Ryan T. Anderson
Ryan T. Anderson, in defense of his faith, is a ubiquitous advocate for conduct that does violence to transgender youth.

When we think of University of Texas at Austin Mark Regnerus comes to mind. A new study proves that there are sane people on that campus. My comments follow the quoted text.

In one of the largest and most diverse studies of transgender youths to date, researchers led by a team at The University of Texas at Austin have found that when transgender youths are allowed to use their chosen name in places such as work, school and at home, their risk of depression and suicide drops.

“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” said author Stephen T. Russell, professor and chair of human development and family science. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”

The study in the Journal of Adolescent Health was published this week in advance of Saturday’s annual Transgender Day of Visibility.

Researchers interviewed transgender youths ages 15 to 21 and asked whether young people could use their chosen name at school, home, work and with friends. Compared with peers who could not use their chosen name in any context, young people who could use their name in all four areas experienced 71 percent fewer symptoms of severe depression, a 34 percent decrease in reported thoughts of suicide and a 65 percent decrease in suicidal attempts.

Earlier research by Russell found that transgender youths report having suicidal thoughts at nearly twice the rate of their peers, with about 1 out of 3 transgender youths reporting considering suicide. In the new study, having even one context in which a chosen name could be used was associated with a 29 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts. The researchers controlled for personal characteristics and social support.

Do you recall that trans kid in Ohio? His parents refused to address him by his chosen name and he was forced to attend Catholic school where teachers and other personnel also refused to acknowledge his gender identity. Did they believe that doing so would make gender dysphoria disappear? Fortunately a judge found that the parents were choosing faith over medical science.

If using chosen names reduces the odds of depression and suicide in transgender youth then the reverse is true. Not using a youth’s chosen name increases the potential for depression and suicide.

Numerous conservative Christians have claimed, with great outrage, that the judge in the Ohio case was wrong. That includes, of course, dim-bulb Ryan T. Anderson who is impervious to real, peer-reviewed scientific research.

When people refuse to use a transgender person’s chosen name and gender-correct pronouns they do violence to that trans person. It is a form of bullying and it serves no purpose. To do this to your own child is inconceivable. What do we need to do to make these religious wack jobs stop this harmful behavior?

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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.