An ex-transgender woman is suing the UK’s top gender clinic, saying that if she’d been “challenged more” by medical staff over her decision to “transition” to male as a teenager, she might have been spared years of pain and potentially dangerous side effects.
According to the BBC, a judge gave the green light for a full hearing of the case against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust brought by 23-year-old Keira Bell and “Mum A,” the mother of a 15-year-old girl with autism who is awaiting treatment at the infamous “gender identity” clinic based in Hampstead, north-west London.
The pair’s attorneys will argue that children cannot give truly informed consent to treatments such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and eventually a barrage of surgeries.
Like many women who became “transgender men,” Keira told the BBC that she was a tomboy as a child. Her desire to identify as a boy gradually built up the more she learned about transgenderism and transitioning online.
As she began to head down the long path of medical “gender affirmation,” Keira said “one step led to another”.
She was referred to the Tavistock clinic at 16 years old where she was prescribed puberty blockers after just three one-hour appointments.
“I should have been challenged on the proposals or the claims that I was making for myself,” Keira said. “And I think that would have made a big difference as well. If I was just challenged on the things I was saying.”
Although puberty blockers are touted as reversible, Tavistock acknowledges that their impact on brain development and psychological health is not fully known.
A year after starting the puberty-blockers, Keira was prescribed testosterone which caused her to develop male characteristics like facial hair and a deep voice. Three years ago, she underwent a double mastectomy.
“Initially I felt very relieved and happy about things, but I think as the years go on you start to feel less and less enthusiastic or even happy about things,” she said. “You can continue and dig yourself deeper into this hole or you can choose to come out of it and have the weight lifted off your shoulders.”
Keira made the decision to stop taking hormones last year and now accepts her female biology, but she is furious with the system that allowed and encouraged her to do such irreparable damage to her body at such a young age.
“I was allowed to run with this idea that I had, almost like a fantasy, as a teenager…. and it has affected me in the long run as an adult,” she lamented. “I’m very young. I’ve only just stepped into adulthood and I have to deal with this kind of burden or radical difference – in comparison to others at least.”
“I did say the same thing years ago when I went to the clinic,” Keira added in response to the common trope that transgender children must be affirmed in their delusion in order to prevent depression and suicide. “I would say it was saving me from suicidal ideation and depression in general and at the time I felt it relieved all those mental health issues I was feeling, alongside gender dysphoria.”
“I feel I could say anything to my 16-year-old self and I might not necessarily listen at that time. And that’s the point of this case, when you are that young you don’t really want to listen,” Keira concluded. “So I think it’s up to these institutions, like the Tavistock, to step in and make children reconsider what they are saying, because it is a life-altering path.”
Our nation wouldn’t dream of allowing a 16-year-old to engage in the lifelong commitment of marriage—heck, most parents aren’t even keen on their children and teens taking on the responsibility of caring for a house pet! So why on earth are the adults in these situations allowing their children to permanently damage their bodies and risk countless side effects in this way? Medical transitioning is a permanent answer to a temporary problem, and we must protect our children from it at any cost!
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