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Letter: Advising a careful, thoughtful approach to trans care

May 13, 2023

Froma Harrop's recent Commentary centered on "obsessing over transgender issues."

She makes an insightful comment that much of the fascination is fueled by hyperactive advocates. The amount and intensity of hyperactive support for various issues has increased in recent years, and probably not for the better. Pleas based upon emotions and heartstrings tend to override or neglect common sense and basic considerations.

She includes comments on medical treatments. She wisely says we should be very careful about medical interventions.

I researched the trans issue in support of a Utah lawmaker last year. The articles I read, primarily from research in England and Finland, showed these countries had halted most medical "changes" due to numerous problems. One prominent group was late teen girls. They awoke with no breasts and not deep-sounding voices. They were desperately unhappy trying to become men and then realizing they could not go back. These countries wisely curtailed "permanent changes" until further research due to cases like these and similar ones.

These girls and others had started on a path to "be happy" and ended up in misery, with no way to reverse some or all of the changes. The medical staff and families supporting the change efforts were clueless to the serious, generally permanent, life-altering decisions that a pre-teen or young teen insisted would make them happy. Though their parents cared for them and wanted to be supportive, their actions hurt or destroyed much of their children's lives.

The young in every society have fantasies about professions, marriage partners, where to live, etc. As they grow, these generally dissipate or radically change. Rather than cave to unproven theories and hyperactive advocacy, our society would be wise to adopt an age, like 21, for those seeking medical changes. Advocates who state the young will be suicidal if they cannot change, ignore the fact many who did change are now suicidal.

The young people from the studies above "knew" they wanted a change; for many, what they "knew" destroyed their lives and generally left them hopeless. As a society and as caring people, we can and should do better.

Gary Griffenhagen

South Ogden


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