Miss gender – A book on transitioning girls is denounced as transphobic | United States

A TEENAGE GIRL who decides to alter her body so that it resembles a boy’s commits herself to a lifetime of medical treatments. “Top surgery”—a double mastectomy—is a major operation. She must take regular, large doses of testosterone. This may increase her chance of developing heart problems. It also causes the uterus to atrophy, often painfully, which may necessitate a hysterectomy.

Some of the changes to her body will be irreversible, and likely to cause distress if she changes her mind. If she has taken puberty-blockers as well as testosterone she may well be infertile. Only a few months of testosterone may have altered her voice and given her a lifelong five o’clock shadow. Fortunately for such girls, “bottom surgery”—a phalloplasty—is so often problematic that few request it.

All this, coupled with the fact that adolescence is confusing at the best of times, might suggest that teenagers should, by and large, be discouraged from embarking on biomedical gender reassignment. That is the argument running through “Irreversible Damage,” a book by Abigail Shrier, a journalist. It is not one that holds much sway in America. As the number of transgender clinics has grown from one in 2007 to at least 50 today, so has the number of young patients in them. Once they were mostly boys; today they are girls. Ms Shrier argues that many are victims of an ideology which holds that the feeling of being in the wrong body must be affirmed at all costs. It has fuelled a craze, she writes, to which teenage girls are particularly susceptible.

“Irreversible Damage” is full of stories from the mostly white, privileged world in which this seems to have flourished. Teenagers, often awkward and anxious, who have lost themselves in an online world that lionises anyone who identifies as trans. YouTubers, who “extol the glories of testosterone as if it were a protein shake” and dismiss parents who are sceptical of trans-identification as “toxic”. Teachers, who do not tell parents that their child is going by a different name at school. The group she reports on in greatest detail is parents. Many of them come across as hapless. Apparently unable to tell their children that feelings of pain and confusion, especially in adolescence, are part of life and usually pass, they instead hope therapists will sort everything out.

Ms Shrier is damning of some of the professionals who have built careers working with trans-identifying children. She points out that this is the only medical field apart from cosmetic surgery in which both diagnosis and treatment are determined by the patient. She describes doctors and therapists (who would ordinarily consider it their job to challenge their patients’ assumptions) bowing to the judgment of vulnerable teenagers. They also, grievously, tell parents who do not accept that their daughters are boys that failing to affirm their identity may heighten the risk of suicide (research does not back this up).

Data on transgender medical interventions are poor—no one knows how many teenagers have transitioned—and one wonders at times if Ms Shrier may have become so steeped in the phenomenon that she exaggerates its reach. But she tells the stories of those she interviews with great care. She writes empathetically about the distress of gender dysphoria, “the relentless chafe of a body that feels all wrong,” and the experience of adults who have transitioned (a group that has long suffered discrimination). She quotes her interviewees at such length that it would be hard to claim she has misrepresented them.

Yet despite this the book has been denounced as transphobic. This month, a prominent lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted, from his personal account, that “stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on”. A professor of English literature at Berkeley suggested that people should steal the book and burn it. Few mainstream newspapers have reviewed it, though it is one of the first accessible treatments of a subject that has generated much fascinated coverage.

This is a clear illustration of what the book claims: the dominance of an ideology that brooks no dissent or debate. One of the most shocking episodes it describes concerns Lisa Littman, a medical doctor and researcher at Brown University, who noted in a paper in 2018 that most transgender children were teenage girls with no history of gender dysphoria. Many of the teenagers in her study had been exposed to peers who had come out as trans shortly before doing so themselves; a majority had spent more time on the internet. The study sparked a bullying campaign, which prompted Brown to publish an apology, though the paper’s findings never changed. She was fired from another job as a consultant.

In “Irreversible Damage” Ms Shrier describes meeting Dr Littman and wondering out loud about the cultural factors that might be causing so many American girls to want to become boys. She is impressed when Dr Littman refuses “to theorise beyond the limits of her data”. This punctilious respect for the facts had threatened to destroy her career.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Miss gender”

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CERB is transitioning to EI. What does that mean?

The federal government announced on Thursday that the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) will be extended an additional month and then transition to a modified employment insurance (EI) program.

The changes will come into effect on Sept. 27 and will be in place for one year, with three additional programs proposed for those who do not qualify for EI.

Here’s what you need to know about the developments and how you can qualify ahead of the transition.  

I’m currently receiving CERB. What happens when it ends?

CERB, the federal income assistance program that has provided more than 8.5 million individuals $2,000 a month since April 6, will end on Sept. 27. 

Canadians who having been receiving CERB through Service Canada and are already eligible for EI will automatically transition to EI benefits once CERB ends next month.

Those who are eligible for EI but have been receiving CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency will need to apply through Service Canada. 

Who qualifies for EI under the new changes? 

The federal government has two kinds of EI that apply generally to workers: regular benefits and special benefits. 

EI regular benefits provide assistance to employees who lose their jobs involuntarily and are actively looking for work. Those who are eligible will receive a minimum of $400 for up to 26 weeks, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits.  

EI special benefits provide assistance to employees or self-employed individuals who are absent from work due to specific life circumstances, including sickness, maternity, parental benefits, as well as compassionate care or family caregivers. 

In both cases, individuals must report at least 120 hours of work — approximately 3.5 weeks of full-time hours — in the past 52 weeks, or since their last claim in order to qualify for EI. Normally, the number of hours of insurable employment required to be eligible for EI regular benefits ranges from 420 to 700 hours, and 600 hours for special benefits, depending on the region.

Individuals are required to apply after every two-week period for which they need support and can report that they continue to meet the requirements.

Under the new changes, and to encourage recipients to work, individuals can still earn income from self-employment while receiving the benefit. However, recipients would need to repay $0.50 of the benefit for each dollar earned above $38,000. 

Those who don’t qualify might be eligible for one of the three new proposed benefits.

WATCH | $37B aid package includes CERB extension, new benefits:

The federal government has announced a $37-billion aid package that extends the CERB and expands EI benefits to help those still struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the deal requires the approval of Parliament, which is prorogued until late September. 2:01

What if I don’t have enough hours to be eligible for EI?

The federal government has introduced a one-time credit system to make it easier for workers who are unable to meet the required hours of eligibility for both regular and special benefits prior to the new changes coming into effect on Sept 27.

This will apply retroactively to workers who could not establish their EI claim from March 15 to Sept. 26 due to not having worked enough hours and wanted to switch to EI from CERB early. 

For those applying for regular benefits, a credit of 300 hours will be applied. For special benefits, a credit of 480 hours can be claimed retroactively starting from March 15. 

Both of these credits are available for one year. 

What about EI premiums?  

EI insurance premium rates will be frozen for two years at the 2020 rates. That means for every $100 of insurable earnings, $1.58 will be deducted from the worker and $2.21 from the employer. 

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, these are the lowest rates since 1980. 

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough, left, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced new supports for workers whose CERB benefits will run out in August. The new benefits still require parliamentary approval. (Sean Kilpatrick, Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

What are the 3 new benefit programs? 

For individuals who are not eligible for EI and are in need of temporary income support, the following three benefits will be introduced:

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide $400 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who are self-employed and cannot resume or return to work. 

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit will provide $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are ill or must self-isolate due to COVID-19-related reasons. 

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for those who are unable to work because they care for a child under 12 or another dependent whose school, daycare or other day program facility is shut down due to COVID-19.

Applications for the new recovery benefits are scheduled to open in October, with payments expected to flow in three to five days.

But the recovery benefits still require parliamentary approval in order to become available. Parliament is currently prorogued until Sept. 23, after which a new bill will have to be adopted after the speech from the throne.

How many Canadians will qualify? 

According to Freeland, 4.5 million Canadians are currently on CERB. When the program ends, an estimated three million will enter the EI system, and another one or two million are expected to use the recovery benefits.  

As of early August, more than four million individuals have moved off CERB and have returned to the workforce. 

How much will all these programs cost? 

All told, $37 billion. The government says the three new recovery benefits, which will be taxed at source, are expected to cost $22 billion; the extension of CERB another $8 billion; and added EI costs are set at $7 billion.

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Court Grants Mother Full Say in Transitioning 8-Year-Old Son to Girl

A Dallas judge ruled Tuesday that the mother of an eight-year-old boy may have sole decision-making power in pursuit of “transitioning” him to a girl named “Luna.”

As LifeSiteNews reported, Judge Mary Brown of Dallas County Court reversed the October ruling of another judge and granted the request of Dr. Anne Georgulas, a pediatrician who reportedly diagnosed her son James with “gender-dysphoria” when he was a young toddler.

As a result of the ruling, Georgulas, who supports James’s gender “transition,” will have sole control over this area of his life.

James continues to be at the center of a high-conflict custody battle between Georgulas and her ex-husband, Jeffrey Younger, who says his son gives no indication he wants to be a girl when he is with him.

The case of James Younger went viral on Twitter last year with the hashtag #SaveJamesYounger.

In October 2019, Jeffrey Younger shared a video on social media of his son at three years of age telling his father, “Mommy tells me I’m a girl.”

A jury in Dallas decided against Younger’s attempt to prevent his ex-wife from starting their son on puberty blockers. A consensus of 11 of 12 jurors decided the joint managing conservatorship over James and his twin brother Jude should be replaced by sole management by Georgulas.

The battle between Younger and Georgulas intensified last year when James’s mother threatened Younger with a child abuse charge because he would not affirm their son is a transgender child.

Georgulas petitioned to modify the parent-child relationship while referring to James as a “gender expansive or transgender child” who “by choice, now goes by the name Luna.”

James’s mother reportedly sought to terminate Younger’s parental rights because James behaved as a boy when he was with his father. Georgulas also wanted Younger to pay for their son’s counseling with a therapist who would affirm his transgender identity and his transgender medical interventions.

The court prohibited Younger from dressing James as a boy or from sharing faith-based or biologically-based scientific teachings on sexuality, even though family friends who have observed James when he is in his father’s care reportedly affirm he dresses and behaves as a boy by his own choosing.

James’s “transition therapist” reportedly continued to identify him as “Luna” and to place him on track for gender transition.

The Texan reported at the time that Younger and Georgulas were married in 2010 and decided to have children through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

“They requested male children through the IVF process that was successful, and their twin boys were born in 2012,” the Texan noted.

Georgulas revealed in testimony that the boys are actually not biologically related to her since she used an egg donor for the IVF procedure.

According to the report, Georgulas said James began to imitate female characters from the Disney film Frozen, asked for a girls’ toy at McDonald’s, and asked to wear dresses.

She also reportedly said she contacted the GENecis clinic at Children’s Hospital Center. She was then referred to Rebekka Ouer for counseling, who recommended a process of “affirmation” and suggested a “social transition” for James should begin with the young boy going to school dressed as a girl named “Luna.”

The battle reportedly escalated between the two parents when Younger learned Georgulas was “socially transitioning” James.

Judge Kim Cooks of Dallas County Court had granted both parents decision-making authority in the twins’ medical, psychological, and psychiatric care. Cooks said that, if the parents could not agree, a court-appointed parenting coordinator would make the final decision.

In addition, Cooks ordered Younger to attend family counseling with Georgulas and the boys in order to maintain his 50/50 custody arrangement.

LifeSiteNews also reported:

Judge Kim Cooks’ ruling found that Georgulas was overly affirming in instances when James supposedly showed a desire to be a girl, including taking him to LGBTQ parades, buying him dresses and fake hair, and enrolling him in kindergarten as a “girl” named “Luna.”

But Georgulas challenged Cooks’ ruling and ultimately had her removed from the case.

Dallas Morning News reported in December Cooks was removed because she shared a news story about the case on her official Facebook account. The report continued:

Another user originally posted the story with the caption, “Here’s the truth! READ IT and THEN GO RUN TELL THAT!” In her post, Cooks said, “The Governor nor any legislature had any influence on the Court’s Decision.”

Georgulas’ attorneys argued that Cooks should recuse herself because the post called into question her impartiality.

Brown, who replaced Cooks on the case, granted Georgulas’s motions, without a hearing, for sole decision-making authority and to have Younger pay for family counseling.

The “Save James” Facebook page, which links to a Christian crowdfunding site for Younger, states Brown’s order grants Georgulas the right to register James in school as “Luna.”

A post on the site says, “James and Jude did NOT have a victory in court today,” and adds:

Judge Mary Brown has condemned James and Jude to a life of therapy, confusion, and abuse without even having a hearing. There are no other words for what has happened today.

She has forced James to live as “Luna” in a school surrounded by teachers and therapists who do not acknowledge that he has said multiple times to multiple people (without Jeff around) that he wants to be a boy and hates being forced to be a girl. She has forced Jude into a stressful existence of constant lies and misery as he watches his brother get destroyed before him without any hope for an end to this madness.

“Anne won this battle without even a hearing,” the post reads.

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