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Behind-The-Scenes Recordings Reveal What Top Gender Doctors Really Think About Controversial Sex Change Procedures
The World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) is the leading authority in the field of gender medicine. Its guidance is routinely used by top medical associations in the U.S. and abroad, while its standards of care inform insurance companies' approach to coverage policies.

But behind closed doors, top WPATH doctors debated between themselves about the organization's own published guidelines for sex-change procedures and acknowledged pushing experimental medical interventions that can have devastating and irreversible complications, according to exclusive footage obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

WPATH published highly influential clinical guidance called “Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People, Version 8” (SOC 8), which recommends the use of invasive medical interventions such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-change surgeries, calling them “safe and effective.”

The DCNF filed a series of public records requests to WPATH SOC 8 co-authors who are employed at tax-funded institutions, making their emails subject to open records laws. Buried in more than 100 pages of responsive records from the University of Nevada was a series of emails between prominent WPATH members and leaders, including WPATH Global Education Institute (GEI) Co-Chair Gial Knudson, that were sent in 2022. In one email, Knudson sent a colleague the link to a folder containing nearly 30 hours of recordings from WPATH’s GEI summit in September 2022 in Montreal, Canada, which included sessions on mental health, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-change surgery. 

These sessions provided WPATH members with in-depth education on the clinical application of topics addressed in the SOC 8 treatment guidelines. However, the footage reveals WPATH-affiliated doctors appearing to contradict the organization's own published standards, advocating for children to undergo risky sex-change procedures and even pushing for these treatments for patients struggling with severe mental health issues. Several sessions were dedicated exclusively to treating children and included recommendations for minors to receive puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries.  

For instance, WPATH guidance recommends addressing a patient's mental health issues before giving them sex-change medical interventions. However, in one recorded session, a WPATH faculty member and gender doctor claimed that mental health issues don't necessarily affect a patient's ability to receive cross-sex hormones.

In another video, a doctor told attendees children should be informed that cross-sex hormones will likely make them infertile but admitted that he will prescribe them anyway if a child says they want the treatment, regardless of the future consequences.

A surgeon euphemistically referred to a phalloplasty procedure, a surgical series that includes obliterating the vaginal cavity and creating a fake penis with harvested tissue, as an "adventure" for young people. He did this despite later admitting that those same procedures will "definitely" have "complications,” such as permanent issues with bladder function and tissue death.

One physician called the entire field of cross-sex hormones “off-label,” referring to the concept of drugs being used for alternative purposes than what they were approved for. The doctor went on to say that female patients might actually appreciate drug side effects that cause them to lose hair, because they'd look "more like men."

The FDA says that when it approves a drug, healthcare providers generally may prescribe that drug for an unapproved use, or off-label, when “they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.”

In several other videos, doctors argued in favor of transitioning patients who experience psychotic episodes. One admitted that some of his patients with schizophrenia have to be careful how much cross-sex hormones they take or they can’t “keep the voices down.” 

The DCNF consulted medical professionals from respected organizations, such as Do No Harm, who all argued that the comments from WPATH-affiliated doctors show that the transgender medical industry does not have patients' best interests at heart. 

While the average person, nationally and internationally, likely has never heard of WPATH, the modern medical industry is deeply tied to the organization and relies on it to dictate the standards of care for transgender medicine. WPATH’s guidelines are cited as criteria for obtaining insurance coverage by both private insurance companies and tax-funded insurance plans, positioning them as a lynchpin of the sex reassignment industry. 

Additionally, their guidelines help inform policy statements from major medical and professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Psychological Association and the Endocrine Society. The AAP is currently being sued by Isabelle Ayala, a former patient who was medically transitioned as a child, for allegedly rushing her through sex-change medical procedures. 

There's been an explosion in the number of young people, including children, being put on hormones and puberty blockers and getting sex change surgeries, according to a study published in August 2023 by the JAMA Network. This surge has been fueled, in part, by groups like Planned Parenthood, which distributes cross-sex hormones to patients as young as 16. Planned Parenthood saw a roughly 125% jump in the number of transgender services it provided between 2020 and 2022.

Twenty-three states, however, have enacted legislation preventing doctors from performing sex-change surgeries on minors amid backlash from concerned parents and doctors who don't subscribe to the WPATH-endorsed "gender-affirming care" model. Gender-affirming care is another euphemism used by medical professionals to describe the idea that doctors should affirm a patient’s wish to live as the opposite biological sex through social transitioning, hormone therapy and even surgery. 

The SOC 8 was released just days ahead of the 2022 symposium and contained several significant changes to how doctors and medical institutions implemented transgender medical treatment. For instance, WPATH removed minimum age requirements criteria that established when a child can or should receive transgender medical services such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries. 

WPATH’s previous guidelines recommended that hormone therapy be given once a patient was over the age of 16, but the updated version removed this barrier and suggests hormone therapy begin at the first signs of sexual maturity.

The videos obtained by the DCNF give the first glimpse at how doctors and mental health professionals discussed implementing the new guidelines. To highlight the most significant portions of the content obtained in the records requests, the DCNF has decided to publish a series of articles collectively called "The WPATH Tapes."

Following this release, the DCNF intends to publish all of the videos in their entirety in order to provide the public with necessary information about WPATH's approach to medical care and shine a light on an influential organization that has largely remained anonymous until now.

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