News & Politics

60 Minutes Bucks Transgender Censorship to Reveal the Truth About Detransitioners

CBS News screenshot of Grace Lidinsky-Smith, a detransitioner.

On Sunday, CBS News’ 60 Minutes aired an important news segment on the phenomenon of detransitioning — when a person who identified as transgender and undertook various interventions to confirm a cross-sex identity later rejects a transgender identity and embraces his or her biological sex. Many transgender activists have objected to news outlets covering these important stories, but 60 Minutes ran with the story, anyway.

“I can’t believe that I transitioned and detransitioned, including hormones and surgery, in the course of, like, less than one year. It’s completely crazy,” Grace Lidinsky-Smith told 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl.

Lidinsky-Smith suffered from serious depression and developed gender dysphoria in her early 20s. She began searching for answers in transgender communities on the internet.

“And when I saw them being so happy and excited about doing this wonderful, transformative process to really, like, become their true selves, I was like, have I considered that this could be my situation, too?” Lidinsky-Smith recalled.

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Stahl asked Lidinsky-Smith whether “a sense that men had it easier in life than women” played any role in her decision to transition.

“Yes. I just had this sense that if– if I could inhabit life as, like, a trans man, as a man, then I wouldn’t feel so self-conscious,” she explained. “I was thinking that it would make me feel very free.”

She says she found a gender therapist on the internet who easily approved her on the process.

“Did the therapist not question you about how deep the feeling was and what it was stemming from?” Stahl asked.

“She didn’t go – really go into what my gender dysphoria might’ve been stemming from. We only did a few sessions,” Lidinsky-Smith recalled.

Since she was over 18, she merely signed an informed consent form at a clinic and received hormone shots.

“They asked me, ‘So, why do you wanna go on testosterone?’ And I said, ‘Well, being a woman just isn’t working for me anymore.’ And they said, ‘Okay,'” Lidinsky-Smith recalled. So, she got a prescription for testosterone.

Just four months after she started taking testosterone, doctors approved her for a mastectomy — which goes by the term “top surgery” in the Orwellian transgender lingo. Lidinsky-Smith told 60 Minutes that the mastectomy was traumatic.

After the surgery, “I started to have a really disturbing sense that like a part of my body was missing, almost a ‘ghost limb’ feeling about being like, there’s something that should be there. And the feeling really surprised me but it was really hard to deny,” Lidinsky-Smith said.

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She detransitioned, going off of testosterone. She later confronted the doctor at the clinic, saying the process they put her through didn’t follow the guidelines published by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH).

The rush to transition even shocks supporters of transgender identity. Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper, the first psychologist at the first major youth gender clinic in the U.S., told 60 Minutes that the field of transgender medicine sometimes rushes people along the process of rejecting their biological sex.

“It greatly concerns me where the field has been going. I feel like what is happening is unethical and irresponsible in some places,” Edwards-Leeper said. She said she has helped hundreds of teens and young adults transition successfully at Boston Children’s Hospital, but she fears that many in the field are cutting corners.

“Do you have conversations with your colleagues about this whole area of accepting what young people are saying too readily?” Stahl asked her.

“Yes. Everyone is very scared to speak up because we’re afraid of not being seen as being affirming or being supportive of these young people or doing something to hurt the trans community. But even some of the providers are trans themselves and share these concerns,” Edwards-Leeper said.

It remains unclear how many detransitioners there are in the United States. 60 Minutes pointed to a Reddit detransition group with more than 19,000 members, and Stahl said she show interviewed “more than 30 detransitioners” while preparing the segment.

Stahl also interviewed a group of four detransitioners. “How many of you feel that you were blindly affirmed?” she asked. All four of them raised their hands.

“I didn’t get enough pushback on transitioning,” Garrett, a man from Baton Rouge, La., told 60 Minutes. “I went for two appointments and after the second one I had, like, my letter to go get on cross-sex hormones.”

Stahl, flabbergasted, asked, “Two visits? That’s it?” Garrett confirmed, “Uh-huh.”

All four said they learned about transitioning on the internet from influencers on YouTube and other platforms.

“I’ve just never been able to be me. But I can now,” a transgender influencer says in video 60 Minutes obtained.

Daisy, a woman from Chicago, explained that everything went well at first when she began taking hormones at age 18. When she hit the pinnacle of transgender identity, however, she felt unfulfilled.

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“After every step that you take, every milestone, feels like a million bucks. When I got top surgery I was elated. When I changed my name I was elated. But when everything that I had set out to do was done, I still felt incomplete,” Daisy said.

Garrett told 60 Minutes that he went from taking hormones to getting his testicles removed in just three months, far short of the WPATH guidelines, which suggest a year’s worth of continuous use before such drastic “bottom surgery.” He later got a breast augmentation.

“But, instead of feeling more himself, he says he felt worse,” 60 Minutes reported.

“So, more depressed after you transitioned than before?” Stahl asked.

“I had never really been suicidal before until I had my breast augmentation,” Garrett replied. “And about a week afterwards I wanted to, like, actually kill myself. Like, I had a plan and I was gonna do it but I just kept thinking about, like, my family, to stop myself.”

“It kind of felt like, how am I ever going to feel normal again, like other guys now?” he remarked.

60 Minutes didn’t highlight these stories in order to undermine transgender activism or to question the idea that cross-sex hormones and the removal of breasts and testicles is a healthy course of action. In fact, right after interviewing these detransitioners, Stahl spoke with Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alfonso David.

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Stahl did not push back when David claimed that “the trans community is facing an epidemic of violence.” This “epidemic” involves the tragic deaths of a mere 44 people in an estimated population of 1.4 million. David also noted that young people who identify as transgender “attempt suicide at a rate of four times that of their peers.” These deaths and suicides are tragic, but the “epidemic of violence” claim is clear hyperbole.

The 60 Minutes segment noted that “LGBTQ advocacy groups like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign are worried that highlighting the stories of detransitioners could make things worse.”

GLAAD proved this reporting accurate. On Sunday, GLAAD released a tweet storm condemning the “shameful segment fearmongering about trans youth.”

“Parents of trans youth could walk away with the false belief that young people are being rushed into medical transition. That is simply untrue,” GLAAD claimed.

The activist group claimed that “every major medical association supports affirming, age-appropriate care for trans youth and the guidelines for that care are safe and well-established. And yet, the majority of the story was devoted to ‘raising concerns’ about youth accessing that care.” (GLAAD omitted organizations like the American College of Pediatricians as somehow not “major.”)

GLAAD also faulted 60 Minutes for having “wrongfully implied that trans YouTubers and online communities which affirm trans youth are somehow brainwashing kids and turning them trans. That is dangerous and at the same time ridiculous. Aren’t we past arguing that media can turn people gay or trans?”

Detransitioners themselves say that these influencers led them to pursue a false identity as transgender. Yet apparently GLAAD wants to erase their experiences from the record.

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GLAAD acknowledged that the 60 Minutes segment “spotlighted” the supposed harm that certain forms of legislation protecting children from transgender “treatments” will perpetrate, but the group attacked the news outlet for choosing “to platform activists who try to sow doubt about the need for trans-affirming healthcare.”

In other words, if activists push the transgender agenda, they represent a poor marginalized group who must be supported at all costs, but if people who permanently scarred their own bodies choose to speak up about their own experiences, these people are “activists” who oppose “trans-affirming healthcare.” (Never mind the fact that Lidinsky-Smith still supports transgender medicine for other people.)

GLAAD also faulted 60 Minutes for “failing to disclose that a person profiled in the story is the president of a group that actively seeks to limit affirming transition-related care.” As Mediaite reported, that appears to be a reference to Lidinsky-Smith, a board member (not the president) of the Gender Consumer Advocacy Network (GCCAN), which describes itself as a group that “aims to empower consumers to make the best decisions possible when starting or stopping gender care services.”

Lidinsky-Smith supports transgender health care, she just wants the industry to adopt protections to make sure others do not get rushed through the system like she was. GCCAN has opposed the Republican bills aimed at protecting children from experimental transgender “medicine” that might leave kids scarred and infertile.

GLAAD is so determined to demonize any critics of the transgender medical complex that it twists the record, suggesting that Lidinsky-Smith opposes something she actually supports.

Contrary to the assertions of GLAAD and HRC, there are good reasons to doubt and oppose experimental transgender “treatments,” especially for children. Children with gender dysphoria are extremely unlikely to continue in that condition after puberty unless they undergo “treatments” that may sterilize them. Doctors have warned that even “puberty-blockers” and cross-sex hormones give healthy people a diseaseResearch shows that there are significant risks with sex-reassignment surgery, including heart conditions, increased cancer risk, and loss of bone density.

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Transgender medicine may help some people, but no amount of surgery can reverse a person’s DNA and no amount of hormones can reverse the fact that biological males and biological females develop differently, from the womb onward. By attempting to silence debate on the subject, transgender activists reveal just how bankrupt their ideology really is — and how dangerous it can be, even for the people it is intended to help.