Keira Bell Deserved Better Than Puberty Blockers

Apr 13, 2021 by

by Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review:

One young woman’s plea to end child abuse — the medical experimentation on and mutilation of confused minors.

‘Do you want to be a boy?” Keira Bell says that’s a question her mother asked her when she was 14. She had been a tomboy in her youth, from a broken home. When she hit puberty, she suffered, as many a girl does, with the changes and the monthly physical pain. And when the question was raised more than once, she thought it might be her ticket out of misery.

Medical advice further pushed her in the direction of puberty blockers at 16. In a recent essay for Persuasion, she remembers:

The idea was that this would give me a “pause” to think about whether I wanted to continue to a further gender transition. This so-called “pause” put me into what felt like menopause, with hot flushes, night sweats, and brain fog. All this made it more difficult to think clearly about what I should do.

After a year, when offered the option of getting testosterone treatments, she “jumped at it,” saying:

I wanted to feel like a young man, not an old woman. I was eager for the shots to start, and the changes this would bring. At first, the testosterone gave me a big boost in confidence. One of the earliest effects was that my voice dropped, which made me feel more commanding.

Over the next couple of years, my voice deepened further, my beard came in, and my fat redistributed. I continued to wear my breast binder every day, especially now that I was completely passing as male, but it was painful and obstructed my breathing. By the time I was 20, I was being treated at the adult clinic. The testosterone and the binder affected the appearance of my breasts, and I hated them even more. I also wanted to align my face and my body, so got a referral for a double mastectomy. . . . I was a legal adult when it took place, and I don’t relieve myself of responsibility. But I had been put on a pathway — puberty blockers to testosterone to surgery — when I was a troubled teen. As a result of the surgery, there’s nerve damage to my chest, and I don’t have sensation the way I used to. If I am able to have children, I will never breastfeed them.

I’m sorry, but she absolutely does not bear the responsibility. This is child abuse, as is so much of what happened to her in her youth. As she tells it, she was a confused teenager. She didn’t understand what was happening to her body, and she found herself isolated. She had always been a tomboy as she described it, and when puberty hit, it created a rift with the boys she had fit in with previously. She also found herself attracted to girls. And so, when given the choice of becoming a boy, it seemed the solution to her problems.

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