According to WPATH SOC8, gender clinicians may exercise the judgment to start hormone blockers in children at Tanner Stage 2 in their development. For girls, this may be age 9. For boys, age 11. Most children who start puberty blockers then go on to be prescribed cross-sex hormones, also called gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT). This whole protocol works in contradiction to the child’s natural endocrine system. At this point, irreversible changes have happened.
Let’s talk about the drugs. The most common GnRH (puberty blocker) is Lupron. Lupron is not designed for children who identify as transgender—it’s more commonly used to treat cancer. It costs at least hundreds of dollars a month, but I’ve normally heard it costing thousands. Lupon can have devastating side effects, and even the gender clinicians are aware of this, and some have talked about rushing children off puberty blockers and on to cross-sex hormones as quickly as possible.
Girls who are put on this path inject testosterone. Testosterone can act as a mild anti-depressant. Girls taking testosterone report having more energy. Testosterone is also expensive. Boys on this path take estrogen. Estrogen is sometimes used to treat sex offenders to reduce their sex drive. Estrogen is cheaper in oral form, but is associated with higher risk of stroke. From my own experience, I was not ready to handle male puberty, and estrogen acted like a governor on my sex drive. It helped me avoid learning about my body.
After a period on hormone replacement therapy, boys are expected to follow a path that includes castration and the construction of a vagina-like orifice using the penis as material. Without testicles, the boy will become dependent on external hormones for the rest of his life. Girls on this path will experience vaginal atrophy from testosterone, and eventually her other sex organs will be destroyed by the testosterone. After hysterectomy, the girl will become dependent on external hormones for the rest of her life.
For boys and girls in this situation, and for people like me, our health is wholly dependent on the medical system. We must have regular blood tests (at least once a year), and we must report in to our providers to get renewals for our external hormones. These hormone treatments are not optional: we have no gonads. Without them, our bones will become frail, and we will experience other physical symptoms, including mental health problems—hormones regulate our entire bodies.
I am leashed to a medical provider. The best I can do is pick who holds the leash. The children who are being transitioned are being put on to a leash. They are typically starting the process with healthy bodies. But then our bodies are deliberately damaged. Why? For aesthetics. I’m unusual in that I’m vocal about my criticism of the system. I have heard from so many trans people that they would like to say something, but they are terrified that the people who hold their leashes will jerk on the reins.
Planned Parenthood is one of the most generous of the leash-holders. They will essentially let anyone sign up to get a leash, and they don’t ask for very much from their pets. How does this sound? Maybe not so bad? What is the medical discipline that understands the endocrine system? It’s endocrinology! And yet, nobody writing prescriptions at Planned Parenthood is an endocrinologist. My local gender clinic, which sees perhaps 1000 patients, has no endocrinologist on staff. Not only are we on medical leashes, but the people who hold the leashes aren’t even experts in the field. They are learning about best practices and then experimenting on us. However, as someone once pointed out to me, it’s not an experiment. In an experiment, someone is collecting data.