The NYT on Trans Healthcare: Fair and Balanced?

Update 2/8/22: I sent a Letter to the Editor of The New York Times. 12 days ago, at this point.

No response, as (unfortunately) expected. Here’s what I sent:

I am a gender affirming physician quoted in the article “Doctors Debate Whether Trans Teens Need Therapy Before Hormones.”

Detransition is rare, but platformed in the media, which invalidates trans identities. Many fear-monger about the “irreversibility” of gender affirmation, even though no medical or surgical interventions happen prior to puberty. The author links a Turban et al study and says, “…others are upset about living with the irreversible changes caused by hormones or surgeries.” The study actually concludes, “among TGD adults with a reported history of detransition, the vast majority reported that their detransition was driven by external pressures.”

Being trans is not a trend or a mental health disorder. We see more young patients in clinics now because of increased visibility, (slowly) changing attitudes, and better resources. Trans children and youth have always existed and should be centered in these debates, not those driven by politics and ideology to peddle junk science.

Sincerely,

Dr. AJ Eckert

Though it’s exciting to be quoted and have my clinic referenced in the New York Times, the article itself is…eh. These were my comments to the author (the Dr. thing was corrected):

I’d appreciate Dr. in front of my name please-I am a medical doctor and as a trans medical doctor, deal with more than my share of microaggressions in the mainstream media including not being titled as such.

As a point I think is important to mention, in the paragraph

“And although it’s unclear how often it happens, some people who transitioned as teenagers have reported detransitioning later on. Although some people who detransition continue living with a more fluid gender identity, others are upset about living with the irreversible changes caused by hormones or surgeries”

you link the Turban et al study, but the conclusions of the study were:

“Conclusion: Among TGD adults with a reported history of detransition, the vast majority reported that their detransition was driven by external pressures. Clinicians should be aware of these external pressures, how they may be modified, and the possibility that patients may once again seek gender affirmation in the future.”

I am concerned that the way the article presents it is that detransitioning happens due to teenagers not knowing themselves and then later being upset about “irreversible changes,” which is predominately not the case. Unfortunately, people like Lisa Littman (who’s claim of ROGD has been thoroughly debunked and is not a medical diagnosis accepted by any major medical organizations) propagate this false information.

Both Drs. Edwards-Leeper and Anderson are incredibly controversial in the trans community and have caused major harm, but that’s a whole topic in itself.

***

Here’s the original article, for those interested in reading more:

https://www.nytimes.com/.../transgender-teens-hormones.html

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The GLAM Doc

AJ Eckert (they/he) is Connecticut’s first out nonbinary trans doctor and Medical Director of Anchor Health’s Gender and Life-Affirming Medicine (GLAM).