Boston Children’s Hospital’s transgender insanity, elites profit from kids
Recent events at Boston Children’s Hospital reveal the yawning gulf between the values of ordinary American parents and the decadent beliefs of a venal and increasingly unhinged elite.
When activist “Billboard” Chris Elston broke the story of videos promoting “gender affirmation” for kids as young as 2 at the hospital, the outcry was immediate and immense. The progressive press has retaliated by calling this “right-wing harassment,” and of course any actual threats should be condemned.
But frankly, outrage is the right response to medics promoting the idea that kids young enough to be in diapers have a clear enough sense of their own identity to justify far-reaching changes such as “social transition,” in which everyone around a child agrees to pretend he or she is the opposite sex. A hospital psychologist even insisted in one video that “a good portion of children do know as early as from the womb.”
So when the US Justice Department came out in defense of the hospital last week, normal parents might be forgiven for thinking America’s rulers have taken leave of their senses. But what’s afoot isn’t insanity so much as a government-approved gold-rush. The “resource” these speculators are fighting over? The healthy bodies of American children.
Data show that “socially transitioned” children are far more likely to go on to medical interventions. And perhaps this is the point: After all, transgender is big business. Gender-transition surgery can cost upward of $100,000. The US gender-surgery market was valued in 2021 at $1.9 billion, with predicted annual growth of more than 10%. And when hormone therapy costs $1,500 a year, for the rest of a patient’s life, no wonder entrepreneurial medics want kids on the treatment treadmill as young as possible. Clinics are popping up like mushrooms to take advantage of this new business opportunity: The first American pediatric gender clinic opened in 2007, and there are now more than 50 nationwide.
This all comes with a federal seal of approval. Rachel Levine, a transgender individual born male and serving as America’s assistant secretary for health, recently declared on Twitter, “Gender-affirming care is medical care. It is mental health care. It is suicide prevention care. It improves quality of life, and it saves lives. It is based on decades of study. It is a well-established medical practice.”
In reality, every sentence of this is contested. Several European nations have suspended or drastically restricted support for this supposedly “well-established medical practice” following new evidence.
Research reveals, for example, that pediatric transition delivers poor or no mental-health improvements for those who undergo it. The cancer drug used off-label to halt puberty has been shown to cause shocking side effects, such as stunted growth, cognitive impairment, brittle bones and even blindness. And of course once a surgeon has cut your teen daughter’s healthy breasts off, they ain’t growing back — even if she changes her mind later on.
I write from Britain, where the UK government recently shut down the Tavistock gender clinic for endangering kids — by taking exactly the treatment approach Levine approvingly promotes.
But you won’t hear any of this from America’s assistant secretary for health. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Against this top-down rollout of full-bore surgical insanity, how are regular Americans to fight back? For it’s clear that even if elites are breezy about allowing a shoal of entrepreneurial quacks to cut pieces off healthy minors, ordinary Americans are far less chill about letting mad medics meddle with their kids.
There have been victories: Several red states, such as Florida, have enacted or are enacting laws that restrict or outright ban pediatric gender transition. Meanwhile, parental activism on curriculum transparency is pushing back on educators who go over parents’ heads to propagate the toxic ideologies that justify this butchery.
But with elites leaning all the way into the insanity, resistance is routinely censored. Moms for Liberty, a campaigning group that resists gender ideology in schools and public legislation, was recently suspended from Twitter for criticizing a new state law that prevents California cops from arresting someone bringing a kid to the state for gender surgeries. It’s a grotesque charter for interstate child-mutilation tourism — but Twitter will kick you off for saying so.
My money’s still on moms. We’re the backbone of ordinary society the world over and the last line of defense for the innocent. Moms will lay down their lives to protect their children from harm. Boston Children’s Hospital and Rachel Levine may live to regret taking on the moms of America over the right of government and Big Pharma to make little kids into meat Lego.
Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd and author of the forthcoming “Feminism Against Progress.”