Professor Patrick Parkinson / ABC
The T.C. Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland was established by a £20,000 donation from Thomas Charles Beirne, a devout Catholic businessman and Papal Knight who was warden of the University from 1928 to 1941. The vast tract of beautiful riverside land on which the university sits in St Lucia was donated by pioneering doctor and Catholic philanthropist James O’Neil Mayne.
One wonders what these two benefactors would think of the current push by students to remove the Dean of Law, Professor Patrick Parkinson, for making “transphobic” remarks in The Australian, on February 14. Reporter Bernard Lane wrote:
University of Queensland law dean Patrick Parkinson, speaking in a personal capacity, conceded authorities would be worried and busy with the coronavirus but said the explosion in transgender-identifying teenagers, chiefly girls, was “another epidemic” — one that had “so far escaped public attention”.
“Social contagion” via online platforms — such as Tumblr, Reddit and YouTube — and peer groups is suspected to be a factor in the rapid rise of atypical teenage cases of the condition “gender dysphoria”, or distress about the conflict between the body and an inner feeling of “gender identity”.
In response to Professor Parkinson’s remarks, a petition was started at Change.org by 23-year-old student Jean Emmett, aka “Johnny Valkyrie”, titled “No Transphobia At University. Condemn Prof. Patrick Parkinson.” It reads:
… Parkinson compared transgender people to the coronavirus, declaring it an “epidemic.” Previously, he has compared transgender and gender diverse people to those with eating disorders, campaigned against LGBTQIA+ adoption and has ties to Freedom For Faith and The Australian Christian Lobby…
The School of Law should not be figureheaded by an individual who does not uphold discrimination, vilification and human rights protections. Further, it is highly unprofessional to breach The University of Queensland’s official policy on LGBTQIA+ people, especially when transgender and gender diverse people work and study at the institution …
We call for Prof. Patrick to cease and desist his discriminatory, vilifying behaviour or to be removed from The University of Queensland.
As of writing, the petition has garnered 432 signatures.
Emmett seems to misunderstand what Parkinson said. The professor compared the explosion of transgender-identifying teens to the coronavirus epidemic, not the teens themselves to the virus.
A social contagion of body dysmorphia
Last year, 38 members of staff at the T.C. Beirne Law School signed an open letter in support of LGBTQIA+ students after Professor Parkinson delivered a paper, “Is Gender Identity Discrimination a Religious Freedom Issue?” at the Freedom for Faith conference in Sydney. Here’s what he said:
“[A] crisis of conscience may arise from a genuine belief that it is not in the best interests of the child or young person to affirm his or her transgender identification, any more than it would be in the best interests of an adolescent girl with an eating disorder to affirm her body image as overweight.”
Parkinson is not alone in issuing these warnings. Miranda Yardley, a 52-year-old transsexual who was the first person in Britain to be sued for committing the “hate crime” of making “transphobic” remarks on Twitter, wrote:
There seems to me something uniquely cruel in telling children their bodies are wrong because they do not match the interests our culture deems appropriate for their sex. The adults who promote this lethally toxic culture should feel ashamed of themselves. Of course, they never will: they are fanatics.
Philadelphia-based clinician Lisa Marchiano wrote at Quillette:
While transgender advocates have derided the notion that the sudden surge in trans identified teens – and natal female teens in particular – could be influenced by social contagion, the idea is not so far-fetched. Bulimia was virtually unknown until the 1970s, when British psychologist Gerald Russell first described the condition in a medical journal. Author Lee Daniel Kravetz interviewed Russell for his recent book Strange Contagion. According to Russell, “once it was described, and I take full responsibility for that with my paper, there was a common language for it. And knowledge spreads very quickly.” Scientists have been able to track bulimia’s transmission even into culturally remote enclaves following the introduction of Western media sources. It is estimated that bulimia has since affected 30 million people.
People with body integrity identity disorder claim to be “transabled”, longing for amputations of perfectly healthy limbs, or wilful blinding. Should we also affirm them in their quest to become physically disabled? What about “transracial” people? “Transaged“?
A chilling effect
Meanwhile in the UK, University of Exeter economics professor Dr Eva Poen has been accused of transphobia by feminist and LGBT students for tweeting: “Only female people menstruate. Only female people go through menopause.”
She also tweeted in response to insurance company Aviva promoting LGBT+ inclusion in sports:
“Let’s keep female sports for FEMALE PEOPLE. Stay in your lane, Aviva. We don’t tell you how to do insurance; it would be great if you could stop telling women to give up their hard earned place in society. Women’s sport is not yours to give away.”
Adam Deloit, the 22-year-old transgender representative of the university’s LGBTQ+ society, states:
“What she is doing isn’t a debate. It’s constant harassment and discrimination. I don’t think anyone who sees her tweets can say that they are not an attack on trans people. She can try to define us out of our existence, but we are still here. The fact the university tolerates her is really frustrating.”
A spokeswoman for the university’s feminist society said:
“The university must investigate the allegations thoroughly and look at it from, if nothing else, a well-being standpoint for groups of students within that community.”
In 2018, the Bristol University student union backed proposals to ban any TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) speakers who questioned whether men who identified as women were actually women.
In 2017, 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan was beaten up at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park by young trans-identifying men, enraged that she was about to attend a feminist talk entitled, “What is Gender”.
Why are trans activists so afraid of questions and statements which are grounded in basic biology? So much for inclusivity and a grasp on reality, not to mention common civility! Must the whole world conform to their perception? Do “trans rights” override the basic human right of free speech?
Detransitioners scarred for life
The growing trend of detransitioners speaking out about their irreversible physical and mental scars from rushed transitions should give us pause for thought. There are now rapidly-expanding groups on Reddit and Tumblr for those suffering transgender regret.
Trans-identifying Blaire White reports from Montreal:
A few years ago, there were a few detransitioners on Youtube talking about their experiences, but not many. Now, there appears to be almost as many people talking about their transition failures as there are people talking about their transition successes… Many of the teen detransitioners on Youtube cite falling into trans activist circles online as a contribution to the mistake they made.
Lisa Marchiano wrote, in an article titled “The Ranks of Gender Detransitioners Are Growing. We Need to Understand Why”:
… there is the problem of bias reinforcement. For adolescents struggling to understand themselves and their place in the world, a self-diagnosis as transgender can offer seemingly easy answers. But clinicians shouldn’t be “affirming” that sort of self-diagnosis on a no-questions-asked basis …
The detransitioners I see in my practice are all female, and they are all in their early twenties. At the time they became trans-identified, many were suffering from complex social and mental health issues. Transition often not only failed to address these issues, but at times exacerbated them or added new issues. These young women often became derailed from educational or vocational goals during their period of trans identification.
Twenty-three-year-old Keira Bell, who is now suing the Tavistock clinic in London for facilitating her sex transition, told the BBC:
“I should have been challenged on the proposals or the claims that I was making for myself… I was allowed to run with this idea that I had, almost like a fantasy, as a teenager… and it has affected me in the long run as an adult.”
The Christian Post reports that 41-year-old Marcus Fitz in California “believes it’s important that people learn about the deceptive practices at gender clinics that push cross-sex hormones and transgender surgeries, which he says have left him psychologically scarred, physically mutilated, and with a severely compromised endocrine system.”
Indeed, UnHerd reported this case of another detransitioner:
When she was 15, Livia was diagnosed with severe anorexia. “It’s so scary to realise that my anorexic thoughts were about [hating] my female body,” she tells a stunned room. “I really wish someone had been there to tell me not to get that body castrated at 21.”
Ovulation is essential for women’s health. Canadian endocrinology professor Jerilynn Prior states: “women benefit from 35 to 40 years of ovulatory cycles, not just for fertility but also to prevent osteoporosis, stroke, dementia, heart disease, and breast cancer.” What does the future hold for trans-men who have had their reproductive organs removed?
And what could happen to trans-women? The British Medical Journal published a study last year showing that men who take oestrogen to transition develop a 46-fold higher risk of breast cancer; the World Health Organization published a report in 2015 noting the measurably higher risk of cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancer faced by women who transition while retaining their genitalia.
Meanwhile, a study published in the American journal Pediatrics found that among transgender-identifying people, “the percentage of people who attempted suicide and were hospitalised in the last 12 months was DOUBLE for those who had blockers (45.5% versus 22.8%).”
Follow the money
The ABC’s Four Corners recently reported on an 11-year-old receiving puberty blockers, “one of a small but growing cohort of children around Australia seeking treatment because they don’t identify as either a boy or a girl.” She was diagnosed with gender dysphoria when she was only nine.
Writer Jennifer Bilek observed in a sobering post, “Capitalizing on the Destruction of Healthy Female Breasts”:
TomBoyX, Luna Pads, and Thinx corporations have all used the healthy breast amputations of young women in their ad campaigns, normalizing body dissociation and mutilations as self-expression, with barely any criticism in mainstream media.
At The Federalist, she unveils the billionaires funding the powerful LGBT lobby in the USA. Over at Populist Wire, Ben Kenobii published: “Meet Jennifer Pritzker: The Trans-Billionaire Big Tech Doesn’t Want You To Know About”.
Positive publicity on ABC’s Four Corners has been credited with a A$6 million grant to Australia’s most popular youth gender clinic.
Doing right by our children
Considering the well-documented physical and mental health implications of puberty blockers and sex change surgery, is it not irresponsible of our government, media and health institutions to keep advocating affirmation of gender dysphoria, particularly in vulnerable, malleable children?
Professor Parkinson is a specialist in family law and child protection. Instead of trying to quash his words, spoken from experience and a place of deep concern, we ought to act on his urgent warnings before even more youth are permanently maimed.
Mei Ling is a graduate of the University of Queensland’s T.C. Beirne School of Law.
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