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An International Transgender Conspiracy Has Been Unmasked

Leaked files reveal how one influential organization is covering up the dangers of transgender medicine. Troubled children deserve better.
Alliance Defending Freedom
Many Western European nations are returning to psychological and psychiatric care to address sexual confusion in children

Last week saw the release of leaked documents from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Running to over 100 pages, the documents given by one or more whistleblowers to Michael Shellenberger provide a disturbing insight into the realities of what “gender medicine” looks like in practice around the globe in the words of those directly involved.

WPATH is a group of self-appointed experts who draft the influential “Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People,” now in its eighth edition. These standards are used by health professionals worldwide and are held out as “best practice” in this area. However, beneath a veneer of medical soundness, respectability, and certainty, the files paint a very different impression.

For example, “informed consent” is a core principle of medical ethics. It is “the process in which a health care provider educates a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a given procedure or intervention.” Moreover, having understood this, “the patient must be competent to make a voluntary decision about whether to undergo the procedure or intervention.”

In contrast, the files reflect a disregard for this foundational principle — with lifelong implications for those affected. For example, there is discussion of blocking the puberty of a girl who is just ten years old. Another practitioner says that explaining the consequences for fertility to a 14-year-old is like talking to a “blank wall.” And in another discussion, a child psychologist and co-author of the latest “Standards of Care” admits: “[It is] out of their developmental range to understand the extent to which some of these medical interventions are impacting them.”

Another common theme in the files is the presence of significant psychiatric comorbidities in the people being pursued for medical and surgical interventions. For example, in one posting, a practitioner explains feeling conflicted over a patient with very complex mental-health issues, including PTSD, major depressive disorder, observed dissociations, and schizoid-typical traits. The practitioner explained that the “patient is eager to start hormones but psychiatry is recommending holding off.” A WPATH member (and co-author of the “Standards of Care”) responds, “I’m missing why you are perplexed. . . .” In another message, a practitioner seems to boast that “I have also intervened on behalf of people who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, cPTSD, homeless and got at least an orchiectomy [removal of testicles].”

There is much more in the files, which are available for anyone to read. As the reverberations of these revelations continue to move around the world, there are at least three things that must happen.

First, doctors, health authorities, and journalists must stop referring to WPATH or its “Standards of Care” as a credible source of reference. WPATH and its standards are demonstrably deaf to the alarm bells that many — including some of its own members — have been ringing, with permanent, life-altering implications for those affected.

Second, the World Health Organization must suspend its beleaguered project to launch its own gender guidelines. Despite being officially announced in June 2023, it appears the process began in 2021. The public was given only a couple of weeks (over Christmas) to comment on the composition of the expert drafting panel. And if there was any remaining doubt as to what this group would ultimately produce, it was settled when it became clear that many are strongly connected to WPATH. Moreover, according to a damning letter sent by the U.N.’s foremost expert on violence against women and girls to the WHO’s director general, “not one appears to represent a voice of caution for medicalizing youth with gender dysphoria.” The WPATH “Standards of Care” and its authors should not be allowed to resurrect their work with the imprimatur of the World Health Organization.

Finally, these latest concerns build on growing pushback against WPATH’s model of affirmation. Finland abandoned the controversial WPATH standards in 2020 and set in place far more cautious guidelines that give stronger protections for under-18s. Sweden and the United Kingdom followed in 2022. This should serve as an important warning to other countries, which must now follow suit and act to protect the vulnerable — including children — from these practices.

This leak uncovers exchanges between doctors that starkly contradict public assurances regarding the safety and essential nature of these interventions. With admissions from key figures within WPATH that the full ramifications of medical interventions might be beyond the developmental capacity of young patients to understand, the revelations call into question the ethical underpinnings of the guidelines that many have taken as setting the gold standard.

Ultimately, those who experience discomfort with their biological sex deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and need compassionate, effective mental-health care. Sadly, at the hands of “gender clinics” around the world armed with the WPATH “standards of care,” they have been pushed in only one direction. There is a mounting and tragic cost to this ideology, revealed by the many stories of those detransitioning or who otherwise regret what was done to them. Ultimately, vulnerable children and adults who deserved better were led to irreversible interventions; those who spoke out were censored. It’s time for more governments to act.