Whistleblower: How Transgender Industry Convinces Parents To Mutilate Their Kids
By Ben Johnson/The Washington StandFebruary 15, 2023
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A whistleblower's explosive account reveals that the transgender medical industry uses high-pressure techniques, employs its own cadre of "experts," and lies about the impact of puberty blockers and other drugs to convince parents to authorize lifelong "gender-affirming care" that effectively, or literally, castrates their children. When the parents refuse, at least one transgender clinic disregarded the will of the custodial parent, the insider's testimony states.
Allegations of illegal activity come from an affidavit and accompanying article by Jamie Reed, a far-Left LGBT activist who worked for four years at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital. The affidavit attests doctors in the university's transgender clinic prescribed experimental drugs to young children, ignored the children's physical and mental health concerns, and may have committed Medicaid and insurance fraud. Her heartrending report has touched off separate investigations by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) and U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
Yet her record of the pediatric gender clinic's actions during her 2018-2022 tenure also contains damning information about the way the industry overcomes wary parents' concerns and traps children into decades of costly, harmful "treatments."
The facility referred young people reportedly suffering "gender dysphoria" for an evaluation with a psychologist chosen from on a list of doctors they "knew they would say yes" to the gender transition, Reed states. One psychologist at the hospital was particularly "known to approve virtually everyone seeking transition," she writes. If no outside psychologist signed the letter, the center referred the child to their two in-house psychologists, who would certify that the child should begin the gender reassignment process.
For the youngest patients, this meant beginning puberty blockers before administering a lifetime of cross-sex hormones. "The Center tells the public and parents of patients that the point of puberty blockers is to give children time to figure out their gender identity," she writes. But in reality, the center uses those drugs "just until children are old enough to be put on cross-sex hormones. Doctors at the Center always prescribe cross-sex hormones for children who have been taking puberty blockers." (Emphasis in original.)
The doctors' insistence, rather than the children's persistence, may explain another discrepancy: Left to their own devices, approximately 85% of children with gender dysphoria will identify with their birth sex by the time they reach adulthood. But nearly 100% of children placed on puberty blockers continue the gender transition process, notes Jennifer Bauwens, director of the Center for Family Studies at the Family Research Council.
Doctors lie to assure parents will approve the puberty blockers, Reed reveals. "The doctors at the Center tell the public and tell parents of patients that puberty blockers are fully reversible. They really are not. They do lasting damage to the body," says Reed. Those damages include "sterilization, reduced bone density, cognitive problems, increased body fat percentage and body mass index, decreased lean body mass, and arterial hypertension," writes Bauwens.
Reed describes meetings between concerned parents, who wanted answers to the scientific findings they had uncovered about the dangers of puberty blockers, and gender clinic employees, who sought to sell them a lifetime of medical interventions. "The clinicians would dismiss the research that the parents had found and speak down to the parents," Reed testifies. The facility exhibited a thorough "lack of regard for the rights of parents," as "doctors saw themselves as more informed decision-makers over the fate of these children." Clinic employees "would also malign any parent that was not on board with medicalizing their children," says Reed.
That echoes the experiences of relatives in the documentary "Dead Name," especially Helen, who was told to "celebrate" her child's transgender identity after her former lesbian partner had introduced Helen's four-year-old son, Jonas, to transgender ideology. Helen recounts that a parade of preschool officials and therapists presented her preschooler's decision as a fait accompli. "They never said, 'We need to talk about this,'" Helen says. "It was always edicts by email."
Parents who resisted received the ultimate high-pressure sales tactic: "Experts" said they must approve their child's gender transition or witness the child's suicide. "A common tactic was for doctors to tell the parent of a [girl], 'You can either have a living son or a dead daughter.' The clinicians would tell parents of a [boy], 'You can either have a living daughter or dead son,'" Reed testifies. The employees made these comments "to parents in front of their children," which "introduced the idea of suicide to the children" -- something that equally violates known research and medical ethics, Bauwens says.
"It is entirely inappropriate and unethical for anyone in my profession to plant the idea that an inevitable outcome will be suicide (even in the absence of expressed suicidal ideation) if the clinician's counsel for gender-affirming care is not followed," Bauwens told Nebraska legislators last week while testifying on behalf of Bill 574, the Let Them Grow Act, which would protect minors from transgender injections and surgeries. "This is blatantly manipulative and has no part in promoting psychological or relational health."
It's also erroneous. Numerous studies have found gender transition procedures do not help, and sometimes harm, patients' mental health. "There are no reliable studies showing" a positive correlation between transgender injections/surgeries and improved mental health, Reed writes.
When parents still refused, or withdrew consent for, the procedures employees at the gender transition clinic continued the treatment, Reed alleges. They would even intervene in custody disputes against parents who disagreed with plans to transition their children. "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," Reed notes. But they also ignored the judges' orders and sided with anyone who brought a child into the office for a gender transition. "I was told not to ask for custody agreements because 'if we have the custody agreement, we have to follow it,'" Reed notes in legal documents.
To make matters worse many, perhaps most, of the young people who entered the university's gender clinic had not experienced gender dysphoria at all, Reed states, but a form of social contagion. During her four years at the center, the total number of calls the center received increased between 400% and 800%, and girls began to outnumber boys. Traditionally, most cases of gender dysphoria involved males who identify as female. When she began, she heard about 10 calls a month from teenage girls who identified as male; that had increased five-fold by the time she left, with this cohort making up 70% of the center's calls.
"It became clear that many children coming to the Center had gender identities that were likely the result of social contagion," Reed writes. A 2018 study from Dr. Lisa Littman found that rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) can be "initiated, magnified, spread, and maintained via the mechanisms of social and peer contagion," including peer pressure via online platforms. Reed concludes, "Social media is at least partly responsible for this large increase in children seeking gender transition."
Yet the center lobbied these minors to begin puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones (typically testosterone injections) and ignored the side effects, Reed writes. "The Center never discontinues cross-sex hormones, no matter the outcome," she says.
The industry is big business. "Certainly pubertal blockers could run thousands of dollars per month in out-of-pocket expenses," says Dr. Michael Haller at the University of Florida's department of pediatrics. Transgender surgeries are "a huge money-maker," said Dr. Shayne Taylor of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Clinic for Transgender Health in 2018.
The problems Reed identifies affect all cases of transgender identity, because ideological considerations have narrowed the medical standards and available "treatments" for gender dysphoria, Bauwens told The Washington Stand. "A multitude of treatments have been researched to help children through depression. Yet when it comes to gender dysphoria, there's only one path currently being prescribed: that is to try to become someone else," she told Nebraska lawmakers.
"These interventions are being endorsed based on consensus, not evidence: Practices were voted on rather than standing on the merits of solid research findings addressing gender dysphoria," Bauwens noted. "The success rates for nonintervention for gender dysphoria already exceed most psychological interventions."
Children need to be "protected from misdiagnosis and scientifically unsupported, highly invasive, and potentially irreversible interventions that will impact the rest of their lives."
Surprisingly Reed -- who says, "I support trans rights" -- agrees. "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," Reed concludes.
Lawmakers promise to act on the legally actionable items in her whistleblower testimony. "Accountability is coming," Senator Hawley has promised.
But investigations and prosecutions cannot bring wholeness to the lives permanently altered by the gender transition industry.
"It's important as others are affirming a false identity that we need to go out of our way, as parents and as a community of believers, to affirm our young people in who they are," Bauwens told "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" last fall. "Transing a child is never the answer."