Posted on | December 11, 2011 | 12 Comments
The Children’s Hospital Gender Management Services Clinic can, using hormone therapies, halt puberty in transgender children, blocking the development of secondary sexual characteristics — a beard, say, or breasts — that can make the eventual transition to the other gender more difficult, painful, and costly.
Founded in 2007 by endocrinologist Norman Spack and urologist David Diamond, the clinic — known as GeMS and modeled on a Dutch program — is the first pediatric academic program in the Western Hemisphere that evaluates and treats pubescent transgenders. A handful of other pediatric centers in the United States are developing similar programs, some started by former staffers at GeMS.
It was in that clinic, under Spack’s care, that Nicole and her family finally began to have hope for her future. . . .
(“Nicole,” neé Wyatt, who has a twin brother.)
“I have always known I was a girl,’’ says Nicole, now 14. “I think what I’m aiming for is to undergo surgery to get a physical female body that matches up to my image of myself.’’ . . .
When the twins were in the first grade, their parents found a therapist for Wyatt, who was starting to act out. In the third grade, before the GeMS Clinic was even open, Kelly heard about Dr. Spack and made an appointment with him. . . .
Nicole and her parents filed a complaint with the Maine Humans Right Commission over her right to use the girls bathroom. The commission found that she had been discriminated against and, along with the Maines family, filed a lawsuit against the Orono School District. The suit is pending in Penobscot County Superior Court, and the Maines family is represented by lawyers from the Gay & Lesbian Advocates. . . .
(Bathroom rights for transgender sixth-graders? Oh, joy! More business for the trial lawyers!)
[Dr. Spack] believes it is crucial to intervene with such children before adolescent changes begin in earnest. . . .
He adds: “We can do wonders if we can get them early.’’ . . .
“The drugs have a great track record; we already know that these kids do fine,’’ says Spack. “There are no ill consequences.”
(Hat-tip: Da Tech Guy.) Excuse my skepticism here. Maybe I’ve read too much dystopian fiction — Frankenstein, Flowers for Algernon, etc. — about the unintended and tragic consequences of Science Gone Wrong.
It was once considered sophisticated to have a wary attitude toward the claims made on behalf of Scientific Progress, but that sort of skepticism seems to have gone out of style. Once the fashionable experts in any field reach a “consensus” nowadays, everyone starts screaming that The Science Is Settled and anyone who continues to express doubt is labelled “anti-science” and ostracized from polite society.
Suppression of dissent wasn’t part of the scientific method as I was taught it, back in the Dark Ages, but I guess these enlightened experts like Dr. Norman Spack and his colleagues know everything about the diagnosis and treatment of “pubescent transgenders,” and everyone may safely ignore the old-fashioned skeptics.
Your skepticism, of course, will be diagnosed as a “phobia” — perhaps pedotransphobia or transpedophobia — and there will be political lobbying groups organized to clamor for legislation to safeguard the “rights” of these experimental specimens against “discrimination” by hateful bigoted transpedophobes like you.
Clever cable network executives are probably already working on a reality TV series, and “Nicole” will likely defray the costs of surgery by landing a book deal for her memoirs: I Was a Pre-Teen Shemale.