Skip to main content

let's be careful

Lisa Littman is a physician and researcher who created the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria” to try to explain parents' accounts of their teenagers suddenly manifesting symptoms and self-identifying as transgender. The parents say they saw no previous signs of gender identity uncertainty and thus Littman theorized that this could be a "social coping mechanism" for other disorders, such as depression and anxiety caused by adolescent trauma.

As a gender dysphoric myself who grew up in an opposite world where such exploration was impossible, I admit that with the advent of the internet, the idea that a certain groupthink culture could develop is not impossible. The danger here is that we not confuse gender exploration with true gender dysphoria. There are plenty of kids who experiment with gender and even end up self-identifying as gender queer and gender non-conforming because our society now permits it and reflects more a world which has rejected the notion that there are only two strict binary choices. Yes, these kids know what their biological sex is but they just don’t want to get pigeon holed into behaving and dressing as they are told.

Not everyone who falls outside this binary is necessarily gender dysphoric, but these kids are too young to understand what that means and might group themselves in with other kids who must transition because they are in fact transsexual.

I am sure that Ms. Littman has the best of intentions but by labelling something which isn’t dysphoria as “rapid onset” she undermines and belittles the term in a way that might hurt those kids who truly are dysphoric and can be helped. Let us remember that coming out in your teens doesn’t mean you weren’t gender dysphoric before; heck I came out in my forties, but I knew there was something different as far back as I can remember and simply hid it. My parents had absolutely no clue.

Let’s be careful here.

Image result for lisa littman

Comments

  1. I've never heard of this person nor have I read anything about her besides your post. With that disclosed, I've also never heard of diagnosing the subjectivity of one person from the perspective of another. That it seemingly came out of the blue to the parents does not mean it wasn't smack dab in the middle of the blue for the kid.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

One transgender woman's take on AGP

This entry from the transhealth website dates back to 2001 and it offers a very nice dissection of the now mostly debunked but still controversial AGP theory and how this transgender woman could care two cents about it. People who have been trying to marginalize the experience of gynephilic transwomen have pushed for the stigmatizing idea that they are actually perverted men. Well this soul, who couldn't give a hoot either way, isn't buying any of it and her frankness at times had me chuckling to myself as I read her posting. If we ever met I would give her a hug for seeing through the BS but mostly for being herself: "About a year ago I was reading on Dr. Anne Lawrence’s site about a new theory of the origin of trans called “autogynephilia.” This theory asserts that many trans women—and transsexual women in particular—desire reassignment surgery because they are eroticizing the feminization of their bodies. The first thing that struck me about it, of course, was t

epilogue

While this blog is most definitely over, I wanted to explain that part of the reason is that it was getting in the way of writing my next book called "Notes, Essays and Short Stories from the North" which will combine philosophy, trans issues, my observations on life, some short fiction and things that have happened to me over my life and continue to (both trans related and not). When it is complete I will post the news here and will be happy to send you a free copy upon request in either PDF or eBook format. All I ask is that you provide me with some feedback once you're done reading it. I'm only in the early stages so it will be a while. Be well all of you.... sample pages...

my last post

This will be my last blog post. When I wrote recently that this blog had another seven years of life in it I was trying to convince myself that it was true. It was in fact a little bit of self delusion. With almost 3,000 posts to date I have accomplished what I set out to do which was to heal myself and in the process share some of the struggle I had been through with others on the chance they might find some value in my words. After seven years of writing, my life still isn't perfect; no one's is. But I have discovered a path forward completely free of the trappings which society would have had me adopt so I could fit in. Over the last 25 years of my life I have turned over every stone I could find while exploring this topic and in the process realized that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this deeply complex subject. What I have ultimately learned is that my instincts have more value than what someone who isn't gender dysphoric writes about me. We