21 Comments
May 22·edited May 22

"Homosexuals are the most appealing gender patients. Their mental problems aren’t intractable and (in the opinion of the therapists) they look cuter on cross-sex hormones. If not for the gays, gender therapists would have to spend most of their time with autogynephiles."

Felt a bit nauseous reading this bit. Cheers for that, UB.

Anyways, really appreciate your perspective and these detailed pieces looking at the history of this thing. I consider myself a relatively full bottle on this topic at this point, but there's always something new and horrifying to file away in the back of my head when I read one of your posts. It's one of those things where just when you think it couldn't get any more grim, some new detail you've never read before comes across your radar and makes it somehow even darker. Ugh. I need a shower.

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Brilliant writing on a a complex subject.

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I think the explanation popularized for ROGD — that girls entering adulthood want to escape sexual attention — is correct.

I think what is still in need of explaining is why boys transition. For that, I use the economic lens of supply and demand.

I think young gay boys are envious of the male sexual attention that young girls are trying to escape. They want that attention. And they see transition as a way to get it. In other words, they believe transition will increase their supply of male sexual partners.

This theme of attracting male sexual attention by becoming “feminized” is laced through all of the so-called “sissy” pornography that these young gay boys start consuming before their voices have even deepend.

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Impressive overview. The first question that comes to mind is: if GD is not an illness then why treat it , and specifically why treat it with drugs and surgery?

The most obvious answer seems to be: because it pays.

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Great stuff, I'm so glad I found your substack! But I wonder if it isn't a little more complicated on the female side too than all or most just being innately gay (or bi, even)? There seems to be a mixture of trauma, sexual assault, disassociation and self-harm that might lead some to take on a more invulnerable masculine persona that might involve a dyke/lesbian identity, seeking out female partners and avoiding male, perhaps preferring other ftms or being involved with male partners after transition, and BDSM. There's Sheila Jeffreys' stuff on trans and BDSM and this old article by a researcher who later transed herself: https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/ahdevor/2016/12/07/h-devor-1994-transsexualism-dissociation-and-child-abuse-an-initial-discussion-based-on-nonclinical-data-journal-of-psychology-and-human-sexuality-63-49-72/

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That may be true, but I don't think therapists saw them as abuse victims (except maybe Lothstein- I haven't read this book). I don't think they'd feel comfortable seeing transition as a way to cope with abuse, the same way they let it be a cope for lesbianism.

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May 22Liked by Unyielding Bicyclist

No, certainly! To the gender doctors they were all the same - the "easy" cases, perhaps until rogd came along and they started noticing something was off... There's even a Swedish dissertation complaining of how "unfair" it is that males get all these combinations of sex, gender and sexuality to choose from (the false trichotomy, pretty much) while for females gender and sexuality are seen as essentially the same thing by mostly male doctors. But it's still fascinating to how openly the trauma and abuse was talked about among ftm activists once...

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May 23Liked by Unyielding Bicyclist

I agree that a lot of FTM transitioners variously identified as "lesbians" were not in fact lesbians. Like Pat Califia, who was obsessed with BDSM and how calls herself a bisexual transman. Remember, gender clinics were reluctant to transition straight women, which provided an incentive for female gender reassignment candidates to pretend to be as lesbian as they could.

(Jeffreys is right to draw attention to the link between BDSM and trans, but wrong about conflating butches with BDSM stuff. But that's another story).

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I think Pat is a lesbian actually. But she’s gone down such a sick porn rabbit hole that she isn’t even a sexual person anymore. It’s a sickness. Think how the ago dudes will have sex with men to satisfy their fetish.

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That's a really good point too! In the old gatekeeping model the AGPs all had to pretend to be gay too. It's almost like clinicians specifically WANTED to "trans away the gay"... 🙄 The women didn't have to fight off the spectre of "fetishistic transvestism" so were probably all waved through as long as they presented masculine and said they preferred sleeping with women. Buck is an interesting case too.

And yeah, Jeffreys is always a mixed bag with her very rigid ideas of what a proper lesbian and woman ought to be like... I guess it takes someone that headstrong to openly and consistently critique transgender and queer.

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The gatekeeping around sexuality is gone now of course - now straights can be castrated too without lying about their sexual preferences, yay! It's ironic how the trans activists accomplished this by twisting it into "queer/gay trans people are discriminated against and must pretend to be straight to get the treatments the need". And now of course if you try to to bring up the "transing away the gay" they just go "but look at all these lgbtqia+++ trans people!"

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Very interesting article, it’s great to see the history going back to the 60s. I can see back in the 60s and 70s and also 80s there was a lot more homophobia around in the general population so more incentive to be trans instead. It does still seem that a lot of this epidemic of transness is still fuelled by homophobia, even now. Having said that I read a study that showed for at least some young girls it was not that they wanted to be men, they just did not want to be female with all the struggles and societal expectations that are put upon girls as they go through puberty, some of it driven by the proliferation of online porn.

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Great article!

I'm only familiar with one definition of "primary transsexual" that is not, in fact, homosexual, and that is Person & Ovesey's primary transsexuals. Blanchard plausibly identified P&O's primary transsexuals as a subtype of AGP that were misleadingly labeled as "asexual" because they weren't interested in sexual partners, but instead were aroused by fantasizing of themselves as women (classic AGP behavior). Anyway, P&O utilized some Freudian claptrap to explain why homosexual trans (and transvestites, distinguished from the "asexual" primary trans) generally, tho not always, can overcome their transsexual impulses:

"Thus, primary transsexuals resort to symbiotic fusion to allay separation anxiety, whereas effeminate homosexuals and transvestites resort to part­ objects and transitional objects. In the effeminate homosexual, the boy fears engulfment and annihilation by the mother. He, therefore, transfers his dependency and sexual needs to a male object. His partner’s penis is equated with the mother’s breast and incorporated orally or anally as a part-object. In transvestism, the female clothes represent the mother as a transitional object and hence confer maternal protection. They are also used sexually as fetishistic defenses against incestual anxiety.

"In most effeminate homosexuals and transvestites, these defenses function reasonably well. They contain the separation anxiety and permit the patient a semblance of emotional balance. In some, however, at times of stress, the defenses may fail and precipitate an acute dependency crisis. Under such circumstances, the patient may regressively fall back on the more primitive fantasy of symbiotic fusion with the mother. It is at this point that he be­ gins to experience transsexual impulses. We will discuss later the life situa­ tions in effeminate homosexuals and transvestites most likely to evoke such regressions, as well as the factors that determine their clinical course."

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Yours is such a unique pov. So helpful for parents too. Thank you.

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WPATH's SoC7 is actually equivocal about the pubertal dividing line, as this single sentence shows:

"In most children, gender dysphoria will disappear before or early in puberty."

Is "early" Tanner 3? And are there SOME children for whom gender dysphoria disappears later in puberty, or even "early" into adulthood?

The world may never know...

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Also, regarding GD vs. GID and the claim that "now people have to literally say they are the opposite sex in order to score a diagnosis."

This is actually not true at all. Remember the gender dysphoria includes not only per se transgender *but also nonbinary identities.* Uh-oh...

You are, of course, right that there are certain “magic words” one needs to say, but they are these:

“I’m not cis.”

***THAT IS ALL ANY CHILD NEEDS TO SAY.***

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Thorough and unflinching. Thank you. That interview with Scarlet in Gender, a Wider Lens should be required viewing for anyone (kudos to Sasha and Stella for taking the step to record their interviews on video) . Such a vulnerable true story.

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I would love to hear about how mirror neurons intersect with the conversation about gay being a choice, and sexual fluidity. I think humans ability to empathize deeply would be good camouflage, confounding variable, to nearly believe something is a choice when you don’t actually think your way into a sexuality. Obviously people could think their way into sexual actions that aren’t towards their deepest inclination. That’s fine. But it’s not what matters most when talking about sexual orientation (in fact it’s insulting). It’s obvious to me that what matters most to people who are gay or bisexual is that straight people understand this very difference that they are experiencing. Extremely secondary, is the desire to show that in fact you could do a gay thing even if you were not experiencing innate homosexuality.

When gay men and women (or anyone really) get older, or old, there is a human inclination to suspend the importance of all sorts of things like ego, obsession with beauty to name a few. When gay people move towards the idea of choice it reflects other things they are experiencing psychologically and not the essential reality that matters so much to them as gay kids.

When an older gay person puts this adult experience onto a gay kid, it’s like asking them to grow up too quickly. It’s not compassionate or caring. To the kid, their orientation REALLY matters. But sure, ask the gay kid to be expansive and embrace Buddha like declinations instead of telling them that they were born this way.

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Tranny grooming is a HUGE moneymaker.

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This is so, so good.

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