“Doing nothing is not a neutral option”

Rowan Moore is the architecture critic for The Observer and is also the father of a trans man. I very much doubt that the editor would have published this measured, thoughtful and important piece about having a trans child if Moore weren’t connected to the newspaper, but I’m glad they did.

The court’s logic led it to assert that the impacts of cross-sex hormones, which can sometimes affect fertility and sexual function, should be fully considered by a child at the time they started on blockers – they would have to contemplate the effects not only of the medication on offer, but also of that which would be on offer in the future. The court decided it would be impossible for them adequately to do this, even if their families and doctors were in full agreement, and that the decision should be passed to a judge.

At the same time, the court paid minimal attention to the consequences for trans people of puberty unhindered by blockers. It thought it more important to protect transgender children from blockers, which are reversible, than from the effects of unwanted puberty, which in many ways are not. Doing nothing is not a neutral option and can be harmful, a point that the court did little to acknowledge.