Michelle Cretella
Hate group leader Michelle Cretella (American College of Pediatricians) is predictably displeased that the real peer organization (the American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends gender affirmation for trans and gender nonconforming children.

Wednesday evening, Lisa Bourne, with the fundamentalist Catholic LifeSiteNews, wrote: American Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines support gender change for kids. The title is incorrect per se. Attempting to conform medical science to Catholic dogma confuses the people who are trying to confuse everyone else.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a lengthy statement regarding the care of transgender and gender-diverse youth. At the core of the AAP statement is the gender affirming care model. That is the direct opposite of Ms. Bourne’s “gender change.”

Many of Ms. Bourne’s statements are quite startling:

The progressive-leaning group published a policy statement Monday calling for “comprehensive” and “gender-affirming” health care for minors who do not identify with their birth sex.

AAP is a professional organization. Its only “leaning” is to the best care for children.

This includes “surgical intervention” and puberty blocking hormones – both of which are controversial for being insufficiently proven and ultimately unhelpful to those suffering with gender confusion.

What the statement says is that “… current protocols typically reserve surgical interventions for adults” but there are rare exceptions. There is nothing controversial about gender-affirming care. It accords with the overwhelming consensus of medical science and it has been proved effective. There is no such thing as “gender confusion.” Ms. Bourne is confused.

The advance of gender ideology – the belief that a person has a “gender identity” that may or may not align with their biological sex – has the support of some in the medical community.

And the results, other medical experts say, amount to an assault on children that is not based on science.

There is no such thing as “gender ideology.” Gender identity is not an ideology, philosophy or doctrine. Ms. Bourne is confusing a medical condition with her Catholic faith. Some in the medical community? Gender identity is clearly understood by all but a small fringe group of people who confuse religion with science.

Pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents are all part of a large-scale, uncontrolled and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition, they say – a condition that would typically resolve post-puberty in the most cases.

That is incorrect and she should stop referring to surgery. These are kids that we are talking about. Gender dysphoria does resolve with age for many children. However, if the condition is severe enough to warrant puberty blockers or hormones, they are well past the stage of potential desistance. That is the science. Bourne is not only disingenuous; she is irresponsible.

Then the notion that these interventions are uncontrolled is just idiotic rhetoric. “Unconsented?” What is this woman talking about? This drivel happens when people try to align Bronze Age texts with 21st century medical science. Need we discuss the state of medical care in the 14th century BCE?

Speaking of awful women:

The transition-affirming movement purports to help children, American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) president Dr. Michelle Cretella has said. However, it is “inflicting a grave injustice on them and their non-dysphoric peers.”

There is the suggestion that ACPeds is somehow the equal of AAP. That is dishonest. ACPeds is a tiny hate group. Michelle Cretella is a hate group leader. The currently unlicensed physician has been relieved of continuing education requirements for years — and it shows. The idea the gender-affirming care is unfair to the classmates of children with gender dysphoria is just one more bit of dishonest rhetoric. Cretella speaks for the Catholic Church, not medical science.

When Catholic dogma and medical science are in conflict, Cretella and her buddy, Ryan T. Anderson, defer to the dogma. This in spite of the fact that the dogma is based on faith while the science is based on evidence.

Medical professionals have been advocating this uncontrolled experimentation using the myth that people are born transgender.

“There is no rigorous science that demonstrates gender identity is inborn and unchangeable,” Cretella told LifeSiteNews. “There is no rigorous science that establishes all gender identities are equally healthy and fixed for all children and teens.”

The above is recycled anti-gay bigotry. The logic behind gender affirmation is simple to understand if one is not burdened by irrelevant religious doctrine:

  1. There is no intervention known to medical science to reverse gender dysphoria and; 
  2. Gender affirmation is proved to relieve the suffering of children by reducing (or even eliminating) the anxiety and depression that are associated with gender dysphoria.

Not supporting gender affirmation is unethical experimentation. It is not in the best interests of children. Supporting Church ideology over the best interests of kids is highly unprofessional. Were parents to listen to the religious crackpots they would be causing their children to suffer.

In fact, any parent who sees an official-looking American College of Pediatricians plaque on the wall of their doctor’s office should grab their kid and run from the office. Doctors who display that affiliation put Christianity ahead of the needs of their patients.

Getting back to Lisa Bourne:

Cretella pointed to the ACPeds policy statement on Gender Identity Issues in Children and Adolescents.

ACPeds is a national professional organization of pediatricians and child health professionals that separated from the AAP in 2002 in response to the AAP’s increasing departure from objective science on medical issues that interface with social values, Cretella explained.

Rubbish! I had a more colorful term in mind but I am trying to clean it up a tad. The policy statement that was linked does not include a single reference to peer-reviewed research. It links to its own press releases.

The reason that ACPeds exists is to promote homophobia and transphobia based on Christian dogma. Indeed, Cretella herself has written what amounts to junk science in support of conversion therapy. Her drivel is not published to an academic journal. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

What its website will not tell you is that this fringe organization, under the veneer of its professional-sounding name and claims, works to defame and discredit LGBT people, often by distorting legitimate research. It consists of around 200 members and started because a small group of anti-LGBT physicians and other healthcare professionals broke away from the 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), composed of leaders in the professional field, to form its own group after the AAP issued a new policy statement in 2002 in support of adoption and foster parenting by same-sex couples.

It is important to understand that Cretella is not speaking as a medical scientist. She is speaking as a theologian who happens to be a medical doctor. Cretella’s primary interest is the catechism of the Catholic Church.

Taking the gender ideology-associated approach, the AAP states in its guidelines “transgender identities and diverse gender expressions do not constitute a mental disorder,” and also that “variations in gender identity and expression are normal aspects of human diversity.”

“Gender ideology” is just Church-speak. The full quote from AAP is:

  • transgender identities and diverse gender expressions do not constitute a mental disorder;
  • variations in gender identity and expression are normal aspects of human diversity, and binary definitions of gender do not always reflect emerging gender identities;
  • gender identity evolves as an interplay of biology, development, socialization, and culture; and
  • if a mental health issue exists, it most often stems from stigma and negative experiences rather than being intrinsic to the child.

Throughout the AAP paper, the supporting peer-reviewed research is foot-noted. Note that it is stigma that is most harmful to trans and gender nonconforming youth. Ms. Bourne, Doctor Cretella and the Catholic Church promote this pernicious stigma.

“The “scientific” policy statement recently released was written by a handful of like-minded physicians on the LGBT subcommittee of the AAP,” Cretella told LifeSiteNews. “In the end, the policy statement was likely passed by fewer than 100 pediatricians. The statement is a hard left propaganda piece; not science.”

First of all, 94 peer-reviewed studies are cited throughout the paper. The statement is most definitely based on science. Cretella never refers to peer-reviewed research during her tantrums. It is the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health that is responsible.

The lead author of the statement is Jason Richard Rafferty. What must really piss off Cretella is that Dr. Rafferty is also from Rhode Island. Rafferty has an MD, a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Education, all from Harvard. He is board certified in Pediatrics, General Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Perhaps Cretella would like to challenge him to a debate.

“Hard left propaganda.” Cretella should be ashamed of herself. Which of the cited studies does she disagree with and why? Where is Cretella’s peer-reviewed research? Or any research that conflicts with the scientific consensus? This tirade goes on and on with scientific inaccuracies. Bourne then throws fecal matter on the wall to see what might stick:

The AAP also supports letting adolescents obtain an abortion without parental knowledge or consent, teen access to so-called ‘emergency contraception” and other birth control, and early childhood sexual instruction by doctors. It has expressed opposition to abstinence education, support for same-sex “marriage” adoptions and advocating for pediatricians to take steps to normalize homosexuality in their practices.

Whatever the AAP supports their position is based on science. Again, science is based on evidence. Unlike ACPeds, the American Academy of Pediatrics views the practice of medicine as an intellectual and scientific endeavor. The AAP has no dogma or doctrine or ideology. Their exclusive interest is best practices with respect to children. People like Cretella and her hate group are interested exclusively in Christianity.

Bourne comes to a conclusion:

The implications of pushing gender “treatment’ for children are also troubling for parental rights.

In March, an instructor in a Washington state school district’s sex education course told a 12-year-old girl that because she liked fishing and basketball that meant she was transgendered – upsetting the girl.

In February, parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter because a judge ruled that she should be allowed to receive treatment, including testosterone therapy, to identify as a boy.

Parental rights? What, the “right” to cause kids to suffer?

I have no idea what a teacher told a student or why it has anything to do with the best interests of transgender and gender nonconforming (gender diverse) children.

And, yes, parents in Ohio (fundamentalist Catholics) lost custody to a child’s maternal grandmother because the parents tormented the kid to the point of suicide. His parents refused to allow the child to obtain puberty blockers and then hormones. The moronic father told the child to kill himself “because he was going to hell anyway.” It is called child abuse and religion does not make it acceptable.

It is also entirely unacceptable to promote disdain for what can be substantiated as best practice for trans and gender nonconforming children. They are the only thing that matters. Not the Church and certainly not a whacked-out hate group leader.

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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.