“But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans!”

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 10.21.41We’re told that nobody is encouraging children to be transgender; that a generation of kids is suddenly coming to that realisation by itself.

There’s an excellent article on the 4thwavenow website about how there is no historical precedent for the transgender child’s explosion into the early 21st century.

Yet here zie is – and we need to have a careful look at the reasons behind that.

 

Teen Vogue tells us (February 2018) that actually, 3% of kids are trans. “Visibility is growing!”  gushes Suzanne Weiss and we are supposed to greet that news with a resounding ‘Yay!’ somehow forgetting for a few brief moments that we are also being told that nearly half of these trans-identified children and young people try to kill themselves.

Children who believe their non-compliance with socially prescribed gender roles means they should actually be the opposite sex- and their concerned parents- are not getting impartial advice or guidance. Often these children have co-existing mental health issues. All of the major UK trans organisations are run by trans-identified people or parents who have transitioned their children. Likewise many gender therapists have transitioned and actually believe themselves to be the opposite sex.

So families are counselled by those who wholeheartedly believe that you can be born in the wrong body and that transition is a solution. They believe there is a right and a wrong way to be male or female which isn’t defined by our bodies but by an inner and elusive ‘sense of gender’.

There is something seriously wrong here. People with eating disorders are not best placed to advise others about healthy eating; those who self-harm are not best placed to advise on coping strategies for anxiety.

Are we really supposed to believe that the continued unhappiness, depression & suicide ideation of young trans people is all because some strangers won’t validate their feelings? Or might it actually be because trans-identification is a psychiatric issue that’s being mistreated?

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Renée Gerlich from Auckland: “Organisations like RainbowYouth and InsideOut, as well as the Pride Parade, must stop endorsing medical experimentation, child abuse, sexist stereotyping, and the destruction of female-only and lesbian spaces.”

If you know that a male can’t become a female, of course you think transitioning children is abusive. If you know that a female can’t become a male, of course you see the act of telling a girl she can become a boy as dangerous, disingenuous and beguiling.  Of course you don’t want to support an ideology that perpetuates supporting kids in a lifetime of delusion and enacting stereotypes in the pursuit of being perceived as their ‘desired gender’.

When life as a trans-identified child is so hard – and I don’t doubt that often it is- why are we not allowed to consider the option that not all children who are trans-identified need to go on to transition?

Mental health issues in both parents and children may cause children to believe they are trans, and when no-one is allowed to even suggest it isn’t so, the child is set down a path that affirms their confusion.  It is absurd that nobody is even allowed to suggest this without cries of ‘transphobia’ and accusations of right-wing bigotry.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 19.39.01Despite the perky, upbeat attitude to transition promoted by people like Gina ‘changing your gender can be fun – but daunting!’ Denham, research from the US and Holland suggests that up to one in five sex-change patients regret the operations. A review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals by the University of Birmingham’s aggressive research intelligence facility (Arif) found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.

If being transgender is such a terrible experience, and sex-reassignment surgery has such poor long-term outcomes, why is it not being celebrated when a child desists?

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Mermaids was told by a mother that a judge had said her child was to have no further contact with the charity.

Fact. There are cases of judges telling parents to keep their children away from certain transgender charities. Fact. There are cases of doctors and gender clinics reporting parents who believe they have transgender children to social services.  Fact. Most trans-identified children desist- especially if they’re not told they’re in the wrong body and can change sex. This needs acknowledging, not hushing up.

If a child desists and the parent- or even the child themself- speaks out, it is met with denial by the translobby. More often than not the child’s parents are accused of bad parenting or even brainwashing. Here is a recent comment on my article on the 4thwavenow website:

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It’s not the first time such things have been said to me and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Yet social media is full of adults who believe that in the current climate they would have been transitioned as children, and the stories of children who desisted remain mostly unreported.  High-profile transactivists, for example, have questioned the very existence of my daughter rather than accept her desistance.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 01.43.30The silencing of those who would dare to ask questions is nowhere clearer than in the current debate over Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.  ROGD is the name given to the situation in which an adolescent child,  who has shown no prior belief that they are ‘in the wrong body’ suddenly expresses a desire to transition, usually after spending a lot of time on social media.  These kids are often autistic, gay, or have undergone trauma.  Many of these kids desist – usually the ones whose parents have not immediately changed their pronouns and rushed them into gender clinic referrals. My daughter Jessie, for example, herself a desister, has two IRL friends who identified as trans for well over a year and who have now desisted.   Perhaps not incidentally, neither were taken to a gender clinic or offered hormones, although one did change her name and pronouns with the support of her school.

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 20.57.45Some parents have presumed that trans support groups would acknowledge the ROGD phenomena.  Trans support groups are understandably vocal on the subject of the high levels of bullying, self-harm and suicide attempts in the trans community and these parents hope that the identification of ROGD might raise awareness of the fact that transition is not the best route for every child.  Instead, attempts to raise the subject are met with complete denial and even accusations of neglect.  ROGD does not exist, it’s made up. You can read about Linda MacDonald’s experience here.

“Looking back, I feel nothing but sympathy for these parents. I am sure they truly love their children and want to do what’s best for them. And they are doing exactly what their doctors and social workers advise. These parents are simply trusting in the system.  They don’t realize the system has been gamed… and our children, naive and trusting, are their pawns.” 

Suzanna Descalzi, relating events as told by Linda MacDonald

The problem with transitioning your child, as I’ve mentioned in my article When is a Girl not a Girl?, is that all your emotional investment goes into having made the right decision.  It has to.  The idea that you might have got it wrong is just too terrible to consider.  What if your effeminate boychild could have grown up into an intact gay man, but you had taken him abroad to have his penis removed on his 16th birthday?  Imagine if your 14 year old daughter underwent a double mastectomy and later turned out to be just a lesbian who likes playing football after all?  What if your 17 year old, global TV star, transkid turned round and said ‘Hey, I’m a boy after all?’

Far easier to follow this line: children experiencing ROGD do not exist, they have simply been too scared of their unapproachable parents to admit to such feelings earlier, and their parents have been too disinterested in their child’s welfare to have noticed the warning signs.  Any parent suggesting their child is experiencing ROGD is at best neglectful and at worst an evil transphobe –  what child could trust such a person with the truth?

To claim there is no emotional investment going on is disingenuous. There is plenty.  So, what of the claim that ‘no-one is encouraging kids to be trans?‘ Let’s start with the little ones.

I’ve written before about the brightly coloured picture books available in libraries and for schools to download. Here are just a few books that tell a boy he can be a girl and a girl she can be a boy.

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Frequently these books are placed alongside books like the simplistic but beautiful ‘My Princess Boy, but they are very different.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 01.28.13My Princess Boy‘ is a book about a boy who likes to do traditionally ‘girly’ things, but nobody actually suggests it’s because he’s a girl. The child is supported in his choice to be a non-conforming boy.  “Princess boys stand for difference and expressing themselves differently.” says writer mum Cheryl. A book like this is both empowering and supportive for GNC boys.

 

Introducing Teddy (above, 2nd left) takes a very different angle.

In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy.” confesses Teddy to his friend.

Now, who would be promoting this crazily sexist idea to kids?  Let’s start by having a look at some of the organisations who are making trans cool and fun. In all cases I have included a link to the relevant webpage so you can visit for yourself and make up your own mind.

ALLSORTS

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 02.21.35Allsorts Youth Project are a Brighton, England, organisation supporting transgender youth.  Well, ostensibly supporting LGBT youth, but like many of these charities the LGB seems to be an afterthought.  You can read their financial statement here. In 2017 Allsorts received £50k from Brighton & Hove City Council (incl schools & youth), £45k from the NHS (CCG/BHCC), £35k from BBC Children in Need, £33k Public Health Grant (?), £22k from the Big Lottery Fund, £20k from BBC Comic Relief.  In 2017 Allsorts appeared to have a cool £132,000+ stashed in the bank.

At a presentation to parents at a school in Brighton in January 2017, Allsorts reported that they had 21 children in their 5-11 age group, all of whom were trans-identified. In their 11-15 age group, 48% were trans-identified, the other 52% being LGB. Allsorts surveyed this older group and found that 80% had mental health issues. When this figure was queried, the speaker explained that these kids mostly came from unsupportive families. Sounds familiar? This seems strangely at odds with the fact that the parents allowed their children to attend the Allsorts group in the first place, but I digress.

Back to ‘Introducing Teddy‘. Ryan is a trans-identified woman who works for Allsorts and is here dressed as a teddy bear to read Introducing Teddy to a group of 5-11 year olds.  When I drew attention to this Tweet, Allsorts promptly removed it.

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

 

GIRES

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 02.00.28.pngThis article wouldn’t be complete without referencing the transgender penguins produced and promoted by GIRES and aimed at 3-6 year olds. I write in more detail about the work of GIRES in my ‘Snowflake Books’ post here.

At a recent event I was shown and offered a chance to buy a print version of one of these books and I see that they are now available to buy online.  Really, you have to read one for yourself to appreciate the absurdity of telling a child that if they are, ‘not like all the others, I just don’t feel the same,’  then caring parents- who couldn’t actually tell if they were a boy or girl at birth- will immediately change their pronouns and throw them a huge party.

No, seriously. Don’t just take my word for it. PDF links here.

The lesson plans accompanying the books make an (irrelevant) reference to the Equality Act, accompanied by this rather ominous observation:Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 02.16.37.png

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

MERMAIDS

Mermaids, also England based, ostensibly deals with young people ‘who are in any manner affected by gender identity issues‘ and in 2016-17 the charity had an income of £127,900.  Mermaids has received funding from Children in Need, The National Lottery and the Department of Education.  D of E money funds ‘essential training in schools’ and Mermaids has also given presentations to the police force.  You can read more about Mermaids here.

Here are two of Mermaids’ tweets re its presence at ‘Pride’ marches in 2017. Both have since been removed from Twitter.

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and here is one of the header photographs from their website:

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A child who had no friends before joining Mermaids now has ‘loads’, according to their website.

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

TRANSFIGURATIONS

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Transfigurations is a not for profit organisation based in Devon, England.  It supports  “all trans people: transsexual, transvestite, intersex, genderqueer, trans youth etc”.  In addition to supplying a useful list of GPs who are ‘trans friendly’ or ‘unsympathetic or even antagonistic to your transition’- including those who will and won’t support transitioning children- Transfigurations run LGBT ‘Fun Days’ sponsored by TESCO METRO.  These offer families workshops on trans issues as well as ‘free fun activities: bouncy castle, play and games, live music, drama, poetry, interactive drumming and free lunch’.  Quite where the LGB fits in is unclear.  But lunch is free and there are inflatables.  What’s not to like?

When nobody seems to be able to define ‘transgender’ without reference to sexist stereotypes, how do we expect kids that don’t fit those traditional gender roles to be able to see beyond the bouncy castles, free snacks and fun? Especially when transvestites – which could or could not be said to include a boy wearing a tutu or a girl in a Batman T shirt – are chucked in so casually under the ‘trans’ umbrella?

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

SOGI

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But do we? DOES everyone really have a ‘gender identity’?

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The SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) 123 website produces resources for parents and educators, and their  video ‘Creating more Gender Inclusive Schools’ is aimed at teaching  primary school age kids.

It starts off well, dismissing stereotypes, but soon disintegrates into a scenario where kids in the classroom are encouraged to mark their biological sex on the board and conclude by deciding whether ‘I am female’ or “I am male’, or anywhere in between, along a ‘gender identity’ spectrum.

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

Who is making policy in schools? asks Transgender Trend, in this eye-opening article, adding:

“Nobody should be promoting the pseudo-scientific theory of ‘innate gender identity’ to impressionable schoolchildren as if it is fact. Those who are invested in the idea as validation for themselves and their own decisions as adults are the least suitable to be teaching children or dictating school policies to suit their own personal agenda.”

 

Let’s move on from influences on the very young and in schools, and and have a look at some of the influences on older kids.

TEEN VOGUE

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Jamie Raines at 16

Teen Vogue manages to glorify transition in a manner that few other publications for young women can rival. I wrote elsewhere about their article on how to bind your chest.

Another ‘it’s cool to be trans’ article from their recent archives is the ‘transition timeline’ of Jamie Rains, shown below with a packet of testosterone in her hands in picture 1, and ‘thumbs-upping’ the results three years later in picture 2.

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 02.25.38

 

“Thanks to his dedication,” coos Julie Penell, ” we can now see just how much he’s transformed.”  The words ‘fascinating’ and ‘captivating’ are also used in Penell’s article chronicling Jamie’s trans-identification and we are told that her family is both ‘supportive and excited’.

Jamie (now 23) has since undergone both a double mastectomy and ‘bottom surgery’, both serious medical procedures wrought with potential complications, but hey, what the heck? From boring lesbian to brave transman: Jamie now has a cute girlfriend and over 150,000 followers on YouTube!  “Check out how far he’s come!” concludes Penell.

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 02.37.32In this 2016 article, 18 year old Alex explains how she had been taking drugs and self-harming, and decided she was trans after speaking to a counsellor at school.

They explained what the term transgender meant and something just clicked in my head,” he (sic) recalled. “Looking back, I was always more male as a kid. I was more interested in toys aimed at boys.”

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

An article like this could go on forever, so  I’ll deal with just one more organisation.  A new, American group which is taking being trans to a whole new level of cool.

GENDER COOL

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 22.51.26.png

Gender Cool’ is one of the latest projects marketing transition for young people.  Fronted by a small group of trans-identified children, including a 15 year old girl who underwent a double mastectomy aged 13, Gender Cool is run by two adult males who identify as women.

 

 

Cool stories, exceptional kids‘ runs the GC tagline on their website.

Gender Cool is indeed ‘buzzing around the country‘, having been featured in the New York Times, on ABC News and on Meghan Kelly Today.  Though I, and others, have asked Meghan Kelly to comment on her promotion of this group, she has not responded.

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Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 09.21.50

 

“Become part of a community… commit to becoming a GenderCool team member… tell us about what you’d like to bring to the GenderCool team!”

Team Gender Cool  sounds a little like a local youth club or a church organisation, except that hormones and surgery are an essential part of belonging.

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

So we’ve looked at schools and organisations that quite definitely aren’t encouraging kids to be trans. Lets have a look at some high profile individuals.

There are lots of adult males who believe they can just ‘become’ women- or even that they always were women- who offer online advice or encourage trans-identified kids to get in touch with them privately.  There are also a handful of young, trans-identified women who have a lot of influence on their social media followers.  We’ll just look at a couple of each here.

DR RACHEL McKINNON

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 10.38.21Dr Rachel McKinnon (Philosophy PhD)  likes to win women’s cycling races and sent an open message to trans-identified kids on Mothers’ Day 2017  saying they should walk away from ‘unsupportive’ parents and find their ‘glitter family‘.

Reach out to me! Email me! Skype me!

he suggested. When concerned parents and feminists contacted the university he works at, it released a statement condemning the ‘relentless misgendering’  Rachel had been subjected to.

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

MUNROE BERGADORF

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Trans-identified male Munroe Bergadorf- who has undergone breast implants, facial feminisation surgery and says he would, aged 8, have  “leapt at the opportunity”to live ‘as a girl’, sent an open message to children on Twitter, telling them to contact him by direct (private) message if they wanted to talk.

Bergadorf thinks children should be able to choose their gender so they can “be themselves”.

 

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But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

ALEX BERTIE

Alex signed Jessie’s book

Last year, I paid- lunch & train tickets- for Jessie and her friend Naomi to go ‘undercover’ to the Alex Bertie book signing at the Museum of Transology in Brighton.  I had planned to do a whole blogpost about it but in the end I didn’t – the trip not being my own experience made it just too difficult to write about. (Oh, the endless aborted blog posts! They alone would fill a book.)

Alex Bertie is the famous YouTuber I refer to in my original piece ‘A Mum’s journey Through Transtopia’.  Alex undoubtedly has a huge influence on young women who are questioning their own gender identity.

“I make videos to help people,” says Alex in her book, and I do not doubt that her intentions spring from a genuine desire to help other troubled youngsters. However parents should be concerned when a young woman who wants to help other youngsters believes a solution to being bullied for being a lesbian is to have your breasts removed and declare yourself a man.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 15.33.08You can buy Alex’s book here and read Janice Turner’s recent piece in the Times, where she interviews Alex, and my daughter Jessie, here.

A recent Tweet of Alex’s?  “Really not in a good place right now… I just keep staring into space.”

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 12.45.06Two things Jessie and Naomi noticed at theMuseum of Transology book signing were the age of the girls present and the self-harming scars borne by so many. Naomi was pretty certain that at 17 she was the eldest and they guessed several to be as young as 13. No parents were in attendance. An anecdote that stuck in my mind was that the curator- a trans-identified woman whose pickled breasts were present in an exhibit jar- at one point got down on her knees, twirly moustache and all, and shuffled across the floor saying, “Trans children! I want to be them!”

The main reason I mention all this is in reference to the Q&A session. While Jake (Alex’s ‘boy’friend) attempted to answer questions about transition in detail, Alex’s responses mostly consisted telling the girls present not to overthink things and just get on with it.

Jessie says, “He* kept saying ‘just go for it’. He* said, ‘You just have to do it, it’s like ripping a band-aid off.'”

*Jessie says she uses ‘preferred pronouns’ out of respect for Alex.

Alex, who is currently planning a hysterectomy, has a book, ‘merch’ and a YouTube channel with over 300,000 subscribers.

But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

 

MILES MCKENNA

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Amanda McKenna, of ‘the Amanda Chronicles’ started her YouTube channel in 2012.   Her strictly religious family were not happy when she came out as gay, and after a big fallout she moved in with YouTubers Stevie Boebi and Ally Hills.  Amanda’s perky videos and quirky sense of humour established her as a huge hit, especially with young lesbians.  In 2017 Amanda announced that she was non-binary and would be starting on testosterone and changing her name to Miles. At the start of 2018 she removed her popular ‘coming out’ video from YouTube and had both her breasts removed.  There is little left on the internet of her life as Amanda. I believe Miles McKenna, like Alex Bertie, is a confused young woman with nothing but good intentions.  Shortly after undergoing ‘top surgery’ Miles tweeted  ‘I started gettin (sic) panic attacks mid last year for the first time in my life,’  and that anxiety and panic are, ‘no joke and something I’m learning to deal with.’ Miles believes the panic attacks are brought on by the HRT.

“The majority of my audience online are students in middle school, high school or college.”                                                             

Miles McKenna

Miles now has 658,000 YouTube followers. One of her latest videos is entitled ‘Coming out in Middle School’. “What’s more emo than having a coming out experience?… We’re gonna destroy gender roles!” she declares, seemingly oblivious to the irony. “We’re gonna talk about coming out while on helium! Because helium is fun, and coming out is also fun!”

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 21.01.47Miles and her young guest Alex suck on helium balloons, giggling as chirpy music plays in the background; shrieking with laughter when Alex mentions gender dysphoria.

“You sound like a child!” squeaks Miles, who is now 22, as they suck on the helium.

“I am a child!” replies Alex, who is still in middle school, came out as transgender when she was twelve, and has ‘a lot of internet friends who are trans‘.

“I think we did it! We just solved coming out in middle school – you should have no problems now.” concludes Miles at the end of the video. The video has 38,000 ‘likes’.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 21.43.58.pngIn another video entitled ‘Watch This if You’ve questioned Your Gender’ (32,000 ‘likes’) uploaded recently, but shot last year, Miles is filmed inside a pen of adorable puppies, talking with Aydin Olson-Kennedy, a gender therapist and “transgender queer man” who came out as a lesbian at 15, trans at 30, and refers to having had “ten years of testosterone goodness”.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 21.53.12.pngAs the two frolic with puppies, AOK, who counsels children as young as thirteen, jokes with Miles that she is “…a newbie; we call you a baby.” 

Discussing hormones and surgery, AOK says , “Think Mr Potato Head, I would like a little of that, but I don’t want that.”

 

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“I thought I’d take testosterone and then I’d be happy,” says Miles to Olson-Kennedy, “and I am, like literally every day I’m happier than the day I was before- because I feel like I’m getting closer to who I am- but I’m not where I wanna be yet…  I can’t watch my old videos, any old pictures of me, it’s, like, freaking me out. I don’t feel fully good, but I will in the future, so that’s fine.”

 

 

Olfsen-Kennedy’s last piece of advice to gender-questioning kids?

“Find an adult (to talk to), a safe person, it doesn’t have to be your parents.”

 

But hey, parents, there’s nothing to worry about. Don’t be so square.

Nobody is encouraging kids to be trans.

Puppies, anyone?

mermans

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About Lily Maynard

Shamelessly gender critical. There's no such thing as a pink brain, a lesbian with a penis or a gender fairy. Transitioning kids is child abuse.
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8 Responses to “But nobody is encouraging kids to be trans!”

  1. jennycyphers says:

    This is brilliant and enraging. I wish all children could learn to love the bodies they were given. My own kid that has desisted, now calls these people “trans-pushers”.

    Like

  2. Theo says:

    Sometimes I think the whole world is going mad.

    Like

  3. Pingback: The ‘Snowflake’ books | Lily Maynard

  4. no says:

    this article is absolutely disgusting.All these people tried to do was help but you couldn’t seem to understand that with your little bigot mind.

    Like

    • name says:

      i agree with no. the author of this article had a few severe misconceptions. the reason that so many trans kids self harm is because of people like the author. rogd is real, and it’s not a result of the internet but of the changes puberty causes to a kid’s body

      Like

  5. Christy says:

    Funny how after Amanda McKenna came out as trans, she got a part on a YouTube red series and was in the YouTube rewind video last year, even though she doesn’t have as much subscribers as lots of the other people in those videos.

    Like

  6. If rogd is real, and it’s part of the changes that puberty causes to the body, then how come this isn’t a normal part of puberty that every. single. kid. goes through? We should all have gone through it. Every last one of us. Our parents and grandparents should have gone through it. Their parents should have. But they didn’t.

    Like

  7. Pingback: ROGD- Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria | Lily Maynard

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