Jackie wants evidence

But Jackie will no doubt be demonized as a transphobe.


Breast binders are a common early step for females transitioning to male, but they come with health risks.

Dr. Ralph Vetters, who treats transgender teens at the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center in Boston, says binders make breathing more difficult, increase the risk for lung infections and, “by compressing the breasts, they can cause a sort of fibrosis. Scars may be a word for it. It hurts.”

‘Looking For Certainty Where It Doesn’t Exist’

What feels like a sudden burst of interest in transgender medical treatment leaves many parents dazed and confused. 

“I don’t know if I’m just being the ignorant mother who’s saying, ‘Dammit, not my kid,’ ” Jackie says, slapping her leg. “I’m delighted for Nate to be a boy if we’re sure. But I’m totally torn about it.”

Jackie wants evidence, some research that will tell her what Nate’s life and health might look like in 20 years.

So much has changed in my life since I was a teenager,” says Nate’s dad, Tom. “I never wanted to have kids. I didn’t even think I wanted to get married.”

So how, Tom wonders, can Nate be sure he won’t regret beginning testosterone as a teenager? 

Within months of starting weekly shots or a daily cream, Nate’s vocal cords would get longer and thicker, giving him a deeper voice. He would see new facial and body hair, all permanent changes. And the increased testosterone in Nate’s body might make him infertile.

Even if you stop taking it, there are things that don’t change,” Tom says, throwing up his hands. “I also don’t think they know everything they think they know about hormones and how they affect bodies — and will these kids all develop cancer?”

There is no indication that long-term hormone use increases the risk of cancer for transgender men or women, but there’s very little rigorous research. However, transgender men and women do face an increased risk of heart disease, Vetters says.


The MDs quoted in this surprisingly skeptical piece (about a year old) from WBUR Boston–docs who have been in the trenches with kids and teens who have gender dysphoria–have taken LOTS of heat recently;  Zucker and Drescher in particular have been demonized by transactivists.  And I wonder how much hate Nate’s parents have absorbed.

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