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The trans tide is turning

Gender-transition reckoning looms on the horizon

The Tavistock Centre in London, England Getty Images/Photo by Dan Kitwood

The trans tide is turning

In a remote city in Australia’s north, a big story is quietly playing out. Two months ago, psychiatrist Jillian Spencer was suspended from her role at the Queensland Children’s Hospital for standing up against the transgender medical complex that has overtaken so much of mainstream Western medicine.

This story emerged only days ago in the Australian media, and it raises serious questions about the kind of “care” being offered in Australian hospitals. The courageous stand of Dr. Spencer, in one of Brisbane's most prominent hospitals, is just the latest in a string of signs that the transgender craze might eventually come to a halt, with the utopian visions of activists and medical practitioners to be smashed on the rocks of reality.

The trajectory that the transgender revolution has taken in its rapid unfolding is familiar. Like the revolutions in 20th-century Russia or 18th-century France, a progressive elite boldly but falsely proclaimed a coming heaven on earth, a new age, a march towards true justice and reason. In our current historical moment, the putative beneficiaries are not workers or peasants. They are sexually adventurous adults, for sure, but also vulnerable minors.

A reckoning will surely come for all involved, including those who have watched passively on the sidelines as gender activists have swamped public discourse and elite opinion. But a more imminent day of judgment awaits the medical profession, currently busy plying confused children with permanently damaging, mostly irreversible medical “treatments” that purportedly help those suffering through gender dysphoria.

The case of Jillian Spencer made headlines last week after she publicly called into question the treatments being administered to children supposedly presenting with gender dysphoria at Queensland’s premier Children’s Hospital. She has been suspended from her role for the last couple of months after the hospital received a patient complaint.

Spencer was accused of transphobia for doing what all good doctors should do: question whether gender-affirmative treatment is of genuine benefit to her patients. The Queensland Children’s Hospital’s gender-affirming dogmatism has now been exposed, and the spotlight has turned to their gender clinic and whether it is offering medical care or simply enacting a radical ideology.

The closure of the Tavistock Gender Clinic in England was the first big sign that all was not going to plan in the world of gender-affirmative medicine.

Dr. Spencer is a canary in the coal mine. And she isn’t the first. The closure of the Tavistock Gender Clinic in England was the first big sign that all was not going to plan in the world of gender-affirmative medicine. Since then, the United Kingdom has begun restricting the use of puberty blockers in minors. Several other European countries are also revisiting or reversing liberal laws, including early adopters like Sweden and Finland. In the United States, 19 states have legislated restrictions on “gender-affirming care,” including hormone treatment and surgery.

The tide is turning against medically assisted gender transitions in numerous Western jurisdictions. These reversals and restrictions are due in part to people like Queensland’s Dr. Spencer; people who ask questions, raise concerns, and resist following a radical ideology disguised as medical care.

Maybe it dawned on Spencer that she is not dealing with trivialities. We are not talking about someone changing their fashion sense. We are talking about the devastated, despairing, regretful 22-year-old woman who, five years after beginning the transition process, with drugs and mastectomy included, realizes her mistake. She will not be able to bear children, and will never have a properly functioning body.

Reality will not only harm children who submit themselves, willingly or not, to irreversibly damage their bodies and ruin their lives. Responsibility will fall on the doctors’ heads as well. They cut off her breasts and altered her hormones, ruining her body and her social life, when what she probably needed was someone to talk her out of a bad decision.

We can foresee the day what happened to the Tavistock Clinic will happen in Australia. And it will no doubt happen elsewhere as well. We will see governments, medical professionals, and hospitals realizing they were wrong all along when patients return to pour out their regret and wrath on those who claimed to be caring for them. Perhaps it will be something as banal as insurance companies being unwilling to underwrite gender transitions because of the risk of legal action that will cause the transgender medical complex to collapse.

History will look back on people like Dr. Spencer kindly. Amid the mad rush, she said “No.” History will look back with horror on all the otherwise rational, talented, intelligent people who either supported this medical madness or stood by and did nothing. We must hope and pray that more doctors take a similar stand and that governments come to their senses to legislate “gender-affirmative” medical care out of existence.

Simon Kennedy

Simon Kennedy is a research fellow at the University of Queensland and a non-resident fellow at the Danube Institute. He is also associate editor of Quadrant Magazine.

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