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A group of formerly transgender young adults wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland to counter top American medical institutions who aim to silence critics of radical transgender procedures carried out on minors.
The letter from seven so-called “detransitioners” followed one sent Monday by the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Children’s Hospital Association that urged the Department of Justice to “investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities” that they claimed were “coordinating” and “provoking” outrage in response to those providing the controversial gender-related treatments.
“The recent letter by these groups calling on the DOJ to put pressure on social media companies to censor who they portray as ‘high-profile users on social media’ sharing ‘false and misleading information’ is nothing more than an attempt to silence the reasonable voices of concerned critics calling for a more cautious approach to experimental medical practices impacting vulnerable children,” read the letter, signed by a group led by activist detransitioner Chloe Cole.
Cole was joined in the letter by Helena Kerschner, Cat Cattison, Sinéad Watson, Grace Lidinsky-Smith, Prisha Mosley and a detransitioned male who goes by Ritchie.
They asked Garland to consider their perspectives as former transgender minors and young adults who were negatively affected by the puberty blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones and surgeries they received. They noted that they were young and confused when they transitioned under the guidance of medical “experts” who prescribed irreversible hormone treatments and surgeries.
“Many of us had extensive histories of mental illness,” the letter stated. “Many of us had experienced significant childhood trauma. But all of this was ignored because we uttered the word ‘gender.’”
Side effects of puberty blocking drugs prescribed to children include a diminished bone density, neurological and psychiatric problems and stunted genital development. When combined with cross-sex hormones, which also have permanent side effects, they can cause sterility and irreversibly damaged sexual function. As part of the “gender affirming” model of care, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be prescribed at the first signs of puberty, according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). For girls, that is as young as age 9, and for boys 11.
Even more damaging for those who later detransition are surgeries, include breast amputations, or “top surgeries” and genital surgeries. A recent investigation by Reuters found that between 2019 and 2021, there were at least 776 double mastectomies performed on children between the ages of 13 and 17 in the U.S. Genital surgeries are becoming increasingly common as well for trans-identified minors. Reuters counted 56 genital surgeries on youth aged 13 to 17 during that three year period.
The medical associations that wrote Garland are strong proponents the “gender affirmation” model of care, which prevents caregivers from questioning a child’s self-reported transgender identity or exploring other factors that may be causing their dysphoria. They claimed that criticism of the controversial treatment can lead to threats and violence against medical professionals.
“We condemn all violence, threats of violence, and intimidation directed at physicians and hospital staff without caveat, and anyone who engages in such behavior should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Cole’s group said. “But we also cannot ignore the harms being carried out against countless children in the name of ‘gender affirmation’ that constitute much more than mere threats—we bear the literal scars of this medical violence.”
“Children deserve the best evidence-based medical care available. Silencing the victims and critics of ‘gender affirming’ practices is not a pathway to truth and justice, but to ignorance and harm,” the letter ended.
Several of the signatories also formed a support network called Detrans United, the first advocacy group of its kind “created by detransitioners, for detransitioners.” According to the website, their goals include helping to “connect detransitioners with each other, mental health professionals, medical malpractice lawyers, and others who can provide support.”