Yesterday, I learned of the existence of a group calling themselves "Gender Dysphoria Alliance Canada". I was not happy with what I saw.
They claim to be "evidence-based", and that's the first red flag when I wandered over to their website and started perusing it. To me, the term "evidence-based" means something quite specific. It means that you are using the best available science to inform your positions and advocacy. This is not particularly difficult to understand ... I hope.
However, this group is not representing gender dysphoria, or its treatment in a reasonable and evidence-based manner. Far too much of the material presented is far from the mainstream of treatment and support for transgender people, and far too many talking points come straight out of the anti-transgender "Gender Critical" world.
As far as I can tell, nobody involved with this group is actually involved in the science or treatment aspects related to Gender Dysphoria, and given the nature of what they are presenting, that is deeply concerning.
How Do They Present Gender Dysphoria?
So, I wandered over to their "About GD" page, and I see this:
"Oh, we're using autogynephilia ... delightful." is the first thought that goes through my head. Autogynephilia is a hypothesis that more or less rests on the idea that trans women get an erotic thrill out of the idea of having a vagina. While there is a small cadre of researchers that write about the idea, it is not well supported, or even backed by enough evidence to justify its use as a broad model for understanding gender dysphoria. There's a reason that the WPATH Standards of Care (and other related SOC type documents) don't talk about autogynephilia, and the DSM 5 certainly does not.
What's wrong with autogynephilia (and related hypotheses)? First, it imposes motives on transgender women that there is no evidence that they are universal motives. (If you get a sexual thrill out of having a vagina, go nuts - there's nothing wrong with it) Second, it relies heavily on the same pathologizing language used for various sexual paraphilias (kinks, if you will) that can cause people clinical distress. For many trans women, the desire to transition is not primarily a sexual matter, and it is unreasonable to impose sexual motives where that is not necessarily the case. Third, it's a "tiny little boxes" model that attempts to impose rigid boundaries on human behaviour, a type of construct that we know all too well simply doesn't work very well in reality.
Then they bring up "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD)".
ROGD, put quite bluntly, is based on junk science. Littman's study is so flawed as to be best described as garbage, and the conclusions drawn from it are simply unsupported by either the study itself or any other study. I've written a long analysis of why Littman's study should not be taken seriously.
I think by now, you should be starting to get a sense of why I am so suspicious here. The conceptualization of Gender Dysphoria being presented is clearly NOT based on credible science, and as a result it is not only misleading, but potentially harmful.
When I took a brief look at the references list, I see a reference to J. Michael Bailey's book "The Man Who Would Be Queen" - another piece of notorious junk masquerading as science. The rest of the list of references is fairly selective, and omits major works that are quite important.
What Do They Provide For Resources?
There are many alternate resources that provide far more intelligent and rational content about these matters. I would recommend starting with organizations like WPATH and CPATH.