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Betrayed by Medicine: The Unspoken Horrors of Gender Transition

Riveting new book exposes the devastating impact of ‘gender-affirming care’ on young bodies and minds. ‘These real, lived stories are the greatest weapon in combating gender ideology,’ says journalist Mary Margaret Olohan.
Author and Catholic journalist Mary Margaret Olohan is out with a new book exposing the real harms of 'gender-affirming care.' (photo: Regnery )

Betrayed by Medicine: The Unspoken Horrors of Gender Transition

By Alyssa Murphy, The National Catholic Register

Mary Margaret Olohan first noticed it as a journalist around 2020-2021. 

Stories and reports about “gender-affirming care” circulating across media outlets. The phrase, what Olohan calls an outright “euphemism for transgender surgeries, hormones and puberty blockers,” was a “very coordinated effort to make this seem all palatable to the public.”

“And it was around 2021 that lawmakers were introducing legislation such as the Safe Act that would protect children from these procedures,” The Daily Signal reporter and author of DeTrans: True Stories of Escaping the Gender Ideology Cult told the Register. But these efforts were met with hostility by the liberal media and advocates of gender ideology. 

The book comes at an all-too-critical time, as WPATH just recently admitted to the fact that the “science” behind “gender-affirming care” had been doctored itself. And just as Olohan’s book exposes these lies and the butchering they caused of young teens who took the advice from medical professionals to heart, Olohan told the Register that the leak confirmed these disturbing facts:  

“So-called ‘gender-affirming care’ is experimental and dangerous and the transgender-promoting ‘experts’ know it. They knew that testosterone was causing tumors in some female patients. They knew that girls were losing their ability to have kids from these drugs. They knew that some patients were unable to actually give informed consent due to their serious mental-health problems. And yet they publicly continue to praise and laud ‘gender-affirming care’ and claim it is pivotal for youth who identify as transgender. These are incredibly harmful lies to vulnerable minds, and the detransitioners in my book believe they were betrayed and deeply harmed by these lies.”

The stories of detransitioners and their families have impacted trans surgeries and so-called trans medicine in the U.K. — most notably with the closing of Tavistock Clinic, ending these life-altering surgeries for children — and a glimmer of hope came last week as some physicians in the U.S. signed a “Doctors Protecting Children” declaration that expresses “serious concerns” about the treatment of minors who are uncomfortable with their biological sex.

But the voices of Chloe Cole, Prisha, Luka, and Abel, some of the detransitioners in Olohan’s book, have been ignored, if not silenced as the nation charts a course through these controversial currents despite these alarms, especially under the Biden administration. Olohan is not surprised, telling the Register, “Ideology has trumped facts and science in the United States for a number of years now,” adding: 

“U.S. gender activists have an insanely tight chokehold on American politics, media, corporations, medical institutions and more. Even as we see European countries taking steps to protect children from these irreversible procedures, our own medical institutions and medical professionals seem to be turning both a blind eye and ear to what is going on in the world around them as they continue to push these procedures on struggling youth.”

And medical professionals are not only selling a remedy such as surgery for a teen struggling with dysphoria. Olohan says it goes much deeper than that. 

“I think there’s kind of a spiritual promise to all of this. … Alot of these detransitioners told me that it wasn’t just that they were told that this would cure them of their dysphoria once they were living as a boy. … They were told that they would be happy.”

And many teens considering transgender surgeries are living in vulnerable situations. The majority of the detransitioners Olohan spoke with came from homes where “most are not practicing a faith, not playing sports, not involved in community in any way,” Olohan said. “A mother may be an alcoholic or the parents are struggling in their relationship or leading to divorce. They are lonely, feel like they didn’t fit in, and didn’t have a lot of friends.”

Olohan also observed a consistency among many detransitioners she spoke with: They were on the autism spectrum but were never diagnosed until after the life-altering hormones and surgery. “They said that if they would’ve been diagnosed,” Olohan told the Register, “they probably wouldn’t have transitioned, as many of the questions they had about themselves might have made sense …”

Two red sirens for adults to be mindful of in this era of trans medicine are the role that phones and social media play in coercing more youth into this dangerous mindset. 

“If a teenager has the ability to go upstairs and lock their bedroom door and access the internet, they are absolutely exposed to gender ideology and activists and a whole world of harmful content that parents wouldn’t even begin to know how to identify. We have already seen major media outlets document the harmful effects of social media on our youth.”

Olohan’s book vividly describes the vulnerability of teens and tech when discussing how detransitioners like Cole bought into the lies being fed to her on social media. As Olohan recounted to the Register: 

“Young women like Chloe, who are accessing social media at a young age, are looking for who they are supposed to be when they compare themselves to images of women online. As they are exposed to picture after picture of perfectly sculpted, seductive but demure women on Instagram, they begin to feel that they cannot match up to these ideas of womanhood. And at the same time, they are being exposed to pornographic material on the internet (as many modern children are), which depicts women in very degrading and humiliating ways. This makes some of these girls shy away from the idea of sexual intimacy as a woman and all too easy prey for the gender activists who question, ‘Maybe you’re not a girl, maybe you are a boy!’” And it’s not by accident; this is the clear design of a transgender community that is anxious for new recruits. Organizations that are actually LGBT-lobbying groups even lurk in the shadows on apps like SnapChat. “This is a platform that most parents think is okay, but there is a feature that if you ‘swipe left,’ there are all these news stories that your kid can access, and these are actually just little snippets funded by Planned Parenthood, by GLAAD, the ACLU.” Olohan said, “Under the auspices of being cool and trendy and newsy, there are many inappropriate conversations on subjects like masturbation, polyamory, abortion, among other topics.” 

The impact of pornography cannot be undermined either. With the accessibility to smartphones and tablets, Olohan shares some shocking statistics in her book. 

“93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls are exposed to pornography during their youth, according to a 2018 research summary on pornography and public health from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. The summary found that 49 percent of college-aged males first encountered pornography before they reached their teens, and 64 percent of people between the ages of thirteen and twenty-four actively seek out porn at least once a week.”

The exposure at such a young age to such graphic images that typically show women in demeaning and degrading, often violent, situations but shown “experiencing pleasure from it,” is concerning. “Anti-pornography activists argue that this content promotes sexual violence and severely dehumanizes the consumer, who will desire more and more aggressive content to get the same rush as before,” Olohan told the Register. 

The dirty business of “gender-affirming care” becomes very real when one considers the gatekeeper to the hormones: Planned Parenthood. A detransitioner named Helena, whose story is chronicled in the book, was able to apply for hormones and was granted them at her local Planned Parenthood, even though she had noted on her form to the clinician that she had had suicidal thoughts just two weeks prior. Olohan says the abortion giant is completely complicit in this grave path and has become “one of the largest suppliers of so-called ‘gender-affirming’ hormones in the nation.” However, they are very “coy about it,” Olohan told the Register.

“Planned Parenthood is also careful to use certain language when describing the testosterone and estrogen that they are prescribing; as they do with abortion, they use the framing of ‘care’ to describe these things, using phrases such as ‘gender-affirming care’ and ‘reproductive health care.’”

And as abortion facilities are now commonplace in most major cities, “a vast network of clinics throughout the country means that these hormones are far too easily available to young people.” And, sadly, the verdict is still out on the science behind these hormones, and many of their devastating effects are very rarely reported. “Tragically, in some cases, they take their own lives.” 

And as patients go down this road, they are told that they will feel better and what they want is achievable, but what is not told are the horror stories that this book eloquently explores with compassion: mental-health issues on top of severe pain and organ malfunction from surgeries; but through it all, Olohan said she’s hopeful the book will expose the true dangers of trans science.

“I have been so impressed by Prisha, Luka, Abel, Helena and Chloe and their ability to articulate these very traumatic experiences that they have been through. It is incredibly brave for them to step into the limelight and tell their stories, but they do this so that other young people who are struggling with gender dysphoria will have someone that they can listen to, someone warning them about the dangers of gender transition. I truly believe that these real, lived stories are the greatest weapon in combating gender ideology, and it is so important that we give detransitioners a platform to share them.”

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