Kathleen Jennison Goonan: Detailed notes

2023-03-23 Moms for Liberty “Exposing Gender Ideology Town Hall”

  • Source: YouTube
  • Panel with Kathleen Goonan, January Littlejohn, Erin Brewer, and Jay W. Richards.

Meeting Paul McHugh

Goonan at 55:34:

I also had a family history in a different era. I had an older sister who nearly died of anorexia when I was a teen. And growing up in a household where you’re faced with this kind of stress – I haven’t told this story in public before – it has a major impact on your life in many ways. It changed the course of my life in innumerable ways. But I got out, and I’m successful. So when I was looking to retire, I started talking to people like Abigail Shrier, who wrote Irreversible Damage. She sent me to Dr. Paul McHugh, who I know from my faith. And they encouraged me to get involved, and one step led to another, and I found my way to Genspect.

GETA faces difficulties due to laws against conversion practices

Goonan at 57:51:

There’s an organization now called GETA, the Gender Exploratory Therapy Association, which is trying to recruit therapists who will work with these individuals. But it’s not easy, because of the conversion laws. They’re very afraid. I will say I believe we can do it, I believe there are – I know therapists who will do it, who can do it. We have to do it very carefully.

“It’s like a mind virus”

Goonan at 59:21:

We find it’s very difficult for pediatricians in particular to have any idea what to do, so they tend to refer. And they refer to the clinics, and the clinics are in a – it’s like a mind virus, that there is one solution and that solution is affirmation. We know there are multiple other solutions. We know that, for example, watchful waiting is a perfectly legitimate approach.

“One of the things they do is just think about themselves”

Goonan at 59:55:

I started doing this work almost two years ago. I’ve talked to 140 families. And what I do is I get on the phone with them, and the stories are all very similar, and yet they’re all unique. But they are very similar. And they need to tell the story, and then they need to tell me about the doctors and the schools and what they’re doing. And so what we end up talking about is, okay, what is the plan? We’re gonna unwind the relationship with that pediatrician, we’re gonna go find a different therapist, or we’re gonna find no therapist, because this child doesn’t need to be told they’re sick. They’re not sick. We need to tell them they’re healthy. We need to get them outdoors, we need to get them into sports, we need to explore the world, anything but fixating on themselves. Because one of the things they do is just think about themselves. That’s all they think about.

“Muslim doctors are excellent in this regard”

Goonan at 1:15:16:

And if you’re looking for help in any way, you need to be the one that really asks all the questions. I would also say, you know, be thoughtful about it. Over a certain age, people are more likely to be aghast at this, but they aren’t gonna put a sign on the door that ‘I’m not gender affirming’. If they’re from a faith, Muslim doctors are excellent in this regard, because they aren’t gonna buy into it at all. People from other countries, or Asia, or Latin America. So I help people look for the kind of doctor that I know may not say they’re non-affirming, but they will be. I think that’s really important.

“It is a major psychogenic intervention, and we have to fight against it at every step”

Goonan at 1:16:47:

You need to be aware that they are socially transitioning widely and gently, because they think they’re being kind. So if a child even at school momentarily says ‘I’m nonbinary’ or if the teacher feels it’s fine, it’s kind to ask the child what is your identity, what are your pronouns, any of that – they think they’re being kind. They think they’re being current. It’s the thing to do. You have to listen for all of that very carefully. The power of social transition is not to be underestimated. It is a major psychogenic intervention. And we have to fight against it at every step and raise questions about it from the moment you see any sign of it in your children, your grandchildren, your children’s friends. And you don’t back down. From the moment you hear the introduction to the idea of social transition, you need to step up with love and with facts. But boys can’t become girls, girls can’t become boys.

“They’re wearing their children like Gucci bags”

Goonan at 1:29:58:

So for you all in your political work, you don’t have to be experts on gender. Just pull the topic into your work and it’s all under the umbrella of parents’ rights. Don’t get too judgmental of the parents who’ve fallen prey to it, because they’re out there, and they’ll fight with you. Respect them. They’re wearing their children like Gucci bags, and I could talk to you about their mental diagnoses, but we have to treat them as just another part of the fold and respect them. But pull those you can into the fold, and we will win.

“We need plaintiffs”

Goonan at 1:37:09:

We have an organization in Maryland called Transparency in Education. So, you know, the Frederick effort can be expanded statewide. There’s a Slack channel where people are sharing when events are occurring, when crowds are needed, we need numbers at these meetings, and we need to coordinate when we need numbers at meetings to make a stink. And we also need plaintiffs. We need people who are willing to file litigation. We’re got to work on that.

“Early introduction to sexual terminology is all laying the groundwork for grooming”

Goonan at 1:41:58:

Yeah, I would go back and watch Miriam Grossman’s second part of her presentation on Epoch Times. It’s two hours where she goes through the history of sex education and how this early introduction to sexual terminology is all laying the groundwork for grooming.

“We’re gonna have to play a dual game for a while”

At 1:46:21:

GOONAN: So we’re gonna have to say those parents have – that is their right to make that request. My request is different, my request is: my child is not gonna be asked for their pronouns, they are obviously a boy or a girl, and I don’t want them asked to wear a button that says their pronouns. You’re gonna – we’re gonna have to play a dual game for a while. I’ve been to the school board meetings in Harford County where the bulk of the parents talking about this topic were advocating for social transition. They were thanking the school for transitioning their kids. So we’re just gonna have to bring the presence forward of those that don’t agree, and ask them to play – to meet our needs as well. It’s gonna be awkward for a while, but I think we’re stuck with doing that. But it will – we’ll gain momentum, we’ll have more and more parents say ‘what do you mean they’re asking my kid for pronouns?’ We’re gonna be – we’re gonna have to live in two worlds for a while. But right now they’re living in one.

RICHARDS: The wrong one.

GOONAN: The wrong one.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: And the model policy that you referred to –

GOONAN: The model policy is on the Genspect website. It’s also available on TransparencyInEducation.org. And if you sign up for the newsletter, it’s been introduced already in Frederick. And all we need to do is change Frederick to Harford and it’s ready to go in Harford. And we’re talking about when we’re going to introduce it in Harford, as soon as the other folks get appointed, get assigned to the Board of Education. So it’s all ready to go. And talk to Susie in charge of Moms for Liberty in Harford, and we’ll have a meeting and do some more planning.

Creating documentation to thwart a child’s future transition

Goonan at 1:57:48 in response to parent audience member:

The other thing I would do is get an evaluation of your son with a sympathetic therapist who’s not affirming, or psychological testing that documents his current state, that you have as a record: that he is a boy, he is male-identified, he is autistic, he has these diagnoses. And you have that report, so in the event the school in the future starts playing games, you have documentation. Because what we find works is to say ‘oh, you know, I’m not concerned with major policies going on in the school; my child is autistic and he’s a boy and he’s not gender-confused, and that’s documented in this professional evaluation.’ So you have the defense in case it happens in the future.

2023-07-07 Gender: A Wider Lens podcast “121: Practical Advice for Managing Gender Identity in Schools with Dr. Kate Goonan”

  • Source: YouTube
  • Podcast episode with Kathleen Goonan, Stella O’Malley, and Sasha Ayad.

Asking schools to treat a child as an exception to affirmative policies

Goonan at 15:05:

So I like to spend some quality time with parents figuring out, what is the culture of the school, what is the policy of the school that their child is facing, because that’s really important. We need to sort out, is this an issue of one teacher or one counselor, is it the overarching culture of the school, is it the principal of the school? Who exactly is pushing any kind of gender belief system onto the child? Because in most environments in most schools, you’re not going to be able to change the whole school. You’re not going to be able to take on their policies, their culture, their belief.

And what I urge parents to think about is what is happening to their child. So I like to encourage parents to focus on their own child, and if we have the option to influence the adult authority figures in that child’s life who are confusing the child, let’s try to work with them around this one unique child. So we’re not trying to take on the gender belief system or the whole culture of the school, we’re just trying to get those adults around this child to agree to a plan for that child. So for example, if it’s a music teacher and the Spanish teacher, the parents ask for a meeting with those two teachers. And if in a meeting with those two teachers, the parents can explain, they’re open-minded, they are inclusive of trans people and gay people in their lives, this is not about the civil rights issue, this is about my child. And my child has experiences with some depression, they’ve been on ADHD medication, they lost a best friend – whatever the context of the child is. We have researched this, and it’s really important that we not change their pronouns and we not change their name, or whatever the plan is.

But the minimal, ideally we say, just please work with us around staying aligned with what we’re doing at home. We’re not changing pronouns or names at home, and she’s feeling less stressed and she’s doing better, and if you could help us and work with us around that. And then sometimes that works. Sometimes that’s all it takes. And if that’s all it takes, that’s great, because it’s very difficult to take on the whole school, and it’s not necessary. And I find it’s interesting, I find I need to remind parents they don’t need to change the whole school, they need to focus on their child. And I’ve had some families that have had good luck with that.

“I would not use the term gender ideology, I would not use any political language”

At 21:29:

AYAD: Can I ask a kind of practical question? Earlier you mentioned something about gender ideology or something along those lines. Given that we’re talking about being really specific regarding the individual child and their particular needs and their particular struggles, is there specific language that you may invite parents to use? Like would you tell, would you suggest for a parent to say something like ‘please don’t share gender ideology with my child’? Or how can families maybe frame this in a way that you think is cooperative with the school, and doesn’t kind of raise these political red flags? Like I’m wondering if that is something that you think about, because I think about that a lot.

GOONAN: I agree with you about that. I would not use the term gender ideology. I would not use any political language at all. I would stay focused on, my child has these needs, they have been thinking about this a little bit, but they’re really actually reacting to the loss of a grandmother or the fact that we moved recently, or their dog died, or, you know, anything. And they know two or three other children who are exploring this, but this is completely new, and at home they’re not thinking about it at all. And so I would ask you to partner with me. So you don’t use any political language at all. And you simply – you say, you know, I’m a very open-minded person, but my child has these needs. Can we partner around this?

“Desist over the summer”

Goonan at 27:23:

But it’s very common for parents to have to move to an entirely different strategy. So, changing schools, pulling the child out and homeschooling. I will say that the the the the group that have the best luck are the ones who, say for the summer, they take the child – one family I’ve worked with for a long time in the northwest, they send their teenage daughter to Texas to visit, to spend the summer with family. And they couldn’t move, but they could send her to live with an aunt and uncle on a farm, on a ranch. And she would desist over the summer. And then she would come back and she would get back into school with her friend group, and they didn’t have other good school options, and then she would move back into it. And then she – there have been two summers now where by putting her in a different environment for the summer, she will desist over the summer. I mean this just as you know, you work with teenagers, teenagers are genuinely fluid and they’re genuinely influenced by the people around them.

“Friends around a child who can help them accept reality”

At 32:55:

O’MALLEY: And did you think when after seeing, I suppose the pretty harrowing stories from Beyond Trans, did it almost reinvigorate or change your M.O. towards how you’d work with parents in schools?

GOONAN: It did reinvigorate and change it. I will say that was the turning point for me when I realized – and this is something both of you talk about a lot – is not only should this very clearly be first and foremost addressed in the family, but it needs to be addressed first and foremost, if it’s addressed at all by any professionals, with exploratory therapy. And we know that’s now the standard of care that is what Finland is doing, Sweden is doing. We know why we need to focus there. But the insight that I took from it was, we need to get very creative about helping people think of this as establishing the net of adults, caring adults, around the child. Grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, the extended family and the trusted friends around a child who can help them accept reality. Who can make the gentle comments, ‘you look very nice today in that dress, you look happy today’, ‘I understand you’re going back to piano, what has attracted you about going back to piano or dance?’ You know, getting a team of trusted adult advisors around to create a cultural environment, to focus the cultural environment around the kid to help them come to terms with accepting themselves, loving themselves exactly as they are. And to take that part very seriously.

“If a family firmly believes their child should be transitioned, the school district can work with them”

Goonan at 53:13:

Once I realized I was it was fine for me to identify myself in this world and come forward, and that as I mentioned was last fall, so six months ago I got involved – so we’re really, right now we’re working on two fronts, one is – or three fronts, I should say. A group of parents in Maryland where I live – I live in Maryland – a group of parents wanted to generate a school policy for one county. And within Genspect we said, this looks great, but actually we need that one policy ready to be used in any county in the United States, and we need to adapt it for England, Ireland, Canada. And you know, we haven’t gotten that far, we just have on the Genspect website, we have one generic policy which is more than a policy. What it is is an educational treatise on gender in schools, and it has a hundred references to the current literature, and it’s available on the website for anyone to download and use.

And then we have people who are more expert than I am in working with school district boards, so I had the good fortune to meet up with a wonderful father and retired businessman in Maryland. Jim Lehmann, who’s a former banking executive, started an organization called Transparency in Education in Frederick County, Maryland, and he publishes a newsletter to inform parents about what is going on in the schools. And so they’ve been doing this for a while, and what we did was bring forward the policy to Frederick County in Maryland and proposed it. And it is a school district with a majority of people who are simply following the rules. So the current federal policies coming out of the Department of Education in the United States are very affirmative, but they’re not binding, and so a school district board can educate itself and can absolutely comply with any existing regulations, but not be affirming.

So we’ve been working very hard on a regular basis educating the board about what options they have, the way they could become an innovator and show how basically, if a family firmly believes their child should be transitioned, the school district can work with them and do that. But if a family does not believe that’s the right course of action for their child, the school – the teachers would abide by that, and the policy allows for parents to be in the driver’s seat.

2023-10-05 Moms for Liberty Howard County “Gender Ideology Forum”

The SEGM October 2023 conference began as a rejected AACAP presentation

Goonan at 12:23:

We’ve done this several times together and worked together for many months now, and both very passionate about sharing information about this quandary we are in. And as you know, I’ve worked with Genspect now for two years. I’ve actually talked to now probably 175 families, I talk to about two or three a week, I talked to two moms today – all over the United States generally, but also Canada, Australia, the UK, a couple of people in Germany over the last couple of years. And next week the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine is holding its first international meeting in New York City. It is a invitation-only meeting. The European experts will be there because they were uninvited to present at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Medicine [sic]. So we’re – we’ve thrown together a meeting so that they can come to the United States and speak to people.

A proposed cause of rapid onset gender dysphoria: being bullied for your socks

Goonan at 25:49:

Rapid onset gender dysphoria – this is the notion that children who, when they were younger, were typical kids. And then around 11, 12, 13, often in association with a period of a lot of social media contact, maybe a loss of a friend or a breakup with a early kind of friendship or romance, a minor – seemingly potentially minor trauma. Maybe they get bullied for some reason, with the color of their socks or whatever else – kids can be mean, we all know that. Boom, they get out online, they are exposed to the idea that the solution to the reason why they feel not like they don’t fit in, is because they’re in fact the opposite sex. And they get exposed to this idea through a friend group or through social media or the internet, and next thing you know they’ve decided this is what they’re going to do. And then it’s also then not unusual for it not to be divulged to the parents, but divulged to other people at school first, and that’s where we get into the cycle of difficulties that we’re in.

This diagnosis has not been accepted by my colleagues. It is not an authorized, accepted diagnostic category, which is a travesty. We should be studying this, we should be trying to understand it, we should be documenting how frequent it is, what causes it, how do you prevent it, how do you ensure that children get appropriate care. Because I can’t tell you how many – you know, and again, we don’t know, but many many of these kids are in distress for some reason that needs attention from parents, caring adults, clergy, school, and potentially professionals. And they’re not getting it because they’re getting affirmed in the gender identity as the only intervention.

And then of course there are longstanding settled incongruent people. There are people for whom their gender dysphoria is a lifelong condition. What we know about them is that they are – their lives are challenging. We know that if they medicalize, they are going to experience tremendous risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, all kinds of different conditions.

“It’s not conversion therapy at all, it’s exploratory therapy”

Goonan at 30:14:

We literally – there was a period of time, it was a shameful period of time when, in England, Europe, and the United States, people experimented with what were almost torturous kinds of interventions to stop same-sex attraction. That was conversion therapy. Now the word gets applied in this context: if I find someone a psychotherapist who’ll help them work on sorting out why they’re thinking of changing their sex or taking drugs to become the opposite sex, that in the media is getting called, and in some legal settings getting called the new conversion therapy. It’s not conversion therapy at all. It’s exploratory therapy. Why do you have these feelings? Where do they come from? What do we – just where did the distress start? So, but gender affirmation is actually truly conversion therapy, because what we’re doing is encouraging people that they can actually become the opposite sex and that we can give them drugs and surgery to make them go from being male to female. So that’s the ultimate conversion therapy, but we’re calling it gender affirmation.

Meeting Riittakerttu Kaltiala in Ireland in May 2023

Goonan at 38:45:

So I mentioned this about the European controversy. The only journal in all the journals of the world, medical journals which are respected, the only journal that has acknowledged controversy around medical treatment for these folks is the British Medical Journal. And it was a huge day for us when they acknowledged there’s debate, there’s very deep debate. But you know, that – it’s extraordinary. So I mentioned at the beginning there are several countries, you know, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Belgium, and France. The Scandinavian countries have been involved with transitioning adults who are have unresolved sustained gender dysphoria for decades. They have extensive history in this field. They have stopped transitioning children. Why? Because it didn’t help them. It didn’t help them.

So a panel of these scientists who’ve worked in this field for for decades applied to present at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Medicine this month in New York City, eight of them. And they were rejected, so hence they’re coming to New York next week with the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine, which is a small independent organization with no money. And we’ve got a benefactor to help us put on the meeting. It’s by invitation only, because the Europeans think we’re nuts here and they’re afraid for their safety, and we’re going to hear what they have to say. I called 25 of my colleagues through my career that I know from having this long career that I’ve had. None of them are willing to come to the meeting. Several of them said ‘I’m very nervous, I’m very nervous about this’, but none of them were willing to come and show up to hear what the Europeans have to say.

So, you know, and I just – Riitta Kaltiala, the head child psychiatrist for the country of Finland, will be there next week. I met her in May in Ireland. She’s a brilliant woman, 200 publications in this field, this is a very progressive-minded person who’s worked with transgender adults her entire career. She is sounding the alarm on affirmative care. She’s now basically out internationally saying, this is dangerous for these children, they have multiple psychiatric diagnoses that aren’t getting attended to. So this is going to be very exciting.

Genspect alternative to WPATH SOC to be released November 2023

Goonan at 44:28:

Genspect is coming out with an alternative set of guides to WPATH in November, because WPATH is a self-declared international expert in this. It has a long history, and it’s a very complicated history, but it is an openly activist organization. There are clinicians involved with it, but many clinicians who historically were involved in it have left, including transgender people who are in clinical practice working with transgender people have left WPATH. So it is itself a highly controversial organization, but it is – influence the American Academy of Pediatrics. But you know, parents who take their child to a gender clinic are asking for this. That’s the problem, and you have to stop it at the door. I would never recommend anybody take their children to a gender clinic.

Goonan at 46:10:

Social transition – this is the most important thing for you all to understand when you’re dealing with other people. Social transition for – is a very powerful psychosocial intervention that causes gender dysphoria to persist, so we need to avoid it. We need to find a way to help children understand they are the biology that they are. Their personality can be however it wants to be, they can be whoever they want to be, but they are biologically male or female.

“Lawsuit threats, media coverage, not logic”

Goonan at 1:24:45:

But, Tom, wouldn’t you say it’s also aggressive activism, public activism? Because, you know, the logic is not going to change their minds. It’s going to be lots of parents, lots of publicity, lots of activism. Lawsuit threats, media coverage, not logic. And we got to – we got to play aggressive and just as dirty as they do.

“You don’t talk about it”

Goonan at 1:27:38:

So you know, boys who want to play with dolls or wear tutus, you know, boys will want to wear all kinds of stuff. They love high heels. You leave it alone. You don’t make a big deal out of it, you don’t talk about it, you don’t sexualize. The big thing that I think is going on that’s really driving a lot of the discomfort of all kids, whether they get into gender dysphoria or not, is hypersexualization. Discussion of sex, about sex, exposure to porn, all of that. That’s driving the nonbinary choice, in my opinion. So these young girls who are very intimidated by the idea that they have to be so sexually oriented at such an early age. So what do they do? They avoid the whole thing entirely and they declare that they’re nonbinary. That’s – those are teenagers. But in terms of little kids, you just let it go, you just let it go. And they will grow up to be boys, and they’ll grow – some of them may grow up to be gay boys, and so, you know, but the big thing is not to focus too much attention on it. Let them be kids.

Atomic Gender is a comprehensive analysis of the reality of gender identity, the world-changing power of the transgender community, and the impact of gender identity denialists worldwide.

Atomic Gender is an evolution of Gender Analysis. Zinnia Jones is a trans woman researcher and community advocate living in central Florida.

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