I am against conversion therapy — which is why I am against L.D. 1025, the bill written to address it. Transitioning is appropriate for some, but others can misidentify as transgender because of circumstances such as trauma from sexual assault, homophobic bullying and social pressure regarding gender non-conforming behavior. Under L.D. 1025, psychiatrists and health professionals would be unable to treat or address these conditions and life circumstances if a young patient insists on hormone treatment. The effects of hormone treatments and subsequent surgeries are often irreversible, and young patients are often misled as to their effects through social media.

Youth gender dysphoria in the majority of cases does not persist. A review by Dr. James Cantor of all previous long-term studies regarding the adult identity of trans-identifying kids—”from a variety of countries and from a variety of labs, using a variety of methods, all spanning four decades”—found that “every single study without exception has come to the identical conclusion” that a majority of trans-identified youths desist. England’s Tavistock Clinic for transition had five clinicians recently quit in protest over the impact of blanket affirmation policies that ignored psychological factors and parental pressure. So many children were being sent down the pathway to change sex due to a desire to “cure” their sexual orientation that two of the clinicians grimly joked that “there would be no gay people left.”

While transition helps some, it must be applied appropriately. Only careful screening can help ensure that—which this bill outlaws. A more responsible approach toward all parties is needed.

 

Rebecca Ballien

Waterville


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