical authorizations. So when we’re told we’re in need of counseling, we’ve actually already entered counseling, and in most cases, transition is recommended by our counselors to alleviate the stress of the body/brain incongruence.

    This brings me back to that 2–3% anomaly of transitional regret. Were these individuals properly diagnosed in the first place? It would seem to me that such a low statistic of transitional regret could easily be relative to the competency of some of the mental health professionals involved. While there are Transgender individuals who do actually have personality disorders, there are undoubtedly some who simply had their personality disorders misidentified as gender dysphoria and thus began to transition at the suggestion of their counselor.
    Regardless, it’s disheartening that so many uneducated people seem to think that this small pool of regret should be weaponized against the 97% whose lives will be better off after transition. With our suicide statistic at a whopping 41%; denying transition would have a significant and measurable impact on the Transgender community. For a conservative individual to fight for the rights of an unborn child but seek to deny the right to transition when doing so can circumvent suicide seems woefully hypocritical to me.

    Now, to be totally fair, I have met one person who has told me they regretted transition and would go back if they could. Their reason for this has nothing to do with their comfort in their skin. No, their distress is entirely based on how they’ve been treated by society. From assault, sexual assault, abuse by law enforcement, and the disintegration of familial bonds; it was abundantly clear to me that just living in a loving and accepting society would have spared this soul from much superfluous distress. Unfortunately for many it would seem that being cruel is far easier than treating others as they’d like to be treated.

I only quoted the most relevant excerpts. I invite everyone to read the whole article, as it is very illuminating.
#14989199
skinster wrote:My thinking is without flaws, shut up. :D

Sure.
Anyhow. My view is that whenever possible, life-altering decisions that delaying will not have an impact on the normal development of the child should be reserved until such time the "child" can participate in the decision making to a reasonable degree. Not fixing a malformation, be it a cleft palate or a deformed genital, unfortunately, is a time sensitive matter and I do think parents should make the decision on behalf of their children with the aid of medical professionals and perhaps with the aid of genetics (e.i. genetic sex of the child). This is not an easy decision and it is certainly not without consequences but more often than not, waiting is simply not the most reasonable approach.

Like I said before. I think it is very unethical for a parent to "choose" the opposite gender just for the sake of doing so.

An adolescent child in their 10-17 years is the most trickier of all the situations. This is tricky because we have arbitrary set "18" in many western countries as the age of adulthood but we also conceptually understand that nothing happens at the 364th midnight of your 17th year that gives you special powers as an adult. We even have laws such as "romeo and juliet" law for consensual sex between teenagers.
Again, the issue in this age group is one of proper informed consent. And like I said before, I think in situations such as this, the most reasonable approach is a case-by-case multidisciplinary approach involving the teenager, the parents, doctors, psychiatrist/psychologist.
Yes, it is entirely possible that a 15 year old will "make the wrong decision" and have to live with such decision for the rest of his/her life (or perhaps have to reverse it if possible at some point) but this is not unlike anything else such as playing football (you could break your neck and die, or grind your brain into gelatin), not studying (failing to secure college and thus putting a hard cap on your earning potentials and quality of life) etc. Teenagers do life-altering decisions all the times, they should not be shielded from making these decisions just based on a number.
This does not mean either that I think they should be able to go on their own to a clinic and go ahead with major surgery on their own. This is also inappropriate.
#14989201
I doubt transitioning really helps people much, people who are that fixated on their sex and gender likely have deeper issues than what can be resolved by some vain indulgence like sex reassignment. But now that I think about it most people are idiotically fixated on their sex and gender identity, they just don't experience a conflict within themselves between the two. When you really consider all severe psycho-spiritual deficits and dysfunctions we suffer from as people if you're focusing on your gender identity you're just focusing on the wrong shit.
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