Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs and National Child Traumatic Stress Network released informational guidance regarding the care of transgender children that urged parents, counselors, and schools to pursue gender-affirming treatments, including irreversible transition surgeries to remove breasts and genitalia.
The Population Affairs document states, “For transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents, early gender-affirming care is crucial to overall health and well-being as it allows the child or adolescent to focus on social transitions and can increase their confidence while navigating the healthcare system.”
The fact sheet discusses various treatments including social affirmation, puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries. One chart includes claims that puberty blockers are reversible, despite well-documented evidence from the Tavistock Clinic in the U.K. that these hormonal interventions have permanent ill effects on bone health, physical growth, and other bodily systems that are naturally impacted by puberty.
In fact, throughout the documents, the administration makes false and misleading claims about the risks and reversibility of treatments.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network guidelines go into more detail, stating that gender-affirming treatment “may include evidence-based interventions such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones. Gender-affirming care also includes access to opportunities that all children should have, such as playing team sports, safely using bathrooms in their schools and other public places, and positive relationships with supportive adults.”
Taking aim at the claims by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R, and others who say that such treatments harm children and legally constitute child abuse, the document states unequivocally, “Providing gender-affirming care is neither child maltreatment nor malpractice. The child welfare system in the US, charged with ‘improv(ing) the overall health and well-being of our nation’s children and families’, should not be used to deny care or separate families working to make the best decisions for their children’s well-being.”
The agency falsely claims, “There is no scientifically sound research showing negative impacts from providing gender-affirming care.”
It also encourages adults to validate the children’s “identities,” by telling them to “believe and validate youth when they share their gender identities with you by always using and validating the names, pronouns, and identities that youth share with you, even if those change while they are exploring their identities.”
The guidelines also say, “Many children are aware of their own gender identity as early as 3-5 years old, 7, 8, although it is also common for children to explore gender identity at later ages.”
The document states that LGBT youth are at risk. “Young people are aware of the national conversations about access to gender-affirming care and the rights of LGBTQ+ youth, and acknowledge that any feelings or fears that arise from witnessing prejudice towards LGBTQ+ youth are valid. Be prepared to offer a space for them to process, ask questions, and plan for their safety.”
Coinciding with the release of the guidelines, the administration released a video of President Joe Biden directly addressing transgender youth on Transgender Visibility Day. “I want you to know that your President sees you,” Biden said. “Our entire administration sees you for who you are, made in the image of God and deserving of dignity, respect, and support. But we know that it’s hard when there are those out there who don’t see you and don’t respect you.”
He stated that the “onslaught of anti-transgender state laws attacking you and your families is simply wrong,” calling the bills “hateful.” He said there was work to do to end an “epidemic” of violence against transgender women of color and girls of color, such as passing the Equality Act to help transgender people live a life free of discrimination and violence. He told transgender youth, “You’re so brave. You belong. I have your back.”
There is something truly disturbing about the President of the United States directly addressing confused children and attempting to further confuse them by driving a wedge between them and their parents. And what he’s doing isn’t “seeing” or protecting youth, it is cruel, manipulative, and cowardly.
The administration blatantly lied or ignored evidence showing that puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery have lasting adverse effects. Clearly, double mastectomies and castration cannot ever be reversed. Cross-sex hormone therapy causes girls to go into early menopause, as an example, and both sexes develop physical features such as hair growth and voice changes that remain permanently, even after de-transition. And in the case of puberty blockers, a nine-year-long study by researchers with the Tavistock Clinic showed that children’s bones are less dense and markedly weaker as a result of having their puberty disrupted, while also causing infertility and sexual dysfunction.
Moreover, in a major article published on “Common Sense with Bari Weiss,” doctors who specialize in transgender care and transition blew the whistle on the whole gender-affirming movement. The article details the nitty-gritty details of what’s involved in transitioning a child to the opposite sex, along with the various impacts on the child’s physical, sexual, reproductive, endocrinological, and cognitive functions.
The fact is that gender-affirming treatments in children are still wildly experimental. No one has any idea what the long-term effects will be because until the last few years, no one had ever even considered giving these types of drugs and treatments to teenagers, much less toddlers and tweens.
Biden’s claim that he sees transgender youth as they are and as made that way in the image of God is appalling. God has made each person in His image and knit them in the womb as they are, including their biological sex. By performing ghastly treatments and surgeries on people to attempt to change their sex, our society is actually desecrating the image of God.
Moreover, the state laws that have been passed are not violent. They are intended to protect children and their families from being pressured by schools, doctors, and government officials to consent to life-altering, irreversible treatments, as well as to protect women and girls and the integrity of women’s sports. All that Biden and his administration are engaging in is political theater. This move doesn’t protect transgenders, it shirks the hard work of helping them accept who they are as God made them and avoiding the likelihood of major health issues down the road.
To transgender youth: The Biden administration doesn’t see you and they don’t have your back. They are trying to use you. And if you are someone who is being forced to share a bathroom or locker room with a person of the opposite sex or a person who has lost an athletic competition to a biological male, or worse, this administration doesn’t see you or care about you either.
The highest office in our country is trying to push parents to lie to their children and subject them to Frankensteinian treatments while claiming to see children for who they are. Americans must recognize this and stand up. The political effort to manipulate children and society into breaking with reality has gone on long enough and it is time to quit indulging this twisted charade before it is too late. Push back with your voice, your wallet, and your political engagement.