There are two sides to the debate over transgender ideology and critical gender theory as regards children. The primary narrative that we hear from nearly all cultural outlets—from films and television shows to news stories and children's books—is that there is only one correct treatment for a gender dysphoric child. But there is another side that is emerging, a narrative voiced by people who underwent gender transition as teens who find, upon reaching adulthood, that their dysphoria was not solved by exacerbated by medical gender transition.
The new documentary "Trans Mission: What's the Rush to Reassign Gender?" digs into this divide. Produced by The Center for Bioethics and Culture, "Trans Mission" tries to understand the industry that has emerged around the concept of gender identity and medical gender transition of minors.
Why hasn't the medical community considered that medical treatment intended to change a child's reproductive system may not be care, but is instead a form of harm? Why haven't there been long-term studies to evaluate the efficacy of prescribing cross-sex hormones to teens, or to understand the long-term impact of so-called puberty blockers?
Why, instead, is the medical community, a community that has routinely barred grown women from undergoing voluntary hysterectomies, so sure that children can alter their bodies—for life—based on the fleeting whims and fancies of youth?
In the trans debate, the loudest messaging is the one that instructs parents to affirm and celebrate a child's alternative gender selection. Yet through conversations with doctors, parents, activists, and adults who sought out medical treatment for gender dysphoria, "Trans Mission" reveals how insidious the concept of trans-affirming care is.
The film reveals that it is not reasonable to assume that everyone who believes that they are suffering from gender dysphoria should be treated in the same way, with the same kind of medical intervention. It discusses, too, how others lash into people with concerns about gender identity beliefs, pushing them out of the conversation.
Conversations with parents who watched their kids go through this and be permanently altered to become lifelong medical patients, who had to fight back against doctors insisting that children be put on puberty blockers, their natural endocrine systems disrupted show that kids are not able to truly understand what the true impact of these treatments are on their bodies.
Kids are not actually told that biological sex cannot be altered. Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Paul Hruz says that doctors' pressure on hesitant parents is hard to challenge without a medical background. Hruz says that “there’s a very good reason to be concerned about the outcome specifically, that some of the largest studies that have been done with the longest follow-up have shown that suicide rates remain markedly elevated after you undergo these affirmation interventions.”
"Trans Mission" posits that much of the medical community is backing the medical transition of children against any long term evidence that suggests kids who aren't affirmed will kill themselves. Yet, that is what the public is told. Further, kids are told by affirming doctors how to get their parents to go along with their wishes—threaten suicide. Gender transition is sold as the ultimate and only cure.
The result of the debate has been announced by trans rights advocates before arguments have been fully aired. On the side of trans activists are major corporations, the US and Canadian governments, Hollywood celebrities, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, the publishing industry, and the medical-industrial complex.
That all of those entities are in agreement is not evidence that their conclusion is necessarily a moral good. The messaging from all cultural sectors has become so successful, in part, because of the way the potential for debate has been effectively silenced. By equating the debate around transitioning as hateful and bigoted, trans activists have not only silenced their detractors but deafening their advocates. This will only serve to harm children.