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Heartbreaking Stories Of Detransitioners Expose The Damaging Transgender Cult

detransitioner diaries book cover
Image CreditIgnatius Publishing

In The Detransition Diaries, authors Jennifer Lahl and Kallie Fell show how transgenderism preys on abused and troubled people.


The Detransition Diaries tackles one of the thorniest and most scandalous medical movements of the 21st century — the pervasive, perverse spread of genitalia mutilation and hormone experimentation in America, protected under the umbrella of “transitioning.” Nurses and bioethics advocates Jennifer Lahl and Kallie Fell undertake a comprehensive and historical study of the movement, highlighting the personal accounts of seven people who were persuaded in, and fought their way out. (The book is also based in part on a documentary by the same name.)

Lahl and Fell describe the cult-like ideology and highly stereotyped “gender” expectations within the movement, the healthy bodies induced into a diseased state with wrong-sex hormones and unnecessary surgeries, the “abysmal” quality of studies affirming the health and safety of “transition treatment,” and the money to be made. They note the connection between mental health and comorbidities with people choosing to “transition,” and the constant, coercive affirmation from doctors and therapists, especially those specializing in wrongly termed “gender care.”

The five women and two men who share firsthand the deception, coercion, and aggressive retaliation targeting detractors within the movement are just a sampling of those who have suffered under the guise of transgender interventions.

Helena’s self-harming, eating disorder, and depression as a young teen led her to online groups encouraging transitioning as the “solution” to almost all mental health struggles. Her school guidance counselor and psychologist encouraged a transgender transition rather than addressing mental health concerns, and her testosterone dose (handed out with minimal instructions at a Planned Parenthood) induced psychosis and multiple hospitalizations.

Grace’s “preoccupation and discomfort” with her body, coupled with social justice activism and online encouragement, led her to testosterone injections and an elective double mastectomy at age 23 — a decision she ultimately regretted and realized was just a further expression of self-harm.

Nick’s extreme struggles with his sexuality during puberty, pornography addiction, broken family relationships, and a mental health professional who encouraged him to transition to deal with his anxiety pushed him into cross-sex hormones as a young adult.

Cat was physically bullied and sexually advanced upon as a young child. Her growth disorder contributed to awkward differences with her peers, and her experiences of gender dysphoria, disordered eating, and alcohol and drug addiction were fueled by websites encouraging transition. She lost her performance singing voice following testosterone injections and attempted suicide multiple times but was treated primarily with “transition care.”

Chloe, who was diagnosed with autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, was sucked into social media and internet exposure of transgenderism at a young age. Soon after turning 13, she was coerced by professionals into taking puberty blockers and testosterone injections and was given a breast binder that permanently deformed her ribs. She underwent a double mastectomy at age 15 with no requirement for a psychological evaluation, and since detransitioning at 16, she has been harassed, bullied, and threatened.

Torren’s obsessive and compulsive struggles over his sex in his twenties led to his eventual false identification as a woman while on estrogen, a step that brought about “more shame, frustration, and alienation than ever.”

And Rachel, whose mental and emotional instability as a young adult, compounded by a childhood steeped in sexual abuse, was diagnosed with an eating disorder and schizophrenia before a so-called gender therapist signed off on her “sound” mental health and encouraged her to engage in wrong-sex hormones. 

“Trans mania” has reached an unprecedented level of cultural following in the U.S., increasingly targeting minors and gaining a radical, political following to include the presidential office. The result is both acute and chronic, impermanent and long-term harm to numerous American men, women, and children.

The authors argue this models a pattern of gruesome ideologically driven medical exports developed by the U.S. in the last century. From the celebrated eugenics movement in the early 1900s to the 40-year Tuskegee experiment commencing in 1932, to the popularization of lobotomies (first developed by a Portuguese neurologist but embraced and performed en masse in the U.S.) and forced sterilizations first legalized in 1922, American medicine has repeatedly created niche markets that fail to meet the ethical standard to first “do no harm.”

The Nuremberg trials and subsequent Code synthesized the parameters scientists and health care professionals must work within to adhere to basic ethical standards. “Experimentation on humans must do no harm and not produce unnecessary physical or mental suffering or disabling injury,” the authors write. “There must be direct benefit to the person that outweighs any risk of harm or injury, and there must be informed consent.”

The violations of these principles are marked and evident in the failed surgeries, infections, experimental nature, and subsequent suffering and detransitioning of patients out of the transgender “transition” market. They are particularly and painfully evident in the personal accounts of Helena, Grace, Nick, Cat, Chloe, Torren, and Rachel.

Quoting psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman, the transgender movement “came from disturbed individuals with dangerous ideas, radical activists who wanted to create a society that would not only accept their pathology, but celebrate it. These men (John Money and Kinsey, early proponents) were pedophiles,” Lahl and Fell write.

But cracks in the narrative are beginning to break through, Lahl and Fell write, and the responsibility remains for each individual to stand up and speak out.

“Raising awareness was the first step to common recognition of Nazi medicine’s human rights violations, the abusive Tuskegee experiment in Alabama, the harm done by lobotomy, and the brutality of mass involuntary sterilizations — all atrocities committed at the hands of physicians, who are charged with healing, not harming, their patients,” they conclude. 

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