By Evalyn Homoelle, featuring Ginny Gentles, director of IWF’s Education Freedom Center. Learn more at

“Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?” 

That’s the question that transgender activists and “gender-affirming” therapists and physicians often hold over parents’ heads when they refuse to allow their gender-dysphoric child to take experimental puberty blockers and long-term cross-sex hormones. 

A panel of experts spoke on the dangers posed by that “either/or” dichotomy at an event, “The Effect of Access to Puberty Blockers and Cross-Sex Hormones on Youth Suicide Rates,” at The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)  

The speakers discussed the significance of Heritage’s newly released, breakthrough study “Puberty Blockers, Cross-Sex Hormones, and Youth Suicide,” which examined the increased rate of youth suicide in states that allow gender-dysphoric minors to take cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers without parental consent.  

The study’s findings on suicide rates among gender-dysphoric youths run counter to the narrative of the transgender activists. 

Jay Richards, the director of Heritage’s DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, and Virginia Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center at the Independent Women’s Forum, joined Greene on the panel, which was moderated by Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. 

Gentles said that one of the most concerning aspects of the study’s findings is how the parents’ role in their child’s life is being usurped by medical, educational, and governmental institutions that actively conceal children’s health information from parents.  

Parents know that a risky regimen of puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries won’t bring their children the peace and joy they so desperately crave,” Gentles said. She added that the individuals making experimental but irreversible medical decisions for children in place of parents have insufficient knowledge to intervene.  

“The pernicious assumption behind this horrific question is that parents do not have the best interest of their children at heart and that the experts know better,” Gentles said. “Nothing is further from the truth.” 

“These vulnerable children deserve their parents’ involvement and deserve their parents’ support to make it safely to adulthood,” Gentles said. “It’s time to stop cruelly manipulating children with cult-like slogans, and it’s time to turn away from propaganda centered around suicide threats.” 

In addition, the speakers encouraged parents to fight for involvement in their children’s lives and speak up in the face of transgender activists’ intimidation and emotional manipulation. 

“The point of [transgender activists’] messaging is to make parents afraid. They don’t have to be afraid. They don’t have to be isolated. They don’t have to stay silent,” Gentles said. “Hope is more powerful than fear.”