Medicine with a “Transgender Bias”


Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, the largest provider of transgender medicine in New England and one of the leading institutions of its kind in the United States, was named a defendant in a lawsuit filed last month. The plaintiff, a gay man who goes by the alias Shape Shifter, argues that by approving him for hormones and surgeries, Fenway Health subjected him to “gay conversion” practices, in violation of his civil rights. Carlan v. Fenway Community Health Center is the first lawsuit in the United States to argue that “gender-affirming care” can be a form of anti-gay discrimination.

The case underscores an important clinical reality: gender dysphoria has multiple developmental pathways, and many who experience it will turn out to be gay. Even the Endocrine Society concedes that many of the youth who outgrow their dysphoria by adolescence later identify as gay or bisexual. Decades of research confirm as much. Gender clinicians in the U.K. used to have a “dark joke . . . that there would be no gay people left at the rate [the Gender Identity Development Service] was going,” former BBC journalist Hannah Barnes reported. Rather than help young gay people to accept their bodies and their sexuality, what if “gender-affirming” clinicians are putting them on a pathway to irreversible harm?


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