The New York Times ran a chipper story Monday about the glamour of teenage girls removing their breasts to, as the paper put it, “better align their bodies with their experience of gender.”
Surely there’s no better way to enhance a child’s life than to indulge their thoroughly considered ideas about “the experience of gender.” I can’t think of any!
“Because breasts are highly visible, they can make transitioning difficult and cause intense distress for these teenagers, fueling the demand for top surgeries,” the Times said. “Small studies have shown that many transgender adolescents report significant discomfort related to their breasts, including difficulty showering, sleeping and dating. As the population of these adolescents has grown, top surgery has been offered at younger ages.” At least, it included that such studies on transgender adolescents are “small.”
The Times also cited a study claiming that “top surgery” in females who want to be male, “relieves body-related distress, increases sexual satisfaction and improves overall quality of life.”
Furthermore, the article highlighted plastic surgeon Sidhbh Gallagher who promotes her specialty in mutilative transgender surgeries straight to impressionable young people on TikTok. “Her feeds often fill with photos tagged #NipRevealFriday, highlighting patients like Michael whose bandages were just removed,” the article said. “On her office windowsill sits a framed nameplate with one of her best-known catchphrases on TikTok: ‘Yeet the Teet,’ slang for removing breasts.”
That certainly sounds like a medical professional who takes very seriously the gravity of a child wanting to irreversibly alter her chest to look more like a man.
Gallagher should probably be in prison, but if teenage girls distressed about their sex are going to be led to believe even for a moment that hacking off their breasts, rendering them permanently incapable of ever breastfeeding, is a good idea, there’s some literature that might interest them.
First, The Atlantic’s extensive report in 2018 on children experiencing gender dysphoria. One young girl profiled by the magazine was 14-year-old “Claire” (not her real name), who recalled having internalized feelings that she was male. She had pleaded for her parents to help her find hormone therapy, and she eventually asked them to support her in undergoing a double mastectomy to remove her breasts. The feelings grew over the course of several years, but one day in late 2017, Claire looked in the mirror and realized that the changes she was making to her appearance, which by that point was considerably more masculine, weren’t helping her feelings of anxiety and depression.
“I was still miserable, and I still hated myself,” she said. With more consideration, she determined that at their core, her feelings were driven by an inability to fit in with many of the girls she knew at school. But in time, she found some who shared her interests. “It was kind of sudden when I thought, ‘You know, maybe this isn’t the right answer — maybe it’s something else,'” she said. “But it took a while to actually set in that yes, I was definitely a girl.”
The article addressed the quandary of parents confronted with children who claim to be transgender and a culture in America that tells the parents to act on those claims with haste, erring on the side of affirming the children, rather than first exhausting every other avenue that doesn’t involve manipulating their chemical and physical biology.
Max Robinson was also featured in the piece. At age 17, with the consent of her parents, Robinson had her breasts removed after expressing gender-dysphoric feelings. “Max was initially happy with the results of her physical transformation,” wrote Jesse Singal, the author of the article. “Before surgery, she wasn’t able to fully pass as male. After surgery, between her newly masculinized chest and the facial hair she was able to grow thanks to the hormones, she felt like she had left behind the sex she had been assigned at birth.” But the feeling didn’t last.
“After her surgery, Max moved from her native California to Portland and threw herself into the trans scene there,” wrote Singal. “It wasn’t a happy home. The clarity of identity she was seeking — and that she’d felt, temporarily, after starting hormones and undergoing surgery — never fully set in. Her discomfort didn’t go away.”
Robinson thereafter admitted to having misinterpreted her feelings. She now maintains that her “sense of self isn’t entirely dependent on how other people” see her. She also believes that the doctors who administered “care” were too eager to listen to her, rather than have her listen to them.
Next, an article in The Guardian from 2004 titled “Mistaken identity,” which covered the regret of people who underwent transgender surgeries. One was Claudia (no last name given), a man in Britain who wanted to be a woman and was immensely regretful about having a trans surgery he thought would save his troubled relationship with a man. But the man broke up with Claudia just one year after the surgery. Claudia said he felt betrayed by his psychiatrist whom he believed had hastily cleared him for the procedure.
“My psychiatrist told me, you look great, you can ‘pass,’” said Claudia, referring to his convincing feminine appearance. “I’ve come to realize that human life is made up of connecting, not ‘passing.’ I can ‘pass’ in a shop, I can ‘pass’ on the street. But when you tell a man your background, if you’re lucky, he’ll walk away. Nothing can prepare you for that. I feel notorious in any group. You can say you’re Napoleon but unless the whole world agrees with you, you patently are not Napoleon. I’m not a woman, I’m a thing—a chimera.”
Lastly, there’s the 2019 USA Today op-ed by Walt Heyer, a man who had attempted to surgically transition to woman, only to realize that was impossible and his problems were not physical.
Heyer said he consulted a psychiatrist about the sexual abuse he had experienced as a child at the hands of his teenage uncle. The doctor, however, told him that his gender dysphoria was unrelated to the childhood trauma and that an erroneously named sex change “was the only solution.”
Heyer began taking estrogen, and he scheduled surgical procedures to change his penis, his chest, and other features to make him appear more like a natural woman. He also changed his name to Laura. Soon after, though, he said the trauma from his childhood resurfaced, and he became suicidal.
“Why hadn’t the recommended hormones and surgery worked?” he wrote. “Why was I still distressed about my gender identity? Why wasn’t I happy being Laura?”
Heyer eventually decided to revert back to his old self, as best as possible, though he knew some of the physical changes were permanent. He had his implants removed, and he began new hormone treatment to stabilize his body. “I lived as ‘Laura’ for eight years,” he wrote, “but, as I now know, transitioning doesn’t fix the underlying ailments.”
All of this and more is covered in my book “Privileged Victims: How America’s Culture Fascists Hijacked the Country and Elevated Its Worst People.” It’s appalling.
But if you’re a girl who read all of this and you’re still eager to “yeet the teet,” stop and read it all again.