A years-long pediatric gender clinic worker is blowing the whistle on “affirmation”-based gender treatments for children, saying, “What’s happening to children is morally and medically appalling.”
Jamie Reed, who describes herself as “a 42-year-old St. Louis native, a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders,” detailed in the Free Press how gender clinics prescribing drugs like puberty blockers and hormone treatments, as well as genital mutilation surgeries, are “permanently harming” children.
Reed, a former case manager at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, quit her job in November after she could “no longer participate in what was happening there.”
“Struck by the lack of formal protocols for treatment,” she detailed how only very little evidence is required to start children down the irreversible path of “gender transition.”
A child only needs to have seen a therapist “once or twice for the green light” to start the process and in order to hit the proper marks and “make it more efficient for the therapists, we offered them a template for how to write a letter in support of transition.”
Reed said gender clinics downplay the side-effects of such treatment as well. She recalled:
Being put on powerful doses of testosterone or estrogen — enough to try to trick your body into mimicking the opposite sex — affects the rest of the body. I doubt that any parent who’s ever consented to give their kid testosterone (a lifelong treatment) knows that they’re also possibly signing their kid up for blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, and perhaps sleep apnea and diabetes.
“Our patients were told about some side effects, including sterility,” she said, rebuking the leftist ideology that children are capable of informed consent.
“But after working at the center, I came to believe that teenagers are simply not capable of fully grasping what it means to make the decision to become infertile while still a minor,” Reed added.
While the common trope among “transition” proponents is that “untreated” gender dysphoria can manifest in self-harm and suicide — something the St. Louis transgender center says on its website — Reed maintains “There are no reliable studies showing this. Indeed, the experiences of many of the center’s patients prove how false these assertions are.”
How little patients understood what they were getting into was illustrated by a call we received at the center in 2020 from a 17-year-old biological female patient who was on testosterone. She said she was bleeding from the vagina. In less than an hour she had soaked through an extra heavy pad, her jeans, and a towel she had wrapped around her waist. The nurse at the center told her to go to the emergency room right away.
We found out later this girl had had intercourse, and because testosterone thins the vaginal tissues, her vaginal canal had ripped open. She had to be sedated and given surgery to repair the damage. She wasn’t the only vaginal laceration case we heard about.
Prior to 2015, young boys were the predominant patient showing signs of gender dysphoria. Since then, young girls were “suddenly declar[ing] they were transgender and demanded immediate treatment with testosterone,” something Reed says was a phenomenon “across the Western world.”
Questioning the phenomenon “ran the risk of being called a transphobe,” Reed wrote, saying that when she started, there were around ten cases a month, but “when I left there were 50, and about 70 percent of the new patients were girls. Sometimes clusters of girls arrived from the same high school.”
She described the trend as a “social contagion,” and explained how “the girls who came to us had many comorbidities: depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, obesity. Many were diagnosed with autism, or had autism-like symptoms.”
“Frequently, our patients declared they had disorders that no one believed they had,” she wrote:
The doctors privately recognized these false self-diagnoses as a manifestation of social contagion. They even acknowledged that suicide has an element of social contagion. But when I said the clusters of girls streaming into our service looked as if their gender issues might be a manifestation of social contagion, the doctors said gender identity reflected something innate.
However, even when patients presented with real mental illnesses, they were still recommended to the gender clinic for treatment.
Reminiscent of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, Reed described a 17-year-old patient who had been living in a facility after sexually abusing dogs and his present course of treatment “wasn’t working.”
According to another caseworker, the boy “planned to reoffend because he believed the dogs had willingly submitted.”
Somewhere along the way, he expressed a desire to become female, so he ended up being seen at our center. From there, he went to a psychologist at the hospital who was known to approve virtually everyone seeking transition. Then our doctor recommended feminizing hormones.
“At the time, I wondered if this was being done as a form of chemical castration,” Reed wrote.
Misappropriation of transgender treatments is coming from the highest levels of government, with U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine — a man who identifies as a woman — saying “no American children are receiving drugs or hormones for gender dysphoria who shouldn’t.”
According to Reed, Levine’s declaration is false, writing, “I felt stunned and sickened. It wasn’t true. And I know that from deep first-hand experience.”
The gender clinic responded to Reed’s allegations, saying, “We are alarmed by the allegations reported in the article published by The Free Press describing practices and behaviors the author says she witnessed while employed at the university’s Transgender Center.”
”We are taking this matter very seriously and have already begun the process of looking into the situation to ascertain the facts,” the statement continued. “As always, our highest priority is the health and well-being of our patients. We are committed to providing compassionate, family-centered care to all of our patients and we hold our medical practitioners to the highest professional and ethical standards.”