Delayed puberty for trans kids – part two

Response to critics of my last, and the one by our correspondent Jack Collins, here’s another from gal-dem.*

* be careful to reject the trackers on this, unless you know who all those “partners” are and what they’re up to.

My disdain for law is not up for grabs. Most of the postulates in answer to this point have been facile and unworthy – of course we must agree codes of conduct to live by. I think it inarguable that autonomous communities would have injunctions against rape and murder, but I doubt they’d want to get involved in endocrinology. Medicine is a sphere of trust between patient and practitioner, and such a relationship can only be entered into freely. Similarly I think the suggestion that children at Tavistock were being experimented on by mad scientists belongs in the tinfoil hat section.

There’s always a whiff of metaphysics in the ‘appeals to nature’ from the other side. Children should undergo puberty when their bodies are ready, really? Puberty, like arthritis, comes along whether you’re ready for it or not. I’ve heard of girls having menses at nine years of age. A woman I knew well had her first period at nineteen; both are within the natural range. There are other factors that can delay puberty, starvation being the most common, and this is often resorted to by youngsters desperate to avoid the development of secondary sexual characteristics and the social pressures that attend them.

I’ve written about Stefan Kiszko, who suffered a spectrum of health problems including a rare intersex condition (XYY). He went through a medically induced puberty in his twenties and that was only the start of his problems. Was he ready? We’ll never know, as he was then maliciously prosecuted and convicted of a crime he was physically incapable of committing.

The argument has been made that physical and emotional maturity can, and should go hand in hand. This flies in the face of everyday experience. Children in their teens hold families together in war zones, balancing work and school. Here they often care for younger siblings and sick parents, while adults have children ‘by accident’ and walk away. We’ve got forty-year olds who fight at football matches! In fact, the infantilisation of the citizen by government and law makes it virtually impossible for some people ever to grow up, which as a minimum requires thinking for yourself and taking responsibility for your actions.

What is sexual maturity? Respect for personal boundaries, not spreading disease or unwanted pregnancy, a bit of care for others’ emotions. None of these things comes bundled with breasts or facial hair. Is it so terrible that the intellect might develop ahead of the body? I don’t think so, that nineteen-year-old was a highly intelligent woman who knew her own mind, when last I saw her she was an optometrist.

You can join the army at sixteen and leave your private parts overseas; that’s one way of doing it.

Last of all was the outrageous suggestion that children should be left to fuck up their own future – isn’t that their parents’ job? We’ve all been doing that for millennia. Adults who blew their own chances live vicariously through their offspring, and the habit of gender stereotyping, plus the grand separation of productive from reproductive labour narrows the field. You can join the army at sixteen and leave your private parts overseas; that’s one way of doing it. I set a trap when I referred to all the living Jan Morris had done before her transition. If you read her book you’ll see she made up her mind at four years of age.

The one point not in dispute is that this judgement will lead to an excess of suicide, and children being torn away from their families because they refuse to eat, or otherwise harm themselves, more fodder for your justice system.