Change Your World-NOT your Body

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Live and Let Live…? (A Reblog of my Wife's Latest)

Thanks to everybody for your feedback on my last post, A Lesbian Psychologist Speaks Out. It is truly heartening to know that Dirt & I aren’t the only ones out there who are concerned; Dirt has been warning people for years about the devastation the trans trend is bringing upon the lesbian community…years before anyone else even got a whiff of trouble.

Even the polite feedback that did not 100% agree with my thoughts is appreciated.  For example, a fellow lesbian on Twitter very politely told me that she found my post interesting, but then stated that she felt we all should accept and support the transgender trend, because “it’s their body, their choice.” and “Hormones, surgeries…not my place to say it’s wrong.”

On the surface, that does sound reasonable, doesn’t it?  After all, when we are talking about adults (ones who have not been deemed incompetent by a court of law), we must recognize that adults do indeed have the legal right to do whatever they want to their body as long as it does not over cross the line into illegal behavior.

As just a few examples, legally competent adults have the right to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, to eat Whoppers and fries for every meal, to starve ourselves to rail-thinness, to perform extreme and painful body modifications, to have unprotected sex (as long as we are not knowingly passing on any STDs), to walk barefoot in the Sahara desert when it is 104 degrees, to binge and purge, to skinny dip in Alaska on the coldest day of the century, to burn ourselves with cigarettes, to self-harm with razor blades, to consume Mad Dog 20/20 in copious amounts, to have so many facelifts that we can no longer blink, etc.

But are all of those healthy decisions?  Are all of these actions that should be supported, honored, exalted, and encouraged?  Um…no. And the same is true of the transgender trend.
So: I am not disputing adults’ legal right to transition, or to do any of the other dangerous  and/or unwise behaviors listed above.

But: As both a lesbian and a psychologist, I am questioning the wisdom of a profession and a society that wholeheartedly supports the transgender trend, which is, among many other concerns: an ideology that is based upon John Money’s long-ago-discredited theory; a doctrine that suggests that there is a “right way” or “wrong way” to be a female (or a male); a diagnosis that typically leads to the unnecessary and dangerous use of cross-sex hormones and/or surgeries; and a cancer that has both divided and decimated the lesbian community.

Do legally competent adults have the right to transition?  Yes, of course.

But is it right for society, for the government, for the media, for our fellow lesbians, and for the professional community to promote and support this sinister trend?  No. Not by a long shot.

Here’s the thing:  Even if an adult is legally competent to make  such dangerous decisions for herself, it doesn’t mean that she fully understands her own subconscious reasons for making those decisions.
She likely doesn’t fully process all of the factors that led her to believe she is trans, which , of course, varies from person to person, but often includes variations of some or all the following: lack of societal acceptance as a female who doesn’t fit into the stereotypical mold; lack of her family’s and/or society’s acceptance as a lesbian; social contagion; possible trauma; seeing being transgender exalted while lesbians are disparaged, misrepresented, and/or ignored; reacting to being a woman in a misogynistic society and naturally wanting the privileges she sees males automatically getting; and simply accepting the trans narrative as truth.

Also, it should be noted that being legally competent to make her own decisions does not mean she fully understands the possible ramifications of her decisions.  Most people just skip over the possible side effects and potential negative consequences, particularly when highly motivated for a goal.
This document is one example of an “Informed Consent” form to initiate testosterone therapy. Most people barrel through the fine print before scribbling their signature to obtain the long-awaited “prize”.

But let’s stop and really look at this form, shall we?

First, at the top, the form notes that there are known risks to testosterone usage and states that the patient is encouraged to “think about the potential effects of this treatment before signing.”
Then we go on to review the permanent effects of testosterone therapy in #1: “Hair loss, especially at my temples and crown of my head, possibly male pattern baldness; Facial hair growth; Deepening of voice;  Increased body hair growth (i.e., on arms, legs, chest, back, buttocks, and abdomen, etc.); Enlargement of clitoris.

Note that permanent means…well, permanent.  So, even if she changes her mind later, she will likely have lost the hair on her head but will likely still have hair on her ass. This in itself ought to be a deterrent, IMHO, but, sadly, it is not usually a deal-breaker.

The potentially reversible effects are also concerning, particularly the one about “Increased red blood cells“.  If you are interested in why this should be concerning, read about polycythemia.
Then we go on to note in #2 that the effects of testosterone therapy are unknown and if she changes her mind in the future and wants to become pregnant, she may not be able to.

#3 is chilling.  Please read this statement carefully, then reread it, then really THINK about the implications:  “I understand that brain structures are affected by testosterone and estrogen. The long term effects of changing the levels of one’s natal estrogen through the use of testosterone therapy have not been scientifically studied and are impossible to predict.

#4 continues this alarming trend by explaining that basically doctors don’t really have a freaking clue what is going to happen: “I understand that everyone’s body is different and that there is no way to predict what my response to hormones will be.”

On that less-than-cheery note, let’s examine #5: “I will have complete physical examinations and lab tests periodically as required to make sure I am not having an adverse reaction to testosterone and to continue good health care.”  Translation: “We know that adverse effects happen, and we want to cover our asses.”

#6 should alarm you even if the other warnings haven’t:  “I have been informed that using testosterone may increase my risk of developing diabetes in the future because of changes in my ovaries.”  Hmm.  Increased risk of diabetes.  Not good, huh?

#7 continues with more dire warnings: “I understand that the endometrium (lining of the uterus) is able to turn testosterone into estrogen and may increase the risk of cancer of the endometrium.” If brain structure changes and diabetes didn’t scare you, cancer should.

#8 states: “I understand that testosterone therapy should not be relied upon to prevent pregnancy.” You wouldn’t think that would be a problem for lesbians, but sadly, it is, because of a largely misunderstood, often unknown, and seemingly puzzling phenomenon that happens when lesbians start taking testosterone: they often start craving sex with men. As completely unthinkable as this prospect is to lesbians (Ewwww!), it indeed has been noted to happen with alarming frequency once lesbians start taking testosterone.

#9 is directly related to #8 because having unprotected sex is very risky: “I understand the effects of testosterone therapy by itself will not provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.

#10 and #11 are related: “10. Annual breast exams, monthly self-exams, and annual mammograms/cancer screenings after the age of 40 are highly recommended even after chest reconstruction. 11. I understand fatty tissue in the breasts and body is able to turn excess testosterone into estrogen, which may increase my risk of breast cancer…”  Another cancer warning!!

#12 brings another dire warning:  “I have been informed that testosterone may lead to liver inflammation and damage.” If cancers, diabetes, and brain structure changes haven’t scared you, what about damage to your liver?

If all of the above health warnings were not enough, how about #13?  “I have been informed that if I take testosterone my good cholesterol (HDL) will probably go down and bad cholesterol (LDL) will go up. This may increase my risk of heart attack or stroke in the future.” If cancer doesn’t get you, heart disease or stroke might.

If all these health risks don’t concern you, how about psychological changes?  #14 says: “I understand that testosterone therapy may cause changes in my emotions.” Above, this document had already noted: “Possibly increased feelings of aggression or anger.”  Such changes can cause devastating consequences in a patient’s relationships and in her work setting.

The rest of the items are standard boilerplate legalese, such as: inform your health care provider if you are taking any other medications or supplements, if you want to stop testosterone, if you have complicating conditions,  if you have adverse side effects, etc. (Basic cover-your-ass jargon).
In other words, by signing a document such as this, the patient takes full responsibility for the possibility of a host of both known and unknown adverse side effects while simultaneously absolving health care providers of responsibility since she has (allegedly) been duly warned.

And the above warnings are just for taking testosterone;  note that there are many, many, MANY additional risks for surgeries.

How many people, particularly young adults under age 25, whose brains are not yet fully mature, fully understand the implications of such very serious decisions?  The “I’m-invincible-and-it-won’t-happen-to-me” phenomenon is usually in full force with young adults.

Even more mature adults rarely fully comprehend the risks, and even when they do, they often rationalize and hope that it doesn’t happen to them.

So the “let’s-justlive-and-let-live; it’s-their-bodies-and-their-choice” argument regarding the transgender trend just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny when examined closely.

Instead, I argue that even though adults have the right to make the decision to medically transition, that it is never a good decision.  I argue that the multiple potential factors affecting these decisions are usually poorly understood even to the patients themselves, and are skimmed over and/or covered up by the medical community, who mainly seem to be all too willing to jump on the trans bandwagon to make a buck. I argue that the known effects of testosterone use are very concerning, in addition to a host of unknown effects, which is perhaps even more concerning. And there are so many concerns about the transition surgeries that there is no room to even touch upon those in this post.

And the fact that cross-sex hormones are NOT approved by the FDA for the purposes of transition is yet another worrisome issue which most fail to know or address.

Bottom line, the transgender trend feels like a scientific experiment, with lesbians all-too-often the unwitting guinea pigs.

Until lesbians drop the liberal and well-intentioned, but ultimately naive, “live-and-let-live” attitude and wake up to what is really going on, this trend will continue with even more lesbian lives harmed by the hour.

Contrary to what many people think, Dirt and I don’t hate transgender people; instead, what we hate is seeing lesbian lives ruined and even lost. Genuine concern is not “transphobia”; speaking out is not “hate speech”.

I just hope some will hear our voices over all the noise.

Dr. A aka Mrs. Dirt
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8 comments:

  1. There are a number of issues with these types of medical documents. One, if you're lucky, the doctor spends more than a few minutes talking to you to see if you actually understand what you're reading or have been discussing. While I have a strong medical background, I've found many people are woefully ignorant of basic biology and physiology. Most doctors don't have the time to make sure a patient truly comprehends the information given. I remember one appointment with a doctor that lasted 47 seconds (I timed it). I can tell you I didn't get much out of that conversation!

    Secondly, many people are functionally illiterate and cannot comprehend such a complicated form.

    Third, when you have your eye on the prize, something you desperately want, you are likely to blow right by any information that stands in the way of your goal.

    Fourth, the belief it can never happen to you. My mom smoked a pack a day from the time she was 13 till her death at 59 from lung cancer. After her terminal diagnosis, she looked at me and said "I thought I'd be like George Burns. He lived into his 90's and smoked his whole life." I remember my astonishment. For every George Burns there's 10,000 others dead from cigarettes. We seem to think we are somehow special and blessed beyond all others. None of those bad things will ever happen to us.

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    1. Excellent points; and those are all good reasons illustrating that people aren't fully comprehending the consequences when signing such a serious form.

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  2. The youth always think that. Even stranger is when you point out how dangerous it is to do things like smoke or mess around with hormones of the opposite sex. FtTs and MtTs, when confronted with the evidence, will often try to say the profound, such as, "I might day way younger than anyone else as a consequence, or I might become sick, but at least I'll have lived my life my way!"

    I remember my father saying the same thing when I was a kid and my brothers and I were always warning him about his lifestyle. He was an alcoholic and a smoker, his alcoholism already having lead to divorce and problems between himself and his siblings and parents. In face of our protestations, he said the same kinds of things. "Heck, the air you breathe is dangerous!" he'd say with a laugh. Or he'd say, "Yeah, it might happen, but at least I'll have lived my way!" much like the trans people do.

    Guess what? He was in the end stages of alcoholic liver disease a couple years ago. Somehow he pulled through, but his nerves are a mess and now he can't get good medicine for his arthritis because so many of the medications will do his liver in! He also gets pneumonia every year because of his cigarette addiction.

    I wasn't trying to be smug, but I did ask him once, "Do you ever wish you'd have listened to all of us trying to help you? Are you truly glad you lived your life the way you did?"

    No, he isn't. He'd go back and change it if it were possible. But you don't think of that when you're young. You figure that even if the consequences do come, you'll be so thankful for being yourself. However, I've seen too many times now that when the consequences come, regret sets in. All of a sudden being a champion for your lifestyle doesn't sound too good.

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  3. Although I appreciate your "genuine concern" for people transitioning, I feel it is a bit obtuse. Walking through a medication consent form is a poor choice for "proof" that testosterone is harmful. EVERY drug/medication is harmful in some way or other. Pretending that "T" is some sort of evil spawn out to dismantle/destroy the lesbian lifestyle is absurd. Here is a link to an article that discusses how a great many common medications can have detrimental side effects: https://www.drugwatch.com/side-effects/
    I mean, a common cholesterol drug is linked to loss of muscle coordination (aka: I can't move my body the way I want it to), but people take it anyway. I imagine they take these drugs because the help (you can call it possible help if it makes you feel better) that they gain from the drug outweighs the cost. Side note: these drugs ARE approved by the FDA to be safe and effective.... but they can still cause death, so how safe and effective are they really?
    I think we can then build on that thought pattern and say that those who wish to transition -to feel better about their bodies- are taking "T" for the same reason: the gain outweighs the cost. Honestly, I feel it only makes sense that body hair and male pattern baldness would come with the territory. Transitioning to male comes with male side effects.
    Also, estrogen supplements can do just as much, if not more, to create/encourage breast cancer as testosterone can.
    I do not have a great amount of anecdotal evidence that would say only lesbians transition to transmen. I imagine there may be some straight butch women who would be more comfortable being perceived as male. But, this is beside the point.
    Here is another link that takes a look at the study claiming the trans* community is more suicidal than the "regular" population:
    http://transadvocate.com/fact-check-study-shows-transition-makes-trans-people-suicidal_n_15483.htm

    The thing I find most strange is this constant barrage on transmen and how they cannot possibly ever be happy because they are mentally deficient in some way and they would be happier if they simply subjected themselves to, to what? "Happiness reassignment hypnotism"? I guess what I'm trying to understand is: why is taking medication to combat depression by increasing ones natural production of dopamine or serotonin is perfectly acceptable to the populace (and you, I'm assuming) but taking medication to increase ones natural production of testosterone to combat ones feeling of un-acceptance isn't. Can you answer that?

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    1. Your obtuseness is showing. There is a much larger lesbian picture that you've miss altogether. And equating allergy meds to Testisterone is piss poor pedestrian thinking or lack there of. There isn't a single historic case or present that proves transition is successful. In fact research ever cursory proves just the opposite.

      Dirt

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    2. What is the larger lesbian picture then? I don't want to further flaunt my obtuseness -but is this frustration due to all the pretty girls turning into boys? That can't be it. Is it that they should stand "loud and proud" as who they are and screw the patriarchy/sexism/societally imposed binary? Because if that is what you hope they're (transmen) doing, I believe they are doing just that and it is this mindset that is holding them back from standing up and being their true selves. To hold them (transmen) back from transitioning IS to further the patriarchy! Saying that they can't be who they want to be -because they aren't boys- is saying that they have to conform to who they are expected to be (by social standards) but at the same time try to normalize how they truly and honestly just do not fit and in every sense of the phrase, break the mold, as it were. Simply arguing that they should accept who they are and turn their back on the patriarchy etc., is to totally overlook the fact that these people are not happy or comfortable with their bodies. They are not happy and they want to change. How is that bad?
      I do not believe I was equating allergy meds to testosterone. I believe I linked a page that lists quite a variety of meds that quite a bit of the population uses on a daily basis. I mean, I directly referenced Lipitor. Lipitor isn't for allergies. I also referenced dopamine and serotonin, also not for allergies as much as they are for depression, which is a serious condition that effects hundreds of thousands. I didn't think belittling those taking part in your discussion was part of your platform. If so though, I'll be expect next time.
      I appreciate that there "isn't a single historic case" to prove transition is successful, though according to the videos on Youtube that I've seen that Transmen post -it looks pretty successful. However, those aren't scientific and I understand how those can't be used, necessarily, as "proof" transitioning is a success. (Granted, what do you mean by success? Happiness of the person; perception by the public that they "pass"; mental stability after the fact?)
      However, isn't this exact same stance used to combat just about any medication that comes on the scene? There has to be a starting point before we can get proper scientific answers to our questions and hypothesis. A few go through the murky water first, to test and see if it is safe for the masses. It is part of the process of learning.

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    3. Its clear as a lesbian who has been dealing with trans related issues for several decades, Big Pharma's snow jobs on the general public isnt exactly my battle. If you're concerned, I suggest you work to bring the issue of drugging the public TO the public.

      I'm lost as to your "binary" comment. I have no beef with the sex of male or female.

      There is no success in transition. Temporary trans highs fall away within the first 5 years. And its clear among trans, those highs drop to lows very fast and very frequently until they disappear altogether.

      The pedophile Money himself proved Gender Identity Theory to be false. No wonder trans after trans after trans fail in transition, even before the drugs/surgeries kill them or they kill themselves.

      All the hormones in the world isnt going to change a persons sex, make them happy or solve all their problems. They will however keep them ignorant of their own psyche and eventually kill them. When those being lined up and shot are lesbians, as a lesbian leader, thats a fucking problem!

      And my wife and I have and will do everything in our power to bring attention to the issues trans and STRAIGHTBIANS are creating for lesbians of all ages, including the dead.

      dirt

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    4. To Anonymous August 8, 2016 at 10:52 PM: Late to reply to your comment, but: Geez...um...duh. Of course other medications have side effects and risks, and those using any sort of medication or supplement would be wise to become knowledgeable about the potential risks. Your obvious (and yes...obtuse) attempt to derail the actual point of the post with your ignorant red herring comments doesn't work here.

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