‘One of the Worst Medical Scandals That the World Has Ever Seen’: Brandon Showalter and Jeff Myers on ‘Exposing the Gender Lie’
“People stand to profit handsomely from this experimental medicalization—puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, body-altering surgeries … all in pursuit of a lie,” says Brandon Showalter.
Showalter and Jeff Myers are co-authors of “Exposing the Gender Lie: How to Protect Children and Teens From the Transgender Industry’s False Ideology.”
“It’s an ideology that came out of the postmodern movement from the 1980s that is attempting to gain power by confusing people about the nature of reality. And then there’s an industry, medically, that comes along and … they stand to make tens of billions of dollars,” says Myers.
The NIH is funding a study on cross-sex hormones for children as young as 8 years old, according to a document released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Dr. Michael Laidlaw.
The document shows the lower age limit was lowered from 13 years old to 8 years old.
“The U.S. government has no business funding this kind of experimental research, especially on children,” says Showalter, a senior investigative reporter at The Christian Post.
Jeff Myers, Brandon Showalter, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Thank you, Jan. Great to be with you.
Thank you Jan.
I’ve really been enjoying reading your new field guide and I’m going to call it a field guide, Exposing the Gender Lie. It’s a very short book, incredibly pithy, and very helpful. I want to encourage people to learn about this issue. You guys have done a very, very good job at condensing a whole bunch of information into the book to try to understand how we got to the place we are today, and what might be done to deal with it. Jeff, let’s start with you.
A lot of people think that transgender is about drag queen fetishes, who can play on what sports team, or who can use what bathrooms. All of those are symptoms of both an industry and an ideology. It’s an ideology that came out of the postmodern movement in the 1980s that is attempting to gain power by confusing people about the nature of reality. There’s a medical industry that comes along and says that if children are confused they’ll use our products, and then, they stand to make tens of billions of dollars. The ideology and the industry fuels a problem and actually makes children double victims.
You talk about the social contagion of people believing they’re transgender, or that their gender doesn’t align with their sex. At the same time there is a social contagion around how you think about these things in the medical community itself. Would you say that?
That is correct. Indisputably, there is a social contagion fueled largely by social media, online platforms, Tumblr, YouTube, and influencers to convince young people, many of whom are on the autism spectrum, and many of whom have a variety of mental health struggles, comorbidities, and psychiatric issues, to believe that they were born in the wrong body.
It is physiologically impossible to become the opposite sex. We’ve seen this happen with previous social contagions, like anorexia, cutting, and other modes of self-harm that spread by social contagion. The same thing is happening with this situation. The watershed book that really articulated this a few years ago was Abigail Shrier’s, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing our Daughters. Because now, for the first time in approximately 100 years of clinical diagnostic history, the primary demographic is teenage girls.
We never saw that before with gender dysphoria, as it was overwhelmingly something that afflicted preteen boys. But now things have changed, in large part due to the industry that comes along with all of the ideologues who are pushing this message. People stand to profit handsomely from this experimental medicalization, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and body-altering surgeries, again, all in pursuit of a lie.
Before we continue, I want to understand where you’re coming from. Why this book, and why now? What got you interested in this whole issue, Jeff?
Transgenderism is a product of academic thinking in postmodernism starting in the 1980s. When I was a doctoral student studying for a doctor of philosophy, working in human communication studies, we were reading articles about how gender is a performance, and gender and sexuality are different. It was a theory at the time that your gender and your sex could actually be different things. Now, it’s taken for granted, even though there’s no medical way to understand this. There’s nothing more than just the theory that gender and sex are different things.
It’s now become so popularly accepted that people just assume that your sex is what your body says, what is assigned to you at birth. Your gender is how you feel about yourself inside. Healthline.com says there’s 68 different genders, and there could be thousands of potential genders.
Gender essentially becomes an irrelevant category now, but at the same time becomes the only thing that is important. The fact that there are 6,500 cataloged biological differences between males and females is set aside, and whatever you feel about yourself is what everybody else in society has to respond to.
Is this what made you start asking questions? Where does your motivation to write this book come from?
Voltaire said, “If you can make people believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities.” For me, this book came about because I have a focus on truth. Through Summit Ministries, I’m preparing a rising generation to embrace the truth. I want them to champion the truth. I want them to be leaders for the truth, and they can’t do that in a culture that lives by lies.
What about you, Brandon? How did you come to work together?
Confronting this issue was definitely not something I signed up for at a career fair. It was soon after I got my start in journalism at The Christian Post, that I began to see how there were various laws being passed to prohibit conversion therapy. It was being applied to this amorphous gender identity where if someone was confused about their body, male or female, they couldn’t receive any sort of counseling that would help them accept their bodies as they really are, as the sex that they really are. That was alarming to me.
I also began to see how language was being manipulated in the corporate press, phrases like sex assigned at birth, and referring to males as she and her. I began to understand about the medicalization of vulnerable people, especially children. Specifically, when I learned that hormone blockers were to arrest natural puberty, something inside me just snapped. I said, “Absolutely not.”
I remember the experience that I had as a 14-year-old-child when I read the Reader’s Digest cover story about the Somalian born supermodel, Waris Dirie, who had a campaign to end FGM [female general mutilation]. I was so viscerally horrified as a teenager reading that story. That’s exactly what I felt, that same visceral horror as a 31-year-old in journalism here in DC, and I just knew I had to do something about it. Hearing about the medical abuse and the child abuse, something inside me snapped.
I want to touch on this. Earlier, you mentioned vulnerable people. Many of the people that this industry is interested in are on the autism spectrum. Please tell me about that reality. These are very vulnerable people.
They are very vulnerable people. We are seeing many more people than I ever knew were even on the autism spectrum. It seems like it’s every third or fourth person sometimes. But what happens with autistic people, however severe or moderate or mild their autism is, what often happens is they become enmeshed in a culture where their issues can be explained away by way of gender identity ideology.
What autistic people often do is just rigidly fixate on this issue and it becomes the solution to all their problems. It’s that fixation that is the deadly combo of this false ideology that the industry perpetuates, coupled with mental health comorbidities, not least of which in some cases is autism.
I would want to be very careful that I’m not necessarily linking the two. But it seems that of all the phone calls that I field from parents who are desperate, and who read my coverage at the Christian Post, they say, “My daughter’s on the spectrum. My son’s on the spectrum, he got obsessed with this and now he won’t let it go.” Somehow, with the transgender identification and the autism thing, there needs to be an entire book written about what’s going on with this connection, but there is one. I don’t want to make a correlation/causation error.
These people who are dealing with these struggles, not just autism, but social anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric ailments and disorders, they’re all very vulnerable to this. That’s probably one of the worst aspects of what this ideology does to people. Not only is it false that you can become the opposite sex, it preys upon those who are already having a really hard time in life with their mental health and psychological struggles, including and especially autistic people.
Jeff, it’s such a strange thing for a child to say, “Oh, I’m the opposite sex.” The way that you’re supposed to deal with this is to unquestionably affirm it. I’ve been told by parents of children who have been in this situation that if they don’t do that, if they don’t wholly affirm, their child will commit suicide. In many cases, it’s more likely people say they will. Of course, now parents become very vulnerable, and they say, “My goodness, I wouldn’t want my child to do that. That would be the worst thing in the world.”
In our book, Exposing the Gender Lie, we look at the supposed studies that were done to say that children who don’t get transgender procedures, and medical procedures will commit suicide. I’m not giving this as counseling advice, but as a social scientist, those studies are dead wrong. In fact, the interpretation of these studies in the media is a lie. I will go that far to say that.
When you look back at them, you realize, at very best, those studies show that people who go through these medical procedures see no improvement. In my experience, young people who experience gender dysphoria, and I work with several thousand young people every year, always have comorbidities such as anxiety, depression, unresolved childhood trauma, and unresolved childhood trauma. It’s all of these things all mixed together.
When the industry says treat gender ideology first, it’s sort of like saying, “You’re about to have a stroke, let’s give you an aspirin.” It’s treating one of the symptoms, rather than really getting back to what is at the root, what are the causes that are causing a person to question their gender identity.
How did it come to be treated this way medically? I’m not aware of other scenarios where a doctor would do this.
One of the things that I say a lot is institutional capture. When I say that sometimes people will say, “That’s a tinfoil hat conspiracy.” No. You have professional societies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and all of the major counseling and therapy organizations completely buying in with brutal speed that this is how you treat this disorder. This is the approach you take; only affirm whatever the child or the young person says that they are. You are to immediately and unquestionably say that is correct, and never, ever challenge it.
The remarkable thing, and it’s horrifying, is how quickly this has all happened. But understand that a lot of the ideologues active in this space, the academic medicine types, they’ve been making very sneaky and stealthy moves very gradually, to the point where once you capture enough institutions and entities, a lot can happen very quickly.
Back in 2009, the Endocrine Society revised its professional guidelines about how to treat gender dysphoria, and that was a big overhaul. A lot of the academic medicine types really re-engineered a lot of those guidelines, and it was quite a departure from previous standards. In 2017, those guidelines were revisited and revised again. Dr. Quentin Van Meter is an Atlanta-based pediatric endocrinologist, who is a leader in the American College of Pediatricians, the alternative to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
He has told me that he was at a conference, a joint combined session of the American and European endocrine societies in the early two thousands where he heard Dr. Norman Spack, who founded the first ever pediatric gender clinic in Boston. He heard Spack talk about all this wild nonsense of children deciding the gender that they are. Little did he know then that Spack would help re-engineer these guidelines in 2009, and then again in subsequent years.
Since then, there’s been a massive campaign throughout all of culture; throughout popular media, and through the news programming where they have pushed this ideology as though it is scientific. This is emblazoned on corporate outlets, and it’s everywhere. There’s nowhere to escape from it. Concurrent with the industry’s marketing of these medical products to vulnerable youth, you see these ad campaigns throughout the press promoting this as a way of being cool. It’s the next frontier of civil rights, hooked on to the wagon of LGBT, whatever you think of that. It’s a very strategic, very savvy, and very slick marketing campaign.
That’s how this has taken off so quickly. In addition to the capture of these professional organizations and doctors, it should be noted, they have great social trust in our society. They wear the white coats, they have their degrees on the wall, and you tend to believe what they say. They know the science, and so they carry a lot of gravitas. People just accept what they say without much of a question.
When you are pushing medical practices that are at such odds with reality and with basic biology, you can do a lot of harm very quickly. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a reckoning. The question becomes how many people have to be irreversibly harmed, sterilized, disfigured in the meantime?
It’s unfathomable to many people. You mentioned the people are wearing the white lab coat and the stethoscope. There’s an air of gravitas and belief that this person is acting on the best available medical knowledge. The question is how did the information and approaches that Spack was promoting at the time, which didn’t have a medical basis, become an orthodoxy?
Even the smartest medical doctor can’t know everything about everything. They will go back to the computer for their medical association and look for the standards of care, saying this is the best way to treat this, or this is the best way to treat that. When it comes to the treatment of transgender medicine, the standards of care were developed by an organization called the World Association for Transgender Health.
This WPATH set of standards of care were developed in 2009 and revised several times since. We’re now in the eighth version of it. They specifically state that there is a highly choreographed way to handle transgender medicine. This is the only way, and it is recommended by the WPATH. It is that you start with social transition and refer to someone by their new chosen name and change pronouns, then alert their teachers and their parents that they must use these new pronouns.
Then, to the level of comfort of the patient, you move toward puberty blockers, you move toward cross-sex hormones, and you move toward surgery. This is not a radical step. It’s the natural choreographed path outlined by the standards of care that doctors are given. The question is, where did those standards come from?
There was a study published in January of 2023 by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, which is a highly respected publication in the field of psychology. It said that the shocking lack of evidence is almost unbelievable for transgender health. They were actually led to ask, “How did we ever get to this place, when there’s no evidence for this approach?”
They called it runaway diffusion, where some kind of a medical innovation in one clinic is taken for a standard of practice and then it spreads very, very rapidly. The American Academy of Pediatrics is one we focus on in the book, because there are 60,000 members of that association. Fewer than 30 people had anything to do with developing the transgender standards of care.
The vast majority of doctors don’t support it, but many are just keeping their heads down if they work for institutions that are very large and corporatized. This is the dogma that rules the day. I actually believe that most doctors object to it, but there just aren’t very many who are willing to speak up and say, “I oppose it.”
One of the reasons doctors don’t speak up is because there is actually a legal groundwork being laid right now that if you don’t follow the standards of care, which are ordinarily taken by doctors as recommendations, not demands, if you don’t follow the standards of care, then you might open yourself up to a lawsuit by someone who didn’t want to go through puberty as a male or a female. Now, your refusal to treat them is medical neglect. A lot of doctors, just for malpractice reasons, are following the standards of care, or recommending the standards of care, even though they don’t personally buy into them.
There’s another dynamic as well. The gender industry has been very successful at making everybody else think that they are the experts and you must defer to them. I’m aware of general practitioners who are busy doctors seeing patients all the time. They’re not able to be up to speed on what the latest literature says. Given the institutional capture, and given how journals are pumping out this stuff that is just complete nonsense, they just assume, “It’s in this trusted journal that I respect. If I don’t know anything about it, I’m just going to make a referral to the gender clinic,” thinking that they’re doing the right thing. But they’re not abreast of what’s really going on.
That is becoming inexcusable. I know doctors are busy, that I can understand. They can’t be up to speed about everything. I’ve been searching for answers from many different angles as I’ve covered this issue for the Christian Post. With the institutional trust in respected publications, within certain hospital systems, and with people who are respected in the field, there’s been a real lag where people are just not up to speed. They think, “I’ve trusted this person before, it’s probably fine.” They just don’t realize all that has happened.
A few years ago, what you’re describing to me would have been unfathomable. But now that we’ve seen how most doctors and many medical practitioners responded to the pandemic, I’m ready to accept what you’re saying. We had a situation, and many doctors have reprised this for me, where a disease was treatable by many existing medications. I’m not even talking about the unspeakables, like ivermectin and hydroxy, but some of these other drugs were being tested early on, trying to find a way. The standards of care said, “Do not treat early. Just simply wait until someone gets into a very serious situation and then come to the hospital.” The outcomes were already very poor.
How is it even possible that such a thing could have happened? It had to do with business, and it had to do with ideology. As I’ve learned, it had to do with doctors trusting that the system knew better. But it’s still kind of unfathomable that this would be so easy. The focus lately has been on the children. Have you encountered in your work with youth, any children that are having this confusion?
In my work with young adults, I regularly encounter young people who are what I would call gender insecure. They have lots of mental health issues. Maybe they were isolated during COVID, and there are all those kinds of things that happen. There’s a lot of anxiety, and there’s a lot of depression. 75 percent of the young adults I work with say they don’t have a sense of purpose that gives meaning to their lives.
There’s the existential aspect to this as well. If what’s afflicting you is going on inside your mind, if the part of you that is supposed to think about the problem is the part that is sick, what do you do? It’s very easy for them to start believing, “I was born in the wrong body,” not just that there’s something wrong with their body, but that, “My body itself is actually wrong.”
When they watch TikTok videos of people who’ve gone through gender transition and say, “I feel at peace with myself,” they begin to think, “Maybe that’s me.” But there are a lot of young people who don’t have anything wrong with them, that are being convinced that they do. Actually one student said, “Is there something wrong with me, if there’s nothing wrong with me? Because it seems like you don’t really have an identity unless you’ve been to a psychiatrist and have gotten two or three different diagnoses of what’s wrong with you.
There once was an idea that adolescence can be very confusing and there was an adult who you could trust, who would guide you into becoming a strong young man who stands for truth and fights against evil injustice, or who would guide you into becoming a strong young woman who stands for truth and breathes life into others. That missing thing between the generations, added to the idea that everything is psychological, has made this a social contagion. It is to the point now where in some cases almost half of the young people in a given school will say they identify as transgender.
Or some other gender identity.
Or some other gender identity.
Right. And who knows what they even mean.
What does the existing literature say about why this might be? Because this is clearly a very new phenomenon.
I mentioned Abigail Shrier’s book, Irreversible Damage. There was a landmark study, Lisa Littman’s study in 2018, which was excoriated by transgender activists. It was in the journal PLOS One, which documented this phenomenon. The phrase that was coined was rapid-onset gender dysphoria, coming from young people spending inordinate amounts of time online. Then, in their friend groups and clusters, they are all somehow coming out as trans, or non-binary, or some other gender identity that is different from their biological sex. It’s an indisputably true phenomenon, and it bears out.
I get phone calls all the time saying, “Yes, that sounds exactly like what happened to my daughter.” They become invested in these friend groups, spending inordinate amounts of time online. They become convinced that this is going to be the pathway to their authentic self, that this is the pathway to liberation, and that this will give them a fresh start on life.
The problem is that the psychological conditioning that they need to be something other than the sex is then priming the pump. That belief, that indoctrination, and the brainwashing that happens is the prelude to one of the worst medical scandals that the world has ever seen.
Concurrent with this breakdown of the mental health of a generation, there’s been a breakdown in social trust. For years, the corporate press has been inculcating the public with this notion that you have an amorphous gender identity apart from sex. If they’re going to flat out lie to you about biology, of course they can twist and deceive about epidemiology or immunology or respiratory viruses.
If you can’t get the basics of biology right, why on earth would you expect the public to trust you on much loftier themes, about diseases that you haven’t heard of, or how to treat them appropriately? They’re undercutting the foundational units of our knowledge here. It’s an epistemological crisis. Until we puncture the epistemological blockade, I don’t think we’re going to get very far. Because they have assaulted the very idea that the words that we use can refer to anything real.
You actually dedicated an entire chapter to this whole issue of how language has been altered and weaponized to facilitate this epistemologically different way of thinking.
Epistemology is the word we use for how we know what we know, but it is a philosophical problem at root. The biology will tell us, and the theology also tells us that there is male and female. In the spectrum of male, you might have very masculine males and you might have not so masculine males, and the same thing inside of femininity.
The gender ideology approach says there aren’t two spectrums. There’s one spectrum with extreme masculinity on one end, and extreme femininity on the other. Our students are regularly told, “You’re a girl who doesn’t really enjoy girly things. Maybe you’re actually a boy. Maybe you’re born in the wrong body.” People slide back and forth along that spectrum and it’s very confusing. What ideology do they take? What box are they in today?
That’s at the core of what’s really going on. It’s actually an attack on language then, because at what point do you stop calling someone a he, and start calling them a she. Who decides that, if everything is on one spectrum?
The whole idea of the spectrum is philosophical and theoretical and wrong from an actual philosophical standpoint. But now, that’s where we’re operating, so it’s all confusing. Language confusion is at the heart of every revolutionary movement. You know from your history and your family’s history growing up, that if you want to change how people see the world, if you want to revolutionize them, you first of all have to change how they see language.
Just go back to the difference between the American revolution and the French Revolution. The American revolution’s goal was to restore the proper meaning of justice and freedom and liberty. The French revolution’s idea was to overthrow the standard conceptions of justice, freedom, liberty, and fraternity. Every revolutionary movement since that time has first gone to war against the language.
We’re not saying that transgenderism is going to create a similar kind of revolution. But if you want to destroy a person, if you want to dehumanize them, the first thing that’s always done is to attack language. You capture the language first, then you can capture everything else.
There’s a British feminist, lesbian academic by the name of Julia Long who’s said it better than anyone I’ve ever heard. Last fall at a free speech event in Bristol, she said the word trans has one function, and that is to falsify reality. As soon as you have that word, they can institute the lie that a man is a woman. Everything is reversed.
If it’s possible for some penises to be female, that a female can have a penis, then it becomes easier to say you can just harvest tissue from your forearm to make a penis for a female. If some penises can be female, the death of the meaning of words paves the way for atrocities that we never before could have possibly have imagined. When we fail to be able to convey what we mean by what we say, it opens the door for so many things to happen that would’ve been inconceivable even five minutes ago.
At this point, the medical carnage and the scandal of what transgender medicalization is doing is increasingly unignorable. Detransitioners, those who have undergone this experimental medicalization with hormone blockers and surgeries, are starting to put their heads above the parapet and say, “I was irreversibly harmed.” When you see social media timelines like mine full of young girls who’ve had their breasts amputated, weeping gashes slashed across their chest, you just can’t ignore the pictures.
A picture is really worth a thousand words. When you see medical atrocities, it behooves us to ask, “What led to this? Why is it that 13-year-old girls, and this has been documented in several medical journals like JAMA Pediatrics and others, have had their breasts surgically removed, physically healthy breasts. What ethical standards broke down such that that happened?” We believe it starts with the corrosion and the corruption of language.
If you can’t convey what you mean by what you say, you are going to pave the way for these atrocities. Until people see them, it’s not going to change. If your thinking is governed by all of these euphemisms that are politically correct and spouted endlessly by the media, you’re going to think in those categories. It takes those jarring pictures and those testimonies of young girls with froggy voices due to synthetic testosterone for people to really be able to see the harm and hear the harm.
Because of the messaging, because of the hijacking and the overhaul of language, the harm isn’t made visible because it’s covered. We write about this in the book. We believe it was a very cunning and manipulative shift from what were once called transsexuals to transgender. Because with gender being malleable, with gender being this social performance, people can accept the word transsexual, but they would get visibly uncomfortable if you say, “I have a transsexual four year old.”
They would think, “Why are you sexualizing a child? A transsexual four-year-old? You don’t sexualize children like that. No.” But with the introduction of transgender, possibly with the identity add-ons and gender expressions, it softens it up. It’s not as abrasive, but it’s basically the same thing. You’re trying to convince a child that their body is wrong, that their sex is wrong, and that they can change their sex. No, you cannot.
The corruption of language is everything, and that’s why I won’t be gaslit by it. At the Christian Post, we have a policy against using any of the euphemisms, because it eclipses the reality of biological sex. It eclipses biology. And biology, in the words of evolutionary biologist, Colin Wright, is our last collective tether to reality. If we lose that, we lose everything.
When you mentioned euphemisms, what came to mind immediately is top surgery and bottom surgery, which is an incredibly serious and invasive type of surgery.
That is genital mutilation and breast mutilation, and there are children being subjected to this. With the medical industrial complex, and I know that term sounds political, but this healthcare industry spends $750 million-a-year lobbying at the federal level. That’s a million-and-a-half dollars per member of Congress that they spend on lobbying.
The puberty blocking drugs that are given to children to stop puberty, which have irreversible effects, damaging their ability to develop as their bodies naturally would, with bone density loss, brain swelling, vision loss, and all kinds of things might cost a parent between $5,000 and $30,000 a year. If the parents don’t pay, then of course, Medicare or Medicaid or the insurance company might have to pay.
The standards say these procedures are medically necessary. That is not my term, that is in the standards of care, that these procedures are medically necessary. You look back and ask, “How many kids are we talking about?” The number of children diagnosed as gender dysphoric has tripled in the last three years, and it’s continuing to grow. Tens of thousands of children are now being treated at one of 60 pediatric gender clinics, or one of 300 other gender clinics that also treat children. Most nations have one to three clinics. We have 360 gender clinics in this country.
Or maybe more.
Possibly more by this point in time. Also, some of the drugs are cheaper. Giving testosterone to a girl doesn’t cost very much money, and they’ll just give it away at Planned Parenthood without the parent’s knowledge, and it irreversibly harms these kids. If there ever was a time for people in leadership to stand up and say, “Enough with the attack on children,” this would be it.
We do not want to have another medical scandal like the eugenics scandal in the 1920s. Francis Galton, a highly respected scientist, thought the way to rid ourselves of the poor and of minorities would be to sterilize them so they can’t have children, a medical horror that actually led to Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
The guy who invented the lobotomy actually won a Nobel Prize for that. 50,000 people were subjected to that procedure. Many of them died. Those who didn’t die had their lives ruined forever. We look back at that as a medical horror now, and we think that transgender medicine is doing something similar.
Absolutely, and perhaps worst of all, the U.S. government is actually funding it. To its great shame, the National Institutes of Health [NIH] have been funding experiments of this sort. I’ve seen FOIA documents that have made my eyes pop and my jaw drop. For example, in 2015, there was a $5.7 million grant given to a number of pediatric gender clinics to study the outcomes of various kinds of trans-identified young people.
My friend Dr. Michael Laidlaw, who’s an endocrinologist based in California, along with his colleagues, made a freedom of information request about what was going on with this study. They unearthed the progress report and found that one of the leading pediatricians in the gender clinic world, Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who’s based at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, altered the protocol for these experiments that were being done, again, funded by our government. They lowered the cross-sex hormone cohort inclusion criteria age from 13-years-old to eight-years-old.
The NIH has signed off on that for not just blockers, but also cross-sex hormones for children as young as eight. Studies of that kind have continued to be funded to the tune of $10.6 million through January of 2026. There was a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine where the whole cast of characters, the who’s who of gender doctors, analyzed psychosocial outcomes of 315 non-binary or trans-identified young people, ages 12 to 20. Two of those young people involved in the study took their own lies by suicide, but the gender doctors breezily dismissed that as adverse events.
That’s how they do it. They paper over the disastrous outcomes and they spin the narrative that this is actually a positive development. Even as a whole rash of young people are being experimented on, it’s hailed as this universally wonderful, positive, groundbreaking, great thing for young people who claim to be born in the wrong body or the opposite sex. Meanwhile, what they’re really doing is committing atrocities that should make us all hang our heads in shame. The U.S. government has no business funding this kind of experimental research, especially on children.
Many European countries have tried this, and most of them have put the brakes on this. They’ve been studying longitudinally the outcomes for people, and it turns out that this affirm at any cost approach isn’t actually beneficial. Can you speak to what the literature says on that?
The United States is not the first nation to experiment with gender mutilation of children. It is the most horrific example of it, but it’s not the first. Some of these processes started in the Netherlands, and then, Finland and the UK were also leaders in this.
In Finland and in the UK, where their medicine isn’t as motivated by the profits that drug companies could potentially make, and because of the way their system is set up, they’ve backed away from medicalization as the first line treatment of gender dysphoria. Now, they’re saying therapy is the first line treatment.
You take someone through psychotherapy, because there are underlying traumas, adverse childhood experiences, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, all of these things that are the core problem. If you address those, these nations have found in 75 percent, and in some cases, up to 95 percent of the time, the gender dysphoria symptoms are resolved by the time the child completes puberty. They are backing away from the medicalization in the countries that pioneered it. Because not only does it not work, it hurts kids and there is a better approach that really does help.
Europe is indeed backing away from this experimental protocol. A lot of this is called the Dutch protocol, because the first well-established case report emerged out of the Netherlands. An endocrinologist working together with a psychologist decided to use that intervention on a troubled young person.
The therapeutic idea was that puberty would be too traumatic to endure. Dutch doctors, Dr. Thomas Steensma and Dr. Annelou de Vries, have criticized the American approach. They say that the kinds of young people that were being studied in the Netherlands were vastly different.
I’m personally not a fan of the Dutch protocol at all, but the analogy that I’ve used is that the American approach has largely been to just stomp on the gas. They’re pouring gasoline on the fire. They’re taking the Dutch protocol and amplifying it throughout all of society, and that is horrible to consider.
When I go home to the countryside of Virginia and I speak to friends and family, they look at me as though I have four heads, and they think it’s so terrible. It’s as though an analysis paralysis sets in on them and they think that can be happening.
First, doctors take an oath to do no harm with the Hippocratic Oath. They have no idea about how much biomedical ethics has collapsed. It has collapsed, and children are being irreversibly harmed, disfigured, and sterilized. We won’t be silent until it stops.
I’ve seen over the last few years how powerful a motivator profit can be, even when people’s lives are at stake or negatively effective. This is a reality that we have to face. Knowing this, and even seeing it in other disciplines, I still find it very difficult to accept that there could be a whole medical industrial complex, as you call it.
It’s true, once you get people medicalized with some of these different puberty blockers, hormones, and especially surgeries, that person becomes a patient for life. I still find it difficult to accept that people would be pursuing this for money.
Yes. In our research, Brandon and I found a market analysis, not from the medical field, but just from the standpoint of investors saying, this is the new market. This is a new thing to invest in. There are billions of dollars to be made through these surgeries and through pharmaceuticals. But you’ve pointed out something that’s very appropriate.
A child who gets a $30,000 puberty blocking implant is not just going to be a medical patient for one year. They’re essentially going to be a medical patient at $30,000 a year or more for the rest of their lives, as long as they don’t want the onset of puberty. Then, there are cross-sex hormones, and then surgery. A lot of people are looking at the bottom line dollars.
We’ve seen this before in the opioid crisis. The companies making the opioids specifically lobbied the medical industry to get pain itself viewed as a disease, to be not only a symptom of a disease, but to be the disease itself. Then, doctors were given the opioids to prescribe. This especially adversely affected poor people.
If you were wealthier, your doctor, through your insurance, might take you through physical therapy, which could actually help resolve your pain. If you were poor, they would just give you pills, because your insurance didn’t really cover much.
The pills don’t cost much. The pharmaceutical companies now are being sued for tens of billions of dollars. Many of these lawsuits have been successful, and we’re now looking at another medical scandal on that scale.
For those who have trouble believing that doctors are just out to make money with this gender medicalization, there have been doctors on tape saying it. Very famously, the Daily Wire exposed Vanderbilt Hospital, where they actually had a doctor on videotape saying, “This is a great money maker for our hospital.” It’s come right out of the horse’s mouth, as it were.
Starting on January 1st, 2017, according to the Affordable Care Act insurance cover carriers are mandated to cover medical expenses for trans folks. Some of our BMC financial folks in August of 20, I’m sorry, October of 2016, this was already a couple years ago, cut down some costs of how much money we think each patient would bring in, and this is only including top surgery. This doesn’t include any bottom surgery, and it’s a lot of money. These surgeries make a lot of money, so female and male chest reconstruction can bring in $40,000. A patient just on routine hormone treatment, who I’m only seeing a few times a year, can bring in several thousand dollars because that requires a lot of visits and labs. It actually makes money for the hospital.
Now, these I got from the internet, but it’s from the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, which does a lot of surgery for patients, and I just wanted to give you an idea of how much these bottom surgeries are making, and I think this has to be an underestimate. This is for a vaginoplasty. They’re saying they’re quoting roughly around $20,000 for a vaginoplasty, but that doesn’t include your hospital stay. That doesn’t include your post-op visits. That doesn’t include your anesthesia, your OR, so I would think that this has to be a gross underestimate. I think that’s just like the surgeon’s piece of it, which anybody who’s ever been in the hospital knows that’s like 10 percent of it.
And then, the female to male bottom surgeries, these are huge money makers. Again, I think this has to be an underestimate if they’re quoting around $20,000 for a phalloplasty. There’s been different things that I’ve read that said it could be up to a hundred thousand dollars. Dr. Winaker, who’s our surgeon, says that there’s entire clinics where the entire clinic is supported just by their phalloplasties, and that is like a fraction of the surgeries that they’re doing. These surgeries are labor intensive. They require a lot of follow ups. They require a lot of cohort time, and they make money. They make money for the hospital.
Even for those who are not motivated by money, what needs to be emphasized is that the ideological power is very strong in this space. In a culture where we see the breakdown of faith, we see the breakdown of family. There’s a generation that’s crying out to know who they are. This has been marketed to young people who don’t have any sense of their own identity.
If the battle is about who you are, the stakes are pretty high. This has tremendous power; you don’t dare tell someone that they can’t be who they are. But when we’re speaking about a medical scandal, biology has to matter. The basics have to matter. We have to insist upon a common frame of reference from which we can all have good faith conversations, discuss ideas, and operate from shared premises.
If we lose that, we’ve lost everything. Jeff mentioned lobotomies, and I sometimes speak about thalidomide. These medical scandals of yesteryear were not presented to young people in an identity nomenclature, but this one is. When this psychosis, this ideological power, this spell finally breaks off of our society, we will be among the few that are not shocked by the vast scope of how many children, young people, and young adults were harmed by it.
The medical scandal is bad enough, but when we see the social scandal along with that, how many families have been fractured, and how many young people have been brainwashed into believing the nonsense, the fallout of this is going to be absolutely staggering. There’s got to be a point where we see just how deep and pervasive this has become, to where it shocks the conscience.
Our senses have been so dulled by all of this talk about being who you are and identity, it’s made people afraid to criticize it. You don’t dare do that, lest you offend and hurt somebody’s feelings, and then, maybe drive them towards suicide, which the trans activists like to use to intimidate people.
Which by the way, the evidence doesn’t support.
Correct. Right. Absolutely not.
As I understand it.
That’s right. But when you see the social cost in addition to the medical harm, that probably holds the key to turning the tide. As a case in point, I was recently a part of an indie film called, “Dead Name,” which profiles three families that have been torn apart by this. In that movie, which you can see at deadnamedocumentary.com, there’s a little boy, captured on home video, who was the son of a lesbian couple.
One of his mothers tried to socially transition him, and his other mom was trying to keep him intact. Captured on home video, he says, “If you want girl parts and you don’t have them, you can do special surgery where they turn your penis inside out and there’s a vagina that’s inside. He was four-years-old.
It’s moments like that when you say, “Okay, we really need to take a step back. What are we doing to children? What are we doing to the human body? How has this taken off to the point where you hear something like that coming out of the mouth of a little kid. I’m sorry. No, this is wrong.” People of goodwill, whatever their politics, whatever their faith, need to say, “We insist upon sane, ethical standards to guide us once again, especially in the medical arena.”
Aside from this profit motive in the medical industry, there has also been a centralization of medicine as well, which I’ve discussed with guests talking about the COVID realities. These guidelines and standards of care have gone from being suggestions, back when doctors had individual practices, to now when the entire medical system essentially says, “This is how we’re doing things,” and doctors have to follow that.
The centralization of medicine, making the federal government the dispenser of medical information, means that the lobbying efforts of the pharmaceutical industry become critically important. If they want to make a lot of money off of transgender medicine, then they go lobby the federal government, and they go lobby the state governments.
As we finish up, you mentioned theology influencing your thinking. You work for the Christian Post, so there’s no surprise there. I want to bring that in, because sometimes people will say, “You guys are just Christians. You just want to enforce your Christian worldview here.” How does your Christianity fit into the picture?
As someone who does journalistic work for the Christian Post, it certainly informs and inspires everything that I do. It motivates me to do truthful work, and I’m animated by my faith. It does drive me. It’s the most important thing to me.
But what I found is that if you just value the truth, a lot of people will listen. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “You should know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jeff likes to point out that the word truth in that passage in the book of John is actually the word for reality. He will know reality. Reality will set you free.
Yes, I love the Lord. I want to serve him all my days, and I want that to influence everything I do, including my reporting. But a lot of people who don’t have a religious faith at all appreciate good, decent, honest people who tell the truth. I always try to link back to original source materials, so even if people don’t want to read the Christian Post, they can see the receipts for themselves. They can see that we’re not making this up.
I work with radical feminists. I work with Left-wing lesbians. The truth is true, no matter who says it. Truth is not contingent on whether you believe it or not. It will always be true. To the extent that you can report truthfully, it’s a win for everyone all around, but it just so happens that my faith inspires me to adhere to that standard no matter what.
Even if you don’t believe as I do, that Genesis 1:27 is true, and that we’re made male and female in God’s image, the knowledge that human beings are sexually dimorphic mammals is knowledge that is accessible to everyone by human reason. Everybody can know that. It’s a manifestly true scientific fact.
Psalm 1:39 declares that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe that with great vigorous enthusiasm. You’ll hear me talk about it in that kind of spiritual language, but I want good science too. I want those sound, ethical, and sane standards. My faith bolsters that and reinforces that, but you don’t have to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to know that what we’re saying is true.
The way I would phrase it is, “If you don’t go along with us on theology, at least go along with us on biology.” Virtually every cell in the body is stamped XX if you’re a female, and XY if you’re a male. The lie that you can change from being male to female or vice versa is just a lie. A lot of young people have been led to believe it through social media and through medical misinformation, sometimes even given by their healthcare providers, but the theology and the biology intersect.
The Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said, “Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean.” Science and religion need to work together on this issue, because it’s not just a cold clinical issue. It is literally an attack on an entire generation of young people.
And an attack on truth and reality as we know it.
I understand that you’re offering your book to anybody that wants it. Where can they find it?
You can download it for free. Go to summit.org, Summit Ministries, summit.org/protect. You can also go to Christian Post and find the book there. We are making it available for free. It’s the first time we’ve ever done something like that, because we really want people to download it and then get it out to as many friends and influencers as possible.
Jeff Meyers and Brandon Showalter, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.
Thank you, Jan.
Thank you all for joining Jeff Myers, Brandon Showalter, and me on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host, Jan Jekielek.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.