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School parents join forces to fight ‘trans propaganda’

(127 Posts)
FarNorth Sun 04-Aug-19 20:41:34

From The Times :

For Tanya Carter, a mother of four girls, the death of Jayden Lowe, a transgender teenager who took his own life last year after buying hormone treatment from doctors online, was the last straw.

Carter had already begun to question some of the advice being given to children about changing sex when Jayden, 18, died.

He had attended the sixth-form college in Cambridgeshire where one of her children is a pupil.

“My heart breaks for the loss of . . . a truly special and talented individual with so much to offer,” she said.

Carter, a former chairwoman of school governors, has watched with concern as schools across the country draw up LGBT policies and guidelines. She said some are inviting specialist lobby groups to advise children who are questioning their gender identity about how to transition from girls to boys and vice versa.

“I am extremely concerned about what I am witnessing my children encounter in their schools and online and also the national picture,” she said. “I have seen other girls at school with my children ‘transition’: according to what I have seen online on their social media accounts, sometimes this happened without parental consent.”

Now Carter has joined other parents, teachers, doctors and psychologists to campaign for change. The Safe Schools Alliance has 150 members all over the country and more than 1,000 followers on social media.

The group says schoolgirls’ rights to single-sex changing rooms and lavatories have been eroded by school policies that encourage gender-neutral facilities.

It also says that children questioning their gender identity are being encouraged towards “drastic and irreversible” medical interventions such as drugs that block puberty. In some cases parents are not being told by schools that their children are asking to be treated as a different gender.

The group has written to ministers to raise its concerns. It wants to work with schools to improve their LGBT and safeguarding policies and to offer alternative counselling to children and families.


FarNorth Sun 04-Aug-19 20:54:39

Jayden Lowe was transitioning female to male but had encountered long delays in accessing specialist treatment

paddyann Sun 04-Aug-19 22:25:58

Didn't we have all these same arguements about section 28 an dthe introduction of Gay rights into school ? It is very s ad about Jayden Lowe who obviously wasn't getting the support he needed .Dont try to throw the baby out with the bathwater that invalidates his fight and his death.The young people who have gender issues need as much information and help as we can give.
I personally know 2 young people transgendering..and no they haven't egged each other on as they dont know each other .Both have had amazing help and support from their schools and communities and thats as it should be to prevent more tragedies like this

Wells1010 Thu 29-Aug-19 21:43:37

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Wells1010 Sun 01-Sep-19 22:05:36

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Doodledog Sun 01-Sep-19 22:20:59

Trance propaganda movement?

I have very mixed feelings about all of this. I agree that it's not long since gay children were made to wait until they were adults to be taken seriously, and had their sexuality devalued by Section 28, and my first instinct is to live and let live, and take children at their word when it comes to their own feelings.

On the other hand, the way in which males (men or boys) can choose to identify as female is disconcerting. I don't want men sharing a changing room, or legitimately being able to use women's loos in premises where their position makes women vulnerable. An extension of that is, of course, prisons, rape suites, domestic violence hostels and other 'safe spaces' for women - why should men be allowed to be there at all?

Sugically transitioning transexuals are another matter; but a man simply saying that he identifies as female is not, IMO, enough grounds to let him be treated as such.

Then there is the pharmaceutical angle - it's horrible to think that profit can be made from children changing their gender very young. But but but, what about those who genuinely know that they are in the wrong body?

It is so complicated.

EllanVannin Sun 01-Sep-19 22:36:48

It wouldn't be complicated if it wasn't thrust upon us on a daily basis !!

GagaJo Sun 01-Sep-19 22:41:41

As a teacher, I have taught / teach trans boys (biologically born as female) and trans girls (born biologically male). There is NOTHING dirty about these vulnerable young people Wells1010, and shame on you, an adult, for implying there is.

What is it you want parents to destroy???? Their trans children?

There have always been people who have struggled with their assigned gender. In the past, in western cultures, their struggle has been private and hidden. Most continued pretending to be happy with their assigned gender, while privately being desperately unhappy. Some lived their lives, undetected, as the gender they chose (Billy Tipton, James Barry) and their secret was only discovered after their death.

There are many cultures that accept more than 2 genders (Indian Hijras, Native American Berdach) or those that have differing biology and chosen gender). This is nothing new.

The young adults I have taught that are experiencing this have a hugely hard journey ahead of them. The very least we, as adults / parents / teachers can do is educate ourselves. We need to support them in their choices and their battles.

Can you imagine how hard it must be to feel your body is wrong? That your penis or breasts are not the genitalia you should have? And then to add the usual teenage angst into all that? PLUS the cruelty and bigotry of some adults?

These young people (or adults) don't do this on a whim. It is probably the hardest thing they will ever experience. Please, be kind.

Doodledog Sun 01-Sep-19 22:56:05

I have just realised that 'trance propaganda' isn't something trying to persuade us to listen to a music mix.

Yes, your points about bigotry and the awfulness of knowing that you are in the wrong body are valid; but you are ignoring the less straightforward aspects of the debate.

EllanVannin Sun 01-Sep-19 23:07:05

What happened to sonnets and parallelograms ?

Doodledog Sun 01-Sep-19 23:24:30

Once there were poems called sonnets
Taught to children dressed in caps and bonnets
But a very confused gran
Mixed in a parallelogram
So no classroom time was spent upon it.

GagaJo Sun 01-Sep-19 23:28:50

What do you see as the less straightforward aspects, Doodledog?

Doodledog Sun 01-Sep-19 23:33:34

As I said in my previous post, there are issues with pharmaceutical companies making money from very young children transitioning, and there are also serious problems with men simply having to say they identify as female being given access to women-only spaces.

I repeat - I have every sympathy with young people who feel that they are in the wrong body, and I am fully aware of the parallels with gay children in the 80s and later not being taken seriously and allowed to embrace their sexuality; but I don't think that the issue is altogether straightforward.

GagaJo Sun 01-Sep-19 23:57:29

1) It takes years for a young person to get to the point where they are able to access hormones. GP visits, psychological testing. These things do not just happen on a whim. Yes, pharmaceutical companies do benefit. They also benefit from HRT for menopausal women, antidepressants for depressed people, chemo drugs for cancer patients.

2) what women only spaces are you referring to? Toilets? Many schools now have unisex toilets. Changing rooms? I've never met a man in a female changing room. Have you? Women are more at risk in their own home than in a public place where is less than a 1/100 chance of meeting a trans woman, never mind a man PRETENDING to be trans.

When was the last case of rape or murder of a woman by a man pretending to be trans?

These are right wing agenda pushing non issues.

Let's get behind the children who are in real pain, rather than focusing on the 1 in a million possibility of a fake trans woman.

Doodledog Mon 02-Sep-19 00:57:03

Please don’t patronise me.

If you read my first post on the subject, which you are ignoring for the second time, you will see the women-only spaces to which I referred.

If you have read anything at all around the subject you will be aware of the controversies it inevitably throws up. One example of this would be the Jessica Yanniv case. I have deliberately avoided making explicit reference to any others because they further cloud the confusion to which I refer, and I am in no way unsympathetic to young transsexuals.

My point (repeated now for the third time) is that genuine cases of transexuality need to be treated sensitively, but that the more complicated aspects need also to be considered.

You say you are a teacher. Have you been trained in dealing with this sort of thing? Dealing with confused young people goes with the territory, but specialist counselling needs different expertise, surely?

I am not remotely right wing, and am perfectly capable of detecting media bias when I see it, incidentally; but thanks for the heads up.

hugshelp Mon 02-Sep-19 03:21:23

I think the big thing is that nobody is doing any real research as to why there are people who feel they are born in the wrong body or feel they need to transition. Is it a medical problem that could be fixed by less dramatic means? Is there a better way to assess which people this will work for anyway - there are some people who say transitioning was the best thing for them, and others who come to feel it was a huge mistake.
How much of it is actually down to pressure from society to fit gender stereotypes - would someone feel the need to declare themselves a different gender if we were all free to wear whatever we want, present ourselves how we feel is true to ourselves, without judgement - without anyone feeling that makes us less of a man or less of a woman? Without feeling the pressures of living in a society that puts different values and expectations on men and women?
Young people should not be made to feel shame for how they feel, but neither should they be pushed down a road that may turn out to be not right for them. Young people in particular seem to be the ones that are starting to want to detransition and finding that they cannot actually get back the bodies they would have had.

Iam64 Mon 02-Sep-19 08:45:41

Doodledog has summarised the complexity of the issue well.
Whilst I want every child or adult who is confused about their sexuality, feels they may be in the wrong body/gender etc, we can't simply ignore the impact of mental health issues or developmental disorders on that.
The fact that more children who have a diagnosis of ASD present as trans/gender issues needs more research. What about children with an abuse history?
I read this morning that Kelly Malone, who was a boxing promoter before she transitioned, continues to struggle with the same emotional and psychological/psychiatric problems she had pre-transition.
I remain concerned about the need to protect women only spaces. There have been assaults and sexual harassment when men identifying as women have been moved to women's prisons. Women's refuges need protection, as do changing rooms in swimming pools for example. It's complex and no amount of denial will change that.

FarNorth Mon 02-Sep-19 11:13:44

would someone feel the need to declare themselves a different gender if we were all free to wear whatever we want, present ourselves how we feel is true to ourselves, without judgement - without anyone feeling that makes us less of a man or less of a woman?

This is an important point, especially concerning children.
If a child wants short/long hair, likes cars/dancing/climbing/pretty clothes - and adults tell that child that the things they want are for the opposite sex, it's not surprising if the child says "Well, I am that opposite sex."

If everyone then accepts their statement as fact, the child then has several years of being encouraged to believe they are the opposite sex and that they are going to need drugs and, very likely, surgery so that they can be their real selves.

This is not comparable to being gay, where a child saying they are gay needs no special affirmation or treatment and can simply wait to see if they do develop into a gay teen and adult.

Doodledog Mon 02-Sep-19 11:46:31

Yes, that is, indeed, a good point, and I think it is all the more pertinent when you consider the correlation between gender dysphoria and Autism.

I really worry that some children will get 'support' from well-meaning but ill informed sources and will make irreversible decisions that will ruin their lives.

I don't pretend to have the answers to any of this, incidentally - but this is not as simple as it is sometimes presented.

GagaJo Mon 02-Sep-19 20:16:55

DoodleDog I did my MA with a focus on trans issues (almost 15 years ago now), and have worked on gay and lesbian helplines and supported trans adults.

At school I'm not an expert. I'm not part of the pastoral team, I'm a teacher. As I said, students with adequate support see psychologists for this. I merely accept my students for who they feel they are. A little acceptance goes a long way. When I HAVE had students who wanted to discuss it, I've referred them to our safeguarding team and advised them to talk to their parents. For some students, however, they feel they have nowhere to turn, because they fear their parents will not understand or support them.

The student to whom you refer bought his hormones online. A fair supposition would therefore be that he did NOT have access to adequate support in person.

Among older feminists can be real residence to trans women. It is felt that they are not real women. For some, it is hard enough accepting bisexual women. Trans women, for them, are a bridge too far. I definitely have in-person experience of this, with women who are leaders in their community and also in international lesbian writings.

However. among the younger LGBTQ community this is less of an issue. There is a lot more acceptance. This can only be a good thing. Trans is a dangerous thing to be. They are in real danger everyday of being attacked by bigots that would rather see them dead. To be expected in a Trump/Boris right wing world.

Doodledog Mon 02-Sep-19 20:33:29

You keep making assumptions about my motives here. I am not right wing (and in any case, bigots come from both ends of the political spectrum, and all points in between). Neither am I a TERF, and I would definitely not prefer to see transgender people dead.

I have no idea where Jessica Yanniv bought her hormones (if indeed she has taken any), but her case is one that shows the complexities surrounding self-declaration.

I am also aware of the danger faced by transexuals, and agree that the current political climate is making that worse.

I feel, however, that whilst it is very important to do the best for transexuals, there are other issues that also need to be addressed - specifically the link with Autism, and the invasion of women-only spaces, however rarely this occurs.

Anyway, I have said all this to the point of tedium, so I'm off this thread now.

GagaJo Mon 02-Sep-19 20:57:19

The only point I'd add is that the information about the hormones is in the first paragraph of The Times article. The first paragraph of this whole thread.

Doodledog Mon 02-Sep-19 21:00:48

Jayden Lowe is not Jessica Yannis.

trisher Mon 02-Sep-19 21:11:14

Gagajo thanks for an informed caring post.
I have never understod why there is this assumption that a teenager would undertake this journey on a whim or without real heartache.
As for the posts about seperate girls loos I seem to remember they were the places where girls got beaten up by other girls.

GagaJo Mon 02-Sep-19 21:14:08

trisher, oh yes, I'd forgotten that about school! Avoiding certain toilets because the 'hard' girls congregated there.