A mom took to the internet to croon with pride for her 15-year-old child who is undergoing early, medically induced, menopause. The saga began when her child began to transition from female to male at 12 years old, and now, at 15, irreversible sterility is a cause for celebration. Puberty blockers are what has caused the condition, and while the child isn’t yet legally able to take testosterone until next year, this “pre-transition” step has already yielded the irreversible effects.
Carolyn Tate recounts the story of how she and her family discovered that her teen was going through menopause, a condition of life that typically occurs after a woman’s child-bearing years, and not before them. It was during the pandemic, she notes, that her son, “started feeling nauseous.” They quickly ruled out coronavirus as a cause, or any other food-borne contaminant or illness, as the family had all been taking their meals together and her trans son was the only one who was sick.
It was while “googling the symptoms” that she realized what was up—her 15 year old was going through the change. Tate notes that her son had recently begun taking puberty blockers, prescribed by their local gender clinic, and that these drugs are meant to “temporarily stop puberty in its tracks.” The drugs make the body unable to produce estrogen. Once the estrogen was depleted, her son’s female body began to change.
Early menopause is not the only condition that young transitioners are not made aware of. In addition to that is vaginal atrophy, which is a result of testosterone injections. There have been no long terms studies on the effects of testosterone injections into female bodies.
Puberty is the condition that typically starts around 10 in girls, and 11 in boys, when sex hormones are released that cause the maturation of the female and male reproductive systems. Some of these changes are visible, such as breasts, body hair, voice changes in boys, and menstrual cycles in girls. Puberty blockers suppress the hormones that cause the release of the sex hormones, and thus suppress estrogen and testosterone from being released by ovaries and testes.
The suppression of puberty hormones means that the visual changes toward maturation do not occur. It also means bone density depletion, and long term fertility issues, neither of which are reversible once the drugs are stopped, according to the Mayo Clinic. Tate states that because of the bone loss, her teen is taking vitamins, but it’s odd that a condition such as menopause was not one of the side effects of which either mother or child were made aware.
Speaking in favour of the Vulnerable Child Protection Act in South Dakota, Women's Liberation Front Board Chair Natasha Chart stated in January that "'Puberty blockers' involve the use of a chemical cocktail on children that slowly, steadily, closes the one and only window for healthy pubertal development that any person ever gets, in some cases putting 14-year-old girls into menopause." Further procedures along this course of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone injections include, as Chart stated: to "cut off a healthy girl’s breasts, or [to] flay a healthy boy’s testicles and invert his penis."
There is this idea in society that endorsing permanently life altering decisions made by a child, and encouraging that child to become a lifelong medical patient, to not trust the natural course of their healthy bodies, is the only right thing to do. Parents are frightened with stories of suicide for those children who are not affirmed and supported in their determination to medically induce themselves to appear as much like the opposite sex as possible.
Tate addresses these questions, saying that her child was “as doctors put it ‘ambivalent about living,’ he is now happy, comfortable in his own skin, and optimistic about his future.” This leads her to ask the question “Why would anyone want to deny him that?”
But the question that is not being asked is how her son will feel in 5, 10, or 20 years, when perhaps the decisions made at 15 don’t necessarily seem like they were the best ones. This has happened more than the trans lobby would like to admit. There have been many young women who have undergone transition as a way to avoid the madness that is female puberty, only to emerge on the other side neither fully male, nor fully appearing as female.
The question Tate should be asking is “What will my healthy child lose as a result of becoming a lifelong medical patient?”
Instead, she says “what the world needs is more people who are truly comfortable being themselves – and who accept and celebrate others for doing the same. Now that he's been through those symptoms once, my son won't have to endure them again. He'll have quarterly injections that will top up the puberty blockers until he's old enough to start on testosterone—then that's when the real changes will start to take place. We can’t wait.”
Trying to match body to mind is nothing but a fallacy. Tate has allowed her daughter to erase her body before she even knew what it was about. A child’s idea of gender and sex is limited to appearances, to what’s allowable, to how people are treated in society. A child’s understanding of their bodies at 12 has very little, if anything, to do with sexual function, feeling, or reproduction. Allowing children to make irreversible decisions about whether they will be able to be parents once they are adults should not be an accepted medical practice. Undergoing elective menopause at 15 years old should not be celebrated.