- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

The Coming Trans Medical Backlash

A reader sends this horrifying story from the Sydney Morning Herald about people who had sex-change surgery earlier in life, who now regret it [1]. Excerpts:

He will never forget the noise. Lying on the hospital trolley being pushed towards the operating theatre, he heard nothing but a primal wail. He looked back to see his younger sister sobbing, traumatised by the enormity of what he was about to do.

Andrew*, born male, was minutes away from an operation that would make him a woman. Psychiatrists said he had a female brain in a male body. Gender reassignment surgery was the only way to ease the mental torment he’d endured since adolescence.

But as the wheels squeaked towards the operating table he was struck by an unshakeable thought: “It’s not right.” He remembers telling the surgeon: “I think I’m doing the wrong thing, it’s not right, I think we’ve got to stop it.”

The surgeon stroked Andrew’s face, telling him it was natural to feel frightened before an operation. He protested again, insisting it felt wrong. Then it went black. When he woke up he was sure the surgery had been cancelled. The romantic tales he’d read of transsexuals who awoke post-surgery feeling “reborn” convinced Andrew the operation had been halted, because he felt no different.

“Then I remember lifting up the sheets and putting my hand down and feeling it all bandaged and packed. I just started bawling my eyes out and screaming … I remember saying to myself, you f–king idiot, Andrew, how could you be so bloody stupid?”

Twenty years after surgery that left him feeling like a “desexed dog”, the grief can still overwhelm him. Now 42, Andrew tells The Sunday Age the operation he had as a confused 21-year-old has shattered him.

It happened to a woman who had been sexually abused as a child:

She recalls punching her breasts and working out obsessively at the gym to “remove anything that reminded me I was female”. She was a 22-year-old university student when she was referred to the clinic by her GP, depressed and struggling with her identity. Dr Kennedy diagnosed her as transsexual at the first assessment, prescribing her male hormones and suggesting female-to-male surgery.

Within months Angela’s body was covered in thick hair, her voice deepened and she had a full beard. She had to shave under the covers every morning to hide the truth from her conservative Catholic parents. Two years later she had surgery to remove both breasts and was scheduled to have a full sex change. Angela could no longer conceal the truth from her family and began living as “David”. Thankfully, she says, she realised there had been a mistake before undergoing full genital surgery.

“I remember at one point looking at myself in the mirror with this beard, my breasts gone and thinking, ‘Oh my God, what the hell am I going to do?’ … I felt ugly. I was the classic bearded woman, a monster trapped between two worlds.”

She claims her pleas for help were also ignored by the clinic and her return to life as a woman was a nightmare that involved two years of painful electrolysis to get rid of facial and body hair and surgery to reconstruct her breasts.

Now married to a “wonderful” man, Angela has three young children and has slowly rebuilt her life. Looking back, she acknowledges she gave consent for the procedure but believes it was not informed consent. She feels she was mentally ill and that her childhood abuse played a part in her gender confusion.

Read the whole thing [1] — especially if you have a young person in your life who wants the surgery.

It’s a nightmare situation for everybody. I don’t know what the tort system is like in Australia, but it’s easy to imagine dissatisfied transsexuals suing their surgeons years after the fact. The thing is, the transsexuals in this story all say that they fully consented to the surgery. It’s that some of them think the clinic was too eager to give it to them. It’s a terrible situation for doctors, admittedly. I know of one case in the US in which a health care worker was facing a lawsuit from a male who wanted to transition to female, but was refused treatment by this worker. When last I heard about it, the suit was in its early stages. This was over a year ago, so I don’t know how it happened. Anyway, it’s not hard to imagine doctors and health care providers being sued for not giving treatment, and then being sued at the other end for giving treatment that the transsexual came to regret.

At least they consented to treatment. A German reader passes along this grotesque, heartrending story about the suffering of former East German athletes who were dosed against their will (and often without their knowledge) with anabolic steroids to improve their performance. [2]Here’s a testimony by Katja Hoffman, now 44:

In my sports club in Berlin, I would be given packets of powder. I was 13 or 14 years old the first time. The word Dynvital was on the label. I had no choice but to swallow it. My coach told me they were vitamins. She made sure that I always took it and acted as though she was doing me a favor. I trusted her, but she deceived me. I also know that she was only at the very end of the chain of command.

I would love to talk to her today, but I’m not ready for it yet. I also think that she wouldn’t want to.

My mother saved a packet of Dynvital. She wouldn’t let anyone touch it; she wanted to save it as evidence. Today, it is thought that the powder was STS 646, an artificial testosterone — a substance that wasn’t approved in East Germany for treating people. Poison.

I loved my sport. As a child, I had an idol. Ulf Timmermann was my role model, and, of course, Katarina Witt. I still have an autograph from her. “We are better than the West,” we were always told. It was also constantly said in East German sports that: “Individuals don’t matter.” We were guinea pigs.

I have to live with the consequences today. I would love to work. Up until three years ago, I was still able to work 10 hours a week as an assistant at a medical practice. Now, I can’t even do that, and I’ve been a housewife since February 2015. Even then, I am quickly overcome by fatigue and can hardly concentrate. Just about any kind of housework makes my hands hurt.

I am homosexual. That’s not a problem as such, nor is it an issue for my family and friends. But I still wonder if I might have loved men if I had never been given that powder back then.

Here are the medical conditions Katja Hoffman endures:

Read the whole thing.   [2] There are a number of athletes telling the stories of the serious health problems they struggle with today as the result of steroids being injected into them as young athletes by the state.

Just wait till all these kids who were rushed into hormones and surgeries get to be in their 30s, and start breaking down. Malpractice lawsuits are going to make a lot of lawyers rich — but those messed-up patients will never be okay.

91 Comments (Open | Close)

91 Comments To "The Coming Trans Medical Backlash"

#1 Comment By DBN On March 28, 2018 @ 1:53 pm

Correct on both counts. I’m no expert in these matters, but I think the East German women were given anabolic steroids which are not what trans patients are given in transition (I believe).

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are a class of natural and synthetic hormones that include testosterone and act like testosterone in the body. The long term consequences of these hormones depends on dosage and duration of use.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 28, 2018 @ 2:03 pm

I’m old enough to remember when my accurate comments about Dr. John Money were spiked on this blog years ago as being too controversial, even though they are milquetoast compared to both the post above and the many comments!

I had corresponded with courageous Dr. Diamond, whose exposes of this sex “change” pioneer revealed how he had fraudulently suppressed the terrible outcomes of his “treatments” which had culminated in damage control at Johns Hopkins where the program was halted.

#3 Comment By Nate J On March 28, 2018 @ 2:26 pm

Raskolnik hits the nail on the head. The progressive left pushes this junk in our face non-stop – pushes the boundaries of decency to the breaking point – and uses it as justification for all manner of intrusive state power (taking children from “transphobic” parents, curtailing free speech, etc), then when the dust has settled and we’re standing in the cultural fallout, they turn around and have the temerity to insist “It was those dastardly conservatives all along that created this mess!”

These are the same people who come to conservative blogs and columns and forums and insist, without a hint of irony, that conservatives are obsessed with sex.

Uh-huh. Sure. Whatever you say.

#4 Comment By Alex On March 28, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

In 10-20 years you might hear some people say that DJT saved the US Military from such legal and financial burdens. Interesting article.

#5 Comment By Nate J On March 28, 2018 @ 2:41 pm

@grumpy realist: “So I suspect that this will be a self-solving problem… As said, this too shall pass.”

– – –

I’m not so sure. Maybe on my more optimistic days, I’d agree with this.

However, whether or not this particular brand of madness passes, it doesn’t really matter. I come to see that the point of the progressive left isn’t to advocate for any single group or fad, but to continue the long game. They will use any trend towards this end, and long after the trend has passed (again, optimistically assuming it will) the damage will have been done.

I actually don’t think that your standard SJW cares at all about his or her or xer fellow man (or, er, fellow “peoplekind” to make Justin Trudeau happy). It is fundamentally a deeply antisocial and selfish ideology they follow, and most of the outrage that they are so good at conjuring for the cameras is phony. But that’s okay because the latest cause of the day (whether liberalizing divorce, or gay marriage, or promoting trans incoherence) is just a battle in a never-ending war to them.

The driving force behind progressivism is the postmodern idea that there can never be a line drawn anywhere. They will never arrive somewhere and say “Here is far enough.” So, they will continue to push and every passing fad can easily be used in service of the next thing to catch their attention.

The “T” in LGBT may eventually go, but not before it has been used to pry open the door of religious institutions, tear down family bonds, or fundamentally reorder of perception of truth, beauty, and goodness.

#6 Comment By Chuck Anziulewicz On March 28, 2018 @ 2:43 pm


I don’t know if you have made the acquaintance of anyone who is transgender, but I have. A couple of years ago, one of my “M2F” transgender friends posted the following to her Facebook page, on the first anniversary of her gender reassignment surgery. I have taken the liberty of censoring some of the language:

One year ago today, I woke up the same way I had every single morning of every single day that had preceded that morning. I woke up with a penis.

By the end of that day, however, my penis was forever gone.

In its place was the vagina I always knew I should have had.

That day – the day that I had always previously believed impossible – is now firmly rooted in my past.

Remembering back on my excitement, and how completely fixed and whole I felt afterwards, I cannot help but smile in fondness over those memories.

Even though my new normal isn’t so new anymore, even though it’s basically just how it is now, it’s an incredibly comfortable, validating feeling to know that my body is now 100% congruent with my being.

Sure, just like so many others within the trans community, life is far from perfect. Far too many members of my own family haven’t talked to me or acknowledged my existence coming up on three years now since I came out, employers haven’t given me a chance, the professional community I existed in before has basically turned its back to me, and an uncomfortably large percentage of the world still thinks I am an abomination of god or some stupid, ignorant s___ like that.

But whatever.

Because as unnecessarily hard as the naysayers and haters have made and continue to make my life and the lives of those like me, they can all go f___ themselves.

The thing is, even though they have yet to admit it to themselves, they lost the battle against me.

Instead, I won the battle, and I won it decisively.

My trophy is that I now have what they can never take from me – I have ME. And it’s an amazing feeling, despite the continuing hardships the naysayers continue to pile on.

Regardless, though, if one cannot be real, if one cannot be authentic, or if one cannot be who they are supposed to be, then what’s the point of life to begin with?

I mean, life is supposed to be real, right? We are supposed to actually *live* our lives, right? At least, for whatever it’s worth, that’s the way I see it. Although, admittedly, it did take me about four decades to figure that part out, but better late than never, right?

So make absolutely no mistake about it at all, transition thoroughly and completely cured my gender dysphoria. More than that, transition saved my life.

Transition has given me a quality of life that I simply did not believe was even possible.

Transition changed the whole godd___ed ball game for me.

That I have done this, I no longer hate myself or feel wrong in my own skin. I instead love myself, and I *feel* right in a way that I never thought could be possible before.

To be sure about things, having transitioned is second only to becoming a parent as the single best thing I have ever done for myself in life.

In this regard, to those who deny the medical and scientific efficacy of transition as a viable treatment for severe gender dysphoria, those bastards have no f___ing clue whatsoever about what they’re talking about.

Whether a god or random genetics or mutant DNA or an alien abducted me and implanted crazy s___ in my brain, I couldn’t care less at this point. Because all I know is that I’m now real, that I’m now cured, that I’m now who I’m supposed to be, and that there ain’t nothing no one can do to take any of that away from me anymore.

And that’s a pretty damn cool and liberating feeling, let me tell ya.

Still, it’s kinda hard to believe that a whole year has passed since my SRS.
Sometimes you just gotta absolutely love the complete and total f___ out of life.

I am passing on this declaration for the sake of perspective. I imagine some will simply dismiss it, saying, “This person is just sick sick sick!”

I am hoping others will offer a more thoughtful and diplomatic response.

Anne is doing just FINE, by the way, and has no regrets. I feel sorry for the people you talk about in your post, but they only illustrate how gender reassignment surgery is not to be taken lightly.

#7 Comment By Clyde Schechter On March 28, 2018 @ 2:53 pm

Sex reassignment surgery is not that new. It’s been around for many decades. Initially it was used on some infants born with ambiguous genitalia, or intersexes. Its application to gender dysphoria is a bit more recent, but was already well established when I was a medical student in the early 1970’s.

In medical school we received a brief introduction to it, including the screening processes used to identify suitable candidates, as well as meeting several patients who had been through the procedures. One thing that was emphasized to us is that there was prolonged (minimum one year, average over two years), repeated, and careful psychological screening by mental health professionals before any treatments (even non-surgical) were begun, and that psychological evaluations continued during hormone treatment. We were told that the majority of patients who initiated the long process dropped out (or were deemed unsuitable) before the end.

I have the impression that in current practice, the psychological evaluations and screening have been considerably compressed, and perhaps modified in ways that make them less effective. (I say this based only on what I read–I have no professional involvement with this at all, and my circle of colleagues with whom I interact regularly includes nobody involved in this.) This is most unfortunate, in light of the high attrition rate associated with the earlier process. It would not surprise me at all if in time we find a large number of people who deeply regret their surgeries.

And the story of the patient who wanted to back out at the last minute is absolutely hair-raising. If the events are truly as described, to me it sounds less like grounds for a malpractice suit and more like grounds to prosecute for battery.

#8 Comment By A Katcher On March 28, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

The medical profession, especially the psychiatric profession (I say this as a recently retired psychiatrist) can be afflicted with the “madness of crowds”. The affliction prior to gender reassignment, was multiple personality disorder, a diagnosis now expunged from the DSM to help the profession forget their foolishness. Multiple personality disorder went from a rare disease with only several in the world literature, to a disorder that could be found in almost any social worker’s or psychiatrist’s practice. Wards were set aside in hospitals for their treatment. In time it was revealed that it was a kind of folie a deux where doctor and patient were responding to mutual suggestions. After the diagnosis collapsed there were a rash of law suits with patients complaining that years of their lives were burdened by this “cultivated” disorder. However, unlike gender reassignment, the damage was not structural and permanent.

#9 Comment By Erin M. On March 28, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

@Raskolnik:Again, you want this to stop, ease up on gender stereotypes

Coming from the people that have been caterwauling for the better part of two decades about the dangers of “toxic masculinity,” a.k.a. traditional masculine virtue, while pathologizing normal boy behavior and pumping boys full of drugs to “treat” made-up conditions like ADD, and simultaneously insisting that the sum total of female identity (judging by the proclivities of male-to-“female”-facsimile transgenders) is wearing lipstick and makeup…

This is just self-parodic.

It’s normal, and understandable, to not really understand cultures outside of your own very well. What is really annoying is when you seem to think that you are an expert on cultures that you don’t understand at all. You are free to disagree with the left, but this characature of leftist views (which, by the way, aren’t uniform to begin with) just makes you look silly. Please stick to what you actually know.

#10 Comment By mr burns On March 28, 2018 @ 3:39 pm

What do the following have in common ?

People who want to be another sex and aren’t comfortable with being their biological sex.

People who want to be another race and aren’t comfortable with being their biological race.

People who want to be another species and aren’t comfortable with being their biological species.

People who want to be an amputee and aren’t comfortable with the limbs they wee born with.

People who want to be blind and aren’t comfortable with being able to see.

The only difference I can discern is that the desires of the last two can achieved through surgery, all the others cant be changed as desired.

#11 Comment By Emil Bogdan On March 28, 2018 @ 4:04 pm

It’s disheartening to read casual denigration of transsexualism in the comments. This story is important from a medical perspective, but I wish the moralists had some moral empathy. I know lots of very healthy and happy trans people in various stages of gender reassignment. There is a faddish quality to some of what’s going on in mainstream culture, to a point, but reality is lived on the ground. Can you imagine having to struggle with some of these issues personally? Try.

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 28, 2018 @ 5:39 pm

I know of one case in the US in which a health care worker was facing a lawsuit from a male who wanted to transition to female, but was refused treatment by this worker.

In the US, someone will sue somebody over anything. Its the ultimate sense of entitlement: If I want something badly enough I have a constitutional right to it. It doesn’t always mean the plaintiff will win.

Consider this in light of the opioid crisis. My home town paper has been doing some in-depth reporting on the subject. Its quite clear that a major contributing factor was pharmaceutical companies paying for “scientific” studies to show that if people were in paid they deserved opioids, and it was foolish to worry about addiction. They even managed to push this to the point that doctors with reservations were threatened with malpractice or losing their license for the unethical practice of leaving patients in pain when opioids were available to prescribe.

We need to get back to some fundamental principles here. There may be legal circumstances for prescribing opioids, but as long as they are not sold over the counter, there is professional judgment involved, and a doctor does not have a duty to prescribe when they have reservations. A patient does have the freedom to shop around for another doctor. Who may be prosecuted if they violate the Food and Drug laws. But a patient does not have a right to a prescription.

Similarly, there is no “right to abortion” that a doctor has a duty to provide. There is a constitutional restraint on the police powers of the state, which incidentally protects a woman’s right to “choose life” even if official government policy were to all but mandate abortion. If a doctor is not willing to perform an abortion, a woman who wants one can find another doctor who will.

Same for sex-change surgery. If a doctor doesn’t think it is wise, prudent, indicated, or appropriate, they not only have no legal obligation to participate, they are probably not a good choice for a patient determined to go ahead. In surgery, you want a surgeon who is competent, committed, and fully believes that what they are doing is right for the patient.

My right to make my own choices does not become my right to require you to facilitate my choices. That’s an easily defensible proposition under the mass of jurisprudence on the books in the United States. We just need to calm down and get back to some basic principles, which will apply across the board to a variety of “issues.”

#13 Comment By Gretz On March 28, 2018 @ 6:05 pm

It’s one thing when an adult makes these decisions for themselves and bear the consequences, another when parents in consultation with doctors do it in good faith to their kids.

It’s totally another when advocates bombard kids with it, and then any takers are swept up in a rush to get them committed to it, with surgery and hormones, and then on top of it, override their parent’s judgement and decisions in court, using “the best interests of the child” to abet political activists and doctor’s looking to make a buck on this craze, and damn anyone who gets in their way.

The same crazies who’d throw a fit if someone let their kid walk to school or go with their parent to a gun range would demand to have a child “rescued” from parents and rush them over for permanent, life altering surgery, even in the face of contraindications, all to push their “government knows best” worldview.

#14 Comment By Dale McNamee On March 28, 2018 @ 6:37 pm

Once there was a time when people who wished to blind themselves or cut off perfectly healthy limbs, and transform themselves into dragons, demons, and parrots were worked with to destroy those urges…

But today, it’s celebrated and promoted…And “no one should impose their morals and religion on others”…

Well… How’d that work out ?

Maybe the “counselors” themselves need to have their licenses revoked, be sued personally… Same for the so-called “medical doctors” who practice this horror…

The so-called “parents” who agree with and support their child’s delusions should be punished as well…

The one thing that can’t be denied is the power of biological sex and the fact that it will re-assert itself and the pseudo men and women will not be their “chosen” sex but are doomed to be “freaks” instead…

#15 Comment By Nate On March 28, 2018 @ 6:48 pm

The ‘medical’ industry will push the limits on the transgender nonsense for the same reason it writes millions of unneeded prescriptions and murders millions of unborn babies – greed.

#16 Comment By MrsDK On March 28, 2018 @ 7:32 pm

Unfortunately my experience and the experience of hundreds of parents throughout the country, in rapid onset gender dysphoria support groups from Connecticut to Texas to Oregon, do not match up with the cautious, informed, careful-to-do-no-harm medical practitioners reported by JR.

Instead, we have been met with an affirmation-only model of care. Our kids have been encouraged to transition socially, legally, and medically as rapidly as possible by their peers, teachers, professors, “gender specialists”, endocrinologists, and surgeons. Even good therapists have no power to call a halt once a kid turns 18. Our kids are signing “informed consent” paperwork to be given non-FDA-approved hormones at their university clinics or at Planned Parenthood.

In the meantime, even as more kids are taught this ideology in schools, more young people detransition every day, sometimes after undergoing permanent physical changes from hormones and surgery. How on earth can we say that “self-diagnosis” as trans is actually working? Yet the mainstream media adamantly refuses to cover this.

#17 Comment By Daniel (not Larrison) On March 28, 2018 @ 8:07 pm

Chuck wrote (or rather, quoted):

To be sure about things, having transitioned is second only to becoming a parent as the single best thing I have ever done for myself in life.

There are certainly some positive things about the letter, and I am glad your friend is at peace with the decision to have the surgery. I can’t argue with an outcome that has brought peace.

But taken as a whole, the letter reflects a truly alien worldview. I’m not saying mine is better, but I have to say I might as well be from a different planet from your friend.

This quote is possibly the best one to illustrate the difference. I don’t think I ever possibly considered becoming a parent as a thing I did “for myself.”

I’ve heard parenting called many different things, good and bad…and some of them–both good and bad–I can agree with.

But when someone says this about being a parent–that it’s something you do “for yourself”–I just can even wrap my brain around it. I can’t even call it wrong…it’s just a completely different reality.

But, at any rate, I truly hope that your friend will have a full an joyous life, and if the transition was a big positive part of that, then I can’t argue.

#18 Comment By Clyde Schechter On March 28, 2018 @ 8:13 pm

“These are the same people who come to conservative blogs and columns and forums and insist, without a hint of irony, that conservatives are obsessed with sex.”

Well they’re right. But they, too are obsessed with sex. Really it seems that almost the entire world is obsessed with sex. Given its fundamental role in the continued survival of our species, that’s not really very surprising anyway.

#19 Comment By Rombald On March 28, 2018 @ 8:35 pm

I always think that, this time, I’ll have a go at Ludo’s comments, but, after reading a couple of paragraphs, as usual, no, life’s too short, I give up.

[NFR: I know. I can’t understand them either. — RD]

#20 Comment By Les Govment On March 28, 2018 @ 9:59 pm

Genuine gender confusion is called Gender Dysphoria which is a mental disorder/mental abnormality. To date, no singular definite biological cause for Gender Dysphoria has been discovered. I don’t expect there to be a discovery of a bona fide biological cause anytime soon. The medical profession has had centuries to find a biological cause of same-sex attraction (homosexuality) and has failed to find a credible one. It’s not likely that a bona fide biological cause of Gender Dysphoria is going to be found in mere decades.

Since Gender Dysphoria exists in the brain as a condition of the mind, I strongly oppose using hormones and/or surgery to treat Gender Dysphoria. Problems of the mind should not be dealt with by altering the body. If your car’s engine needed an overhaul, you wouldn’t deal with that by having the body repainted– you would get the engine fixed. So I must insist that using hormones and/or surgery (to facilitate transgendering) to deal with Gender Dysphoria is medical malpractice.

Where were the transgender kids when I was growing up in the mid-to-late 1970’s? Nowhere to be found.

Gender confusion is more likely the result of poor parenting and/or sexual abuse– with enabling provided by elements of the sexual revolution. And it’s no secret that there are far left educators pushing the Gender Confusion Agenda. And that, as much as anything else, probably explains the rise in the number of people (particularly young people) who say they’re transgendered (or genderfluid).

Doctors who perform sex re-assignment surgery on adults with normal sex organs ought to be ashamed of themselves. Ditto for doctors who give opposite-sex hormones to adults for the purpose of transgendering. As for doctors who do those things to minors, they ought to be prosecuted and locked up for a real long time– permission from the minors’ irresponsible parents notwithstanding.

Parents are supposed to cultivate their children like plants in a garden; children shouldn’t be left to grow wild like weeds. Letting a child choose his/her gender is irresponsible, and it’s not unreasonable to say it borders on child abuse.

— Les Govment [3]

#21 Comment By bob On March 28, 2018 @ 10:28 pm

Perhaps a good place to start the cure of medicine would be to examine just what began to be taught in med schools about 10-20 years ago. This couldn’t have happened overnight. A person may want to research when their MD got out of school, what school it was. There are some very dangerous people who don’t “believe” biology is true and they “treat” people accordingly. It’s amusing to see lefties who think right wing folks somehow don’t think scientific endeavors are trustworthy. Give me a break, there are a vast number of people now who think anything they believe constitutes scientific and medical fact who are simply committing atrocities. I’ve said before, and it bears repeating, there are no clinical trials, there will be Nuremberg trials. I hope very soon. There are lots of parents surrendering their children for human experimentation. They are paying for the privilege, they don’t have to be seized in the night and shipped away in cattle cars. The successors of Dr. Mengele are running the medical world. Ask (but carefully) a modern MD if you can change the color of your eyes. It might be enlightening.

#22 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 28, 2018 @ 10:36 pm

Our kids have been encouraged to transition socially, legally, and medically as rapidly as possible by their peers, teachers, professors, “gender specialists”, endocrinologists, and surgeons.

As the old saying goes, if you consult with a surgeon, they are going to recommend surgery.

What do the following have in common ?

Nothing whatsoever. They are distinct and different questions.

#23 Comment By grin without a cat On March 28, 2018 @ 10:45 pm


There are a couple obvious problems with read that Dutch study to conclude that few people who undergo transsxual surgery experience regret.

First, the results are all from the same clinic, so it might be that this clinic does a better job of screening its applicants. Another reason to be wary would be a conflict of interest: the study was conducted by the same gender identity clinic that was being investigated.

#24 Comment By Duke Leto On March 28, 2018 @ 11:09 pm

Okay I can’t take it anymore! 🙂

How on earth do you always find the perfect photo to go with your headline?

Or do you craft the headlines after you find an approximate photo that conveys what you wish to say? And if so who the heck is producing these random photos?

Or do you submit your headline to the photo people and they produce a bespoke photo for you? Pretty rapid turnaround? And what is the cost for these?

Do share the tricks of the trade!

[NFR: We subscribe to a stock photo service called Shutterstock. I search out and post photos for my own posts. It takes longer than you might think. — RD]

#25 Comment By Axxr On March 28, 2018 @ 11:26 pm

Chuck Anziulewicz, there is a difference between *feeling* great and *being* great. In contemporary society, an ever-growing majority pursue the former, and we are generally thus left more and more without the very needed fruits of the latter, hence the accelerating-yet-teetering world that we see in front of us.

So a person transitions and feels great! All they had to do to achieve these personal good feelings was participate in the upending of the general framework for successful, stable social reproduction and maintenance at society scale. A good trade-off?

In today’s political and moral universe, absolutely! Every person should be enabled to feel great!

Today’s political and moral universe is wrong. The bill will come due; the piper will have to be paid—and all so that a few here and there can enjoy their own personal party in the meantime.

#26 Comment By Old West On March 28, 2018 @ 11:44 pm

Ive been predicting this for some time in these comments sections. There is a lot of money to be made suing people over these surgical and medical interventions. Anyone who thinks that ideology will triumph over money hasnt met a trial lawyer. And for once in my life I will be cheering them on every time.

There simply isnt adequate long term research to justify these things, and that will come out in court. In gory detail.

#27 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 29, 2018 @ 12:41 am

Not surprising a former weightlifter would see “no problem” with the testosterone mimicking anabolic steroids that’s been endemic – and still is – in gyms where folks train for strength and maximum muscle size without fat.

I personally know some who died from the aftereffects at a young age.

They do work: the profound bodily changes cannot be as easily produced or quickly as a regime of these drugs can.

One lady who took them, and became a professional female wrestler, showed us how her clitoris had been transformed in the course of just a year: it was the size of a small penis. She is now many years happily married to a man who also took these performance enhancing drugs, so she has an understanding spouse.

#28 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On March 29, 2018 @ 6:49 am

@Rombald and Rod, I’ve tried too, and they seemed like word salad. At least I know it’s not just me.

#29 Comment By Elijah On March 29, 2018 @ 7:17 am

@ Chuck – that’s a lovely story and I’m glad that person is happy with how things turned out. The point of this post is to suggest that not all outcomes are so rosy, and that there are plenty of doctors and clinics pushing SRS on patients who aren’t ready, despite what they may say.

“…I’m now who I’m supposed to be…”

There is a whole world in that statement. But I’m just gonna leave it there.

#30 Comment By David J. White On March 29, 2018 @ 10:33 am

@Rombald and Rod, I’ve tried too, and they seemed like word salad. At least I know it’s not just me.

I guess that makes at least four of us.

#31 Comment By Spaceman On March 29, 2018 @ 10:34 am

I wonder if Chuck would set up a date for one of his female friends with the transitioner.

#32 Comment By David J. White On March 29, 2018 @ 10:37 am

“no one should impose their morals and religion on others”…

Funny, somehow I never hear the Left criticizing the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements — both of which had significant religious components and made moral arguments — on that basis.

#33 Comment By Chuck Anziulewicz On March 29, 2018 @ 11:47 am


Of course not all outcomes are so rosy, and as I mention in my afterward, gender reassignment surgery is not something to be taken lightly. I would even admit that there are probably some unscrupulous doctors out there would would encourage such surgery more for financial gain than anything.

Nevertheless, ALL of the transgender people I know have seen adopting the gender identity of the opposite sex as their only logical option. Sometimes they can do this simply through dress and hair and makeup, other times they decide to opt for surgery and hormone therapy. One thing is for certain: Gender dysphoria is a very real thing, I think it’s more common than people have been led to believe, though conveniently hidden away from society for the most part. It would be a tough row to hoe for anyone. They don’t need our judgment and condemnation.

#34 Comment By Nate J On March 29, 2018 @ 12:55 pm

@Chuck Anziulewicz: “Gender dysphoria is a very real thing, I think it’s more common than people have been led to believe, though conveniently hidden away from society for the most part.”

I think one of us is living in a bizarro world. Maybe the way I see the lightspeed rise of the transgender push is wrong, but I’ll leave it to others to discern.

“They don’t need our judgment and condemnation.”

I’m making this statement, you have made a judgment, though, haven’t you? The conclusion you’ve come to is that there is only one acceptable course of action and that any sort of “condemnation” (a carefully chosen, emotionally charged word) is off limits. This logic is basically page 1 of the trans activist playbook:

1. Some people are genuinely confused, therefore this is proof that gender dysphoria exists.

2. These people are having a tough time.

3. We shouldn’t compound their suffering by doing anything they don’t like.

4. Therefore, the only thing we can do for them is to affirm whatever they want.

As Axxr said so well above, the societal costs of pushing this highly individualized pursuit of “feeling good” will be enormous. A world in which everyone were granted whatever they needed to feel good at any particular moment would be an anarchic, violent, incoherent nightmare. In case you think this is a melodramatic stretch in regard to the trans issue, consider that many people are calling for (and achieving) the forceful curtailing of established rights, such as free speech, that stand in the way of the transgender ideology. But getting Jordan Peterson to shut up is what makes them feel good, right? And we cannot do anything less than total affirmation, right?

#35 Comment By sara On March 29, 2018 @ 1:59 pm

@ David J. White says: March 29, 2018 at 10:37 am
“no one should impose their morals and religion on others”…
Funny, somehow I never hear the Left criticizing the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements — both of which had significant religious components and made moral arguments — on that basis.

There were plenty of people on the other side of those movements whose arguments were based on their understanding of religion and morals. Also, there are a great many religious people on “the left” whether you realize it or not. Look at Pew Research who has done and continues to do a great deal of research into religion in America including demographics of all sorts.

#36 Comment By Jane On March 29, 2018 @ 2:34 pm

I think if the right hadn’t spent so long denying that transgender people existed at all, we as a society could have set up better diagnosis and treatment protocols. The right abdicated its most important function–that of advocating caution–in place of an uncompromising absolutism regarding the very existence of trans people that was simply out of alignment with reality. This created an untenable and tragic situation for actual trans people, and meant that the left would end up creating standards of care on its own, in the absence of the wisdom that conservatives might otherwise have provided.

It’s not too late. The right can still do this instead of simply saying what a dumpster fire it all is. But in order for their voices to be heard, they’ll have to compromise on their absolutism.

I did do this in the comments sections of many articles and newspapers for a few years, but the feedback loops between hyperpartisanship and ideological rigidity on the one side and hyperpartisanship and ideological rigidity on the other side are difficult for one person to dismantle entirely on their own.

I’m six years post-op, and with regard to my surgery, I couldn’t be happier.


#37 Comment By David J. White On March 30, 2018 @ 9:44 am

There were plenty of people on the other side of those movements whose arguments were based on their understanding of religion and morals. Also, there are a great many religious people on “the left” whether you realize it or not. Look at Pew Research who has done and continues to do a great deal of research into religion in America including demographics of all sorts.

Exactly my point. I’ve often heard “you can’t legislate morality” and “you can’t impose your religious values on other people” from the Left (far more than from the Right), when they have a long history of doing exactly that. (The Right tries to legislate morality, too, of course, but they seem more likely to realize that that is what they are doing. The Left seems to like to see their views as somehow “neutral.”)

#38 Comment By LFM On March 30, 2018 @ 5:29 pm

Those who bring up the possibility or as they suppose the likelihood that regret after ‘transition’ is rare forget one thing: any research collected on the subject will necessarily date back to a time before transitioning became a fad. The fact that it is becoming one now in some circles, and that medical protocols are being relaxed rather than strengthened in response, does not bode well for the future of this social experiment. Nor does it reassure one about the possibility that many of the people who take it on will not suffer acute regrets later.

#39 Comment By l’autre J On March 31, 2018 @ 10:30 am

Here are the medical conditions Katja Hoffman endures:

To a trained eye, the list consists of two things.

Possibly from anabolic steroid (ab)use-
Myocarditis with enlarged left ventricle and inflamed interventricular septum
Enlarged heart
Liver damage
Thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
Impaired coagulation
Virilization: facial hair growth, male-pattern pubic hair growth, elevated testosterone levels
Underdeveloped ovaries and uterus

Ambiguous in origin, probably congenital-
Ganglion cyst on the right ankle
Hypothyroidism with nodules

But the bulk of the list is bipolar disorder spectrum symptoms and/or associated chronic physiological disorders, which are genetic in origin-

Heart arrhythmia
High blood pressure

Arthritis in the spine, hips, shoulder, ankle and thumb joint
Varicose veins from chronic venous insufficiency
Several benign tumors and cysts


Anxiety and panic disorder
Burn-out, chronic fatigue and depression
Eating disorder
Pain medication intolerance
Insulin resistance (aka diabetes)

So this Katja Hoffmann is a double sufferer.

She probably also relatively prone to migraines, has eyesight problems, gets stomach cramps, Raynaud’s problems, severe allergies, and poorly explained infections/rashes. But those are (still) deemed “normal” or flaky and nondispositive in German medicine afaik.

Yes, people on the BPDS have at least twice the rate of getting cancer that people not on it do. Subtracting out this cohort’s lifestyle-caused cancers (people with BPD are more prone to smoking, alcoholism/drug use, nonrational risk taking behaviors, and obesity/overeating) there remains an inherent greater rate of getting cancer of about 2. It’s a fairly recent finding. Since BPDS disorders are currently underdiagnosed (by a large factor, easily x4) and deliberately so, the association and differential ratio is only going to get greater. It’s possible that the susceptibility associated with the BPDS accounts for the vast majority of cancers which emerge in middle age.

The BPDS disorders associate with obesity and diabetes, as well, and with heart arrhythmias and heart attacks. That association probably accounts for just about all heart attacks seen in young and middle aged people, and probably a significant portion of that of the old.

You may well recognize in this a just about adequate explanation for why Appalachia, the Midwest, the South, and others have so many obese people, crazy people, opiate addicts, and relatively high death rates from heart attacks and cancers. There are also evident behavioral, cultural, and political correlates to populations high in people with these disorders.

#40 Comment By Praha On March 31, 2018 @ 9:14 pm

Only nature can give you a vagina or penis. Doctors can only mutilate your body while profiting from your pain. They basically create a wound not a vagina. Even doctors admit they cannot actually change your sex. They can only feminize you on a superficial level at best and vice versa.

#41 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 1, 2018 @ 7:07 pm

Doctors can only mutilate your body while profiting from your pain.

I question that statement. Somewhat. Biological research has established with some degree of reliability that male and female are variations on the same basic model. Fetuses have essentially female characteristics until a flood of testosterone does or does not fill the womb about the end of the first trimester. (A left-leaning feminist friend hearing this once joked “first trimester abortion is misogyny”). Female organs and male organs correspond in a limited way, a given female organ, or a given male organ, growing out of the same set of pre-specialized fetal cells.

Some less complex species, individuals can actually transition from male to female… chickens and frogs being the best established examples. Its a lot more difficult with mammals.

Not being a specialist in the field, from all I’ve read, it seems true that sex-change surgery is less than complete. For all the changes doctors have learned how to make, the result is far less comprehensive than to make a male fully female, or to make a female fully male. For someone determined to “act like” the sex opposite to their body, it may be a net improvement to have a body a bit more like the sex they prefer to be. But it certainly doesn’t make a man into exactly what he would have been if he had been born a girl.