On Friday, the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine Joint Rules/Legislative Committee voted to prohibit minors who identify as transgender from taking puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and getting “gender-affirming” surgery.
The committee held a public meeting on pediatric “gender-affirming” care, and whether or not it is appropriate for minors, in Orlando. The committee ended up approving a rule that would effectively ban the controversial treatments for under-18 minors in the state. That rule now moves to be approved by the Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine.
The meeting was over five hours in length, and participants heard from medical experts Dr. Michael Biggs, Dr. James Cantor, Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala and Dr. Michael Laidlaw on the permanent effects of medical interventions for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria and the lack of quality evidence to support their use. Meanwhile, Dr. Kristin Dayton, Dr. Aron Janssen and Dr. Meredithe McNamara testified in favor of the irreversible treatments.
Florida Board of Medicine member Nicholas Romanello proposed the rule, saying that the risks of treatments outweigh the benefits, which mirrors concerns shared by the national health departments of Sweden, Finland and England, which have all abandoned “gender-affirming” care after reviews of available evidence were performed.
“I believe that based upon the testimony that we’ve heard this morning and the materials in the portal, that the risk of puberty suppressing therapies, cross-hormonal therapy and surgery, those risks outweigh the possible benefits and that there is a lack of consistent, reliable, scientific peer reviewed evidence concerning the efficacy and safety of such treatment,” Romanello said.
If the rule is passed, it will prohibit medical professionals from prescribing minors puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and referrals for “gender-affirming” surgeries. Any adolescent who is currently undergoing treatment with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones will be allowed to continue, should they take part in an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved clinical trial at a university affiliated center, according to board members at the meeting.
Nine formerly trans-identifying adults spoke of their negative experiences with “gender-affirming” care during the meeting. They were Chloe Cole, Cat Cattison, Helena Kerschner, Zoe Hawes, Camille Kiefel, Billy Burleigh, Ted Halley, Rachel Foster and a man who goes by the online persona of “Shapeshifter.”
Cole, an 18-year-old detransitioned woman, gave testimony of her experience beginning puberty blockers and testosterone at 13 and a double mastectomy surgery to remove her breasts at 15.
“Why is a mental health epidemic not being addressed with mental health treatment to get at the root causes for why female adolescents like me want to reject their bodies?” Cole asked.
“I have bandages on my chest today, over two years post-op, because my nipples leak fluid and they stain my clothes,” Cole testified. “I have no breasts. I want to be a mother someday and yet I can never naturally feed my future children.”
“My breasts were beautiful, now they’ve been incinerated for nothing,” she added.
Parents of trans-identified youth also were present at the meeting and cited the affirm-or-suicide claims made by many trans activists. This claim has been repeatedly debunked by data analysis.
The meeting came to an end only after trans-activists began shouting “lies” at the speakers and “their blood is on your hands” to the committee.
Other activists could be seen in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, protesting the proposed rule. They held cardboard tombstones and covered themselves in transgender flags.
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