102 Comments
Jul 4, 2022·edited Jul 4, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

Continuing. The thrust of your opening post is to encourage dialogue and civility and mutual understanding, and while I would be wrong to argue against that noble premise *in generality* I think it's irresponsible to counsel love and support and acceptance for something so unhealthy and so alarming.

Check it: there are thirteen year old girls getting surgeries happily administered by unscrupulous surgeons who accept a certificate of eligibility easily obtained for a fee over the Internet along with the many thousands of dollars they charge. Sorry but this is not something we should just open our arms in hugs for.

But! If one of these girls goes to a counselor looking for the permission to get sliced, and the counselor decides that she is merely an unhappy person seeking an escape from misery and is not actually dysphoric, *he will be fired*. The imperative to validate everything "trans" is monstrous and I really cannot understand why, even in the name of being kind to one another, you would go along with it.

Even if it's just puberty-blocking hormones and not surgery, these girls are screwing up their bodies for what is very likely just a phase. The law needs to step in.

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Jul 5, 2022·edited Jul 5, 2022Author

"I think it's irresponsible to counsel love and support and acceptance for something so unhealthy and so alarming."

Yeah, I agree in the cases where those irresponsible and alarming things are happening to children. As, for example, in the case of 13-year-olds getting double mastectomies. But I don't think this should be extrapolated to trans care in general.

There are many things that people do to their bodies that I find unhealthy and extreme. But they're allowed to do them once they become adults. I think we should use an extremely light touch to determine what adult do with their bodies. And I think we should be careful not to let sensible concerns about children bleed over into opposing treatment for a condition that most of us don't understand.

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If men want to take their genitals off with razor blades because they think it'll make them happier that's their business. I was clearly talking about girls many years shy of adulthood and following fads somewhat more consequential than a hair style or a favorite pop singer.

Where we part company on the "condition that most of us don't understand" part is engaging medical practitioners. I read an exchange from one of the social networks that kids use, someone had tracked down the information that would enable a 15yo girl to get a hysterectomy. Go to some web page, tick a few checkboxes, PayPal some money, get a certificate and a lot of surgeons will accept. Fifteen years old. I don't give a damn about understanding the condition, that should get the surgeon twenty years, not twenty grand. A child is incapable of that kind of decision, and young people are too sensitive to peer pressure and conformity to make choices like that.

Adulthood? It's your body to screw up. Knock yourself out, just don't look for sympathy when you end up ruined for life.

And as I keep saying, I think "trans" is at least 90% fad and probably several more nines, and I think that medical practice for such elective interventions needs to be strictly regulated and based on peer-reviewed criteria.

But then I think the same about virtual reality.

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"A child is incapable of that kind of decision, and young people are too sensitive to peer pressure and conformity to make choices like that."

Yep, we've already agreed that this shouldn't be happening to children.

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"Reconsidering Informed Consent for Trans-Identified Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults"

"In less than a decade, the western world has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the numbers of children and adolescents seeking gender transition. Despite the precedent of years of gender-affirmative care, the social, medical and surgical interventions are still based on very low-quality evidence. The many risks of these interventions, including medicalizing a temporary adolescent identity, have come into a clearer focus through an awareness of detransitioners."

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0092623X.2022.2046221

I agree: "Adulthood? It's your body to screw up. Knock yourself out, just don't look for sympathy when you end up ruined for life."

I would just say "if/when" instead-a "when," but that's just me.

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"temporary adolescent identity"

If a girl wants to listen to a Korean smile-band that's her business. If she wants to tattoo her face with their album cover, that should be denied.

But now she wants her uterus and breasts removed with as much good cause as listening to BTS: because all her friends do.

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It's possible. There's a lawsuit in the UK. They're light years ahead of the US in this field. When the lawsuits (possibly) come rolling in, then it will be the butchers who get fired, not the other way around. Then (possibly) the laws will be righted.

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OK, I'm going to try to keep this level and keep the "nonbinary" crap out of it.

I am gay. For some reason people lump gay and bisexual people in with this ensemble of gender bending trends as though we have something to do with each other. Homosexuality has been a steady 3-5% of human population across continents of culture and millennia of time. While people have become more open, less reluctant to come out, as social acceptance waxed, there has never been a surge to 30% or 50% or 80% of the population. Homosexuality is clearly as much a part of normal human variation as left-handedness, and its concomitant psychological maladies can all be lain at the feet of prejudice.

Suppose the percentage identifying as gay suddenly went up tenfold. My delight at all the new potential sex partners would be completely swamped by puzzlement and suspicion; sexual orientation is a fundamental aspect of identity and a sudden change from its constancy would raise alarms.

Gender identity is a lot more fundamental than sexual orientation; very few gay people wish they could be the opposite sex, and the overlap between the LG and the T is insignificant.

And yet. You mention a 4000% (!) increase in teenage girls identifying with the opposite gender and just breeze along as though this is nothing but a statistic. It is a fuck of a lot more than that. Even a 40% increase should raise alarms.

First of all it is coming at a time when "trans" is trendy, part of a nearly mindless impulse toward a set of ill-conceived social goals mostly inspired by postmodernism, the most intellectually vapid movement in the history of social thought. By stringent medical definition gender dysphoria affects one in 30,000 male births and one in 100,000 female. If we are seeing a forty-fold increase in the latter, we should be looking for explanations a lot more carefully than we rush to encouraging acceptance of what is clearly a dangerously unhealthy trend.

In a stunning turn of events this weird surge is coming at a time of unprecedented personal stress and dissatisfaction, we are living through year after year of Cuban Missile Crisis level anxiety every day as the country enters its second civil war.

The serial killer in Silence of the Lambs was murdering young woman to make a "woman suit" because he had been rejected for reassignment surgery. He hated his life and wanted to be something different. And what could be more different than gender? I see explanations like this as a lot more plausible than believing that, all of a sudden, forty time the usual number of young girls want to change their gender.

Not buying that for a second.

And ... the stridently totalitarian (you know what I mean) rhetoric of this movement is incongruent with true conviction, it is at the level of rhetorical violence, people trying to convince not just others but convince themselves that their preposterous beliefs ("a trans woman is not a man") are true.

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Alas, I'm afraid You have the right of it, M. Fox. And Biden being against "conversion therapy?" Outlawing conversion therapy? Let's set the record straight:

Taking kids, most of whom are LG, and socially and medically coercing them to take puberty blockers and hormones and, eventually, mutilating their sex organs? *That* is conversion therapy, right? Trying to convert LG to straight people has *always* been defined as conversion therapy.

And the real sick part of it is that some parents (and the kids) are more comfortable with a trans kid than an LG boy or girl. It's more socially accepted. In fact, all the cool kids are trans, right?

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When I was coming out in the 70s it was common to spend a few months claiming to be bisexual as a uh gateway orientation on the way to accepting oneself as gay. I got over it.

Longitudinal studies of so called "trans" (sorry, I hate that word) teens often show that they end up being gay and return to comfort with their biological gender, and now that "trans" is supposed to be trendy an' cool it's a safer temporary accommodation.

Picture a girl who hides behind "trans" for a year or two, then the leading fad switches back to some clothing and hair style e.g. punk or goth, and now she's a lesbian and female except she has no breasts anymore.

Way to go.

We should absolutely not be encouraging this and we should be a lot LOT more skeptical about such claims.

Edit: male bisexuality is really rare. Most are like me, capable of enjoying heterosexual sex but making no claim to being bisexual; most men who do so claim lean very asymmetrically one way or the other and it is almost always gay.

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TY for reply. I agree.

About Your edit: I didn't know that. TY again.

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I'm a bit skeptical that bisexuality is so rare (in males). Of course it's conceived of as being a spectrum, with very few in very middle (eg: the range of 49%/51% to 51%/49%), or at the extreme ends. But there seem to be a good number of men who have substantial amounts of attraction towards both sexes, closer to the middle than to the ends of that spectrum.

But I recognize that my assessment is based more on experience than objective statistics. Do you have any source for believing that bisexual men are very rare?

Also, you referenced males. Do you believe that bisexual females are more or less common? And why LG rather than LGB if you are talking about all sexes, not just males?

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I've read a lot about bisexuality and all studies say the same thing: 50/50 bi men are exceedingly uncommon. I have never met one. I didn't say there are none.

Most bi men are basically gay men who top and go with a woman once in a while.

With women the attraction is much more about the relationship than visual arousal and I have read that women can choose their orientation a lot more than men; my best friend in the USA is bi and married to a man but based on his health I doubt they have sex.

I last went to a gay public territory in 1996. I was 42 and in great shape but already past the age where I felt like I fit in and I saw men older than I being savagely abused with name-calling. I continued to hook up on the Internet but gay places are for people under 30 who want to ruin their hearing and their lungs.

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Maybe it depends on how one defines bisexuality. As I noted, there are very few who are 100/0, 50/50, or 0/100 - or for that matter 90/10 or 36/64. That's way too narrow. a range.

I was suggesting that being closer to the middle than to either end, like "at least 1/4 towards each" as a broader definition. I doubt that is as rare.

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Not quibbling over ratios.

I've never met any men I would call bisexual. My three hetero experiences don't make me bi. Anyway it's about attraction, not sex.

Gay men are prejudiced against bisexuality.

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Well put, Chris.

You covered many of the bases.

In terms of the relatively consistent level of homosexuality across culture, I would note that this include even cultures which savagely persecute it. And it exists in at least some other species. I'm quite convinced that it's a natural variation.

I'm rather less convinced regarding trans, at least above the extremely rare level.

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Jul 4, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

"I would give it all away in a heartbeat to be allowed to feel comfortable and not expected to look, act or sound a certain way."

For me, this sentence is staggering. The writer is saying that they would rather harm their body than work through emotional discomfort.

A big part of passing from adolescence into adulthood is figuring out who you are, separate from everyone else's expectations of you. And it can be painful and hard. You can't avoid this or outsource this.

At the same time, geez. Cutting off your breasts so people won't expect you to look a certain way? Just show up to work or school in clean clothes and a washed face and that's it. Deodorant is a nice bonus. Everybody is not looking at you and thinking about you! That's how adolescents think. The truth is that everyone is thinking about themselves, not you.

Life is hard, but it's actually really easy too. Go outside, work in the garden, use your body and be a human animal on this planet. Find your joy!!

In the words of Auntie Mame, "Life's a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death."

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"For me, this sentence is staggering. The writer is saying that they would rather harm their body than work through emotional discomfort."

No, I think it's more than that. She's saying that the expectations placed on her by society, and the attention she receives from some men (and in a different way, women), as a result of her anatomy are a burden. And she'd rather not have the anatomy if it meant she could be free of the expectations and attention.

She's an adult, she hasn't chosen to harm her body. Her problem, really, is with society. I think she has a really fair point there. I've seen on many occasions how women with big breasts in particular are treated. I've known girls who were shunned and assumed to be sluts by the women around them because they had big breasts. I've seen the constant attention and occasional groping from men. Then there are simple logistical concerns like how difficult it is to go running.

I think you're underestimating how much of an impact things like this can have on some women.

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Jul 5, 2022Liked by Steve QJ

You're right, of course. After I posted my comment I felt bad about seeming to minimize her pain.

You are so right about how women with big breasts are treated. I've seen it in my own family, with my sister and daughter. My sister has always had to be careful with what clothes she wears, because, as she says, most things look "slutty" on her.

I had to deal with so much unwanted attention from boys and men from the age of 14 on. If I'm being honest, a lot of it was wanted too. I enjoyed the attention I got from being an attractive young woman. Sometimes I loved it. It was my super power.

Sometimes it was scary; I've been stalked and pretty badly harassed at work.

The constant attention slows down as you get older; by the time I was in my mid thirties the cat calling on the street and approaches from strangers had stopped. I had a brief re-adjustment period, where I felt invisible. But I quickly learned to love being more "incognito", and now, at 55, I really like it.

I do have a giant blind spot about all this- and need to do a lot more learning and introspection.

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I dunno. I would ask if there's *any* creature in the Western world who *doesn't* have a problem or two dealing with "Society" (with a capital "S" ;-).

Give me name, rank and serial number. As well as email address so I can find out their secret.

Personally, I believe I've had worse problems dealing with Society than big breasts seem to cause. But that's just me. Others are skin-color. Ugliness. Political persuasion. WhatEVER.

Maybe I'm just hard-hearted, but when I gave up my own pity party, I found I was relieved beyond all expectation. And relieved of Society's expectations to boot, now that I think on it. Again, that's just me.

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In a broader sense, how many problems in our lives can't be reduced to Other People?

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Why, *all* our problems are because of Other People, right?

Or the opposite.

IMO, One takes a POV (point of view), right, that hopefully doesn't vary too awful much.

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I read about a woman whose mother and grandmother both died of breast cancer before age 40. She was near-certain to come down with it and had a prophylactic double mastectomy.

That has nothing to do with trans anything/

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"That has nothing to do with trans anything"

I'm not sure what this has to do with my comment either😅

Women have double mastectomies for health reasons. They also have breast reductions because they're uncomfortable with the size and weight of their breasts. Or because they dislike the attention they attract. A friend of mine did that just a month ago as it happens. Some women get their breasts enhanced because they want *more* attention.

The way women respond to the expectations of society varies depending on the woman. I'm just saying I don't think T's response is unreasonable or even particularly uncommon.

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Not uncommon? Are You serious, Steve? And I reread T's quotes. I'm making an assumption that You guys are talking about a mastectomy? It could be read differently:

"I would give it all away in a heartbeat to be allowed to feel comfortable and not expected to look, act or sound a certain way."

Something I learned a while ago, but just lately come to grasp a little, is the concept of personal power. T is giving up *way* too much-a her personal power over to Society. All she has to give *away* is her idea that she has to conform to anybody's expectations other than her *own.* Without harming someone else.

Dunno how old she is. I'm still learning at 67. But Society is just about the *last* place I wanna give away my personal power to. It seems to me that Society has little mercy these days. ICBW, 'course.

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"Not uncommon? Are You serious, Steve?"

I'm saying it's not uncommon that women with particularly sexualised anatomy dislike and even resent the attention that it brings. And no, it's not even uncommon that women get breast reductions to escape that attention. As I mentioned to somebody else, a woman I know did so just a few weeks ago. I've known others over the years.

She isn't necessarily talking about getting a mastectomy or anything so drastic, she's talking about how she'd like to be free from the expectations and attention that have been placed on her because of her anatomy. It's not about conformity, it's about the fact that whatever she does, especially as a large breasted woman, she'll be subject to a certain kind of attention that is quite unpleasant.

Some women are more comfortable with that than others. But the women who aren't comfortable aren't wrong for being uncomfortable.

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I reread Your reply Steve. I think we have *very* different ideas of what "not uncommon" means.

Just to pick a number off the top-a my head, "not uncommon" would be more than.. say.. three or four percent. Mebbe five. You?

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When people start talking about "harming their body," I don't take that to mean breast size reduction. That's just me.

You missed my point, entirely. I'm not saying they're *wrong* to be uncomfortable. I'm saying they have a *choice* about being uncomfortable. Big difference.

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This idea that society imposes rigid expectations on us that we must conform to ,,, we mostly hear this from people who are determined to believe themselves oppressed and appear to be getting some perverse validation from the idea.

Most of us got over this "Ward and June" white picket fence thing, oh, about fifty years ago.

I don't smile. I will laugh at a joke, smile at a compliment or learning I've won the lottery or seeing an SUV that zoomed past everyone on the highway now overturned by the road and the driver clutching his head ... OK ... but anyone who tells me I should run around beaming at the air like Vietnamese girls do can just fuck the fuck off.

Difference, is, I don't write handkerchief-wringing articles about it nor do I lie in bed looping on thoughts of oppression because people who mean nothing to me think I should smile more. I'll smile if and when I feel like it, even if that ends up being never.

Oh, oh, oh, I decided yesterday I'm trans and my friends still refer to me as "she." Where's that razor blade?

Rubbish.

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One makes one's choices. One lives with one's consequences. That so hard to believe?

I'm guessing... Going out on a limb. Guessin' You'd say "no," but ICBW, 'course.

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"𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒆, 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒂𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕."

THIS, so THIS!

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Hey, Dave.

How do you do text formatting on substack? I've tried HTML, BBCode and even (ugh) discord conventions, I've gone a-googling, and nothing has worked. What's the trick?

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Cool, thanks!

Apparently, this converts letters to Unicode characters above 0xFFFF, so it may not show in some systems (eg: some phones). But it works here, viewed with Chrome, so maybe that's enough.

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𝘊ả𝘮 ơ𝘯

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không có gì

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literal translation: have nothing

(not have what)

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"writer is saying that she would rather harm her body than work through emotional discomfort."

Oh, if it only it ended with self-harm. These people will obsess over their identities worse than a Second Amendment junkie over his guns. Talking to one of them feels like strolling through a minefield. never knowing what slip of the normal-conversation tongue will trigger an explosion of grievance.

At work she will be at the center of every conflict, constantly engaged with Human Resources when someone accidentally refers to her by her actual gender instead of whatever pair of pronouns she's put in her email signature, in the corridor outside her cubicle, on a bumpersticker on her car ....

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The comments have taken a path that needs to be traveled. If I was gay, after getting past the reluctance to openly be one of the 3-5%, I think I could be comfortable in my own body.

Some have suggested that the denial of homosexuality with "I'm trans" can become a tragedy when drugs and surgery are resorted to when they may well later get past the idea. I agree.

I am left to wonder how many of the people claiming to be transexual are just homosexuals in denial or confused adolescents fleeing the emotional pressure of their world. That needs to be part of the conversation. Genuine gender dysphoria vs. something else? It is a disservice to the second group to not suggest that they may be making a horrible mistake.

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"I am left to wonder how many of the people claiming to be transexual are just homosexuals in denial"

Yeah, as Chris says, it seems to be quite a lot. But what I find most worrying is that it's not necessarily that they're in denial, it's that they've been persuaded, while they were very young and largely incapable of nuance or abstraction, that they were "born in the wrong body."

The more that idea is affirmed in them at an early age, the more it becomes "true" for them. In the vast majority of cases, if they were just left alone to explore their gender nonconformity in their own way, they'd end up being happy, non-dysphoric homosexuals.

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"wonder how many of the people claiming to be transsexual are just homosexuals in denial"

Studies suggest that the answer is "a lot."

But to even suggest that dysphoria is a medical condition in any way that someone uh "invested" in gender identity can bring to the attention of your employer is a good way to lose your job. The tyranny around "trans" is completely out of control, as bad as MAGA but without the Molotov cocktails.

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I'd refer You to studies of Dr. Kenneth Zucker. He studied the field for 30 years and, I believe, was one-a the first to use hormone therapy. He ran afoul for the TRAs for saying GI (Gender Identity) was mutable and most kids would "desist" if left to their own devices.

You can tell he was on to something because the TRAs got him fired and his lab closed. He won a libel suit against those who smeared him to get him fired. Pyrrhic victory as his lab is still closed. (Ah well... )-:

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Steve, I'm surprised they haven't kicked you off Medium at this point. I can't always read your articles since I'm limited to three a month, but after Chris Fox mentioned how crazy(-ier) the left has gotten there, I wondered why they even tolerate you at all, esp with what you say about the trans community. Facts, evidence, and critical thinking are verboten, and often a good way to get banned.

The ones who are in power in the trans movement, the ones seeking to *preserve* their power, are those men who've adopted trans in an effort to get fuzzy-headed feminists more susceptible to male authority than they realize to get on board and support their 'victimhood'.

It's why I said in my most recent article that Dave Chappelle's question about whether transwomen are regarded by natal women as 'gender blackface', which I didn't really resonate with before, now sounds like there may be some there there.

A so-called 'progressive' friend of mine, not one I've ever met personally but who I met online through a good friend and we've been online friends for more than twenty years, defriended me on Facebook over the article. Because I don't have a deep emotional attachment to this person I'm best described as disappointed with her over this. She was once far more tolerant with me over a political issue far more important than the 'gender blackface' comments she disliked and 'misgendering' she accused me of. It'll be the subject of my next article after I'm done with the one I'm working on. I've thought a lot about the about-face she's done from when she was once a true progressive, and now a fundamentalist soldier in the woke cult, with merely belief in one god separating the two.

This is How The Left Was Lost, and I think it means the right will start winning from now on. And when that happens, the left will forever point the finger of blame at others (somewhat justifiably) but never ask themselves whether *they* contributed to the hatred and bigotry they claimed to abhor.

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"Steve, I'm surprised they haven't kicked you off Medium at this point."

Me too a little!😅 I'm *extraordinarily* careful. And it's very difficult to claim that I'm being a bigot when everything I say is backed up by evidence and data. It seems that it's enough so far.

The tragic irony is that on balance, I think I'm very pro-trans. Moreso than many people who are talking about this stuff at the moment. I don't think they're all AGP men. I factor the existence of trans men into my position on various issues. I'm just not willing to ignore facts and common sense. Which puts me at odds on a few key issues.

To be fair, this latest article in particular is already looking pretty prescient. Bette Midler and Macy Gray both came out with "anti-trans" (aka pro-reality) comments yesterday. More high-profile people are speaking up about the extremes.

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I'm still surprised, because 'evidence' and 'data' are no longer acceptable for the 'woke', and could bring you before the Holy Office of the Transquisition :P

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If the Democrats make the next election about pronouns and bathrooms instead of abortion and AGW then Earth will become the eighth dead planet in the solar system.

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I've pretty much given up on Medium.

I wrote as a passing note in one response that a trans woman is biologically a man and some guy whose profile was 100% his "queer" credentials called me all kinds of names and announced he was summoning his tribe to pile on the report button and get me banned. I deleted the response and blocked him. But, Christ, what a mess he was!

I used to write a lot of software articles on there; it's not worth it now. There are so many and they are so horribly low quality. How to become a senior developer: "think outside the box." This was not only published but promoted! A stale phrase whose shelf life expired 20 years ago.

Pity, It used to be a great place to write. And it got me a nice Moog and about ten other synthesizers.

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Take it for what it was good for: Providing great articles (from some), the opportunity to hang out with writers who were better than you and could inspire you, professional writers and editors who offered valuable advice, the occasional celeb (sorry I can't read Wil Wheaton's posts now, finding out what it was *really* like to be a child star growing up in a dysfunctional family with a toxic father) and of course all the engagement. It's over, it's had its run, we move on. I've been forced to focus on my website more, and my blog, and am now beginning to get hits in the triple numbers every month (yay me lol).

Some told me I should try to get my account back and I said What's the point? I can't speak my mind because of all the snowflakes. I can't say *anything* critical about the trans community, however well-worded. Vocal.media is an easier platform for that. It's just a shade of what Medium is but they have to approve one's articles first so none of this throwing you off the platform because you were badbadbad three times. When Vocal kicks a story back to me maybe I revise it, or maybe I just take it to my blog and Substack. What I really value them for, though, is their letting me say what needs to be said about the trans community that I could never be allowed to say on Medium. My headline a few months ago about the trans community jumping the shark would have made the Medium support staff's collective head explode ;)

So, getting kicked off was a sign it was time to move on. Now I spend less time than Steve does parsing and agonizing over every word making sure I don't get cancelled, crucified, Bravehearted, or just buried in a furious woke Medium blizzard.

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While I wholeheartedly agree with you, queer politics and activism are such that the goal has become determining who is in your tribe, or not, rather than an exchange of ideas and experiences.

Those of us who believe that we could find some common ground from talking/listening to one another fail to understand the authoritarian nature of queer/trans politics. And certainly not all trans/queer individuals fall into that category, but those that don’t also face suspicion from the tribe.

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"Those of us who believe that we could find some common ground from talking/listening to one another fail to understand the authoritarian nature of queer/trans politics."

I think there's a degree to which this is true. But only a small degree. It's important in my opinion to separate the activism and the politics from the people. Most trans people, I'm totally convinced, just want to live their lives in peace. Some of them, particularly in today's climate, have been caught up in an ideology that has confused them. But some, as has been the case for millennia, are just trans.

When I talk about the importance of listening, it's so that we can understand this issue from as many different perspectives as possible. Most people have never experienced gender dysphoria. And I think both on the "trans ally" side and on the "TERF" side, they decide that a single way of looking at it is true and all others are false.

There's an awful lot of nuance here. Probably more than on any other issue affecting society today. So I think it's incredibly important that we don't oversimplify the issue.

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"Most people have never experienced gender dysphoria."

Neither have most of those making the claim. The ones I've known were *nothing* like the hyper-authoritarian mob. They just wanted to be left alone and try to adjust, not control everyone else.

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Being a gay man who has known friends who were savagely beaten by assailants yelling that word, I will thank you not to use "queer" as anything but the slur that it always has been. I understand that this is a generational division but the point of this blog is the polite exchange of ideas and there is nothing remotely polite in referring to people by what has for most of my life been one of the two ugliest slurs in the American lexicon.

There is nothing proud and nothing liberating about donning the mantle of defectiveness.

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In Levans411's defence, the field of academic study, which underpins many of the more insane ideas we're currently facing (and some that are far worse than anything that's yet hit the mainstream), is literally called "Queer Theory" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer_theory).

I think it's perfectly reasonable to stick to LGBTQ or some variation thereof to talk about people (gay/lesbian/trans etc always work fine for me), but the academics and politics related to the ideology, it's hard to talk about without using their actual names.

But this raises a good point. I think we're reaching a point where I might put together some kind of etiquette guide. The precision of language is super important. And especially as we deal with many sensitive subjects here, we should probably have at least on for two ground rules.

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So let me get this straight. You are saying that a university curriculum gives legitimacy to the word? Really? "Allow me to retort."

* Many universities give tenure to supply side economists, teaching a Laffer cocktail napkin model that has a perfect track record of failure

* Physics departments are loaded with string theorists, a cultic group who try to push out other physicists engaged in other research because it's "anti-string." And string theory not only has no experimental support aside from underpinnings in attainable physics that also have a perfect track record of failure.

"Queer theory" comes out of postmodernism, which is again, the most intellectually vapid social model in post-Enlightenment history, little more than neologisms ("heteronormative phallocentricity") and radical egalitarians with weak minds.

Color me unimpressed, Steve.

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Jul 5, 2022·edited Jul 5, 2022Author

"So let me get this straight. You are saying that a university curriculum gives legitimacy to the word?"

No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying it's difficult to talk about the field without using its name. If I wanted people to stop legitimising the concept of race, which I do (I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I avoid the use of the word "race" whenever possible, and stick it in scare quotes whenever I need to use it), I'd still have to accept the fact that Critical Race Theory is the name of a significant field of study that is responsible for a number of the ideas we're grappling with today. Same for things like "whiteness studies."

This isn't a university curriculum. It is, as you yourself say, a branch of critical theory that comes out of postmodernism, as most "critical theory" does. I think it's not only stupid but dangerous. That doesn't change the fact that it exists and it will inevitably be necessary to talk about it from time to time.

I've made the effort not to mention it by name at all throughout this comment, but it's cumbersome to say the least. I don't think it's a reasonable expectation for everybody who might come here to discuss the topic. I'm more than happy to ask people not to use the word as a slur. As I am with all slurs. I'm also happy to ask people not to refer to people using the word even when not used as a slur. But the academic theory only has one name. What do you suggest?

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"The Study of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" works for me. So it's a few more words, that's preferable to enshrining a vicious slur.

"Race" has never been a slur that I know of.

"Theory" in science means more like "proof" in the vernacular; *atoms* are a "theory." QT is not even at the level of hypothesis and is undeserving of "theory." I'd wager the same is true of CRT.

These are fields of study, not theories.

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""The Study of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" works for me. So it's a few more words, that's preferable to enshrining a vicious slur."

Chris, I sincerely hope you can understand why I'm not going to ask everybody who wants to refer to this established field of study to substitute its name for this. It's not that I'm unsympathetic to your point. I am. But there's no such thing as Ni**er theory. And if there were, I'm as sure as I can be that I wouldn't try to prohibit reference to it. As long as the reference was to the field of study and not to people.

If anybody ever uses that word as a slur here, I'll come down on them like a ton of bricks. In fact, I'll probably just revoke their commenting privileges permanently. If it slips under my radar, please feel free to point it out to me. But I don't think anybody benefits if this turns into a place where intent and context don't matter.

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I agree with you. I use the word to describe a younger generation and a different political movement, not my own.

The word no longer means “gay and lesbian”. I know heterosexuals who consider themselves “queer” because they engage in other-then-missionary-style sex. “Queer” now means “I don’t want to be considered old and straight.”

Very different than when I was young and being a lesbian was illegal.

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I'm a little surprised at your reaction to it. The LGBTQ community appropriated that word long ago. When you and I were kids, kids called each other 'queer' but it didn't mean homosexuality; it meant someone who was weird, stupid. etc. Adults used the word to describe people who were a little odd or perhaps 'not right in the head'; at some point I think in the early '70s (you might know the history better than I) gay rights activists 'reclaimed' the word and started using it a lot, including for organizational names like Queer Nation.

The 'f' word for gays, I get. It's like the n-word for blacks, the c-word for women. You. Don't. Say. Those. Words.

'Queer' on the other hand doesn't strike me as being offensive, and I know of no one else apart from you now who thinks it is. It's got a fairly nebulous meaning for and even today, I'm *still* not sure what it means when activists use it. I mean, it's what the 'Q' in LGBTQ stands for.

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You are wrong.

The adoption of "queer" was a push back at the increasing normalization of gayness, the next step in the confrontational belligerence that so hindered our progress for so long. A lot of radical gays regarded assimilation as the ugliest word in the language and strongly identified with being marginalized in an enclave culture. So they started to call themselves "queer" as just another form of "in your face."

The next generation had never lived through having friends put in the hospital by assailants yelling that beautiful reclaimed word at them, and thought it was normal.

Well, I visited a few of those bashed friends in the hospital and I have no affection for that word. I will thank you not to use it.

As for the Ever Lengthening Acronym, I cut it off after the B. And many will tell you that the Q stands for "questioning" because they know it remains an offensive slur.

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They can change what they say the Q means but we all know what it *did* mean. I accept that you really dislike the word and don't want it used to describe others; but I'm not convinced it means only what you say it means. Nor am I sure it really much matters *what* people are yelling at you when they beat you, guaranteed if they're calling you 'Beethoven' while doing it, you will never think the same way about Beethoven again, and probably will never like his music as much as you did before, assuming you ever did.

I'm with you on cutting off the Q, but I don't know about the T. That's been there for awhile, and before transitioning became cool. So, for awhile I think, it referred to the few gender dysphorics or perhaps confused gay men who would understandably be embraced by a group of marginalized people who were a lot less extreme than they are now.

Maybe I'll cut off the Q, because frankly the whole damn long-ass acronym is just silly, and a testament to how self-absorbed and narcissistic the whole movement has become. Not to mention misogynist and anti-lesbian.

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Yep, I stop at the T. Q+ is basically straight people who think that threesome they nearly had one time is a personality.

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That's good. Or the straight guy who closes his eyes and lets a gay man give him a BJ means he's edgy. Or even bi.

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Self-absorbed, narcissistic, and tyrannical. Lists of strident demands, constantly lengthening the list of anathemized words (I don't try to keep up; I still say transvestite and transsexual), orthodoxy-policing, strident, and vain. How many bathrooms is a gas station required to have? A small business?

I've known many dysphoric men, dated two of them, and I probably care more about them than the vain woke crowd does but I also know that their concerns are, beyond support and sympathy, not mine. Both of those I dated have transitioned surgically and are probably married to men. As women.

I think the statistics tell the tale; the great majority of the Ts are fake and are making the claim for attention unless it's a transition to being gay, and if they emerge from that phase missing pieces they were born with, that is horrible.

Edit: I like Beethoven, but not just the Choral Symphony that made Alex go out the window. I like the quartets, the 7th, the chamber sonatas.

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To be fair, gay men were pretty misogynistic and anti-lesbian from the get-go. Now the whole movement is.

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I stand by the history I recounted. The adoption of "queer" was purely intended to remain offensive in a society that no longer found homosexuality so alarming. My memory of this transition is crystal sharp.

Just as "unique" used to mean singular and now everyone thinks it means distinctive. I tell people what it's supposed to mean and they are completely unfamiliar with the definition.

Same happened to "queer," but you won't find many of us over 50 or so who don't remember what I'm talking about.

There's a common term for the trans tyrants Steve asked me to not use on here. Well, I am making the same request to you.

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It's not a word I customarily use so it won't be much of a challenge. But I'm with Steve on the need to use it if you're talking about the school of thought, or the activist group. "Queer Theory" gets a lot of coverage in "Cynical Theories" about the woke left's obsession with critical everything theory so if a thread here breaks out about the book, you'll probably see the theory referenced a lot.

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Even academic use of the Q word, like the N word is problematic due to their original use as a slur. The same can be said of the other F word associated with "F bashing."

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I wonder why the wokies are still using it, then? I thought they were out to trash every conceivable word which could cause offense to anyone anywhere. If the word is *that* bad I'm genuinely surprised they haven't gotten to it yet.

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It's not so much that I worry about causing offense to others, it's for me. When I was in Vietnam it was common for people to use the word "gook." It was used in infantry training and staging battalion as part of a dehumanization of the enemy process. Thing is, we were supposed to be there to help the South Vietnamese, we served around ARVN and ROK Marines. They were not the enemy, but there was that word, so natural to everyone.

People just accept it. I try to not let things that are a part of a dehumanization process become normal in my own head. Dehumanization is beyond insult or offensiveness, and it is a poison in our own soul.

I've also never called a woman the "B" word. Calling one a dog in heat is dehumanizing. Maybe that makes it OK to smack her around?

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This conversation as led me to a thought that had not occurred to me. While I have compassion and empathy for the dysphoric, the thought that a huge portion of trans people may have just been duped into a what could turn out to be temporary thought that they are trans and are doing physical harm to themselves seems worthy of more compassion and empathy. Actually, more than that but addressing it would certainly get us kicked off of Medium. How many who were a part of the fad of having a face that looks like their tackle box exploded in their face are still sporting that look?

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"the thought that a huge portion of trans people may have just been duped into a what could turn out to be temporary thought that they are trans and are doing physical harm to themselves seems worthy of more compassion and empathy"

This is exactly it. I'm trying very hard to address this kind of thing on Medium. And the fact that I'm having to write with one rhetorical arm tied behind my back is beyond frustrating. I'm taking baby steps, but each article needs to be absolutely water tight, backed up by data, soo feelings based issues are difficult even when they're blindingly obvious.

The position on trans issues has become so absolutist. Everybody who says they're trans is unequivocally trans and anybody who questions that even a little bit is a bigot who needs to be banned.

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As if factual data makes any difference. I triggered a pile-on by simply stating that a trans woman is a biological man, which is indisputable fact; by the reaction you'd think I'd called for their execution by torture. But the (universally accepted term omitted) make no distinction between people who say that and people who are 99% in agreement. We're all "incredibly transphobic."

People as extreme as this are insecure in their convictions and are trying to convince themselves.

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The German kid with a grommet in each cheek whose food probably fell out while he ate. Jesus God. You really need to wonder what they expected for the remainder of their lives.

A lot of them were really ugly underneath all the metal.

The account I spent years on, with over a thousand followers and making a grand a month, was ended by the nastiest person I think I ever met online, absolutely vicious, her avatar a cartoon girl snarling in rage, who said I was "bullying" because I wouldn't use the singular they. Not that I would ever have any reason to refer to her. I'd blocked her already.

But, yeah it's hard to believe Steve can post there what he does here. The Medium curators seem totally on board with the TNs.

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Steve, has the "are you really trans?" idea been raised in your conversations or is something only mentioned here where you aren't going to cancel or censor?

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Yeah, it's something that I can talk about much more freely here, let's put it that way. There are a few detransitioners talking about it on Twitter too. It's hard to claim that everybody who says they're trans is really trans when detransitioners' existence proves that's not true. It's also notable that, from what I've seen, the majority are female.

But yeah, I've been working on a piece on the topic, on and off, for a while. It's all about having enough evidence to dodge those laser beams before I can talk about this really important issue. 😅

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