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A ‘Patient for Life’: Detransitioner Describes Effects of Gender Transition Procedures

July 24, 2023

A young man is publicly sharing his testimony about how undergoing gender transition procedures as an adolescent rendered him a “patient for life” and amounts to “self-harm.” The testimony is the latest example of a growing number of individuals who are detransitioning away from a transgender identity over physical and mental health concerns.

“Kobe,” who withheld his identity for privacy, recently told Fox News that if he had not been influenced by transgender ideology that has proliferated online in recent years, he likely “would have just stayed a feminine boy. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Kobe shared that he began taking puberty blockers at age 13 and estrogen at 16. He then underwent castration surgery at 19. “I was like, ‘Oh, wow, this is so great. I’m locked in my transition. … But then everything started to crack, and I couldn’t ignore the complications. I couldn’t ignore that I mutilated myself pretty much with the permission of a psychiatrist. It’s insane now, looking back. It’s just self-harm, you know.”

He went on to describe how he is “trying to reclaim my manhood … It’s hard. I have breasts, I have the hip development of a woman, because I started the estrogen young. I have no gonads. You know, it’s hard. My skull never really masculinized.”

In order to start transitioning as a minor, Kobe followed the advice of older trans-identifying individuals who told him to “play the suicide card” in order to obtain puberty blockers and hormones. “I started using, like, ‘the suicide tactics,’ because that’s what they are. That’s what they tell us all to do. … I don’t want to use the word ‘groom,’ but we are like taught. … [T]here were times when I thought I was genuinely suicidal over gender dysphoria, but I think it was all just stuff that was in my head. I don’t think I would have ever been suicidal about being biologically male if I had never been exposed to that stuff.”

“I was expecting it to help me help my mental health, and it didn’t do anything,” Kobe explained. “I just wasted so much time, and all I did really was become a medical patient for life.” He went on to relate how puberty blockers permanently stunted his growth and how he is now worried that he might have osteoporosis because of “pretty severe back pain just going up the spinal cord.”

Kobe further described losing any sensation of sexual function, joint pain, brain fog causing the loss of his train of thought, random bouts of extreme anger, developing an eating disorder due to metabolism issues, and urination issues due to his castration surgery. But since deciding to detransition and starting to take testosterone, which he will have to take indefinitely since his body no longer produces it naturally, he has a new lease on life.

“Honestly, I feel alive again,” he said. “I feel energetic. I feel confident. I just, I feel great. And it just goes to show that cross-sex hormones are bad. They’re just bad.”

The dangers that gender transition procedures pose to minors have led 72% of Republican-controlled state legislatures to pass laws restricting the practice. Polls show that nearly 80% of voters oppose minors undergoing the procedures, including 53% of Democrats.

Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, a licensed therapist and clinical researcher who serves as Family Research Council’s director of the Center for Family Studies, has testified before state legislatures that protections from gender transition procedures are needed for vulnerable youth so that mental health issues can be accurately diagnosed and treated.

“Historically, children have been treated as a special and vulnerable class in the psychological and research fields,” she stated. “Greater caution has been applied to children in light of the fact that they do not have the developmental capacity to understand lifelong decisions. … A study looking at 20,000 brain scans found neurological development continues into a person’s mid-twenties. The structures known to play a role in many mental disorders are the ones that take the longest to develop.”

Bauwens went on to note that the push among major medical institutions to endorse gender transition procedures for minors is not based on evidence, but on groupthink. “These interventions are being endorsed based on consensus, not evidence: Practices were voted on rather than standing on the merits of solid research findings addressing gender dysphoria.”

“These kids deserve better,” she concluded. “We should be innovating solutions to heal their distress, not coercing them onto a path that tells them they need to remove or change parts of who they are in order to be whole.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.