On Monday, the New York Post reported on Rainbow Day Camp, a summer camp for transgender youth:
The camp in the San Francisco Bay Area city of El Cerrito caters to transgender and “gender fluid” children, ages 4 to 12, making it one of the only camps of its kind in the world open to preschoolers, experts say. Enrollment has tripled to about 60 young campers since it opened three summers ago, with kids coming from as far as Los Angeles, Washington, DC – even Africa. Plans are underway to open a branch next summer in Colorado and the camp has been contacted by parents and organizations in Atlanta, Seattle, Louisiana and elsewhere interested in setting up similar programs.
Rainbow Day Camp is the next logical step in the normalizing of a condition that has yet to be properly and thoroughly studied.
While not a new phenomenon, gender dysphoria (the clinical term for transgenderism) is a rapidly growing cause célèbre in the United States. Just as Hollywood championed gay rights in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, it is the driving force behind transgender acceptance in mainstream American society today.
Similarly, the politicians who strategically used gay rights and same-sex marriage to elevate their standing in the political world have begun to use transgenderism and trans-adjacent issues to do the same.
Here’s the problem – while an increasing number of Americans are parroting celebrities and politicians who argue that hormone blockers and gender reassignment surgery are the best solutions for those suffering from gender dysphoria, the reality is that those alleged solutions don’t seem to be working.
As a result, some psychologists argue that it is dangerous to enable the desires of gender dysphoric persons, and that gender dysphoria must be treated in the same way one would treat any other psychological issue.
Unfortunately, these psychologists are drowned out by a media-enabled chorus of “advocates” who don’t simply offer counter-arguments, but label their opposition as “transphobic,” thus shutting down debate.
One of the most frequently employed arguments is that societal pressure and bullying are what leads to the substantially higher suicide rate and instances of mental distress in the transgender community. If we were only kinder, they claim, the suicide rate among the gender dysphoric would drop.
This may not be the case.
In 2016, Buzzfeed News, in partnership with UCLA Law School’s Williams Institute and Ipsos polling, conducted a worldwide survey to assess transgender acceptance. The results put Sweden firmly in second place. Buzzfeed adds that Sweden “was the first country in Western Europe to adopt a procedure to allow people to change their legal gender marker in 1972, and its gender identity law became a model for other nations.”
In other words, next to Spain, Sweden is the nation most willing to accept transgender individuals and their lifestyles, and has been for quite some time. Given this, the best place to study the lives of pre and postoperative transgender individuals would be Sweden.
One of the most well-constructed studies on postoperative transgender individuals, conducted by Cecilia Dhejne, Paul Lichtenstein, Marcus Boman, Anna L. V. Johansson, Niklas Långström, and Mikael Landén, found “substantially higher rates of overall mortality, death from cardiovascular disease and suicide, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalisations in sex-reassigned transsexual individuals compared to a healthy control population.”
From 1973 – 2003, the rate of attempted suicide by postoperative transgender individuals in the study was 7.9/1000 compared to the healthy control group’s 1/1000. That’s a 690% increase. The rate of successful suicides was 2.7/1000 compared to the healthy control group’s 0.1/1000. That’s a 2600% increase.
The authors concluded that “this highlights that post surgical transsexuals are a risk group that need long-term psychiatric and somatic follow-up. Even though surgery and hormonal therapy alleviates gender dysphoria, it is apparently not sufficient to remedy the high rates of morbidity and mortality found among transsexual persons.”
In one of the most accepting nations in the world, the suicide rates in the transgender community are still astronomically higher than than those in the non-transgender community.
Speaking of other studies that have been conducted, the authors even note that there are “methodological shortcomings” when examining the transgender community, listing several reasons why, including the fact that because transgenderism is rare, “many follow-ups are hampered by small numbers of subjects”; the “nature of sex reassignment precludes double blind randomized controlled studies of the result”; and “many sex reassigned persons decline to participate in follow-up studies, or relocate after surgery, resulting in high drop-out rates and consequent selection bias.”
This is all to say that while we have very little reliable data suggesting that hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and sex reassignment surgery are the best ways to help those with gender dysphoria (and in fact the Swedish study suggests there’s something we are missing), western society is pushing these things as the singular solution, and labeling dissenters as “cruel” or “transphobic.”
The reach of the transgender acceptance movement has recently broadened to include young children (see: Rainbow Day Camp, National Geographic, etc). We are now subjecting children to therapies and blockers the psychological effects of which are almost entirely unknown.
Out of sincere ignorance, we are placing gender dysphoric children into a living experiment. Rather than heed calls for caution and wait for the rest of this massive puzzle to be thoroughly explored, we are sending our children down a path that may lead to psychological suffering and even death.