- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2023

They may never have a week named in their honor or a flag flown outside a federal building, but formerly transgender people switching back to their original sex are becoming increasingly impossible to ignore.

Known as detransitioners, they appeared at rallies over the weekend in Los Angeles, St. Louis and Sacramento to mark the third annual Detrans Awareness Day, offering support for those seeking to reverse the transition process and rarely heard warnings about gender-transition health care.

“I was really rushed down a pipeline where my very first medical intervention was a double mastectomy at 16 before anything else,” Luka Hein said Sunday at an event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “A few months later, I was put on testosterone.”

The result? “I’m now 21 and I live with constant joint pain. My vocal cords ache. I have heart issues, rib and spine damage. I never know if I’ll be able to have children,” Ms. Hein said. “This isn’t about hate. It’s about protecting kids and giving them a chance to grow up because they deserve it.”

The group Our Duty held a screening afterward for the 2023 film “Affirmation Generation: The Lies of the Transgender Medicine,” which followed last year’s documentary, “The Detransition Diaries: Saving Our Sisters.”

Where the movement may ultimately have its biggest impact is in the courts. Among the speakers was 18-year-old Chloe Brockman, also known as Chloe Cole, who sued Kaiser Permanente last month for medical negligence for treating her as a minor without “proper informed consent.”

Ms. Cole, who appeared last week on a transgenderism panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference, said she was put on puberty blockers and testosterone at 13. She underwent a double mastectomy at 15. Now she regrets it, saying that she wants to be a mother and nurse her children, but “transitioning took that away from me.”

“I don’t want there to be less transgender people in the world. I want there to be less cases like mine,” Ms. Cole said at the Los Angeles rally. “I don’t believe that children should ever be allowed to transition. It is never appropriate. Because I transitioned so young, I don’t know if I will be able to have kids. I definitely won’t be able to breastfeed.”

Not surprisingly, the rise of the detransitioners has met with a backlash on the left. The activists have been accused of doing the bidding of the right by hyping fears about gender-transition drugs and procedures.

Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik called Ms. Cole’s lawsuit “part of a concerted right-wing attack on LGBTQ rights, in which the health of transgender youth is exploited as a pretext for bans on gender-affirming care.”

The Human Rights Campaign said last year that “detransition is rare and gender-affirming care is not dangerous,” arguing that there is “overwhelming evidence to support the positive mental health impacts of gender-affirming medical care for trans youth.”

About 40 Antifa-style counter-protesters showed up Friday for the Sacramento rally at the California State Capitol, chanting, “Trans under attack! What do we do? Fight back!”

A “Trans Day of Rage” flyer for the rally posted by the Daily Signal urged protesters to come out and oppose the “far fight” and “astro-turfed gang of transphobes.” A Daily Signal videographer said he was hit on the arm with a pole by a black-clad activist.

At the weekend rallies, speakers said that several states are considering bills that would extend the statute of limitations for detransition lawsuits against medical providers. Advocates have also called for providing medical insurance for detransition procedures.

“Right now insurance companies and the government will not pay for your to detransition; however, they’re forced to help you transition,” said Brian Wagoner at the event. “I think that’s wrong.”

Mr. Wagoner, who appeared last month on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” said he took estrogen for nearly a decade before realizing he was gay. Now he said his body and facial hair won’t grow back, and he will never be able to have children.

He said detransitioners need to be respected instead of viewed as traitors to the gender-identity cause.

“Detransitioning doesn’t make you collateral damage for a movement you’re not a part of anymore,” Mr. Wagoner said. “When you detransition, you’re seen as an apostate, and it’s not fair and it’s not right. I don’t hate anyone. I really don’t.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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