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Affirmation for children’s cross gender expression has been the norm in the medical and psychological community for long enough that those who were subject to transgender treatment are emerging into adulthood wondering what the hell happened to them. Female persons without female attributes, male persons without male attributes, have become adults who experienced a radically medicalized adolescence.
In the UK, Keira Bell, 23, is taking legal action against the gender clinic that started her on the medical transgender path when she was only 16. Her allegation is that the staff should not have gone ahead with her assertion that she was male, that they should have challenged her, instead of giving her puberty blockers and testosterone. Her lawyers plan to argue that children are not capable of giving the kind of consent necessary to surgically remove healthy body parts and turn themselves into lifelong medical patients.
The gender identity development service (GIDS) clinic Tavistock where Bell was treated have stated that their approach to transgender treatment was cautious. But it was not cautious enough to ensure that Bell got the care she needed. In fact, Marcus Evans a psychotherapist who was on the Board of Governors at Tavistock, writes in Quillette about “grave ethical concerns” that were brought to the clinic by Dr. David Bell.
“As a governor of the Tavistock Trust,” Evans said. “I personally witnessed attempts by the Trust’s management to dismiss or undermine both Dr. Bell’s report, which he submitted in late 2018, and the letter from parents. This included accusing Dr. Bell of fictionalizing the case studies he described, questioning his credentials, withholding his report from certain governors, and preventing him from attending a meeting to discuss the Medical Director’s response to his report.”
Keira Bell’s suit will likely be in courts by summer. A mother, known as Mum A, is a second claimant against Tavistock. Her autistic daughter is 15 and awaiting treatment at Tavistock. If Bell’s experience with Tavistock is any indication, Mum A’s daughter will have a few short therapy sessions before being prescribed puberty blockers, which will lead to testosterone, and a double mastectomy of her healthy breasts.
Many people in the U.S. can barely believe this is happening, that teens are being given cross sex hormones and puberty blockers with barely any fail safes to make sure that this course of medical treatment is essential for their health and well being. Yet in many states, this procedure of minimal therapeutic intervention and massive drug intervention is the norm.
Speaking on behalf of the Alabama Compassion Coalition before the Alabama State House in the U.S., a young woman speaks about her experience transitioning to male.
“My name is Sydney _____, and I was a transgender male for a year,” she said. “I took the hormones, the doctor gave them to me on my first visit. When I asked how to administer my shot he then laughed and told me to go home and watch YouTube videos and to figure it out. This is a mental health issue that’s going on and it’s more of a fad than anything, and it’s a social increase than what’s really going on in these children’s lives. They need therapy and guidance, not medication.”
“The hormones caused me to gain 50 pounds. I became prediabetic. I was at risk for clots, heart attack, and stroke. I developed a rare blood disease, and when I was coming off the hormones they almost killed me. So I’m just thankful a year later that everything is starting to be okay, even though we do have to take daily medicines now to make sure that everything remains stable.”
Emerging evidence continues to show that the severe medicalization of healthy children’s bodies and the turning of teens into lifelong medical patients does not result in the happiness promised by groups like Tavistock or the gender identity charity Mermaids in the UK. Yet trans advocates continue to petition for their cause. The trans lobby demands proper pronouns, male access to female space, and insists that the only compassionate thing to do is affirm and confirm gender dysphoric youth.
If trans activists were really in search of compassion and empathy, they would realize that these detransitioners deserve a place at the table. They would understand that dialogue must be open to all these perspectives, and that children should not be subject to medical experiments the results of which are just starting to be made known.