Kylee Zempel
Kylee Zempel regurgitates the anti-trans talking points in defense of the faith.

Scripture and opinions based on scripture
do not constitute medical science.

These people never tell the truth. They attempt to make convoluted secular arguments while they are really defending religious doctrine.

According to Kylee Zempel — mindless twinkie that she is: Science Says What’s Really Compassionate Is Encouraging People With Gender Dysphoria To Love Their Real Bodies. Quite the contrary. I will get there shortly. Moreover, transgender persons do “love their real bodies.”

Ms. Zempel goes on to write:

The science agrees: Those who recommend against transgender body changes have the compassionate case. Let’s not lose it in the delivery.
[…]
At the center of the transgenderism fight is the debate about how best to help those who suffer from gender dysphoria or guide those merely caught up in the craze, especially children. The loudest narrative from the left says acceptance equals kindness, but new research on so-called “detransition” reveals that the conservative stance against social playacting and medical intervention is actually the compassionate one.

Zempel’s “fight” pits religious conservatives defending scripture against settled science. There is no legitimate “debate” about the appropriate care of transgender youth. Gender-affirming care constitutes the basis for the clinical practice standards of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society.

Zempel goes on to blame the awful “left.” Zempel indulges in a logical fallacy; the straw man. She is arguing against “left” wing talking points that either do not exist or are irrelevant

These days, the left is comprised of secular people while the right is comprised — for the most part — of Christian conservatives. Barry Goldwater would be a leftist today. Furthermore, the only meaningful argument from “the left” is that children should receive medical care according to the best available science.

In debates about trans treatment, the left invariably plays the “suicide” and “discrimination” cards.

“… efforts to change gender identity are incredibly toxic, leading to a lifetime of adverse mental health consequences.”

The health care of particularly vulnerable kids is not a game with “plays.” There are no “cards” to be dealt.

I have mentioned suicide but only in reference to peer-reviewed research published to respected academic journals. To that end, children who are supported in their gender identity thrive. Moreover, there is a substantial body of evidence regarding self-harm as it correlates to pubertal suppression.

The argument is not that the consequence of preventing transition is suicide. The argument is the fact that gender-affirming care greatly reduces the potential for self-harm.

As for discrimination, that actually cuts against gender-affirming care. Furthermore, it is a fact that transgender kids are subjected to considerable discrimination and bigotry. The religious right has retooled all of those homophobic talking points in order to transform them to transphobic prejudice. Doing so directly harms vulnerable kids. How very “Christian” of them.

Moreover, it should not be necessary to argue over appropriate medical care. The arguments are only necessary because Christian conservatives — in defense of Genesis 1:27 — are determined to erase transgender persons through law and public policy.

Furthermore, the arguments are necessary because imbeciles insist on making phony claims that marginalize transgender persons, particularly trans youth.

Zempel cites a September, 2021 study by Lisa Littman. Littman studied desisters. It is wholly irrelevant with respect to whether gender identity change efforts are preferable to gender-affirming care. Moreover, Littman makes no attempt to determine the prevalence of desisters. What percentage of trans youth actually detransition?

And, no. That is not the roughly 75% of kids with gender dysphoria who see the problem resolve on its own. Those children never transition in the first place.

Zempel attempts to tie Littman to her claim that discrimination has some effect on the science associated with gender-affirming care vs. the pseudoscience of gender identity conversion “therapy.” Neither Littman’s paper nor discrimination have anything to do with the proper medical interventions to address pediatric gender dysphoria.

“… the existence of gender identity
is a scientific fact.”

Littman’s paper will be the subject of a separate post.

Furthermore, contrary to Kylee Zempel’s wishful thinking, according to the science efforts to change gender identity are incredibly toxic, leading to a lifetime of adverse mental health consequences.

Zempel cannot help herself. She is obviously a religious fanatic defending scripture:

When pushing for surgical and chemical castration (commonly called “gender transition” or “gender-reassignment surgery”) or capitulation to false pronouns, leftists typically claim that if doctors, parents, teachers, and strangers don’t let Nick change to Nicole, he will kill himself. On the other hand, if Nicole “detransitions” back to Nick, they explain it away by claiming the causes are transphobia and discrimination.

First of all, nobody is “pushing” anything and puberty blockers are not “chemical castration.” Moreover the correct term is “gender-affirming surgery” for which children are not candidates.

Secondly, the existence of gender identity is a scientific fact. For most people their gender identity matches their natal sex. However, a small minority of people have incongruent gender. That, too, is a scientific fact. Gender-appropriate pronouns are not “false.” In polite society we address people as they choose to be addressed.

“… the reasons why people detransition are wholly irrelevant to Zempel’s argument that gender-affirming care is wrong.”

Furthermore, “leftists … teachers and strangers” have no role to play in the medical decisions affecting children with gender dysphoria.

First, there must be a diagnosis. Aside from the various markers a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in children requires the child to have been experiencing significant distress for at least six months.

The questioning of a child and their parents is situational. Psychiatrists who practice in this area seek to find out when, where, how and to what degree a child feels discomfort.

Judging the severity of the condition is extremely important. It is the best predictor of the persistence of the condition.

Once a kid is evaluated (most parents are likely to seek a second opinion), a plan is formulated. Participants are the patient, their parents and their clinicians. The religious right presumes that all these people are ignorant and make very poor decisions.

  1. The kids are not stupid. They just want to feel better.
  2. Parents are neither negligent nor ignorant. They do the necessary research. Moreover, parents prefer to have a cisgender child in contrast to a transgender child. Their judgment is in the best interests of their offspring.
  3. Clinicians who practice in this area are neither ignorant nor pernicious. They are very well trained and really care about kids. Most have academic appointments. There are far more lucrative, and less demanding, medical specialties.
  4. There does not exist some grand conspiracy to make Christians unhappy.

Getting back to the quoted text which includes “if Nicole ‘detransitions’ back to Nick, they explain it away by claiming the causes are transphobia and discrimination.” First of all, that is false — a product of Zempel’s imagination and lack of critical thinking. The primary reason that people detransition is familial pressure. (Littman’s paper says otherwise but her sampling is awful and not representative of the trans population.)

Secondly — and more importantly — the reasons why people detransition are wholly irrelevant to Zempel’s argument that gender-affirming care is wrong.

Again, I’ll get to Littman separately. However, her subjects are late transitioners who, on average, were never on puberty blockers. Thus they are likely to have more secondary sex characteristics. That, in turn, makes them more likely to detransition.

“Transgender people do not change their sex. They alter their presentation to conform to their gender identity in order to relieve the symptoms of gender dysphoria.”

Zempel goes on to devote about 400 words to why people detransition. It is irrelevant to what care is most suitable. This caught my attention:

There’s a reason these trans-affirming therapies such as hormones, puberty blockers, surgeries, and fake pronouns don’t work. As Dr. Paul McHugh, the university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says, the notion that a person can change his or her sex is “starkly, nakedly false.”

First of all, the science says that gender-affirming care is highly effective. I provided numerous links, above. I have no idea what “trans-affirming” means.

Secondly, McHugh is about 90 years of age, not active as an academic and a self-admitted Defender of the Faith™. Thirdly, McHugh has never published peer-reviewed research on gender dysphoria. Moreover, neither McHugh nor Kylee Zempel cite any research to support their cause.

Moreover, McHugh indulges in one more straw man. No one claims that someone can “change his or her sex.” No one believes that they can change their sex. No one disputes chromosomal realities.

Transgender people do not change their sex. They alter their presentation to conform to their gender identity in order to relieve the symptoms of gender dysphoria.

Seriously, where the fuck is peer-reviewed research published to a reputable academic journal to support the notion that gender identity conversion therapy works better than gender-affirming care?

Profoundly confused:

Leftists who say acceptance is compassionate ignore these realities. And when they claim that not allowing people to gender-bend leads to suicide, they show their ambivalence toward the many lives lost because of transition or other unaddressed mental health issues. Research shows 10 to 15 years after surgically altering their bodies to look like the opposite sex, transitioners’ suicide rate is 20 times higher than that of their comparable peers.

Are we talking about medical science or societal mores? Which is it? Tolerance is in everyone’s bests interests. Furthermore, the boob is substituting “compassionate” for the realities of medical science. Zempel does not cite any research to support her claims. Rather she cites a 2018 article at Heritage Foundation by — you guessed it — Ryan T. Anderson.

Anderson’s mission (as a professional Catholic) is — and always has been — to prevent the enactment of nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people.

The particular post that Zempel is citing is a convoluted attempt to claim that gender confirmation surgery doesn’t work. In point of fact, according to recent research:

Scientists have developed a transgender-specific questionnaire, which confirms for the first time that gender surgery significantly improves quality of life for the majority of patients. The study shows that 80% of male-to-female patients perceived themselves as women post-surgery. However, the quality of life of transgender individuals is still significantly lower than the general population.

Anderson — intellectually dishonest idiot that he is — relied on a 2011 Swedish study whose subjects had surgery as early as the 1970s. Yes, transgender people have higher suicide rates than the general population. I have corresponded with the author of the Swedish study:

  • Her conclusion is that trans folks need better and more intensive counseling.
  • Suicide is largely the result of minority stress syndrome.

And just who is responsible for spreading minority stress like a virus?

I will skip the bullshit about Walt Heyer. He has self-diagnosed split personality disorder (dissociative identity disorder). Sure.

Speaking of bullshit, Kylee Zempel concludes:

There’s another thing this detransition data shows us. As conservatives go into fight mode against relentless trans ideologues in their kids’ classroom, the clinic, the statehouse, or other arenas — the correct posture when truth is at stake — they must resist the urge to fight victims. That’s exactly what many of these detransitioners and others swept up in transgender falsehoods are.

At the outset, after her subtitle, the first sentence of this religious drivel reads: “At the center of the transgenderism fight is the debate about how best to help those who suffer from gender dysphoria …”

Zempel is essentially advocating talk therapy in contrast to the gender-affirming care model which is overwhelmingly accepted as settled science (ample links, above). One more time: The reasons that people detransition have no bearing on how they should be treated in the first place.

Zempel should at least be honest and admit that she is defending scripture.

Repeating the title of this diatribe: “Science Says What’s Really Compassionate Is Encouraging People With Gender Dysphoria To Love Their Real Bodies.”

If Kylee Zempel wants to make that argument then she should realize that the only science which might be in her favor would have to support the notion that gender identity conversion therapy works. Where is it?

Seriously, where the fuck is peer-reviewed research published to a reputable academic journal to support the notion that gender identity conversion therapy works better than gender-affirming care?

By the way, the full image accompanying a podcast:

Kylee Zempel

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.