No child has the ‘right’ to transition

A sinister faction of the trans lobby wants even the youngest children to be given hormones and surgeries.

Malcolm Clark

Topics Identity Politics

What is the long-term goal of the trans lobby? A clue has been provided this week in New York magazine by its literary critic and leading trans activist, Andrea Long Chu.

Chu’s article is titled ‘The moral case for letting trans kids change their bodies’. Chu, who is a biologically male transwoman, argues that there should be unregulated access for all to cross-sex hormones and surgery. And Chu really means anyone, regardless of their psychiatric health or – and this is the really jaw-dropping part – their age.

He suggests that in order to achieve true trans liberation, ‘We must be prepared to defend the idea that, in principle, everyone should have access to sex-changing medical care, regardless of age, gender identity, social environment or psychiatric history’.

Chu certainly has form when it comes to making provocative statements. He famously credited ‘sissy porn’, a genre of pornography in which men are ‘feminised’ against their will, for his decision to transition. He previously came out with the observation that ‘getting fucked makes you female because fucked is what a female is’. He has also described the anus as ‘a kind of universal vagina through which femaleness can always be accessed’. Who knew?

Yet Chu is not some extremist on the fringes of the trans movement. In 2023, he won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for literary criticism and, as well as writing regularly for the New Yorker, his work has also been published in the New York Times. More disturbing still, Chu’s ideas about letting kids transition are neither new nor original. He is publicly defending the logic that has been used behind the scenes by the trans lobby for decades.

The evolution of this logic can be most clearly traced through the history of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the global authority on trans medicine. By a neat coincidence, WPATH was itself in the news last week after leaked documents seemed to reveal large-scale medical malpractice. In one set of leaked messages, WPATH medics discussed the ethics of prescribing puberty blockers to a developmentally delayed 13-year-old. Elsewhere, they talked about how the children they are treating often don’t understand the medical procedures they are ‘consenting’ to.

The idea that everyone should have the right to transition has its roots in the 1990s, when trans activists waged a relentless campaign against what they denounced as psychiatric ‘gatekeeping’. They targeted WPATH’s Standards of Care (SOC) guidelines, which did and still do inform the practices of many governments and hospitals across the world. According to activists, the guidelines at the time were unnecessarily restrictive. By treating transgenderism as a mental illness, activists claimed, WPATH was needlessly preventing trans people from accessing the treatment they were entitled to.

Back in 1990, WPATH – at the time called the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association – declared in its SOC that healthcare professionals needed to exercise caution when approving medical transitions. Sex reassignment, the guidelines said, ‘may be requested by persons experiencing short-termed delusions or beliefs, which may later be changed and reversed’.

They also warned that ‘case histories are known in which… the final result of such procedures proved to be psychologically debilitating to the patients’. In other words, it is safer to wait and see if a patient moves on from their gender dysphoria, rather than rushing them into life-changing treatments. This was unacceptable to trans activists.

Pressure from this campaign led the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association to change its name to WPATH in 2006 – all to remove the reference to ‘dysphoria’, a mental-health condition. A few years later, in 2010, WPATH issued a statement that went even further, announcing that transgenderism was an entirely normal variant of human diversity. As of 2012, the WPATH guidance on patients with ‘delusions’ had been rewritten to read that ‘clinicians may mistake indications of gender dysphoria for delusions’. This wording remains in the current version of the SOC today.

From then on, someone claiming to be ‘born in the wrong body’ was no longer treated as having an illness that could be cured. But if gender dysphoria is not a medical problem, then why do those who suffer from it demand medical interventions?

The trans lobby ignores this contradiction. Instead, it simply asserts that access to ‘gender-affirming’ healthcare is a fundamental human right. And this brings us back to Andrea Long Chu’s distinctly creepy thesis. Essentially it boils down to this: how can society not extend a fundamental human right to its children?

As it turns out, there are plenty of human rights that society does not extend to children. If anyone argued that children had a fundamental human right to work or to marry we would think them bonkers or worse. Yet the trans movement wants us to believe that those who have not yet gone through puberty should be given the choice to make radical and permanent changes to their bodies.

Once again, trans ideology proves itself to be a looming danger to children, as well as to adults suffering from mental ill-health. Andrea Long Chu has unwittingly done us a great service by revealing where the trans lobby wants to take us.

Malcolm Clark is a TV producer.

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Topics Identity Politics


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