The titular question is a modern issue that needs to be addressed. I certainly bear no animosity against the LGBTQ+ community or its constituents, but I hope to give a warning to those who venture towards it. There has been an increase in media coverage of tragic suicides and individuals who regret transitioning. Transgenderism might be considered as the philosophy of individuals whose gender identity does not agree with their biological sex. This philosophy has led devotees to undergo potentially irreversible surgeries and medication with detrimental physical and mental effects. The danger, however, has been ignored by prominent physicians and medical practitioners. I merely hope to offer information, invite readers to aggressively question my material, and give them the chance to develop their own opinion.
This ideology is inevitably problematic and ethically wrong at times. Disregarding one’s biological identity is often more destructive than constructive. A tangible object is easier to hold onto than a theoretical idea. Some outstanding individuals are aided by this modern doctrine. This is a controversial article meant to shine a new light on possible dangers and not meant to criticize anyone.
In recent years, the media has been reporting on stories of individuals who regret transitioning. These stories often follow the same narrative of medical practitioners telling patients that they have gender dysphoria and that there is only one way to handle it— transitioning. Transitioning, they are told, will relieve their anxiety, stress, and other psychological difficulties. But would transforming your body be equivalent to running away from your problems? Many of the following stories describe the medication used in transitioning as being harmful, and the changes not leading to the lasting happiness that they seemed to be promised. To help give a sense of the scale of the problem, here is a list of articles describing tales of sentimental regret from individuals throughout the years. These stories follow a similar pattern and mostly express the wish that the medical industry could have offered solutions other than just affirming their self-prescribed identity.
The article, “‘Gender Transition’ Regret Deserves a Voice, Says Former Patient,” from the Angelus News and written by Kevin Jones, describes a woman named Grace Lidinsky-Smith who believes that there is no standard of care for trans-patients.
The article, “Hundreds of Trans People Regret Changing Their Gender, Says Trans Activist,” from News Medical and written by Sally Robertson, states that a woman named Charlie Evans has been in contact with hundreds of people who want to detransition.
The article, “Experience: I Regret Transitioning,” from The Guardian and written by an anonymous source, tells the author’s eye-opening story of realizing her body wasn’t the problem.
The article, “Hormones, Surgery, Regret: I Was a Transgender Woman for 8 years – Time I Can’t Get Back,” from USA Today and written by Walt Heyer, tells Heyer’s story of having psychological issues that aided in his gender dysphoria which destroyed his life.
The article, “‘I Feel Angry’: Why Some People Regret and Reverse Their Transgender Decisions,” from National Post and written by Tom Blackwell, tells the story of Eva being pressured into being transgender as a child and finding she was just attracted to women.
The article, “Female Detransitioner Says Gender Dysphoria Must Be Treated like Mental Health Issue,” from The Christian Post and written by Leah MarieAnn Klett, describes the story of Helena Kerschner’s detransitioning story with Dr. Preston Sprinkle (president of Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender) and how she advocates for treating gender dysphoria like any other person with mental health issues.
There has also been some media attention on cases of youth ending their own lives because of gender dysphoria. Children are promised the same fantasy that all of their problems will go away once they receive their pills and undergo surgery. This is often encouraged by everyone around the child. Specifically the internet, schools, medical institutions, and even parents. The child is embroiled in it and not challenged that maybe transitioning isn’t a sufficient answer. An answer to what you may ask? An answer to the question of what role they, and their gender identity, play in the world. This is a time of growth for children when they are confused and ask what they have been brought into and where they fit. Children are vulnerable and willing to listen to anyone who will satisfy these questions, and transgenderism seems to represent an answer that they heed. Here are two valuable articles about this seemingly growing phenomenon.
The article, “Philly-Area Trans Teen Commits Suicide on Train Tracks,” from Advocate and written by Mitch Kellaway, tells about the suicide of a transgender male named Riley Matthew Moscatel who was validated by family and community alike.
The article, “Anguished Moms Details How Gender Ideology in Schools Threatens Parents’ Rights and Leads to Suicide,” from The Christian Post by Brandon Showalter, describes mothers fighting against transgenderism inside schools. Furthermore, it tells the story of a mother who lost custody of her transitioning daughter who would later commit suicide.
The evidence from the articles suggests that allowing this ideology to thrive will only cause a higher rate of suicide among children with gender dysphoria. The transgender ideology isn’t enough to resolve their questions and their vulnerability; it only pushes them to go towards a breaking point. Specifically, cross-sex hormones weren’t enough to aid this anxiety. Where could there be a more effective alternative? We can’t prove surgery would have aided in their distress. They likely would be more confused and filled with regret from their transition.
For the parents who respectfully disagree with the ideology and reasonably believe it is not in the best interest of their children, an unfortunate fate waits for them. The devout protectors of transgenderism, the schools, the medical establishments, and social services often seek to obtain custody of the child to save them from the “abusive” households. There are, of course, instances of children with gender dysphoria being abused because of this, but most parents concerned about transgender ideology are trying to help their children.
So how should cases where gender dysphoric children are removed from their parents by CPS in nonabusive cases? This results in enabling the ideology that destroyed these minors. It separates the loving bond between a parent and their child, leaving friends and family in grief.
The science has shown we should positively affirm the desires of certain individuals who genuinely want to transition, or they will be at higher risk for suicide. Yet we also saw above that pressuring young children into transitioning can also increase their risk of suicide. What should we believe? The research, alas, is still inconclusive.
Many advocates for transgenderism believe that people, even minors, should do whatever they desire with their bodies as long as it causes no truly dire consequence. But how responsible would it be for qualified individuals in the medical industry to simply allow willing people to just transition? Here are a few articles and academic studies which demonstrate our ignorance of the long-term safety of these procedures.
The article, “Gender-Dysphoric Adolescents and Gender Transition Regret: What We Don’t Know, from the Society For Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM),” helps simplify the cases of Editorial, The Lancet, and the rebuttal of Pang et al. showing the lack of evidence of youth benefiting from gender affirmation surgery.
The journal article, “Factors Associated with Suicide Attempts among Australian Transgender Adults,” from the BMC Psychiatry (written by Zwickl, S., Wong, A.F.Q., Dowers, E. et al.), is a study meant to understand the cause of high suicide rates among the trans adult population.
The article, “Paying for Transgender Surgeries,” from Investopedia by Ronni Sandroff, describes the significant financial costs of gender affirmation surgery.
The article, “At What Cost? Trans Healthcare, Manipulated Data, and Self-Appointed Saviors,” from New Discourses by Helena Kerschner, describes the laxity of the trans healthcare industry and argues that medical establishments do not follow a traditional standard of care.
The article, “Suicide Thoughts and Attempts Among Transgender Adults,” from the University of California, Los Angeles by Jody L. Herman, shows that the transgender community has significantly higher attempts of suicide compared to the general U.S population.
The article, “Summary of Studies Regarding risks Associated With Transgender Medical Interventions,” from the website HHS Transgender Mandate, describes possible risks to trans youth in transitioning and provides its sources.
If you carefully read the BMC Psychiatry study, it states that individuals who correctly get reassignment surgery have reported having less depression than those desiring surgery. Specifically, 34% report experiencing depression compared to the 51% who report that they haven’t undergone surgery. But the problem with this is that it fails to provide the prior rate of depression among those undergoing gender affirmation surgery, so there is no clear way to determine whether the two groups were identical in the relevant ways.
Mature adults possess the right and have the cognitive ability to do what they please in accordance with the civil law, however, should innocent children be able to follow such possibly reckless courses as well? Referring to the SEGM article, you will find the evidence that promoting youth transitioning has no clear suicide prevention effect. The article argues that the evidence that surgery prevents individuals from committing suicide is flawed. Yet for some reason, the medical establishment only promotes transitioning and nothing else.
Why would the medical industry endorse a flawed study that may only cause more harm than good? It is possible they genuinely do believe this is the only way to help people with gender dysphoria. This may be, but one cannot ignore the financial incentives involved. It would seem unwise to leave vulnerable groups in the hands of a medical industry that, in this case, is under heavy financial and political pressure to encourage transitioning.
So what are the takeaways from this review of the data? First, we should understand there are cases in which individuals who believe these ideals actually benefit from them. In addition, there are cases in which transgender individuals have committed suicide because of being bullied and not being accepted by their social environment. This includes children. The tragic death of any child is undoubtedly an unspeakable tragedy. Especially suicide, as it adversely affects all of those who knew the deceased individual. We can only hope they know how much we genuinely cherished them. Yet this is not the full story.
Second, many children who suffer from gender dysphoria are being pressured into surgeries they later regret. This, ironically, can increase their risk of mental health problems down the line. Society needs to acknowledge that there is a middle path between completely denying the existence of trans people and giving out gender reassignment surgery to anyone with gender dysphoria. Innocent children are hurt every day by our inability to admit this, and scale back the pressure toward surgery.
Finally, this would not even be a problem if there was not a more fundamental issue within American society. Our inability to conduct an honest conversation, in which we survey the evidence and discuss a standard of care for trans-Americans, rooted in both objective biological facts and compassion for our fellow man, demonstrates that the ideas that once made American society great are being weakened. Until we can put down our rhetorical arms and talk to one another, vulnerable Americans will continue to be caught in the crossfire.
Austin Barthel is an aspiring writer and contributor to The Texas Horn. Austin is a part of the undergraduate class of '25 at The University of Texas at Austin. Hobbies include playing video games, hanging out with friends, and hunting.