Friday, December 01, 2023

It’s A Lie

We know it, they know it but they don’t care and as a result we die.
This Is How to Fight the Disinformation That Fuels Gender-Affirming Care Bans
Junk science, distortions, and outright falsehoods fuel anti-trans rhetoric, which in turn fuels gender-affirming care bans. Here’s how to spot and dismantle the disinformation.

(This op-ed is by Meredithe McNamara, an adolescent medicine physician at the Yale School of Medicine, founder of the Integrity Project, and advocate for marginalized youth and the use of science to form health policy.)
By Meredithe McNamara, MD, MSc
November 28, 2023

For the past two years, transgender Americans have faced an unprecedented wave of restrictions on their basic human rights. Lawmakers in almost half of U.S. states have essentially photocopied one another’s laws that attack LGBTQ+ people, with a harsh and peculiar focus on transgender youth and their healthcare. In 22 states, gender-affirming care for youth has been banned, and similar restrictions for adults are emerging. These bans fly in the face of medical consensus and directly harm those they claim to protect. The speed and breadth of it all raise a question: How did this happen?

The barrage of anti-trans legislation and hateful rhetoric from our lawmakers and the influencers and activists who support them is not only relentless and exhausting, it’s carefully and strategically constructed. Support for these extremist policies relies on messaging that paints the prospect of gender-affirming care as so horrific that governmental overreach into bodily autonomy is not only necessary but tolerable. The good news is that understanding how anti-LGBTQ+ entities shape their messaging can help us identify where and how to resist disinformation and take part in redirecting the national conversation. Too many people are learning about trans identity for the first time by way of an inescapable swirl of disinformation that targets trans youth, and they don’t know how to make sense of what they hear. As an adolescent medicine physician, I see firsthand the necessity to dispel the dangerous myths that are preventing many young patients from getting the care they need.
The Republicans know all this, they had medical providers testify at their hearings, they had people from medical association testify, and trans children and parents testify but it goes in one ear and other.
In my research, I’ve found five areas that almost any anti-trans argument can be sorted into. Locating them in the larger disinformation ecosystem can give us our bearings and keep us grounded in reality. Here are the five things you need to know to combat the vast majority of anti-trans talking points.
The Republicans just want to score points with their evangelical base. They just want votes and they don’t what happens to those in their way.
So-called “social contagion” is not real and it does not make people trans.
Proponents of bans on gender-affirming care often cite “social contagion theory,” which claims that teens spread trans identity to each other. Social contagion and its equally fictitious cousin, “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” originated with a single flawed study that recruited participants from anti-trans websites. No trans youth were actually studied for this research. Instead, the lead researcher relied on parents’ observations about their children, and used them to “generate interpretations and conclusions about clinical conditions like gender dysphoria.”
I suppose the indigenous two sprint people caught it from the internet.
Trans youth are not rushed through gender-affirming treatment.
In June, I testified at a U.S. Congressional hearing to oppose a bill to defund children’s hospitals that provide medical care for trans youth. Some Members of Congress repeated wild misrepresentations of standard care, like the idea that “double mastectomies on 12-year-old girls” is a common occurrence, or that gender-affirming care means kids being castrated. This all sounds too absurd to believe. And that’s because it’s not true.
You know I don’t think that I ever met a Republican who didn’t lie. It think that lying is a requirement for Republican politicians. They just continue to lie, and lie, and lie.
Puberty blockers, hormones, and medical treatments for gender dysphoria are not “experimental.
 This is another one of the Republicans Big Lies! Puberty blockers…
Puberty blockers have been used on-label since the 1980s to treat precocious puberty in children, and were approved for use in treating precocious puberty in children by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993.
The Trump wantabe DeSantis just lies like his idol.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's administration bet heavily on distorting scientific evidence as the way to dismantle gender-affirming care. In June 2022, the DeSantis administration commissioned a so-called “evidence review” to determine whether Medicaid funds should be used to cover gender-affirming healthcare. The review falsely claimed that gender-affirming care is “experimental and investigational with the potential for harmful long term affects [sic].”
The other big lie that they like to use is…
Using medications “off-label” is neither uncommon nor unsafe.
Misleading statements about the safety of medical treatments might sway those not yet fully deceived. Puberty-pausing medications have not received FDA approval for use in youth with gender dysphoria. What that means is that these medications, like many, have not been subjected to a costly, long, and logistically challenging evaluation process by a federal regulatory body.
We make up something like between 0.5 and 1 percent of the population, now what pharmaceutical company is going to spend millions and millions of dollars on such a small population.
Puberty-blocking medications became the national focal point of yet another anti-transgender outrage cycle in the summer of 2022 when claims about their effects on bone density reached a dull roar. Parents who consent to puberty blockers on behalf of their teens aren’t surprised to read about bone density in the news, but they are confused as to why so many strangers care. All we ever have in medicine are less-than-perfect tools, but we know how to balance autonomy, risks, and benefits for the patients who need our help now.
Lastly the other big lie is,
It is exceedingly rare that people regret getting gender-affirming care.
In the past few years, those seeking to limit access to gender-affirming care have propped up a small group of so-called “detransitioners” — people who stop receiving gender-affirming care and, as anti-trans activists tell us, regret their transitions. These stories, which are often collected from and by anti-trans organizations, websites, and actors, have been an effective tool for falsely normalizing the notion that gender-affirming care often leads to regret. In fact, it is exceedingly rare for a person to later determine that they are not transgender. For one thing, people may discontinue gender-affirming care for several reasons that don’t have anything to do with “regret,” including lack of access to social support or resources, or barriers to ongoing treatment. As just one example, unfilled prescriptions and missed doctors’ appointments — things that bad actors point to as proof of transition regret — are likely a reflection of the challenging health systems that young adults depend on, rather than a change in their gender identities or “regret” around transition.
The Republicans like to quote a Dutch study on regrets… however, they cherry pick the parts that they quote and ignore where they explain why they had a large drop from the study which is not abnormal for a longitudinal study.

But they fact don’t matter, the harm they are doing don’t matter, what matters to them is winning at all cost.

Meanwhile our politicians spread the lies...
Speaker Johnson wrote foreword for book filled with conspiracy theories and homophobic insults
By Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck
December 1, 2023

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson wrote the foreword and publicly promoted a 2022 book that spread baseless and discredited conspiracy theories and used derogatory homophobic insults.

Written by Scott McKay, a local Louisiana politics blogger, the book, “The Revivalist Manifesto,” gives credence to unfounded conspiracy theories often embraced by the far-right – including the “Pizzagate” hoax, which falsely claimed top Democratic officials were involved in a pedophile ring, among other conspiracies.

The book also propagates baseless and inaccurate claims, implying that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was subjected to blackmail and connected to the disgraced underage sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Other sections of the book defend podcaster Joe Rogan from racism charges after it was revealed he used the N-word, which Rogan later apologized for. The book also disparages poor voters as “unsophisticated and susceptible to government dependency” and easy to manipulate with “Black Lives Matter ‘defund the police’ pandering.”


Johnson’s endorsement of the book extends beyond the foreword: In 2022, he actively promoted the book on his public social media platforms and even dedicated an episode of his podcast he co-hosts with his wife to hosting McKay.

During the podcast episode, Johnson expressed his belief in the book, stating, “I obviously believe in the product, or I wouldn’t have written the foreword. So I endorse the work.” He also referred to McKay as a “dear friend” and highlighted that the book “really could make some waves.” Over the years, Johnson had written opinion pieces for McKay’s blog, the Hayride, and engaged with the author on public platforms like Facebook.
And these are the politicians who sit in Congress! A bunch of white male bigots who believers in fake conspiracy theories!
In his book, McKay insinuates that hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman John Podesta contained coded references hinting involvement in “child sex trafficking” because of “unexplained references” to “hot dogs and pizza,” resembling alleged code words used by pedophiles.

“The Pizzagate scandal was born, and though some of the most outlandish allegations made in it were clearly disproven, other elements were not; the whole thing just seemed to be dismissed as debunked, and no explanation was ever given,” he writes.
Another thing to remember… these politicians were elected and over half of the voter are like minded!

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