Doctor Questions if Transgenderism is Real, Slams Treatments as Child Abuse

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Sometimes, political rants go viral because someone does a great job of articulating a complicated point and people are impressed and want to share that message with others.

But there are other, very different political rants that get popular for all of the wrong reasons.

One that's been getting a lot of attention is this one by a doctor who claims that "transgender ideology" is harming children.

Dr. Cretella

One of the saddest things about any push for acceptance or basic civil rights is the backlash from people who are, in most cases, entirely unaffected but who feel threatened.

It was not a coincidence that segregationist rhetoric intensified and Confederate Memorials went up during the '50s and '60s, when black Americans were pushing for equal rights.

With the push for marriage equality in the early 2000s, social conservatives doubled down on their anti-gay ideologies and intensified their rhetoric.

So it is unfortunately no surprise that increased visibility for trans folks and pushes for equality have seen a furious backlash in response.

That's how you get people like Derick Dillard blasting trans teen reality star Jazz Jennings on Twitter ... repeatedly.

Just as with other groups who just want the right to exist and equal treatment under the law and from society, trans folks have been targeted with junk science and accusations that their very existence is somehow a threat to children.

And perhaps nothing encapsulates that as thoroughly as the rant by Dr. Michelle Cretella, President of the American College of Pediatrics, before the Heritage Foundation.

Jazz Jennings with Caitlyn Jenner, Candis Cayne

It's important to note that the American College of Pediatrics is literally just an advocacy group comprised of socially conservative doctors. Their views do not represent those of doctors or pediatricians as a whole.

Reiterating points that she's made before, Michelle Cretella laid into trans folks and argued that science proves that they don't exist.

"Chemical castration is what you’re doing when you put any biologically normal child on puberty blockers. It’s treating puberty like a disease, arresting a normal process which is critical to normal development and bad for kids."

The reason that a trans child would want to go on puberty blockers is to stop themselves from developing secondary sex characteristics that they don't want.

The thing about puberty blockers is that, if you "change your mind" as conservative groups like hers love to claim that trans kids so often do, it's entirely reversible and you can then go through puberty normally.

"Sterilization: not good for kids. Prepping them for what will likely result in a case in girls a double mastectomy at 16 -- not how you treat depression or anxiety and I have plenty of experience treating teenagers with depression, anxiety, even suicidal depression."

By "girls," she means trans guys, and the vast majority of trans people don't get top surgery until adulthood -- if at all. If a trans guy goes on puberty blockers before puberty, he's not going to need a mastectomy, period.

"Indoctrinating pre-school kids with the lie that you can be trapped in the wrong body, again, that’s disrupting their normal reality testing and cognitive development. Those things are abusive."

Not all trans folks see their bodies as wrong -- gender isn't genitals and some people are happy with their bodies, but not the way that society views them in terms of gender.

Also, obviously, telling children that trans people exist isn't abusive. Kids learn about the world and trans people aren't inappropriate. And "transgender-ness" isn't contagious.

"As to the studies, there are two that I am aware of that claim affirming your child’s gender confusion is good for them. Number one, it assumes that coaching a child into a fixed-false belief is mentally healthy."

It's intuitively obvious that affirming your child's gender -- trans kids aren't confused -- is healthier for them than rejecting who they are and trying to force them to change.

"Science doesn’t allow you to assume your conclusion. Number two, those studies are extremely small. Number three, those studies are very short term."

The studies are small because studying real children can be difficult, mostly because of ethical concerns.

"And number four, the control group of 'mentally healthy children' are the siblings, most of them are siblings of the trans-identifying child."

We don't know to which study she's referring with that.

"Oh, and there’s a number five, the parents were the ones evaluating the mental health of the children."

Again, ethical concerns.

"This is not science…I don’t think you need to have an M.D. or a Ph.D to know that’s not science -- that’s ideology masquerading as science."

She doesn't seem to discuss any remedies for how a study could be conducted to more thoroughly examine the development of trans children. Probably because she privately understands that there are ethical issues.

Dr. Michelle Cretella

Fortunately, we and common sense aren't the only ones who are interested in refuting Michelle Cretella's claims.

A group of medical professionals at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine issued a refutation of Dr. Michelle Cretella's assertions that she's made in the past.

There's a long list of arguments that she'd made, complete with citations.

It's interesting to note, as they do, that Cretella argues against allowing trans youths to take puberty blockers in part because, though she did not mention this in her rant, no one seems to know of any cases in which trans kids who took blockers later discontinued them to go through puberty normally.

To hear Cretella talk, you'd think that this was evidence that puberty blockers double as some sort of mind-control.

Instead, it's pointed out that it's more likely that those trans kids who went on blockers were trans, just as they'd known that they were.

Jazz Jennings for TLC

Fortunately, between open access to the boundless information on the internet, support network of increasingly socially conscious young peers, and the existence of trans celebrities who shine a spotlight on trans issues, there's hope for young trans people.

Unfortunately, a tragically high number of trans children who face rejection at home because of their gender aren't likely to survive to adulthood.

Some are kicked out or subjected to abuse that prompts them to run away.

Others cannot accept living the lie that their parents would impose upon them and take their own lives instead.

Unfortunately, while rants like the ones from Michelle Cretella aren't going to mind-control trans people into no longer existing, the repetition about lies about the transgender community can have a pernicious impact on parents of trans kids.

And that can cause real harm.

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