60 Minutes’ featured an episode on Sunday, May 23, where Lesley Stahl reported on individuals who had started medical procedures to “transition” and live as the opposite sex, but then returned to embrace their physical, biological reality.
The episode was titled, “State bills would curtail health care for transgender youth,” with the subtitle: “Lesley Stahl reports on the spate of legislation being introduced in states that would limit care for transgender youth.”
The program began by discussing the Arkansas legislation that prohibits doctors from “treating” gender-confused children and adolescents with puberty blockers, hormones or surgery. Stahl also spoke with medical professionals who are advocates of transitioning and who oppose such legislation to protect children.
Stahl interviewed Grace Lidinsky-Smith, who “was seriously depressed and developed gender dysphoria” and who “began searching for answers in transgender communities on the internet.”
The young lady told Stahl, “And when I saw them being so happy and excited about doing this wonderful, transformative process to really, like, become their true selves I was like, have I considered that this could be my situation, too?”
Lidinsky-Smith found a “gender therapist” who affirmed her desire to live as a man. “She didn’t go – really go into what my gender dysphoria might’ve been stemming from. We only did a few sessions,” she said.
When she was 18, Lidinsky-Smith began taking testosterone after “she merely signed an informed consent form at a clinic and got hormone shots.”
She said, “They asked me, ‘So, why do you wanna go on testosterone?’ And I said, ‘Well, being a woman just isn’t working for me anymore.’ And they said, ‘Okay.’”
Four months later, she had what is euphemistically called “top surgery,” in this case, a double mastectomy. Lidinsky-Smith said, “I started to have a really disturbing sense that like a part of my body was missing, almost a ghost limb feeling about being like, there’s something that should be there. And the feeling really surprised me, but it was really hard to deny.”
As Stahl put it, “And so she detransitioned by going off testosterone and then went back to the clinic and, she says, complained to the doctor that the process didn’t follow the WPATH guidelines.”
WPATH is the “World Association for Transgender Health,” an activist organization that sets “guidelines” for those prescribing drugs and hormones and performing surgeries on children, teens and adults. The organization includes many transgender activists, and its guidelines – which generally lead toward “transitioning” people – aren’t as “scientific” as claimed. They also aren’t enforced by any medical organizations or legal statutes – one reason states are working to protect minors.
Grace Lidinsky-Smith: I can’t believe that I transitioned and detransitioned, including hormones and surgery, in the course of, like, less than one year. It’s completely crazy.”
The episode also showed four individuals who’d “transitioned” then gone back to their birth sex. One of them, Garrett, said he was on female hormones for only three months before having his testicles removed.
Later, after having breast implants, he said, “I had never really been suicidal before until I had my breast augmentation. And about a week afterwards I wanted to, like, actually kill myself. Like, I had a plan and I was gonna do it but I just kept thinking about, like, my family to stop myself. It kind of felt like how am I ever going to feel normal again, like other guys now?”
Garrett said he had only two visits with any sort of professional before being guided toward opposite-sex hormones and surgeries.
Many young people today are doing exactly what these young people did. In a syndrome labeled by one researcher, Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, unhappy adolescents and young adults find information about gender dysphoria on the internet and believe it explains their difficulties in life. And many of them are encouraged to “transition,” by those in the transgender and medical communities.
Medical professionals have permanently damaged these young people’s bodies through opposite-sex hormones and surgeries. Kudos to 60 Minutes for telling their stories, especially when so much of the media and entertainment world seem intent on pushing transgender ideology.
But the episode showed the difficulty the news outlet had in even airing reports of young men and women who had been harmed by transgender procedures. Stahl seemed almost apologetic for revealing these stories.
In a commentary on the 60 Minutes episode, “Inside our transgender health care report,” she explained, “We reported on the health care challenges facing the transgender community, and then we introduced some people who are called ‘detransitioners,’ these are people who are choosing to reverse the process. And their point is that they were not getting proper health care. That was their point. That’s the point we wanted to emphasize, that these were young people who were not getting proper health care advice after all these conversations.”
A similar problem with the program can be seen in the title. The show could have been titled, “Young adults and adolescents damaged by cross-sex hormones and transgender surgery,” or “Teens given poor ‘transgender care,’ permanently harming their bodies.”
It’s as if Stahl and 60 Minutes wanted to present these narratives but without angering transgender activists and their powerful allies. Nor did the news show explain that these harmful treatments are exactly why legislatures want to protect minors.
In addition, all the testimony against the legislation is coming from medical professionals or LGBT activists who favor “transgender procedures.” For example, Stahl interviewed Dr. Erica Anderson, a transgender-identified gender psychologist.
Born male but living as female, Anderson has counseled “hundreds of trans patients,” including a 17-year-old, highlighted on the show, who started the transition process at the age of 13, “when he was diagnosed with gender dysphoria.”
Anderson did express concern for those rushed into transgender treatments, but did not explain that there are no measurable medical or scientific criteria for this diagnosis – only a psychiatric metric which lists the characteristics of those struggling with gender confusion. There is no physical way to measure this disorder, no scientific way to prove that a woman or man is “trapped in the wrong body.” It’s pure ideology.
And, Anderson did not discuss why people would reject their bodies and want to be a different “gender.” As Lidinsky-Smith said, no one asked her where these thoughts and feelings might come from.
“Medicine rests on science and should not be held captive to desires or demands that contradict biological reality,” says the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA).
CMDA goes on to explain, “Sex reassignment operations are physically harmful because they disregard normal human anatomy and function. Normal anatomy is not a disease; dissatisfaction with natural anatomical and genetic sexual makeup is not a condition that can be successfully remedied medically or surgically.”
60 Minutes could have easily interviewed some of their members.
Nor did Anderson or any of the other doctors interviewed tell Stahl that most children – and many adolescents – grow out of their confusion, when they have clinical, parental and spiritual help that doesn’t push them toward these experimental treatments.
And experimental they are, despite what Dr. Lee Savio Beers, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Stahl and her audience, “These are not experimental treatments. They’re really based in scientific literature, they’re based in decades and decades of expert experience, and they’re backed by a number of major medical organizations.”
The truth is, as the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) explains, “There is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for transgender-believing youth. This means that youth transition is experimental, and therefore, parents cannot provide informed consent, nor can minors provide assent for these interventions.”
Again, Stahl and her team could have talked with health care professionals from ACPeds, but not one doctor who believes transgender medicine is unsupported by science and research was questioned.
Sadly, the lives of these individuals, damaged by medical procedures, gave eloquent witness as to why laws banning transgender drugs, hormones and surgeries are needed to protect children and adolescents.
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