I’m sure I accomplished some things today, but almost none of them were things I had planned to do. There was unexpected Diversity Trust email, unexpected death of a friend, and two good TV documentaries that I had expected to be an hour long and were both two hours. Oh well, I have at least finished the Wizard’s Tower accounts for the month. Now I need to get to bed so that I’m awake to record an interview and to do the thing with Dan tomorrow.
The biggest news in the outside world is that the NHS has updated its guidelines on the provision of cross-sex hormones to trans adolescents. Current regulations say that these can be prescribed at age sixteen, generally after a long period of assessment by the youth gender clinic. The new guidelines are almost laughably unscientific.
They talk about how this treatment might have irreversible effects such as breast growth (in trans girls) or the voice breaking (in trans boys). You don’t say? That’s kind of like saying that cataract surgery can have the irreversible effect of better eyesight.
They note that such treatment might lead to infertility but should not be used as a form of contraception. Really? Who on earth would use it for that? I know that oestrogen is an active ingredient in the birth control pill, but would anyone seriously think of using testosterone?
And finally they talk darkly about the lack of knowledge of the long term effects of such treatment. Well hello! 26 years and counting. And I’m not the only one. There are plenty of us about, many of whom have been on hormones for far longer. But of course no amount of actual evidence will stop these people from scaremongering.
There are two things that we can take from this. The first is that the outcome of the the judicial review into the operation of youth gender clinic has already be decided at a political level. The clinic will be found to be operating unsafely, and it will be shut down, regardless of how much evidence to the contrary is presented, and how many young lives it has improved.
The second is that it won’t stop with kids. The idea that giving trans people hormones is “unsafe” clearly doesn’t only apply to teenagers. GPs now have a carte blanche to refuse to supply them to adults as well. It won’t be long before the adult gender clinics are threatened with closure as well.