“The end game for Heritage, the Church and religious extremists is to thwart nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people by discrediting the very existence of trans folks.”

Ryan T. Anderson, Michelle Cretella, Paul Hruz, Allan Josephson
(L-R) Ryan T. Anderson, Michelle Cretella, Paul Hruz, Allan Josephson

Heritage foundation has been busy. They are attempting to deliberately misinform the public about trans kids. They turn to the reliable sources.

Michelle Cretella is no longer a licensed physician but she is president of American College of Pediatricians. ACPeds has been designated an anti-LGBT hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center. The source of Cretella’s “wisdom” on trans kids seems to come from the Vatican. A new name — Dr. Allan Josephson — emerges among the religious crackpots. Josephson is a professor of psychiatry at University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is also in private practice.

The dangers posed by these people cannot be overstated. In an effort to conform science to religious dogma these doctors are perfectly willing to compromise the health and wellbeing of children. I sent a note to Josephson’s dean. While I fully believe in academic freedom it is reasonable to question whether or not his students are the recipients of instruction that is at odds with Josephson’s own professional organization.

These two, along with endocrinologist Paul Hruz, were part of a little symposium at Heritage Foundation moderated by the religiously effervescent Ryan T. Anderson. According to American Family Association’s news blog: “Doctors: Transgender puberty blockers are dangerous.” These three promote religious silliness that conflicts with the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the Endocrine Society. In other words, all of their professional associations. According to one of AFA’s writers, Michael F. Haverluck:

Doctors are warning families and their gender-confused children that taking “experimental” puberty-blocking and sex reassignment treatments have dire permanent consequences – stressing that there is no significant scientific evidence justifying their use.

“Gender confused?” Confusion describes Mr. Haverluck’s state of mind.

“As increasing numbers of children are
diagnosed with ‘gender dysphoria,’ parents and physicians alike face
difficult questions about human identity and sexuality, as well as
mounting pressure to treat children with experimental therapies such as
puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones,” the Heritage Foundation announced on its website
in regards to the panel discussion, which endeavored to answer the
following questions. “But can a boy truly be ‘trapped’ in a girl’s
body? Can modern medicine really ‘reassign’ sex? Is sex something
‘assigned’ in the first place? What’s the loving response to a friend or
child experiencing a gender-identity conflict?”

Haverluck’s link doesn’t work. Assuming that is an accurate quote from someone at Heritage with unknown qualifications, he or she is obviously begging the question.  It represents an inability of unwillingness to accept that fact that sex and gender are two different things. For religious reasons Heritage is promoting the idea that they are not. This is at odds with every mainstream medical and counseling professional organization.

“Much of what is being done here can be considered experimental treatment,” Hruz insisted, according to The Christian Post (CP). “But that is not how the public is hearing about this and [not] what the patients themselves and the families who are dealing with this issue are being presented with.”

First of all the fact that treatment is experimental is irrelevant. At one point every medical intervention was experimental. What is most dishonest, however, is the broad assumption that the doctors who specialize in this area are not fully informing their patients and their parents. Hruz refers to how the “public” hears about these treatments and their mission seems to be to misinform or frighten the general public which means that they are essentially politicizing a medical issue. The end game for Heritage, the Church and religious extremists is to thwart nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people by discrediting the very existence of trans folks.

In fact, far from being beneficial, it was argued by Hruz – along with American College of Pediatricians President Dr. Michelle Cretella, Dr. Allen Josephson of the University of Louisville and Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Ryan Anderson – that children suffer from many dangers and long-term consequences as a result of receiving parent-approved hormone therapy and puberty suppression treatments.

Haverluck misspells Josephson’s first name. It is “Allan.” Ryan T. Anderson? When did he attend medical school? Neither did I but I am not arguing from a position of authority. The simple fact is that every medical treatment balances risks with benefits. Aspirin is known to cause stomach ulcers. These people know the statistics. Left untreated, gender dysphoria becomes deadly due to the potential for self-harm. There is no known medical intervention to directly treat gender dysphoria so clinicians mitigate the symptoms.

The fear mongering piece in The Christian Post is titled: “Doctors Describe Dangers of Puberty Blockers Used on Children That LGBT Activists Don’t Tell.” So now the treatment of children with gender dysphoria is dictated by those dastardly LGBT activists. BS over BS. Children are treated with their fully informed consent and that of their parents. LGBT activists aren’t in the exam room positioned to tell anyone anything. This is one of the successors to The Homosexual Agenda™.

Over at Catholic News Agency they have titled the misinformation: “‘No science’ behind transgender therapy for kids, doctors warn.” They are projecting. What lacks scientific bases are the Church’s pray-away-the-gay Courage Ministry and the pope’s use of the absurd — “gender ideology.” The teaching that gay people are “objectively disordered” is utterly without scientific foundation. The treatment for the symptoms of gender dysphoria is scientific and it is based on scientific research. That research is published to scholarly journals, subjecting the piece to peer review to ensure conformity with scientific standards.

Via Christian Post we get a quote from Dr. Allan Josephson. Since he is relatively new to this venue, I will quote the piece at length:

Josephson pointed to the treatment of one patient who came in for counseling on gender dysphoria and ended up uncovering deep wounds of childhood abuse underlying their discomfort. “When doctors see pain or distress we try to find the cause of it and map out a treatment. We don’t try to ignore it,” he urged.

And treatment does not mean avoiding all forms of stress or trial, Josephson said. “In the process of development we’re always subjected to some kind of stress or developmental crisis.”

The key is to adequately diagnose and treat the underlying causes of gender dysphoria, he said. “If we ignore pain, the bottom line is that we might miss a diagnosis and chance for developmental progress.”

Most of all, Josephson said, children going through gender dysphoria need to be affirmed and loved.

“Of course you affirm a child and love a child,” he said. “But you don’t affirm a bad idea.”

“The underlying causes?” What Josephson is describing relative to a mythical patient is a variant of conversion “therapy.” If the patient really exists then the information is insufficient to make any judgment. For starters, gender dysphoria has very wide range of intensity. However, I would suggest to Dr. Josephson that he write up a paper and have it published to a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. He cannot and he will not. Meanwhile he is going to kill some kids — literally.

Ten years ago, that is precisely what psychiatrists did. They attempted to prevent adolescents (we don’t know the age of Josphson’s supposed patient) from becoming transgender. They became transgender later in life, suffered as children and adapted less well to transition than would have been the case earlier in life.

Heritage Foundation has seen to it that this propaganda is spread throughout the right wing echo chamber. I have found it at many other outlets. Their agenda is increasingly obvious. At the risk of repeating myself they want to convince the public that transgender people do not really exist. It is superstition over medicine and shame on doctors for their avid participation.

If the scientific consensus ever changes then I will try to be among the first to write about it. My only agenda is what is best for kids and their parents.

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.