‘First Major Whistleblower’ From a Children’s Gender Clinic Exposes ‘Appalling’ Practices
Jamie Reed, 42, is “blowing the whistle” on the children’s gender clinic where she worked, the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She authored an article, published Thursday at The Free Press: “I Thought I Was Saving Trans Kids. Now I’m Blowing the Whistle.” She has also written a letter to her state’s attorney general complaining about the gender clinic’s “questionable medical practices and treatment of minors.”
Jay Richards, who fights gender ideology through his work at The Heritage Foundation, posted The Free Press’ article in a thread of tweets, saying, “We have our first major whistleblower from a ghoulish pediatric gender clinic. She violates all the media tropes.”
Reed says she’s “a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders.” She has dedicated her career to counseling “children in foster care, sexual minorities, the poor,” and has worked with “teens and young adults who were HIV positive,” many of whom identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. She’s “now married to a trans man.”
Richards, executive editor of The Stream and director of the DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family and the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, wrote on Twitter:
She noticed the obvious: A surge in teens showing up, most of them girls w/ no previous evidence of gender distress but all manner of psychological problems, who got put on drugs, which led to disasters.
Why is she speaking out? ‘Almost everyone in my life advised me to keep my head down. But I cannot in good conscience do so. Because what is happening to scores of children is far more important than my comfort. And what is happening to them is morally and medically appalling.’
She worked for almost four years at The Washington University School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases in St. Louis. But remember, this is happening in hospitals all around the United States. There are probably a hundred in total (not counting Planned Parenthoods.)
None of this is news to anyone following this medical catastrophe. But this is coming from an eye witness. We will hear many such stories–either before or after the lawsuits start. [Praying hands emoji] for the protection of brave whistleblowers, & for a hundred more.
I have nothing but compassion for people in this situation, and can easily forgive parents who think they’re doing the only thing that will save their child’s life. But the doctors? That’s a different story.
Sure, your professional org has provided you with a fig leaf. That’s not a free pass. Do some freaking reading of the literature, use your brain, and grow a spine. If you’re a physician, you bear the responsibility for it. That’s what it means to be a professional.
During the four years Reed oversaw patients as a case manager, around a thousand minors came to the Transgender Center, and most of them received hormone prescriptions, she says.
New Kinds of Patients
When she started, many of the children they saw were young boys who wanted to be girls. But then the population of new patients shifted increasingly to older girls. “Sometimes clusters of girls arrived from the same high school.” She had concern back then, but she also knew, “Anyone who raised doubts ran the risk of being called a transphobe.”
These girls had a number of conditions besides the desire to be the opposite sex: Autism or autism-like symptoms, “depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, obesity.” Some also declared themselves to have conditions that the Transgender Center professionals did not believe they had, such as having multiple personalities. Doctors at the Center recognized that “social contagion” was behind these false self-diagnoses. Social contagion is the spontaneous spread of behaviors, emotions or conditions through a group.
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Yet feelings of gender identity were treated differently, as though they were inherent and natural: “when I said the clusters of girls streaming into our service looked as if their gender issues might be a manifestation of social contagion, the doctors said gender identity reflected something innate,” Reed wrote.
Reed also described a third group of young people who began being referred to the Transgender Clinic: those coming from the inpatient psychiatric unit or emergency department of the children’s hospital, with diagnoses like schizophrenia, PTSD and bipolar disorder. “Some weeks it felt as though almost our entire caseload was nothing but disturbed young people.” Reed described a couple of cases of male teenagers who were prescribed hormones, whose unusual cases made her wonder if the prescriptions were being used “as a form of chemical castration.” “I asked the doctor what protocol he was following, but I never got a straight answer.”
“All It Took”
To get a testosterone prescription from an endocrinologist, the girls needed to get the written support of a therapist, which usually meant one or two meetings with the therapist. “That’s all it took,” Reed wrote.
Reed detailed examples of side effects from the drugs and hormones these minor patients took. One boy was prescribed the cancer drug bicalutamide, experienced liver toxicity, and had to be taken off the drug. A girl was prescribed testosterone, which made her clitoris grow to the point that it rubbed painfully in her jeans. Reed suggested she start wearing a compression underwear garment made for men who want to feminize their appearance. Reed noted that babies are born with abnormal genitalia in rare cases. “But clinics like the one where I worked are creating a whole cohort of kids with atypical genitals” and “all it took for them to permanently transform themselves was one or two short conversations with a therapist.”
Doctors Weren’t Interested in Understanding Detransitioners
Reed said in 2019 she became aware of desisters, people who begin but don’t follow through with the “gender transition” process, and detransitioners, people who return to identifying with their true sex after undergoing a “transition.” She and a coworker began to track and collect data regarding the former patients who desisted or detransitioned.
We thought the doctors would want to collect and understand this data in order to figure out what they had missed.
We were wrong. One doctor wondered aloud why he would spend time on someone who was no longer his patient.
But we created a document anyway and called it the Red Flag list. It was an Excel spreadsheet that tracked the kind of patients that kept my colleague and me up at night.
In the summer of 2022, the doctors told Reed to stop questioning the science and their authority. She left in November. Then she saw comments from Rachel Levine, a male Biden official who identifies as a woman, saying what she knew “wasn’t true.” Reuters reported: “Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health, said that clinics are proceeding carefully and that no American children are receiving drugs or hormones for gender dysphoria who shouldn’t.”
In response, Reed wrote down her experiences and sent a letter to the Missouri attorney general. Part of it reads:
The culture at the Center Clinic became so toxic that support staff, with serious and legitimate concerns, nonetheless felt compelled to remain working at the Center (to their own detriment) because if they left no one would provide essential follow-up, or checks and balances necessary to countermand the unethical decisions, medical harm and permanent injury resulting from Center treatment. Medical harm and injury I witnessed include vaginal lacerations that required surgical repair due to the testosterone’s damage to the vaginal tissues, liver injury due to medications being prescribed that are not within any standards of care (bicalutamide), mental health worsening after initiation of puberty blockers and cross sex hormones (including suicide attempts and increased hospitalizations), and harm to families.
The essential elements of proper and medically appropriate care and treatment require actual, objective assessment, genuine informed consent, therapy, and, when appropriate, mental health care in advance of physical treatment. These basic tenants are at the core of recognized, appropriate,and (sic) acceptable medical treatment. I can no longer support medical transition/gender altering treatment of children provided by the Center because these essential tenants, which are necessary to first do no harm, are not being followed.
In her article, Reed calls for a suspension of all hormonal and surgical treatment of minors for gender dysphoria, citing examples from the U.K., Sweden and Finland. She indicated that what’s being done to children is less ethical and less careful than a true “experiment” would be.
“A Devastating Exposé”
Conservatives like Chris “Bilboard Chris” Elston, who travels and wears signs with messages like, “children cannot consent to puberty blockers,” rejoiced at the publishing of Reed’s article. Twitter has labeled Reed’s article “sensitive content.”
Richards noted in his Twitter thread that Do No Harm, an organization of medical professionals fighting “the attack on our healthcare system from woke activists,” responded to Reed’s article. Do No Harm created a webpage inviting parents or medical professionals who’ve “seen children subjected to radical gender ideology, including extreme treatments,” to contact them, saying, “We’ll help you tell your story – and protect more children.”
Note that @donoharm has set up a whistleblower hotline for people who have worked in pediatric gender medicine. See here: https://t.co/q7oAjn8vVG
— Jay W. Richards (@DrJayRichards) February 9, 2023
Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.