A childhood is not reversible

Feb 27, 2022 by

from Transgender Trend:

Childhood social transition is portrayed as ‘kind’ and ‘affirming.’ But what are we setting a child up for when puberty hits, if we pretend they are the opposite sex for the best part of their childhood? A clinical psychologist, with over 15 years of experience of working with adults, children and families, explains the inevitable consequences.

A childhood is not reversible

It was when it happened the third time in a week that I started to really wonder. The parent would be telling me about their teenager, about their mental anguish, suicidal thoughts and self harm, and then they’d drop something in, so casually that I’d almost think I’d missed it, ‘Oh, and he’s a transboy (or girl), transitioned when he (or she) was five (or six or seven), but that’s all fine’. And with that, I knew I’d been warned off. Nothing to see here.

I’m a psychologist, my job is to explore, to look for meaning. I work with families and young people. I try to understand why people behave and feel the way they do and to share that understanding. I ask uncomfortable questions sometimes, particularly of parents, about how everyone’s behaviour in the family is inter-related and how children can sometimes show the distress for the whole family. Usually I’m curious about any big change in a child’s life. I’d ask, so how did that happen? What was going on about that time? How was that decision made?

Not with this though. I can’t really ask about their gender identity for fear of being seen as transphobic, and of being accused of practicing conversion therapy. I’m meant to celebrate their trans identity, use the preferred pronouns and definitely not ask any questions at all about what this might mean. I know what is expected of me.

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