Is the “Society for evidence-based gender medicine” a serious scientific body, or a hate group? On its home page, I found the false, debunked claim that 61-98% of childhood gender dysphoria resolves. But, its hundred members write scientific papers! Look, look, it’s got footnotes and everything! Unfortunately, it is profoundly silly.
Pablo Exposito-Campos suggests that there are two kinds of detransitioners- those he calls “core,” who have seen the light, and “reidentified with their biological sex”, and “non-core”, who detransition because of social pressure. The treatment each should receive from doctors should differ.
The trouble is retransitioners, whom Exposito-Campos does not mention. It is always possible that a detransitioner will retransition, just as it is possible a trans person will detransition, and what they say, even what they believe, is no guide to this. Someone who finds a supportive community among detransitioners hijacked by anti-trans campaigners, like Ky Schevers, finds themself pressured to say things they later go back on.
So various questions might help understand what a detransitioner might do. Where, if anywhere, are they getting social support? Are they likely to try to find the positives in any experience? Do they blame themselves, or other people, for their problems?
Do you think of gender dysphoria as a psychological symptom you have, or trans as a kind of human you are, like a left-handed or gay person? Exposito-Campos imagines GD is merely a symptom.
Charles Kane, now presenting male in their work as a barrister, has gone at least M-F-M-F-M, and possibly spent some time working male, playing female. When they first transitioned they wrote a book about finding their true self. When they detransitioned for the first time they had penis reconstruction and made a complaint against their psychiatrist, saying they had had a nervous breakdown. When they retransitioned, initially they did not have surgery again, but then did.
And, when they first transitioned they could not see their children, and when they retransitioned it was after their son saying “I love you whether you are a male or a female”. I cannot almost understand Kane’s complaint, when they were under so much pressure. But I can blame such as Exposito-Campos.
He uses the uncertainty of what patients might do as a reason to hold back on gender treatment. He claims clinicians have “epistemological responsibility” to know the future, what the patient might do. Might they regret and revert? If so, the clinician should be wary of supporting their initial transition.
This is the threat of the British government’s suggestion that cis to trans conversion therapy should be illegal. It does not exist, but a detransitioner might argue that support for their transition was such criminal conversion. So, clinicians will be deterred from supporting people through transition. However Exposito-Campos wants conversion therapy from trans to cis to be available- he says patients should be able to choose “non-affirming care”. But we only “choose” such care because of religious indoctrination, internalised transphobia, or fear of societal transphobia.
He says, the doctors should not create “unrealistic expectations” of transition, because that is the problem for those who detransition under social pressure. Do doctors ever do that? You can’t know what transition will be like, any more than you can know what a job will be like when you have the interview. I thought it would be terribly difficult, then found it was difficult in unexpected ways.
Exposito-Campos writes that some people detransition after a few months, others take several years. For him, it is as if they are realising they made a mistake. But some time living in the true gender may be the best thing for someone. Then their other circumstances change, and they revert.
We continue to suffer gender dysphoria after transition. He writes that even those detransitioners who decide they were wrong to transition will still suffer gender dysphoria after detransition. They need other ways of coping with it. But the detransitioners who know they are still trans, but detransition because of social pressure? He thinks they may decide they were never trans. Again, his bias is to think anyone who transitions is making a mistake, just some of us never realise it.
What does he think those who revert because of social pressure, but still know they are trans, need? He suggests they need information on stopping hormones, though they might want to continue. He says they need psychological support to deal with discrimination and anxiety, but not with gender dysphoria, which he does not mention for them. He also says they might need support making a legal claim of medical malpractice: again, he wants to deter doctors from supporting transition.
It’s a paper, it seems, and it has been published. It is readily available. But the “typology” of detransitioners does not fit real lives, and he will only support patients who do what he thinks they should. Which is what he accuses others of when they affirm their patients’ transition.
“Society for evidence-based gender medicine” is just another fancy name for a tiny group of anti-trans campaigners.