Transgender: ‘60 Minutes’ Draws Fire from Left for Highlighting ‘Detransitioners’

BROOKLYN, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Laverne Cox speaks onstage at Glamour's 2017 Women of The Year
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Glamour

CBS News’ 60 Minutes has drawn the ire of LGBTQ activists following its segment Sunday night on transgender youth. The program spent a fair amount of time interviewing young people who regretted transitioning and attempted to reverse the process, as well as those who question the ethics of the transgender health industry.

Actor and LGBTQ activist Laverne Cox condemned the 60 Minutes segment, asking in an Instagram video Monday, “Where’s the love for trans people?”

“I famously said in 2014 to Katie Couric … that when we focus on surgery and transition, when we talk with and about trans people, that objectifies trans people and that is fundamentally dehumanizing,” Cox said, adding:

When we have conversations in the media with and about trans people that focuses on gender transition, I find that that objectifies trans people, it reduces our identities to transition, and I find that fundamentally dehumanizing.

Speaking about the issue also raised during the segment about states such as Arkansas that have banned transgender medical treatments and surgeries for children under 18, Cox said, “The government should not be involved in making decisions about what people do with their bodies,” and included abortion in this category.

“All of this conversation is fundamentally dehumanizing and we’re ultimately medicalizing trans existence and pathologizing trans existence when we talk about it merely in the context of healthcare,” Cox added.

60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl interviewed Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who insisted “gender-affirming” medical treatments such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are “not experimental.”

“They’re really based in scientific literature, they’re based in decades and decades of expert experience, and they’re backed by a number of major medical organizations,” Beers said.

The interview continued:

Lesley Stahl: So let’s say there’s a young person and they’re on hormones. Under the law in Arkansas, a doctor has to take those hormones away?

Dr. Lee Savio Beers: Yes. And if the doctor decides to move forward, they face significant penalty.

Lesley Stahl: Is there any medical rationale for this legislation, in your opinion?

Dr. Lee Savio Beers: No, there is not.

A Washington Post piece published in January 2020 asserted the effects of puberty blockers are reversible, and cited the AAP:

Hormone treatment, which can be used to delay puberty, is reversible and medical evidence suggests allowing transgender children to delay puberty until they are 16 can lower their risk for developing mental health conditions, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children under 18 very rarely undergo sex-reassignment surgery.

The Pediatric Endocrine Society also touted that “the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the largest academic organization of pediatricians in the US, has released a Policy Statement supporting the approach to gender-affirming care” that is consistent with that of the Society:

“Gender identity can be different from the gender that is presumed based on the sex assigned at birth and interventions intended to change one’s gender identity are not only ineffective, but harmful,” the Society stated.

The group added that “gender-affirming care” includes allowing a child or adolescent “to explore their gender identity freely, and in some circumstances allow for a social transition (change of name, pronouns, attire).”

The Society clearly stated “gender-affirming care” may include:

Puberty suppression once puberty has started. This is a reversible treatment that decreases the distress of having the “wrong” puberty. This treatment alone does not cause infertility.

More physicians, however, have publicly asserted the claim that drug treatments, such as puberty blockers, are a “reversible treatment,” is blatantly false.

Idaho-based endocrinologist Dr. William Malone told Breitbart News in November 2019 puberty suppression is “frequently called reversible, but it’s not.”

He explained:

Normal bone density development is interfered with and probably brain development too. Almost all children placed on puberty blockers go on to cross-sex hormones—meaning puberty blockers solidify and sometimes intensify dysphoria.

It’s hard to call these impacts reversible. There have been no long-term studies done on children who have had normal puberty blocked. In no other area of medicine would a medical society be so cavalier about treatments with unknown consequences. Caution is the rule in such situations, and always has been. This departure from the typical standard of care deserves more scrutiny.

“It is also not clear why the Pediatric Endocrine Society has abandoned the previous standard of care for gender dysphoria – which was supportive, exploratory counseling,” Malone said, adding:

There are approximately ten studies in the literature showing that, on average, 85% of children and adolescents with gender dysphoria have resolution or significant lessening of their dysphoria by early adulthood, without hormonal or surgical interventions. There is no scientific justification for departing from that established standard to the current affirmation-based approach.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, also said emphatically the Pediatric Endocrine Society’s claim that puberty suppressors are a “reversible treatment” is “a bald-faced lie.”

“There are no long-term studies of puberty blocker use for gender incongruence in children,” Cretella explained to Breitbart News at the time of the Post’s article. “Ergo, no one can say blockers are completely reversible and without harm.”

Stahl interviewed Grace Lidinsky-Smith, a young woman who began cross-sex hormone treatment and then later underwent “top surgery,” or elective double mastectomy – all of which she later regretted, leading to her decision to “detransition.”

The interview highlighted the cursory assessment of Lidinsky-Smith’s gender dysphoria prior to her treatments:

Lesley Stahl: Did the therapist not question you about how deep the feeling was and what it was stemming from?

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: She didn’t go – really go into what my gender dysphoria might’ve been stemming from. We only did a few sessions.

Because she was over 18 and didn’t need parental consent, she says she merely signed an informed consent form at a clinic and got hormone shots.

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: They asked me, “So, why do you wanna go on testosterone?” And I said, “Well, being a woman just isn’t working for me anymore.” And they said, “Okay.”

Lesley Stahl: So, that was that. You got your prescription for testosterone?

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: Uh-huh. Yup.

Just four months after she started testosterone, she says she was approved for a mastectomy, what’s called top surgery, that she told us was traumatic.

Lesley Stahl: You know, I’m kinda surprised because, based on everything you’ve said up to now, I would’ve thought you’d have a great sense of relief.

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: I started to have a really disturbing sense that like a part of my body was missing, almost a ghost limb feeling about being like, there’s something that should be there. And the feeling really surprised me but it was really hard to deny.

And so she detransitioned by going off testosterone and then went back to the clinic and, she says, complained to the doctor that the process didn’t follow the WPATH guidelines.

Grace Lidinsky-Smith: I can’t believe that I transitioned and detransitioned, including hormones and surgery, in the course of, like, less than one year. It’s completely crazy.

LGBTQ activist group GLAAD also condemned the 60 Minutes segment:

Similarly, Equality NC tweeted left-wing Jezebel’s story with its headline, “60 Minutes’ Segment About Republican Attacks On Trans Kids Was Itself an Attack On Trans Kids”:

Transgender activists often claim “gender-affirming” treatments are needed immediately for children because of the high rate of suicide among gender dysphoric youth.

A study that claimed to conclude individuals experience mental health benefits following transgender surgeries was found to be erroneous, however.

In 2020, the American Journal of Psychiatry noted the authors of an original study retracted their conclusion after numerous requests for a reanalysis of the data led to the corrected findings.

Following reanalysis, the study’s conclusion was that neither “gender-affirming hormone treatment” nor “gender-affirming surgery” decreased the need for mental health services of those claiming to be transgender.

Cretella observed during a Heritage Foundation webinar how the surge in activism in the lucrative field of transgender medicine has led to the “gaslighting” of many more children and teens.

Studies show, she explained, that nearly 100 percent of children who are given puberty blockers to stop normal puberty then go on to request cross-sex hormones, “which means we are sterilizing a great number of emotionally troubled youth.”

“And we already have girls, physically healthy girls, who are being referred for double mastectomies at age 13,” she asserted. “This is institutionalized child abuse. We’re taking emotionally troubled youth, psychologically abusing them by reinforcing their gender, sexual confusion, and then experimenting on them with toxic drugs and mutilating surgeries.”


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