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Culture

Summary: The Tragedy of the ‘Trans’ Child

A bathroom sign in Durham, N.C., in 2016. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Have you been following the Times of London’s reporting on the medical scandal at Britain’s largest gender youth clinic? In America, things are worse.

“In Texas, the case of James Younger points to a disturbing trend the treatment of gender-confused youth,” I write in a lengthy special report for National Review, our latest cover story: out now.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 percent of American high school students — around 300,000 teenagers — identify as transgender. As of 2014, there were 40 youth gender clinics. Now there could be considerably more.

What treatment is offered at these clinics? Often, it’s “gender-affirmation” only. What does that involve? From my report:

[Gender] clinicians have put children as young as twelve on sterilizing cross-sex hormones, removed the healthy breasts of girls as young as 13, and peeled and inverted the penises of boys as young as 15.

And what evidence justifies this interference with the sexual development of children?

In her September deposition for the James Younger trial, Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy — the head of the largest transgender-youth clinic in the United States and one of the leaders of a publicly funded National Institutes of Health study — gave the following testimony on whether it is safe or ethical to remove healthy breast tissue from adolescent girls as young as 13, as has been recommended in her clinic. From my report:

Odeneal [Jeffrey Younger’s lawyer]: Well, if you remove the breasts from a young woman, she will never be able to lactate or to breastfeed an infant; is that correct?
Olson-Kennedy: Well, I, I don’t advocate removal for breast tissue from young women. I advocate for chest reconstruction in young men.
Odeneal: Well haven’t you referred girls to have the chest surgery from your clinic?
Olson-Kennedy: They’re, they’re, they’re not girls. They’re not girls. They don’t identify as girls. So I have referred people who identify as transmasculine or as boys or young men for surgery, yes.
Odeneal: But do their birth certificates identify them as girls?
Olson-Kennedy: Sometimes, and sometimes they’ve had their gender marker changed on their birth certificate.
Odeneal: How many patients have you referred for the chest surgery?
Olson-Kennedy: Probably about 200.

[Emphasis added]

Elsewhere, Olson-Kennedy said that “a not-insignificant” number of young people at her clinic “have actually done sex economy, sex work, for a place to live or something to eat.” Note that a minor cannot legally consent to “sex work” in the state of California, where underage prostitution is considered sex-trafficking or rape.

In one secret Facebook group for parents who are transitioning their children (which has over 8,000 members), a mother posted a picture of a teen girl with Down syndrome whose breasts appear to have been amputated. This parent expressed a wish to connect with other parents of “trans,” Down children.

Some children being chemically and surgically transitioned in this Facebook group have also been physically and sexually abused. From my report:

 [A] mother describes in detail how her ex-partner sexually abused her twelve-year-old daughter, who now thinks she is a transgender boy. The mother writes, “My question is (and I don’t know if this is allowed), has anyone else been through this? I feel like his dysphoria may have been amplified” by the sexual abuse.

Wondering how this has happened? Confused as to why you haven’t heard about it?

In my report, I suggest a possible explanation: The legal and medical establishment in the United States has been ignoring evidence and bending their standards to please transgender activists, some of whom are clinicians. Meanwhile, the mainstream American media have been failing to report on it accurately.

The ongoing result is irreparable harm to children. This will continue until it is stopped.

Madeleine Kearns is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute. She is from Glasgow, Scotland, and is a trained singer.

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