Dear US Politicians: Time to Safeguard Youth with Gender Dysphoria
We are writing to ask for your support of the recent bills to limit medical intervention for gender dysphoria in the form of puberty blockers and surgeries. Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones affect much more than outward appearance. The endocrine system is a very complex one. Puberty is what takes us from childhood to adulthood and it is a full body and emotional maturation process.
Puberty is not a comfortable time for any kid, but it is necessary to take our bodies, organs, bones and minds into adulthood. Avoiding, delaying, or “pausing” puberty comes with severe consequences including stunted organ development, sterility, and. bone density problems, just to name a few.
Further, the treatments now promoted for youth by gender clinics around the country (and Planned Parenthood) prescribe the off-label use of androgen blockers and wrong sex hormones, which also come with serious side-effects and complications in both the near- and long-term.
Kids and adults with gender dysphoria should be able to access proper treatment—but rushing into using off-label drugs with unknown long-term consequences is not good medicine. Under no circumstances should kids be allowed to self-diagnose a medical or psychological condition. And, in no other medical situation other than “trans” are they permitted to. Why? Because kids simply do not have the ability to consent to invasive treatments with life-long consequences that they cannot understand.
Most are not sexually active, so do not understand the consequences of limited/no sexual function or pleasure. They are not thinking about having a family, so cannot understand the consequences of no fertility. Studies show up to 85% with childhood onset gender dysphoria (before age 7) will resolve before adulthood, if left alone medically.
There are NO long-term studies of those who come to a transgender identity during puberty, NONE. And this is the majority who are now presenting at gender clinics. In England in the last decade, there has been an astronomically increase in the number of 12-17 year olds referred to gender clinics —a 1,460% increase in males and a 5,337% increase in the number of females. While there is no tracking in the US for referrals, it is clear something similar is going on, as the number of gender clinics treating youth have exploded from 6 to over 300 in the last decade.
We have NO idea how many false positives are being treated as there is no definitive test whether their transgender identity is fixed. Based on the over 20,000 now on the r/detrans sub-reddit who now regret their transition, there is compelling evidence that this concept of gender identity is NOT fixed. Kids want what they want now. It is incumbent on the adults and medical professionals to slow this down to allow more research and to ensure the fewest false positives are treated with life-long consequences.
Let kids be kids. Let them grow out their hair, or shave it short, let them wear what they want. Teach them to be kind to each other, no matter what.
Keira Bell sued the national health service in England after transitioning beginning in her late teens. She won her case, and it has initiated a wholesale review in the UK of the treatment of gender dysphoric kids. Due to her case and other studies, Sweden and Finland—two of the most progressive nations— are completely rewriting their guidelines for the treatment of gender dysphoria - they will no longer follow WPATH and it’s “affirmation only” approach, with serious medical interventions with virtually no gatekeeping or safeguarding of youth and vulnerable young adults.
The bills under consideration are not perfect and this is an incredibly complex issue. However, they are a step in the right direction toward a responsible way to support gender dysphoric kids today, while also safeguarding their long-term health.
Voters and Concerned Parents of a Gender Dysphoric Youth