'I Was Treated Like an Experiment': Former Trans Child Taken Advantage of When She 'Needed Help' Most


As the progressive left continues to support the gender transitioning of children under the age of consent, more and more victims of childhood transitioning continue to come forward.

These victims — an increasing number of former transgender children, adolescents and teenagers — are coming forward in an attempt to spread awareness about the long-term consequences that come with hormone therapy, puberty blockers and other forms of “gender-affirming care.”

At the forefront of this movement is British activist Keira Bell.

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Last year, Bell was a claimant in a judicial review case against the National Health Service’s Tavistock clinic in Britain.

The case claimed that, by immediately giving gender dysphoric youth gender-affirming care (gender transitioning treatments) rather than careful, individualized treatments, Tavistock had been essentially conducting experiments on gender dysphoric children — experiments that precipitated numerous negative, life-changing consequences.

Bell and the other claimants won in a unanimous verdict delivered by three judges which led Tavistock to immediately suspend referrals of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone therapies for patients under the age of 16, as reported by BBC.

On April 7, in an article published in Persuasion, Bell detailed her experiences dealing with gender dysphoria, the transitioning process and the fallout when she decided to detransition.

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The article also detailed how Bell believes healthcare professionals are failing young men and women in similar situations to hers.

Growing up, Bell faced serious instability within her own family. By the time she had reached the age of 5, Bell’s parents were divorced, with her father becoming “emotionally distant” and her mother descending into “alcoholism and mental illness.”

Throughout childhood, Bell thought of herself as a “classic tomboy,” but, according to her, “never had an issue with” her gender identity.

At least, not until puberty hit.

“A lot of teenagers, especially girls, have a hard time with puberty, but I didn’t know this,” Bell wrote.

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“I thought I was the only one who hated how my hips and breasts were growing. Then my periods started, and they were disabling. I was often in pain and drained of energy.”

Because of these changes, Bell began losing the “community of male friends” she had developed. This, coupled with her mother’s deteriorating drinking problem, pushed her further into feeling “alienated and solitary.”

It was also then, Bell explained, that she began developing sexual feelings for other girls.

From there, Bell was introduced to the idea of gender transitioning by her mother, who asked Bell if she “wanted to be a boy.” Bell then researched gender transitioning online and — around the age of 14 — decided she wanted to become a boy.

According to multiple experts who have studied the prevalence of rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD), these experiences are quite common.

In a 2018 article for The Globe and Mail, sex neurologist Debra Soh described ROGD as “a sudden desire to transition without any signs of gender dysphoria in childhood” that emerges after individuals have “spent much time researching gender dysphoria online.”

Soh further pointed out that there’s an association between homosexuality and “gender-variant behaviour,” citing a study that claimed 60 to 90 percent of gender dysphoric children, “if they don’t transition,” will instead grow up to be gay.

Additionally, author Abigail Shrier, in a 2019 article for The Wall Street Journal, described ROGD as a “social contagion.”

“Like other social contagions, such as cutting and bulimia, ROGD overwhelmingly afflicts girls. But unlike other conditions, this one—though not necessarily its sufferers—gets full support from the medical community,” Shrier wrote.

“The standard for dealing with teens who assert they are transgender is ‘affirmative care’  — immediately granting the patient’s stated identity.”

This was certainly the case when it came to Bell.

In her recent article, Bell further explained that at the age of 15 — “adamant” that she needed to transition — she was referred to the National Health Service’s “Gender Identity Development Service.”

In the following few years, Bell was given a series of treatments — puberty blockers, testosterone shots and a double mastectomy, among others.

It was much later — five years after her transition began — that Bell realized she had made a mistake.

“[T]he further my transition went, the more I realized that I wasn’t a man, and never would be. We are told these days that when someone presents with gender dysphoria, this reflects a person’s ‘real’ or ‘true’ self, that the desire to change genders is set,” Bell wrote.

“But this was not the case for me. As I matured, I recognized that gender dysphoria was a symptom of my overall misery, not its cause.”

As Bell has returned to identifying with her biological sex, she faces many consequences for the decisions she made as a young teenager.

It is possible the process has left her infertile, she’s lost both breasts, her voice is permanently changed and she now suffers from “vaginal atrophy” — to name a few.

For a time, due to the “high dose of testosterone” in her body, Bell couldn’t even shed a tear.

“A lot of girls are transitioning because they’re in pain, whether it’s from mental-health disorders, or life trauma, or other reasons. I know what it’s like to get caught up in dreaming that transitioning will fix all of this,” Bell wrote.

“I do not want any other young person who is distressed, confused, and lonely as I was to be driven to conclude transition is the only possible answer.”

“I was an unhappy girl who needed help. Instead, I was treated like an experiment.”

Speaking with The Western Journal about gender dysphoria, Walter Heyer — who was also formerly transgender — echoed much of what Bell said in her article.

Heyer runs a website called Sex Change Regret which provides resources and guidance to transgender individuals who regret their gender transitions.

“We don’t know if they’re suffering from autogynephilia transvestic fetish disorders, if they have dissociative disorder, bipolar disorder, body dysmorphia,” Heyer told The Western Journal.

“There’s something that is involved in them wanting to destroy who they are so that they can identify as someone who they’re not.”

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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