This one might be a touchy subject. I have a very real and very visceral reaction to individuals who punch down on children and adolescents. There’s something dark and sinister in the psyche of an adult who finds this an acceptable practice.
I like to remember the story of the Little Rock Nine, and how a bunch of angry racists tried to stop little black boys and little black girls from going to school with white boys and girls. It took the 101st Airborne to make sure they could attend.
So, if these people make you see red or darken your vision, I get it. It just means you’re still human, after all.
Anyway, how to deal with these complete monsters? Bury them. Not literally, but under a pile of data and rhetoric. I mention the Little Rock Nine because invoking innocence and making such comparisons is a sure fire way towards garnering sympathy for anyone who reads what you post, even if you’re arguing with a monster. Keep emphasizing that all trans kids are asking is to be included, to be themselves, and to get the education that will help them be productive and contributing members of society. All children deserve this, and seeking to actively hinder them in their educational pursuits is not a thing good people do.
Aim for the feels and then begin dropping data on them. I won’t rehash her arguments, but Zinnia Jones at Gender Analysis tackles the scientific angles to play. I can’t recommend her enough, and since a lot of idiots like to argue via YouTube links making them sit through 20 to 30 minutes of a transwoman systematically sciencing all over their talking points.
I’ll add my own wrinkles now. First off, again, don’t be afraid to appeal to authority. I bet the folks who hate us don’t question the doctor when their appendix is about to spill death all over their insides. What the fuck makes them so smart to be getting between YOU and YOUR doctors anyway?
Same with kids. So, one of my go to sources these days is a guide released jointly by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Ostepathic Pediatricians, and the Human Rights Council linked here. While HRC is most certainly an advocacy group, the other two associations are pretty much the big dogs in pediatrics — i.e. childhood healthcare.
So, what do these two illustrious titans have to say about trans kids?
“Emerging research reports that transgender children whose families affirm their gender identity are as psychologically healthy as their non-transgender peers.”
Oh snap. Them experts and their social engineering games, amirite?
They also take on the bullshit “80% study.”
“Several studies have assessed the adult gender identities of patients who were gender-expansive or gender dysphoric in childhood. Across studies, only 12 to 50 percent of gender-expansive children assigned female at birth, and 4 to 20 percent of those assigned male at birth, were confirmed to be transgender as teenagers or adults. This information is important for both experts and families. However, delayed-transition advocates cite these studies to suggest that clinicians cannot distinguish between so-called “persisters” (children who will become transgender adults) and “desisters” (children who become comfortable with their originally assigned gender over time).
There are serious problems with this claim. The first is that the percentage of children with ongoing gender dysphoria is probably higher than reported. In some cases, researchers’ assumptions artificially inflate the proportion of desisters. One widely cited study, using data on 127 Dutch youth, counted participants as desisters if they did not actively return to the clinic as teenagers. Although the authors’ program was the only child and adolescent gender clinic in the Netherlands, it is possible that some persisters sought treatment elsewhere, continued to have gender dysphoria or transitioned without medical help. Furthermore, family or peer pressures cause some research participants to hide their ongoing gender dysphoria. In one case, a 15-year old claimed to have no gender dysphoria at follow-up, but contacted the clinic a year later to say that she had “lied” about her feelings because she was embarrassed. These cases are examples of how research findings can be far less clear than they seem, especially when participants feel pressured to accept their sex assigned at birth.”
So, yeah, science bitches. Bad science in this case.
Hell, new work coming out of the University of Washington points out that kids whose gender identity is affirmed fall back among their cis peers in regards to depression and display only a slight elevation in anxiety (and if society weren’t so shitty to them we could probably eliminate even that!)
I realize this is probably going to be my longest argument, but I also feel it’s the one where we need to be best informed. Consider this first post a data dump on the subject. Both Jones and the guide can be mined for terrific resources.
I’m going to try and sum it all up in a future post though and try to lay out an argument for you.