I was going to do this as a ‘Tales from the Wokeplace’ but it’s too important for that EC comics treatment. This is an important story, I think.
Please send this to your friends who are still on the fence on this matter. Point out to them how frightened she is and how careful she has to be. The stakes couldn't be higher-we're talking about the long-term physical and mental health of these children, children who could just as easily be your kids or mine-- and this woman cannot speak her mind because she knows if she does her life will be destroyed through industrialised Internet shaming.
And white men, more than any other group, benefit the most from it.
It's genuinely frightening and once you see it, you can't unsee it. You can't do anything except fight it. It's the bully class taking advantage of woolly thinking. And kids and women and trans people are going to suffer the most from it.
The author is a psychotherapist, and when I put out a call on twitter for more like her, Pink News accused me of supporting conversion therapy of ‘trans children’.
So obviously, I’m redacting her name again.
Please share as widely as you can. This is an important one.
The Psychotherapist’s story
Like many others, I’m one of those people who is on Twitter but berates themselves daily for being there (not any more as I deactivated my account yesterday), and it’s mainly due to the frustration of seeing people lie, gaslight and distribute fake statistics etc in the name of the cult of extreme transgenderism. You think, ‘well, what’s the point? Isn’t there something actually productive I could be doing?’ etc.
In what was to be the straw that broke the proverbial camels back I saw a friend of a friend on Twitter vehemently agreeing that definitely some young people had died by suicide as a direct result of, nay on the same evening as, the statement from JK Rowling. They knew this for a fact they said, and this person also has a very young ‘trans child’.
I have that in quotation marks not to be clever, but because I genuinely don’t believe there is any such thing. It was enough for me to think, ‘I don’t want to see this stuff anymore’, it was getting to me and I’d become despondent. But maybe social media isn’t entirely to blame. I also have what I suppose is or can be a stressful job, and at the moment I’m trying to balance doing good, with pretending I’m something I’m not.
I’m a psychotherapist of about 20 years, and one of my main areas of experience and training has been in the LGBT arena (or LGB as it was known here until about 2005 or thereabouts). I work for a prominent LGBT organisation and have been there for around 13 years now, so I’d be known in the community and commended for my work over the years. I say this not to blow any trumpets but to illustrate that I know what I’m doing and take my work very seriously.
I started to notice more trans clients around 4 or 5 years ago, and more of the trans agenda around the workplace which seemed to be taking precedence over a lot of other stuff, and in particular, seemed to completely push out lesbian groups, there just weren’t as many of them. To be honest, at the time I didn’t join any dots.
A year or so later when I noticed that resources for young lesbians were disappearing and more trans-identified young women were presenting, who’d previously identified as lesbian, I thought this was quite different.
As was a new ‘cause’ that had become very visible on social media where I was quite active at the time having been involved in both the Repeal the 8th and the Marriage Equality Campaigns, and that cause was ‘trans rights’. I began to notice more referrals for much younger people, male and female, who were really struggling with GD, and this was brand new. I left social media for a few years.
The younger demographic continued to increase, and with that came not a searching as I’d always seen before, but more of a ‘knowing’, an absolute iron-clad concrete belief in some cases for these very young people, that they had been ‘born in the wrong body’. They were seeking affirmation.
There were threads that ran through almost each one that were the same. Firstly, that if they didn’t ‘feel masculine’ as a boy or ‘feel feminine’ as a girl, then they were most certainly ‘meant’ to be the opposite sex. Secondly, that there was a large group of people who at best wanted to deny them as their ‘internal/actual gender’ or at worst actually wanted them dead.
This was shocking to me, very shocking. Firstly that they were so utterly convinced of this and secondly I couldn’t believe that there were people who could be so despicable and callous as to wish death upon young people in the LGBT community, the community that is so important to me and that I’ve spent a good chunk of my life dedicated to.
So I went back on social media, because this is where they were seeing all this, as its where they spend so much time, and was where all these ‘TERFS’ (a brand new word to me) were congregating in covens it sounded like, to gang up on unsuspecting kids. I was concerned and curious. I was anon this time.
I recognised quite a few of the people who I had followed and would’ve followed me before, and known personally in some cases. It seemed like they were fighting the good fight for ‘trans rights’ (what I would’ve expected, being like me, good lefties..) But when I began to read what they were saying, and at who they were directing calls to be burnt at the stake, I found myself reading the tweets of people (mostly women it has to be said) with grave concerns re women’s rights and also of parents who were worried about their children very suddenly deciding they were in fact, the opposite sex.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, what I’d previously thought of as a socially conscious and caring group of people seemed to be foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of ‘sex based space’ or ‘gender dysphoric kids’. I tentatively tweeted a few questions, seeking clarifications etc, and no matter how gently I was treading or how I said I was just trying to understand the arguments, I was ignored at best or vilified at worst, I saw others receive the same treatment too, so I shut up.
When the JKR statement came out, I couldn’t hold back, I wasn’t tweeting very much at all at that stage but her letter had really moved me and was so coherent that I thought to myself (so naively) ‘This is wonderful, maybe now we can have a conversation, how could anyone say she is transphobic now? We can talk about *everyone’s* concerns at last!’ Ha, was I wrong or what.
Anyway, I was ecstatic RT’ing it, full of hope. Very quickly I was rounded on, and I can’t go into detail on this, but my professionalism and ability to do my job was ‘questioned’ by someone who knew who I was, and where I worked. Long story short, (too late etc,) quite apart from it upsetting the shit out of me for weeks, I can’t and don’t want to lose my job.
I hung in anyway for the last few months until now because it felt like quitting to leave and not fight the fight, and I’ve always fought for what’s right and what I believe in, whilst as I say always questioning if there was any point to doing that, on Twitter. My husband says I have the biggest sense of justice that he’s ever seen in anyone, and that is what drives me, and its for that reason I left, and for that reason, I unsubscribed from Graham’s emails (and emailed to say ‘I’m off, keep up the good work’ being pretty sure it was a ‘do not reply’ address so not expecting one in return) because I need to do my work and I need to be ok and have good mental health myself to do it.
So though it pisses me off, I need to be ‘anon’ in my work too in a way. I can’t talk about what I really think of the explosion in teens identifying as trans, I can’t risk it. There’s becoming an almost secret circle of therapists doctors and psychologists who refer to each other, we don’t talk too much, I get a call here and there from one of them, or from a parent, or a friend of a former client who says they put them on to me, or a TD or two.. (like they’re gonna speak out, nope.)
Quite apart from women’s rights which I am absolutely PASSIONATE about and always have been, and is another 12 million pages on its own, I feel the risk to children is more pressing. Us women are magic after looking out for our rights, and any right-minded feminist has eyes in the back of her head when there’s a whiff of our rights being challenged or, you know, annihilated. Kids, however, need adults to fight for them, they can’t do it by themselves.
I want them to be heard, I want them to have space, and I want them to be whatever they want to be and whatever that entails *without* an affirmation that they were ‘born wrong’, because *no one is*. That I have to say, out loud, that this is a despicable thing to confirm to a child in 2020 is utterly mind-blowing to me. Some of these kids have concerned parents who know their children are being brainwashed, some of these kids are being brainwashed by their parents, so I am very careful to hold my cards close to my chest in the interest of protecting the child, because I need to ascertain how deep they’re in, and who is advocating for them, and what that advocacy entails.
And *that* is where my energy goes and will continue to, and why for my own mental health I can’t be online anymore or read about what’s happening, it just takes too much emotional resilience and I need it a lot right now. In the real world, at least I can do something about it. I just never thought I’d be helping children in secret.
And for anyone wondering, I have never had a complaint made against me, or in the therapy room. I have never had a child client unhappy with me, I have never sought to make anyone anything that they are not, and I have worked with clients young and old who have experienced actual conversion therapy. I know what’s right and what’s wrong, and I’m not harming anyone. Again, the fact that I feel I’ve to say that saddens me, but here we are.
It’s very hard to sit with a 13-year-old who is crying their eyes out fully believing that the vast majority of people don’t care if they live or die, and that JK Rowling and all her supporters hate her, its hard not to say ‘no its not true, I promise you, please don’t worry’. They believe everything they read online, and are so vulnerable…who isn’t at that age? So I listen, and empathise, I’m there for them and I try then to over time open up the idea of other possibilities, it’s a long process but it has to be. It’s exhausting, but so worth it.
I’ve been thinking maybe a small bit down the line I’ll be in a position to ‘come out’ in my main workplace and suffer the consequences. If the referrals keep coming as they are it’s a good possibility.
Maybe they’ll surprise me, and stand by me, which would be quite something as it’s far from the narrative of the LGBT community in Ireland at the moment which does not welcome any questioning, or maybe I’ll be booted unceremoniously out the door as so many already have.
Either way, I can’t wait for that day.