It was bound to happen sooner or later. It happened a week ago. Scott Newgent, a 48 year old female to male trans man, has been banned for life from Twitter. His crime was to issue explicit warnings about the risks to gender-dysphoric children from puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as well as the potential horrors that can accompany gender-reassignment surgery, which he underwent five years ago.
Since he overcame an initial reluctance to go public with his story two years ago, Scott, who has three children of his own, has dedicated himself heart and soul to the mission of educating under-informed parents and deterring children from early commitment to medicalized gender crossover. Scott says what most people believe, but are now too cowed to say aloud: Underage children have not got the competence or objectivity to assess their own psychological situation or to understand the scope of what a lifetime dependency on cross-sex drugs, let alone sex reassignment surgery, implies for the human body.
Scott's own cautionary tale is a medical horror story. His riveting journey has been graphically chronicled—by himself or others—in publications such as Quillette, National Review, Newsweek and Catholic Weekly. As he summarizes it in Quillette:
"During my own transition, I had seven surgeries. I also had a massive pulmonary embolism, a helicopter life-flight ride, an emergency ambulance ride, a stress-induced heart attack, sepsis, a 17-month recurring infection due to using the wrong skin during a (failed) phalloplasty, 16 rounds of antibiotics, three weeks of daily IV antibiotics, the loss of all my hair, (only partially successful) arm reconstructive surgery, permanent lung and heart damage, a cut bladder, insomnia-induced hallucinations—oh and frequent loss of consciousness due to pain from the hair on the inside of my urethra. All this led to a form of PTSD that made me a prisoner in my apartment for a year. Between me and my insurance company, medical expenses exceeded $900,000," Scott writes.
"During these 17 months of agony, I couldn't get a urologist to help me. They didn't feel comfortable taking me on as a patient—since the phalloplasty, like much of the transition process, is experimental."
Scott's surgeon has often been named, but I won't, because even though numerous patients have lodged complaints about their botched surgeries by him, that surgeon isn't the point here, so I don't need to risk a defamation suit. (In my opinion, that surgeon should never see the inside of an operating theatre again, but he is still practising.) The point is that, as Scott writes, "trans health doesn't really have a justiciable baseline." If a surgeon botches your gall bladder operation, there are criteria by which to judge him or her. Or mastectomies, a relatively simple and straightforward procedure.
But, although increasingly common nowadays, "bottom surgery," still relatively rare compared to most surgeries, is extremely complex and fraught with potential downsides, even those done by competent surgeons. Not all gender dysphoric children go on to bottom surgery as adults, but gender dysphoric adults are the only people who get bottom surgery. The risks associated with these surgeries is something the "affirming" community should be—but are not—communicating to parents of dysphoric children. Instead, parents are led to believe that the lifelong medical interventions they are guiding their children toward (it is well known now that virtually all children who take puberty blockers go on to cross-sex hormones) are a benign sidebar to the holy grail of gender transition.
One might argue that as long as bottom surgery is something only adults agree to, it is their responsibility to assess the risks, and should not be the concern of those treating children. Perhaps Scott should have been suspicious that, as he told me in an interview, his initial call to the surgeon only lasted four minutes and his consultation in person eight minutes before committing to the surgery.
But the fact that the surgeon himself did not ensure that Scott was fully informed of the gravity and risks associated with the surgery tells you something about the sex-reassignment "industry," a fair term given the lucrative rewards for pharmaceutical companies and doctors, and the lax regulations around it. It also tells you that even an intelligent adult who has proved himself a winner in other areas of his life can act with extraordinary naivete and "white coat"-inspired trust when his mind is fixated on what he believes to be an existential need.
You might think that someone like Scott, with "lived experience" on the frontlines of full transition, would enjoy respect and deference in the debate over early affirmation of children with gender dysphoria. But since he is offering a perspective trans activists don't want to hear, he has been—much like the growing number of detransitioners – shunned as an apostate by those who control the public narrative.
I call those movement leaders who dictate the gender heresy criteria to Twitter and mainstream media the "gender mystics." They promote gender dysphoria in children as a sign that the child has been "chosen" for membership in a higher order of human life. From the encouragement and deference paid to even slightly gender-confused children by the trans movement's acolytes in the teaching and therapeutic professions—and their gaslighted parents—you would think they were all mini-Dalai Lamas, emanating a special glow of holiness that confers blessings on everyone in their orbit.
Any deviation from the utterly harmless sanctification model is considered "transphobia" by the gender mystics, and they have social media lined up in genuflection at the communion rail to prove their obeisance to the dogma.
Meanwhile, social media's fear of facilitating alleged transphobia is worse than their concern about facilitating other forms of hate, such as antisemitism. The Center for Countering Digital Hate found that Twitter and Facebook took down fewer than one in nine reported examples of antisemitism over a six-week period in 2021. The posts include Holocaust denial, Nazi symbolism, and hashtags like #holohoax and #killthejews.
There is nothing radical and certainly nothing objectively transphobic about what Scott has to say. He does not deny that gender dysphoria exists. He understands that there are some children—not many—for whom puberty blockers may be indicated as necessary. But instant affirmation and encouragement for off-label meds should never be the default response to gender confusion, even though "conversion therapy" bills like C-6 in Canada (not yet passed by the Senate) are conceived with the intention of making anything but affirmation and meds the norm in gender dysphoria therapy.
Scott has a tough-love message for parents that is intended to make them feel guilty rather than compassionate and loving when they fall into the instant-affirmation trap.
"For parents, I would say this," Scott writes, "It is simply not your right or duty to decide to medically transition your child. Remove that burden from your mind. Medical transition is for adults. The negatives associated with medical transition are vast, and you won't be the one who lives with the consequences. It will be your child. If your child tells you they will kill themselves if you do not allow them to medically transition (perhaps following a script he or she is provided on Reddit or Tumblr), take them to the hospital so they can be treated for suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation and seeking transition are separate issues, so separate them."
Scott is not the first courageous member of the trans sanity brigade to be Twitter-shamed, and he won't be the last. But he is endowed with the gladiatorial spirit that battens on challenge. Exile from Twitter tilts the playing field against dissent, but passionately engaged fighters (especially those in the United Kingdom) find other ways to get their message out.
Graham Linehan, a brilliant English comedian, writer and director, broke away from a successful show business career to immerse himself in muckraking the sewer of pathological misogyny that is unfortunately part and parcel of trans activism, but one the movement leaders refuse to own. Twitter-banned as of June, 2020, Linehan runs a Substack that provides reliable, although often dismaying information not recommended for the faint of heart.
Maya Forstater was fired from her think-tank job and was temporarily banned from Twitter for expressing her opinion "that sex is immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity." She first lost, but ultimately won a recent tribunal appeal– setting a significant precedent – when it was judged that her "gender-critical beliefs" fell under the Equalities Act as they "did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons."
Another lawsuit is in the works: James Esses is a former criminal defence barrister who chose to train as a therapist. In May 2021, three years into his degree program, Esses was expelled from the Metanoia institute (accredited by Middlesex University). According to Esses, "The reason for my expulsion was that I had been trying to safeguard therapy and counselling for vulnerable children with gender dysphoria. I had lodged a public petition, which subsequently got 10,000 signatures and a response from the government, who agreed to many of the safeguards I had been seeking. The petition caused a social media backlash against me and culminated in my expulsion. My course provider needlessly publicised the expulsion on social media. I worry that this has therefore ended my career in my chosen profession before it has even begun."
Esses is fighting back. He started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a lawsuit and as of August 1, had raised 30 thousand pounds. Maya Forstater's victory is likely to weigh heavily in his case.
It is important that we do not automatically assume that exile from Twitter is an insurmountable barrier to resistance. The gender mystics are winning social media battles, but the war will be won by the heroes who refuse to yield to their tyranny, who refuse to be silenced, and who find other pathways to make their case. The sane people, those who refuse to be gaslighted, must support them in any way we can. TRE Voices, which stands for Trans Rational Educational Voices, is Scott Newgent's newsletter. Do visit and sign up.