The Wrong Kind Of Trans, Part 2: What Gender Criticals Think Transgender Actually is

Note: This article contains conjecture regarding the opinions of various persons currently living. The views presented here are opinions and you are encouraged to do your own research to determine your own views.

One of the things we are always being told by Gender Criticals is that “no, we’re not transphobic… we have no problem with trans people at all! It’s those nasty TRAs that are the problem! With their gender ideology woowoo….”

In my previous “The Wrong Kind of Trans” article, I highlighted that Gender Criticals are only appreciative of trans people who kowtow to their views of being transgender; that trans women call themselves men, and that trans men call themselves women.

But the Gender Critical view point goes much further than that. The motivations for their behaviour, particularly when detransition is brought into the discussion, helps to explain why they are so terribly vitriolic towards what they perceive as The Wrong Kind of Trans™.

Gender Dysphoria? Don’t even understand ‘er…

I have in the past posited a definition of Gender Identity, and with it an explanation of how Gender Dysphoria manifests in transgender people. Despite decades of research in this area, Gender Criticals do not accept the idea of Gender Identity.

If they have no concept of Gender Identity, then what is it that they believe Gender Dysphoria to be?

A mental illness.

As I have covered previously, WHO declassified Gender Dysphoria as a mental illness back in 2019. Rather than accept the difference in humanity that Gender Dysphoria results, the Gender Criticals would rather cling on to the mental illness idea for a couple of reasons: Firstly, it provides a way to feel good about wanting a “cure” to it, and secondly, it bolsters ideas that we shouldn’t be supporting it.

This is re-enforced by a thread that runs through all conversations with Gender Criticals: Being transgender is bad. Being transgender should be avoided. We should work away from being transgender, not towards it.

Won’t someone think of [hiding this from] the children?

Because being trans is a Bad Thing™ in the eyes of the gender critical, they see transition as a last resort treatment. This is why so many of them are in favour of conversion therapy. If a “trans” person can be converted away from the horrible condition of being trans, then perhaps that person can be saved. (The more astute readers here will have noticed a disturbing trend with religion, in particular Christian fundamentalism: “They must be saved from their sins!”).

This is why Gender Criticals are so against trans youth: it’s nothing to do with “genuine concerns”, or the desistance myth. It’s about the fact that they see gender affirmation as promoting mental illness. They see gender dysphoric youth as being more malleable than adults and thus more readily receptive to conversion therapy.

All of these Gender Critical views of course are not supported by medical science.

Rapid Onset Gender Denial

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is a term coined by Lisa Littman in a study that is now either discredit or downright ridiculed for it’s methodology. The premise is that Gender Dysphoria can be “caught”, in the same way that a social fad can be. The fact that this relies on the idea that there are somehow groups of trans kids at schools that are somehow suffering exactly no oppression just being trans somehow escapes the Gender Criticals (surprising for a group big on facts and objective material reality).

Of course, Littman reached this conclusion by asking parents of trans kids, not the trans kids themselves whether or not they thought their trans kid was making it up. And of course, 3 of the 4 places she asked this were known hives of transphobic parents. You may as well ask the Nazis if they think it’s unfair to espouse the opinion that Hitler is a bad person. (*bzzz* points off for invoking Godwin’s Law)

Nonetheless, the Gender Criticals latched onto this pronouncement with zeal. A (pseudo) scientifically backed argument that allows them to dismiss their child’s gender dysphoria without (to other Gender Criticals at least) seeming to be transphobic.

All of these Gender Critical views of course are not supported by medical science.

The thing to keep in mind here is this: To the Gender Criticals, Gender Dysphoria is a Bad Thing™. It is to be countered, not indulged.

But what of the quislings?

You’ll remember from my previous Wrong Kind of Trans article that a quisling is a trans person who has found favour among Gender Criticals by basically joining them (as paradoxical as that may seem). Notwithstanding the “behind closed doors” difference of opinion many Gender Criticals hold (c.f. Magdelen Berns, idolised by Debbie Hayton, one of the more prominent quislings), what makes them the right kind of trans, in the context of the above? (beyond the self-denigration).

Gender Criticals see quislings as “brave” individuals. Brave in the sense of accepting that everything else to avoid being trans was tried, and they were left with no choice but to accept the Bad Thing™. I really want to get this point across: while the overwhelming majority of trans people see transition as a choice* to correct the dysphoria, and thus each transition journey does not conform to any standard pattern, the Gender Criticals on the other hand see it as a non-choice: if all else fails, transition.

This then provides the source of the “transmedicalist” viewpoint, aka “truscum”: If you have no choice but to transition, then you need to do it properly in order to assimilate. Anyone who doesn’t undertake the full set of surgeries, etc is thus just faking it.

(* choice in the sense of choosing the fix the problem, versus choosing to live with the suffering, As opposed to the quisling perceived non-choice of “oh well, I guess I have to transition then”.)

This provides us with insight into another facet of the Gender Critical ideology: the state of trans healthcare. Gender Criticals don’t have an issue with the delays faced by trans people in obtaining healthcare, particularly in the areas of hormone treatment (including blockers) and Gender Confirmation Surgery.

They’re OK with these delays as they firmly believe in the “give it time — you might change your mind” approach (ironically, a number of Gender Criticals claiming to be feminists have used this rhetoric, aka “watchful waiting”, to justify withholding treatment from trans kids. The irony is the exact same rhetoric is used to withhold abortion care from women).

Detransitioners: The Gender Critical’s Dream

Have you ever wondered why Gender Criticals are so fixated on detransitioners? A detransitioner is someone that, for whatever reason, has concluded that gender transition was a mistake, and that they should revert (detransition) to their gender presumed at birth.

In the context of the “saving” argument above, we can easily see that detransitioners provide a moment of salvation: if they can escape the horror of being trans, then any trans individual can.

Detransitioners are often touted as the reason why trans kids should left to “watchful waiting”: Perhaps they won’t be trans! The recent Keira Bell case amplified this sentiment: she argued that she shouldn’t have been encouraged to transition because it was wrong for her. I am personally of the firm belief that one takes responsibility for one’s own actions: the information was made available to her; she made the decision of her own volition.

Nonetheless, Keira argued for the “watchful waiting” approach (despite the fact that it has been proven to be bad for mental health, where as puberty blockers, the only treatment you can get under the age of 16 in the UK are shown to have no adverse effects on the majority of the population).

With all the evidence above, we see that watchful waiting is not about “avoiding irreversible damage” (as transphobe author Abigail Shrier would have as believe), but about avoiding being trans altogether. Rest assured, if trans kids could socially transition in a way that was 100% guaranteed 100% reversible down to every last cell and neuron, they would still object: because being trans is bad.

Conclusion

As with many things on the subject of being transgender, the Gender Critical movement is fighting a bogeyman they invented. One borne out of their own views on the yuckiness of being trans.

Their genuine concerns (which are easily disproven) aren’t out of concerns for safety or wellbeing; they are borne out of the need to supress being transgender. They see being transgender as a horrible condition; one full of regret, anguish and mental self destruction.

They also see being transgender as nothing more than a mental illness. A short term psychological defect that can be resolved simply by seeing the right counsellor. If you can be persuaded that you’re not really trans, you can avoid the life of a freak.

When Graham Linehan says he has a great deal of respect for Debbie Hayton, he doesn’t mean that he supports her transition, it means he has sympathy for the perceived fact that she had no other choice — transition was the last resort, nothing else for it, it was living as a freak of nature or nothing, and he sees it as brave that she accepts her place as a freak.

Gender Critical is just transphobia dressed up to look vaguely reasonable to an audience unwilling to look further.

This article contains conjecture regarding the opinions of various persons currently living. The views presented here are opinions and you are encouraged to do your own research to determine your own views.

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A nerd, software engineer and trans woman, fed up with the lies pushed by the so-called Gender Critical movement. Also on Mastodon: @GellmanRebecca@home.social

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Rebecca Gellman

A nerd, software engineer and trans woman, fed up with the lies pushed by the so-called Gender Critical movement. Also on Mastodon: @GellmanRebecca@home.social