By Jonathon Van Maren
As trans activists rack up stunning cultural victories across North America, the pushback has begun, from parental protests at public school board meetings to legislation designed to protect women’s rights and prevent children from becoming part of a sweeping social experiment. At last count, eight states are deliberating laws that would protect minors from hormone regimens and sex change surgeries that permanently alter their bodies—now referred to by LGBT activists as “gender-affirming medical treatments.”
According to Axios—which is, of course, presenting this as a horrific attack on the rights of children everywhere to achieve their true selves through prompt sex changes—notes that a large number of these laws are cropping up across the US:
The latest: A Florida House subcommittee on Monday considered a bill that would make it a class 2 felony for physicians to administer gender-related treatments to minors, but did not vote to hold a hearing on the bill, essentially tabling the measure, according to the Miami Herald. A similar bill introduced in the Florida Senate still has to be considered by a committee…South Dakota, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Missouri, Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky are pushing bills that would make administering gender-related treatments a criminal offense or an act of unprofessional conduct subject to loss of medical license.
South Dakota’s State House on Jan. 29 passed a bill that would punish medical professionals with a $2,000 fine and a year in prison if they treat transgender minors with puberty blockers, hormone therapies or gender-related surgeries.
Missouri’s legislature is considering four separate bills pertaining to preventing minors from receiving treatments. One bill would classify parents who approve of treatments for minors as child abusers.
Longtime Republican Rep. Brad Daw of Utah said in mid-January he plans to introduce a bill that would ban minor confirmation treatments, according to CBS-affiliate KUTV…The big picture: Approximately 150,000 people ages 13 to 17 identify as transgender in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. No state has yet completely banned transgender minors’ access to gender confirmation treatments, CNN reports.
Axios included a number of quotes from doctors insisting that puberty blockers and other sex change “treatments” are essential for the health of gender-confused children, a conclusion unsupported by the data (and in many cases contradicted by it.) Additionally, none of these articles ever mention the tragic reality of “de-transitioners,” young people who have been mutilated and scarred by attempting to change their gender, only to realize that this was not the path they should have pursued. Helen Thomas described a meeting of de-transitioners recently in Standpoint Magazine, and the picture she paints is simply heartbreaking:
“If there is a ‘gay conversion therapy’ of our times, it’s this,” says Charlie Evans, the network’s founder, who identified as trans for a decade before switching back last year, aged 28. Of the 300 or so detransitioners who responded to her social-media call some months ago, most were young and female. That chimes with the changing caseload at paediatric gender clinics around the world, which used to see mostly prepubescent boys but now mostly see teenage girls.
These young women have been indelibly marked by their quest for manhood. Five took cross-sex hormones: their voices are deep and some have receding hairlines. Five had their breasts removed, and two their ovaries and wombs as well. Those who underwent hormone treatment will not know whether it harmed their fertility until they try to have children. Those without reproductive organs know they never will…As the event ends, a woman in the audience says in a curiously expressionless voice: “Those surgeons should be in prison.”
Many of the young women noted that over and over again, they’d been told that transition was essential to their survival. “There’s a very strong narrative that if you don’t transition you are going to kill yourself,” one girl noted. “I genuinely thought it was the only option.” She had begun her journey towards transition between the ages of 14 and 16, when she was hospitalized numerous times with anorexia. She started breast-binding when she was 18, meeting a gender therapist at 19, and had sex change surgery shortly after turning 20. “I’m really glad my parents forced me into treatment for my eating disorder and didn’t let me die,” she said. “I wish someone had been there to tell me not to get castrated at 21.”
In fact, a significant portion of the pushback to the transgender phenomenon is not coming from conservative politicians (most of whom are far too cowed to take a stand anyhow) but from the de-transitioners themselves. Twenty-three-year-old Keira Bell, for example, has become a claimant in High Court battle over puberty blockers after being treated at the notorious transgender treatment clinic, the Tavistock Centre. She says that the Centre is rushing kids onto hormone treatments that are “experimental” and that the “treatment urgently needs to change so that it does not put young people, like me, on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent.” Bell and others want Tavistock to stop permanently altering the bodies of young children.
The Tavistock Centre has vigorously defended itself, but a slew of employees have quit for precisely the same reason, with one Marcus Evans penning a long and excoriating condemnation titled “Why I resigned from Tavistock: Children need therapy, not just ‘affirmation’ and drugs.” The fact is that they are hurting the very children they claim are desperately in need of their so-called treatments—and if the de-transitioners have their way, these medical professionals will pay a professional price for what they’ve done. If trans activists have their way, of course, the numbers of children identifying as transgender will continue to spike in the years ahead (just as they’ve continued to soar in Canada, the United States, and the UK for the last half-decade.)
It is just tragic that the pushback to this phenomenon—and whether it will be successful remains to be seen—comes too late for so many children who have had their bodies irreversibly altered. They will have to live with the decisions of adults and the cowardice of leaders for the rest of their lives.