Translucent performed a U-turn after a wave of online criticism
Why are some people trans? Personally, I think it is a symptom of one of possibly several different psychological disorders. There should be nothing shameful about having a disorder — these things make us human, after all — but some transgender activists are keen to find a reason that avoids that inconvenient reality.
On Sunday 11 December*, a campaigning organisation called Translucent announced, with great fanfare, that on Friday it would be publishing a ground-breaking article — written by a research scientist, no less — which demonstrated that “being trans is a biological condition”. National newspapers were invited to apply for early access.
As a transgender journalist, I didn’t bother. Attempts to find a “trans gene” or some other objective proof are old news. In 2016 an academic review, ‘Brain Structure Research in Transsexualism‘, found that “untreated [transsexuals] who […] are sexually oriented to persons of their natal sex show a distinctive brain morphology”. In summary, sexual orientation — not gender identity — shows up in the data.
But that’s not what exercised the trans community on Sunday evening. Translucent’s tweet was deluged with replies. There was uproar. If trans was a biological condition, then might there be a cure? Others complained about a return to the days of medicalisation. But most worryingly of all, it seemed, was the idea that if there was a biological condition, there might be some kind of test for it. And if there was a test, then some might pass and others might fail. We certainly would no longer need to just take trans people at their word.
The women’s campaigning organisation Keep Prisons Single Sex summed it up neatly: “This sounds awfully like an argument against self ID and awfully like an argument in favour of stricter gatekeeping.”
Alas, we may never know what Translucent was planning to reveal. Yesterday morning the organisation announced that it would not now be publishing anything, and apologised for the disappointment or distress that it had caused.
The reason this matters is that governments and policymakers have been taking lessons from these types of organisations. Translucent is a seemingly credible outfit; under a previous identity, Steph’s Place, it won the LGBT Community Organisation Award at the 2022 National Diversity Awards.
But beneath the glitz, the same tropes appear. Accepting the award, Steph Richards asserted that:
There are about four hundred and fifty thousand trans people in the UK. Around half are too frightened to leave their homes because of the fear of abuse on our streets […] and often, the other half can’t even get a job.Steph Richards
That’s not true — I leave my home regularly, and I have a job — but there was worse to follow:
Because of the pressures of being trans, shockingly, around 50% of my community consider suicide and over the years we have lost tens of thousands of people.Steph Richards
If Translucent has time to spare on Friday, it might perhaps consider publishing some evidence to support those very dubious claims.
However, it is also an insight into how these campaigners think. We hear a lot about self-identification, but it seems to me that this is about power. These groups do not want to abolish gatekeeping: they want to be the gatekeepers. The sooner everyone in government and policy-making stops listening to them, the better.
* This article was first published by Unherd on 14 December 2022: Trans organisation pulls ‘biological condition’ article.
9 replies on “Trans organisation pulls ‘biological condition’ article”
I could not agree more with your analysis, DH. It is all about power and control: total control of females; and political, social and economic power. Almost everything that males do in relation to females is about power and, crucially, control. The ‘trans’ men and the ‘trans’ children are fodder for the ‘trans’ women. They are useful for the moment.
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It seems likely that this organization pulled the article because, even before it was published, it was upsetting to many people. Trans people are invested in the concept of “gender identity”. If it turns out there is a biological cause, then gender identity gets wiped away. Frankly, I don’t believe that conditions such as gender dysphoria and homosexuality can be written off as the result of a single biological anomaly. Perhaps these things will eventually be found to be caused by a constellation of physical abnormalities. I have heard that child molesters have certain physical conditions in common. I am gay, and I sometimes wonder if the fact that I was a preemie somehow caused that.
Ultimately, as Debbie says, it doesn’t matter what the causes of our psychological mindstates are. Once you are gay, there is nothing that will change that. Once you have a desire to change sexes, I doubt there is anything that will change that (assuming that you haven’t been pressured into believing you are trans). Physical abnormalities that result in a psychological state which is not harmful to society must simply be accepted as normal — whether or not they are the result of “illness” doesn’t matter because all human beings have illnesses and abnormalities.
My point of view is a spiritual one, that we find ourselves to be gay or trans (or sexually attracted to children) because we have something to learn from that experience. I believe in reincarnation, and each life brings new challenges. (Having said that, Debbie won’t “like” my comment — that’s okay.)
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I’ve not seen you being quite so clear on the matter of trans as one of several possible types of “psychological disorder” before. It is good to be clear, and, reluctantly, after thinking it through, I have to agree, and your saying it is therefore encouraging. If – as I think it valid to argue – sex is a physical binary category, and “gender” in relation to trans-gender politics is actually a disguised synonym for sex – then denying one’s physical sex/gender is at least a kind of confusion, and where entrenched by ideology or peer pressure, etc., must be considered a mental disorder (as you say, which deserves no shame).
It seems likely that every measurable quality in humans corresponds to some brain activity. I’ve just read (most of – hell, its wordy) Behave, by Robert Sapolsky, who makes the point in regard to justice systems, which at one time punished all sorts of acts by people now (thanks to neuro-science) shown to have a particular condition.
And I’m sick of hearing the fantasies that vast numbers of trans people are desperate to come out and half of them have already killed themselves. It’s becoming as familiar to me as conspiracy nonsense. Yeah, you can only save a trans person by supporting their fantasy, the US government blew up the Twin Towers, and the Moon landings were filmed in a studio.
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The behaviour of so many of these ‘trans’ women and their activist supporters bears out all available evidence that they behave exactly like too may straight men in relation to females: with disrespect; with hatred; with displays of power and control. The Taliban have behaved in exactly the same ways as so many in the ‘trans’ community towards females. The ‘trans’ men (women) have no power and control: it is illusionary at best, and delusional, at worst. Same for ‘trans’ children. How much will we eventually come to understand that Munchausen’s-by-Proxy and/or delusional, narcissistic parents are the back of this trend.
DH is refreshingly honest about his own autogynephilia. Psychologists such as Blanchard, Bailey, Lawrence and others all agree that at the very least, and it is probably much more, 75% of the ‘trans’ community is driven by paraphilia/fetish/autogynephilia, not, or not only, by dysphoria. There seems to be a deep-rooted denial in ‘trans’ circles and even among many straight men and women that sexual feelings drive much of the ‘trans’ movement, and that these sexual feelings are not about the worship of females per se, but about their subjection and submission, as objects. Buffalo Bill behaviour from the film, ‘Silence of the Lambs’.
Women sense this instinctively, and they will fight back with everything at their disposal, and if that means calling a spade a shovel, so be it. The ‘trans’ women can weep and wail and become aggressive, but we will not stop calling this out for what it is. Taliban behaviour driven by fetish and male desire for complete control of females. It is almost entirely sexual no matter how much people want to wrap it up in bright ribbons and tie it with a bow. That it is so damaging to so many makes the denial all the more disgusting and deplorable.
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It’s not always narcissistic parents causing the problem. Not long ago I read about a teenaged girl who went to a state clinic in California to get trans treatments when her mother wouldn’t approve them. Because the mother wouldn’t take an “affirming” attitude towards the daughter’s trans feelings, she lost custody of the daughter. The daughter ultimately committed suicide. Although the article didn’t say exactly why, one can only imagine: her trans treatments probably had disappointing results, and she may have felt that she couldn’t return to her mother, so she felt abandoned. (I’m recounting this from memory and may not have gotten all the details right.)
Children are often their own worst enemies. Allowing children to make these decisions for themselves is the biggest mistake that is being made. Children don’t have the maturity to make such decisions. In my opinion, transitioning should be postponed to adulthood in all cases.
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I remember that story. Tragic. Shows how trendy? brainwashing? pushing? someone into transition without support can lead to tragedy. Im sure the parents would have welcomed their child back after the state at 18, said, thats it your on your own (in effect, was in usa).
Ive read horrific stories from detransitioners desperately regret what they did and feel suicide AFTER transition, not before. Detransitioners wrote “i thought id be a cool boy but all i see is a mutilated girl”. It isnt their fault, they were too young to make such body changing choices, even thinking they really would be a different biological sex, which is obviously impossible.
A study i read about, didnt determine why ppl committed suicide so could have had alsorts of other mental health conditions which caused them. The study strictly counted deaths by suicide… found 1/3 were before transition (medical drugs or operations- note they may never have had treatment, could be totally unrelated to trans). 1/3 were during, from first treatments to last treatments and 1/3 were after all treatments had finished (tho some may still take drugs, some no longer receiving medical support, note could have been regret) some deaths occurred months or years after transition operations.
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Caleb, we are beginning to hear more and more that, for many people, ‘transing’ simply does not work because the source of their dysphoria is not explored and talked through. Just recently, a young girl, admitted that she was now fixating on her limbs, having ‘transed’. If this treatment does not cure or alleviate the symptoms of severe dysphoria, why the affirmation? I feel heart-sorry for parents of children who experience this, and it is a fear I have for my own family members. I really believe that sadists and psychopaths are in there, getting their kicks from harming innocent children. How else can you explain the insouciant removal of healthy, young breasts from young girls and the removal of testicles and penis from young boys. These children will never experience a fulfilling sex life or even family life. Basically, a generation of ‘freaks’ are being created whose lives will be irreparably destroyed. They need psychiatric/psychological help to treat their condition and the adults who perpetrate this stuff on children need to be jailed – and that goes for doctors, clinicians, social media, those who affirm and encourage via social media, et al. For those who have gone through this and regret it, we, as a society, need to accept them for what they are and understand that we cannot ‘other’ them.
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I agree with you, Lorncal. In order to criminalize the transing of children, we need clearly written laws, and those laws won’t be passed in liberal states. However, the “affirmers” on social media are shielded by the First Amendment.
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I’m afraid I’m not au fait with American laws, albeit I did study American politics long ago, but I have a little knowledge of the First Amendment. Here, in Scotland, government and judicial service are also shielding those who harm children. It is a massive scandal just waiting to be revealed, but it would never have happened had grown men with dubious agendas not sought out females and children for transition in order to bolster their own claims to being ‘trans’. It really is unconscionable. Medical diagnosis should never have been abandoned for adult transition and proper counselling services set up for children with dysphoria/dysmorphia.
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