Rapid onset transphobia

High-five to the trans-antagonistic blogosphere for finally inventing some fresh new nonsense after decades of recycling old nonsense:

If, like me, you make a habit of trawling through the darker side of opinion pieces on trans issues, you might have come across a peculiar new term: “rapid onset gender dysphoria”. This supposedly recent occurrence is described by the National Review, the right-wing Alliance Defending FreedomRobert Stacy McCain, and others as a phenomenon of teenagers “suddenly” coming out, sometimes “in groups”, after “total immersion” in social media related to transitioning. Even a recent article in The Stranger made reference to this alleged trend:

Increased visibility and societal acceptance are also logical explanations for the perceived growth in the trans population: More people are aware it’s an option now. But, as a study published this year in the Journal of Adolescent Health notes, parents have begun reporting “a rapid onset of gender dysphoria” in adolescents and teens who are “part of a peer group where one, multiple, or even all friends have developed gender dysphoria and come out as transgender during the same time frame.”


You mean… gender questioning people… seeking out other gender questioning people… might claim vocabulary commonly used in the process of gender questioning after talking to each other????


If researchers have potentially discovered a previously unknown type of gender dysphoria, this would certainly be a fascinating development. There’s just one problem: there is no evidence to suggest that this is any kind of distinct clinical entity. The various features of this purported phenomenon can already be explained within existing models and currently available evidence. And more than that, it appears that the very concept could have originated with a specific group of transphobic activists.

Zinnia Jones discusses the latest brain-numbing nonsense from the anti-trans blogosphere.



  1. blf says

    Why do I suspect a common characteristic of those claiming there is such as thing as “rapid onset gender dysphoria” is that they fearfully crept out of their darkened cellars for a few seconds before scuttling back screaming “it burns our eyes, yeesss it burns, burns, our eyes, it burns our eyes, it does, it does!”?

    Mind you, this was at night. A cloudy night. During a power failure. And a lunar eclipse.

  2. Allison says

    I’m not a trans activist, I’m just a recently transitioned (and out) trans woman who’s just trying to manage my life. I hear about these transphobes, but I don’t actually run into people who spout any of this transphobic nonsense. The “worst” I hear is “this doesn’t make any sense to me,” (to which I can only answer, “it doesn’t make sense to me, either. I just know it’s so.”) Mostly, the people I meet just ignore my transness and we get on with our lives.

    I’m not sure what, if anything, I should do about these memes. I’ve mostly just been ignoring them, figuring that life is too short for me to spend fighting fools. Besides, by nature I’m not a fighter. (But I always say, “I’d be happy to be in the Ladies’ Auxiliary” — cf. Woody Guthrie.)

  3. says

    parents have begun reporting

    There’s so many things wrong with taking the reports of parents (about their children) at face value. Especially in matters with potentially huge ideological gaps, like this. But I’ll bet certain ideologies (correlated with anti-LGBT ideologies) think that parents know best, or whatever.

  4. Siobhan says

    @Brian Pansky

    There’s so many things wrong with taking the reports of parents (about their children) at face value.

    Well, if they were measuring “what do parents think of their children,” they’d have a more valid point to make. As it is they’re trying to claim they have data on the children themselves, which is… um. “Creative.”

  5. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Rapid Onset Dysphoria & Belligerence towards Accepted Linguistic Labels Syndrome.

    Accuse me of that & I’ll plead guilty.

  6. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Should have been “Assigned Linguistic Label” and not “accepted”. Don’t know how I managed to type that, but carry on.

  7. secondtofirstworld says

    The reason, or one of them, why the Central European University is under attack is because they have gender studies. So if we talk fresh new nonsense, this is a step further: gender studies exist, according to the government, to disseminate false ideas aimed at dismantling traditional ideas, which are rooted in the nation’s character and its Judeo-Christian heritage. Since said gender studies were founded by the university in question, that in turn was founded by George Soros, it’s one of his schemes. The speaker of the house went further in claiming that gender studies represent hate of men, opposition to family and heterosexuality. Just to be on the safe side, they have established courses for studying family and heterosexuality.

    I guess I don’t have to elaborate where transgender people fit in, they don’t. The government, likely to be reelected next year because otherwise “the NATO-fence will be brought down and Soros brings in terrorists” considers them a concept, which is a step further than to just claim they’re confused. I see the difference between your disturbing example and this one, that in America, this rhetoric has to reach federal level to affect all, whereas over there the power is centralized, and the voters scared to have their comfort zone challenged.

  8. Hj Hornbeck says

    I’m surprised no-one has mentioned cancer clusters. Emphasis mine:

    Cancer clusters can help scientists identify cancer-causing substances in the environment. For example, in the early 1970s, a cluster of cases of angiosarcoma of the liver, a rare cancer, was detected among workers in a chemical plant. Further investigation showed that the workers were all exposed to vinyl chloride and that workers in other plants that used vinyl chloride also had an increased rate of angiosarcoma of the liver. Exposure to vinyl chloride is now known to be a major risk factor for angiosarcoma of the liver.

    However, most suspected cancer clusters turn out, on detailed investigation, not to be true cancer clusters. That is, no cause can be identified, and the clustering of cases turns out to be a random occurrence.

    Truly random data will be “clumpy” relative to what we expect. It happens all the time with rare but random occurrences, like shark attacks and murders, so I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if it happened to genderqueer or trans* teens too. Add in a little confirmation bias to filter out the isolated cases which contradict the cluster, and you’ve got something that looks far more noteworthy than it actually is.

  9. says

    The only thing that I could really describe as “sudden onset” was the realization that there are more than two options. It’s like you’re trying on shoes, and all you have is this ugly one-size-fits-all shoe, available in standard “boy” and “girl” colors, then suddenly someone walks up and presents a dazzling array of shoes in every imaginable size and shape and color and style and says, “find the shoes that fit you.

    That moment was a wake-up call.

    Finding the “shoes that fit”?

    Still a work in progress, but “Demiboy” is pretty cushy.

  10. says

    Addendum, because I can’t edit. (Sorry!)

    So now we have people, young people, discovering and exploring this expanded field of “shoes” and finding the ones that fit them.

    I don’t see what there is for people to complain about, really. That people will be more comfortable?

  11. Siobhan says

    @WMDKitty — Survivor

    I don’t see what there is for people to complain about, really. That people will be more comfortable?

    Yes, well, the people who are “more comfortable” are trans, and we can’t have that, so we have to invent some fable about how Sally’s size 8 shoes infringe on my right to wear size 7 shoes.