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Detransitioner lawsuits seek to slow gender 'affirming' care for children

Julie Reeder


The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies released a new report last week titled “Pills and Pronouns” that found eight of the nation’s 20 largest school districts allow students to use names and pronouns at school aligned with their gender identity without parental knowledge and consent. Yet these same districts, including San Diego Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, New York City Department of Education and Chicago Public Schools, require parental permission to dispense over-the-counter medication to students at school.

“There are more than 3 million students in America from kindergarten all the way through their senior year of high school who are allowed to change their name and pronouns at school without their parents knowing, but not to take an Advil from the school nurse,” DFI spokesperson Angela Morabito said.

The report also stated, “These districts treat medical concerns as needs children bring with them from home to school. Issues of sex and gender identity, conversely, are treated as needs that arise in school that may or may not be brought home to the parents. These issues may very well develop at school, especially if a teacher delivers age-inappropriate lessons about gender and causes children to doubt their own self-image. This does not mean that gender identity is within the school’s purview to manage. To the contrary, it shows a school overstepping its role and confusing children rather than protecting them.”

I was recently watching training for teachers and administrators. An openly trans teacher defended hiding information about students who were experimenting with changing their names and gender identity from the parents.

The teacher always referred to the parents as “caregivers.” I thought that was interesting and denigrating to parents. I would suspect that this teacher probably isn’t a parent and doesn’t have a full understanding of what it means, or costs in terms of years of emotional, capital and financial investment of what it takes to raise a child.

Good teachers can impact a student for a lifetime. They can also do great damage for a lifetime, especially if there is any abuse, or the student is taught ideology rather than education.

This is what our local parents are vigilantly watching for and fighting against. During the last Fallbrook High School board meeting, there was a lot of public comment about the books available on Chromebooks or in the library. Some were very graphic and seemed to normalize sexual abuse of a young boy who then performed sexual favors for the men in the neighborhood and it was portrayed as pleasurable and OK. Parents who spoke described the book as child abuse and something that should be reported to CPS.

The teacher introducing gender ideologies may think they are doing the students a favor, but there is more and more evidence that it may just be introducing sexual confusion which could have dire consequences, especially into an age group that feels awkward anyway.

Parents need and have the right to know what their child is being exposed to. The teacher may be there for a year, but the parents will be there until they die. They have given of themselves to create the child and have committed their lives, their fortunes and many years and sleepless nights to the child’s welfare. They will be the ones responsible and dealing with potentially tragic damage long after the teacher is gone.

The same parent that nurtured that child as a baby will be the one dealing with a minor who is deciding to have perfectly good parts of their body permanently removed. The parents will be the ones consoling the child after they realize that they may not be able to conceive after all the puberty blockers, sex hormones or surgery. Their voice may never return to its feminine tones after taking testosterone. The same students who aren’t legally able to take an Advil or aspirin at school likely won’t understand the scope of what it means that not only will they be sterile, but they may never achieve sexual climax if they’ve mutilated their biological sex organs.

Parents, not “caregivers,” are the ones who really love that child. They are the ones responsible; legally, financially and emotionally, and they are the ones left holding the bag and trying to pick up all the pieces and nurture their children or young adults who were “affirmed” and decide to make radical medical decisions before they were adults, emotionally, physically. They may be immature and unable to really understand the breadth and depth and finality of what they are doing.

The lawsuits are starting. Some children claim they were given puberty blockers or sex hormones during their first medical appointment and no consideration was given to the possibility that they may have had gender dysphoria, trauma, etc. or were just being influenced by friends or TikTok influencers.

Two years ago it was claimed that there were 60 gender clinics in North America. Today there are over 400. It’s becoming a huge business and California wants to become the Trans tourism state for minors.

But some detransitioners realize, after years of living as a trans person, that they are instead lesbian, gay or bisexual. Other detransitioners come to discover that what they thought was only gender dysphoria may have instead reflected a more complex picture – perhaps including a neurodivergence, the aftermath of a past trauma, or some other mental health challenge.

In the UK, the Tavistock Clinic, the premier gender-affirming treatment center under the country’s National Health Service, was closed because there were over 1,100 lawsuits filed by detransitioners and their parents who alleged “multiple failures of duty of care” with regard to its pediatric patients suffering from gender dysphoria. The clinic was also charged with having “recklessly prescribed puberty blockers with harmful side effects and adopted an ‘unquestioning, affirmative approach’ to children identifying as transgender.”

Children were rushed through without consideration of their age, maturity level or mental and emotional state.

Tavistock’s “affirming” care meant that any questioning of whether this rush to treatment is appropriate for a particular person expressing gender dysphoria was considered inappropriate.

One of the first lawsuits was filed by Keira Bell who was treated at Tavistock. She claimed she was fast-tracked for gender affirmation treatment even though, as a minor, she had little understanding of the long-term consequences of what she was consenting to. She is now detransitioned and is fighting for other children who she says are being rushed along a treatment plan to irreversible changes that they can’t possibly understand.

The court found in her favor that much of the treatment is not based on solid evidence and children under 16 can’t consent to a treatment with such major irreversible consequences.

The High Court of England ruled on Dec. 1, 2022 that a minor child does not have the capacity to consent to treatments that cause sterility, sexual dysfunction, short stature, decreased bone density and increased risk of heart attacks and blood clots. These are adult decisions that shouldn’t be entered into by children.

Another well-known detransitioner in the United States is Chloe Cole. She is represented by Harmeet Dhillon and is suing Kaiser Permanente.

Additional law firms are gearing up for class action lawsuits and some states are banning these treatments on minors. Other laws are being passed giving detransitioners the right to sue parents and their doctors, which may slow the fervor for permanently altering children.

The AFI Report stated, “They think parents can be cut out of the conversation, and that they should be the ones in charge of major decisions in a child’s life. And that’s just not true. This report is really about the acute need to put control back in the hands of parents.”

What may seem like a small thing to a teacher or administrator could have long-term dire consequences for students and their families.


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