Most in new poll oppose laws restricting drag shows or performances

Associated Press/John Amis

Most adults said they oppose laws restricting drag shows or performances as Republicans in several states push to block the shows from being seen by children, according to a new poll. 

The results of an NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll, released Wednesday, show 58 percent of respondents said they oppose laws restricting the performances, while 39 percent said they support them. Democrats are the most likely to oppose such laws, with almost three-quarters of them saying they are opposed, but 57 percent of independents and 37 percent of Republicans also said they do not support them. 

Drag queen poll

Tennessee became the first state in the country earlier this month to prohibit what the state law calls “adult cabaret performances” from happening within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks or places of worship. Republicans have introduced bills to restrict drag performances in more than a dozen other states. 

Pollsters also found that a majority of respondents oppose laws that ban gender-affirming care for children under 18, with 54 percent saying they oppose it. That includes 68 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents and 35 percent of Republicans. 

Still, the percentage of people who support these types of laws has increased in recent years, rising from 28 percent in April 2021 to 43 percent now. 

Iowa and Georgia joined several other GOP-led states last week in approving legislation to ban at least certain gender-affirming care for youth. 

The poll found a split in views among parents with children under 18 and those without. Almost 60 percent of parents who have children under 18 said they support laws banning gender-affirming care for youth, while about the same amount of those without children under 18 said the same. 

The poll was conducted from March 20 to 23 among 1,327 U.S. adults. The margin of error was 3.5 percentage points.

One Year After “Don’t Say Gay,” Florida Parents Say They’re Enraged and Afraid


Gov. DeSantis’ anti-LGBTQ+ crusade has left parents of queer and trans kids devastated. Many say they’re ready to move, yet many more say they’ll stay and fight back.

In early February, a massive carpool descended on Tallahassee, Florida’s capital. Dozens of middle and high schoolers had missed Geometry and English class for the occasion; parents had taken hard earned days off work to chaperone their children. However, this was no school sanctioned event. It was the final deliberation meeting of the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, which would determine whether the state would move forward with a ban on gender-affirming care for trans and nonbinary youth. 

Although the Boards had been discussing a potential ban for months, this was the first and only chance the public would have to voice their concerns about the rule. For the young people who had traveled to Tallahassee that day, the decision would have an immeasurable impact on their lives. School would have to wait.

For three hours in a poorly-lit auditorium in the state Department of Transportation office, trans and nonbinary young people described the feelings of liberation, wholeness, and freedom they had experienced after receiving the kinds of medically necessary, gender-affirming care that was now up for debate. They described missing months of school due to dysphoria, and the friendships and self-love that blossomed when they received treatment. 


“Having my needs met in this way for the first time ever was the most beautiful experience I could have asked for,” said one teenager. 

“Growing up in a religious and fairly conservative household, I didn’t have the opportunity to receive gender-affirming care until I was 18. Because of that, I attempted suicide three times,” said another. “Gender-affirming care saved my life.”


Behind those who testified, dozens of heads — young people, their parents, siblings, and teachers — nodded in recognition. 

Despite their testimonies, and the decades-long support of such treatment by most every governing medical body, the Board voted to move forward with a ban on gender-affirming care for youth. Although they had previously claimed that the field needed more research before hormone replacement therapy and other treatments could be approved, the Board also paradoxically banned gender-affirming care for research purposes at public universities in Florida.  

Ron DeSantis

Unlike other states that have banned gender-affirming care through their state houses, Florida’s ban went into effect exclusively through the state’s medical board, without the vote of any elected officials. This means advocates and organizers have not had a fair chance to lobby against it, and their only opportunity to appeal will be through a right-leaning Federal Court system. In fact, the Tampa Bay Times has reported that members of the Board of Medicine who were appointed by Gov. DeSantis have contributed over $80,000 to his campaigns and political action committee. 

He “has figured out a way to subvert the democratic process, subvert the legislature, and utilize politically-appointed people who he can put into power at his will,” said Simone Chriss, Director of the Transgender Rights Initiative at Southern Legal Counsel.

Policies created by these officials have included the Board of Medicine’s decision to move forward with a ban on gender-affirming care for youth; the Board of Education’s ruling to limit trans people’s access to bathrooms; and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s rule that gender-affirming care can no longer be reimbursed with Medicaid. In each of these instances, DeSantis’ political appointees have reshaped LGBTQ+ lives in the state. 

If “the Board of Medicine can establish new standards of care for any condition regardless of the consensus of the scientific and medical community nationwide, that’s a really scary precedent to set,” said Chriss. “I hope that the rest of the country is watching and is alarmed.” 

In the year since DeSantis passed the Parental Rights in Education Act, or “Don’t Say Gay,” as it has become known, he has used the idea of “parental rights” to reshape Florida in his political image. Since at least the 1960s, conservative Christian activists have used parental rights as a call to arms to assert their beliefs in schools, which activists on the right believe have been eroded by a progressive embrace of LGBTQ+ children and classroom lessons about systemic racism. 

The seeds of Don’t Say Gay were planted at the height of the pandemic, when conversations about mask mandates, vaccines, and in-person schooling quickly transformed into culture war talking points. Two days after “Don’t Say Gay,” DeSantis passed the “Stop WOKE Act,” which “prohibits instruction on race relations or diversity that imply a person’s status as either privileged or oppressed.” Over the past year, these bills have had what activists, LGBTQ+ children, and parents describe as a “chilling effect,” creating an atmosphere of self-censorship and fear. 

One Year After “Dont Say Gay” Florida Parents Say Theyre Enraged and Afraid

“Everything is a target now,” said Todd Delmay, an LGBTQ+ parent who has a child in public school and recently ran for state senate. That’s not due to what legislators explicitly wrote into the bill, he said; rather, “it’s what they haven’t.” 


Indeed, “Don’t Say Gay” is only six short paragraphs. However, those paragraphs were seemingly crafted to create an environment of paranoia and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, primarily through a clause that empowers parents to sue school districts over any material, at any age, that they deem “inappropriate.” 

Over the past year, parents say this has created an environment in which teachers are afraid to mention anything about gender or sexuality, even in casual conversations. “I served in the military, and they’ve essentially created a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell environment for kids,” said Michael Rothgeb, an LGBTQ+ parent in the state. 

This has included several school districts, including Miami Dade, removing their Safe and Inclusive Schools Guide, which offered comprehensive guidance on supporting LGBTQ+ students; the removal of pride flags in classrooms across the state; and the banning of books with LGBTQ+ subject matter, including one about two real-life gay penguins. 

“All of the things we were most afraid would happen if this bill [Don’t Say Gay] was signed absolutely have,” said Maxx Fenning, founder of Prism Florida, a youth-led nonprofit that provides free sexual health education. 

For many parents, this environment has forced them to consider leaving the state. “It’s a conversation that we have every week in our support group,” said NiX, a Florida parent who runs a group for the families of trans and nonbinary children. According to a recent survey conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA, more than half of 113 LGBTQ+ parents in Florida said they have considered moving because of Don’t Say Gay, and 20% had started taking the steps to do so. 

Zeth Pugh is one of those parents. Last year, as it became clear that a ban on gender-affirming care would come into effect, Pugh realized she had to move in order to protect her 15-year-old son, who is trans. He had been hospitalized for suicidal ideation and depression, and was hoping to speak with a healthcare provider about his options for gender-affirming care. “We can’t even get that kind of consultation now. It’s devastating,” said Pugh, her voice filling up with tears. Although their house is almost packed and they have realtors in Florida and Oregon, where they hope to move, Pugh said that she has “a bag ready” to leave the state with her son at a moment’s notice. 

Yet many parents are unable to uproot their lives due to economic or social factors. “There are constraints on people’s ability to [move], and it disproportionately impacts people who are low income,” said Dr. Abbie E. Goldberg, who conducted the UCLA survey. “The fact that they’re even having to look into options to change jobs or find a new home speaks to the fear right now,” she added.

Other LGBTQ+ parents say they see staying put as their responsibility. “When your freedoms are literally being taken away, you have to fight,” said Janelle Perez, who lives in Miami with her wife and two children. Her family fled to Florida from Cuba, and the efforts that they’ve made to build a life — a neighborhood full of siblings, devoted grandparents, supportive queer friends — are too immense to leave behind. “I’m not going to let these people push us out,” she said. “We want people to come here and organize and support us.” 


This echoes a sentiment shared by many parents and youth organizers. They worry that if supportive adults leave the state, queer and trans children will be left to fend for themselves in an increasingly hostile political environment. 

LGBTQ rights supporters protest against Florida Governor Ron Desantis.nbsp
LGBTQ rights supporters protest against Florida Governor Ron Desantis. GIORGIO VIERA/Getty Images

“We’re trying to combat this idea that Florida is a lost cause,” said Fenning. “It’s the third most populous state in the country. There are so many queer people here. We can’t afford to divest from the state in a way that would harm millions of people.” 

Fenning notes that if supportive allies move, disparities in access to healthcare, affirming spaces in schools, and sex education will only widen. Indeed, several school districts have already removed LGBTQ+ sex education from their curricula due to outside pressure, including in Miami-Dade and Sarasota Counties. In Jacksonville, JASMYN recently lost a 20-year-contract to support in-school Gay Straight Alliances after right-wing activists screenshotted an image from their social media accounts of a card game about sex-ed, which they sent to the school district with the false claim that JASMYN was preying on children. JASMYN, which has provided essential medical care across Jacksonville for decades, insisted that the game is only played with consenting adults. 

These incidents illustrate increasing tension in the state surrounding LGBTQ+ life. At all grade levels, the political atmosphere created by DeSantis has led to fears that things like HIV tests, mental health resources, and in-school Gay Straight Alliances violate “Don’t Say Gay,” despite widespread evidence that community acceptance lowers rates of suicide and depression. “​​The fact that these [parents] are being coached by conservative leaders to do things that will result in poorer health and even the death of their own children,” says NiX, “is one of the most evil things I can conceive of.” 

A member of the LGBTQ community holds a sign reading "Protect Trans Youth."
And more than half live in states where legislators have filed bans.

In light of these never-ending fires, such as the ban on gender-affirming care, classroom censorship, and harassment, many parents and activists are bracing themselves for a drawn-out fight. And, as DeSantis is widely expected to announce a presidential campaign, people outside of Florida may soon find themselves faced with identical policies. “There is no ‘safe’ anymore,” says NiX. “Only safer.” 

Simone Chriss, of Southern Legal Counsel, says that she has to constantly remind herself that her work isn’t just about winning legal cases; it’s the fight itself that matters. In her view, this is the far right’s greatest fear: “kids who are comfortable with who they are, who aren’t afraid, who aren’t hiding, and who are going to hold the people in charge accountable.” 

bell hooks once wrote that children are the most vulnerable members of our society, as they have no explicit rights, including the right to vote out the politicians who harm them. “When we love children,” she writes, “we acknowledge by our every action that they are not property, that they have rights — that we respect and uphold their rights.” Back in that room in Tallahassee, without the protection of doctors trained to help them, trans and nonbinary children were practicing the ultimate form of self-love: advocating for themselves, by any means necessary. 

1 in 5 American Trans Kids Live in States That Have Passed Bans on Gender-Affirming Care

A member of the LGBTQ community holds a sign reading Protect Trans Youth.
ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images

Though the full human impact of the current legislative assault on trans existence can never be quantified, a new analysis from the Human Rights Campaign shows its magnitude. According to new statistics from the LGBTQ+ organization, more than one-fifth of trans youth live in states that have passed bans on gender-affirming care for minors. 

On Wednesday, HRC released a new map outlining attacks on gender-affirming care by state alongside a new report with information pulled from the organization’s own legislative tracking. The report also drew from data compiled by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law showing that there are more than 300,000 trans youth aged 13-17 in the United States. The map also illustrates which states have already banned gender-affirming care for minors and which are currently considering laws or policies to do so. 

According to the report, 22.9% of trans youth live in states that have passed bans on gender-affirming care for minors, a list that includes Arizona, Utah, Texas, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. In three states — Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas — temporary court injunctions are currently blocking those bans. In addition to youth living in states that have already passed bans on gender-affirming care a further 27.5% of trans youth are at risk of losing access. 


Combined, over half of trans youth (50.4%) live in states where they’ve already lost access to or are at risk of losing access to gender-affirming care, according to the HRC report. However, as ACLU communications strategist Gillian Branstetter pointed out on Twitter, this statistic accounts for every state that has a proposed ban, even though many of those bills will likely never pass into law. According to a separate report by HRC, 91% of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in 2022 failed to become law. 

However, that doesn’t change the fact that the mere introduction of these bills profoundly impacts LGBTQ+ people, especially trans people. Jay Brown, senior vice president of HRC, stated that Republican politicians “are spreading propaganda and creating more stigma, discrimination, and violence against transgender people just to rile up extreme members of their base.”

January report by the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization Trevor Project found that state-level anti-trans laws negatively affected the mental health of 86% of trans and nonbinary youth between ages 13 and 24. 

“LGBTQ+ people are living in a state of emergency,” Brown said in a press release. “Today’s findings illustrate how the ongoing assault against transgender people is taking hold across the country and underscore how dire the situation is growing for our community by the day. These dangerous and discriminatory policies advocated by power-hungry politicians are void of any credible purpose.”

HELLthcare | Christopher Titus | Armageddon Update

A must watch even if you don’t like his comedy.  He breaks down the US health care and shows which nations we fall in with on it.  Not something we would want to brag about.    Hugs

Montana Republican Admits Detransition Is Rare, Witness States “0 Of My Patients Regret Transition”



Montana Republican Admits Detransition Is Rare, Witness States “0 Of My Patients Regret Transition”

A Montana hearing for Senate Bill 99, a gender affirming care ban for trans youth, featured incredible moments. A therapist, when asked, said “none of my patients regret.” A Republican conceded that.



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Montana’s House Judiciary Committee met today to hear a bill that would ban gender affirming care for trans youth. Senate bill 99, which passed the Montana Senate previously, bans gender affirming care, explicitly legalizes nonconsensual intersex surgeries on intersex youth, and attacks Medicaid coverage for institutions providing such care. One of the ways that the bill is supported by proponents is through the use of detransitioners, including multiple political detransitioners. The House hearing was filled with expert witnesses, including people like Dr. Anna Peterson, who has treated transgender people for over two decades. When asked how many people she has cared for have regretted their transition, she stated that of the hundreds of patients she has seen, none have expressed regret. Ultimately, this led to Representative Jennifer Carlson (R) admitting that detransition is indeed rare, undercutting a major justification for the bill.

Montana’s bill would ban gender affirming care entirely for trans youth. It states that no person may provide gender affirming surgeries, hormone therapy, or puberty blockers to anyone under 18, in violation with widely accepted standards of care and medical evidence. It removes doctors licenses and even removes their ability to indemnify themselves using malpractice insurance for youth gender affirming care. A severability clause at the end ensures that if parts are found unconstitutional, other parts will remain in effect, indicating proponents of the bill know that it is likely the bill will indeed be found to be unconstitutional:

Severability clause in SB99

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In order to argue for this bill, people often point to and raise the fear that those who are transitioning will later come to regret it. We often hear this with respect to outlandishly high detransition rates that are often claimed by proponents of bills like this. In this hearing, they brought forward one detransitioner to make this case – he did so using religious justifications for his detransition, not that unlike the old ex-gay movement.

We know from modern studies that detransition is very rare. In the hearing, multiple witnesses in favor of the bill brought up the much-debunked “80% detransition rate.” This rate is based on decades old data and standards. Much of the data comes from a noted conversion therapist, Ken Zucker, who advised the parents of trans kids to do things such as avoiding “wrongly-gendered toys.” We know from modern studies that the actual detransition rate among trans youth is only 2.5% – and many of these who do detransition do so because of lack of acceptance rather than because they are “not trans.”

It is upon these facts that Representative Zooey Zephyr (D) asked Dr. Anna Peterson, a therapist who has worked with transgender youth for two decades, how many people she has seen who have regretted their transition. Dr. Peterson responded, “I’ve worked for many years with this population. Of the hundreds of people over many years… the incidence of regret in my practice, simply put, is zero. And I work with these kids over time, into adulthood.”

See the exchange:

The exchange was enlightening, and it seemed to throw Republican questioners off, who may have intended to rely on high detransition rates to get their point across. Later in the same hearing, Representative Jennifer Carlson (R) brought up detransitioners, but clearly had to adjust her questioning. She stated, “With respect to those who reverse course… go back… which we know is a small number…” and proceeded to ask about the reversibility of the procedures. The moment was significant as it was the first time in the hundreds of hours of legislation I have witnessed where a Republican conceded that point.

It is also notable that in this hearing, there was only a single detransitioner. Many trans people spoke against the bill. If there was an “explosion of detransitioners” as some proponents tried to claim before this exchange, where are they? You might expect that they would out in droves to testify in these hearings, especially if the number is as high as what is commonly cited and the procedures are so damaging. There continues to be no evidence that this is the case.

There were other remarkable moments of questioning, such as when Representative Durham questioned multiple doctors about the use of blood tests to determine someone’s biological sex. When both a psychiatrist and an emergency department doctor both stated that you cannot use blood tests to conclusively determine someone’s biological sex by measuring hormone levels, the Representative seemed to grow dubious, stating that he disagreed. When the crowd shouted, “you’re not a doctor!” he responded, “But I’m married…”

SB99 will come up for executive action in the coming days, and if it is voted out of the committee, it will go to the full Montana House. Should it pass, Montana will become the 10th state to ban gender affirming care fully for trans youth. It is an extreme bill that will harm trans kids in Montana and will usurp parental rights over healthcare decisions. The representatives who are on the fence on this bill should use these lines of questioning and the answers they received to help them realize that this bill does not base itself on scientific fact or any material good for the patient population they seek to legislate.

Disclosure: Representative Zooey Zephyr is the author if this article’s partner.

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Debunked: No, 80% Of Trans Youth Do Not Detransition

I really enjoy this author / sub stack writer.   I leave in all her requests for support because she deserves it for her work and I am simply borrowing her voice to spread the information she writes about.  If you want to know the true that the republican leglisatures are trying to hide to push their agenda on their states, read the article.    Hugs  

This is one of the most common arguments brought up in anti-trans hearings. The idea that 80% of trans people “will desist” is a complete lie that is easy to debunk.



Please support my independent reporting and activism on transgender legislation by subscribing. You help me keep this going and keep people informed.

One of the most common myths heard in anti-trans hearings is that most trans kids will desist if they are allowed to go through puberty. Sometimes specific numbers are given, such as 80% of trans kids desist. This statistic has been cited as low as 60% and as high as 99% in various legislatures. In Montana, a representative used this statistic to justify passing a medical ban. The Heritage Foundation has also pushed this myth. Nearly every hearing on this topic includes this myth. The desistance myth is one of the most persistent falsehoods and has been used against the trans community for decades. It is misleading and inaccurate as it comes from outdated DSM-4 criteria and decades-old data. Newer studies show that 97.5% of transgender youth are persistent in their gender identities. Let’s examine how this falsehood originated, how it is misused, and what current research reveals about the rarity of desistence and detransition.

See an example of this claim being used on Fox News:

The DSM-IV, released in 1994, spelled out how to diagnose mental health conditions including “Gender Identity Disorder” (no longer a disorder). In this manual, clinicians made their first attempt to diagnose transgender youth. These first diagnostic criteria were an admiral early attempt, but contained a fatal flaw in how transgender youth were diagnosed: the diagnosis bafflingly did not require a youth to identify as another gender. Instead, it focused on factors such as “preference for cross-sex games and activities” and “preference for friends of the other sex.”

Problems with this diagnostic criteria should be immediately recognizable today: a cisgender tomboy with absolutely no identification as a boy would be diagnosed with gender identity disorder under these definitions. A cisgender boy who likes to put on an Elsa costume and play with girls could be diagnosed with gender identity disorder under these definitions. They were woefully inadequate for judging if youth were transgender. They also came during a time when youth transition did not exist as a medical practice, and so there were no real clinical guidelines on their treatment – thus, little effort was made to change the criteria which were primarily used for discussion in therapist offices and not to support or deny medical transition care.

In 2013, the DSM-V was published and in it, many corrections were made on how gender dysphoric youth are diagnosed. The most important correction was the requirement that a transgender youth demonstrate an insistent, persistent, and consistent desire or identification as the gender that the patient believes they are. The individual factors were also changed and adjusted. These diagnostic criteria were much more stringent, and are the diagnostic criteria used today.

See the changes:

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There is one problem though: until recently, all of the studies that came out used the old criteria. They included several people with no identification with another gender as meeting the criteria for “gender identity disorder,” which is itself no longer a disorder. These studies have a ton of other other problems as well, such as tiny sample sizes, very high dropout rates, old data from a time when youth transition was impossible, and even issues around conversion therapy practiced on trans patients. There are two pieces that are commonly cited. The first is numerous pieces of research by Ken Zucker, including a famous book published in 1995 that serves as the genesis of most “80% detransition” myths. The second is a series of studies from Thomas Steensma, usually centering around his 2011 or 2013 studies. Both of these studies contain the same core methodological flaw above, and both contain their own unique flaws that make them even more inaccurate.

Ken Zucker’s research on transgender youth was performed in 1995, a time when youth could not legally or medically transition. In fact, trans youth in that time likely all “desisted” for some time because of bullying, lack of access to care, and severe repression. I myself grew up as a transgender youth in that time period and I “desisted,” one of the many reasons I am writing this article.

Zucker is the genesis of the number that is most often cited, “80% desist from being trans.” Upon review of Ken Zucker’s research, half of Zucker’s patients did not even meet the definition of diagnostic criteria for transgender youth. His main research consisted of only 45 youth utilizing the old diagnostic criteria. A review of his clinic yielded much darker results, however: Zucker was engaging in conversion therapy practices that sought to push trans youth to identify as cisgender. His clinic was promptly shut down in 2015 as a result of a Canadian anti-conversion therapy law. Although Zucker denies the allegations that he engaged in conversion therapy, his practices and history paint a different picture. In the 1990s, he stated support for gay conversion therapy with the rationale, “a homosexual lifestyle in a basically unaccepting culture simply creates unnecessary social difficulties.”

In shutting down his clinic, a Canadian GIC review was conduced and a report was produced. From the report:

  • Parents state they were encouraged “not to give into” allowing their youth to wear clothes not of their assigned sex at birth.

  • Parents state they were told to avoid wrongly-gendered toys.

  • Parents state they were told to ensure their children would play with children of their assigned sex at birth.

  • Patients state they were asked intrusive questions about their sexual orientations as early as 9 years old.

  • Transgender youth were pathologized and correlational mental health issues were interpreted as causative.

  • Some patients reported pictures of them taken without their consent using cell-phones.

  • Parental lack of acceptance and desire for the child to identify as cisgender guided treatment.

Because of a tiny sample size, outdated data, the impossibility of youth transition, and Zucker’s clear ideological motivations, his 80% detransition rate clearly should be viewed as false and useless in current research on gender affirming care, especially considering modern data, criteria, and research exists.

Steensma’s 2011 and 2013 studies had similar issues in his research, which in some ways had even worse methodological flaws. Steensma used the old criteria, which is not the way that gender dysphoria is diagnosed today. Worse, the two studies classified every youth who did not return to the clinic as having “desisted” or “detransitioned” with no long term follow-up. Half of the participants in the studies did not return and all were classified as having “desisted.” The sample sizes were tiny at the getgo – only 53 people were in the first study and 127 in the second study. Given the fact that a large portion if not the majority of Steensma’s patients were classified under decades old criteria and assumed permanently detransitioned simply for refusing to follow up, these studies cannot be used to make any reasonable claim of desistance rates.

Furthermore, transgender youth could not meaningfully transition until recently. Medical care for trans youth was highly gatekept if not barred entirely. Transgender youth were rarely, if ever, afforded any form of treatment. Many such youth lost hope in ever being able to transition as puberty took its toll and they were forced to repress over bullying and a dangerous public environment.

Modern studies show a much higher persistence rate as well as important factors behind detransition. In 2015, a study was done on thousands of transgender people, including detransitioners. Only 8% of people reported ever detransitioning – ten times lower than the 80% often cited. Of these 2,000 detransitioners, the largest sample size of any study, 62% of them reported that they only detransitioned temporarily. Among the remaining detransitioners, the most common reason for detransitioning given was parental pressure and discrimination. Only 0.4% of people reported detransitioning because they were no longer trans.

Among trans youth, desistance and detransition rates are incredibly low. The most recent study in the prestigious journal Pediatrics, one of the only studies that use modern criteria, showed that 97.5% of trans youth continue to identify as trans on a 5 year follow-up. The sample size was also larger than all previous sample sizes of this population: 317 youth.

Anti-trans gender affirming care bans often start off with a list of “legislative findings” that seek to “state the science” around gender affirming care. In this list of findings, you might be surprised to see that the later studies are nowhere to be found, but the claims from the former studies pop up and are presented as factual when they are over a decade old, are dramatically outdated, and use standards that are not even in use anymore.

See Georgia’s “legislative findings” section of HB653, which would ban gender affirming care for trans youth

This statistic will continue to be misused to justify anti-trans bans all over the United States. Legislators will state that “80% of people detransition,” even when detransitioning is a statistical rarity. The same dozen detransitioners, like the “ex gays” of the 1990s, will be flown from state to state to justify bans, raising the question as to why they seem to only be able to find a small handful to testify. Meanwhile, actual trans kids who will grow up to still identify as trans, if they can make it to adulthood following these legislative onslaughts, are left to bear the damage of this misinformation.

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Liberals Are Cool

This is a web site I really enjoy.  Especially when I don’t feel well as it gives the facts and clear information in easy to digest segments.   Randy introduced me to it years ago.  Here is a sample of the author’s work.    Hugs


Capitalists choose fascism over democracy.




‘Personal responsibility’ does not exist in the Right Wing. They are always a victim.

Someone else made my kid mediocre.



Kindness and human empathy towards vulnerable children are a weakness in Conservative theology.



They should get Trump today and use this tweet as evidence.


The Hague is coming for Putin for stealing thousands of children from Ukraine and shipping them to Russia.

The definition of child trafficking.

Conservatives will watch a dweeb with a bowtie fawn over Putin on FOX and POOF, all gone.

The white supremacy is that obvious.


Conservatives do not want a debate or a conversation. It’s non-stop bad faith.

They are taking ‘kill the messenger’ literally.


Cruelty is their unifying flaw.


Christofascism wants you to ignore the real systemic problems of the church and focus on their boogeyman projections.

A youth pastor is going to molest/rape/sexually assault your child, not a drag performer.

Evolution of GOP coded language.

Evolution of GOP coded language.

(via not-safe-for-democracy)


Not knowing the meaning or having context is the language of groomed conservatives.


Until bankers go to prison, the bailouts will get bigger and bigger.


Sharing space is nothing new. Sharing bathrooms is nothing new. The reactionary outrage is so manufactured.


Get rid of the private health insurance industry and provide health care to all. #M4A


The TikTok handle is @newgirlny_fl


Cancel FOX in every waiting room. I hope this inspires us all to do the same.

Happening now…

Happening now…

In 1 minute, a senate committee in Kansas will be holding a hearing to ban gender affirming care up to the age of 21.

It is one of the most cruel anti-trans bans in the country.

I will be covering it live. Follow along.


As always, I rely on people like you to do my work. Please consider subscribing to support me at my newsletter, where you'll get over 200 articles focusing on trans news around legislation and life moving across the United States per year.

You can follow along with me and watch the hearing here:

The bill is SB12.

We are beginning now.

Looks like the bill has been shifted to SB233, which has some differences in penalties.

Aaaand of course we have Chloe Cole.

You’d think if they are swimming in detransitioners they’d be able to find more than the same 5 they bring to every one of these.

Political Detransitioners like Chloe Cole really are the new ex-gays.

They used to trot the ex gays out before each hearing too for bans on gay marriage and conversion therapy.

"I have to remove my hair with laser hair removal"

(advocates for a bill that will force hundreds of trans amab youth through a male puberty which will result in them having to go through laser hair removal and expensive surgeries as adults)

This guy is testifying from "Mass Resistance."

This organization is responsible for a book called "The Hazards of Homosexuality," a pro-conversion therapy outlet that calls gay people's existance a "public health issue"

Like I said. The new ex gays, folks.

This is one of their main invited testimonies.

See Mass Resistance here:

And we have our first "the testimony of Jamie Reed" in Washington University at St Louis.

I have a point by point refutation of Jamie.

Dr. Gaylyn Perry is speaking not on behalf of any medical organization.

She’s a pulmonologist, not an endocrinologist.

She’s a sleep therapist.

Also she's stating that Europe is "closing its clinics."

Not a single country she is referring to has categorically banned gender affirming care.

From the Alabama lawsuit, relying on Europe helped sink that bill in court:

"No country in Europe has categorically banned gender affirming care"

Now a retired doctor is testifying.

“I’m here to speak the truth about natural law and the truth given to us by our savior.”

This is not medically oriented testimony and his belief in god should have no bearing on the right of parents to make decisions for their kids.

This doctor is using the old 2011 study of "19x suicide rates" among trans people.

This is an inaccurate reading of the Dhejne study, who has specifically come out against people reading it that way:

Essentially, they are comparing a specific high risk group trans people to the general public, and not to trans people with no interventions, and it was also looking at a 30 year retrospective during some of the worst acceptance of trans people in history. (1980s)

A representative of the Kansas American Academy of Pediatrics with 450 physicians in Kansas.

She’s saying that this decision should be between doctors and patients and families.

The ACLU of KS representative is speaking.

"This bill violates the constitutional rights of children, parents, and doctors"

“It places politicians feelings against medical advice of hundreds of thousands of doctors”

"Every state attempting to defend these bills has lost"

“People will die. Families will suffer. The practice of medicine will be compromised.”

“The very care this bill attacks is responsible for my life.”

Another trans person, a trans man, is speaking.

He was on puberty blockers til 17, and took testosterone.

“College was much easier after I had my medical interventions to be my true self.”

“I can’t imagine such a life without them.”

A WPATH Doctor is speaking.

“This bill will directly impact the lives of transgender youth, directly impacting lives. Their blood will be on your hands. This is unethical.”

"For a minor to access gender affirming care, I ensure in collaboration with mental health experts assess the consistent, insistent, and persistent presence of gender dysphoria and require consent from parents" and she talks about all of the hoops patients have to jump through.

Reverend Kayla Simons Wood is speaking on behalf of Kansas Interaction.

Submits testimony from 10 clergy opposing this bill.

“I and many other Christians believe trans people are created in Gods image.”

Beth Oller:

“I provide full spectrum care from babies to end of life and I provide gender affirming care. I am an actual practicing Kansas physician.”

“The majority of people detransition not because they are not trans, but because of violence and difficulties with family”

"We need to listen to their perspective rather than the curated presentation in front of you"

Senator Stephen is asking Dr. Hubbard, a WPATH doctor, a question.

"Ms. Hubbard, Are you telling me the AAP unwaiveringly supports surgical interventions"

Dr. Hubbard: “I would appreciate it if you refer to me as Dr. Hubbard, please.”

Then points out that the treatments are tailored to the individuals.

Questioner: "Can you tell me where from Kansas you received your gender affirming care?"

"I'm not from Kansas…"

Questioner: "Is this the first time you've testified?"


Asking Dr Crabs:

"Your testimony was from the 1980s about transgender suicides. So not current. Can I ask you where you practiced?"

"I did not practice here"

"can you verify you had a license in kansas?"

The chair cut her off.

Now a Senator is asking Dr. Beth Oller where she works (one of the people against the bill):

The doctor responds she works in Kansas.

Strongly pointing out that all of the people in support of the bill are coming from out of state.

Now a Senator is asking one of the trans man transitioners if he was given all of the info around his transition.

He answers in the affirmative.

Now they are asking a question of one of the detransitioners,

"Do you believe you were groomed into the decision to transition?"

“I don’t believe in using that word… it’s too divisive…”

This hearing isn't going super well for them.

(They'll probably still vote it through)

ACLU witness:

“I am referring to the 1.3 million doctors that are represented by the medical organizations that support this care.”

This Senator is claiming puberty blockers and HRT are causing early onset cancer.

There’s no evidence of any sort of outbreak of early onset cancer in trans youth.

Asked of the AAP representative if the majority supports gender affirming care in their chapter.

She testifies yes, most of the 450 do.

Now she is asking about the Missouri whistleblower.

“A radical supporter of the far left has blown the whistle”

“Are there other areas of medical practice where the child directs their health care?”

The doctor: “Everything the child is involved in, but the child themselves does not direct gender diverse issues. It’s parents, doctors”

The doctor in the zoom call wanted to jump in and answer, but the chair cut the committee short and immediately adjourned.

I guess we're done for the day?

That was abrupt.

I have never seen such a rushed hearing with so few witnesses called forward… what the heck did I just see?

Sorry to those of you who showed up to testify who didn't get to.

Well… thanks for following along. We'll watch to see how they vote. Please support my independent reporting and activism by subscribing.

Originally tweeted by Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) on February 14, 2023.

Missouri Anti-trans “Whistleblower” Story Is A Manufactured Controversy – Point By Point

It did not take long for the facts to come out and totally debunk the latest anti-trans conspiracy TERF talking point but sadly the planned damage was already underway.    This woman who worked at a clinic claims she sees kids forced to transition and gives a screed that reinforced every right-wing talking point, which have been proven wrong time and time again by medical and demographic studies.  Turns out this exposé was of course a fake bunch of lies by an anti-trans person trying to sabotage medical care for trans kids during the legislative session.   If you want the facts, read the article.    Hugs

I have spend most of my day on this.  My morning was spend helping a confused elderly couple with their clogged printer head because they have not printed in years and now want to do so.   I got it to start working by repeatedly doing the head clean, yet they did not even know where they paper went in the machine.  They were laying it on top, wonder it worked at all.  So after I came home and ate, I took my medications and came down with a very severe allergic reaction that is only now trying to abate.  As any long time follower will know I have life threatening allergies and even though I felt I could handle it due to the entire body response including the genital area Ron lost his composure demanding I take more Benadryl than I had and thought I should to stop the cascade of reaction.   But regardless as the extra Benadryl would only make me more tired and sleepy, I gave in.  Must keep peace in the home / family.  So I am very tired, irritable, hurting, and have to go back tomorrow morning to help the couple I was helping today as they screwed everything up.    So I will leave comments open and try to monitor them.  If they go from facts and feelings to fringe stuff, conspiracies, and already debunked myths that are countered by the best practices approved by the majority of medical communities then I will shut them off.  Best wishes.   Hugs

Jamie Reed’s story is being pushed by the worst of the worst anti-trans voices on the internet. I dig point-by-point through her claims and show how they undermine her conclusions.



Please support my independent reporting and activism on transgender legislation by subscribing. You help me keep this going and keep people informed.

On February 9th, a former case worker at the Washington University’s Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital released an article in The Free Press alleging widespread wrongdoing among clinicians in treating transgender patients. Within hours, right wing sources across the internet were carrying her story. Anti-trans organization Genspect, which has advocated for bans on gender affirming care up to the age of 25 years old, announced an interview with her live. The Republican attorney general of Missouri announced an investigation. Vernadette Broyles, an attorney who has tried several cases to overturn transgender policies in schools and who advised Ron DeSantis on the Don’t Say Gay law, was tapped to represent her. This has all of the markings of a manufactured controversy similar to Project Veritas’ Planned Parenthood Fetal Tissue, and similar groups are lining up behind this story.

We know that this story has been held back for at least two weeks and judging from the timing of the anti-trans bills heard in Missouri, the speed in which right wing outlets carried the story, and its release in the middle of the legislative season with the most attacks on transgender rights and healthcare in history, it’s hard not to see this as entirely planned. Delving into Jamie Reed’s allegations and story makes it clear that she is not an ideologically neutral individual on the care and respect of transgender people. Her statements and omissions reveal a clear ideological bias, and the organizations and representation she has chosen to work with contradict her claim that she “supports transgender people.”

Throughout her story, she frequently misgenders her patients. In fact, I am not aware of a single case where she genders her trans patients correctly. Out of the thousand or so patients she has seen, she only references a half dozen specific anecdotes of what she relays as poor experiences for transgender youth patients – anecdotes I will cover in detail. Even in these anecdotes, she often omits long term net harm. She leaves out the stories of what must be the rest of the thousand patients who, as we have seen in numerous testimony in hearings this year, saw their mental and physical health improve dramatically. Ultimately, she calls for stopping gender affirming care for trans youth – something that would result in actual harm and death to this patient population.

She is not a doctor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and does not have direct medical diagnostic experience with patients. She is a case worker, someone who navigates insurance claims and takes intake calls. Throughout her story, she places her own interpretations of events above those of medically educated providers, therapists, and the families and patients that work with them. She claims to know better for these patients, and has acted to sabotage their care.

I have decided to do the work of going point by point through her entire story to show that all of this is indeed the case. Follow along:

Until 2015 or so, a very small number of these boys comprised the population of pediatric gender dysphoria cases. Then, across the Western world, there began to be a dramatic increase in a new population: Teenage girls, many with no previous history of gender distress, suddenly declared they were transgender and demanded immediate treatment with testosterone.

I certainly saw this at the center. One of my jobs was to do intake for new patients and their families. When I started there were probably 10 such calls a month. When I left there were 50, and about 70 percent of the new patients were girls. Sometimes clusters of girls arrived from the same high school.

Jamie starts right out of the gate with right wing talking points designed to paint transgender people as being a “trend” or “social contagion.” Her evidence for this claim is that her clinic saw an increase in transgender patients from 10 people to 50 people per month and that she saw more people assigned female at birth than assigned male at birth over that time period. The metropolitan population of St. Louis is 2.8 million people. If her clinic saw 1,000 people over 5 years, then she saw 0.03% of the local population that her clinic served. Given that we know up to 2% of Gen Z and younger identify as transgender, her clinic saw only a miniscule proportion of the transgender population – likely the ones that needed gender affirming care the most. This actually undercuts her argument of a massive social contagion when even most transgender youth did not seek nor receive care.

This section also alludes to ROGD, which says to me she has likely consumed a lot of anti-trans literature before writing it. The entire document is filled with evidence of such. The idea that Transgender people are “suddenly declaring their gender identity with no history” has also been flatly disputed by research. Instead, research has shown that trans youth know their identity for a long time before coming out, leading to some parents assuming that the onset of their gender dysphoria was “sudden” and “rapid.” Children often wait 3-6 or even more years before first declaring their gender identity and visiting a clinic.

Figure thumbnail gr1
Difference in the age of knowing gender identity and first visiting a clinic.

As for sex differences of coming out, this too has been disputed by research. Trans masculine individuals (who this writer references as “girls” and often misgenders throughout her document) are not “more likely” to identify as trans and social contagion is not an accurate description of transgender identification according to this research in the journal Pediatrics. Transgender boys have, in recent years, more easily found themselves able to come out and express themselves. Meanwhile, transgender girls, assigned male at birth, have been the target of anti-trans legislation banning them from sports, bathrooms, and more. If such differences do begin to manifest, especially in areas like St. Louis, there may be confounding local factors at play like excess targeting of transgender girls.

At any rate, Jamie Reed is not a researcher. She is not even a medical provider. She is a case worker that developed anti-trans opinions and has now engaged in activity that will harm this patient population. She has taken their trust and weaponized it against them in a sickening fashion.

The girls who came to us had many comorbidities: depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, obesity. Many were diagnosed with autism, or had autism-like symptoms. A report last year on a British pediatric transgender center found that about one-third of the patients referred there were on the autism spectrum.

Frequently, our patients declared they had disorders that no one believed they had. We had patients who said they had Tourette syndrome (but they didn’t); that they had tic disorders (but they didn’t); that they had multiple personalities (but they didn’t).

The doctors privately recognized these false self-diagnoses as a manifestation of social contagion. They even acknowledged that suicide has an element of social contagion. But when I said the clusters of girls streaming into our service looked as if their gender issues might be a manifestation of social contagion, the doctors said gender identity reflected something innate.

I’ve already covered social contagion, so I will move to her other points.

Here Jamie repeats anti-trans talking points here blaming gender dysphoria on all other things than being trans. Bizarrely, she includes obesity here. While many transgender people have concurrent disorders, there is no established research showing being “trans” is caused by anything else. Furthermore, research into autistic transgender individuals has stated that being prevented from transitioning due to an autism diagnosis could “cause increased levels of depression and anxiety.” The idea that autistic individuals cannot be LGBT+ unfairly targets autistic people who have pushed back hard against the idea that their diagnosis means they cannot experience genuine gender identities or seuxal orientations.

Furthermore, as a caseworker, Jamie is not evaluating these patients in depth. She is not the one sitting and listening to the patient talk about their mental health through a diagnostic lens, nor is she trained in that. She places her opinion on their diagnoses above the opinion of the patients doctors and therapists. This will be a common theme in her writing.

Lastly, concurrent mental health problems are often solved by transitioning. Things like depression and anxiety are often alleviated heavily. Studies have shown that gender affirming care reduces depression in 60% of transgender individuals and suicide attempts by up to 73% in trans youth. Many transgender people have reported that solving their dysphoria lead to increases in quality of life, and this is born out by the research.

Please support my independent reporting and activism on transgender legislation by subscribing. You help me keep this going and keep people informed.

To begin transitioning, the girls needed a letter of support from a therapist—usually one we recommended—who they had to see only once or twice for the green light. To make it more efficient for the therapists, we offered them a template for how to write a letter in support of transition. The next stop was a single visit to the endocrinologist for a testosterone prescription.

When a female takes testosterone, the profound and permanent effects of the hormone can be seen in a matter of months. Voices drop, beards sprout, body fat is redistributed. Sexual interest explodes, aggression increases, and mood can be unpredictable. Our patients were told about some side effects, including sterility. But after working at the center, I came to believe that teenagers are simply not capable of fully grasping what it means to make the decision to become infertile while still a minor.

There are several things to point out here. First of all, she admits that those who came through her clinic doors saw therapists. Secondly, though she says they only had to see the therapist once or twice, she does not state if that was the case for all or even most of her patients. It is indeed possible that most of her patients had continued to see therapists throughout their clinical journeys and beyond – this is certainly the case for most families of trans youth I have spoken to.

One thing that she points to as particularly damning is “template letters,” and this is something that any transgender person – trans adults included – are intimately familiar with. In order to get insurance coverage and approval, letters often have to follow very particular templates that touch on all aspects of what an insurance company looks for to provide care. In fact, many trans people have to switch therapists to someone who knows how to write these letters when they finally seek approval for gender affirming care. This is especially important to point out because Jamie leaves out of these people were obtaining psychological care before they arrived to her clinic, she states only that specific letters were written that required a couple of visits (likely by people trained in how to write letters properly). It is my own experience that transgender people, especially trans youth, often had plenty of therapy prior to engaging with a therapist who knew had to write a letter.

As for her other “effects,” these are all things that alleviate gender dysphoria in trans youth, resulting in the aforementioned 73% drop in suicide rates. I will not address them – these are intended effects of transition, albeit sensationalized, such as “unpredictable mood and aggression” which is pretty typical of teenage boy puberty.

Many encounters with patients emphasized to me how little these young people understood the profound impacts changing gender would have on their bodies and minds. But the center downplayed the negative consequences, and emphasized the need for transition. As the center’s website said, “Left untreated, gender dysphoria has any number of consequences, from self-harm to suicide. But when you take away the gender dysphoria by allowing a child to be who he or she is, we’re noticing that goes away. The studies we have show these kids often wind up functioning psychosocially as well as or better than their peers.” 

There are no reliable studies showing this. Indeed, the experiences of many of the center’s patients prove how false these assertions are. 

This is entirely true. Left untreated, gender dysphoria does result in self harm and suicide. Research has shown that gender affirming care results in a 73% reduction in suicide attempts. Another study showed a 40% drop with a sample size of 11,914 transgender youth. Other studies have shown similar results:


In fact, the findings around gender affirming care are so stunningly in favor of proceeding with that care that 29 major medical organizations representing hundreds of thousands of physicians have signed off to that care:

What does she use to contradict the 29 medical organizations and the scientific studies that show an improvement in suicide rates and mental health from gender affirming care?

A single article from Jesse Singal, an anti-trans writer who the LGBTQ+ rights organization GLAAD has described as having “built a career inaccurately writing about trans issues and targeting trans people.”


Here’s an example. On Friday, May 1, 2020, a colleague emailed me about a 15-year-old male patient: “Oh dear. I am concerned that [the patient] does not understand what Bicalutamide does.” I responded: “I don’t think that we start anything honestly right now.”

Interestingly, this letter actually shows that the clinic was taking precautions and undercuts the writer’s own point. They read what appears to be the psychological evaluation letters around a trans youth’s desire for treatment and determined that the bicalutamide was not the proper course of treatment for this transgender youth. Furthermore, reading the context clues around the letter where the transgender individual says “transition at times seems scary” is intimately familiar to any early-transition transgender person, especially a trans youth in a red state during years where transgender rights were being attacked more than ever.

Bicalutamide is a medication used to treat metastatic prostate cancer, and one of its side effects is that it feminizes the bodies of men who take it, including the appearance of breasts. The center prescribed this cancer drug as a puberty blocker and feminizing agent for boys. As with most cancer drugs, bicalutamide has a long list of side effects, and this patient experienced one of them: liver toxicity. He was sent to another unit of the hospital for evaluation and immediately taken off the drug. Afterward, his mother sent an electronic message to the Transgender Center saying that we were lucky her family was not the type to sue.

Anti-trans witnesses often try to use extremely explosive language to describe gender affirming care. Yes, Bicalutamide is used to treat “metastatic prostate cancer.” Bicalutamide is also used to treat hair loss and excessive facial hair in cisgender females. Furthermore, bicalutamide is not the first line treatment for most trans women but rather, spironolactone, a drug used to treat dozens of conditions including acne. That being said, rare side effects are possible with any drug including Tylenol, so the experience of a single patient having a bad experience with bicalutamide is not surprising and it appears that side effect was properly managed.

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How little patients understood what they were getting into was illustrated by a call we received at the center in 2020 from a 17-year-old biological female patient who was on testosterone. She said she was bleeding from the vagina. In less than an hour she had soaked through an extra heavy pad, her jeans, and a towel she had wrapped around her waist. The nurse at the center told her to go to the emergency room right away.

We found out later this girl had had intercourse, and because testosterone thins the vaginal tissues, her vaginal canal had ripped open. She had to be sedated and given surgery to repair the damage. She wasn’t the only vaginal laceration case we heard about.

First I want to notice that, as the author has throughout her entire article, she misgenders the transgender boys who she is referring to. Not once does she refer to them with their proper pronouns. In this particular case, one patient experienced a very rare complication of a vaginal tear caused by hormone therapy combined with what appears to be vigorous sex. I want to highlight several things here:

  • She did not treat this patient and was not one of this patient’s providers.

  • There are well known protocols around vaginal care for trans men that include caring for vaginal walls.

  • Care compliance is an issue for all kinds of care that trans youth receive, not just gender affirming care.

  • Even with perfect care compliance, rare side effects can occur.

Remember that she has seen over a thousand patients, and she lists very few negative events. Though this claim is highly charged, she does not allege that the care itself was a net harm to this patient. It is very possible that this patient would not be alive without being provided gender affirming care. All of these costs and benefits as well as side effects are taken into account by her medical providers, not a desk worker with no experience in that direct care.

Other girls were disturbed by the effects of testosterone on their clitoris, which enlarges and grows into what looks like a microphallus, or a tiny penis. I counseled one patient whose enlarged clitoris now extended below her vulva, and it chafed and rubbed painfully in her jeans. I advised her to get the kind of compression undergarments worn by biological men who dress to pass as female. At the end of the call I thought to myself, “Wow, we hurt this kid.”

There are rare conditions in which babies are born with atypical genitalia—cases that call for sophisticated care and compassion. But clinics like the one where I worked are creating a whole cohort of kids with atypical genitals—and most of these teens haven’t even had sex yet. They had no idea who they were going to be as adults. Yet all it took for them to permanently transform themselves was one or two short conversations with a therapist.

This segment is flatly offensive to transgender people. Again, she misgenders the trans boys that she treats. She derides transgender genitals and discusses in negative terms things like an enlarged clitorus, which is something that many transgender men very much desire. Furthermore, this effect is very plainly listed on the clinics own website and forms:

Lastly, she claims that these kids have no idea who they are going to be as adults, and yet trans kids do know their gender identities. 97.5% of trans youth are stable in their gender identities even 5 years after social transition according to the journal Pediatrics.

Being put on powerful doses of testosterone or estrogen—enough to try to trick your body into mimicking the opposite sex—-affects the rest of the body. I doubt that any parent who’s ever consented to give their kid testosterone (a lifelong treatment) knows that they’re also possibly signing their kid up for blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, and perhaps sleep apnea and diabetes.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea are more common among men than women. This is not surprising or unusual. Gender affirming care changes the risk profile to the risk profile of the gender you have transitioned to.

But sometimes the parents’ understanding of what they had agreed to do to their children came forcefully:

This contradicts the idea that parents are having no input on their care. This parent withdrew consent, which can and does happen among trans youth. What we don’t know, however, is the health outcome of the kid whose consent was revoked. We are left to assume that things “improved” for this kid but sadly, we know that is not the case for most transgender youth.

Besides teenage girls, another new group was referred to us: young people from the inpatient psychiatric unit, or the emergency department, of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The mental health of these kids was deeply concerning—there were diagnoses like schizophrenia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and more. Often they were already on a fistful of pharmaceuticals.

This was tragic, but unsurprising given the profound trauma some had been through. Yet no matter how much suffering or pain a child had endured, or how little treatment and love they had received, our doctors viewed gender transition—even with all the expense and hardship it entailed—as the solution.

This portion is one of the saddest parts of Jamie’s anti-trans scree, because it shows the importance of gender affirming care and why it is so badly needed for so many trans youth. Often, a transgender person will not get help or medical care for their gender dysphoria until they attempt to take their own life. 40% of transgender people report having a suicide attempt. It is wholly unsurprising that Jamie’s first interaction with many trans youth is from inpatient psychiatrics units following severe mental health crises. Untreated gender dysphoria is deadly, and we know from aforementioned research that gender affirming care is the solution.

Furthermore, mental health among trans youth has been worsening due to laws targeting them, according to the Trevor Project. See this chart (more these are year over year rates):

Twitter avatar for @ErinInTheMorn
Erin Reed @ErinInTheMorn
Legislators need to know the cruel impact that anti-trans bills have on trans people, who have statistically one of the highest suicide rates. Whenever anti trans bills are passed, suicide searches spike. When they are defeated, they go down. It’s that big a signal.

For example, one teenager came to us in the summer of 2022 when he was 17 years old and living in a lockdown facility because he had been sexually abusing dogs. He’d had an awful childhood: His mother was a drug addict, his father was imprisoned, and he grew up in foster care. Whatever treatment he may have been getting, it wasn’t working.

During our intake I learned from another caseworker that when he got out, he planned to reoffend because he believed the dogs had willingly submitted.

Somewhere along the way, he expressed a desire to become female, so he ended up being seen at our center. From there, he went to a psychologist at the hospital who was known to approve virtually everyone seeking transition. Then our doctor recommended feminizing hormones. At the time, I wondered if this was being done as a form of chemical castration.

She has seen over a thousand patients and is pointing to a single extreme shock story anecdote of someone who has experienced mental illness who came from an inpatient psychiatric unit. This person clearly has not “only seen one or two hours of therapy sessions” as some of the patients she alleges earlier. Instead, this trans youth has clearly gotten several evaluations from social workers, facility managers, and a psychologist. She did not assess this patient and was not involved in that, nor does she say how many assessments this patient received. She inserts her own opinion and her own interpretation of the situation here.

We also do not know what the result of this treatment was and if this person’s mental health saw improvements after treatment. Instead, we have her opinion that “this was done to chemically castrate this person.”

That same thought came up again with another case. This one was in spring of 2022 and concerned a young man who had intense obsessive-compulsive disorder that manifested as a desire to cut off his penis after he masturbated. This patient expressed no gender dysphoria, but he got hormones, too. I asked the doctor what protocol he was following, but I never got a straight answer.

As usual, she is misgendering this transgender patient. She claims that this patient expressed no gender dysphoria, but she does not claim to have personally assessed this patient. It is very possible that the patient was not forthcoming to her over the intake form, but was much more forthcoming to her doctors and therapists.

Another disturbing aspect of the center was its lack of regard for the rights of parents—and the extent to which doctors saw themselves as more informed decision-makers over the fate of these children.

In Missouri, only one parent’s consent is required for treatment of their child. But when there was a dispute between the parents, it seemed the center always took the side of the affirming parent.

She states that the center did not regard parents as having rights, and yet she points out that the clinic was directly following the law here. There is no allegation of wrongdoing here, only that she is upset that the center followed the law and allowed one parent to initiate medical care for their children based on best medical practices and guidelines. Missouri centers would likely not turn away a parent who was seeking care for their kid because they had experienced depression and needed an antidepressant either. If you follow the direction of all medical organizations and established research, the treatment of gender dysphoria does (and should) operate like other care in Missouri.

My concerns about this approach to dissenting parents grew in 2019 when one of our doctors actually testified in a custody hearing against a father who opposed a mother’s wish to start their 11-year-old daughter on puberty blockers. 

I had done the original intake call, and I found the mother quite disturbing. She and the father were getting divorced, and the mother described the daughter as “kind of a tomboy.” So now the mother was convinced her child was trans. But when I asked if her daughter had adopted a boy’s name, if she was distressed about her body, if she was saying she felt like a boy, the mother said no. I explained the girl just didn’t meet the criteria for an evaluation. 

Then a month later, the mother called back and said her daughter now used a boy’s name, was in distress over her body, and wanted to transition. This time the mom and daughter were given an appointment. Our providers decided the girl was trans and prescribed a puberty blocker to prevent her normal development.

This portion is extremely frustrating, because it seems that Jamie is upset that the doctors testified on a patient’s behalf that the best medical practices were followed. An entire court case happened around this proceeding where a judge weighed all of the evidence and statements and came to a verdict. We are supposed to put all of that aside because of a vendetta that Jamie has with her own place of employment.

I will highlight that in this case, she did not do the direct psychological assessment of the child. There are very simple reasons why she may have interpreted these events differently than how they actually occurred. For instance, on the initial intake, the parent may have not been given all of the information from the trans boy (again, she misgenders the patient). On the second visit, the parent may have provided more information that came as a result of the psychological assessment the boy gave.

This was likely explored in the court case, but Jamie wishes for you to take her interpretation of these events as true and wants to end care for an entire branch of patients because of that interpretation.

Because I was the main intake person, I had the broadest perspective on our existing and prospective patients. In 2019, a new group of people appeared on my radar: desisters and detransitioners. Desisters choose not to go through with a transition. Detransitioners are transgender people who decide to return to their birth gender. 

The one colleague with whom I was able to share my concerns agreed with me that we should be tracking desistance and detransition. We thought the doctors would want to collect and understand this data in order to figure out what they had missed. 

We were wrong. One doctor wondered aloud why he would spend time on someone who was no longer his patient.

Detransition is rare among trans youth – as mentioned before, it is only 2.5%. Interestingly, Jamie’s statements here do not allege any differently. Nowhere in her entire article does she state that there was an “explosion of detransitioners” or allege high numbers. This in a way confirms what we already know about the rarity of youth detransition.

One of the saddest cases of detransition I witnessed was a teenage girl, who, like so many of our patients, came from an unstable family, was in an uncertain living situation, and had a history of drug use. The overwhelming majority of our patients are white, but this girl was black. She was put on hormones at the center when she was around 16. When she was 18, she went in for a double mastectomy, what’s known as “top surgery.” 

Three months later she called the surgeon’s office to say she was going back to her birth name and that her pronouns were “she” and “her.” Heartbreakingly, she told the nurse, “I want my breasts back.” The surgeon’s office contacted our office because they didn’t know what to say to this girl.

My colleague and I said that we would reach out. It took a while to track her down, and when we did we made sure that she was in decent mental health, that she was not actively suicidal, that she was not using substances. The last I heard, she was pregnant. Of course, she’ll never be able to breastfeed her child.

So instead of talking about high numbers of detransitioners or an “explosion” of them, like we often see alleged in anti-trans hearings, she instead focuses on single cases of detransitioners. This particular story is the only story of a detransitioner she can point to. I am sure she may have saw a handful of others, but given the dearth of detransitioners in her allegations, it would seem that her clinic was actually better at identifying youth who would be stable in their transition – otherwise she would be talking about how her clinic saw hundreds of detransitioners. Remember that anti-trans advocates claim that detransition rate is 85%, an easily disproven lie. See this tweet thread for my writing on this topic (click in and read the whole thread):

Twitter avatar for @ErinInTheMorn
Erin Reed @ErinInTheMorn
Ever hear “80-90% of trans kids desist”? This is misleading and a lie. This comes from the DSM-4 criteria where any gender nonconforming kid was considered trans and counted under desistance. Likewise, trans kids COULD NOT transition and of course they “desisted.”

Here’s just one example: On January 6, 2022, I received an email from a staff therapist asking me for help with a case of a 16-year-old transgender male living in another state. “Parents are open to having patient see a therapist but are not supportive of gender and patient does not want parents to be aware of gender identity. I am having a challenging time finding a gender affirming therapist.”

I replied:

“I do not ethically agree with linking a minor patient to a therapist who would be gender affirming with gender as a focus of their work without that being discussed with the parents and the parent agreeing to that kind of care.”

All therapists who follow guidelines are “gender affirming.” This case manager, who is not a therapist herself, is advocating for trans youth to be sent to unaffirming therapists. In this particular case, the trans youth is concerned about not ending up in a conversion therapy situation – a very reasonable concern, especially with the advent of conversion therapy movements within the United States trying to target transgender people.

In all my years at the Washington University School of Medicine, I had received solidly positive performance reviews. But in 2021, that changed. I got a below-average mark for my “Judgment” and “Working Relationships/Cooperative Spirit.” Although I was described as “responsible, conscientious, hard-working and productive” the evaluation also noted: “At times Jamie responds poorly to direction from management with defensiveness and hostility.”

It sounds like she started getting negative reviews around the same time she started misgendering her patients and placing herself above the medical training of the doctors who work at the clinic as well as above the psychological training of their care teams.

Things came to a head at a half-day retreat in summer of 2022. In front of the team, the doctors said that my colleague and I had to stop questioning the “medicine and the science” as well as their authority. Then an administrator told us we had to “Get on board, or get out.” It became clear that the purpose of the retreat was to deliver these messages to us.

This is a good confrontation. As mentioned before, she is not a medical expert and does not do the in depth evaluation that the medical experts and psychological care teams do. Clearly she has a history of misgendering her trans patients. She saw herself as above best practices and medical guidelines. She elevates within her own mind the experience of edge case detransitioners and has given those with good results no credit and no voice.

The Washington University system provides a generous college tuition payment program for long-standing employees. I live by my paycheck and have no money to put aside for five college tuitions for my kids. I had to keep my job. I also feel a lot of loyalty to Washington University.

But I decided then and there that I had to get out of the Transgender Center, and to do so, I had to keep my head down and improve my next performance review. 

I managed to get a decent evaluation, and I landed a job conducting research in another part of The Washington University School of Medicine. I gave my notice and left the Transgender Center in November of 2022.

Thank god she no longer cares for these patients.

For a couple of weeks, I tried to put everything behind me and settled into my new job as a clinical research coordinator, managing studies regarding children undergoing bone marrow transplants. 

Then I came across comments from Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman who is a high official at the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The article read: “Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health, said that clinics are proceeding carefully and that no American children are receiving drugs or hormones for gender dysphoria who shouldn’t.”

From her own letters, she shows that they were proceeding carefully and methodically. They identified cases of concern and the negative outcomes appear fairly rare given the over 1,000 patients she saw and the dearth of negative events. Furthermore, negative long term outcomes do not appear to be alleged in all but a couple patients out of the thousand patients she saw. Her own anecdotes do nothing to disprove this.

I felt stunned and sickened. It wasn’t true. And I know that from deep first-hand experience. 

So I started writing down everything I could about my experience at the Transgender Center. Two weeks ago, I brought my concerns and documents to the attention of Missouri’s attorney general. He is a Republican. I am a progressive. But the safety of children should not be a matter for our culture wars.

Trans-exclusionary radical feminists often call themselves “liberal” or “progressive” but are anything but.

Given the secrecy and lack of rigorous standards that characterize youth gender transition across the country, I believe that to ensure the safety of American children, we need a moratorium on the hormonal and surgical treatment of young people with gender dysphoria.

I have already presented studies that show how many trans youth would take their lives if this happened. If she is truly concerned about her patient population, she would not advocate for this and against the medical science of dozens of the leading medical organizations.

In the past 15 years, according to Reuters, the U.S. has gone from having no pediatric gender clinics to more than 100. A thorough analysis should be undertaken to find out what has been done to their patients and why—and what the long-term consequences are.

Left handedness also exploded when left handed people were accommodated:

Rate of Left-Handedness in the US: Stigma & Society - Slow ...

There is a clear path for us to follow. Just last year England announced that it would close the Tavistock’s youth gender clinic, then the NHS’s only such clinic in the country, after an investigation revealed shoddy practices and poor patient treatment. Sweden and Finland, too, have investigated pediatric transition and greatly curbed the practice, finding there is insufficient evidence of help, and danger of great harm.

It is so clear that she is working with the major anti-trans organizations in developing these calls to action. We have heard this in every Republican testimony for anti-trans bills this year. None of these countries have categorically banned gender affirming care for trans youth like she wants.

It is clear that anti-trans sources are using her testimony to attack gender affirming care nationwide for trans youth. I have no doubt that her story will be used to enact such bans in places like Tennessee, Texas, South Dakota, and Mississippi. Some of these bans will define gender affirming care as child abuse and take the kids of trans parents away. Let’s not gaslight ourselves into thinking that any of this is being done “for the good of children.” These policies have and will kill trans youth. Already, I have received four phone calls from the parents or friends of trans youth that have tried or completed attempts to take their own lives. That is the end goal of documents like this and anti-trans policies they add fuel to.

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