An activist whose job it is to help LGBTQ+ youth made an astonishing claim during a congressional hearing in mid-December: That detransitioning is not a “real thing.” 

Speaking before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on a hearing about anti-LGBTQ+ violence, Jessie Pocock, CEO and executive director of Inside Out Youth Services in Colorado Springs, Colorado, responded to a question raised by Texas Republican Rep. Michael Cloud. Cloud asked Pocock if she could speak about the “phenomenon” of individuals who formerly identified as transgender but came to regret it and detransition later. 

Under oath, Pocock told Cloud, “you know, somebody’s gender is just a really personal experience, but I can speak to you, I’ve been in this work for a long time, I know a lot of trans folks, close friends, family members.”  

She added, “And I’ve just never heard of a case of anyone detransitioning, so I honestly don’t think it’s a real thing.” 

Denying the reality that children, teens, and even adults change their minds about their identities is not just ignorant. It’s dangerous. It promotes a one-way ticket down the transgender assembly line, where getting off isn’t an option. Either Pocock is mind-bogglingly ignorant, or she knowingly lied while speaking under oath. Both conclusions should immediately disqualify her to lead an organization that works with America’s gender-confused youth.  

Contrary to Pocock’s claim, the stories and experiences of detransitioners are painfully real. Consider Prisha Mosley, a young woman who was pushed by therapists and doctors to take testosterone and to cut off her healthy breasts as a teen in the midst of a well-documented mental health crisis. Now 24, Mosley is struggling to piece her life back together. Of her experience identifying as transgender, Mosley said, “I literally feel like I killed a child, and it was me.” 

Then there’s Daisy Strongin, who, as a child, was committed to being “trans until I die.” Strongin took testosterone, got “top surgery,” and wasn’t concerned about preserving her fertility until she fell in love with a man and realized there was nothing more important to her than having her own children. Now lucky to be a mom, Strongin can’t breastfeed her baby boy. 

“If you told me two years ago that in 2022 [I] would be married and pregnant, I just would not, I wouldn’t believe you,” Strongin said. “My parents told me that I would change a lot, but I just could not conceptualize it.” 

Also consider the story of Cat Cattinson, a semi-professional singer who was prescribed testosterone by Planned Parenthood after a 30-minute phone call. When the Schedule III controlled substance started ruining her singing voice, Cattinson realized that identifying as transgender was all a mistake. She canceled the double mastectomy she had scheduled, withdrew her legal name change, and stopped cross-sex hormones cold turkey. 

“I realized I’d been in an echo chamber and I’d been told some really harmful things by trans activists that totally distorted my view of the world and my gender or my biological sex,” Cattinson said. “In the future, we’re going to see a lot of children who have detransitioned being angry with their parents and feeling betrayed by them.” 

This is just a small sampling of the many detransitioners who’ve been victimized by the gender ideology cult, documented by Independent Women’s Forum’s “Identity Crisis” series. Activists try to downplay (and in Pocock’s case, erase) their existence, but a group for detransitioners on Reddit claims over 40,000 members. Amongst those profiting off adolescents’ gender confusion, there’s little motivation to figure out an exact number. 

But without considering their many stories — or their mere existence — it’s impossible to have an honest conversation about the risks of prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries to America’s gender-confused youth. Risks that even establishment publications including Reuters and The New York Times are now acknowledging. 

But activists want to put children on this path without parents knowing.  

“Do parents have a right? Should they be informed of what’s going on?” Rep. Cloud asked Pocock during the House Oversight hearing. “Do they have a right to know what’s going on in their kids’ lives?” 

“In terms of parents’ rights to know at schools, I mean here in Colorado, parents don’t have a right,” Pocock responded, adding, 

“If a young person is questioning their gender or their sexuality, there are laws in place that say they have the right to process that with the help of their trusted counselor and so forth.” 

Rep. Cloud then asked about her work with children as young as 13. “What would be the age of consent, then, in your mind?” 

Pocock responded, “In our community, the age of consent to mental health therapy is 12 years old.” 

Parents should be outraged. In addition to the devastating experiences of detransitioners, a group of mothers has also detailed what happens when schools, therapists, and LGBTQ+ “experts” try to transition their children behind their backs. 

In one case, a mother from Washington state discovered her local public school was secretly affirming her 5th-grade daughter’s male identity. She later found out that her daughter’s teacher, a male, asked her then-11-year-old daughter to sleep in the boy’s cabin overnight. 

“Kids want to please adults,” the mother, Jennifer, said. “My daughter felt she had to answer yes.” 

Jennifer’s daughter no longer identifies as transgender. 

Officials at another school in Alaska intentionally deceived the parents of a gender-confused 15-year-old, using their daughter’s birth name and female pronouns in official communications, while using her made-up name and male pronouns behind closed doors. 

“I thought parents and the school were supposed to work together for the well-being of the child,” that mother, who goes by Susie, said. “It doesn’t feel like that’s happening.” 

As the school continued to treat her daughter as a boy, Susie watched her daughter’s mental health get worse. 

The vast majority of children who suffer from gender confusion or gender dysphoria become comfortable with their sex when they go through puberty. But today, parents and children are being lied to by activists that affirmation is the only acceptable response to a transgender declaration. The stories of detransitioners and parents of gender-confused youth are evidence that there is another possible outcome if a child is not affirmed. An outcome that doesn’t subject children to a lifetime of doctors’ appointments and medical complications. 

In Europe, many countries have accepted this fact and ended the practice of medically transitioning children. The stories of detransitioners were essential in making that happen. 

Perhaps it’s no wonder why, in America, activists would go so far as to deny that detransitioners even exist. But make no mistake, their voices are real. And they’re only growing louder.