Dr. Susan Berry
Susan Berry | via Breitbart

“They are scared to death that they will not be able to discriminate which only highlights why passage of the Equality Act is so vital.”

We have all, I think, come to realize that most of the attacks on the pending Equality Act are focused on transgender person. Never mind that trans folks represent only about a half percent of the population.

The attempted counterpoint is convoluted and feeble as demonstrated by this headline at Breitbart: Equality Act Danger: Cross-Sex Hormones Could Create Transgender ‘Menopausal Teens.’

Bear with me. The genius who authored this is Breitbart’s Dr. Susan Berry whom, they claim, is a psychologist. That might be Dr. Susan Tozzi Berry who practiced out of Glastonbury, CT. I write practiced because she doesn’t seem to be licensed by the state of Connecticut. Nowhere can I find out from where this individual obtained her PhD. It seems safe to assume that it’s not from Harvard.

Attempting to connect transgender medicine with the Equality Act:

The Equality Act, if passed in the Senate and signed into law, could be used to punish medical doctors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals who do not immediately affirm a teen’s stated desire to be treated with damaging cross-sex hormones.

Nonsense! While a doctor’s office is a public accommodation, there is nothing in the Equality Act which requires a specific course of treatment. Unless precluded by local law, some quack is free to practice gender identity conversion “therapy.”

Furthermore, Berry is probably not qualified to practice psychology and certainly not qualified to practice endocrinology. To claim that hormones are “damaging” is gratuitous opinion, not medical fact.

Cross-sex hormones do have potential side effects. The Pediatric Endocrine Society has published two fact sheets: One for femanizing treatment and another for masculinizing treatment.

Those fact sheets are authoritative. Susan Berry is not. Whether something is “damaging” requires an assessment of benefits in contrast to risks.

I have no clue what this is supposed to mean but it certainly has nothing to do with the Equality Act:

For teens with gender dysphoria who insist on receiving cross-sex hormones following puberty-blocking drugs, the end result could be a fast-forward to middle age and all the health concerns that normally come to those in their 40s and 50s.

I could convert to Christianity, claim to be ex-gay and make oodles of money on The Circuit.

The mental health of someone with gender dysphoria is often directly related to the extent to which they present as their gender. What, exactly, is the alternative to gender-affirming interventions?

I would love to ask Susan Berry if she has ever successfully talked someone out of their gender incongruence.

Enter the “experts:”

“That is what happens when health professionals medicalize childhood gender identity by prescribing puberty blockers to halt pubertal development at its earliest, visible signs,” Natasha Chart, executive director of Women’s Liberation Front, and Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, wrote at the Post Millennial.

Women’s Liberation Front is reportedly financed by Christian Right hate groups. American College of Pediatricians is a hate group; a tiny organization not to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Aside from the fact that we do not know what “that” is in “[t]hat is what happens …” the statement is factually incorrect. Puberty begins at Tanner stage 1. Puberty blockers are not administered until Tanner stage 2. So it’s not at the “earliest visible signs.”

Furthermore, we have gone from the supposed damage of cross-sex hormones (which is what “that” seemingly refers to) to the subject of puberty blockers. The Endocrine Society has stated that puberty blockers are fully reversible. The Society also states:

Over the last few decades, understanding of gender identity has rapidly expanded. Considerable scientific evidence has emerged demonstrating a durable biological element underlying gender identity.

Eventually Berry gets back to the Equality Act:

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to allow “gender identity” to surpass biological sex at the federal level. Doctors who refuse to administer cross-sex hormones to teens who claim to be transgender could then face accusations of “discrimination.”

It is scary to think that this ignorant, crazy person once might have practiced clinical psychology. The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. In no way, whatsoever, does this affect the actual practice of medicine.

In practical terms it means that an ophthalmologist cannot refuse to examine a transgender patient. An Ob/Gyn could not refuse to treat a transgender male. Oh the horror!

Do any of these problems exist where local law similarly prohibits discrimination?

The pediatrician explained studies show that nearly 100 percent of children who are given puberty blockers to stop normal puberty then go on to request cross-sex hormones, “which means we are sterilizing a great number of emotionally troubled youth.”

No. It means that medical science is providing an early intervention based upon a correct diagnosis of gender dysphoria. The Christian Right is bent on dissuading parents from approving puberty blockers. The mythology is often stated in terms that puberty blockers lead to surgery.

Puberty blockers do not create a demand for cross-sex hormones. Persistent acute gender dysphoria is the causal factor and persistence is based upon the severity of the condition.

“And we already have girls, physically healthy girls, who are being referred for double mastectomies at age 13,” she asserted. “This is institutionalized child abuse. We’re taking emotionally troubled youth, psychologically abusing them by reinforcing their gender, sexual confusion, and then experimenting on them with toxic drugs and mutilating surgeries.”

Cretella keeps saying that nonsense about 13-year-old girls without ever citing a source. It is possible that chest binding has created a condition requiring surgery. Puberty blockers alleviate the need for chest binding.

“Child abuse” occurs when children are not treated according to medical science. The clinical practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatricians are based on the gender-affirming care model.

Michelle Cretella wants to conform medical care to the teachings of the Catholic Church. That means that a theologian at the Vatican, with no medical training, dictates how doctors like Cretella should treat children. I have been good up to now so allow me to say: “How fucked up is that?”

Cretella said that, should the Equality Act be signed into law, Americans will see the elimination of physicians who believe in, “first, do no harm.”

Yeah, well Michelle Cretella says lots of stupid stuff without a factual basis. The above is irrational, unfounded and nonsensical.

The writers warned of the dangers ahead, specifically for young girls empowered, through the Equality Act, to make the life-altering decision of taking cross-sex hormones. The choice would catapult their bodies into a state of menopause decades before its time …

  • That statement is hyperbolic and;
  • those decisions are based on a team of clinicians (who know a hell of a lot more than Susan Berry and Michelle Cretella) and require parental consent.

In August 2020, the American Journal of Psychiatry released a correction to a 2019 Swedish study which drew as its primary conclusion that individuals who claim to be transgender experience mental health benefits following gender-affirming surgeries.

[enter more crackpots]

Family physician Dr. Andre Van Mol of the American College of Pediatricians, endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw, and psychiatrists Dr. Miriam Grossman and Dr. Paul McHugh noted the authors of the original study retracted its conclusion after numerous requests for a reanalysis of the data led to the corrected findings.

Not exactly and I will resist the temptation to discuss those individuals (none of whom have applicable experience). The bottom line to the study correction is this:

…the conclusion that “the longitudinal association between gender-affirming surgery and lower use of mental health treatment lends support to the decision to provide gender-affirming surgeries to transgender individuals who seek them” is too strong.

In other words not everyone who seeks gender confirmation surgery should receive gender confirmation surgery. I agree which is why two behavioral health assessments are required; one from the patient’s ongoing counselor and another from a therapist who has not previously seen the patient.

And none of this has a goddamned thing to do with the Equality Act.

I don’t know. Maybe the Equality Act will cause more cases of bunions, foot fungus and acne. If the religious warriors think that they can make a connection — no matter how improbable or unsubstantiated — they will trot it out.

Underpinning all of this is the apparent need of the religious right to dramatically demonstrate their disapproval of some people by refusing service. They are scared to death that they will not be able to discriminate which only highlights why passage of the Equality Act is so vital.

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