Detransitioners, parents rally against reckless “gender-affirming” care practices at pediatric conference

Over 150 protestors gathered last week to oppose a prominent pediatric association’s stance on “gender-affirming care.”

Protestors united under the maxim “First Do No Harm” in Anaheim near the American Academy of Pediatrics “Better Together” conference on Oct. 8. Those gathered included doctors, detransitioners (those who have reversed their gender transition), and parents, as reported by The Daily Wire. 

The AAP’s sweeping push to fast-track minors into life-altering surgeries and hormone treatments was the main thrust of the protests, with the “First Do No Harm” group wearing purple T-shirts donning the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors. Protestors also displayed signs with the phrase “Listen to Detransitioners” outside the Anaheim Convention Center. 

While the “First Do No Harm” group remained peaceful and quietly handed out brochures full of information to doctors and physicians attending the event, AAP leadership reportedly instructed attendees to steer clear of the group.

Counter-protest groups were also present and reportedly escalated confrontations by heckling with megaphones and noisemakers and holding up signs with statements like, “Transphobes Go Home” and “We Trust Doctors, We Listen to Kids.” 

The counter-protestors also shouted insults and mocked Abigail Martinez, the first speaker at the group’s noon unity rally in the Clarion Hotel parking lot, even as Martinez painfully recalled how her trans teen committed suicide after a long ordeal.

Martinez could only finish speaking after her group moved inside a conference room at the hotel. Counter-protestors sought to invade and harass the group further, but hotel security denied them access. (Video clips from the day have been shared on YouTube).

Once inside, Martinez continued to share her story about her Daughter, Yaeli, whom she said the courts removed from her house after the mother refused to follow the advice of a social worker to hold a “funeral” for her daughter and begin treating her as a male at age 16. Placed in foster care and given testosterone, Yaeli experienced an emotionally torturous few years until she ended her life by lying across train tracks at 19, according her mother.

Later, 18-year-old Chloe Cole sobbed as she spoke of her regret regarding transitioning and the dangers of doctors rushing to “affirm” her during her early teen years. Cole who was given puberty blockers and testosterone as early as 13 and had a double mastectomy at 15.

“I was fast-tracked on a destructive path, including puberty blockers and testosterone at 13 years old,” Cole said. “I come here today to represent fellow detransitioners and to sound the alarm on these abusive practices.”

Cole also said that detransitioners are “routinely harassed and browbeaten into silence for being an inconvenience” to radical gender ideologies.

Cole derided the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association for their recent letter to the Department of Justice calling for the DOJ to investigate “disinformation” regarding “gender-affirming” care and to prosecute those who spread such information.

Cole, with six fellow detransitioners, has written a similar letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, warning of the serious harm of so-called “gender affirming” care.

At the rally, Abel Garcia, Cat Cattison, and Scott Newgent also shared about their transition regrets. Newgent, whose story has become well-known through Matt Walsh’s recent documentary “What is a Woman?”, is a biological female who transitioned to male. The subject of regular threats, Newgent refuses to stop advocating for children to be saved from mutilation, he said. Newgent’s TReVoices advocacy group lives by the mantra “​Medical Transition Is No Place For A Child!”

Dr. Julia Mason, the last speaker, is a pediatrician in Portland and AAP member. Mason spoke of her own concerns with the AAP’s rush to embrace “gender-affirmation” care instead of alternate forms of care for children experiencing gender distress. Mason submitted a formal request to the AAP along with five AAP-affiliated pediatricians in March called Resolution #27, that advocated for alternative forms of treatment, such as the “watchful waiting” approach.

Erin Friday, the organizer of the rally, told the Daily Wire, “Our mission was to speak with doctors and educate them.”

The AAP’s official guidance for gender affirmation encourages the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone therapy, and “gender-affirming” surgeries.

“These are the real-life Frankensteins,” Jaimee Michell, founder of Gays Against Groomers, told the Epoch Times about its plans to protest. “It’s not affirming to mutilate and sterilize confused children…It’s horrific abuse and the epitome of evil.”