A pediatric transition scandal looms
The Australian (article link here, text here) reported last week that Philip Morris, president of the National Association of Practising Psychiatrists down under, warned his membership to be “extremely careful” before recommending pediatric surgical transition.
This was close on the heels of a big reversal. The Journal of American Psychiatry was forced to correct the entire basis of a 2019 article claiming that ‘sex reassignment’ surgery has mental health benefits.
Hailed as a triumph when it was first published, no mainstream press or LGBT news outlet has reported the correction yet.
Yet GC social media noted a sudden wave of deletions anyway. Many of the same people who fanned the flames of cancel culture were suddenly canceling their own tweets.
For example, Jameela Jamil and Emma Watson, supporters of the pediatric transition charity Mermaids, pointed followers to make donations in response to JK Rowling voicing her concerns about child transition.
Both have now deleted those tweets. Jamil has dismissed it as a mass deletion to pursue new goals, but the internet never forgets.
On Wednesday, Graham Linehan also posted a brief video of Mermaids suddenly vanishing from the pages or websites of major LGBTAlphabet organizations over the last few days.
These observations have led to speculation that legal advisors are telling celebrity and organizational clients to detach themselves from Mermaids, perhaps even to take a step back from “affirming” very young children as transgender.
In March, a whistleblower sued GIDS for allegedly silencing staff concerns that homophobic parents were pushing gay and lesbian children into medical transition. A Tavistock victim who now calls herself a lesbian filed a lawsuit against GIDS, telling the BBC that the clinic “should have challenged me more.”
Indeed, Marcus Evans, the former head of Tavistock, has since published a paper pointing to a 2017 memorandum that discouraged clinicians from asking questions about homophobia in the family.
Also in June, BBC Newsnight reported on the horrors at Tavistock GIDS (Gender Identity Service) doing this woke conversion therapy to LGB youth. Shortly afterwards, BBC removed Mermaids from their Action Line, citing audience complaints.
Yet there is reason to think that the story goes deeper — that, after looking into Susie Green and Mermaids, someone began asking important questions, and we are observing the ripple effects.
Also in June, the NHS corrected the claim on their website that puberty blockade is “reversible.” The new language admits simply that “little is known about the long-term side effects” of puberty blockade.
However, as many Mermaid critics were noting on social media, the organization was still claiming that puberty blockade is reversible on their website, and citing the NHS as their authority.
That statement has now been modified, but the new wording remains a huge red flag to any legal professional. Mermaids is standing apart from the mainstream medical consensus on a key justification for their entire enterprise. Their “evidence” is vanishing before our eyes.
Trans charity Mermaids has changed its guidance on puberty blockers. After saying for years that they are "reversible" (left screenshot from June), they now say they are 'considered by the NHS GIDS to be reversible'. Final screenshot: What the NHS actually says about them in full pic.twitter.com/JpbR3dsxXj
— ripx4nutmeg (@ripx4nutmeg) August 11, 2020
Logically, it follows that someone — perhaps at the BBC, or perhaps at another major outlet with maximum gravitas — has actually watched Mermaids CEO Susie Green’s TED talk in which she admits abusing her child for liking the “wrong” toys and indicates that adults introduced the idea of transition.
These journalists, wherever they are, may have consulted the Mermaids fora where parents happily discuss medicalizing children as young as two or three, planning their transitions well before their brains even develop object permanence.
Someone saw all of that, read the critics online, and realized that none of this is about helping children.
One mark of fair and honest reporting is that it spurs further reporting. Also, ethical journalism requires that the reporter contact everybody they want to name in a story. (I will leave the discussion of whether blogging is real journalism for another day.)
For celebrities and politicians and organization heads, this sort of press contact — hard questions related to a bad story — belongs in the category of crisis PR, the fixers who tell CEOs and celebrities when it is time to scrub their tweets.
Hard as it may be to believe, the free press seems to have done its job in Britain. Those tremors we’ve felt are very likely to be the foreshocks of a Big Story forcing its way upwards through the compacted layers of a newsroom bureaucracy; the word is filtering out, however slowly.
The film Spotlight is a good guide here. Just as a free press eventually dared to expose sexual abuse in the Catholic church, the story of whether (and how) we ever get to hear the story can be a huge story all by itself. If we are right, and a paradigm-shift is coming, then it probably deserves its own documentary treatment some day.