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(LifeSiteNews) — While left-wing activists and their media allies intensify their efforts to convince Americans it’s “hateful” to oppose sex-change procedures for minors, a new forum is presenting firsthand accounts of the pain and regret that often follows child “gender reassignment.”

Medscape reports that March 12 saw “Detransition Awareness Day” marked with a forum on transition regret hosted by the parent group Genspect, featuring the testimony of “detransitioners,” individuals who sought to transition to a different “gender identity” but later reversed themselves, from all over the world.

“This is a minority within a minority,” said Genspect advisor and psychotherapist Stella O’Malley. “Too many people were dismissing the stories of the detransitioners,” yet “it’s become blindingly obvious over the last year that … ‘detrans’ is a huge part of the trans phenomenon,” despite the pro-LGBT sensibilities that currently dominate the medical establishment.

“There are so many reasons why people detransition,” said Sinead Watson, a female Genspect advisor who lived as a male before returning to life corresponding to here sex. “It’s embarrassing and you feel ashamed and guilty … It’s a living hell, especially when none of your therapists or counselors will listen to you.” Watson added that therapists often lack the training to properly explore detransition or to recognize when transition should not be proposed in the first place. 

A participant named Carol, who described herself as a “butch lesbian,” says she felt pushed into transitioning based on her not conforming to gender norms, and that the surgical aspects of transitioning were pushed with inadequate regard for their gravity.

“The number one thing not understood by the mental health professionals is that the vast majority of homosexuals were gender-nonconforming children,” she said, going on to describe her breast reduction “like you’re Mr Potatohead: ‘Here, we can just … put on some new parts and you’re good to go.'”

Several participants also described being misdiagnosed with gender dysphoria while the real causes for their issues went neglected.

A young woman named Allie, who struggled with suicide attempts sexual abuse, and difficulty relating to other girls growing up, said she began receiving cross-sex hormones at age 18 based on a mere half-hour consultation with “no explorative therapy,” and while the treatment seemed to be the answer for a year, she found herself attempting suicide again at age 20 and was later found to have previously-undiagnosed autism. Another participant, Laura Becker, relayed a similar story of transitioning in a futile attempt to solve mental issues that actually stemmed from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from emotional and psychiatric abuse. 

“Limpida, aged 24, said he felt pushed into transitioning after seeking help at a Planned Parenthood clinic,” Medscape reports. “He identified as trans at age 15 and spent years attempting to be a woman socially, but every step made him feel more miserable, he said. When he went to the clinic at age 21 to get estrogen, he said he felt like the staff was dismissive of his mental health concerns — including that he was suicidal, had substance abuse, and was severely depressed. He was told he was the ‘perfect candidate’ for transitioning.

‘A year later, he said he felt worse,” the report continues. “The nurse suggested he seek out surgery. After Limpida researched what was involved, he decided to detransition. He has since received an autism diagnosis.”

“You need to have a really, really good evidence base in place if you’re going straight to an invasive treatment that is going to cause permanent changes to your body,” argued ex-transgender forum participant Michelle Alleva, who said that the need for such evidence is now disregarded in the name of a cultural agenda.

Alleva contends that pro-transition studies often suffer from failure to follow-up with patients over  long-enough period of time, and that transition regret is difficult to track because of the number of regretful patients who do not follow-up with their doctors. She also argues that “informed consent” for transition treatments cannot be satisfied without a thorough mental evaluation of a patient, not to mention the unknown variables of the therapies themselves.

“Some of us have lost trust in healthcare professionals as a result of our experience,” Alleva lamented.

A range of scientific literature indicates that reinforcing gender confusion often fails to prevent significant emotional harm up to and including attempted suicide (with or without surgery), because fixating on “gender affirmation” tends to distract from exploring other issues that may be the actual root of a patient’s mental or emotional unrest.

On top of those issues, experts outside the medical establishment warn that surgically or chemically reinforcing gender confusion imposes irreversible harm on children such as infertility, impairment of adult sex function, and reduced life expectancy, as well as the psychological toll of being “locked into” physical alterations regardless of whether they change their minds when they mature. Studies indicate that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, unless their confusion is reinforced by adults.

Further exploration of these issues can be found in the book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, by the Wall Street Journal’s Abigail Shrier. The book explores the phenomenon of rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD), a term coined in 2018 by Brown University behavioral scientist Lisa Littman. She found that a significant percentage of gender dysphoria among minors came not from innate feelings of discontent with one’s true sex but from outside influence.

For her book, Shrier “dug deep into the trans epidemic, talking to the girls, their agonized parents, and the counselors and doctors who enable gender transitions, as well as to ‘detransitioners,’” according to the product description. “Coming out as transgender immediately boosts these girls’ social status, Shrier found, but once they take the first steps of transition, it is not easy to walk back.”

Despite all of the above, in recent weeks American leftists have viciously attacked Republicans in Florida and Texas as “targeting” children, criminalizing “medical care,” forcing people not to “say gay,” imposing “death sentences” for young people, and more because they have taken steps to investigate and prosecute surgical or chemical transitioning of children (in Texas) and prohibit public elementary schools from proselytizing gender fluidity to children.