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LET'S TALK ABOUT IT

If we are to expose the harms of sex-trait modification as a response to gender distress, we need to have the difficult conversations necessary to bring our people back to reality, despite being messengers with undesirable news. 

We’ve provided below a loose blueprint for engaging fellow liberals and shining a light on the egregious fallacies of gender ideology. To help turn the tide — changing policies in schools and medical institutions, changing legislation, and changing the minds of our own well-meaning but ill-informed political party, friends, and families — we will all need to find the courage to talk to our fellow Democrats, who have largely been bamboozled into believing gender medicine is both rational and kind. It’s up to us to change this perception one conversation at a time.

 

What we do know is this: Just quoting facts and figures alone DOES NOT WORK.

Please read on for some guidance borrowed from Boghossian and Lindsay’s How to Have Impossible Conversations.  We highly suggest reading the book for yourselves.

OVERVIEW

OVERVIEW

Your fellow liberals ended up here out of a desire to do good. These discussions are inevitably about morality: what it means to be a good or bad person. Challenging these ingrained ideas can cause the same uncomfortable brain responses as those generated by being in actual physical danger — and that’s why building rapport is so important. “Dueling sermons” are to be avoided. Be genuinely curious and listen closely. Leave the facts for later, and focus first on establishing good faith and finding common ground.​

1. Make sure that you understand the other person's position — reflect it back accurately.

2. Mention anything you've learned from your conversation partner.

3. Find common ground — start from a place of agreement.

4. Leave rebuttals and challenges until last.

SOCRATIC METHOD

SOCRATIC METHOD

  • Remain curious and assume good intent.

  • Ask genuine questions that demonstrate your willingness to hear why the other person believes what they believe. 

  • Ask questions that expose problems and contradictions.

  • Try to have your questions start with “What” and “How” rather than “Why.” 

  • Investigate epistemology – why does someone believe what they do?
       •    What do you believe?
       •    How do you know it’s true?
       •    How did you arrive at this view/what led you to this conclusion?
       •    How long have you believed that [insert belief]
What would you need to know to change your mind?
       •    On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you…? — if they choose a number less than 10, ask why they didn’t choose a higher number.
       •    “Under what conditions could [insert belief] be wrong?
Are there any exceptions to that belief?
       •    What evidence is there for that claim?

SEEDS OF DOUBT

SEEDS OF DOUBT

Changes in thinking can be spurred by planting seeds of doubt. Facing the incoherence and incongruities inherent in beliefs around "gender" and "gender-affirming care" can help dislodge rigid, ideological beliefs. Here are some questions to try:

  • What if there was no such thing as cross sex hormones or surgeries? How do you think we could best help gender-distressed kids?”

  • Were there any beliefs you had 10 years ago that you’ve changed your mind on now? Do you think it’s possible you’ll think differently 10 years in the future?

  • How can someone be born in the "wrong body”?  What scientific evidence is there for the idea of a “wrong” body?

  • How do we know when someone is receiving good quality medical care? Who monitors this?​

  • How fully do children or teens understand the following?

    • Relationships

    • Sexual dysfunction

    • The importance of breastfeeding

    • Risks of stroke

    • Adoption

    • How never having an orgasm might affect your life

    • How sterility might affect your life

  • How do we know that we aren’t medicalizing and pathologizing the distress of gay, lesbian, GNC, and autistic kids? 


  • How confident are you that it is possible to change sex?

  • How can a person know what it feels like to be the opposite sex? How would someone know they are not their own sex?

  • What are some doubts you have about the safety of puberty blockers and hormones?

  • What number of irreversibly-harmed people is acceptable?

  • Some insurance companies no longer want to cover “GAC” due to the high risk of complications. What does this tell you about the quality of care?

  • Clinics and pharmaceutical companies stand to make roughly $1.5M per patient who undergoes sex-trait modification over their lifetime. How likely is it that big profit is the main driver, rather than good patient outcomes?

  • What do you think caused the U.K., Sweden, Finland, and Norway to change their policies so that sex-trait modification treatments are restricted for children?

  • How do we determine at what age (if ever) someone should be able to request the removal of healthy, functioning body parts? And if allowed, what mental-health issues would need to be present to forbid it?

  • How do we know at what age a person can give informed consent to medical interventions that make them sterile?

  • What age should a person be to be able to consent to medical interventions that make them sexually dysfunctional, and what would that decision be based on?

  • If someone says they’re suicidal, do you consider that person mentally stable? Should mentally unstable people be allowed to make irreversible medical decisions? What are examples of decisions people should reasonably make when they’re in an unstable state?

  • The best information we have about suicide says it’s important not to portray suicide as a reasonable response to distress. Doctors routinely tell parents — sometimes in front of the child — that if they don’t allow their child to access puberty blockers, hormones, or surgeries, their child is likely to kill themselves. What do you think doctors are trying to do by making these statements? 

  • What criteria do you think need to be met in order for an intervention to be considered “life saving”?

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