A Wisconsin "kid friendly" Pride festival featured a booth that provided "free letters of readiness 4 surgery" for "nonbinary and transgender" individuals seeking to obtain "gender affirming" surgeries.
A family captured a snapshot of the booth set up by Integrated Counseling, LLC at the Annual Magic Pride Festival put on by the OutReach LGBTQ Community Center on Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin. The family permitted Chris Elston, known by most as "Billboard Chris," to share it with his followers on Monday.
"'Letters of Readiness for Surgery' were available for free at the Madison, Wisconsin Pride festival this weekend, for those identifying as trans or non-binary," said Elston.
Integrated Counseling, LLC was founded by Elaina Meier, a licensed professional counselor. "For Trans and gender expansive folx, I use informed consent and self-determination models," she said in her Psychology Today profile.
According to their now defunct website, Integrated Counseling "has locations in Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin. Through our office locations and telehealth services, we aim to provide a space for the LGBTQ+ community throughout Wisconsin to find room to pause, to be, and to heal. Led by a member of the community, the goal of therapy at Integrated Counseling is for all who walk through the door to be able to find a space where they are met and fully seen by skilled, trauma-informed counselor who facilitates a journey of discovery, learning, and healing."
The Warner Park pride festival also featured entertainment from various scantily-clad drag queens and DJs, including a 16-year-old male who goes by "Nemo."
According to his website, "Nemo" has been performing in nightclubs under his drag persona since he was 14. The festival also provided a "QTPOC" Tent for exclusively "Queer and Trans People of Color and their invited guests. "Violators" of the space were subjected to be "removed from the festival."
According to the OutReach LGBTQ Community Center Facebook page, the center also collects binders to hand out to female trans-identified people. Photos from the event show children wearing sexuality flags as capes and attending the risqué drag performances. At least one person dressed in a “furry” fetish costume attended the event.
Gender self-determination is the concept that a person's legal sex or gender should be determined by their self-proclaimed gender identity without any medical requirements. According to the Wikipedia page, advocates of this practice say that medical requirements for surgery "are intrusive and humiliating gatekeeping."
The letters of readiness provided by this booth would allow patients to bypass safeguarding measures put forth by hospitals and insurance companies. Mental health professionals who recommend surgery share the ethical and legal responsibility for that decision with the surgeon.
Most insurance companies require that the psychotherapist writing the letter of readiness must have treated the patient for a minimum of 12 months. Trans activists with healthcare backgrounds view these safeguarding measures as "unethical gatekeeping" and have taken it upon themselves to write letters recommending individuals for hormones and surgeries without developing an ongoing relationship with the patient.
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