Transgender ideology wasn’t invented in the 2010s, but this was the decade when it gripped our culture in its venomous maw and refused to let go. Here’s how trans grew from fringe oddity to a massive force affecting schools, parenting, prisons, policy, academia, sports, law enforcement, language and the arts.
In 2009, Susie Green, who will become Chair of UK gender clinic Mermaids, takes her son to Thailand for vaginoplasty. Jackie Green becomes the youngest person in the world to undergo a sex change operation, at age 16. Meanwhile, trans woman and trans humanist Martine Rothblatt foresees the end of our species as we know it, and claims that ‘transhumanism builds on transgenderism, broadening the driving mindset from a gender ideal to a human development ideal’.
Trans began the decade as an outlier. It became something tolerated out of compassion. It has become a medical-legal monster, with activists claiming to redefine ‘woman’ as a feeling, with self-identification trumping the basic facts of biological sex. And if you disagree, you’re transphobic. Welcome to the 2020s!
2010: a child is born, again
At 10 years old, Jazz Jennings is already out as trans.
2011: chemical castration for children, not rapists
Children become the subject of medical experimentation. Britain’s National Health Service approves ‘medical experiments which will chemically castrate gay children in attempt to correct gender-nonconformity’.
2012: the media trans tyranny begins
We now being told that affirmation of trans individuals is all about compassion. We need to know what trans gender means and how important surgery is. New York magazine says that ‘it takes a powerful act of imagination to understand what a transgender child, in his perfect little body on the changing table, might be feeling, or why he might become terrified as adolescence approaches.’
2013: surrender of the doctors
The American Psychiatric Association updates its manual, to replace ‘gender identity disorder’ with ‘gender dysphoria’.
Now 13 years old and wearing dental braces as well as female dress, Jazz Jennings is paraded on ABC News.
In Britain, the gender clinic at the Tavistock Clinic gives 12 year-olds hormone blockers to prepare for transition. ‘The treatment halts the onset of puberty — preventing children from developing the sexual characteristics of the gender they were born.’
Trans woman Parker Molloy writes a missive: ‘I am a woman, but on such a frequent basis, I’m told this is not true. I’m told that I’m “genetically” or “biologically” male. I’m told that I’m not a “real woman.” I have to ask: What constitutes a “real woman?” How am I not one? Is it because of my chromosomes? I don’t think that’s fair…”’
2014: triumph of the willy
The splendidly surnamed trans actress Laverne Cox, the first trans person to grace the cover of TIME magazine, explains that ‘most of us are insecure about our gender’.
In the New Yorker, Michelle Goldberg sits on the fence: ‘Trans women say that they are women because they feel female…they have women’s brains in men’s bodies. Radical feminists…believe that if women think and act differently from men it’s because society forces them to.’
Facebook offers 56 gender options for users to choose from.
2015: locker rooms and broken bones
Susie Green’s trans daughter Jackie is now 21, and Green speaks out against those who call her parenting abusive. She claims that ‘even before she could speak my daughter had made her preferences clear’.
Bruce Jenner becomes Caitlyn, and graces the cover of Vanity Fair. Trans MMA fighter Fallon Fox ‘defeated her opponent, Tamikka Brents, by TKO at 2:17 of the first round of their match. Brent’s eye injury resulted in a damaged orbital bone that required seven staples.’ Now that’s equality.
Michelle Goldberg is back. In Slate, she reminds us that, ‘Most progressives now take it for granted that gender is a matter of identity, not biology, and that refusing to recognize a person’s gender identity is an outrageous offense.’
In the UK, the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee Report removes sex-based protections. My Transgender Kid appears on the BBC. It’s reported that ‘the Tavistock and Portman gender clinic has seen referrals increase by 50 percent every year since 2009’.
Teen girls protest trans girls use of girls’ locker room.
2016: Obama goes trans
The year of the bathroom. A North Carolina law is passed disallowing trans people from using the bathroom of their choice. The State is sued by Obama’s Department of Justice, which tells ‘every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity’.
The director of the ACLU in Georgia leaves her post rather than fight for trans bathroom rights.
The National Institute of Health launches ‘the largest-ever study of transgender youth, but also only the second to track the psychological effects of delaying puberty’. It’s notable that there’s no control group.
Jill Solloway’s Transparent comes under fire for not being woke enough.
A male to female detransitioner speaks. The New York Times admits that ‘scientists have no conclusive explanation for what causes some people to feel dissonance between their gender identity and aspects of their anatomy’.
Philosopher Slavoj Žižek gets called out for his claim that ‘the vision of social relations that sustains transgenderism is the so-called postgenderism: a social, political and cultural movement whose adherents advocate a voluntary abolition of gender, rendered possible by recent scientific progress in biotechnology and reproductive technologies’.
2017: there’s gold in them there trans
The Women’s March takes to the streets in Washington, DC, wearing transphobic, pink ‘pussy hats’. Bill Maher and Milo Yiannopoulos misgender Jenner and are slammed by Dan Savage. Neuter becomes a thing, so does drilling down into biology to determine that sex is not binary in other species. Which it is, really.
Stonewall UK’s Rachel Stein confirms that being trans is ‘about an innate sense of self. To imply anything other than this is reductive and hurtful to many trans people who are only trying to live life as their authentic selves’.
The gender spectrum emerges.
Trans advocates suggest that previous restrictions on transing kids be eased ‘so that children under 16 years old can begin hormone therapy in order to physically transform their bodies’.
Radical feminists speak out against transing kids. One lady is trans species. And trans affirmation is now everyone’s job. Topshop opens fitting rooms to trans women. There’s money in them there trans.
The Department of Justice reverses the Obama era directives and says that sex ‘means only “biologically male or female’.
‘We will change our bodies however we want,’ the Trans Health Manifesto insists. ‘We will have universally accessible and freely available hormones & blockers, surgical procedures, and any other relevant treatments and therapies.’
The real question is: how does a female bodied gay man navigate Grindr?
2018: the year of trans tyranny
‘Who could have guessed, even a decade ago, that in 2018 the word “woman” would be treated as an expletive?’ asks Joanna Williams in Britain’s PC-bible the New Statesman.
The Gender Recognition Act allows for self-ID in the UK. The NHS must offer fertility services to those looking to remove their genitals. Britain;s Labour party alienates gender-critical feminists by stating that self-ID is all that’s required to be on Labour’s short list of women candidates. Women try to meet and talk about this mess, but their events are canceled due to trans protests.
UK Schools policy comes under fire for insisting that all kids have a gender identity. Girl Guides inclusion policy called out as anti-girl. A mother of four is interrogated by the police for referring to ‘male to female’ trans surgery as ‘castration’ on Twitter. The mere concept of debating trans becomes transphobic.
Jess Bradley, the first elected Trans Officer in the UK National Union of Student, says ‘I self-identify as a non-binary woman, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a real woman.’ Male bodied trans person Rachel McKinnon wins a women’s cycling race.
Bill B-16 is adopted in Canada. This ‘effectively redefines what it means to be a woman from something biological to something defined by external appearance’. A Toronto women’s shelter admits a male bodied trans person, and an abused woman sues.
In academia, Camille Paglia says sex change is impossible. Jordan Peterson is almost fired from the University of Toronto for refusing to go along with compelled speech for pronouns. There are calls for colleges to let trans athletes play on their chosen gender.
Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore’s book Transgender Children and Young People: Born In Your Own Body is rejected by trans activists. Oxford bans gender critical voices. Lisa Littman’s academic paper on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is pulled from Plos One for being transphobic. Jesse Singal writes about gender confused youth in the Atlantic, and takes masses of abuse for it. Reports emerge on the danger in the drugs used to castrate children, and concerns that transing is homophobia.
The Paris Review advocates for a trans literary canon. No one buys the Paris Review.
Trans surgeries don’t always have an amazing result. Yet the American Academy of Pediatricians asserts that transgender kids ‘know their gender as clearly and consistently as their developmentally equivalent peers’ and that ‘there’s no need for “watchful waiting”’. Trans toys come to market.
The New York Times says sex doesn’t have anything to do with reproductive organs. Research claims that gender dysphoric kids ‘show functional brain characteristics that are typical of their desired gender’.
‘How much longer must transgender people continue to participate in public conversations about whether or not we know our own souls?’ Jennifer Finney Boylan asks in the New York Times — equating gender to a religious belief. Quillette makes a splash by publishing opposition to the trans agenda, even from trans persons.
The question of how to fuck trans lesbians is a thing. So is girldick, how to eat out a non-op trans woman, and rewriting gay history to be trans. Andrea Long Chu says she won’t be happy with her new coochie, but she should get one anyway. And trans lesbians really have trouble dating.
Twitter prohibits misgendering and deadnaming to curtail anti-trans abuse. Meghan Murphy is banned from Twitter for misgendering Jessica Yaniv, a male-bodied trans woman — a transvestite, in traditional terms — who wants to force immigrant women to wax her balls.
2019: a world gone trans
Self-ID comes to New Hampshire. Trans model Munroe Bergdorf is chosen to speak by the London chapter of the global Women’s March. New York goes all-in on bathrooms and the abolition of women only spaces. South Dakota says let trans kids compete in sports
The Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter loses municipal funding after refusing to accept trans women. Morgane Oger wins a Human Rights Tribunal against Christian activist Bill Whatcott after he distributed flyers disparaging her for being a trans woman. A woman is arrested for ‘referring to a transgender woman as a man online’.
Students in the English town of Brighton are issued with stickers on which they write their preferred pronouns. Trans toolkits arrive. ‘Experts say that there has been a global surge in young people presenting to gender clinics. This mirrors the huge rise in referrals to the Gids, up from 94 to 2,519 since 2010.’
Cosmo publishes a detailed account of bottom surgery.
Trans advocates decry mental health screening prior to accessing cross-sex hormones. Trans offenders seek right to remove crimes committed under previous gender. Hayden Patterson, held in women’s prison in Canada, doesn’t think she should have to act female to stay. Womb transplants so men can bear children might be a thing. Elizabeth Warren states her pronouns.
The first trans prison unit opens in the UK. In the US, a trans sex offender is moved to women’s prison. The World Health Organization reclasses trans as ‘not actually a mental health condition’. Jessica Yaniv brings a case in Human Rights Tribunal against independent aestheticians who wouldn’t wax her balls. She loses.
The winners of women’s high school track and field competitions in Connecticut are male bodied. In Australia, new guidelines ‘encourage sporting organizations…to permit transgender and non-binary athletes to compete against members of the opposite sex’. Laurel Hubbard wins gold in women’s weightlifting in the Pacific Games, to the dismay of the president of Samoa.
The International Olympic Commission considers rule changes to allow men to compete as women, but hits a snag. Women’s rugby is too dangerous for women once men get involved. A male runner is the female NCAA athlete of the week. But girls speak out: ‘Female athletes around the globe feel that women’s sports is no longer sustainable.’
Trans employment case goes to the Supreme Court. Trans guides come out for kids in Quebec and New York City, as well as the gender unicorn. As do medical risks on chest binding, and the pushback against that. Parental rights are chucked by Australia, and courts in the US from Arizona to Texas to Vermont.
Puberty blockers are not a panacea. But kids are still being fast tracked in the UK. Gender clinicians reveal they have tried to raise the alarm. Detransitioners start to make some noise. Parents are asked to resist the doctors.
It turns out the rhetoric about the trans murder epidemic is not exactly true. Trans is a pony tail. Not only women get periods. There’s no such thing as biological sex. And not dating trans people is discriminatory.