Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has again spoken up on the dangerous side-effects of the transgender movement, this time warning that physicians are too quick to prescribe experimental treatments to children on the theory that they might suffer from gender dysphoria. Rowling is a moderate on the issue, suggesting that drastic invasive measures such as cross-sex hormones and transgender surgery might improve the lives of some who suffer from gender dysphoria, but rightly warning that the rush to give drugs to children after one or two doctor’s visits might do more harm than good. Many staff at Britain’s largest gender clinic have expressed the same concerns.
Rowling “liked” a tweet from Sophie, a “transgender woman” who rightly warns about the rush to medicate children.
“Hormone prescriptions are the new antidepressants. Yes they are sometimes necessary and lifesaving, but they should be a last resort – not the first option. Pure laziness for those who would rather medicate than put in the time and effort to heal people’s minds,” Sophie tweeted.
An angry activist responded by accusing Rowling of “supporting those who call people who take mental health medication ‘lazy.'” The activist declared, “I take daily medication to function, this sentiment is beyond offensive, it is actively harmful to millions.”
This kind of misrepresentation is absurd. Transgender activists should be able to disagree with Sophie’s contention that hormone prescriptions should be a “last resort” without falsely accusing Sophie of attacking those who take the medication. Sophie was clearly attacking doctors who rush to prescribe medication rather than taking the due diligence to make sure there isn’t something else going on. This common-sense approach deserves consideration, not accusations that it is “harmful.”
Rowling took the activist to task. “When you lie about what I believe about mental health medication and when you misrepresent the views of a trans woman for whom I feel nothing but admiration and solidarity, you cross a line,” the author declared. “I’ve written and spoken about my own mental health challenges, which include OCD, depression and anxiety. I did so recently in my essay ‘TERF Wars’. I’ve taken anti-depressants in the past and they helped me.”
Rowling did not intend to attack anti-depressants or those who take them. She merely accepted the analogy between the overprescription of anti-depressants and the dangerous overprescription of cross-sex hormones.
“Many health professionals are concerned that young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests,” the author insisted. “Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.”
Indeed, many feminists and lesbians have long warned that transgender activism acts as a form of “conversion therapy.” According to some feminists, vulnerable women who find themselves sexually attracted to women in a male-dominated culture see transgender identity as a form of escape. They can enjoy the benefits society allegedly confers upon men and not worry about their attraction to other women.
Rowling shared a brief documentary about the gender identity clinic in Britain, where whistleblowers have voiced concerns that some parents push transgenderism on children because the parents prefer a “straight” transgender child over a “gay” child.
Transcripts from anonymous employees “say that some parents appear to prefer their child was transgender and straight, rather than gay, pushing them towards transition,” the documentary explains.
“Whistleblowers were talking about transitions driven by homophobia,” Rowling said.
The famous author repeated her insistence that “transition may be the answer for some,” but she noted that many people who thought themselves transgender later rejected transgender identity. Some of these detransitioners have permanent scars and disfigurements due to cross-sex hormones, even when they did not undertake more drastic surgeries.
“Sophie is a trans woman and a true feminist ally,” Rowling insisted. “She was making the point that anti-depressants were over-prescribed to teenagers in the past, with serious consequences.”
Similarly, cross-sex hormones have serious long-term side-effects. Rowling shared research concluding that cross-sex hormones “may increase risk for cardiovascular events.” She also quoted Carl Henegan, a professor of medicine at Oxford University, who described the off-label use of so-called puberty blockers on minors as an “unregulated live experiment on children.”
Rowling, a left-leaning figure who abhors President Donald Trump, has faced mounting leftist anger for speaking out on the various threats of the transgender movement. She has stood up for people who dare to speak the truth on biology — that men do not become women by “identifying” as female — and she has warned of the dangers of opening up women’s private spaces to men who claim to identify as women. She has also noted Lisa Littman’s research that transgender identity acts as a “social contagion” among teen girls.
Naturally, Rowling’s common-sense concerns about the overprescription of cross-sex hormones was met with outrage.
Actress Jameela Jamil condemned Rowling for pushing “speculation and fear mongering and judgement around Transitioning.”
Others condemned her for “ignorance.”
Yet concerns about the overprescription of cross-sex hormones are quite justified, given Littman’s research, the whistleblowers in Britain, and the flabbergasting increase in the number of patients at gender clinics in Britain, America, and Australia.
Children should not be rushed on dangerous experimental treatments, and Rowling was right to raise the alarm on this. Sadly, many on the left would silence any critics on this issue as “harmful” or “dangerous.” This leaves more children vulnerable to “treatments” that may leave them permanently scarred or sterile.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.