April 21, 2024

Media approaches peak cognitive dissonance over the ‘T’ in LGBT Pride month

The media is approaching peak cognitive dissonance in Pride Month over the issue of transgenderism.

On the one hand, Glamour UK used a startling image for its June Pride issue: a pregnant man, Logan Brown.

Brown is an author who has built a reputation on the back of a blog about trans pregnancy, Up the Duff Man. Brown is in a relationship with a non-binary drag performer, Bailey J. Mills and became pregnancy unexpectedly.

“Everything, all my manlihood that I’ve worked hard for, for so long, just completely felt like it was erased,” Brown told Glamour UK. “It was really hard because how do you tell your partner, ‘Oh, I’m pregnant, but oh, I’m also your boyfriend as well’. It’s just something that you just don’t say as a man.”

“When we first met Logan and heard his incredible story, we were blown away by his strength and courage. We knew he would be the perfect cover star for our June Pride issue, as a shining example of empowerment, inclusivity and equality,” a Glamour editor explained.

After the partying

On the other hand, concerns about transgender medicine for children and adolescents are mounting in medical circles. Here are some items gleaned from Gender Clinic News, a thorough and highly professional Substack blog by Australian journalist Bernard Lane.

Australia’s Family Court has been urged to review its laissez-faire approach to adolescent gender transition. In a powerful and informative 132-page report, family law barrister Belle Lane argues that “There is a lack of clinical consensus about what is being treated, the diagnostic process, whether a diagnosis is required, the asserted benefits, risks and outcomes of the medical pathway and what alternative pathways exist … Unfortunately for children and young people, and families who are trying to work through complex issues around identity during a time of distress, this is a highly politicised area. Polarisation and the inability to fully discuss these issues comes at a cost, to young people and their families.”

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health is examining the possibility of a systematic review of puberty blockers, in the wake of similar studies in Finland, Sweden, the UK, and Florida.

An Australian medical insurer, MDA National, has told its members that it will not cover them for claims made by patients under 18 who were advised to undergo gender transition.

A Swedish systematic review published in Acta Paediatrica concluded that “hormonal treatment of gender dysphoria in this age group should be regarded as experimental treatment rather than standard procedure”. After doing a systematic review, the researchers were surprised at how weak the evidence base was for puberty blockers. “I am surprised by the shortage of studies in this field. We found no randomized trials, and only 24 relevant observational studies,” said the lead author. 

But transgender medicine is also risky for adults. In a stunning article in the Daily Mail, journalist Caitlin Tilley reports on surgical complications in a wide variety of transgender operations. Admittedly the Daily Mail is neither peer reviewed nor venerable, unlike competing sources of medical news like the New England Journal of Medicine or The Lancet. But Tilley’s reporting is based on studies in medical journals, not the usual tittle-tattle and interviews. It’s well worth consulting: “The truth about transgender surgery… in numbers: Just 16% of gender dysphoria patients go through with the operation, but up to half suffer life-threatening complications”.