Monday, September 18, 2023

Deja Vu - Anti-gay tactics are now being used to harm the trans community

Over a decade ago, I wrote about six tactics of distortions used by the anti-LGBTQ industry to inhibit pro-gay laws and demonize gays in general. Bear in mind all of this was before my knowledge of the LGBTQ community's diversity, hence me using "gay" as a general term when I meant all of us

These tactics haven't changed. They've simply been applied specifically to trans people.

Below is the list with examples:

1. Using nonrepresentative or out of date studies to make generalizations or distorting legitimate studies to give misleading conclusions.

In 2020 conservative author Abigail Shrier published Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Shrier claimed that being transgender is a "social contagion." but her book was called out for numerous errors, including:

Shrier claims that “in most cases—nearly 70 percent—gender dysphoria resolves," and thus youth should not be provided gender-affirming medical care. That statistic is false. 

 Shrier incorrectly uses this statistic to claim that trans youth shouldn't be offered gender-affirming medical interventions because most will change their minds and later regret their decision. The studies Shrier refers to used an old diagnosis of “gender identity disorder,” not the DSM-5 diagnosis of gender dysphoria. 

 The reason this is a problem is that one could meet this diagnosis without being transgender. The old criteria largely focused on gender expression (think a tomboy or a cisgender boy who likes “feminine” toys). Those kids aren’t transgender, so it’s not surprising that most of them weren’t transgender at follow-up. This problem with the “gender identity disorder” diagnosis from the DSM-IV was fixed for the DSM-5. 

 Furthermore, those studies were of very young prepubertal children. Under the current medical consensus, gender-affirming medical interventions are not offered to prepubertal youth. They are only offered after youth have reached adolescence. Once youth reach adolescence, it’s rare for transgender youth to later decide they are cisgender.

 2. Repetition 

This is the easiest technique to note. Anti-trans spokespeople and organizations have a wonderful resource in the conservative ecosystem. On networks such as Fox News and places like the Daily Wire, they tend to get interviewed and amplified continuously without anyone speaking for the trans community to debate them. A good example would be Fox News's Shannon Bream who, before she replaced Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, weaponized her segments as an attack on LGBTQ people at large and specifically against trans people.

3. Conspiracy Theory 

How often have we've heard nonsense about plots to "make kids believe that they are transgender." Or a plot to "erase women."  They are no different than claims that LGBTQ people are attempting to "jail Christians" or "destroy marriage." Claiming that groups of people are trying to do harm dehumanizes them. They are not seen as individuals with simple goals of trying to better their lives. Instead, they become mindless, faceless hordes i.e an invading army. Like locusts.

4. Dire Consequences 

This when the anti-LGBTQ industry spin lies about children being "castrated" or "men trying to take over women's sports." This is where the right-wing ecosystem plays in. When they are able to repeat these lies without challenge, they become commonly heard and easily repeated. The truth - trans athletes are not stealing awards and victories from cis females and gender-affirming healthcare for kids has nothing to do with mutilation or castration - gets drown out. 

5. Phony Experts 

As seen recently with an excellent article in the Huffington Post, the anti-LGBTQ industry create their own experts on gender-affirming care. It is similar to how they did the same in the past to hinder pro-gay laws and ordinances. Back then, they used such (now discredited) people as George Rekers (who got caught coming from a European trip with a male escort) and Paul Cameron (who once claimed that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums.)

Now there are new people such as Paul Hruz, Patrick Lappert, and several others. Very few - if any - have ever dealt with gender-affirming care (Lappert for example is a former plastic surgeon) and all have personal biases against the trans community.

Also, there is the use of destransitioners, or folks who claim they are no longer transgender. This mimics the past (and ultimately disastrous) technique of relying on so-called ex-gay spokespeople to claim that being homosexuality was a choice and that laws protecting gays from discrimination is needless. 

 For present purposes, the anti-LGBTQ industry relies particularly on one person - Chloe Cole. Cole claims that she was tricked by physicians to transition, and it harmed her physically. Subsequently, she travels throughout the country speaking for anti-trans laws. Cole provides confirmation bias for those who think that gender-affirming care is harmful even though there are several unanswered questions to her claims.

 6. Dehumanizing Semantics
This is a matter of phraseology. And it also relies on repetition. We refer to transgender healthcare as "gender-affirming" care. The opposition always refers to it as "castration" or "mutilation." Or they falsely imply that gender-affirming care for kids is something rushed through when in fact it is a slow, monitored process by physicians and parents alike. 

Take for example the recent incident involving former VP Mike Pence when he was asked what he would do to protect the trans community from violence.

Instead of answering the question, Pence said this:

"For me, what adults do in their lives, decisions that they make, including transgender adults, is one thing, but for kids under the age of 18— there’s a reason why we don’t let you drive ’til you’re 16. In the state of Indiana, you can’t get a tattoo until after you’re 18, you can’t drink until after you’re 21, that’s because we understand that kids don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions … When it comes to surgical or chemical procedures, I just— I really believe that we’ve got to protect our kids from decisions that will affect them, the balance of their lives, while at the same time saying adults can make decisions according to the dictates of their own conscience."

In using dehumanizing semantics, the point is to scare and distract - 

Scare people into thinking that gender-affirming healthcare is being rushed on kids and they may later regret it as adults and 

Distract from the fact that gender-affirming care is a complicated process or, in the case of Pence, the question of what he would do to protect trans Americans from violence.

The general point is that these tactics belie any claim that anti-trans laws are being created to save women's sports, protect kids, or anything else the anti-LGBTQ industry says. Just as when they used these tactics in the past specifically to target gays, the anti-LGBTQ industry's goal remains the same - to undermine the rights, health, and safety of a group of people who they deem as "unworthy."

'BUSTED! Huff Post exposes cottage industry of 'experts' paid handsomely to defend anti-trans laws' & other Monday news briefs

Inside The Cottage Industry Of ‘Experts’ Paid To Defend Anti-Trans Laws​ - This is a HUGE expose about the 'experts' chosen to testify for anti-trans laws in courts. Not only are they completely clueless on what they testify about, they are racking up big bucks. This should be seen as a big scandal in light of all of the anti-trans legislation being passed around the country. And it will be because we will make it known. 

Mayor speaks out after LibsofTikTok publishes video of him getting spanked by drag queen - Master class in handling bullies - you don't back down. Not an inch. 

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert Dates Bar Owner Who's Hosted Drag Shows - The same one she was playing "happy hands" with in public. Hypocrisy foul and foul for being generally nasty. 

Tennessee elects its first transgender lawmaker - In case you haven't heard. Good for Tennessee!