Friday, in Sacramento, Calif., a group of detransitioners, parents, and allies gathered at the state capitol building in honor of Detrans Awareness Day. They came together to raise awareness about the growing group of individuals who say they’ve been irreparably harmed by the gender industry.
Among them is Prisha Mosley, a female detransitioner who was prescribed male hormones as a minor and underwent a double mastectomy shortly after turning 18.
Today at 25, Mosley describes feeling like a “medical monster,” suffering from a long list of prolonged side effects, including such severe vaginal atrophy that she can no longer use tampons.
The effects of the “mutilation” that Mosley describes falling victim to as a child is not unlike the horrific procedure of female genital mutilation, which involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia.
As a result of her medical transition, Mosley is unable to have a normal sex life, says she feels as though she’s “robbing” her boyfriend of her breasts, and doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to bear her own children.
According to data from the World Health Organization, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to FGM and, annually, more than 3 million girls are still at risk of being subjected to the procedure.
FGM is nearly universally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, and a violation of the rights of children. And yet, in the U.S., under the guise of “gender-affirming care,” a modern-day version of the practice is being widely accepted and promoted to young girls.
Instead of calling it FGM, activists have bubble wrapped their modern-day mutilation in pleasant-sounding terms such “top surgery,” “bottom surgery,” and “reversible” hormonal treatments for children and adults who identify as transgender. Yet, like FGM, procedures offered to those who suffer from body image issues and/or gender confusion incorporate medical interventions that can mutilate their sex organs. These effects aren’t limited to vulvoplasties and hysterectomies, which are two of the more extreme surgical procedures offered under “gender-affirming care.” As Jamie Reed, a whistleblower who oversaw the treatment of thousands of minors at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, recently described:
“[G]irls were disturbed by the effects of testosterone on their clitoris, which enlarges and grows into what looks like a microphallus, or a tiny penis. I counseled one patient whose enlarged clitoris now extended below her vulva, and it chafed and rubbed painfully in her jeans. I advised her to get the kind of compression undergarments worn by biological men who dress to pass as female. At the end of the call I thought to myself, ‘Wow, we hurt this kid.’
“There are rare conditions in which babies are born with atypical genitalia—cases that call for sophisticated care and compassion. But clinics like the one where I worked are creating a whole cohort of kids with atypical genitals—and most of these teens haven’t even had sex yet. They had no idea who they were going to be as adults. Yet all it took for them to permanently transform themselves was one or two short conversations with a therapist.”
This is an atrocity. And disproportionately, it’s an atrocity that’s affecting the bodies of women, as girls account for a significant majority of minors receiving “gender-affirming care.”
While critics are quick to dismiss evidence of “social contagion” among teenage girls, even the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and its activist president, Dr. Marci Bowers, have recognized that social influences may be driving some transgender identification in youth.
This perhaps explains why detransitioners are a rapidly-growing group gaining more visibility and attention, despite claims by some transgender activists that detransitioning is rare or not a “real thing.” Yet the harrowing stories of former trans-identified individuals serve as a cautionary tale against medical transitioning, as professionals appear either unable or unwilling to treat the often-severe medical complications caused by puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries.
At its root, gender ideology teaches vulnerable and impressionable girls to medicalize the natural insecurities that they face. In pursuit of “acceptance,” professionals then send them down a devastating path that includes drugs used to castrate male sex offenders and, in some cases, irreversible surgeries.
European countries such as the U.K., Sweden, Finland, and most recently Norway have moved to sharply limit these practices for minors after a systematic review of evidence found that the risks to “gender-affirming care” outweigh any benefits. Here in the U.S., aside from a few brave states such as Florida pushing back on “gender-affirming care,” we’re moving in the opposite direction. Activists, medical professionals, and politicians are doubling down on their support for the mutilation of healthy bodies by smearing attempts to ban these procedures as bigoted and dangerous—attacks not unlike those once used to legalize and normalize FGM.
For his part, President Joe Biden has made his position clear: “Affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy,” he said in a video message speaking directly to parents.
But sadly for the Biden administration, it’s not enough to irreversibly destroy the future sex lives and reproductive abilities of youth by encouraging experimental drugs and treatments in the U.S. According to a leaked internal memo from Secretary Antony Blinken, the Biden administration may begin pressuring other countries to push vulnerable youth into hormones and surgeries.
As Manhattan Institute scholar Leor Sapir put it, “Under President Biden, it would appear that cultural arrogance and ‘colonialism’ (as defined in the contemporary academy) are once again staples of American foreign policy.”
With Detrans Awareness Day following on the heels of International Women’s Day this week, it’s time to stop mincing words. We must treat gender ideology as a human rights issue. And we must be clear, the Biden administration is on the wrong side.