I have covered this in passing but I feel it warrants a post all of its own. Nancy was born a girl and her parents wanted another boy; their other two children were boys. There does not appear to have been any attempt to hide this from Nancy who says her brothers were celebrated whilst she was relegated to a space above the garage.
I cannot find any account that explores what the process was for assessing Nancy before she was put on testosterone. Clearly she needed therapy not drugs and surgeries. Drugs and surgeries were what were delivered.
I have no idea what assessment process was used at the Gender Clinic, maybe Nancy didn’t open up about the motivation for becoming ”Nathan”. What I do know is that the current ”affirmative“ model would not screen out a ”Nancy” in much the way it has not explored the homophobic bullying that has led my son (gay & male) down the same path. Nancy was also a Lesbian.
The testosterone and surgeries left Nathan feeling like (in her own words) a ”monster”. She had a double mastectomy and a phalloplasty. The latter surgery has high rates of complications and it appears Nancy was out of luck there too.
Finally Nathan applied to be voluntarily euthanised. For this we were told Nathan had six months of psychological investigation. This was taken the night before which was spent dancing with friends.
It turns out somebody made a documentary about her. You can watch the trailer here :
These were the words of Nathan’s mother after learning of her daughter’s death.
In the trailer there is footage of Nancy laughing with friends an lighting a big fat cigar. Shown dancing with friends as part of a last goodbye. I will leave you with Nathan’s own, heartbreaking, words.
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This paper was published in January 2022. Michael has done excellent work in this field and I covered his work on puberty blockers in the series on the Tavistock. Below is a paper examining claims about suicidality in trans-identified youth. This paper, by Biggs is forensic in it’s analysis and measured in the conclusions drawn.
Here is the introduction. 4 patients under the care of the U.K Gender Identity Development Service (G.I.Ds) also known simply as the Tavistock.
By now, we are all familiar with the casual deployment, as a debating tactic, of suicide in the trans-identified community. Most of the “research” used to advance this claim is suspect for a number of reasons. The main flaws are the small sample sizes and taking, self-reported, suicide attempts on trust. The latter is dangerous because the “trans” subculture fosters a victim narrative and has created a climate where activists recommend threatening suicide; especially to blackmail parents into medicalising.
However, whilst generally the suicide statistics bandied about by activists should be taken with a pinch of salt, Biggs’ work merits serious consideration. Here Michael estimates the suicide rate at GIDs to be 5.5 times higher than similar demographics but, crucially, far lower than the only other paediatric gender clinic with published data.
Biggs begins by detailing the many times the media /politicians leverage the suicide card to advance the issue of ”Transgender” rights. The more blatant would tell me to my (twitter) face that my “daughter” would kill herself if I did not affirm him as the opposite sex. Having done some investigation into the suicide statistics I had got into the habit of routinely dismissing them as transperbole, but I did become increasingly concerned about suicide rates post transition.
Biggs then takes some time looking at how these statistics gain a life of their own embedding themselves in the trans-narrative. In the UK this tended to be the figure of 48% which I covered in this 👇piece. (That study was based on 13, out of 27 trans-identified people under the age of 24). Biggs quotes a few studies using suicide statistics that look quite alarming. One of them (41%) was widely repeated and played a role in how transgender narratives were discussed and terrified family members.
He then references some research which suggests those self-reports were more complex in their origins. Some clarified they had only got to the ”planning” stage or were an attempt to signal they were in need of help, others were signalling their identification with the gay community.
Norman Spack who is a leading proponent of medicating ”trans-children” had this to say: ”The majority of self harmful actions that I see in my clinic are not real suicide attempts”
Statistics on suicide rates after referral to gender clinics are covered by a few studies. As you can see rates are quadruple the rates for their sex. For those who have genital surgeries rates are even more significantly elevated, especially for males.
Looking at adolescent referrals the only comparative study showed 5 suicides, or 2.8% and was the highest suicide rate for the transgender population.
Legally assisted suicide.
Belgium allows legally assisted suicide and one of the people who ended her life was a trans-identified female. You can read about this case here:
This coverage is short on detail. Nathan Verhelst had been born into a family who did not want a girl and had been rejected by her parents. The Gender Industry obliged by giving Nathan a double mastectomy and a phalloplasty. The surgeries left Nathan suicidal. She died by lethal injection at the age of 44. Supporters of voluntary euthanasia were keen to justify how diligent they were screening Nathan for assisted suicide. If only the Gender Clinic had been as diligent screening Nathan for ”transition”.
Co-morbidities in referrals to Gender Clinics
There is a pattern of self-harm and suicidal ideation in referrals to GIDs.
So, it is a confusing picture but we do, fortunately, have mandatory reporting for all serious incidents in the NHS and suicides have to be reported for all referrals to the Tavistock, including those on the waiting lists. Thus we have concrete data which reveals 4 suicides between 2007 and 2020.
Biggs conclusions looked at high rates of autism spectrum disorder in referrals and this group, especially females, have higher rates of suicide. Many of the referrals have competing mental health diagnoses, it could also be the case that the population is skewed in favour of those who had parents motivated to refer because their children exhibited self-harm or suicidal behaviour. This was Biggs, tentative conclusion:
It is crucial to bear in mind the level of completed suicides is 0.03% and reiterate this when politicians bandy about the statistics which claim suicide rates are at epidemic rates. It is also important not to dismiss the reasons people find themselves on this path. Autism, a history of homophobic bullying, eating disorders and experiences of child sexual abuse can all result in a rejection of your sexed body. Children in care are also over-represented at Gender Clinics and at a higher risk of self-harm and suicide. (Article and clip below) 👇
This blog is in response to the consistent use of versions of the above phrase. Parents are being told a failure to comply with medicalisation, for their “gender confused” offspring, will result in a significant risk of suicide. Lobbying organisations are using suicide rates of “trans” kids to influence public policy, advocate for legislative change and dictate clinical guidelines for kids/teens with Gender Dysphoria. Despite the headline grabbing claims the data does not stand up to scrutiny.
A selection of headlines:
A more recent one from September2019 includes a direct demand that legal change is required to mitigate against these suicides:
These are not isolated examples. This theme is used consistently by lobby groups, in particular, Mermaids. Below is a link to a taped Mermaids representative in a training session. When an audience member notes that some academics have criticised the data, on trans suicides, the trainer warns that academics can still be transphobic! Mermaids Training.
Full statement from Mermaids on World Suicide Day here. Note the statistic of 45% is still in use. They also then quote the general suicide rate, in under 19s, to support their case. This is not disaggregated to show any link to Trans identity. World Suicide Day
Here is a slide presentation, used by Mermaids, during a presentation at a conference in front of an audience of lawyers, press, NHS representativesand government officials. This was on 18th November 2016 at the Trans Equality Legal Initiative.
Two key pieces of research are used to make claims of high suicide rates/attempts in the trans community. The first one is a study commissioned by PACE RaRe and the other was commissioned by Stonewall. These studies may not have reached a wide audience but their message informed the ITV drama “Butterfly” : which made liberal use of the suicide narrative.
Here is a detailed debunking of the suicide stats, authored by Associate Professor Michael Biggs, prompted by the ITV drama “Butterfly” : Suicide data.
Here are some key excerpts:
That’s FOURcases over a decade. Each one a tragedy for the individual, and their parents, but in no way supporting the ,manufactured, public perception, of a suicide epidemic in Trans youth. These figures have been published by leading MPs who seem to be uninformed about their unreliability.
Here is Susie Green (CEO of Mermaids) claiming she is aware of 4 trans-suicides in just one year. There is no evidence to support this statement.
Here is a full analysis of the data in the above study, in particular questioning the way these statistics have been used by Lobby groups. Suicide Myths
Below is a brief snapshot highlighting that the central figure is based on 13 trans young people who self-report attempted suicide.
Included in the above report is correspondence with one of the authors of the study expressing concern about how the data has been used. Below is one example:
The author of the study had this to say about the way organisations, with an agenda, are using their data:
The second study under analysis is one commissioned by Stonewall, with an introduction by, former CEO, Ruth Hunt. The full report is here
Attempts made to obtain the methodology were not forthcoming. In Academia it is absolutely expected that any published research is open about their methodology. This is so it can be critically evaluated and it’s robustness tested. No peer-reviewed journal would accept research without knowing that the data set was available to scrutiny. The Stonewall research was not subject to peer review and no dataset was forthcoming. 👇
A detailed list of criticisms is here:
It is well demonstrated that Lesbian and Gay youth are more likely to be bullied and have suicidal tendencies. Research needs to disaggregate the data to include sexual orientation however a research subject identifies. This is the only way to understand what is going on. Hence point three, above, is important.
Remember that the Samaritans warn, repeatedly, that irresponsible reporting can foster suicide ideation in vulnerable groups. They warn it is dangerous to over-simplify narratives about suicide cases. In addition to focus on one of the deceased characteristics can harm those who share that trait. (Please note that this in no way negates the real experience of individuals living through genuine distress either due to sexual orientation/ Gender Dysphoria or, as is often the case, both).
For parents with children/teens with Gender Dysphoria, the way the suicide narrative is presented can generate understandable anxiety. By way of reassurance I repeat the guidance from the Gender Identity Services (GIDs) own FAQ page.
Here are also Polly Carmichael (Director of The Tavistock, Gender Identity Clinic) on the suicide statistics and how they are used:
The aim of this blog is to inform enough people to rebut this narrative when we hear it. Whether that is in real life, diversity training, or on social media. Please do also let Samaritans know when you see this irresponsible coverage. I live in hope they are moved to make a public statement, or at least, a private overture to those peddling this dangerous narrative.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Professor Michael Biggs and Transgender Trend for all the work they do.