Hi everybody. Transgender woman here, historian, and only just now beginning my hormone treatments at 35 years old.

You talk about kids and children like all this happened when they were 8 or 12 years old. But then you talk about how your child is 18 or starting college, and how you've threatened to cut them off financially if they make the decision to undergo hormone treatments as an adult.

You mention that these "kids" are too young to smoke, although I'm pretty sure that only happened a couple of years ago, and I think we can agree, even smokers, that deciding to smoke is always a bad choice, but sooner or later, 18 or 21 or sometime, people have to have the freedom to make that decision for themselves. But there's no success stories out there for cigarettes.

You know, before all of this affirming care you're so upset about, there were assessments and so forth to prevent just anyone from accessing transitional care, all willy nilly. Older trans folks can tell you all about gatekeeping, how they had to convince multiple doctors they were "trans enough" to be treated. Sometimes they had to "live as" the gender they identified with for a period of time WITHOUT hormones, which some could do comfortably, but I can tell you first hand that for others that was an absolute nightmare.

I came out 8 years ago. But I could not access affordable and affirming care at that time, and I was forced to relocate to my home city, an even less accepting community, in order to make ends meet, just as the Trump administration began. To this day, only people who are close to me know me as a woman, and I go about my business in public presenting in a way that allows me to pass for a cisgender man. I have skin issues related to shaving, so most of the time I have at least light facial hair. I live and work in an area where I would be fearful to leave the house wearing a dress, much less pumping gasoline, or shopping at a hardware store. The idea of having to perform some doctor's idea of womanhood, to their satisfaction, for a YEAR? TWO YEARS? Before being able to start hormone therapy? That is deeply terrifying. That would make me fear for my safety.

I started the process of seeking out gender affirming treatment in late August. I had blood tests taken in late September. Now I have an appointment to see my endocrinologist in mid November. So from the day I filled out my intake forms, it will have been at least four months before I get my first dose of testosterone blockers, and that's only if there aren't any other hoops I will have to jump through first.

I have personally met and befriended more trans people than I can reasonably guess at over the past eight years. MOST of my friends and acquaintances are transgender. The best I can do for a number is that I am CONFIDENT the number of transgender people I have counted as close friends and confidantes is greater than fifty. Virtually all of them were already receiving hormone therapy. Many of them had already undergone surgical treatments I will never be able to have. Others have received surgical treatments since we met.

I have met ONE person who regretted her decision to receive hormone treatment, and it wasn't because she wanted to return to her birth assigned gender, but because the harassment and cruelty she faced from people who recognized her as transgender was so emotionally devastating that she couldn't bear it. She was bullied into detransitioning by... nobody in particular. The general public.

Now I did meet plenty of trans folks who went off of testosterone or estrogen for a while because their doctor moved to a new city and they couldn't just *find another doctor* in time to refill their prescriptions, or because their pharmacy experienced a shortage and even after rationing their dosages, they still ran out before they could get a refill. I've met plenty who could not afford to get their refills because they were close to homelessness. I've met a few who had pharmacists refuse to fill their prescriptions so they had to have them transferred to another pharmacy--fortunately since CVS fired someone for that in 2018, that one issue will hopefully be less and less of a problem.

We experience job discrimination, housing discrimination, harassment while commuting, while shopping, while dining out, sometimes while checking our mail. Those of us who are lucky to have the right skill sets manage to get remote jobs, but many of us are relegated to low wage "back of the house" jobs like line cook or dishwasher. Or the worst jobs of all: customer service. Cisgender heterosexual people who work as retail associates, cashiers, or waitstaff can tell you that there are ALWAYS customers who treat you as less than a human being. Add the harassment and bullying trans people face daily on top of that. Now realize that coworkers and managers frequently speak disrespectfully of their trans coworkers when their back is turned. "But that can't be at every job," you might start to say... are you aware just how financially dangerous it is to quit every job where your manager and/or coworkers belittle you and make jokes about you? How long will it take you to find another one? What if you still don't get paid until two weeks after your start date? What if that workplace turns out to be just as hostile, and you're back where you started? Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and trans folks experience financial insecurity at disturbingly high rates, for all the reasons I've just described.

Stop me if you've heard this one, but WHY WOULD WE CHOOSE THIS? You talk about social contagion... I don't know if you're aware, but it's not "popular" to be transgender. What you call social contagion is just young people becoming aware that gender transition, or rejecting the gender binary altogether, is a possibility. I can identify signs that I was transgender dating back to when I was five years old. And I can identify the first few times that the concept of being transgender was introduced to me. Two of my relatives at a holiday gathering, laughing about a married couple in the local news who transitioned together, like they were side show freaks. A friend's mother telling a story to a group of us children about a boy who wished to be a girl, and had his wish granted at a great cost, but then realized she didn't want to be a girl anymore now that she had experienced it, and ended up paying double the price, just to be back where he had started. Kids in school making crude jokes and using slurs to talk about trans women.

Gender transition is NOT the cool new trend all the kids are excited about. But if they are allowed to know that it's a thing some people do, many will realize that they'd rather face down all the meanness and adversity than live stifling, inauthentic lives of quiet desperation. That's what's happening.

Why do we have high rates of mental illness? I mean, we absorb all the things you teach us about gender identity, and it hurts. Being told to man up, people making fun of us for our mannerisms or our interests or how we dress or carry ourselves, not for "cross dressing" or anything, just for failing to embody our assigned gender to other people's satisfaction. We feel something wrong, or something missing, and we become reclusive or we find unhealthy coping mechanisms. Because we live in a world where we learn very young that a lot of things are off limits to us, and a lot of things are expected of us, whether that's who we really are, or not.

You say that you are told when you speak up that those who regret transition are so few as to be negligible, and suggest that if heart patients frequently experienced life long irreversible complications as a result of heart surgery, it would be a big deal. NEWS: people who have open heart surgery *DO* frequently experience those things. And your children, at least a few of you who have discussed them, your children sound like adults who know themselves, not minors who have been medically harmed and emotionally scarred by the side effects of puberty blockers. It sounds to me like you're about to have your children achieve financial independence and then stop answering your phone calls. I would advise you to stop trying to control them and start showing them that you love them enough to accept them as they are. Or as they choose to be. Which brings me to my final point.

As far as whether it's a choice or an immutable part of who a person is? Gender isn't real. Biological sex isn't simple black and white. And the connection tying biological sex to gender is arbitrary. Examining and exploring your gender and how you present yourself is something EVERYONE should do, if only so that cisgender people will KNOW they are cisgender, instead of just being pushed into a mold the day they were born and conforming without really ever thinking about it.

Now, odds are slim that even a single one of you will think seriously about what I've said here. But that's on you. I hope your children live long, happy lives whether you step up to the plate and show them the love they deserve, or not.

Expand full comment

I am glad to hear your anger! That Bowers character is a sociopathic ghoul in an expensive wig, still raking in $$$ ruining lives even as he backtracks. And he is set to be the face of WPATH into the future. I refuse to be among those who look past his weakness and venality to laud him in any way. He should be vilified, his name and face on posters wheat-pasted across every city alongside the names and faces of all the other ghouls we know by name who are making their fortunes and careers by driving this insanity. Thank you for a great essay!

Expand full comment

I believe the proper name is Martine. Rothblatt

Expand full comment

This who transism hoax has been invented and promulgated by self-serving psychopaths. WPATH is a self appointed bunch of self-proclaimed experts on what is - in truth - a male delusion. From the moment it was determined (via phallometry) that this was a demonstrable fetish, the raging bulls of denial have been demanding that truth be ignored. It was a common phrase in my early days that something worthless was 'as useful as tits on a bull'. What has this transism industry been doing? Sewing tits on bulls (and non-functioning pretend penises on cows). Some people have far to too much time on their hands if the can spend their entire lives using those idle hands to toy with themselves.

Expand full comment

I want everyone to tell the truth. And then I want those responsible to pay or hurting our kids - schools, pediatricians, doctor, surgeons, pharmacists, endocrinologists, planned parent, and or government. And I want our government to stop welling gender ideology. I want the schools to stop incorporating it in to every class. I want the TQIA eliminated from the LGB. Even the B is unnecessary.

Expand full comment

The NIH has already give 5Mn to "study" medicalization and surgery on kids down to age 8. This is criminal. We should not be doing Mengelian medical experiments on children, with our tax dollars no less.

Do follow up studies on those already mutilated. They don't bother to even follow up.

Expand full comment

Where's the road back for those young people being told, even now, that it doesn't feel right because they actually need surgery, too? This very moment, young people are scheduling surgeries, starting hormones.

Please speak up more! And quickly.

Expand full comment

Let the law suits begin. It's the only way forward.

Expand full comment

Doctors, while I am extremely thankful that you have finally admitted that grave mistakes have been made, I wish you would stop holding on to a significant portion of the lies that have been spread to our children. I understand that the fact that you have made serious errors in parts of your medical decision-making does not assure that you are wrong about everything, but it surely must make you aware that you are fallible and may be wrong on more than just the use of puberty blockers. You have hinted at social contagion, but you are still unwilling to admit that the vast majority of young people who are claiming a "trans identity" will not be helped by medical intervention. You know that the majority of children who suffer "gender dysphoria" resolve the issue by adulthood (and those studies are on children who were not as affected by social contagion) - without intervention. Why then would you possibly recommend the affirmation model, and recommend that children be led down a path to medicalization? You surely know that cross-sex hormones over a life-time have serious negative long-term affects on a body's health. You surely know that the surgeries to make bodies appear more like the opposite sex are often fraught with complications, and rarely achieve a functionality that approaches natural genital function. Yet you still don't caution that nobody should be given any medical intervention unless and until they are full-grown adults with mature brain function (ie. at least 25), and unless and until it is clear that they are not suffering from any mental co-morbidities that might compromise their ability to make an informed decision regarding medical transition, and unless and unless and until it is clear that they cannot live peacefully within their healthy body - through in-depth therapy that does not simply "affirm" their notions, but instead delves into the reasons they believe they cannot live happily without chemical and/or surgical alteration of their bodies. Some of you have made the decision to medically transition and perhaps are living happily in your medically altered bodies, at peace with the serious health sacrifices you have made (and if you already had children, at least you didn't give up your fertility!). That does not mean you shouldn't caution young people against doing this unless and until it is clear that they have no other choice.

Expand full comment

Rats fleeing the ship…

Expand full comment

Actually, I want more than the doctors speaking up. More than stopping the new harm that they are pushing and enabling.

I want them to help the kids who believed them, who listened to them instead of their parents, instead of those who were looking at the evidence.

The ones who were harmed by medicalizing--that no one is counting, because no one is keeping track of outcomes. It's a tall order, they are 15, 20, 25, their bodies have been subjected to the brutal effects of puberty blockers, hormones, surgery. These are the bodies they have for the rest of their lives. Some will require hormones for the rest of their lives. Many fell into this because of distress in the first place, and now they have iatrogenic harm as well, thanks to you.

It's way past time to stop growing their ranks. And to help those you have terribly, terribly harmed.

Expand full comment

What these people are trying to do is just to position themselves so that they will be subpoenaed as witnesses rather than as defendants. That's all. That's literally all it is

Expand full comment

This needs to go to every therapist, doctor, glitter family, school. ASAP. Along the earlier articles on PITT. They should be subscribing.

As you know, doctors who are speaking up to the public were just told to stop doing so:


So, who are you going to support, doctors? The children? Do they deserve the truth?

Are you going to support the truth and evidence based medical care, or run and hide?

Remember that oath???

[And yes, I don't understand why there is this emphasis on waiting to give puberty blockers by surgeons, because otherwise they won't have sexual pleasure. I mean, that is important, yes, and these young people can't appropriately fathom it, but wait or not, the kids are being sterilized by these "bottom surgeries". These young mentally distressed people (most in this young person cohort are mentally distressed) not old enough to decide to smoke or drink. Surely that is also important?]

Expand full comment

They won't tell the truth. Bowers is already backtracking from the original statements.

We have to start naming names. Everyone who led our kids to harm -- doctors, teachers, therapists, etc. -- needs to be outed and publicly shamed. It's time for parents, whenever they are able, to tell the truth to anyone who will listen.

My child is still steeped in the ideology, but we maintain a good relationship, so it's not a good idea for us to go public right now. That will have to wait until the situation resolves. No one should go public if it will jeopardize the parent-child relationship, because we know that bond can help our kids get out of this cult with minimal harm. Please do not take up the call to arms if you are still fighting this battle. Your child is much too important to risk.

But if you are able to make noise, it's time. The cracks are finally starting to show in the ideology, and sadly the only way the bad actors will stop pushing this stuff is if they see serious consequences for their actions.

I am so encouraged by what I've seen in the past year. Thank you, PITT, for your contribution.

Expand full comment