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Interview with members of
"For the rights of children in Quebec"

(To see their firstarticle

You are one of the parents who expressed your concern following a communication from Canadian pediatricians about the gender transition of children. For what ?

We have been concerned for several years now about the important place that gender ideology takes in public institutions in Quebec and Canada, including in our primary and secondary schools, particularly through the sexuality education program. You should know that we are a group of parents whose children are enrolled in schools in the Quebec public school system.

Recently we discovered theCanadian Pediatric Society gender identity webpage (a document also widely distributed on highly consulted educational sites). We were amazed to note the lack of scientific rigor and the ideological tenor of this document which is content, in fact, to relay the rhetoric and the jargon of the ideologues of the genre. We find the same terms and definitions that must now be accepted without question: “gender identity”, “gender expression”, “sex assigned at birth”. “Gender identity” refers to the intimate and deep sense that a person has of himself and which makes him feel like a man, a woman or “other”. This notion with a strong political and ideological dimension, popularized by the human sciences, endorses a conception of the human where feelings take precedence over material reality: it almost sounds like a religious discourse where we are instructed on the soul.

Families are encouraged to “not rule out any possibility for their child” since “gender identity” can change at any time. Regardless of the child's stage of development, the fact that a boy identifies as a girl (or vice versa) will not be the subject of any assumptions, any other explanations or complementary investigations: it is like that!

However, in a very recent study, a significant percentage of “detransitioners” (people who identify as detransitioners and who stop a process of medical transition or wish to “reverse it”), testify that their gender dysphoria was linked tounderlying conditions.

Wetherefore wrote, on March 8, 2021, to the Canadian company pediatrics who immediately corrected the inaccurate terminologies that we pointed out in our letter. The sex “assigned at birth” has become the sex “ascertained at birth”. When we know that this expression is the basis of all the misappropriation of meaning of the ideology of gender identity, it was already a victory!

Unfortunately, we should not have rejoiced too quickly at this burst of objectivity because, as of April 16, 2021, the Canadian Pediatric Society once again indicates that sex is “assigned”! We are swimming in an Orwellian scenario unworthy of this institution.

Indeed, in the dictionary, the word “assign” is synonymous with the words “assign”, “destinate” or “give” something to someone. In other words, this term implies decision-making. If the sex is "assigned" by the doctor, does this decision engage the professional responsibility of the doctor? We can't believe a doctor considers that they are assigning a sex to the baby, any more than they are assigning a weight, height or an APGAR score. In all cases, it is a question of noting a certain number of facts on an objective basis. In fact, this twist in meaning opens the way to all sorts of wacky interpretations, including that sex can be “reassigned.”

We wrote the same day to the Canadian Pediatric Society and offered them a face-to-face meeting, which they politely declined.

Beyond terminological hesitations, why such a shift in ideology when information concerns the development of sexuality and body image? What will be the impact on public confidence in all the information presented on the Canadian Pediatric Society page?

What also concerns us as feminists is that this ideology paradoxically reinforces gender stereotypes by granting an excessive and regressive importance to “gender expression”: clothing, makeup, hairstyle. This movement erases decades of struggles against preconceived ideas.

We believe that it is preferable to encourage young people to develop their own personality according to their skills and their desires, whatever their gender, without locking them into “identities”. Shouldn't they be helped to accept themselves as they are, including loving and caring for their bodies, rather than leading them to believe that they might have been born into the wrong body?

Can parents who think that the transition process requested by their child is not suitable for them?

That's an excellent question. There is currently afather who is in prison in British Columbia because he spokepublicly about his story despite a court order. This father refuses to consider his daughter as his son, to use the chosen name and pronouns when they speak to each other and has also opposed in vain that his daughter undergo testosterone treatment.

Here in Quebec, despite our warnings, our MPs unanimously voted for Bill 70 to ban "conversion therapy". This term is traditionally used to refer to practices that aim to change a person's sexual orientation. We agree that these retrograde practices have no place in a society open to sexual diversity. But, in Quebec, no serious therapist has been practicing this kind of therapy for several years. So why legislate on this? Especially since there are professional orders to supervise its members. By the way,the Order of Psychologists of Quebec had already expressed its objection to this practice in 2012. The problem isthe confusion that is made between sexual orientation and “gender identity”,.

In fact, the almost avowed purpose behind theselaw projects (PL-70 or its counterpart theC-6 in the process of being adopted at the federal level) is to pass any gender dysphoria therapy that is not a transaffirmative therapy (which, depending on the stage of physical development, may be accompanied by a prescription of puberty blockers , sex hormones, to possibly end, in adulthood, with surgical operations to remove healthy organs) for a "gender identity conversion therapy, and therefore to ban it.

We have not yet seen the concrete impacts of this very recent law, but we are very concerned.

Does the parental authority of a parent who does not immediately “assert” his or herchild could be taken away from her as we have seen in Australia? Do psychologists and psychotherapists who favor a neutral and cautious exploratory method risk criminal prosecution?

However, gender dysphoria, especially in adolescents, is often accompanied by other risk factors.comorbidity such as depression, anxiety, or autism,. It is important to fully understand the overall situation of the child before directing him to invasive medical treatment, especiallythat, according to studies preceding the vogue of gender affirmation, approximately 80%, children who said they wanted to be the opposite sex reconciled with their birth sex in adulthood.

Professor KennethZucker,, a world authority on gender dysphoria, recommends conducting exploratory psychotherapy, in an attempt to identify with the young person the deep and multiple causes of their malaise. Unfortunately, underlaw 70 (and C-6),there may not be a health professional left who will want to offer this type of exploratory psychotherapy since these therapies could be assimilated to conversion therapies, and, therefore, liable to sanctions.

In Quebec, could addressing a child without using the first name and pronoun claimed by him fall under the law? 

To our knowledge, there is no case law to this effect in Quebec at the moment. The vague concept of “gender identity” is, however, enshrined as a protected characteristic in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which already allows for claims by LGBTQ+ activists and quite innovative lawsuits.

For example, in January 2021, adecision rendered by the Superior Court of Montreal following the lawsuit of transgender people and non-binary decreed discriminatory several articles of the Civil Code of Quebec relating to the birth certificate because of the presence of the words sex, mother, father. It is clear from this decision that “gender”, not sex, would be the true identity of the person and that, therefore, not referring to a person by their desired gender would be discriminatory. From there to prosecuting a person for "méganage", there is only one step.

In France, transidentities among children are beginning. In view of the experience acquired in Canada, what do you think can be an adjusted attitude of the adult in the presence of a boy who calls himself a girl and vice versa? 

On the parent's side, you must first listen to your child. Be curious about what he experiences, how he sees himself and the world. It is important to maintain or (re)build communication and a bond of trust with him. It is not only possible, but desirable, to validate his feelings without validating the reasoning that leads him to believe that he is transgender. (The British support group Bayswater wrote a “top ten tips » worth looking at.)   

As for schools and school staff, the best thing would be for the school system to content itself with fulfilling its mission, which is to teach scientifically valid knowledge, without ideological proselytism. The United Kingdomframes better “educational” interventions made by external groups in schools. It is now forbidden to suggest to children that they were “born in the wrong body” and to invite groups who hold this discourse to schools.

In Quebec and Canada, this awareness and this reflection have not yet taken place. On the contrary, gender ideology is present in sexuality education programs,promoted by teachers or by militant groups. For example, in training offered by a Quebec teachers' unionwhose video is available, an activist in favor of gender ideology intervenes: “the words “boy”, “girl”, “sir”, “madam”, “miss”: it is to be avoided. Instead, he recommends that teachers address students by saying “you”.

An Ontario mother,Pamela Buffone, has also filed a lawsuit at the Human Rights Tribunal, towards his primary school who told his 6-year-old daughter: “there is no such things as boys and girls” (girls and boys do not exist). We are awaiting the court decision.

The question of the transmission of well-founded knowledge is not the only one that arises. Concretely, we must think about and find solutions that take into account the needs and rights of everyone, including the right of young girls to safety and fair competition in women's school sports, for example. For now, in Quebec,the school system must adapt to the gender identity requested by the student.

On the part of the therapists,an adjusted attitude would be to take the experience of young people seriously and support them withexploratory psychotherapies, known as “watchful waiting”, which have proven their worth, by offering them a therapeutic space to respond to their discomfort, using the least invasive approaches in the first place and not the other way around.

On the side of the medical community, it would be desirable that it keep an eye open and adopta critical attitude towards scientific debates rather than being a fan of “gender affirmation”. Many European countries (Sweden,Finland, Great Britain) are taking a kind of “backtracking” approach to gender affirmative therapy, recognizing that there was not enough evidence, safeguards and guidelines in the treatment of dysphoric children.

What is your view of the medical treatments that some doctors prescribe for children? 

 “First do no harm” as the Hippocratic oath says.

The public begins to understand thatpuberty blockers aren't just a way to "save time", to let the child make an informed choice about their transition. These are experimental treatments, which are prescribed "off label", that is to say for a purpose other than that for which the drug was developed.

Theretaking puberty blockers, almost invariably leads to the taking of hormones of the opposite sex, and has many undesirable and often irreversible effects: osteoporosis, sterility, inability to feel sexual pleasure. And yet in Quebec, theLupron, a puberty blocker that creates an artificial "menopause", may be recommended by some pediatricians as an "option", along with the IUD or continuous birth control, to stop a dysphoric teenager's menstruation on the first visit 45 minutes.

More generally, what do you think of the responsibility of society with regard to the child and the claim which is his?

The company puts in place many beacons to protect children. There is a minimum age for driving a car, working, buying alcohol or tobacco and going to bars. In Quebec, for example,it is still the parents who have the authority to decide which secondary school their child will attend (equivalent to college and high school).

We believe that society must place similar markers in the face of heavy and invasive medical interventions for the transition to the opposite sex which, it must be remembered, will never be “complete” in the biological and functional sense of the term. You can change your appearance, but you can't change your sex.

THEjudgment rendered, last December in the case ofKeira Bell stipulates that a young person under the age of 16 cannot consent to treatment with puberty blockers, sinceeven doctors are not able to establish the long-term effects,. This judgment should sound the alarm among our politicians and give them the courage to act for the protection of young people.

We are an all volunteer group. We want to open the debate by placing it on the side of parents, their educational mission and their responsibility towards their children and their long-term health.

Many people think that they are not concerned and that it is a marginal phenomenon. It is not so. Transidentification has experienced ameteoric rise in all Western countries,, particularly affectingteenage girls. There is a crying need for quality investigative journalism: how is it that the dominant discourse has become one that enjoins adults to “affirm” children when studies on so-called “affirmative” care have been described as "poor" byindependent organizations? What are the social, cultural and institutional transformations that might explain the difficulty in engaging in a good faith, evidence-based discussion about how best to support children in the short and long term?  

“Pay attention to our children, it may be yours” is the message we want to send to our French cousins.







Clémence Trilling, Nadia El-Mabrouk founding members of"for the rights of children in Quebec".

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