There's so much misinformation out there about trans people

Even well-meaning people fall for anti-trans fearmongering.

Welcome to Too Long; Don’t Tweet, a new project where I take Twitter threads the probably should have been articles, and turn them into blogs. If you follow me on Twitter (@ParkerMolloy), you probably know what’s in store. I’ll try not to send out more than 1 or 2 e-mails a week with updates.

For the most part, I won’t be changing a whole lot in terms of formatting from Twitter to blog. As my tweets auto-delete after a set period of time, though, I figured that this would be a decent way to create a somewhat more permanent home for threads I think are noteworthy.


July 31, 2019

Alright, let’s talk about this.

 https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/mario-lopez-candace-owens-parents-transgender-kids-dangerous-200050915.html …

Here’s his quote. It’s something I’m sure a lot of people will say sounds reasonable. This comes up a lot: “well, it’s just too early to make a BIG DECISION about something like that, blah blah blah.”

But here’s the thing: it’s not a big decision. And here’s why.

If a 3 or a 4 year old (people always go straight to the most extreme circumstances) is *truly insistent* that they are a girl or that they are a boy, it’s not as though parents just whisk them away to doctors for irreversible medical procedures or anything.

In fact, there are no medical aspects to this at that age. At all.

“Transitioning” at that age just means social stuff. Letting kids wear what makes them feel comfortable, letting them go by a different name if they’re really distressed by the one they were given at birth. Nothing more.

If a kid named William says he doesn’t like the name William and would rather go by Billy, most parents would probably be fine with that, right? There’s not likely a bunch of handwringing over making such a huge decision at such a young age.

Why? Because if that name doesn’t fit a year or two or 10 later, they can change it back. Maybe it was just his “Billy” phase. In any case, it’s fine. No harm done.

The same goes for kids who insist they’re trans. “Mom, I’m a girl.” Okay. If a year or two or 10 pass and the kid says “actually, I’m not a girl,” then they can go back with no harm done. Sometimes this *is* a phase. But sometimes it’s not, and insisting that a young child suppress themselves is cruel in a lot of ways.

Growing up is all about finding out who you really are.

 https://www.livescience.com/62893-transgender-kids-puberty-blockers-hrt-hormones.html …

People love to fearmonger about trans kids. “WHAT ABOUT 4 YEAR OLDS?!?!” By the time that 4 year old ends up on the path to anything even remotely definitive, they’ll have 12 more years to work with their family, therapist, and medical doctor to make sure it’s right for them.

 https://www.mdedge.com/endocrinology/article/109858/mental-health/how-young-too-young-optimal-age-transitioning-transgender …

“Yes, but can’t people wait until they’re adults?”

I mean, sure, but as someone who did that, let me be the first to say that it sucks and that there’s not a day that goes by without me wishing I could have avoided my body’s puberty, which was a hellish experience.

What’s telling about so much of this “debate” is how willing people are to torment trans kids in the off-chance that they’re actually cisgender (non-trans). Nothing a parent does will change whether or not their child turns out to be trans. But let’s not pretend this is actually about children at all.

Lopez made these comments on a far-right PragerU show. That’s the same phony outlet that tells adult people who are trans that we’re not valid, either. So don’t pull this “Just wait until you’re an adult” BS.

Don’t act like you give a crap about trans people, our mental health, our suicide attempt rates. If that was the case, you’d be trying to create a better and less discriminatory world. “I just think it’s better to get the mind to match the body, not the other way around” stuff is always such nonsense. Hi, real live trans person here. I’d have liked that, too. It would have saved me a lot of despair.

There’s a reason that the medical community, with the exception of grifter groups like the American College of Pediatricians (literally founded with the sole purpose of giving a faux “medical” argument to claims that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to be parents), gets that social and *eventually* medical transition is the best approach to treating gender dysphoria *if it persists*.

But the question when it comes to kids is really this: as a parent, are you going to let your child figure out who and what they are? Or are you going to try to mold them to fit a certain ideal, their actual sense of self be damned?

In any case, I’m really sick of people who don’t have the first clue what they’re talking about going on TV to go on and on about this issue. Just like it’s pointless to have a climate change denier go on TV to say “It snowed last week. Where’s your global warming now?” it’s equally pointless and uninformative to have Mario freakin’ Lopez running his mouth about things he doesn’t know anything about.

Anyway, looking forward to all the predictable right-wing articles about “SJWs cancelling Mario Lopez because PC culture, blah blah blah” articles bound to come out of this crap. But it’s not “PC culture,” it’s an expectation that people who use their platform to speak out on issues actually know what they’re talking about.

Also, this is the person who was interviewing Lopez, FYI. Not exactly a good-faith discussion on the topic:

Jason Campbell @JasonSCampbell

Candace Owens says using preferred gender pronouns means "I am now required to have a mental disorder because you have one"

Guest Michael Knowles equates being trans to having schizophrenia

Embedded video

9:12 AM - Jul 14, 2019

This is just what her show is 

Jason Campbell @JasonSCampbell

Candace Owens says that trans acceptance means "mental disorder becomes the norm"

Embedded video

7:51 AM - Jun 2, 2019

Bobby Lewis @revrrlewis

The morning after the Trump administration launches an all-out legal attack on trans civil rights, Candace Owens wants you to know that "there is nothing to be upset about. This country is doing amazingly right now."

Embedded video

6:00 AM - Oct 22, 2018

I don't think Mario Lopez meant any harm in his comments, by the way. I do think it speaks to a lot of the misinformation out there about trans kids, however. People and groups spread misinformation that gets regurgitated as fact, leading people to draw false conclusions.

Owens, on the other hand, is one of the people willingly pushing misinformation. She's terrible. I hope Lopez reflects on this a bit, maybe meets with a trans kid or two to better understand where they're coming from.

No one goes "Oh no, my daughter picked up a football, therefore she MUST be a boy!" That's not a thing that happens anywhere outside of anti-trans fever-dreams

Twitter user reply:

I think it's more to the point people are saying if a little girl likes cars, or boy likes dolls, it means they was born on the wrong body.

That is absolutely harmful to children. Let them live without trying to pathologize any child who doesn't fit archaic gender norms.

9:25 AM - Jul 31, 2019

That's such a straw man argument. "UH, BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE PARENTS WHO ARE TELLING GIRLS WHO LIKE TRUCKS THAT THEY'RE ACTUALLY BOYS??" Uh, they don't exist.

And right on schedule...