ATLANTA—When the American Medical Association, the Children’s Hospital Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics ask the U.S. attorney general to investigate and prosecute dissenters to the woke gender agenda, they’re talking about Dr. Quentin Van Meter—among others.
One of the nation’s leading pediatric endocrinologists (the kind of doctor who deals regularly with children, their hormones and the confusing onset of puberty), Dr. Van Meter contends that gender ideology is anti-science—and is increasingly being abandoned worldwide as the harms of puberty blockers, genital mutilation and “affirmation” are more clearly understood.
“Puberty isn’t the problem,” he says. “Gender dysphoria is the problem. Puberty is the solution.”
Dr. Van Meter is the antithesis of the TikTok trans “experts” offering advice, encouragement and even illegal assistance to kids struggling with the new gender ideology. Where TikTokers are animated and excited, Dr. Van Meter is as calm as a clinician can be. TikTokers appeal to emotions; Dr. Van Meter relies on science—and his decades of experience in pediatrics—to direct his care of patients.
“I have yet to see a single (gender dysphoria) patient who doesn’t have deep seated trauma, who isn’t afraid of proceeding in life the way things are now,” he explains. “That’s what this is about: trauma. To ignore that, to put a Band-Aid over that gigantic volcano is folly. The monster is still waiting down there.”
Puberty itself is hard; it always has been. It’s confusing and scary, Dr. Van Meter says.
“In puberty, the brain expects to see elevated levels of estrogen or testosterone,” the physician explained. “But there are very real effects of changing or blocking that process. Puberty is what helps resolve the conflicts—it’s the cure for the incongruity.”
But back to the AMA and the other medical groups. In early October, the groups sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland that—much like the letter sent by the National School Board Association that asked for parents to be prosecuted as domestic terrorists—to “take swift action to investigate and prosecute” those who have created a “campaign of disinformation” against hospitals and clinics that offer “gender-affirming health care.”
Yet there’s growing evidence that gender-affirming care is harmful and causing permanent damage to young people. As the Daily Wire reports, “Claims that scientific studies show clear mental health benefits of ‘gender affirming’ medical treatments for trans-identifying youth are exaggerated and misleading, according to a new analysis.”
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and other countries are rejecting gender affirming medical procedures for children. As the Economist points out, “Last June, though, Finland revised its guidelines to prefer psychological treatment to drugs.” And Sweden will stop prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to those under 18, except for clinical trials.
“The U.K. is shuttering its sole ‘gender clinic,’ Tavistock, following a comprehensive review, while the U.S. is opening scores of new gender clinics, following the refusal of the American Academy of Pediatrics to conduct a review of the evidence,” notes the Heritage Foundation’s Jay Greene.
(Yes, that’s the same AAP that is calling for gender dissenters to be silenced.)
What troubles Dr. Van Meter most is the threat that gender ideology advocates use to bully parents. It’s usually phrased something like, “Would you rather have a dead son or a live daughter?”
“The threat is suicide,” Dr. Van Meter said. “Just a few years ago, we didn’t offer these treatments. Where were the suicides then? They didn’t happen.”
One study (by the aforementioned Greene of Heritage) found that lowering barriers to transgender medical procedures doesn’t decrease suicide rates.
“Lowering legal barriers to make it easier for minors to undergo cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent does not reduce suicide rates—in fact, it likely leads to higher rates of suicide among young people in states that adopt these changes,” Greene found.
Before gender clinics and transgender identity politics, there were tomboys and boys who played with dolls, and nobody was maiming or sterilizing children because of it.
“The empirical science behind transgenderism? There is none,” Dr. Van Meter said. “We’re told what to believe and how to treat it. It’s a social construct.”
It’s also a social contagion, he points out.
“Kids are looking for something they can’t find,” he said. “They get into a chat room, they see a female who shows that her breasts were removed. So they think, I’m unhappy, maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. And then doors open, they find support groups online, and it’s an illusory, loving world. It seems respectful and caring. But I still have never met a happy transgender person. No happy parents of children who are transitioning. Such misery, crying out for some semblance of peace in their lives, and this isn’t peace.”
Dr. Van Meter has a prediction on how this will end.
“We’re going to have several million children who were transitioned in this country, whose lives were ruined,” he said. “The lawsuits will be huge. Drug makers will be shut down by judgments. Because it’s wrong”