Salvo 09.13.2022 5 minutes

Slow-Motion Trans Wreck

An activist in a rainbow costume and a kid are posing for

The ghastly fad of genital mutilation will end when the lawsuits begin.

In January of 2022, the San Francisco-based law firm Girard Sharp, which specializes in class action lawsuits, announced its investigation into the adverse effects of puberty blockers on transgender-identified children. These adverse effects can include low bone density, psychological problems, and potentially, per a July 2022 FDA warning label, pseudotumor cerebri, a condition which can cause brain swelling, headaches, nausea, double vision, and permanent loss of vision. Across the Atlantic, as of August 2022, the U.K.’s Tavistock Centre, a gender transition clinic, is expecting a class-action lawsuit from at least 1,000 families of children who were prescribed puberty blockers. Meanwhile, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare released in February of 2022 new guidelines on transgender medicine, recommending that doctors not prescribe puberty blockers outside of “exceptional cases,” as their use is built on “uncertain science.” The reality that so-called “gender-affirming” medicine is not safe is now becoming too obvious to deny, and its implications could not be clearer: we are entering the long-overdue lawsuit phase of the transgender movement, and it is in lawsuits that this movement ends. 

That we have reached a turning point on the issue of gender ideology is beyond question, especially seeing the increasing numbers of detransitioners—those formerly identified as transgender who have now returned to identifying with their sex—publicly speak out against the medical repercussions of gender ideology and transgender healthcare. Chloe Cole was put on puberty blockers when she was just 13 years old after identifying as transgender when she was 12. At 15 she was given a double mastectomy; at 16, she became filled with regret. “I was failed by the system,” she told the New York Post in June of 2022. “I literally lost organs.” In 2019, there were over 5,000 members on the subreddit r/detrans; today, in 2022, there are over 37,000, nearly an eightfold increase in just three years. 

Transgenderism is primarily driven by social contagion among younger generations, and especially among teenage girls—in the U.K. alone, for instance, there was a 4,400% increase over the last decade for girls seeking medical transition. In the U.S., a June 2022 report from the CDC found that while the 13 to 17 age group comprises only 7.6% of the population, it comprises 18.3% of all transgender-identified Americans. A remarkable 1.4% of this age group identifies as transgender, compared with 0.5% of all adults. In the near future, the number of detransitioners will grow as more young adults who were caught in social contagion begin to regret their immature decisions, cosigned and affirmed by the psycho-medico therapeutic complex—and court-ordered revelations will make clear what evils the transgender movement has wrought.

As Helena Kerschner, who identified as a transgender boy when she was a teenager, told Tucker Carlson, “we have this ideology that is especially prevalent online that says that if you have [feelings of discomfort with yourself or with your body], that means you’re trans…there are literally people who say if you don’t even like your voice on a recording…you need to go see a medical professional because you’re trans.” And of course, the medical professionals themselves are negligent at best. Without even seeing a medical doctor, Kerschner was prescribed testosterone just a few days after turning 18.

That she was just barely an adult when she began medical transition brings up an important, though often undiscussed issue regarding the difference between transgender-identified adults and transgender-identified youth. Much of the opposition to medical transition has focused on the harms done to children, and rightfully so given their vulnerability, but unfortunately, this seems to have led many opponents of gender ideology toward a somewhat libertarian attitude concerning adult transitioners: “Adults can have done on them whatever medical procedures they want; it’s children who should not be given hormones and surgeries because they do not understand the repercussions of their decisions.” But when we consider the future of transgender healthcare, we have to think beyond the consent-based ethics that has increasingly totalized and sterilized our moral discourse on everything from drug addiction to workplace relationships. In other words, consent is not enough: medically transitioning adults may in some ways be different from medically transitioning children, but the fundamental cruelty of medical transition remains the same regardless of age. 

Indeed, for adults and children alike, today’s transgender healthcare violates the “do no harm” principle of medicine. If we believe, as we should, that our bodies are good and that needlessly altering their core functions is bad, then we should oppose a transgender-identified woman getting her healthy breasts hacked off by a surgeon for the same reasons that we would oppose her getting her right arm hacked off for no reason except delusion. The question as to whether or not she can consent to a breastless or to an armless existence should be meaningless to the surgeon, whose sole focus should be promoting her health and wellbeing. 

A detransitioner from Massachusetts who goes by the name Shape Shifter, 32, told the YouTuber Blair White (a transgender-identified man) that he had received surgery in his twenties to have his penis removed and replaced by a neo-vagina, which his body perceives as a wound and tries to close up intermittently. He said, “I will never be able to get my penis back which is extremely traumatic for me. I want it back and I can’t. Sex is traumatic for me now because I’ve had botched surgeries.” His adult consent to medical transition means nothing: any sane society must acknowledge that butchering the human person is categorically wrong. 

Transgender-identified people, like all suffering people, deserve compassion, which is found in truth, not in mass enabling. Going forward, medical transition and all its dangers should be banned unequivocally, and medical professionals should only be entrusted with treating transgender-identified people psychologically. Yet the problem doesn’t end there, because any medical establishment that stops butchering the bodies of healthy people only because lawsuits and laws prevent it from doing so is a medical establishment that cannot be trusted with anything at all, least of all human psychology. 

In other words, exorcizing gender ideology from society will require a total divestment from the opinions of the so-called experts; it will require us to commit to the truth, beauty, and goodness that have allowed man to flourish, and the absence of which, as we see today, cause man to suffer needlessly. It may be lawyers that get us out of the most rampant excesses of gender ideology, especially with respect to children, but we will only be out of the woods, so to speak, when we address not just the medical malpractice of transgender healthcare but the spiritual malpractice that led to gender ideology gaining prominence in the first place. 

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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