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BATH, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - Research on the experiences of transgenders who de-transition is being halted out of fear of social media backlash.
James Caspian, a registered psychotherapist, told BBC Radio 4 in an interview on Monday that he was "astonished" his thesis project he had prepared for two years was rejected by the Bath Spa University. Caspian, who "work[s] with individuals on all parts of the gender spectrum," wanted to study what the experiences are of transgenders who reverted back to their birth gender.
Church Militant contacted Caspian to find out what he was hoping to learn with his research. Caspian said he wanted to learn, "How they felt, what they went through and what they thought." He initially decided to do the research when he spoke to a surgeon who had performed seven gender reassignment surgery reversals in one year. This was an unheard of number of people who regretted their transition; Caspian found many who were traumatized and even "found it very difficult to get people willing to talk openly about the experience of reversing surgery."
Caspian told the BBC, "I was, to put it bluntly, astonished that a university should censor a research project on the grounds that what people might post on social media may be detrimental to the reputation of the university."
There are others that agree more research needs to be done. In July, Church Militant spoke with Walt Heyer, founder of SexChangeRegret.com and author of several books including Paper Genders and Genders, Lies and Suicide. Heyer, as a former transgender, said, "Medically speaking, there is no such thing as gender dysphoria." On his site, Heyer says, "I come away with the realization that good research and studies need to be done on the effectiveness of sex change surgery."
Heyer told Church Militant that usually a traumatic event creates a deep emotional and psychological wound that the person can pinpoint. He says cosmetic surgery and hormones are not treatments for the underlying comorbid conditions, which is why suicide rates for transgenders have remained near 40 percent since the early 1900s.
Caspian told Church Militant that he is unsure what he will do if the university does not allow him to continue. He says he has paid them thousands of pounds in fees that they refuse to refund. Caspian does have a crowdfunding page but he has stopped collecting donations at the moment as he has raised enough to cover his legal fees. He is contesting the court order that he is responsible for the university's legal fees of £4,929.
Caspian is waiting for the outcome of the investigation, surrounding the complaint he filed in February. In a process that should normally take three weeks, he explained that a suspension of the complaint by the university in March has made the situation very complicated, though he was promised the outcome would be released this week. He cannot make any plans to undertake this research until this matter is settled.
Church Militant reached out to the university, and they replied, "Due to an ongoing internal investigation, Bath Spa University is unable to comment at this time."
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