[UPDATED] Mischa Popoff says: “Transgendered kids a bunch of baloney.”

Mischa Popoff, standing in the way of help for trans youth.

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — [UPDATED May 9, 2012 — over 140 comments in this thread.] – Who is Mischa Popoff? An ignorant writer hardly worth mentioning except for the fact that he puts the lives of trans kids at risk with anti-trans rhetoric.

Popoff is opposed to introducing education of trans issues into the British Columbia and Ontario (Canada) school systems. While he has a right to voice his opinions, he is basing his position on his own personal experience with trans people.

Popoff: I know transgendered people; they can attest this is a huge mistake. . . .

They [“transgenderists” — his word] freely admit most kids they’ve encouraged to live as members of the opposite sex for as long as a decade actually wind up abandoning the whole idea of gender re-assignment (sex change) once they enter their teens.

Remember, “they,” of course, are just the trans people Popoff “knows.” Most of us likely don’t agree with them. Just because some trans people choose not have sex reassignment surgery, doesn’t mean they’re no longer trans — many trans people don’t proceed for financial, religious, family  or other personal reasons — he’s twisting facts — and I highly doubt they’re correct in the first place.  Strike one.

Popoff: “Transgenderism is impossible to provide counselling for, unless the counsellor is a proponent thereof. As such, you can rest assured it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, the costs of which will be borne by the rest of society.”

So Popoff is saying trans kids can’t get bias-free neutral counselling — someone able to provide the pros and cons of all options available to them. Baloney. Strike two.

Popoff: “And we know this because of the dirty little secret that no one in the transgenderist community ever talks about – people who’ve gone all the way through with gender-reassignment surgery only to realize after it’s too late that they and everyone who supported them on their journey to “self-discovery” were dead wrong.”

Strike Three.

What is most harmful here is the number of needless suicides that are occurring to trans youths because ignorant writers like Popoff standing in the way of providing the help and guidance they need.

via Transgendered kids a bunch of baloney | Local Columnists | Kelowna Daily Courier.

—-

My related posts on this matter:

https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/popoffs-trans-kids-baloney-article-triggers-transgender-hate-response/

https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/transgender-women-respond-to-mischa-popoffs-hateful-commentary-in-the-kelowna-daily-courier/

Mischa Popoff, standing in the way of help for trans youth.

———-

You’re welcome to share this entire article!
Follow this topic and others on Lexie Cannes’ Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lexiecannes
Get the transgender-themed feature film “Lexie Cannes“ here:
http://www.LexieCannes.com



Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

184 replies

  1. It is so frustrating that idiots like this have so much power. I agree as a transsexual that he has taken some aspects of transsexuality and twisted them to fit his sick illogical way of thinking.

    The point of growing up and having stages from birth to death is to learn about ourselves as human beings, and yes there will be some who think they are transsexual and live in the gender role for a few years and maybe decide that when they are teenagers it is not for them, this is not a bad thing in any way, it is very very healthy in terms of mental health.

    This idiot has no proof of a kid stopping transition at 13 or 18 and then if the same kid then at 31 has the operation. As many many people do.

    Yes there are a few pre-teens that are very strong willed, and have very accepting parents, that will allow for cross-gender living. This is to be applauded and cherished.

    Many many post op transpeople do not start transition until late 20’s or 30’s or even into 40’s and 50’s. For a very good reason.

    My case is not so unremarkable. I was 34 when I was ready mentally to start the process of gender transition, and it was not an easy thing to do, I did it the right way, with the help of psychologists, aka gatekeepers. I believe that they serve a very useful role in my development. Not all gatekeepers are the same, and that is a problem.

    To prevent or delay treatment is really stupid, if a troubled pre-teen or teenager dies as a result of suicide as there was no counselling as this was not provided, how is that not a murder?

    No ethical medical doctor WILL DENY OR DELAY TREATMENT, this is a total disregard for basic universal human rights. This moron should be confined to the rubber room of a very secure psychiatric hospital, 25 ft under the hospital, in a sound proof room, with no access to the outside world.

    Does this total fool know that there is a difference between transgenderism and transsexualism? What is this word transgenderists? I think he has a nice word there, I guess from the root transgender and activist.. I would have thought of myself as a transsexual human rights activist. A transsexurist!!!

    Again, I know that he will have the popular view of many transphobic people, that will agree with him, and I guess it is up to each and every transperson to work against this, I feel that in the end we will succeed as “Right is Might!!!”

    Justine

  2. Justine, You’re spot-on with your comments. Thanks!

  3. There is more I would like to add, mr idiot says “Popoff: “Transgenderism is impossible to provide counselling for, unless the counsellor is a proponent thereof. As such, you can rest assured it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, the costs of which will be borne by the rest of society.”

    This is I assume, the same as a cardiologist cannot treat patients until the doctor has had a heart attack, or an oncologist cancer, or a OB/GYN has had a few kids?

    What about paediatricians? Do they have to be 13 years old to treat a child?

    His logic is so flawed, how on earth does he dress himself in the morning, or does his sweet dear mom do it for him?

    Popoff: “And we know this because of the dirty little secret that no one in the transgenderist community ever talks about – people who’ve gone all the way through with gender-reassignment surgery only to realize after it’s too late that they and everyone who supported them on their journey to “self-discovery” were dead wrong.”

    Again I agree with Miss Lexie, yes, this does happen, in about so few cases, and yet he picks on this to show his point is valid when 99.98% of transitions are successful at the post operation stage.

    The idea of the 2 year RLT/RLE is there to try and sort out if you feel you will be successful, and yes there is a 2nd reason, that is to insulate the surgeon from litigation, although the legal beagles can craft a legal way around this to save the surgeon, if the patient at a later stage has regrets.

    We all have regrets about things we did or did not do, this is life, life is the period between birth and death.. It is a constant evolving living thing.

    I wish I had the financial means to really get up the nose of this idiot and have a full blown televised debate with him, to fully explore his logic, mine is not always totally “normal”, but I sure know when someone else’s logic is flawed to such a point it is criminal if not legally medically insane.

    I know that he is saying and doing bad things, but actually he is not, and I know that sounds insane, but I have been thinking about what he is saying, and although he is totally wrong, he is in fact, although he may not know it right now, helping the transsexual community.

    Dr Money in the 1960’s and his flawed nature vs nurture theory, cost the life of a patient, helped in so many ways, to push the debate forward into what we know today, that transsexuality is not a nature or nurture theory, there is no consensus on what causes transsexuality or transgenderism or the lack of it…

    Why am I transsexual and 3 other siblings are not? Why am I a lesbian? My siblings are not gay/lesbian, why?

    To be brutally honest, not for all the money in the world, would I not be transsexual, or to give up the fight for transsexual human rights.

    What is more hurtful is that there are parents in the affected school districts that are not offended enough by this monster to do anything about it.

    That is the problem right there, it needs to be dealt with at a regional level, taking the fight to where there is a climate of transphobia, at governmental issue.

    Despite the fact that africa is a 33rd world country, that is broken and living in the 13th century, it is much more advanced it seems than Canada. That allows for this abuse to occur.

    Why why why? in the 21st Century in a 1st world country is this attitude still the norm? How is Canada any different from North Korea????

    Wake up sheeple….wake up before it is too late… or maybe it is already too late…

    This I know, if I was given the chance, I would not rest until I had achieved success in the area of transsexual human rights….We owe it to the next generation to leave the world a better place than we found it!!!!

    Justine,
    south africa!!!

    Ps, I fly 1st class!!!

  4. Do you ever report good news stories? Something to cheer us up? Here is one: http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/california-teachers-union-indoctrinate-school-children-on-gender-neutrality/

    It is posted by an idiot who thinks it shocking and appalling, but it is lovely, and deserves to be shared. Praise the allies! It cheers us up, and motivates us for the work.

  5. Where I come from Mischa is a GIRL,s name Mister Popoff, so I take it you are the very X-pert of Transgenderism? Do yourself a huge favour and ACTUALY get to know REAL/TRUE transgendered people before you write this sort of rubbish that ruin people’s lives, you don’t even know.

    Just who left and made you god?

  6. I quote from another article about him: “Popoff is a conservative ideologue, a global warming denier, an ardent critic of hybrid automobiles, and has suggested that the American mortgage crisis that precipitated the financial meltdown was caused by “overregulation.” His book sold on his website is subtitled: The Inside Story of Who Destroyed the Organic Industry, Turned It into a Socialist Movement and Made Million$ in the Process, and a Comprehensive History of Farming, Warfare and Western Civilization from 1645 to the Present.

    Popoff called the $30 billion organic industry a ‘socialist movement.”

  7. Dear Transgendered People:

    I’m a little surprised at all the criticism here. I have no problem with your personal choices. The issue I raised in my article is that transgenderism should not be taught to children.

    I’ll quote from my article: “Kids aren’t sexual beings, and raising the question of whether a girl is really a boy trapped in a girl’s body or vice-versa is like asking whether a candle is AC or DC.” It strikes me as very strange that for all the invective being dolled out here, not one person has even mentioned this point.

    In my opinion, the worst part about teaching kids about being transgendered occurs when some kids are given hormone blockers that delay the onset of puberty and the actualization of whichever gender a kid was born with. As I point out in my article, there’s a risk of creating false positives with such drugs. Why not just let a child head in whichever direction he or she is headed, and then let that child decide if he/she is really transgendered once puberty is reached? Again, I don’t see anyone responding to this. No one.

    Anyone in the transgendered community who thinks I’m an enemy of transgenderism clearly has not bothered to read what I wrote.

    All the best,

    • Mr. Popoff,

      You state that “children are not sexual beings” which is correct but a person that is transsexual is not dealing with a sexual issue or even which sex they are. They are dealing with a gender issue. Most transsexuals have a need to correct their sex to match their gender. And frankly that is none of your business what the needs are for a person because it does not affect your life at all.

      As for teaching children, they should be taught about the realities of life. Early teaching is important for proper development of social skills so that a child learns the value of understanding biological life. Your analogy of the candle is absurd and truthfully most children understand more than you give them credit for. Every one of my grandchildren had an understanding of the LGBTQ community before they were in the second grade. They have a great understanding of transsexual men and woman.

      When it comes to children that are not yours your opinion does not matter. Some parents make the decision to put their children on hormone blockers which has been found to be safe. The parents do this because they love their children and do not want them growing up with the horrible issue of being one gender and a different sex. Most parents do allow their children to make their own decisions as to what they need for themselves in order to live a meaningful life.

      The number of transsexuals that regret having SRS is less than 1% and most of those are people who have not dealt with underlying issues which may or may not be related to being transsexual. Most transsexuals do not have SRS because they cannot afford the surgery. Gender issues are a very serious matter and can have a very negative effect on a person thus the reason the attempted suicide rate in the transgender community is 30%.

      I have not read anything you have written that I would consider truth just one trans-phobic persons opinion. However I do have some advise for you, before you chose to write another article do some research first. A good start would be to read what is posted on lynnconway.com. This is a very good transgender resource web site. So before you start preaching that a child should not learn about biological life you need to learn something yourself.

      Further I would like you to answer a question. The majority of people who seem to have an issue with transsexuals such as yourself are usually fixated on transsexuals in a sexual manner which are known as admirers, are you fixated Mr. Popoff?

    • Mr. Popoff, thanks for commenting.

      First of all there’s no “choice” trans people are making here. For many, it’s do or die.

      Suicide — this is underlying problem with your article. You didn’t factor in suicide rate for trans people — there isn’t a group of people with a higher suicide rate. The trans suicide rate is approximately 20 times higher than society as a whole. (Google will help you here.)

      When you have your eye on that suicide rate, things like “false positive” worries are rather meaningless — Its far better to have prevented scores of eventual suicides for every one rare “false positive” that slips through (and that’s just assuming “false positives” are a problem to begin with.)

      http://transequality.org/PDFs/NCTE_Suicide_Prevention.pdf

      http://transequality.org/PDFs/BlackTransFactsheetFINAL_090811.pdf

    • Mr. Popoff,
      At the end of your article, you say, “believing people are born with the wrong gender makes as much sense as believing we could be born with the wrong race.” This statement, on its own, puts all your concerns out the window. You simply “don’t believe it.” It is hard to take your concerns seriously if your bottom line is that you don’t believe it.

      Further, what standing do you as a historian/political writer have to be addressing something that is a medical issue? Shouldn’t we let the doctors decide the best course of action? And the parents in conjunction with their doctors?

      Are the schools going to ask all the kids, “are you really a boy?” or “are you really a girl?” Or are they simply going to teach them that there are people who identify as transgender and this is what a transgender person is? It seems likely it is the latter. So your concern with your question: ““Kids aren’t sexual beings, and raising the question of whether a girl is really a boy trapped in a girl’s body or vice-versa is like asking whether a candle is AC or DC” is just illusion to draw people away from your final statement of disbelief.

      Regarding hormone blockers, I would agree with the earlier commentary about suicides. If in 1,000 transgender children, you get 1 “false positive” and save 200 lives, that is certainly a risk that is livable. But of course, this is all hypothetical since the only data seen is the suicide attempt rate of transgender that is over 40%.

      Perhaps if your letter had a single piece of data it would be easier to dialogue with.

      I am the mother of a transgender youth. It would have saved a lot of heartache, as evidenced by cutting behavior, if I had thought to educate him about transgender. Once he learned what this was, it was the biggest relief for him. He finally understood who he was. If you want to swap anecdotal evidence, your knowing someone or reading about someone cannot match the lived experience of the transgender and their allies that have read your article.

    • “[R]aising the question of whether a girl is really a boy trapped in a girl’s body or vice-versa is like asking whether a candle is AC or DC.”

      You didn’t have a gender identity until after puberty? I find that really difficult to believe.

      I myself was born female but I’ve been identifying as male since I was two years old. I spent most of my childhood feeling like I didn’t fit in, and like there was something wrong with me and no one would ever understand me. I wish that someone had taught me about transgender issues and dysphoria when I was young, because nothing about my identity made sense to me, until I was 19 and finally found out that FTM trans people actually exist, thanks to the Internet. At first I felt awful, I felt stupid for never thinking of it before and angry that no therapist or counselor I ever talked to had either. Later I felt immense relief and a sense of wholeness, knowing that there are other people who feel just like I do and we’re all just regular people. I don’t know that I would have started transitioning before puberty or not (I still haven’t, for a lot of reasons) but having that option open to me would have helped a lot. I really doubt a parent would force their kids to go through HRT, knowing what I know about trans discrimination.

    • Mr. Popoff,

      On a personal level between myself and other trans people I’ve met whether they have gone through with surgery/hormones or not. One thing was for sure. We all knew that we weren’t/aren’t the right gender since we were kids. I have always identified as a male. Never once did I like dolls, dresses, make-up, etc. I always corrected my mother that I wasn’t a girl. Asked her why I didn’t have boy parts like the rest of the guys and thought that there was something physically wrong with my body. Like Marie said you should really give kids more credit than what you have. Kids know way more than you think. By the age of 6 kids already know what gender they are the media, families, adult, etc. Just like to pry and tell kids they are wrong and that they have to be a certain way. Which is wrong to do. Because of lack of help until I was 20 I was extremely depressed, closed myself to the world, barely spoke, didn’t really make friends until college and attempted suicide almost daily since i was about 9 years of age. I had horrible body dysphoria and at just under 5 feet tall I weighed less than 90 pounds. I only ate about every three days and when I did eat I usually just vomited it all up and was in the hospital at least once a week. After I got help, my migraines are nearly all gone, I’ve made so many friends that love me for me, I get the support I need from my mother and brother and I even found an amazing boyfriend that excepts me for who I am. All I know no one should ever go through that depression that I had to go through. Don’t you agree? So, why shouldn’t we educate them?

    • Not sure whether this is confused logic or poor grammar.

      Though often the two flow together. Children should be let to be…and left alone til they reach puberty and then decide?

      Huh? If I read that literally, that’s little different from what is being said, which is allow those who need them puberty blockers when they reach puberty.

      Unless Mr p is just being disingenuous and means no puberty blockers until AFTER puberty.

      As for no-one responding to his point, again, either someone incapable of the mist basuc research…or just basically a liar. Yep. I really mean that word…which is quite strong for me…but given the ignorance on display feels justified.

      A cursory reading if arguments around thus issue will reveal all manner of reasons FOR puberty blockers…all practical rather than ideological.

      For starters, there is the trauma of transition. A puberty blocked 18 year old transitions with far less surgical and other interventions than one not. That had major cost implications in publically funded systems as well as health implicationa for the individual.

      As fir the poor boy or fuel forced through an unwanted puberty? The consequences can be dire, if not fatal. Self-harm is common, possibly the norm. Ditto anti-social and even criminal brhaviour…while literature abounds with instances of individuals who have transformed overnight with recognition of their condition.

      I know, from direct experience of talking to and supporting parents faced with these choices.

      Two last points. It seems to me obvious that where continuing puberty may be accompanued with serious trauma, delaying ut shiuld be viewed as an option, so long as ut is clear that transition is not the inevitable next step. That it us a genuine pause for thought.

      Second, as a journalist I’d be ashamed to tackle a subject of this weught having done as poor a job of researching it as mr p obviously had.

      Jane x

      • Oh dear…the hazards of contrubuting by phone! A fair few I/o transpositions, as well as s and d.

        Worst though is some predictive logic that turned “girl” into “fuel”…hmmm!

        Jane xx

    • Dear Mr Popoff

      Thanks for initiating a respectful dialogue here. I hope it continues.

      You ask an excellent question:

      “Why not just let a child head in whichever direction he or she is headed, and then let that child decide if he/she is really transgendered once puberty is reached?”

      Um.. that’s sorta what happens. When the first signs of puberty start, Puberty Delaying medications are given. These are the same medications given to children who start Puberty too early, sometimes as early as 7 or 8.

      Around age 15-16, we can be pretty certain that the child is now intellectually competent to make their own decisions. They can either request that the medication be discontinued (actually, they can request this at any time before), and it will be. Or they can confirm they wish to start Puberty in a particular direction.

      This provides a “breathing space”, as the consequences of a false positives would be to cause something we’re trying to cure.

      As for the consequences of not giving this “breathing space”… perhaps I can give an analogy.

      Supposing some sadistic malefactor kidnapped you, castrated you, and filled you full of female hormones for 5 years. Then at the end of it asked if you wanted to continue the treatment, or to have treatment to partly undo the damage.

      That’s what a “natural puberty” feels like to kids with severe transsexuality, Many kill themselves, or attempt to, because their body is changing in ways they can’t tolerate. Worse, they know that it could be prevented, and also know that some of the changes are irreversible, they can only be ameliorated.

      I’d ask you to read probably the best report on the subject, the risks involved both with intervention, and non-intervention.

      “The treatment of adolescent transsexuals: changing insights.” Cohen-Ketternis et al, J Sex Med. 2008 Aug;5(8):1892-7.

      From the Abstract:
      “Professionals who take responsibility for these youth and are willing to help should yet be fully aware of the impact of their interventions. In this article, the pros and cons of the various approaches to youngsters with GID are presented, hopefully inciting a sound scientific discussion of the issue.”

      The article is available at http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/News/Europe/Cohen-Kettenis%20JSM2008.pdf

      My area of prime interest is not Transssexuality per se, but in Intersex conditions that can either cure or cause the same Gender Dysphioria.There are syndromes where a child apparently born as a girl “changes sex” to apparently become a boy, unless medical intervention occurs to prevent the change. The most common causes are 5ARD or 17BHDD syndromes, but other, rarer, syndromes exist that can cause a change the other way.

      One such case came before the Family Court in Australia recently.
      See RE: SALLY (SPECIAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE) [2010] FamCA 237
      Available at http://home.vicnet.net.au/%7Eaissg/2010_FamCA_237.pdf

      You probably didn’t know that such situations exist. They’re not exactly well-publicised, and when they are reported on, it’s mainly in the gutter press. Much like Transsexuality 20 years ago. Those unfamiliar with biology think they cannot exist, that “Natural Sex Changes are a bunch of Baloney”.

      They’re not – merely rare in most parts of the world, and outside common experience. In some areas, such changes are more common than having red hair, 2% of the population, but in the USA more like 1 in 100,000.

      Please read that reported case, and ask yourself – would you compel this girl to masculinise (from natural causes), or allow her to have a more normal female Puberty like other girls?

      For some children, the change is welcome. Those who are (effectively, but not technically) Transsexual boys, as many are, *want* this change to happen. Would you compel them to have surgery so their bodies remain female, as it says on their birth certificate?

      This reply is already overlong. Suffice to say that it’s all about how the brain is gendered in the womb from hormonal environment. If you read this, and reply, I’ll provide references and tell you how this happens.

    • Mr. Popoff,

      First of all being born Transgender has nothing to do with sexuality. Sexuality is about sexual attraction not whether you are male, female, or somewhere in between. Transgenderism is a medical birth condition not a choice of changing genders. It is living in the role that you are truly comfortable in and becoming your authentic self. This should happen without the fear of reprisal. It is no different than being born intersexed.

      My question to you is what type of education do you have that would confuse gender and sexuality?

      As one of the oldest living Trans women in the US, and one of the first to have had SRS at the age of 17 in the US in 1967, I can share that not for one moment have I had the slightest regret. It has only been through the ignorance of others against a birth condition that I have experienced pain.

      Of course there should be education as well as sensitivity training within all education systems. Why is this crucially important? Because without the understanding about a birth condition children continue to bully and make fun of anyone different than themselves based on the prejudices learned at home. These abuses go a long way in contributing to the depression of children already struggling with this confusing birth condition eventually leading to suicides.

      In no way will this education lead to someone suddenly rushing out to become Transgender who has not been born with this condition. How ignorant that concept is and it’s based solely on fear. Within my own family of 13 children, I am the only one born with this condition. I have one brother who is a gay man, and the remainder of my siblings are hetrosexual. My birth condition has gone very far in educating and creating sensitivity within my own family. Without this condition being taught in our education systems many children will remain confused and afraid.

      What type of society is afraid of the truth with a desire to keep things hidden. Why is it always claimed that the intention is always with a desire to protect those you consider normal children. It appears you support repression of ones true self to protect your class and deny the equal protection of those who are outside your class. When we are educated on all issues and fronts regardless of our age we grow to become emotionally balanced and genuine individuals. It has been proven that repression creates anger and has gone a long way to create the individuals who are mentally unstable.

      How many transgender’s around the world must be murdered through ignorance and hate until you begin to open your mind. How many black citizens were brutally murdered and kept segregated in their own schools based on the fears of whites. The white community actually believed that somehow white children would be contaminated by a mixing of the races in our education system. What you are suggesting is just as ignorant as those long eliminated rules were.

      Learning about the transgender birth condition within an education system can not and will not make children born without this condition suddenly want to be transgender, but it will assist children born with the condition to understand that they are also perfectly normal and discover that there is a medical reason for their differences. These children can then grow into an emotionally well balanced child without fear. It will open the doors for children to discuss openly all gender possibilities with other children and those who have been experiencing those feeling as they are trapped to then go home and have open discussion with their parents and find the medical attention they so richly deserve.

    • — Don’t confuse sex (sexual identity/orientation) with gender. They are two different things and your article has a hard time distinguishing them.

      “In my opinion”

      — Before you post your opinion for the public to read how about research the topic. And even more so try to empathize with those you are talking about.

      “There’s also the risk of creating false positives through the use of hormone blockers. These drugs are prescribed to delay the actualization of whichever gender a child was born with”

      — First, refer to my first comment.
      — Second you are confusing gender and sex here. Gender is actualized long before hormone blockers are given. 90+% of Transgender individuals know they are transgender even if they don’t know the word by the time they hit puberty. Those that don’t, don’t get treatment. However,
      — Proper management is very valid concern. And this is because many medical professionals do not do their job adequately. However, I have seen no evidence of any such false positives.
      — The truth is that puberty is the WORST part of any transgender individual. This is where most of the mental trauma begins.

      “I’m a little surprised at all the criticism here. I have no problem with your personal choices. The issue I raised in my article is that transgenderism should not be taught to children.”

      — You raise many valid issues, but you twist them with false information and half truths. That is what gets people mad. Before writing something make sure you have done your research, because here you have not.
      — Transgenderism is not taught, you are born transgender or gender variant or you are not.
      — Gender and Sexuality are not a choice, you are born that way. Check out research in the UK and in Germany starting in the 1990’s. If I could remember the actual studies I would post them.
      — CHOICE is a big word here. Yes, transgender people have a choice. But the choice is not being transgender, it is whether or not to express your inner self or not. And this is done in many many forms.
      — Teaching children is not about having them be transgender or gay or anything else. You teach them facts. And by teaching them about gender identity (note I didn’t say transgender) and sexual identity you open them up for understanding and not being close minded. Education is the foundation for Human Rights in all its forms.

      “Transgenderism is impossible to provide counseling for, unless the counselor is a proponent thereof. ”

      — You obviously have not done any research on this matter because this statement is 100% false.
      — Fact is 99% of all issues a transgender person faces are treatable by any licensed counselor anywhere in the world.
      — The problem is the counselors don’t have empathy for the specifics behind the issues they are treating.

      “Kids aren’t sexual beings”
      — Half truth. Check out research and understand that kids as young as 2 and 3 not only know their gender identity but also their sexual orientation.

      “and raising the question of whether a girl is really a boy trapped in a girl’s body or vice-versa is like asking whether a candle is AC or DC.”

      — This statement is 100% true without context. But lets add age context. 2-3 kids often act different (more than a normal variation) showing gender roles of the opposite sex. Kids 4-5 will often insist they are the opposite gender if they have a house of openness and are not punished for their ‘inappropriate behavior’.

      “Anyone in the transgendered community who thinks I’m an enemy of transgenderism clearly has not bothered to read what I wrote.”

      — As you can see I read what you wrote.
      — I’m not saying you are an enemy, what I and so many of these people are saying is that you are spouting off invalid information for no good reason than making a buck which is what it looks like.
      — If you are not against LGBTQQIA… community then support us, research, think and speak the truth. Don’t just hear what someone says and repeat it. Look it up for yourself, just as I would hope you would do with everything I have said. There are PLENTY of people that are willing to help, including but not limited too: WPATH, Counseling organizations around the world, Medication organizations around the World.

  8. Mr Popoff, please read:
    In From The Wilderness, Sherman (She-r-man), by David E. Weekley. ISBN#978-1-60899-544-8

    Rev. Weekley transitioned 36+ years ago and has been an ordained United Methodist Clergy for 30 years in June. His website is: http://www.shermanswilderness.org
    He told his story publically in August of 2009 to help to educate people. He knew from the time he was 3 years old that he was a boy…he is available to talk with you if you would like. His email is: shermantoday@comcast.net. He has authored a petition for the upcoming United Methodist General Conference to have the church do a study of gender identity issues. He has been my spouse for 16 years. I am privileged to be his wife.
    And being transgender is NOT a choice…

  9. Dear Mr Popoff,

    While you may think you have the best interest of children at heart I have to say that you are hardly in a position to make any judgements or give advise for one good reason, you are not Transsexual and therefore have no idea of what goes on inside the mind of one. Sure you may have known some and you may gleen a little from them but in no way are you qualified to talk about it let alone make judgments.

    I was a child who suffered because I was transsexual and did not know what was wrong with me, why you might ask didn’t I know? because that was in the 50’s and 60’s before the internet, before medical research, before there was any readily available sources of information. I found out what transsexual was when I was 21 and it saved my life as I just thought I was a really sick person because I felt I was a girl my whole life… especially as a child. You my friend have no idea what it is like.

    Transsexual is only a word Mr Popoff not a sentence. It was never about sex and always about my identity (not even about gender so much). I loathe the term “girl trapped in a man’s body” as I was born in the right body but it did not develop in accordance with my brain. I would not wish anyone to be so unfortunate to be born with this affliction and if someone could have given me a pill to change my brain instead of my body I’d have chosen that happily as it is much easier to be a man than a woman in my view, something else you would not understand.

    I have known thousands of Transsexuals in the past 35 years and having talked extensively with them I know their issues and that of there childhoods. You insult me and all other Trans folk with your words which are gravely hurtful but you are not the first and this is why we need to educate people like you who think they have some right to look down and judge us.

    I do not agree that any child should be coaxed or trained to be a Transsexual, that to me is abhorrent and goes against everything in me as I know it is no choice at all, What I do agree with is that children should be educated about gender questioning along with the usual sex education. However if a child manifests the characteristics of being Transsexual before they reach puberty then there should be some provision to help them by professional people who understand all the issues that a Transsexual has and I’m sorry but I do not think you are such a professional from the way you speak.

    I want to apologize for some of my friends heated words as they are just so sick of being criticized and judged and now are fighting back, this is a reaction to the awful treatment that people throw at us. I have the years of knowledge and wisdom to be able to sit back and look at things without becoming too heated about it and knowing what the true issues are. I am sick of lecturing ignorant people and I’m getting too old for it anyway but I implore you to take to heart what I have said to you and desist from wrongly judging us and our childhoods.

    I am not a fighter but a peace-maker however I will stand against those who speak without knowledge and understanding. Be a friend and ally to us and not our enemy, we have way too many enemies already.

    Yours in truth and honesty

  10. OPEN LETTER TO MR POPOFF:

    My name is Justine-Paula Robilliard, I am living openly as a pre-op male to female transsexual. If you do not know what this means, I am sure that it will not be difficult to explain in a follow up open letter.

    Word of warning, the following open letter is a long letter…

    I am very concerned that you are very confused in your logic in regards children who may or may not be transsexual.

    Children are sexual beings, they are interested in each other from a very young age, before school going age, and this exploration from a child psychology point of view is healthy and normal. Children learn from using all senses, and they are very inquisitive and the denial of this is going to harm the child later.

    No child psychiatrist or psychologist will say that age appropriate exploring is unhealthy. We need to not prevent this from occurring.

    Right from the start, sex is between the legs, and gender is between the ears, this is true I guess for the most part.

    Gender is not defined by the binary system we all grew up with, that is male and female. Gender is an aspect of identity. and this I know is the root of the problem.

    I would like to raise a few points first, and this is very important, we need to set firm definitions as to clear away any confusion in regards terms. I have used certain self defined terms in this letter, and I have tried to define these terms in order to not have a “failure to communicate” problems. I will be able to further define if there is any further confusion. [As I suspect you will have!!]

    Transgender is the umbrella term that incorporates many forms of alternative living or lifestyle, this would include transvestitic fetishists, cross-dressers, drag kings and queens and transsexuals.

    Transsexual is the term used to describe people that have a gender or identity condition that is in conflict. The conflict is the body and brain are not of the same gender. For most transsexuals this is a female brain and male body also called MTF, or male to female. There are those that are male brain and female body known as FTM or female to male.

    Birth assigned gender, this is the term used to describe the gender of a child at birth before the child is aware of the internal gender unique to each child.

    Sexual identity, this is who we love in terms of sexual preference, this is the gay or straight aspect of sex, as a verb.

    Non Sexual identity, this is the aspect of conflict I feel for Mr Popoff, my non sexual identity is female. That is I do not have any idea of what it means to be male. Being assigned the gender of male based on what dangles between my legs is not the gender I know or understand, it is this that is causing all the problems.

    The cause of transsexuality is hotly debated and there are many theories in this regard. One thing is very very clear from everyone that is transsexual it is not about sex.

    Sex is a verb as well as a noun, gender is not a verb, gender is a noun only. This is a cause of confusion for many and I would assume, and I know that assume is making an ass of u and me.

    For someone that has a gender identity issue, life is not pleasant at any time. We do not seek some cheap sexual high from cross-dressing, for us life is only better when we live in the gender that matches our internal identity.

    Identity is a very important aspect of human existence, we attach value to many aspects of identity, we are our jobs, we are our relationships to each other, we place great value on terms that most people tend to think of as insignificant.

    I am daughter, sister, niece, aunt. These are female terms that until 3 years ago I was not allowed to call myself as this was offensive to those around me as I was living a lie for 34 years. I was not my true identity. I was living as male, and that was not working for me.

    Those in the transsexual community that have come to the internal decision that we cannot live as the birth gender, that life as the birth assigned gender.

    For me, my birth assigned gender of male, was correct as I had the right external gender parts, of penis and testicles.

    But from as soon as I was aware of gender of both myself and gender of my parents, siblings, and children my age and older, I was aware that there was a problem, my penis was not what I wanted, and although I did not know of vaginas or even know that such existed, I knew that I had a problem, I did not have the vocabulary or the means to indicate my gender. I did not understand it in those terms.

    Seeing girls wore clothes that did not match what I wore, and that they played and spoke in a way that was not the same as the boys, this set off something in my head, that there was a difference, and as children of 3-5 years of age do, we explore each other, and that was when I saw that girls did not have a penis, and man, did the alarm bells go off in my head…

    As I did not see boys or human shapes that looked and sounded like boys wearing clothes that were considered girl clothes, I knew I was having a serious conflict, and seeing what happens when boys are not tough. I knew from a safety point of view that I could not reveal my true identity.

    Superman/Spiderman, in fact any Marvel comic hero, I suspect is a metaphor for people with gender identity disorder, they dare not reveal who they are for fear of prosecution or ridicule.

    So from the age of 4 until 34, I hid my secret from the public at large, although my mom and brother knew that I was not the same as other boys, I was allowed I guess to secretly cross gender dress up..

    For anyone born I guess before the advent of the internet and websites, there was very little information on what we had, and the psychiatrists and psychologists made a total mess of the whole thing with the DSM.

    I wish and it is my biggest regret that I grew up from the 1970’s into the 1980’s as a young child with a gender conflict. I knew I had a birth defect, but I did not know of a way to correct this, yes, I did try a number of times, to remove the offending organ with a razor blade, before I knew it was going to be donor material for what is known as gender reassignment surgery.

    As I was saying, as there was no way to explain in the 1970’s and 1980’s what was in my head, and any talk of this was beaten out of me, I was forced to maintain my secret. This came at the cost of my academic career. I could not keep my focus on my school work, and try and live a fake life, I needed to keep my mind clear on who I was, that was male, and keep the story straight in my head, lest anyone find out my secret, if it was revealed, I was in for a world of hurt, and not what I wanted.

    I made a few identity mistakes along the way, did things considered by most in my life back then as female-ish!! I did drama, and worked on school plays, and was a cricket scorer and worked in the school library and I was a loner.

    Boys would pick fights with me, and in order to maintain my identity of male, I would fight back, but at sports I was hopeless, accused of being a girl!! This torment almost drove me insane.

    Cross-gender dressing at night, or when my family was away was the only way I kept sane, and maybe prevented a suicide when I was in my pre-teens or early teen years.

    As I was hopeless academically I was sent to an all male boarding school, a massive mistake as I longed to be female, and I made a near fatal mistake. I kept a journal of my ideal clothes,complete with magazine cut outs and stuff, and this was discovered.

    Oh my, thank God, they did not know such a term transgender existed, they only thought I was gay, that I liked boys, not a great thing when you are surrounded by 2000 boys every day at school, and 200 in the hostel.

    I am gay, in fact I am a lesbian, and I am a trans-lesbian, that is I love a fellow male to female transsexual.

    Ok, why are you attacking the school system, the very place where we spend 12 years of our lives at the very time we are forming identity and trying to figure out mathematics, science, language, geography and our own sexual and non sexual identities?

    You want to remove this last aspect from schools, why? I live in South Africa, and was schooled under the system of apartheid, where white children went to white only schools. Suddenly one day there was a black child in the classroom, and in the same dorm. We had grown up hating them as they were the enemy [beliefs of parents and the ruling government policy from 1652-1990’ish], we would call the non white people horrible names, and then suddenly we had to stop, and it was tough, we had times of serious conflict when the “n” type words were used.

    How does this relate to being transsexual, ok, I tend to get sidetracked and I sometimes loose my train of thought, forgive me.. this is an open letter and I will not edit out my thoughts.

    Ok, back on track, we need information, and the more information we have, the better we can make the wiser decisions, it is much like driving a car, the gear has indications on it, D 1 2 R P if the car is an automatic, or 1 2 3 4 5 R if it is stick-shift, why do the car makers do this, indicate where the gears are, it helps to prevent damage, as we learn the gearbox of each car, and the government paid for road-signs to indicate where to go, and we go to a school to learn to interpret the road signs. All in the interest of road safety, well to a degree, but it is to maintain order. The more information we have the better we are.

    The same applies to life, if a child is confused about sexual identity or is confused about gender identity, is it not better for that child to have a safe space to seek advice and information on that problem?

    I just pray and hope you Mr Popoff do not have children, or if you do, that they feel they have a safe space where they can seek the information they need to make an informed decision.

    Teaching children that there are more than 2 genders is not a bad thing, in fact not teaching it is a very unhealthy thing, as we as transsexuals, are not ever going away, we have always been here, as a 3rd gender in many cases.

    It is not something you can deny or claim to not exist, we exist and I am sure if you are honest with yourself, you have met a few transsexuals and not even been aware of it, we tend to not draw attention to ourselves.

    The loud and attention seekers are the transgenders, also known as drag queens and drag kings, they put on a dress and perform a show.

    I put on a dress, not for a show, as it is what my gender wears, I am female, I have a penis as a result of a birth defect, I do not see my dress or skirt/blouse as an object of sex or fun.

    Once I started the process of gender reassignment, my mind has been able to relax, and the feeling of despair and depression has eased, and I cannot tell you how much I love it when I hear the words “Ma’am” or “Miss”, or my chosen name being called, that is like hearing the song of angels.

    I still have 1 regret and that is my education, knowing what I know now at age 36, Feb 12, in 2012, I know that as a result of the fear I had growing up I did not achieve the required academic standard needed to enter university, yes I would have been a medical doctor, no question, and what would I have been at age 36 had I been able to question my internal gender conflict at age 13? A surgeon.. doing gender reassignment surgery!!!

    Would I have charged for my services, maybe, maybe not as much as some people, as I am not one that has a great need for money, having nice things is nice, but not important.

    What is my future, well to change my self image from pre-op male to female transsexual to that of female with a transsexual history. Still will be lesbian.. If that is a problem for you, I am not going to be sorry, just deal with it.

  11. I would like to reiterate many of the comments above and perhaps compliment them with my own story albeit cut down – I knew what I was “transsexual” at a very young age although I had no idea why I felt that way as I had no idea why or what those feelings were or where they came from – I just knew things were not right. I also know that certain members of my family knew about this and were fully aware of the consequences but did everything they possibly could to steer me in the opposite and expected direction, removing MY CHOICE? and removing any trace or influence towards my true self as they went along to the extent of simply brushing years of self harm and obvious unhappiness under the family rug – The result was a very confused young person that felt wrong in each and every social situation and an adult that, until recently lived half a life in a state of total and utter pain – a sham, debilitating further day by day and a persistent liar, not just to myself but to those closest to me, knowing all along, that to be honest and truthful to them I would someday have to shatter their lives too.
    I was driven and forced, in the wrong direction by those I trusted and relied upon for guidance. They got it very wrong, without question, so very wrong!
    My own research has revealed that unsurprisingly most if not all of us know who we are at a very young age, long before the onset of puberty and the heartache and pain that could be avoided by competent research into each and every case that comes to the fore and the appropriate and the timely diagnosis and treatment thereof is an absolute must!

    Thank you for bringing your views to light, Mr Popoff,
    Noted.

  12. I would not be surprised if he was related to the televangelist Peter Popoff.

  13. Dear All:

    I have clearly hit a nerve. I’m at a loss to understand why some of you were offended by my article.

    Again, let me stress that what each of you do with your own bodies is your own business. I do not judge you, but I object, strenuously, to teaching anything of this sort to children.

    May I suggest a more piecemeal approach to this discussion? None of you would be able to carry on a very good conversation with someone who spoke uninterupted for twenty minutes before letting you speak. Please make shorter comments that I can respond to.

    I appreciate that for each of you this is an intensely personal discussion and that you have a lifetime of experience to share. But it’s simply not possible to respond intelligently to 2,200+ words. Engage me in this discussion with the goal of enlightening me and I guarantee you will find the discussion rewarding.

    All the best.

    • Mr. Popoff,

      Let’s start off with a small statement that has a huge impact. Please explain: “believing people are born with the wrong gender makes as much sense as believing we could be born with the wrong race.”

      • Thank you cloakedmonk for being specific.

        As I said above, what each of you do with your own bodies is your own business. But I reserve my right to disagree with what you’re doing. I’m sorry, but it seems drastic to have surgery that isn’t necessary. Perhaps even misguided.

        Having said that, I still respect you. Indeed, I know some transgendered people and they are welcome in my home anytime. One of them is a close, personal, lifelong friend whom I watched transform. I disagree with what he did, but I still love him like a brother. Always will.

        MP

        • Then I would say that anything you say or present flows from a position of disbelief. That colors everything because you are not a neutral party. It essentially ends the conversation. Confirmation bias will always lead you to your conclusions.

          Good luck to your future. I would encourage you to stay out of this conversation because you are not a psychologist or a medical doctor. Biased opinions and presentations of ‘fact’ do not help the conversation.

          Shalom,
          Terri S.
          Mom of a transgender youth

    • Let’s try a comment by a mum whose child began transition in mid-teens…”better a live daughter than a dead son”.

      Is that short enough for you?

      And she wasn’t the mum I was speaking to two days ago whose child was severely depressed and had started self-harming because they so loathed what puberty was threatening to do to them.

      And neither of those was the parent I spoke to about two weeks back who reported a total change in their child at the promise of puberty blockers.

      Point is, if puberty blockers stop self-harm and suicide, even if the child is not trans and resumes a standard puberty later…isn’t the balance in favour of blockers?

      Or to put it yet another way…if a child suicides bevause blockers were withheld, in part because of the arguments of full like you, what’s your answer?

      • Dear janefae:

        I’m afraid I’d have to see some hard statistics on the “cost/benefit” of the use of pharmaceutical hormone blockers. One case does not a clinical-trial make.

        As I say in my original column, just because “a couple kids out of a thousand” might face some degree of confusion over their gender, it hardly follows that our “publicly funded education systems must teach our kids – all of ’em – that they might really be members of the opposite sex.”

        Since I wrote my column I have learned that the actual number of kids with gender confusion is more in the area of one out of 30,000. So I really fail to see why we need to confuse all kids.

        As with all forms of pharmaceutical treatment, there has to be a rigorous period of study for side effects and unforseen consequences. Indeed, as I also say in my column, “What measures could, even in theory, be taken to ensure that these therapies don’t become self-fulfilling prophecies?”

        Please do not be offended janefae. I make no judgments concerning your lifestyle choices. But I don’t want kids to be anymore confused about gender, sex and sexuality than they already are.

      • “I’m afraid I’d have to see some hard statistics on the “cost/benefit” of the use of pharmaceutical hormone blockers. One case does not a clinical-trial make.”

        See
        “The treatment of adolescent transsexuals: changing insights.” Cohen-Ketternis et al, J Sex Med. 2008 Aug;5(8):1892-7.

        The article is available at http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/News/Europe/Cohen-Kettenis%20JSM2008.pdf

      • “Since I wrote my column I have learned that the actual number of kids with gender confusion is more in the area of one out of 30,000. ”

        Source please? Are you referring to the 50-year old study of adults (not children) in Scandinavia (quoted by the APA until recently), or something more up-to-date that I’m not aware of?

        See http://transgenderkenya.com/prevelance.pdf

  14. Well… there was a study done on 324 sex-reassigned persons in Sweden in 2003 which showed, shall we say, dubious, one might even say negative results. (See, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21364939)

    But you’re forgetting that I have no direct issue with the choice you have made. My only issue is with the promottion of transgenderism to kids. where’s the study showing it’s for the best?

    • Quote from that study abstract: CONCLUSIONS:

      Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group.

      Why would you say those were negative results? The treatment of GRS is a palliative, not a complete cure. There is no better treatment. We have greater suicide rates because of people like you, to put it bluntly: prejudiced, unwilling to read evidence in an unbiased way, and shooting your mouth off about something you do not understand.

      Where’s the study? Not done yet. You would need a study of people who have grown up as trans kids, and integrated into society. They pass very well, and do not want to be found; and there are not enough of them, yet, because only recently have parents had the courage and love and understanding to allow their children to choose their own gender presentation in these circs. There had to be a first time. There could be no “study” before then.

      • “Whatever any art fails to attain, they ever set it down upon the authority of that art itself as impossible of attainment.”
        Francis Bacon, The Great Instauration, London 1620.

      • What do you mean by that quote? Rather, “do not let the best be the enemy of the good”- fully integrating every single transsexual person into society, so that we did not kill ourselves, would be better- to start with, that needs the elimination of ignorant prejudice. GRS and transition make us happier and healthier. The same for children- those for whom it is wrong will not be pressured into it. Those for whom it is right, refusing it is cruel.

    • Could you please define what this word “Trangenderism” means?

      Is it like “Blindism” – meaning a philosophy that states that Blind people exist, that corneal transplants etc (while not a complete cure, and only appropriate in some cases) help, and that this encourages sighted people to believe they can’t see?

      • Ha! Good one. Touché!

        No seriously, the issue when it comes to telling kids they might be transgendered is the possibility of generating false positives. That isn’t an issue with blind kids; if they’re blind they’re blind. End of story. So it’s a completely different scenario.

      • Er,, what about kids partly blind? Or with progressive blindness? Many with limited sight are “legally blind”, it’s not a neat binary.

        I’m not trying to score debating points here. One of the main problems we face from the more conservative psychologists with no medical training is that they confuse gender-atypical play patterns in children with transsexuality.

        Have you read any of those URLs I gave you?

        Perhaps this will help. It’s the abstract from “Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation “Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

        The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

        Cases like David Reimer’s show that even if you castrate a 2 year old boy, dress him as a girl, refer to him as a girl, bring him up as a girl, you’ll have zero effect on his gender identity. He’ll exhibit male play-patterns, and insist he’s a boy, darnit, no matter what he looks like!

        You seem to think that Gender Identity is malleable, that children can get confused. It’s not, and they can’t, not when even such decade-long brainwashing doesn’t change it one iota. .

        Hence the problem we have when body shape doesn’t match. No amount of “talking cures”, psychotropic drugs, brain surgery, beatings, “behaviour modification” involving contingent skin shock (use of cattle prods on eyeballs and genitalia) works, and yes, all have been tried many times in the past.

    • Mr. Popoff,

      The study you quote does not have enough subjects to be statistically significant. It only means there *may* be enough evidence to pursue further the issues studied, and in any case, it only applies to the 324 individuals under study.

      If the study had 32400 subjects, that starts to enter into statistical significance unless there are problems with the methodology.

      Until you can provide statistically significant data, I am inclined to say that this result is what statisticians call an unlikely event.

  15. It’s amazing that pharmaceutical treatment is viewed with suspicion in so many medical cases these days. You can’t watch a commercial for a new drug without being subjected to a barage of side-effects which lead one to question whether the pharmaceutical “cure” isn’t perhaps worse than the ailment itself.

    And yet here we are debating the merits of giving kids hormone-disrupting drugs. Have I read any of those URLs you gave me? Yes, some… but the issue isn’t whether transgenderism is real or whether it should be treated with drugs (or surgery). The issue is whether any of this applies to children who don’t even possess sexual awareness. So what if a little boy wants to play with dolls. Let him. But give him drugs? I’m sorry but that’s simply not natural.

    Have a look at the comments above. 95% of them assume that I’m attacking the very concept of transgendersim. And that’s totally off the mark for the purposes of this discussion.

    • Mr. Popoff, I am wondering if you saw my post regarding Rev. David E. Weekley and his book: In From The Wilderness, Sherman (She-r-man)? Realizing children receiving homone blockers is controversial, yet it is an appropriate treatment if a child is truly transgender( not transgenderist). It saves the child from much suffering. Perhaps a phone discussion with Rev. Weekley (who transitioned 36 years ago and has been an ordained United.Methodist Clergy 30 years) would be helpful? He also has a degree in psycology and is a licensed pastoral counselor, who counsels families of transgender children. If you are truly open minded and seeking to educate yourself, his perspective would be valuable at least to have on the table for consideration.
      I for one am grateful for this discussion happening. Deborah Weekley
      You can reach him at: shermantoday@comcast.net

    • –“95% of them assume that I’m attacking the very concept of transgendersim. ”

      Given the confrontational headline
      “Transgendered kids a bunch of baloney ”

      I think that’s a fair assessment of what you did do.

      — “Let’s face it, believing people are born with the wrong gender makes as much sense as believing we could be born with the wrong race. ”

      Now you’re back-peddling from this. That’s not just OK, it’s admirable. As Keynes said: “When the facts change, I change my mind — what do you do, sir?”

      What isn’t is admirable is disingenuously pretending that you didn’t get it wrong initially. No matter, as long as you get it right in the end.

  16. I have to agree with Zoe Brain, I have tried to will my gender “straight” or will myself into being male, and it was impossible.

    My gender is female, what made me female, I guess is a product of many factors, a broken home, no male parent, suspected child abuse[?], but despite everything I tried, I am still female, and now legally female, still with a birth defect.

    Mischa, I am quite confused by your position, on what basis do you base this article on? Do you have any scientific proof that can be independently confirmed or disproved as per peer review method?

    Justine-Paula

  17. Wait a minute… I’m not suggesting that anyone should “will” him or herself into being gender “straight.” I’m saying kids need not be exposed to something that’s completely irrelevant to them, especially if it involves pharmaceuticals.

    Having said that, I’m curious about something here. If gender confusion was potentially the result in your case of “many factors, a broken home, no male parent, suspected child abuse…” then why not consider counseling instead of pharmaceuticals and surgery?

    In any case, that’s a question for you to answer, not me, although as I say I’m curious. The question here is why do we need to expose kids to something that’s not even relevant until they grow up? That’s the whole point of my column, and nothing more. Please explain.

    • Whole point? Not so. You forget you got to the table by instigating you knew trans people, and that trans eventually regret their srs “mistakes”. You picked the hits and ignored the misses to get here — a scientific no-no.

      On the question of why you just asked? Because anything and everything we can do to cut the eventual suicide rate matters — this especially includes reaching out to kids medically. Counseling has always been an important part — but it isn’t enough and the dire number of kids who end up killing themselves later in life is evidence of that. Its relevant now, while their minds are developing. Putting them on “hold” until their 18 will not make a dent in the suicide rate, but it WILL, as you point out, save taxpayers money.

    • I can assure you it’s relevant long before their teens. Most kids know what sex they are before age 6. In boundary cases, gender identity can crystallise later, but nearly always before age 10.

      Ignorance breeds fear and hatred. Kids need to be taught at an early age that some are born blind, others redheads, others left-handed, others of ambiguous or misleading sexual appearance. This is so as parents, they can teach their kids this, and we can break this cycle of ignorance.

      I picked my new name – “Zoe” at age 10. By then, I’d had broken ribs, a fractured skull etc from other kids.

      I’m not Trans, I’m Intersex. One of those cases involving “natural sex change” (from the 3 beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficient form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia – not that anyone knew about such things in the 1960’s).

      My son is Intersex too. He’s 10, nearly 11. Things are getting better, but only through education. The fact that so many people object to being told that biology is not as clear-cut as they’d like it to be shows the extent of the problem, and how far we still have to go.

      My son has learnt not to emphasise that his biological father is biologically female. He’s also learnt how to defend himself from physical assault by both children and adults. Hopefully my grandchildren won’t have to.

  18. Mischa, this is how I see what has happened. You published an article that called for a certain action to occur to a vulnerable segment of a countries community, and there has been an international backlash against this article.

    You are not I gather a psychiatrist or psychologist licensed to practice medicine in Canada, and yet you propose a course of action that could result in a death from a young child that has not sort or had access to professional mental health workers.

    I think it is high time you raise the white flag of surrender, be gracious in defeat, admit you clearly are not fully aware of all the various role players in this arena of child psychiatry/psychology.

    In the end there are many professionals both in education and in medicine that are trained and professional enough to not let personal bias cloud treatment decisions.

    The child/children concerned have layers of professionals that they can access, teachers, school counselors, on call medical doctors and specialists in child psychiatry and psychology.

    Just in closing, the use of medications to control the onset or delay of puberty is not taken lightly and it is very very difficult if not near impossible to obtain in most countries for children under the age of 18 years.

    Gender is a very complex condition to treat/diagnose and any form of gatekeeping by anyone other than someone highly trained is dangerous. Let this be the end of this debate, rant name calling.

    We as the transsexual community are offended that anyone that is potentially transsexual or is transsexual is denied treatment in whatever form that takes.

    Justine-Paula

  19. That’s really an incredible assessment Justine-Paula. You’re quite right that I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist. I am a parent. And, as a parent, it is my right to raise my children the way I see fit.

    Have a look back at all of my comments (and my column while you’re at it). You might not like what I wrote, but it is all well-founded and I have not derided you for your choices. Not once. But here you are deriding me for my choices. All I am saying is that your choices remain YOUR choices and that the public education system does NOT parlay your choices onto unwitting kids.

    And no, pharmaceutical hormone-blocking drugs are not “very very difficult if not near impossible to obtain in most countries for children under the age of 18 years.” Here in Canada and the United States they can quite easily be obtained, often with tragic results. For all the talk of suicides amongst teens and kids who were transexual but who weren’t reached in time, there are just as many suicides on the other side of the fence amongst people who underwent hormonal or surgical alterations which in the end proved emotionally insurmountible. Thus my column.

    What you’re failing to realize here is that there are two sides to this story. Sorry, but apparently I’m telling the side you just don’t want to hear.

  20. Alright, Mr. Popoff.

    I wish a turn with you. Your basic questioning then is “why” should we teach kids who have no sense of sexual self.

    The simple answer is, it is time. This is an issue who’s time has came. What better way to work toward thwarting an already overly disproportionately high Suicide rate, than by teaching children that there are differences in ‘some people’. That these differences are not something to joke about, to make fun of, or to harass and bully over. That because there are people who are different in these ways, they are as normal as anyone else when shown acceptance, and understanding.

    Mr. Popoff. It is not about SEX! You seem to be missing this fundamental point. You also seem to be preoccupied with the ‘sexual’ component to transsexualism. But your preoccupation is ill-founded. You say you don’t have an issue with “transgenderism” (a misnomer term, it’s really transsexualism). Yet your article is riddled with inferences to a ‘sexual’ intonation as that is all transsexualism is. It isn’t! Please listen to what these people who’ve offered you significant verifiable data on this condition, have to say. Even the very headline of your article suggests that you believe this medical condition we have suffered through is “balony”. This suggests at your ignorance ‘complet’.

    So, if you don’t wish to be mis-taken as to your actual perception of those who have transsexualism, I highly suggest that you make a recantation to your article. Research more evidence. Reassess your position. And, offer a more constructive point of conjecture than the highly adjective charged biased criticism of a subject that already receive enough from less educated persons.

  21. Dawn, you’re playing word games.

    Yes, it is about sex. And no, I never joked about transgenderism, made fun of anyone, or harassed or bullied.

    What you need to do is prove you’re not going to do more harm than good with your plan. Prove it. These are kids we’re talking about. Just because it worked for you doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.

    It’s amazing that you (and some others, but not all) insist that I recant, apologize, give up, rather than engage in debate. My point is indeed constructive, you’re just not sure what it is.

  22. I have no delusion of your position. However, I do offer a correction of your assessment. IT IS NOT ABOUT SEX!

    Title: “Transgender kids a bunch of baloney

    If you didn’t know your kids were being
    exposed to all the graphic detail of a triple-X pornography movie at school, where the heck have you been?
    It’s not enough to teach kids who still believe in the Easter Bunny about same-sex couples; it’s vital, so the experts say, that our kids know what these same-sex couples do in the privacy of their bedrooms.”

    What should we start with? The title, or the first paragraph?

    Sir, you are equating me, and every other person who has suffered with this medical condition, recognized by the AMA, as being in league with X-rated pornography! A play with words? Not on my account. From you? Probably. Though that still remains to be seen. Is this, or is this not your actual position as stated above and quoted from your article? If it is then you are doing no one any service other than to inflame a populace whom hasn’t any more of a significant background concerning this medical condition than you do.

    Lesson plans in schools are still run through board approved assessment to validate that such lesson plans meet approved criteria. You are being completely disingenuous by making a claim that “triple-X pornography” is being displayed, let alone even considered. Have you actually looked at the lesson plans that might be utilized in your school locations? Please provide examples of your rhetoric that legitimates such that’s being offered to these children.

    No sir! It should not amaze you that myself and others take homage to such depictions of a subset of populace which only has relevance to an attempt at keeping that subset marginalized, again by inflaming a lesser knowledge advantaged demographic. You, through representation of your article are attempting to show us as deviant, as less than human, and amoral. It’s really not about the ‘young minds full of mush’ that you feel is ‘too young to garner any effective meaning’ of such teachings. Your article is simply a defamatory example of ignorance of an issue that is serious. Very serious. So, yes. You ought to give serious consideration to reexamining your position by utilizing more clear-headed thinking than that which you wrote.

    I’m not asking you to alter your view. But, stop with the vitriolic examples of clearly despicable editorialistic drivel. People who disagree on a matter of public import, can do so in much an improved, more validating, and effective offering than that which you wrote. Unless of course, it is their intent to do otherwise. That is my concern with your article. And, that is a reflection upon your own character, sir. Your choice.

  23. I’m sorry you feel that way Dawn. I don’t judge you. But as a parent I have the right to draw the line on the teaching of non-academic subjects. since when does a teachers union get to decide how my child will be raised. I can no more impose my values on you than you can on me. But we can debate. To that end, I once again ask that comments be kept short, or at least shorter.

  24. Mr Popoff,

    My apologies for a lengthy post. Yet, this is a very serious issue in the context of how you framed it. I just don’t see that you quite understand that.

    I’m not concerned for myself in your judgments, so save it. You can take care of that with your maker when you two, someday meet. I am though, as concerned with the education of our youth every bit as much as you yourself claim to be. Though, once again, where is the material you reference in your article about “triple-X pornography” that is being offered to your children, or anyone else’s in public schools? If there is none, you have simply illegitimized a point of support for your argument. As well, an entire editorial article which you penned. The end result of which has only served to further stigmatize and denigrate, not educate. Somehow, I feel that may not have been your first intent when you began writing on the topic. Perhaps you simply couldn’t resist the provocative as you went on in it’s creation.

    Let’s start with that and see where it goes.

    • The reference to “triple-X pornography” in my column is in regards to the fact that anal sex, oral sex and masturbation are taught to kids in Grade 6 in BC and Ontario. (You know, so they won’t be “confused” and maybe hurt themselves.)

      And, unfortunately for you and your cause, this same curriculum includes transexualism, which I agree with you wholeheartedly is NOT a sex issue. (See what happens when you openy debate? You occassionally find agreement.) So, you see, I am only reporting on the state of affairs such as they are.

      You should petition the BC and Ontario Teachers Unions to remove transexualism from their progressive Sex-Ed curriculum. It seems that would satisfy your concerns. All you get by criticising me is a great debate, but no resolution.

  25. Rather than respond to the above, Mr Popoff. Consider this.

    You state that you have the “…… right to draw the line on the teaching of non-academic subjects.”

    Do you actually have such a “right”? A public school system is not typically responsive to every whim of student parentage. If it were so, there simply wouldn’t be a public school system operable. You can however, express your concerns to the local school board, and administrators in charge. Failing an amenable solution, you have the option of private schooling, or home schooling. Though, possibly not in Canada. I am more familiar with The States. As such, that is where your “rights” typically end.

    The only other way to effect change is to lobby; i.e. school boards, voting public, legislators, or academic regents.

    When you go before a school board to ask for changes to curriculum, what are you going to show them in support of your claim that your kids are being shown “triple-X pornography”?

  26. Okay, I overlapped another ‘ask’ and just saw your reply to my earlier post. Sorry.

    If indeed those depictions are offered to children as young as you claim. Then there can be some level of concern. Grade 6 is what? Pre-adolescent teens? But, I beg of you. Those issues, and depictions are not the same as the understandings of what being afflicted with transsexualism is. I would be appalled if that is what is offered to garner understanding for our condition.

    What I see here, I think is an associative alignment being put forth that somehow, you are equating same-sex relationships with that of transsexualism. I assert to you, they are wholly different. School subject course matter attempting to bring these issues together as well without differentiation is equally troubling.

  27. Dear Dawn:

    Then we are in agreement.

    As Hegel said, “thesis versus antithesis breeds synthesis.”

    If we agree that transsexualism does not belong in the same-sex-education curriculum, then I dare say we have made a breakthough.

    Now, please keep in mind what I said above… that I respect you, that I know some transgendered people and they are welcome in my home anytime, that one of them is a close, personal, lifelong friend whom I watched transform. I disagree with what he did, but I still love him like a brother. Always will.

    I hope that underlines the profundity of our agreement. the question now is, how do we carry it forward?

  28. Yes! It would appear we have some agreement. Yay!

    How do we carry it forward? Some thing of this nature needs a clearer representation in a public forum, i.e. school board meetings and such. A setting with people of professional background on the issue as well as people (parents) whom have children in the school system.

    Though, I think it imperative that clear separation of distinction is needed in offering subject matter concerning transsexualism and how we are ‘different’ to create respectful understanding of the issue. Having children learn of transsexualism is no danger to anyone’s principles. Remember, there was a time when people thought lepers were ‘damned people’. It is time to begin education of everyone, young and old, that transsexualism is not a figment of a persons imagination, and not something they should be ridiculed and bullied for.

    As for the sex-education being offered in your children’s schools. I just cannot agree that ‘sexual acts – hetero, gay, or other – are necessary to be taught to children at such an age. However, awareness and tolerance for a persons gender preferences in who they like, boyfriend-girlfriend, boyfriend-boyfriend, or girlfriend-girlfriend can be effectively, respectfully, sensitively, and sensibly taught. Courses for such can and should be developed and instituted for age appropriate circumstances.

  29. Dear Dawn:

    I’m glad you brought up the issue of awareness and tolerance for people with gender preferences in who they like, boyfriend-girlfriend, boyfriend-boyfriend, etc…

    This leads me to my latest column which I think you and everyone on this forum will find pleasantly surprising. The title is
    “No gays or Jews allowed in the Little Mosque” and you can read it by clicking here: http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/local-columnists/

    Just when you think you know a person…

    I can’t wait to hear what you all think.

    All the best y’all!
    MP

  30. Mischa, I need to respond to you with a few simple questions.

    1: Why are you so afraid of “transgenderism?
    2: Have you met anyone with transgenderism??
    3: Where they contagious?
    4: Is transgenderism a communicable notifiable disease?
    5: Has anyone tried to convert your child/children into transgenderism?
    6: Is transgenderism a religion?
    7: What do you mean by transgenderism must not be taught?

    8: What is so wrong about about a child questioning their gender?
    9: Children should question everything, if they do not, how can they be an informed adult.

    In closing you and your wife have a number of choices:

    A: Try and fight the system of education
    B: Retreat and accept the system of education.
    C: Home School the children.

    You have rights when it comes to how your child/ children are educated, who is holding you hostage to where you live?

    If you are not happy, then move, it is what any respectable parent does, Canada does not own you, Move to a country or educational area that you feel is in line with your thinking…

    Justine-Paula

  31. Omg, Mischa you think that masturbation is an evil thing of some sort?

    Dr Oz, and even the most evil of organizations the Focus on the Family head honco in his books openly preaches accepting of masturbation.

    Transsexuals will exist, gays and lesbians will exist, hetrosexual couples will exist. No one is going away.

    What would happen if you child one day dates/marries a transsexual pre-op? Or is gay/lesbain or even worse is in fact transsexual?

    Non Academic subject at school? What does this mean? To me this means physical education.

    Teaching children about the differences in each other removes the stigma when you meet someone that is not the same as you. It would be akin to what happened in south africa in the 1940’s to 1990’s when we had schools that were skin color divided.

    As a result the children learnt to fear the other races, and as soon as children mix, they are color blind to skin color, as will happen when you mix non transsexuals with transsexuals.

    I still cannot fully grasp what it is you are so afraid of? Why this irrational fear of some kind of evil will overcome your children and turn them into some kind of cross-dressing freak?

    Justine-Paula

  32. Q: Mischa you think that masturbation is an evil thing of some sort?

    A: Nope, never said that. (You really have to read my column too I’m afraid.)

  33. Mischa,

    So, I read your linked article just now. I really don’t see the relevance beyond the idea that you are trying to portray yourself as not being homophobic. Okay, I get that.

    The greater message in it though is that you feel the writers, creators, and broadcasters are operating in a PC mode trying not to offend the extreme fundamental element of the Muslim community by not introducing archetypical ‘infidel’ characters. Okay, I get that.

    But, here’s what I don’t get. You are attempting to portray yourself as inclusive and tolerant in these comments and the linked to article. Honestly, I do see a little shining through. However, at the same time what is it that is making you to hold fast to your stubbornness concerning the portrayal you yourself have portrayed transsexual people as concerning this article? I tend to see that there is movement in your understanding of what transsexualism is. I tend to see that you understand the distinction between same-sex attraction and transsexualism. One is based on preference to attraction of a sex partner, the other is a medical condition.

    So, why not make it clear in another article that the overly broad brush with which you’ve painted those of us who have this medical condition as being amoral, are actually not so? You’ve completely miscategorized us and used us as a stereotypical aberration. An unjust example to help make a point of how you feel politically concerning sex education within the public school system.

    Wouldn’t it be a better, more righteous position to take, since you now have a clearer understanding of transsexualism and the negative effects that disinformation and stereotypes can have upon us, by adjusting your article with the actual truth? Maybe even an addendum correction?

    • Wo-wo-wo Dawn. I never said you were amoral.

      To the contrary, my column explains that I know transexual people and my comments above explain that I have nothing but respect for those people.

      The issue is with the use of pharmaceutical hormoe-blocking drugs on children who aren’t even “gendered” beings yet. Everything else I’m afraid is an interpretation of my views, presumptuous at best, higly misleading at worst.

      Having said that, I can appreciate that you and others on this blog are hypersensitive to any sort of criticism. So go back and read my column. You might not like its tone, but if you read it carefully you will see I’m not opposed to your choices.

  34. Mischa Popoff

    OMFG are you serious???

    you call us transgenderists wrong. LMAO get a fucking clue. I was a trans child now I am a trans adult and try hards like you are basically an annoyance and dangerious. YOU KNOW NOTHING zEro zilch You have nothing but distorted opinions and transphobic backyard science to bring to the table. One day people like you will be the ones that are psychologically evaluated and regarded DSM worthy until tat day I will treat your ignorant type as garden variety cornflake psychos who are transphobic and treat them accordingly. You sir are a faker. Your knowledge on trans issues is archaic and mis informed at best. Good luck with your strange obsession. [L]

  35. if you are wondering why trans people are pissed with you then you really dont have a clue which means its time for you to be quiet now. Show some respect and maybe try and learn a thing or 2 about your cis gendered privilege and obvious glowing lack of clarity and understanding of non cis issues. At the end of the day all your doing is fear mongering and your opinions aren’t completely benign. You are just as frightening to trans children as a pedophile. GTFO of our business if you dont know what your talking bout which is obvious. Its about time we pushed for an informed choice model so we can avoid mis informed rubbish from douche canoes like you.

    • Dear Indi X Edwards Roughsedge:

      I’m sensing hostility. Can you honestly say you sense hostility in anything I have said? If so, you need to read more carefully.

      For instance, you’re clearly not aware that I’m far from homophobic. To the contrary, I just wrote a column defending the rights of homosexuals. Of courtse it must be said that homosexuality has anything to do with transgenderism, but you’re the one who leveled that accusation above. And it’s wrong. Plain wrong. And you call me the “douche canoe”?

      Your response to a bit of healthy criticism and free debate is epitomized in your statement that “One day people like you [that’s be me] will be the ones that are psychologically evaluated.” All I’m hearing in a statement like that is the desire for revenge. But revenge against what? I have not demeaned you nor any other transexual ever.

      If I’m wrong, prove it. And save the invective for your next street brawl.

  36. Mischa,

    The debate generated by the article you wrote has cannot be seen as healthy criticism, and I think you – by now – must understand why. Denying so only proves an unwillingness to face the truth. s you’ve seen, emotions on this topic can run high. You can only equate to this condition and have true certainty of conviction for it, only if you’ve lived through it.

    I do not believe you to be a, “homophobic douche canoe”. Contrary, I believe you still have doubts about the authenticity of this condition. Yet, I have to believe that cloud is clearing from your mind.

    Zoe, has provided you the best data set for your summation to validate our contentions here. Thus, with these assertions and the compelling amount of discussion in here on this, I would ask that you consider a new article to offer clarity for your real concerns.

    Those being, rather the information being dispensed in your schools sex-education classes are indeed age-inappropriate – by your opinion – and at the same time offer a retraction to your misinterpreted maligning statements fostered in not only the title of the article, but also some of the content. You have to agree the very sex acts you say are being taught to 6th graders (“…anal sex, oral sex and masturbation…”) are not confined to strictly homosexual and/or transsexual behavior. There are plenty of heterosexual people who also ‘enjoy’ those nuances. Still, I feel these depictions are age inappropriate, myself and should not be offered in these settings.

    Mischa, you’ve simply picked on the wrong target scapegoat to focus your disdain of school curriculum. Can you not admit that?

  37. Sorry for the typos.

  38. Actually, the real headline for my column was supposed to be: “Transgendered kids? Are you sure?” But editors have the final say on headlines, always.

    I would not have used the headline my editor chose. I feel it cheapened the serious nature of my column somewhat. But, alas, there is absolutely nothing a columnist can do to alter a headline.

    With that said, the serious question I raise in my column is whether kids who aren’t sexual being yet should be taught that they might be the wrong gender? It’s a perfectly valid question, one with which it appears you agree. Why would I offer a retraction?

    Then there’s the issue of giving pharmaceutical hormone-blockers to kids. Since when do we go rushing for the medicine cabinet whenever something’s awry these days? Isn’t the trend AWAY from pharmaceuticals?

    I suggest you take your objections to the headline up with my editor at the Kelowna Daily Courier. He’s an eminently objective man, one of the best I’ve delt with in this business. Be succinct though because he’s quite busy.

    And while you’re at it, feel free to suggest that we might want to run a sort of face-off column in which we go back and forth in print on this issue. I’d be more than willing to do that and to remain respectful throughout.

  39. A face-off? What an intriguing thought. I’ve actually never considered doing an op-ed on such a topic. However, I may just do so, as you requested. Should I make an effort to do so, I wish everyone here to know that I would only speak for myself and my understanding, and not the entire community. I simply would have no right to assume as much.

    I don’t know though, being pithy in such articles is really not my style. But I could try!

    Further, to clarify from your last thoughts, your assumption that I have agreement as to whether information about transsexualism (or more accurately in the context of teaching these young children; Gender/Sex Incongruity is what they are dealing with which may at a later date be determined to be transsexualism) should be taught to children is a bit muddled. It can and should be done in an age appropriate manner, only!

    Mischa, you seem still to be equating the ‘sex acts’ you described as being an identifying factor for transsexualism. It is not. As such, THAT part – so far – that you’ve offered, I do agree, should not be a part of the curriculum because of the stipulation I just made. That, and the fact that such information is entirely age-inappropriate for any sex-ed class in such primary grade levels.

    The issue of hormone blocking agents. Once again, you’re making invalid assumptions. No one goes “rushing in” to such a decision without careful assessment, guidance and monitoring from a qualified endocrinologist. Any contention otherwise is simply without merit. or qualified understanding of the subject matter.

    Finally. Should I make the request, I too would remain respectful through-out.

  40. Sounds good Dawn.

    As I said above, “thesis versus antithesis breeds synthesis.”

  41. “With that said, the serious question I raise in my column is whether kids who aren’t sexual being yet should be taught that they might be the wrong gender? It’s a perfectly valid question, one with which it appears you agree. ”

    Sexuality is different from gender. I knew what gender I was at age 10 (actually a bit before). I became sexual at age 47 (biological issues there, but basically I didn’t “get” sexual attraction until I experienced it for the first time)..

    So teach them that most people are either girls or boys, just like most people are right-handed.

    But a very few people aren’t quite either, and some girls look like boys, some boys look like girls. Just as some people are ambidextrous, and others left-handed.

    It’s unusual, sometimes very unusual, but quite normal.

    Some people have red hair too, and some have different coloured skin, it comes in all shades. Eyes can be brown, green, blue, they can even change colour in your teens.

    That’s really all you have to teach, and preferably fairly early – Grade 2 or so. Sex as in sexual acts and attraction are entirely separate, and best left till later.

    Remember – Trans and Intersex kids are *born* like it. They’re aware of it long before sex comes into it.

  42. I’ve given the dry, dusty figures, the experimental results… though that’s not even the tip of the iceberg, more like the pebble on top of Mt Everest.

    This is what it means in practice, in reality.

    MONDAY, 11 APRIL 2011
    “I would rather have a live daughter than a dead son.”

    Cemeteries can be pretty bleak places, but when it is on the outskirts of a faceless Dutch suburb under a grey January sky, it feel about as about as desolate as you can possibly get. When you are visiting the grave of a child who killed herself in her early teens, the feeling of despair, especially when accompanied by her mother, gives way to an urge to weep bitterly. It is an urge which I am unable to resist as I do the maths subtracting the date of death from the day she was born. It is one thing to be told Juliaantje* was only 14, but to see it carved in marble was too much to bear. Holding her photograph her mother sobs uncontrollably as I hug her while she in turn hugs a precious photograph.

    The picture is of a sunny, smiling, apparently bubbly teenager, with long hair and a grey T-shirt. There is nothing in the picture to suggest that she was transgender, but that is the reason she took her life.

    When she was 12 her mother tried to have her put onto hormone blockers to delay puberty. She didn’t want to develop body hair, a deep voice or have wet dreams. She had already self-harmed when young, trying to slice her penis off with a pair of scissors. However, in what was clearly a borderline decision, the psychologists decided to that she should not be given these drugs. She should be given counselling instead. In despair her mother, a single parent, tried to take her to the United States, but the air fare and the £200 a month cost of these drugs was way beyond her means. Her father had no money either and both sets of grandparents didn’t want to know.

    Two years later the talking therapy failed. Juliaantje took a massive overdose and died, having self-harmed, abused alcohol and other substances for more than a year before that.

    “She was an intelligent and lively girl.” Her mother tells me through the tears and a large glass of Genever in a nearby café, probably the only thing that can deaden the pain of losing her only child. “She had a great future ahead of her, she could have done anything, been a doctor, a lawyer her teachers said…” Her voice breaks. Her happy nature had disappeared when male puberty really hit. “Her voice broke and she started to get facial hair and hair on her chest. She wore make up and turtle-neck jumpers to hide it all, but she simply couldn’t deal with the way her body was developing…”

    Did she blame the psychiatrists? No. Psychiatry is never going to be an exact science, there will always be people who don’t fit into their categories. She does however, feel that they could have given her the benefit of the doubt. “The effects of hormone blockers are easy to reverse, you just stop taking them…” There would have been no risk to her daughter if, at any time she decided that she did not want to be a girl she could simply have stopped, and male puberty would have started.

    Hormone Blockers are essentially a way for young trans people and children to leave their options open. They open an extended open window of choice, which gives them time to think about their future, a time during which young people can decide whether they wish to remain the sex they were assigned at birth, whether that be male or female, or whether they need gender reassignment surgery after the age of 18. Talking to mothers of transgender children in the UK who have been prescribed hormone blockers, usually at great cost (£200 a month plus the cost of a consultation in and flight to the United States) one thing comes across loudly and clearly; “I would rather have a live daughter than a dead son.” One of them told me. One mother had remortgaged her house to pay the cost of these drugs knowing what her child was like, she realised that this would probably be the only way to keep her alive.

    Another mother talked of how her young child had been prescribed a cocktail of a dozen drugs, including Ritalin, because of behaviour problems at home and at school. Yet when her child was recognised as transgender everything changed. As soon as she was treated as a girl, the tantrums, the bedwetting, the crying, the screaming, the hyperactivity, the violence, just stopped, as did the need for any of the drugs. “She became happy and contented almost overnight, just because we treated her like a girl! The psychologist who spotted this probably saved her life.”

    Predictably the accusation of “child abuse” has been levelled at those who advocate prescribing hormone blockers to children between the ages of 12 and 15 (they already are prescribed to those over the age of 16) in the UK. This flies in the face of the evidence in both the United States and Holland, where these drugs have been successfully, and harmlessly prescribed for many years. It also flies in the face of the experience of parents of transgender children, who have lived a day-to-day existence, hoping that their child is still alive and in one piece. Until her daughter was prescribed hormone blockers at age 16 one mother told me of the anguish she and her husband felt when their child had gone missing for a few days when she was 14. “We really thought we would never see her again. Every time the phone rang we thought it would be the police wanting us to identify a body.”

    Now that this technology has been developed, not making it available to all those children who need it is child abuse. Three years ago the trans community was shocked by the suicide of a transgender child who was only 10 years old. The allegation of “child abuse” has been levelled at parents who permit their transgender child to express the gender they prefer and who let them have hormone blockers. Yet this is effectively child abuse in reverse. Not to allow trans children to express their gender identities is actually child abuse. Those who throw accusations of child abuse around without knowing the facts are the ones who are child abusers by proxy; putting pressure on parents to force their children to conform to the gender they were assigned at birth no matter what the consequences
    .
    Hormone blockers save lives and extend trans children’s options. Whether you believe the studies which variously claim that “50%”, “66%”, “75%”, “90%” or “98%” of trans children become cisgender adults, the fact is that all these drugs do is keep their options open. The fact is that sociological research has shown that these (psychiatric) statistics are based on thoroughly unreliable data, wildly overestimated at best and downright misleading at worst.

    Wittgenstein famously said “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” I wish some people would do some serious research before making up their minds.

    — from http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

  43. Mischa, describe what it is you are most afraid will happen if children are taught about transgender/transsexual people?

  44. I’m most afraid of giving pharmaceutical hormone-blocking therapy to a kid who doesn’t even have his/her own hormones coursing the his/her veins yet.

  45. Ok, if I was to grade that response to my question, it would be a “D”. You failed to fully answer the question, as you failed to fully explain your fear.

    Saying you are most afraid and then not explaining this fear is not helpful to either yourself or your audience.

    How do you know that there are not hormones coursing through the veins from the moment of birth?

    Testosterone is vital in both genetic males and females, as it is this hormone that is used to create muscle, which I am pretty sure has to grow in order to accommodate the natural growth in height of the child from birth until post puberty.

    Every person on the planet has such a variety of hormones that play so many roles in the daily function of the human living systems.

    You cannot say with 100% certainty that no hormones course before puberty. After all, is it not the blood in the fetus that causes the fetus to either form an external penis and testes or an internal vagina and ovaries.

    How would this happen without hormones?

  46. http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/letters-to-the-editor/godless-society-creates-transgendered-children.html

    I quote

    “I would like to thank Mischa Popoff for his enlightening article (Transgendered kids a bunch of baloney, Jan. 16).
    What else can we expect from a Godless society? Those who don’t believe in God, obviously don’t believe in demonic spirits.
    But there is a God, and there also is a force of evil whose sole intent is to corrupt all the ways of God.
    Sex, engaged in for the wrong purpose, can become an addiction and all addictions involve an evil spiritual force.
    Scripture says, “Resist the devil and he will flee.” But if you continue to yield to his ways, his strength will increase over you until he begins to take control of your life.
    But God has provided the answer for those who turn to him and desire to be set free from the devil’s influence.
    There is another area where many do not have a clear understanding. People can live, and want to live, a perverted lifestyle, but when they insist that God made them that way, they are totally deceived.
    In fact, they are making a mockery out of God’s design and purpose for sex. The truth is, we can inherit things from our parents or other ancestors. Scripture teaches that we are born in sin.
    I knew a person who was born with an
    almost uncontrollable spirit of racial prejudice. Some of the most common spirits that are handed down from generation to generation are family pride, anger, fear, in fact it can be almost anything including an attraction for a member of the same sex.
    Instead of crying for understanding
    and acceptance, and when not finding it, committing suicide, these people should be crying for deliverance from a demonic
    influence that keeps them from living
    the happy, free lifestyle God desires for them.
    Vernon Kapler,
    Kelowna”

    SIGH.

    You may not be aware of this, Mr Popoff, but there really are people out there who believe that either we’re possessed by evil spirits, or in the case of Intersex people, are Devils in human form.

    If we’re lucky (as I have been so far), we get sprinkled with holy water. If not, gasoline, and a match.

    Your article didn’t help. Now that you know a bit more, may I really, really, really suggest a follow-up please?

    One article won’t set off more than a few crazies. But we get article after article like yours, and that creates a “moral climate of opinion” where violence becomes commonplace.

    I don’t suppose the letters TDOR mean anything to you? It’s our Day of Remembrance, where we memorialise the hundreds of us slain every year. We only know the names of a few.

  47. No Mr Popoff, you didn’t just state an opinion. Some of your most incorrect statements were stated as fact.

    You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    Actions have consequences, often unintended.

    I think you know now that you got it wrong. I’ve shown evidence of consequences you didn’t intend, and which I think you don’t like any more than I do.

    The ball’s in your court. I’m Right-Wing, and that means believing in personal responsibility. If I see a wrong, it’s my responsibility to help right it, not “someone” or “the gummint”: If it’s a wrong I’m responsible for, then I fix it as best I can, as soon as I can.

    You may differ, as is your right.. Many do, you wouldn’t be alone.

  48. Which of my statements were incorrect?

    • Let’s try one at a time: An easy one first, easy to prove is factually incorrect, though is peripheral to the issue and only a detail. Unlike misleading generalities, such as “Canadians are mass murderers” (implying that all or most are, rather than “at least 2 Canadians have been guilty of mass murder some time in recorded history”, which is factually correct), something concrete.

      “Kids who haven’t reached puberty are being taught that when they do reach puberty, they might actually be headed in the wrong direction and will require thousands of dollars’ worth of hormone therapy followed by hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of surgery.”

      I’ll leave aside what “kids are being taught”.

      Cost of surgery. You state as a fact that it costs “hundreds of thousands of dollars”. So to be generous, I’ll assume $200,000 rather than more. Furthermore, I’ll assume you’re talking worst-case rather than average.

      Care to name a source for that figure? Or did you just make facts up?

  49. Holy smokes… that’s what you mean when you say my statements were incorrect? You really need a source for the cost of sexual-reassignment surgery?

  50. Yes.

    The statement of fact was part of a hit-piece, a slanted “Op Ed” stating your opinions. An apparently made-up “fact” to bolster your case.

    You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    So – in case I’m wrong and you don’t just make up things but are merely misinformed – source please? I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here. You’ve earned that by engaging with us, in public, for the world to see. To falsely state as a fact that you made stuff up would be even worse than anything you’re accused of. If you didn’t just make it up, obviously you have a source.

    Like
    http://www.tgender.net/taw/thbcost.html
    or
    http://www.transgenderzone.com/library/st/abstract/57.htm

    • Well, zoebrain, even if sexual-reassignment surgery was not expensive, it wouldn’t change the fact that kids who aren’t even sexual being yet don’t need to know about it, or the fact that pharmaceutical hormone-blockers should NOT under any circumstances be given to a child.

      Having said that, sexual-reassignment surgery IS very expensive. One of the sources you provide puts the cost in terms of what each taxpayer pays. But that’s ridiculous. Mind-boggling in fact.

  51. Mischa, ok, this whole debate has gotten so out of hand, name calling and such.

    Yes, there are costs involved in the gender reassignment, such as the hormones, the psychological treatment, gender reassignment surgery. But there is a cost you have failed to address and that is the cost to the economy.

    This is both a cost and a benefit, it has been well established that the life-time treatment of gender reassignment is far less than you would consider, for example in the UK, the cost to the NHS of gender reassignment surgery at Charing Cross Hospital in London is £18,000 and the cost of post operation hormone treatment is far less than before surgery as you do not require the same dosage of hormones, in fact up to 2/3 less.

    Once the patient has recovered from the operation, her [most transpatients are male to female] is more productive and able to contribute an higher labour output, and will not present in the A/E due to depression and attempted suicidal attempts.

    The cost to any national health system for an obese patient requiring gastric bypass surgery is much more costly, and often requiring multiple surgeries.

    So you need to decide what is more cost effective for your C$ in taxes paid, non trans obese patients needing bypass and possible cardiac surgery, which at normal figures is at least 4x as costly as gender reassignment surgery.

    Students that undergo gender transition in late teens, early 20’s at university, once they graduate in the new gender will achieve higher results, leading to better employment–> pay more in taxes.

    Many multinational companies will pay 100% of the cost of gender treatment, as do many universities, for 1 reason, the cost of the surgery and treatment are low when compared to the transsexuals work ethic and work output.

    You have failed to discuss this aspect… You can throw away a human life as you find it disgusting?

    • Yes but kids need not be exposed to concepts they’re incapable of comprehending. And pharmaceuticals? Hormonal therapy should not be given to kids.

  52. Mischa – so you DID make your figures up? Please confirm so there’s no chance of misunderstanding here.

  53. Whew! OK, so your source is….. ?

    • Wow zoebrain… I’m impressed. That’s your shortest entry ever!

      But you’re really going to have to read my column. I didn’t provide any figures. All I pointed out is that the cost of hormone therapy is “thousands” and surgery “hundreds of thousands.”

      Yes, it’s true, a basic SRS is less than $100,000, but that’s like buying a car without seats and a steering wheel and you can spend as much as you want on subsequent cosmetic surgery, and “hundreds of thousands” is well within the realm of possibility. So there you go.

  54. Factually incorrect.

    By transitioning young, with puberty delayers, they don’t need electrolysis to remove facial hair. They don’t need augmentation mammoplasty. They don’t need “Facial Feminisation Surgery” – skull reconstruction.

    That’s the point. There’s no damage to undo.:

    This would be obvious to anyone who honestly looked at the facts, and had read the studies.

    Or who had seen the results in person (as I have), or in photos – for example the galleries available at
    http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/TSsuccesses.html

    “A Basic SRS costs less than $100,000”

    Yes, about $75,000-$85,000 less. Not “hundreds of thousands of dollars” as you stated as fact. That is not just a pardonable mistake, it’s a lie, isn’t it? You have no source, you just made up a figure you thought was roughly correct, didn’t you? In the right ballpark? When in fact you’re out by a factor of 10.

    And there’s nothing “Basic” about it, that’s the full deal, labia minora, labia majora, sensate clitoris, the works. Indistinguishable from a “standard factory model” even to an Ob/GYN, unless they do an internal exam looking for a cervix. Then they just ask when you had a hysterectomy..

    A “Basic” one with no attempt at vaginal reconstruction is less than $5000, even in the US.

    Tell me, do you manufacture “facts” out of thin air like this often? Do others who write for the Kelowna Daily Courier do it too? How do you think the editors would react if they saw this record of conversation, and your evasive replies?

    Do you want to find out? I’ll let you do it, so you can put the best light on it. Or you can fess up, and do a professional job of journalism, as I assume you’re being paid to do. That’s up to you.

    One thing I won’t do. Because I’ve requested you write a correction, I cannot ethically bring this conversation to the editors attention myself, so have no fear of that. Too much like Blackmail, I won’t be a part of that. Furthermore, I think you started out trying honestly to engage here, if only to put us in our place and show us our errors. Somewhere you went off the rails and compromised your Integrity, but that’s a very human fault. No-one likes to admit they’re wrong, especially in public.

    You can get it back though. That’s up to you and your conscience. In any event, you’ve been exposed to the facts, you can’t undo that.

    Best wishes in however you decide to play this – especially if you decide to do nothing. Most people are pretty good, when you get down to it and something minor like that can gnaw on them.

    • Holy smokes zoebrain. I read the first three sentences of your response and I finally see what the problem is.

      You want to give pharmaceutical hormone blockers to kids to cut down on the total cost of SRS later. But that cuts right to the problem I was raising in my column. How can we be guaranteed we won’t face even bigger problems later when kids who become adults change their minds? Then what? How can we be assured that hormone-blocking therapy won’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

      As for how I will decide to “play this,” I’ll make the same suggestion to you as I made to Dawn above. Contact the editor of the Kelowna Daily Courier (he’s the one who wrote the headline you don’t like) and ask if he’ll let you make submissions to him for a face-off column between us. You can tell him you already have agreement from me. Keep your points short and good luck. May the best person win.

      • Mischa Popoff, why should you think it worse that a child should have hormone blockers and a delayed puberty, than that a trans child should have the wrong puberty and have to work so much harder on her own transition- voice training, the physical changes and all- later? We would say the cost and suffering, in the case of getting the decision wrong, is far greater of the trans girl forced to undergo male puberty, than the deluded child who has puberty blocked.

        We would also say the chances of her being wrong, after a childhood expressing herself female, were very small, considering how David Reimer fought being dressed as a girl.

        In this case, doing nothing carries far greater risks of far greater suffering than giving puberty blocking treatment. GRS will come when the person is mature enough to be clear on her own decision.

        It is not so bad for trans boys, hormones will produce male hair patterns and a broken voice- but the disconnect in suffering puberty will be as great. Why should more trans children suffer, so that comparatively few deluded or oppressed children avoid a lesser trouble?

  55. Great question Clare:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. As I put it in my column, we have to determine which scenario is best before proceeding. Sure, there might be evidence that a few transgendered kids will be helped with early hormone therapy, but as with all pharmaceuticals it must be proven that more non-transgendered kids won’t be harmed. It’s the first rule of medicine, the Hippocratic oath: Do No Harm.

    • But- what if you do harm by inaction? Have you come across the Trolley problem?

      We, commenting here, all think we would have benefitted from pubertal delay. Is there anyone who has been brought up transgendered, who has not remained in their, er, contra-gonadal sex?

      We also think that, however mad and weird both parents and child are, a child is very unlikely to present transgendered for any length of time without actually being transgendered.

      • But my point is that the question is not being asked. The assumption is just because there are transgendered people out there, that hormone-blocking therapy must therefore be a good thing to expose kids to. But, as I mentioned above, the “cost/benefit” analysis must be done taking into account potential false positives.

      • No. Not just because transgendered people exist, but because transgendered children grow up to be transgendered adults, and because the harm done by forcing the wrong puberty is far greater than the harm done by delaying puberty; and because false positives, a child who is really a boy submitting to being brought up as a girl, are inherently unlikely. I am sure people who oppose transition on “religious” or other bigoted grounds would make a great deal of any false positives. We have not heard of them, because they do not exist.

        Remember we are talking only of delaying puberty, and nothing irreversible.

  56. Wow… so I’m bigoted now? I made no mention of religious grounds in my column. Like I said, the Hippocratic oath says: Do No Harm. And since Pharmaceutical hormone-blocking therapy is new there’s no possible way to know if it leads to false positives which in turn lead to unnecessary surgeries.

    So, tell me Clare, are YOU interested in a face-off column? Dawn has agreed and from what I understand is writing to my editor. I did not hear back from zoebrain. What about you?

    • If you read what I wrote again, you will see that I did not call you bigoted. I am sorry that I gave that impression to you. Harm done by inaction is as great as harm done by action, that is the lesson of the trolley problem. I would do a face-off column if Dawn’s does not go ahead. You can contact me through my blog, there is a link on my name above.

  57. Glad you don’t think I’m bigoted Clare. Thanks for clarifying.

  58. Sure, there might be evidence that a few transgendered kids will be helped with early hormone therapy, but as with all pharmaceuticals it must be proven that more non-transgendered kids won’t be harmed.

    That we’ve had proof of, or at least, proof that they haven’t been harmed over the first 30 years.

    There may be harm shown later in life.. but are we to wait 50, 60 or 70 years for every drug to be made available, when people are definitely dying without it?

    See Metzger D. The endocrine management of transgender youth. Presented at: the Canadian Pediatric Endocrine Group 2012 Scientific Meeting; Feb. 9-11, 2012; Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

    Precis at
    http://www.endocrinetoday.com/view.aspx?rid=92635

    The improvement is so high with puberty blocking, the mortality rate so high without it, that, and I quote:

    In response to Metzger’s presentation, Norman Spack, MD, an associate in endocrinology and co-director of the Gender Management Service Clinic at Children’s Hospital Boston, said not treating youths with gender identity disorder is beginning to be thought of as disregard for the Hippocratic Oath.

    • We don’t actually have 30 years of proof because kids have not ever been introduced to the topic of transgenderism in school before. In fact, what we have is 30 years of proof that most kids are just fine NOT knowing anything about transgenderism, and never mind offering them pharmaceuticals to block their hormones.

      • Mischa, how I wish in 1980 someone had told me about being transsexual, that this disconnect I was feeling was “normal” as there is a legitimate medical condition.

        I struggled for 30 years in the wilderness, and as a result I lost 30 years of living my authentic self.

        I trust pre-adolesent mental health professionals when it comes to prescribing medications to alter the natural course of the body. They would not do anything that would be in conflict with the various national Acts of Law that govern the medical profession.

        You are fighting a loosing battle, yes you will have a few fans in your corner, but many will come to see you for what you are, a scaremonger and informed semi-journalist.

        Justine-Paula

        • YOU are but One in an Ocean of those who Have Not “lost 30 years living an inauthentic self”. You are in the less than 1% of overall population of the World. To do as you support in medicine would be condemning the other 99% of the world to a life of misidentification.

      • I so wonder how a minute population of the World can so dominate an issue? I understand they feel and believe themselves malaligned, but truly the percentage of these people is soooo small, why should we bend the entire population to their way of thinking and believing?

        • At one time 99% of the world thought it was flat. Another time 99% of the world thought the sun revolved around the Earth. The 1% that DID believe the Sun was the center of the solar system was jailed by the Pope.

          Your argument wouldn’t pass muster with a junior high school debate club.

          • Darn that 17th-century Pope!

            Seriously though Lexie… surely you’re not saying that 99% of the human race is actually transgendered, are you?

            I mean, yeah, it turned out the Pope was wrong; the sun DOESN’T go around the earth. But transgendered people are surely in the minority, aren’t they? I guess I’m saying I don’t understand your analogy here.

            • One doesn’t have to be transgender to support an argument for helping kids with gender issues at a young age.

              Likewise, not everyone had to be as smart as Galileo to agree the Earth revolves around the Sun.

              Both sides of the issue has been well hashed out in this thread. We’ll leave it at that and let readers make up their own mind on this topic.

  59. Contact the editor of the Kelowna Daily Courier (he’s the one who wrote the headline you don’t like) and ask if he’ll let you make submissions to him for a face-off column between us. You can tell him you already have agreement from me. Keep your points short and good luck. May the best person win.

    Sounds good. 2 short paragraphs of statements, 2 pages of references proving them.

  60. Easy on the references. I’m sure you know they won’t be published. But even if your including them just to impress upon the editor how sound your arguments are, it might have the opposite effect of appearing as though your throwing mud at the wall to see if something sticks. Editors are too busy to check on references. Just make a solid argument that the average reader will comprehend.

    • As a journalist, are you really telling someone that unfounded facts are BETTER than supported facts with documented, respectable sources? You’re a shame to your trade, Mr. Popoff, for a number of reasons. The ethical and content side of this debate has been conducted to a standard I can’t match by Zoe, Clare, Dawn, and others, so I won’t join in there (though I fully support their statements). What I will point out is that you have a basic you’re/your error in your comment (as one specific example of your somewhat lacking grammatical and syntax habits) in addition to an appalling lack of education on your chosen topic, despite the many sources provided to you.

      A writer who can’t write and a journalist who doesn’t condone research? You are a dangerous man, and in this comment stream, you’re out-classed on the fronts of intelligence, tolerance, supporting research, and modern thinking.

      I’ve written to the Daily Courier already, and as an open-minded bisexual with no reason to be tied to the trans cause other than a moral obligation to support equal rights for all people and minority groups, I hope there are repercussions for your ignorance. I hate that your prejudiced opinions are consistently published in a paper that represents my city. I live here and love it here, and I certainly won’t accept you as a representative of the voices of Kelowna. Learn from this experience or don’t. In the campaign for equal rights for all — which will be inevitably won — you can either be a supporter or an opponent. Times are changing. Just as racism is no longer acceptable, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and other closed-minded, fear and ignorance based prejudices will be weeded out of society too, no matter how hard you, Mischa Popoff, try to prevent that from behind your facade of faked tolerance.

      • Are you serious Robyn? Yeesh. I never said unfounded facts were better than supported facts. I’m merely pointing out that a newspaper editor doesn’t have time for a deluge of references. That’s why I said, “Easy on the references.”

        If you actually read my original column you’d see it’s thoroughly researched. Why don’t you go back and do that? then you can come back here and write something a little more respectful.

        • The sources may not end up being published, but I’m sure that every respectably publication would need to know the sources for an article are legitimate. Or does your editor simply take it on faith that you’ve done your research? If that’s the case, you’ve sure got him/her fooled.

          I have read your original column. This article as well as the one in which you shame single mothers. I have been appalled by your skewing of statistics in both cases. Using whatever research you have conducted to present supposed “facts” misleadingly does not count as “thoroughly researched”.

          However you frame it or phrase it, your generalized and blanket disrespect of minority groups (so far trans people and single mothers that I’ve seen) does not deserve respect. Biased journalism with a purpose (to reduce the presence of tolerance and equality focused education for children, for example) is dangerous and should be treated as such by the concerned public. You personally are actively making lives more difficult for people right here in the community I live in, and I neither respect nor condone that. Sorry, Mr. Popoff. I’ve read your column and my opinions are informed.

          • Your bias is that you think you’re right and that’s the end of the discussion. I don’t think a 4-year old should be given ritalin, nor should he/she be given pharmaceutical hormone-blockers. If you disagree, fine. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve respect.

            If you’re right, you should be able to explain why without resorting the smears. It’s a very liberating experience. Try it.

            • I actually think that prescription drugs are far over-used as well and that the world could probably benefit from reducing its reliance on pharmaceuticals. However, there are some circumstances in which making a general statement that a particular drug is bad and wrong and shouldn’t be used does far more harm than good. In the context that you presented in your article, the statement was used (as others have mentioned) in a fear-mongering way, and so it falls into the particular circumstance where it is detrimental. What use is there in creating a baseless fear that children could get put on hormone blockers willy nilly and end up transgendered by mistake? That seems to me what you’re suggesting in your article, and it helps no one.

              You are right about one thing: I’m biased towards believing in equal rights. No, you will not convince me it is best for the children to keep them in the dark about the existence of the trans community, nor will you convince me that hormone blockers are a lurking threat just waiting to claim poor, defenseless children.

              Since you seem to think I disrespect you on a personal level, let me quote what I’ve said to clarify:
              “However you frame it or phrase it, your generalized and blanket disrespect of minority groups (so far trans people and single mothers that I’ve seen) does not deserve respect.”

              If you pay real close attention, you’ll see that I’m saying it’s your disrespect of minority groups that I don’t respect. I don’t even know you as a person, and would never say what you personally deserve. It’s your opinions, the ones you claim to be fact and publish in the Daily Courier as if they have weight and value, that I don’t respect. I take huge issue any time anyone tries to pass off their personal biases as rational. It’s because so many people keep quiet while others try to prove their prejudices are right that prejudice still exists today.

              It isn’t my intention to personally attack you, as my issue is with your articles and with much of what you’ve said here. I have no interest in critiquing you as a human being, as I generally refrain from offering my opinion if it’s on a subject I’m uneducated about. THAT’S a very liberating experience. Try it.

            • ‘All right. Then tell me how I said what I said in a “in a fear-mongering way.”’

              Okay then, I will.

              “If you didn’t know your kids were being exposed to all the graphic detail of a triple-X pornography movie at school, where the heck have you been?”
              There’s an example of you trying to scare parents into thinking their children are being exposed to inappropriate material at school.

              “How does it even qualify as education to teach someone who isn’t old enough to have sex about every possible way they could have sex?”
              There’s an example of you trying to scare parents into thinking their children are going to be taught kinky secrets? I’m not sure what you’re even trying to suggest there, except that it’s possible our teachers are going to explain all sorts of complicated sexual positions to children, which is just absurd.

              “As if this wasn’t troubling enough, the leaders of B.C.’s and Ontario’s education systems have also decided to teach kids they might be transgendered. You heard right. Kids who haven’t reached puberty are being taught that when they do reach puberty, they might actually be headed in the wrong direction and will require thousands of dollars’ worth of hormone therapy followed by hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of surgery.”
              Now you’re evidently trying to scare parents into thinking teachers are going to be trying to coerce children into becoming transgender, and further alluding to the inevitable financial debt that you’re exaggerating for the point of making your case all the more frightening.

              “I know transgendered people; they can attest this is a huge mistake.”
              And now you’re using fear in a different way, a more dangerous way, because this fear is targeted towards the people who are perhaps already facing the difficulties of defining or even changing their gender and now you’re suggesting that something they think could be an answer to their suffering is really something that they’re going to regret.

              “But, alas, unfettered by common sense, the proponents of transgenderism argue a couple kids out of a thousand might face some degree of confusion over their gender, and hence argue that therefore our publicly funded education systems must teach our kids – all of ’em – that they might really be members of the opposite sex.”
              And now you’re using fear to promote ignorance, to encourage others to adopt your view that it’s wrong to educate youth on the idea that there are people who are different than them and that it’s okay for them to be different.

              I could continue to quote your article if you’d like. After all, there’s plenty of material to quote at you regarding the ridiculous issue of you suggesting false positives are a realistic issue and that kids will for some reason pursue GRS into adulthood even if they don’t identify with that gender. However, I think I’ve made my point. Fear-mongering is a tone. When you write in a way that is specifically intended to portray your topic in a threatening light, that’s an attempt to make people fear something they may not even understand based on biased (and in some cases, outright fabricated) information from YOU, when you’re clearly not even an authority on the subject. It’s damaging, and it’s unethical.

              • But Robyn, our kids ARE being exposed to all the detail of a triple-X pornography movie at school.

                I really don’t care what a person’s sexual orientation is. I have many gay and transgendered friends. But kids don’t need to know about anal sex.

              • No they aren’t. I’m not so long out of high school myself (grad 2005), and I went to school right here in Kelowna where your children are likely going to school, Mr. Popoff. I was never exposed to anything X-rated in school. In fact, I found the sexual education provided to be lacking and unhelpful. I fully support a comprehensive sexual health class. Perhaps if I’d been given the tools to make informed decisions about the sexual situations all teenagers (and beyond, from young ages up to adulthood, actually) inevitably end up in, perhaps I would have been more equipped to make decisions about things that in reality I hardly understood.

                So yes. Teach “children” (not 4 years old, but around the age of puberty through to 16 or 17) what anal sex is. Teach them all the different ways they can get STIs and that they can protect themselves from STIs. And more than that, teach them what their sexual rights are so they know how to decide what they want and don’t want and how to say what they want and don’t want. Education is a GOOD thing.

                In no way am I suggesting showing porn to children. They don’t necessarily need visual aids, but there is nothing but good that can come from an environment of open, comprehensive sexual education that leaves kids feeling informed and ready to face adult situations. A lack of understanding and knowledge can only lead to errors in judgement because how can a teen deal with a situation if they don’t understand it? I’m all for teaching children about sex. It’s a normal, if complicated, part of a healthy life, and so why try to keep them in the dark? What do you hope to accomplish by ensuring they have to learn only by experience rather than in the classroom? I’d rather they get their information in a controlled and reliable way than on the internet or from the person trying to get into their pants.

                So I guess that’s another point I disagree with you on then. Kids, once they reach a certain age, do need to know about anal sex. And that there are people who may be different from them, such as transgender kids or gay kids or children of different religions or races or belief systems or any other visible or non-visible minority group. I would APPLAUD the school and government if they came up with a fully accepting sexual health education program that explains the way the world is in a non-biased, non-prejudiced, fact-based way. And that would not considered pornography, but education.

                If you have an issue with sex education and how it’s being taught in schools, go to the school board. Don’t write an inflammatory article about transgender issues you scarcely understand because you think that’s a trendy or easily exaggerated topic to catch attention with. And certainly don’t call it journalism when it isn’t.

                Now, since this blog isn’t about sex education but transgender issues, I think that’s all I’ll say about that.

              • Sex education keeps kids safe. When children are taught about sex they are also being taught what is private and when to tell an adult when someone is doing something that is not OK. An educated child is not confused about what is safe and what is not safe; an educated child knows the difference between what is appropriate for kids and what is appropriate for adults and knows when to tell a trusted adult when any adult or other child makes that child do inappropriate things. When there is no education there is shame and where there is shame there is silence.
                Sex education keeps teens safe too. Educating teens about sex allows for discussion about sex with their parents or other trusted adults about issues that are important to that teen such as when/if they should have sex, what are safe methods to protect against STIs and pregnancy and sexual abuse. Not talking about sex does not make it go away. Teens will still have sex, regardless but having open and frank conversations with teens about sex breeds trust and respect between teens and adults and should be encouraged.
                Just my two-bits.

                • Hey, I’m all for sex-education. But anal and oral sex don’t qualify I’m afraid. We might as well “teach” kids about BDSM, group sex and swinging. I mean, those are all perfectly valid forms of adult sex, but why would we teach such things to kids? We sould surely not so much as allude to them. But, sadly, we’re already teaching the first two of those distinctly adult activities to kids as young as 10.

                  While we’re on the topic, I have no problem telling kids (educating them) about transgenderism. It’s the suggestion to kids that they might be transgendered, followed by the offering of pharmaceutical hormone-blockers, that prompted me to write my original column. That, I’m afraid, risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

              • I understand your concerns, Mr. Popoff, and I’m afraid I’m too stupid to argue. I would like to say, however, that oral and anal sex are just that – sex. Sex education that only includes one aspect of sex is sex misinformation. They are still sex acts that have risk associated with them and NOT teaching them to pubescent youths is dangerous. Believe it or not lots of teens (homosexual or heterosexual) engage in oral and anal sex. Some choose to do it because they enjoy it; some do it because they believe that it is a ‘safer’ alternative to vaginal sex because the risk of getting pregnant is lower and some do it because they believe that engaging in anal and oral sex ‘doesn’t count’ in terms of remaining virgins. All of these scenarios place youths at risk of contracting STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). STIs can be incredibly dangerous and can affect a person for their whole lives. I am not sure what an appropriate age would be to educate young people on these risks – certainly not at 4. Introducing the topic of STIs and how they can be transmitted by all forms of sex (vaginal, oral and anal) to a ten year old may be pushing the limit for some parents but THAT is very different than explicitly giving 10 year olds tips on how to give a proper reach-around.

                • You’re not stupid Robyn. Not at all.

                  There are many things we could teach kids that they might try. I’ve heard it suggested that clean-needle-use might be a good idea. Seriously. But for 99.999999% of kids it’s a very, very bad idea.

                  I don’t think kids as young as 11 should be taught certain things which are of an adult nature. As for Sexually-transmitted diseases, let’s put that into perspective…

                  There were 20,347 new cases of prostate cancer in Canada in 2001, and 3,825 deaths, but only 395 new cases of AIDS and 192 deaths. This means my little boy has 51-times more chance of dying of prostate cancer in the next seven decades than he does of contracting AIDS.

                  So sure, sex ed is important. But as a childhood safety issue it’s completely overblown.

        • Source for those figures?

          • My source is this guy… who knows this guy… who’s uncle told him…

            No, seriously zoebrain, AIDS is NOT the killer it once was. In fact, it was never the killer that so many other serious things are, like smoking, drinking, prostate cancer (as cited above), breast cancer, car accidents and workplace fatalities. Sorry, that’s just a fact.

            So tell you what, I’ll teach my kids to wear seatbelts and drink responsibly rather than have their teacher tell them how to have “safe” anal sex, and they’ll fair much better.

    • Though I suppose I should clarify “unfounded facts”, if only because Mr. Popoff seems a little fuzzy on what a fact is, despite his status as a “journalist”. (I use this title lightly as I have great respect for the thorough research and intelligent insightfulness that REAL journalists can possess when they put the effort and pride into their craft that this requires. Also, Mr. Popoff doesn’t deserve the title simply because one of the central tenets of the journalistic profession is to not misrepresent or skew facts due to biases.)

      I was, of course, referring to some of the statistics used in your article that you admitted in previous comments to Zoe were made up. Unfounded “facts” being used in an article to skew it the way you want it to is not journalism.

      Thus, the first use of the word “facts” in my previous comments should definitely have been in quotations out of respect for how Mr. Popoff evidently views “facts”.

      If you can’t prove it’s true and used in context, then it isn’t a fact and shouldn’t be used as such. Period.

      • None of the content of my original column was made up. It’s all substantiated.

        Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s “ignorant.” Sorry.

        be sure to let me know when you’ve read my original column.

        • The user “zoebrain” already very clearly demonstrated that you made up your “facts” regarding the costs of SRS. Excuse me if I don’t give you the benefit of the doubt after that.

          (If you would like an additional concrete example, please take into consideration your unattributed statistics in “Kids with dads turn out better”, your column from March 26th. I won’t quote it directly as that article is not relevant or on topic for this current discussion, but suffice to say your trend of mis-using statistics for your own purposes is disturbing in a professional “journalist”, to say the least.)

          It’s true that I dislike what you’ve said in your articles, and it’s also true that I find some of your opinions ignorant (and resistant to change in the face of new knowledge, which further supports a case of willful ignorance). The former statement is because I believe everyone has the right to seek their own health and happiness and everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. The latter statement is because I have in fact read your original column on more than one occasion and have formed that opinion based on the available evidence. One opinion did not lead to the other. Both were independently formed based on my exposure to your particular brand of Op Ed “journalism”.

          Ignorance is an ugly word, and I understand why you might be offended at my use of it. However, if you don’t like that term being applied to you, then perhaps you should seek to educate yourself and open your mind instead of defending opinions that are clearly offensive.

          • No… sorry to be the one to tell you Robyn, but my research into the cost of SRS is entirely accurate.

            I know a transgendered man (now a woman) who spent over $200,000 on SRS and she still isn’t done yet. As he/she explained to me, it’s not just the surgery on the genitalia. There’s a whole host of accompanying surgery, and we’re not even including all the cosmetic surgery that could be included as well.

            Of greatest importance for you and “zoebrain” is the fact that just because you can get genitalia surgery at a discount doesn’t mean it’s advisable to do so.

            • There’s no point arguing with you about this. Zoe already very clearly explained the issue with this topic. Perhaps you would benefit from re-reading those posts. If you refuse to see any view but the one you wish to see, and if you also refuse to acknowledge the stigma you perpetuate when portraying SRS as a huge drain on the taxpayer’s medical system, then that’s your choice. As I’ve said, it makes a case for willful ignorance all on its own.

              • Well you’re right about one thing. There’s no point arguing about anything as long as you’re calling me willfully ignorant.

                I’m always amazed when someone who claims to be opposed to bullying partakes in bullying. The pot calling the kettle black I dare say.

              • I’m unsure as to why it won’t let me reply to your comment directly, but this should post in the same area, give or take, so it will suffice, though it likely won’t alert you of my response.

                Again, you’re twisting words to suit you. There was no “Mischa Popoff, you are willfully ignorant.”

                “it makes a case for willful ignorance all on its own.” –> In this case, “it” is being presented with very valid arguments that you chose to ignore completely because it didn’t support your currently held beliefs.

            • “I know a transgendered man (now a woman) who spent over $200,000 on SRS and she still isn’t done yet.”

              I don’t believe you.

              Surgeon’s names please?

              “There’s a whole host of accompanying surgery, and we’re not even including all the cosmetic surgery that could be included as well.”

              So you’re not including facial reconstruction in that figure? Augmentation mammoplasty? Just SRS?

              You’re making stuff up.

              The most expensive SRS in Thailand costs less than $25,000, that’s from Dr Suporn. Brassard in Canada costs $25,000 for MtoF. McGuinn and Zukowski in the US less than $30,000. That deals with 80% of SRS surgeries on US patients, and all surgeons on the top half-dozen, no “discount surgery” there.

              $200,000 for SRS? You’re either lying, or have been lied to.

              For those who go through male puberty – children who don’t receive puberty-blockers – other, cosmetic procedures may be necessary. They can be expensive.

              Permanent hair removal – electrolysis and laser – budget $10,000, but $30,000 is possible.

              Facial reconstruction – at least $20,000. Go to the most expensive surgeon on the planet – also one of the 3 best – and it can cost $45,000 for “the works”.

              Augmentation mammoplasty – a “boob job” – $7,000-$12,000.

              Body contouring, fat transfer, a “tummy tuck” – $10,000.

              None of these are applicable for those who avoid the wrong puberty.

              It’s just not possible to spend $200,000 on SRS alone.

              In short, you’re lying, and we can prove that.

              • What you’re leaving out – and I have mentioned it here in this blog as well as in the original column I wrote that sparked this blog – is the cost to society and the individual of a false-positive.

                So tell me, how much does one have to spend to reverse a full SRS after the fact?

              • The number worldwide who have had two such surgeries is in a single digit. So less than a cent, additional.

                Cost to society – far less than the cost of blatant liars masquerading as journalists, who make up figures to bolster their arguments and make fools of their readers and editors.

                One thing i have to say in your favour; you’re not very good at this “lying” business. I suspect you don’t get much practice. You’re even worse at changing the subject in a futile attempt to cover up your dishonesty. Too obvious.

              • Cost of a few surgeons is available via:

                http://www.supornclinic.com/
                http://www.chet-plasticsurgery.com/
                http://www.grsmontreal.com/
                http://drchristinemcginn.com/
                http://www.mlzukowski.com/

                You’ll find a comprehensive list of surgeons in North America, and a few of the best in Thailand, at http://www.gicofcolo.org/resources/surgeons-ffssrs.aspx

                So – what do you think you’ll accomplish by.making stuff up like this? Your dishonesty has been exposed for all to see on this thread.

              • Sanguan’s probably No 3 after Suporn and Chettawut, just ahead of Preecha in Thailand.

                A list of fees is at http://www.phuket-plasticsurgery.com/fees.html

                You can double those (pretty much) for Suporn – he’s the most expensive. Multiply by 3 to get cost in USA, though it varies, some are less. Oosterhaut is the best at FFS, but very pricey, and he doesn’t do GRS.

                • Thank you for providing the link to Sanguan’s SRS services in Thailand zoebrain.

                  Yes, it’s true… pretty much any medical procedure can be done more quickly and a lot more cheaply overseas. Even Mexico is starting to offer cut-rate surgery (mainly dental). But when a proponent of sex-change surgery like you argues that SRS should be covered by taxpayers, you’re most certainly NOT talking about going to Thailand. Be honest now… you’re talking about staying right here in Canada, probably going to Quebec (they have the best SR surgeons I’m told) and you can easily add another ZERO to all of Dr. Sanguan’s prices if that’s the case.

                  It’s also worth considering that if we were talking about open-heart surgery – which costs upwards of $350,000 here in Canada – and I told you that you could get it done in Thailand for only $35,000, I don’t think you’d be rushing off to buy yourself a plane ticket. Now would you?

              • Having nursed a friend in Montreal who’d been to Brassard, I know the prices there.

                The “$350,000” figure you just made up is ridiculous.

                Actual cost was $24,000 Cdn all up, plus accommodation and travel. She’s from the USA. Many of Brassard’s patients are.

                You really have no idea what you’re talking about, and are substituting your ideological fantasies for measurable facts. You’ve had the bad luck to come across someone who’s actually experienced what you’re fantasising about.

                I personally went to Suporn, even though it cost rather more than the $15,000 it would cost in Australia, simply because he’s a far better surgeon than any available here. He has more experience than anyone else on Intersex, rather than Transsexual, surgery. My original genital configuration was nothing like normally male – nor female.

                This whole idea you have about “cut price surgery” is a misapprehension. Which would you prefer as a surgeon – someone who’s done 2-12 such operations in their career, or someone who does 150-200 per year? That the latter is often cheaper as well as more skilled is an added bonus. Of course, you might have to travel halfway round the world to see them. And halfway back, while still recovering. That’s why I recommend Brassard to those in N.America, even though i think Suporn is a very slightly better surgeon. The difference is miniscule though.

                • Zoebrain… try to follow along here. The “$350,000” figure I quoted is for open-heart surgery.

                  If you think surgery in Thailand is just as good as surgery here in North America, then fine. That’s your business. I really mean that.

                  But if the Canadian healthcare system ever started to cover the cost of SRS, it will be the figure I quoted above, more in the neighborhood of a $200,000 undertaking, and it will take place right here in Canada, not anywhere else.

              • “But if the Canadian healthcare system ever started to cover the cost of SRS, it will be the figure I quoted above, more in the neighborhood of a $200,000 undertaking, and it will take place right here in Canada, not anywhere else.”

                And your reason for saying this is? When the facts say otherwise?

                You see, in some provinces, the Canadian health care system *does* cover the costs. That’s the figure they’re billed for, $24,000 Cdn. As is stated by the clinic in Montreal. Rather more for FtoM surgery, those figures I don’t have to hand, but metoidaplasty is still less than $40,000.

                Why do you keep on making figures up? What’s the point when your lies are so easily exposed?

                • Wow! Metoidaplasty for less than $40,000? What a great deal.

                  Seriously zoebrain. Go right a head and knock yourself out. But my point is that none of this applies to kids. Okay? None of it.

                  I sense that you’re searching for an angle of attack here, so I’ll bring you back down to earth with reference to the original column that sparked all of this…

                  No child should ever be given pharmaceutical hormone-blockers. Ever! To do so constitutes child abuse, plain and simple. It is never acceptable. Give that kid love and understanding instead and he/she can make decisions later in life regarding gender.

              • “No child should ever be given pharmaceutical hormone-blockers. Ever! To do so constitutes child abuse, plain and simple. It is never acceptable.”

                It’s been common practice in non-trans children to prevent precocious puberty for decades. When a 7 yr old girl starts menstruating, you have to do something or her bones will never develop correctly, and she’ll be sterile too. I suspect you didn’t know that.

                You’re clueless here. Ignorant is not too harsh a term.

                https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/mischa-popoff-says-transgendered-kids-a-bunch-of-baloney/#comment-1071

                That says it all.

                “Give that kid love and understanding instead and he/she can make decisions later in life regarding gender.”

                It’s to give them time to make such decisions that the puberty-delaying medication is given. Otherwise they don’t just get hurt, they get damaged. Often fatally.

                We’ve shown you the evidence. You don’t want to believe it, so you make up things instead, creating your own fantasy world of delusion. Please gain some insight into your situation.

  61. I think GAngel is just a transgender who has become tired of the bashing. I feel that articles tend to be biased toward what the writer believes. Thus stats and references are always scewed to their point of view. The WHOLE point of puberty is to Find Out Sexual Orientation. By pushing sexual identity Before Puberty, you are thus forcing a child to become something he/she may not be once Puberty has naturally occured.

    • Quite right KA!

      Let kids experience puberty… THEN decide what gender they are.

      • http://home.vicnet.net.au/%7Eaissg/2010_FamCA_237.pdf

        Would you force this girl to undergo a male puberty?

      • I’m sorry, but were you not aware you were male gendered before you experienced puberty? Did you feel like a boy before you underwent puberty? Act like a boy? Identify as a boy? I’m assuming yes. I certainly knew I was a girl, felt like a girl, engaged in play/activities that were in line with a female gender identity, and identified as a girl long before I experienced puberty. I was lucky enough to be mentally ready for female puberty when it hit and I also had a support system that understood what I was going through. I have nothing but compassion for those who were not so fortunate, as I can only imagine how much more difficult it could have been.

        All puberty refers to is the biological process of developing/maturing primary and secondary sexual organs. Personally, my gender identity was firmly in place before that occurred, and if I had been forced to undergo male puberty instead of female puberty, I would have been traumatized by any difference between my inner identification and the outwards changes.

        The decision of what gender you are (which has nothing to do with sexual maturity or understanding, I don’t think) typically happens before puberty, doesn’t it? And so then arguing that you should let puberty happen first before deciding on gender isn’t really valid because clearly puberty does not precede gender identification.

        With that understanding, then it seems like common sense to me that someone who presumably already has some idea about who they are (because unless a child is struggling with gender identification, I don’t believe puberty blocking drugs would even be raised as an option) should not be forced to undergo the irreversible biological changes of puberty when it can be safely delayed. As a parent, anything that might lessen the psychologically damaging effects of ANY type of identity issues for a child is something that should be accepted and appreciated, not condemned or avoided or villainized.

        Let’s remember that puberty blocking drugs don’t force the child to make any irreversible decisions before they’re ready. In fact, drugs like that give a child time to mature mentally and emotionally so that they can make an informed, healthy decision (with the help of their parents and relevant medical practitioners) about what will be the best course for them in terms of physical maturation.

        What DOESN’T help kids? Building a mythos of fear and marginalization and derision around trans issues and the already far too minimal options, either medical or otherwise, that are in place to help trans people.

        I know the suggestion of a follow-up article or a retraction of some sort has already been suggested, but I just wanted to put my two cents in and say that I too feel like that is the only socially responsible action to take from here. The article that was written had some pretty big oversights and blind spots in terms of issues addressed, and it also had some blatantly incorrect data.

        I had such high hopes that because you were responding to comments, Mr. Popoff, that it meant you were open to being educated on issues you clearly had only scratched the surface of with your article. However, it’s pretty obvious you’re only looking to defend your current opinions and not actually educate yourself with an open mind. I sincerely hope a debate between you and one of the other, more eloquent/educated contributors to this page can be set up, as I think the Kelowna Daily Courier has an obligation to its readers to provide a less biased view of a very intense issue, and clearly you are not willing to provide that in your own voice.

        Perhaps you’re scared of being labelled a supporter of the trans community? What’s so wrong with that? I proudly support the civil rights of all people, no matter what minority group they belong to or whether or not I’m a member of that minority group as well.

        However, you’ve stated on a few occasions that you don’t like long posts, so I’m sure you won’t have read this far.

        • I’m open to being educated, but if we open the doors to the idea of giving a 4-year old pharmaceutical hormone-blockers, what else will we give to a child?

          Surely the single most -important thing we should give a kid who’s confused about his/her gender is love and understanding. Is that so far fetched?

          • Who is discussing ages? No one is suggesting that hormone blockers should be given to every child just in case. Is that what you’re suggesting when you bring up giving it to a 4 year old? A 4 year old who at that age is likely too young to have a solidified idea of their gender or what to do to fix any emotional/psychological issues they may be having? Yes, I agree. Don’t give it to a 4 year old child.

            However, if a child is nearing puberty and is struggling with issues related to gender identity already, then that’s a decision for the child, parents, psychiatrists/psychologists, and/or family doctors/specialists to make based on that particular child’s medical and mental history. Not you. Medical decisions should be made by those they will affect directly and by medical professionals. You are neither.

            You seem to rely on extremes and shock value to make your points, and it doesn’t work with an audience willing to devote real thought to an issue. It gets you attention, sure, but certainly not the sort of attention that makes people think, “Oh, what an intelligent, thoughtful, refreshing piece of journalism.”

            • Pharmaceutical hormone blockers should be given to kids of any age. We don’t let kids smoke or drink alcohol. Why give them drugs?

              • How about because smoking and drinking alcohol have no health/medical benefits to balance out their detrimental effects, whereas many prescription drugs can save lives? Especially considering the already mentioned suicide rate in trans kids, this drug could definitely be considered a life saver (or at least improver), just based on the testimonials I’ve read in the comments of this page alone?

                Ignoring the possible benefits of such a drug is akin to ignoring the effectiveness of an inhaler for an asthmatic or insulin for a diabetic. Sure, in some cases people could drastically limit themselves and survive without it, but the danger of death would still be very real.

                Are you still approaching this from a perspective of disbelief? If you don’t believe that being transgender is a real and valid thing, then of course you wouldn’t think a possible medical course of treatment could help kids, or adults, struggling with it.

  62. Yeah, let kids experience puberty before choosing gender specific clothes, puberty before dolls, puberty before action figures, before religion, before language, education, sports, politics, guns, . . . all these things we foist on kids. Civilized society, who needs it?

  63. No Robyn… pharmaceutical hormone-blockers are not like an inhaler for an asthmatic or insulin for a diabetic. You see, if inhalers or insulin are withheld from an asthmatic or diabetic, they will die.

    You might think a kid who’s confused about his/her gender could die, but that’s not true as long as that kid is loved. If one of my children thought he/she was really a member of the opposite sex, wouldn’t my love and understading be all that he/she needed? Then, when puberty was reached, my kid could begin the process of transition, and when the age of majority was reached, he/she could even go for surgery.

    What you’re forgetting is the possibility of creating false-positives with pharmaceutical hormone-blockers. There is no such possibility with inhalers for asthmatics or insulin for diabetics.

    Sorry.

    • You ignore the questions you don’t want to answer, you avoid the topics you have no response to, and you gloss over the issues you can’t use to support your point. Do you think no one notices your subversion of topics or questions? People are reading and you’re just making yourself look worse and worse, Mr. Popoff. Ignoring the points that don’t support your opinions is lazy. If you were really in the right here, you would address all the questions and answer them sufficiently. You can’t do that because you have no sufficient answer.

      It’s my point exactly that withholding medication can be fatal, in both the cases of strictly medical issues (such as asthma) as well as in the case of the high suicide rates of the trans community. I’m an asthmatic who frequently goes without inhalers because I haven’t had a severe asthma attack in years. I think the odds of me having a FULLY PREVENTABLE fatal asthma attack are probably even lower than the the odds of a child really struggling with being trans committing suicide. (Also FULLY PREVENTABLE with an attitude adjustment for society first and foremost, and possibly some the pharmaceutical assistance to prevent a traumatizing experience.)

      You keep discussing false positives, but what false positives would be created with hormone blockers? They don’t change gender. They don’t even force a child to make a decision they aren’t ready for. They simply buy a little time and spare a child some unnecessary psychological trauma. Used correctly, there is no danger of false positives. You’re creating a fear when there doesn’t need to be one.

      Wouldn’t it be lovely if all every child needed was love and understanding? Obviously that’s the first response, but if that isn’t enough, then there should be other options.

      You can keep saying “false positive” over and over again if you want, but it doesn’t prove your point. Prove to me that’s a real risk by finding ONE example of someone who regrets taking hormone blockers, or else bow down to the fact that all evidence points to puberty blockers being a great option to reduce psychological trauma in the case of children struggling with gender issues prior to the onset of puberty.

      • Psychological trauma can be managed by loving parents.

        Pharmaceutical drugs do not belong in the hands, or bellies, of children.

        It’s that simple I’m afraid Robyn.

        • Hi, I know this is not in the same vein of particular discussion but here is a GREAT video explaining trans-genderism for all (including children – ages 10 and up I’d say)!

  64. Definitely, what a splendid blog and informative posts, I definitely will bookmark your blog.Best Regards!

  65. [Comments deleted by moderator due to ad hominem attacks.]

    • Hi Sam:
      Would you be so kind as to explain why my belief qualifies me as “an insensitive and immoral ass”? Just to recap, my belief being discussed in this blog is that it’s a very bad idea to give kids as young as age 4 dangerous pharmaceutical drugs that affect their natural hormone levels.

      Please be specific in your response; no hyperbole. and while you’re at it, please share with everyone exactly how your family knows me. I’m quite curious.

      Also, since you’re clearly unaware of how all this commentary came to be on this blog, I in point of fact did not troll the net in order to share my opinions. The net came to me when the owner/operator of this fine blog decided to post a column I had published back in July of this year on the dangers of giving young kids dangerous hormone-blocking pharmaceuticals. And I’m happy to report that some of the more dignified exchanges on this blog ended up creating friendships between myself and some transgendered people who, it turns out, agree with my position! You see, this is what happens when we remain civil in our discourse.

      I have the greatest of respect for transgendered people. I’m not sure if you knew that. In any case, I await your response to my question. All the best (I hope).

      • Mr Popoff – please read this paper in its entirety before commenting further. It’s not a big one.

        The treatment of adolescent transsexuals: changing insights. Cohen-Ketternis et al, J Sex Med. 2008 Aug;5(8):1892-7.

        http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/News/Europe/Cohen-Kettenis%20JSM2008.pdf

        • Hi again zoebrain. Long time… hope you’re doing well my friend. you are a worthy debater, but I hope you’re aware that this is the third time you have recommended this article in this blog. Honestly, it’s not that compelling.

          But rather than debate an academic article that hardly qualifies as readable, why not explain why you’re so quick to administer a man-made, synthetic pharmaceutical drug to kids just to alter gender? In every other area of nutrition and medicine the precautionary approach dictates that we should avoid man-made synthetics whenever possible. Surely you’re not the type to go running for the medicine cabinet every time a problem arrises, are you?

          I worked for five years as an organic inspector and I can honestly say I have never seen such a willingness to give drugs to kids. Whatever happened to natural solutions? Like just loving a kid the way he or she is? The side-effects are far better.

          • Quick? I think not. till, here are the relevant sections, I hope you don’t find them too difficult. If you do, just say, and I’ll try to paraphrase them in more familiar terms. Give the “Executive Summary” if you like.

            First, start with the abstract. Or rather, part of the abstract:

            Professionals who take responsibility for these youth and are willing to help should yet be fully aware
            of the impact of their interventions. In this article, the pros and cons of the various approaches to youngsters with
            GID are presented, hopefully inciting a sound scientific discussion of the issue.

            The paper is not one of advocacy, but exposition of both pros and cons.

            Some find a diagnostic process as described,
            especially for young applicants, a less than solid
            foundation for a medical intervention impinging
            on the physical integrity of the body [2]. They
            refer to classical medical ethical adages such as “in
            dubio abstine” (when in doubt, abstain from intervention)
            and “primum non nocere” (first, do no
            harm). For a long time, health professionals have
            waited till their patients have reached young adulthood,
            or, in general, the age of legal consent to
            medical treatment, even though these adolescents
            make very clear that they find their pubertal physical
            changes unbearable.

            Hardly a rush to give un-necessary therapy here!

            In several studies this protocol has been evaluated
            [16–18]. From these studies it appeared that
            the youth who were selected for early hormone
            treatment (starting between 16 and 18 years) no
            longer suffered from gender dysphoria, and that
            1–5 years after surgery, they were socially and psychologically
            functioning not very different from
            their peers. Their scores on various psychological
            instruments, such as a shortened Dutch form of
            the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
            and the Symptom Check List-90 [19], were considerably
            more favorable than scores of a group of subjects who had been treated in adulthood in the
            Amsterdam clinic, and scores were in the normal
            range as compared to normative samples. By contrast,
            there was also a cohort of adolescents
            presenting with gender dysphoria, who after longterm
            assessment (which, depending on the degree
            of gender dysphoria and nonrelated pathology,
            could take a year or even longer) were not deemed
            eligible for early treatment, and they did not
            pursue SR at later ages. So, the burden of the
            GID, the unabating pursuit of SR, and clinical
            assessment provided by our clinic appeared to
            provide acceptable selection criteria for good candidates
            for SR before adulthood.

            If I can summarise: early treatment leads to a normal life; late treatment isn’t as good, but far better than no treatment at all; and we have what appears to be good, reliable, prove, evidence-based criteria for deciding wen therapy is necessary.

            The puberty-delayers we’re talking about are not new. They’ve been used for many decades to treat precocious puberty. We know their long-term effects.

            • First you say this paper “is not one of advocacy, but exposition of both pros and cons,” and then you summarise by concluding “early treatment leads to a normal life.”

              I’m terribly confused zoebrain, but it would appear that you have in fact already made up your mind.

              To be fair, so have I. I do not support giving kids as young as four (4) pharmaceutical drug therapy in order to disrupt their hormonal make-up.

    • Sam, you may or may not be correct in your thoughts, however, if you’re going to leave personal comments about someone, you pretty much have to back it up with a source or two — and only if it is related to this line of discussion. Since you never responded to Mr. Popoff’s rebuttal, I’m deleting your entire post.

  66. Thought the folks in this forum would like to know that Mr. Popoff has been dropped from the BC Conservative Party over remarks he’s made regarding women and single mothers. You can read about it here. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/26/mischa-popoff-bc-conservative-single-mothers-comments_n_3160118.html
    (For those not living in British Columbia we are in the middle of a provincial election campaign and Mr. Popoff was running for the MLA positon in his riding)
    He will now be apparently running as an Idependent.

    • Thanks for that. Here is a quote from that HP article:

      The B.C. Conservative Party has lost its third candidate in one week, this time over comments made about women and single mothers in a newspaper column.

      Mischa Popoff, the B.C. Conservative candidate in Boundary-Similkameen, was dropped late Thursday night over comments that were “insensitive and disrespectful” to women and single mothers, the party said in a news release.

      Earlier Thursday, it emerged that Popoff had refused to apologize for a newspaper column in which he criticized single moms for having kids “without a man by their side” and called the Missing Women Inquiry a “waste of time,” The Vancouver Sun reported.

      • The Missing Women Inquiry was not only a complete waste of time, but was also an insult to all those missing women, their families, and all future women who might go missing. Not a single cop was fired, reprimanded or demoted. Not one!

        Cops were fired when Robert Dziekański was killed with a Tazer. But 49 women go missing and turn up dead, and no one on the Vancouver Police Force suffers any consequence whatsoever. That’s why I said the enquiry was a waste of time.

    • I was fired because I said we should not promote kids being raised by single parents. Kids are always better off with two parents, and it matters not what their genders or sexual orientation might be.

      Statistics show that mothers who end up single – through no fault of their own, either through divorce of death of a spouse – do well as single parents. My mom is one such parent. But mothers who enter into parenthood knowing they don’t have a spouse, this is very bad for a child’s upbringing.

Trackbacks

  1. The inner child | Clare Flourish
  2. Popoff’s ‘trans kids baloney” article triggers transgender hate response « The Guerrilla Angel Report by Lexie Cannes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: