“I was 17… I finally started on testosterone gel, later switching to injections. It was a huge thing when my voice broke, and my figure started changing — my hips narrowed, my shoulders broadened. It felt right. Passing as a man, I felt safer in public places, I was taken more seriously when I spoke, and I felt more confident. Then I had chest surgery. It was botched, and I was left with terrible scarring. I was traumatized. For the first time, I asked myself, ‘What am I doing?‘”
Moya Sarner is in her late 20s now. She fights the waves of regret over what she did to her body almost every day, especially when she thinks about having children. If only someone had counseled her, she says wistfully. “I might not have transitioned. I was so focused on trying to change my gender, I never stopped to think about what gender meant.” The people treating her should have. And now there are Moyas all around the world suffering because no one told them the truth — that there’s freedom from their pain without destroying how they were made.
In England, gender clinicians, nurses, and therapists are pleading with the country to stop putting children on this irreversible path. The medical staff at Tavistock, England’s only gender clinic, was horrified enough to go public, many of them resigning over the horrifying things they witnessed behind closed doors. Some doctors, they said, would openly lie to patients and parents, fast-tracking what turned out to be extremely painful and devastating surgeries for children, who were usually suffering from deeper issues. When staffers like Kirsty Entwistle tried to intervene in certain cases, she was considered intolerant.
“Since leaving…” she writes in an open letter, “I have continued to follow transgender issues online and one of the things that I have felt concerned about is seeing the bullying and intimidation for those people who raise valid concerns about children making a medical transition… I am also concerned that the attempts of Tavistock & Portman professionals, including former GIDS clinicians, to voice concerns about GIDS practice do not appear to have sunk in.” Several employees have gone to the press, something, Kirsty points out, “clinical psychologists are not known for.” And when they do, desperate to protect children’s well-being, “you have to take them seriously.”
Psychoanalyst Dr. Marcus Evans, who also quit, told the BBC he was worried the clinic was searching for “quick solutions” for young patients. “This is the opposite of what needs to be done,” he insisted. “There is a lot at stake here as these decisions have far-reaching consequences.” In a secret report sent to the U.K.’s Sunday Times, multiple staffers accused Tavistock of using puberty-blocking drugs or surgery as the cure-all for “multiple problems such as historic child abuse in the family, bereavement… and a very significant incidence of autism spectrum disorder.”
But if the medical staff ever suggested that these experiences might be tied to a child’s “wish to transition,” Entwistle said, they “ran the risk of being called transphobic.” There’s an “unspoken rule,” she explained. “Clinicians do not tell families: ‘Your child is not transgender.'” That’s especially disturbing now, since the clinic is overwhelmed with referrals for kids. More than 2,510 have asked for appointments this year — a 400 percent spike from the 97 in 2009!
Other doctors walked out because their objections were flat-out ignored. They thought their patients were being subjected to “long-term damage” because Tavistock refused to stand up to the pressure” from “highly politicized” transgender-activist groups. They are “making decisions that will have a major impact on children and young people’s bodies and lives … without a robust evidence base,” Kirstey fumed. One example, she points out, is that parents were routinely told that puberty blockers are “fully reversible,” when the effects, she argues, are impossible to know. Girls like Moya may never be able to have children because no one told them the risks. Risks like infertility, sexual dysfunction, memory loss, bone fractures and osteoporosis, strokes, testicular cancer, suicidal tendencies, and on and on, Dr. Michelle Cretella explained on “Washington Watch.” “So these are not benign drugs.”
“I mean, we have physicians and drug companies profiting off of the suffering of children… when some of these kids who are gender confused are suffering from an emotional disturbance — and others are being talked into it by the very people who are supposed to be helping them… [P]rior to the wholesale promotion of transgenderism, the vast majority of children who were confused about their sex, if they were supported through natural puberty, outgrew the confusion. That’s a fact [that’s] been documented in at least 11 studies. But again, that was before all the transgender propaganda.”
For the time being, the Tavistock headline seems to be generating a surprising amount of outrage. Conservative activists who’ve been waiting for the public to catch on to the nightmare that is gender ideology are relieved that these clinicians are brave enough to stand up and say, “Enough.” “I’ve always thought if the public really knew what ‘transition’ entailed,” one conservative activist said, holding gruesome photos of patients’ surgery scars, “they would object, and it would stop. I think the U.K. is collectively reaching a point of critical mass where too many of us know what is happening.”
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column with podcast is republished with permission. All rights reserved.