34 Comments

Excellent, excellent work. You are a treasure.

This reminds me of the equally-bogus "Climategate" "scandal" of 14 years ago. There too, so-called "leaked" documents used misrepresented, twisted, out-of-context quotes from emails among scientists dealing with the topic to claim some sort of conspiracy to HIDE THE TRUTH double exclamation point. The topic has changed; the deceit and lies of the reactionaries have not.

One other thing to note quickly, this in reference to the study of 366 patients that had 2 with major complications: Those 2 developed interoperatively, that is, they arose during the surgery and were dealt with at the time. I mention it because I expect most people think of complications arising post-surgery.

Again, terrific work. Take a bow. In fact, take several.

Expand full comment
founding

Propaganda analysis is an essential component of literacy in the modern age.

It doesn’t take much to spot “oh this is exactly like Climategate again, probably funded by the Kochs again, yep seems it was” and then immediately realise it’s a pack of lies.

If voters’ minds were honed to applying such critical filters and shields then anti-science propaganda would fail instantly.

Expand full comment

"Propaganda analysis is an essential component of literacy in the modern age."

Preach it, sister! Especially vital with the rise in AI-generated deepfakes.

It was I hate to think how many years ago (40+) that I was pushing the concept of visual literacy to sit alongside verbal literacy as an essential tool is dealing with the modern world. I was addressing deceptive political and commercial ads and it would be pleasing to think I was anticipating AI but, no, I'm not nearly that clever.

Expand full comment

Get some rest Erin. Thank you for all your hard work.

Expand full comment

omg this is amazing research. Thank you for teasing this apart. hope this gets some fair coverage.

Expand full comment

Thank you for this amazing work, and for such a quick response to this outrageous propaganda. If a fraction of the journalists in the mainstream media were as diligent as you we probably wouldn't be in the middle of this horrific moral panic against queer folks to begin with.

Expand full comment

Excellent job dear. This will be useful in fighting the resulting propaganda. I just wish more people were taught critical thinking. Too many will take it as gospel and claim that any defense is denial or a conspiracy. As a thesis, this report is a scandal itself, which would be drummed out of any university, possibly even leading to charges against the author.

Expand full comment

I wonder if WPATH knows about this and whether they'd sue all those crazy-ass people? My endo doctor is an executive of WPATH and I'm going to send him this article. Someone needs to fight back, because this will get around so fast, nothing will stop them but a lawsuit. Thanks, Erin.

Expand full comment

*I bet he has read it already. Lots of us (WPATH members) follow Erin for the invaluable coverage and analysis of critical events.

Erin, you covered it!

Another aspect, unmentioned because it’s not the point of Erin’s analysis, but relevant to me because it’s context in this culture war, is that the “leaks” were apparently accomplished by a person who had access to the members’ forum and to obtain that access privilege had promised to keep postings (and posters’ identities) confidential. And they violated this agreement and the confidentiality which allows medical/MH providers to confer and learn from each other in a safe forum.

I guess that’s just fine if you believe something deceptive and harmful is going on hidden from the public and consumers. But—as we can see from what is reported as the supposed misdoings of WPATH —the ‘whistleblowers’ are the ones distorting and lying.

And yes—the anti-trans groups are having a chilling and stressful effect on all of (us) providers, so that even in ‘safe’ states like CA, folks are worried about our own safety. And some are discontinuing to offer care. So there is real harm to the trans community being done.

Expand full comment

Even if he had seen it, he wouldn't tell me. Since he's one of my #1 fans, I brought it to his attention anyway. I'm a veteran, so our ship is tighter than civilian trans-ships. For now. When it comes to the VA, we're not supposed to be having personal interactions with the doctors. I happen to have his other email address and I use it very sparingly.

Yes, they're after healthcare providers and I knew that was going to happen when they overturned Roe vs. Wade. SCOTUS screwed everything up and I can't believe folks didn't see this step coming soon afterward. I did and might've stated so on my YouTube channel. I foresaw many things, but I don't make a living off YouTube, so I only have a few hundred subs.

Anyway, we better pray lawsuits ensue, because those people only stop in their tracks briefly when that happens. Need to slow them down so this country can catch up to what they're doing. Know what I mean?

Expand full comment

I do. Thanks for your comment about the extra tightness of veteran trans-ships - I didn’t know that, and I’m heartened to hear it. I hope it continues.

And yeah, I get it. They’re like a boa constrictor trying to squish every aspect of this part of humanity out of existence. (Ok, it’s not fair to besmirch boa constrictors like that: they’re just trying to get lunch in the way nature has designed for them. These actors are an aggressive distortion like a cancer - which ultimately would kill the whole body if allowed.) And they’re weaponizing lawsuits and complaints against care providers. We have to win, on every count. We gotta support our champions: PFLAG, HRC, SPLC, ACLU, etc.

Expand full comment

Their harm is quite intentional. I'm fairly sure they know that when they blow that whistle, all kinds of people start reacting to it. It's like something says to them, "Open season on trans people!" So the evil ones (and scared ones) behave accordingly and start causing crap with everybody. They're not even hiding their bigotry and/or racism anymore. I read that article where some politician said their intent is to drive us out of existence in the US. I AM PISSED!!

I wouldn't call those organizations champions, because I've dealt with all of them for smaller issues than this, and they weren't accommodating at all. They act like Dems who seem not to have a backbone and are doing very little to protect us. We're on our own and need to step it up. Nobody is coming to save us. Not really.

Expand full comment

I have no doubt the harm is intentional.

In the courts, I don’t know what the outcomes will be, but those orgs have so far been leading the legal responses. Maybe the trans community needs to have a much bigger voice in how those responses are conducted?

Expand full comment

Erin, your work on stories like this is amazing, thank you so much! I feel we're going to be seeing more excellent fiskings of this document soon.

And yes, the Gish Gallop - that is so tiring.

Expand full comment
founding

You are doing amazing work and this rapid turnaround makes a real difference. I’m part of those discussions routinely as a clinician and you were perfect with your characterization. These are providers being thorough. These are providers checking themselves for bias. These are providers wanting to do their very best for their patients. To see them used in this way makes me really sad/upset.

Expand full comment

Bless you for reading the whole thing, Erin. The gish gallop was too much for me, so I tapped out.

Expand full comment
Mar 6·edited Mar 6

Anti-Trans organizations' lips are moving, ergo, they are lying.

Expand full comment

A very good high level overview of just how bunk this whole thing is.

I was curious so I did some analysis on the signatures to really take a look at the qualifications of the people signing this petition. Of the 2,308 signatures, only 2 that I could find had any qualifications relating to epidemiology and only 4 were sexologists.

Less than half of all signatories made any claim to medical expertise. The largest contingent of medical professionals who signed this document are Registered Nurses, which accounts for about 500 signatures. About 10% of all medical professionals who signed this are no longer practicing by their own admission, either "former" or "retired."

A few hundred people put in professional qualifications that are in no way related to medical care. Multiple lawyers, accountants, and academics understood the assignment and tried to pad this with official sounding acronyms.

Over 10% of all signatures proudly boasted associations with Anti-trans organizations.

One of the largest populations represented in the signatures were parents. 306 people labeled themselves "Concerned" either "concerned parent/mom/grandparent/etc" or just "concerned citizen/woman/librarian"

Funny enough, the number of detransitioners was less than 2%, because apparently no matter what community they're in, they are a significant minority there. You'd think that if there was such rampant medical malpractice going in in trans healthcare, that number would be way higher.

My favorite titles though were the people who didn't realize they were supposed to put in some sort of qualification and just put down "Mrs./Mr./Ms." Over 100 people did that, which is pretty great.

The overwhelming majority of people just signed their name as their title, though, demonstrating that there is literally no vetting going on for these signatures and anyone can sign it. ~2,000 signatures from medical professionals in a specific field is noteworthy. ~2,000 signatures from literally anyone with an internet connection really highlights how little support there is for this "movement."

Good work on this.

Expand full comment

Wow. Thank you for analyzing all those signatures, as they alone can tell us what absolute bunk the research is.

Expand full comment

Good work on you, too. Thanks!

Expand full comment

So fast a reply and so needed- Thank you Erin. You’re a hero 🏳️‍⚧️

Expand full comment

It's infuriating that the noxious propaganda will almost certainly reach a broader audience than this debunking of it will, especially given the coordinated press releases you've caught them doing. Most of the people exposed to it probably won't even read it- they'll just be told about it by their favorite right-wing asshat and immediately accept it as Truth-With-A-Capital-T, as with every other load of bullshit that's oozed down the pipe. Evidence not required; facts not accepted.

But... at least you've given us something to clap back with, when it inevitably does pop up again. And again. And again.

Expand full comment

Thank you for doing an analysis and exposing the constructed nonsense. I like the way you reference the "edge cases". So right wing to take an exception and make it the rule. I hope it brings comfort (and support) to those who look to providers to advocate for their health and wellness, including discussions with colleagues on more rare cases, in what is supposed to be a safe space for collaboration.

Expand full comment

"So right wing to take an exception and make it the rule. "

From my "Rules for Right-wingers:"

Rule #5: Make the particular stand for the whole.

If you want, the rest are here:

https://whoviating.blogspot.com/2024/02/the-rules.html

Expand full comment
founding

Excellent work Erin.

In short, Climategate again.

The anti-science brigade always use the same “tricks” to “hide the decline” in their intellectual honesty.

Expand full comment

Yeah, I even remember "hide the decline" in context enough to get the joke. :-)

Expand full comment

I used to respect Shellenberger because of his views on energy and nuclear power. Now I'm really disgusted with him, since he's decided to jump on the anti-trans hate bandwagon.

Expand full comment