Last week in Denver, several hundred people gathered in person for the Genspect conference, “The Bigger Picture,” while many more from all over the world joined online. Genspect’s founder, Stella O’Malley, has the intentional strategy of hosting their annual conference at the same time and in the same location as the annual World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) meeting.
Last year they gathered in Killarney, Ireland, when WPATH met there, and next year they will host their gathering in Lisbon, Portugal, piggybacking off of the WPATH dates and location. It’s an interesting strategy offering WPATH attendees to come to Genspect’s sessions for free whereby they can engage with a different perspective, as well as putting WPATH on notice that there is a growing movement of those who want to offer a “healthy approach to sex and gender.”
I was unable to attend their gathering last year in Ireland, but when O’Malley invited me to speak at the Denver conference, I was happy to accept. The speaker’s list was a who’s who of those fighting gender ideology, some for many years.
On the Front Lines of the Gender Wars
Michael Shellenberger opened the conference with a bold claim that time is up for WPATH and that soon he would release his “WPATH files” on his Substack, where he will show the receipts he has on the pseudoscientific standards of care and practices of WPATH. Amid robust applauses, attendees were encouraged to post on X using #TimesUpWPATH. A lifelong member of the Democrat Party, he lamented how far the left has fallen from the principles that drew him to that party.
Highlights for me were hearing from the brilliant Leor Sapir on “Institutional Capture (How gender ideology has been embedded within America).” Sapir chronicled Obama’s 2010 anti-bullying initiative, which was at first sex-based directed, and then expanded in 2011 to include gender language in the antibullying initiative.
Following this was the 2015 letter from James Ferg Cadima in the Office of Civil Rights, stating, “The Department’s Title IX regulations permit schools to provide sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing, athletic teams, and single-sex classes under certain circumstances. When a school elects to separate or treat students differently on the basis of sex in those situations, a school generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”
Wonder how America got to this place? Perhaps a well-intentioned initiative to combat bullying quickly led us down the path where boys can have access to spaces that were once protected for girls.
Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright and scientist Heather Heying did an excellent job, patiently and thoroughly stating the obvious, that there remain only two sexes no matter what others assert. They marveled at the fact that even once-trusted scientific journals are now claiming that “The idea of two sexes is overly simplistic.”
Two mothers, January Littlejohn and Erin Friday, gave impassioned speeches about their daughters who believed the lie that they were born in the wrong body. Littlejohn spoke about her daughter’s middle school working behind their back to encourage this idea and talked about her decision to bring forth a lawsuit, restoring rights and protections to parents over their own children.
Friday, an attorney by training who works with Our Duty, had many in tears using Hans Christian Anderson’s story of “The Snow Queen” to parallel her own efforts to save her daughter from the evils of gender ideology. She is a force in the state of California, fighting laws passed by Gov. Gavin Newsom while trying to raise funds to get initiatives on the ballot to put before voters which will protect children and parental rights. She appealed to the audience that if the transing of children can be stopped in California this will have an enormous positive effect across the whole country.
Stories of Destransitioning and Whistleblowers
Any conference like the one hosted by Genspect naturally needs to include the voices of those most harmed by “gender affirmation therapy,” those who transitioned and have now detransitioned once they realized their decision to transition didn’t fix any of their mental health issues, and as is often the case, made things worse. Chloe Cole and Prisha Mosley both spoke about their deeply personal experiences. Many other detransitioners attended the conference as well. It was wonderful to see how their tragic stories have brought them together in the spirit of camaraderie.
And who doesn’t love a good whistleblower story like Jamie Reed? Reed blew up the internet back in February with her expose, “I thought I was Saving Trans Kids. Now I’m Blowing the Whistle.”
Since 2018, Reed served as a case manager at Washington University, in their Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, until she came to the realization that she could no longer condone the treatment children were receiving. Her remarks at Genspect were a rallying cry for the political left to wake up and stop harming children. As a lifelong leftist, she implored the audience not to give up on the left, but to help them return to principles.
The title of my own talk — “Transgender Assisted Reproduction: where is this going?” — was a convergence on my years of work in assisted reproductive technology and how this technology will most likely be needed by trans-identifying people, especially children who are fast-tracked to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries.
When I first found out that children were being offered fertility preservation procedures, knowing that “gender affirmation care” harms natural and normal fertility, I began speaking up and producing documentary films about the lack of medical ethics and evidence-based medicine supporting these practices. Pre-puberty, children are offered to cryopreserve their ovarian or testicular tissue because their gametes, (ova and sperm) are not yet mature. Post-puberty, the child will have mature ova and sperm, so they are offered to freeze and bank their gametes.
The data is clear. Most assisted reproductive technology cycles fail. Data is coming out about the harms and risks to children being created by these technologies. The maxim, “First, Do No Harm” is being ignored in offering hope of future children, when in fact this is considered an experimental procedure with no data on this population. From the audience’s reactions and comments, it was clear that this is a whole new level of doubling down on harming children to advance an ideology that ignores biological reality, evidence-based medicine, and medical ethics.
Times up, WPATH.