I care about this issue because when I was 16 I experienced severe gender dysphoria. I was struggling to accept that I was a lesbian and felt forced into a relationship with a male. He abused me and over time I became completely disconnected from my body.
As a teenager I thought these feelings might mean I was trans. Thankfully I was too scared to tell anyone as I think I could have easily been put on an irreversible medical pathway if I had. The gender dysphoria resolved itself when I left the abusive relationship, reconnected with my body and allowed myself to be gay.
I worry that trauma is being misdiagnosed as being trans. I worry for young people who may be harmed by gender ideology. I was also later diagnosed as autistic – I now know this is common in teen girls with gender dysphoria.
I work in a mental health service for young people. I fear their gender dysphoria is affirmed as their true trans identity. I worry this approach is harming them.
I have raised my concerns with one close friend. She is someone I feel safe with. I have also gently tried to question some of the gender ideology at work, for example I recently had a client with gender dysphoria and I tried to mention that I felt this was connected with past trauma and socialisation. The client was worried they would be forced to transition if they attended therapy and I tried to ask colleagues if they knew of any neural therapists who would not push an affirmative model. My colleagues didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and suggested I signpost them to an LGBT organisation.
My work colleague started to talk about ‘hateful and transphobic people such as J.K.Rowling’. I was anxious that if I questioned the care for this client any further I could also get labelled as hateful and transphobic. I worry about losing my job, but I also worry that I am not providing evidence based care for my clients, though I try to offer an open minded and compassionate approach, where I don’t push any particular route or narrative onto them.
H, Trauma not Trans