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BRISBANE, Australia, April 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Children think it's cool to be transgender and they're trying the self-identity out in droves, claims an Australian psychiatrist.

Psychiatrist Stephen Stathis, who runs the gender clinic at Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's Hospital and is responsible for diagnosing gender dysphoria, reports that “many” youth are “trying out being transgender” in order to stand out.

Apparently, declaring oneself “transgender” is trendy. “One said to me, ‘Doctor Steve … I want to be transgender, it’s the new black,’” Stathis related.

Dr. Stathis also says many girls want to be transgender as a result of sexual abuse. “The girls say, ‘If only I had been a male, I wouldn’t have been abused,’” Stathis explained.

Some are so convinced their life would be better if they were the opposite sex that they do something drastic or permanent. “I’ve seen genital mutilation, some who try to cut off their penis,’’ Stathis said.

Australia began a new, government-funded “gender service” for children at Lady Cilento Hospital, which expects to assess 180 youth this year. The goal of most of the gender-confused children is to get puberty blocking chemicals and/or sex change hormone treatment.  

Most patients, however, are simply going through a common phase of adolescent life, Stathis explained.

Despite intense feelings of gender dysphoria, by the time boys and girls reach puberty, most identify as their birth gender. By early adulthood, they have outgrown their previous feelings of gender confusion.

Because gender confusion is usually temporary and hormone blockers can cause permanent damage, Stathis requires his young patients to go through intense mental-health screenings. The pro-transgender pediatrician also insists that teens “socially transition” successfully before he proscribes sex-change drugs.

Online response to Dr. Stathis' testimony was overwhelmingly against viewing transgenderism as healthy. “People should get it once and for all that transgender is a mental illness,” Jack posted. “You can put a rubber glove on a dog's head and attach a feather-duster to its tail, but that don't make it a chicken.”

Helen noted that it “is pretty normal for many kids to hate their bodies. And eventually we get over it.”

Other comments were deeper. “There is a reason why a child may feel as if they want to be the opposite sex,” one commenter wrote. “The question is, where does that idea or feeling come from? … For a child to suddenly say that they desire to dress or act like the opposite sex means that something happened to the child, or they were exposed to something that caused the alteration in their perspective.”