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  • Michael Costa

Radar Watchlist: Human Rights Campaign (HRC)



The Human Rights Campaign is promoting dangerous misinformation about what is being done to children under the guise of "gender-affirming care." In a press release calling for detrans censorship, they promote false information and invalid studies about transitioning children. And they accuse those who oppose child sterilization of violence, including our founder, Jaimee Michell. When we responded and called them out for it, Gays Against Groomers was blocked. This just further shows that they do not care about gays and lesbians anymore. They threw us under the bus a long time ago to pursue a more profitable avenue: supporting the sterilization and mutilation of minors. We will wear this as a badge of honor.



The press release cites the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorsing the affirmative model. The AAP is conducting another review of the literature regarding the evidence of "gender-affirming care" for minors. In the United Kingdom, The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic at Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust in North London is being closed down. The world's largest pediatric gender clinic is shutting down in March 2024. A recent re-analysis of data, which is under review, found that on 12 months of puberty blocker injections, 34% of the children had reliably deteriorated mentally, 29% had reliably improved, and 37% showed no change, according to their self-reported answers. In England, Sweden, and Finland, such reviews have found transgender drugs and surgeries to be harmful for children, and they have been restricted. US State Boards of Health are following the guidelines these countries are putting into place. The HRC frames this as evil conservatives attacking trans children, meanwhile this is straight-up sadistic malpractice. It is evil what the HRC supports doing to children.



The HRC's press release stated that transgender children are not undergoing irreversible changes. That is a LIE. Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones do not have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for children’s gender care. GnRH agonists only have FDA approval for prostate cancer, endometriosis, and precocious puberty. Leuprolide (Brand name: Lupron) is the same drug that is used to chemically castrate sex offenders with severe paraphilic disorders. It is used in high-risk individuals who have committed a sexual offense, in order to prevent them from reoffending. Lupron is given off-label as a form "gender-affirming care" to children as young as eight and causes bone loss. Osteoporosis is not reversible. From 2019-2021, at least 776 mastectomies were performed in the United States on patients ages 13-17. Girls experience the onset of menopause as a result of these interventions and it makes them sterile. Transgender children are absolutely undergoing irreversible medical changes. 14-year-old girls cannot consent to a double mastectomy. A 14-year-old girl [no matter what body parts have been removed] is still a girl. A girl is a female human child. Children cannot consent.



The HRC then dug themselves even deeper, asserting that detransition and regret are very rare and a 1% transition regret rate. A myth that 99% of "trans kids" do not regret their surgeries has been spread by recent study that did NOT include "trans kids." No minors participated. The median age at the time of surgery was 27.1 (IQR, 23.0-33.4) years old for responders and 26.4 (IQR, 23.1-32.7) years old for nonresponders. It is dishonest to claim that the outcomes have anything to do with pediatric health care or the recent outbreak of adolescent cross-sex identification, notably in teenage girls. But the people who are speaking on our behalf want us to think otherwise. A total of 235 patients were considered eligible to participate but only 139 individuals (59.1%) responded. Nearly half (40.9%) of eligible participants did not even participate. Information about decision regret and quantitative data from the Satisfaction With Decision Scale was not collected from nearly half of the individuals who met study criteria (n = 96).


Instead of performing additional tests, the authors alleged that none of the nonresponders experienced regrets since no "mastectomy reversal" surgeries have taken place at the study location. Getting mastectomy reversal surgery is not indicative of whether or not somebody is dissatisfied with the irreversible surgery. But they just went ahead and assumed that regret rates among these non-participants (40%) were zero, anyway. This is flawed because not all people with regret are willing to seek another invasive surgery, like a reversal procedure. Detransitioners are also unlikely to return to the same clinicians who performed their initial surgery. In most states, health Insurance often does not cover detransition care, making them financially inaccessible. They also did not compare people who received surgery vs. those who did not. They intended to perform an univariable regression using Fisher exact and Wilcoxon rank sum tests to compare responders (n = 139) and nonresponders (n = 96). However, they were unable to do so, primarily due to their unsupported assumption of a 0% regret rate among every nonresponder. While there are no established guidelines in this field that set an acceptable percentage of missing data at which Multiple Imputation (MI) would not yield benefits, a review of the literature revealed that when more than 10% of the data is missing, the conclusions are prone to bias. Some research suggests a lower cutoff of 5% (Schafer, 1999). At 40.9%, this study should not be used in good faith to justify that amputating the healthy breasts of teenage girls is a lifesaving form of health care that does not carry a substantial risk of regret. But clearly, there are individuals with ulterior motives who choose to ignore this and cling to their false "99% satisfaction" narrative because it validates their desire to mutilate children.


The HRC's press release links to a systematic review of 27 studies that claims a 1% rate of transition regret. The comprehensive meta-analysis in question pooled data from the existing body of research on gender-affirming surgery regret. It comprised of 7,928 cases from 14 different countries. To the researchers' knowledge, this was the most extensive attempt to compile information related to gender-affirming surgery regret or detransition. However, the meta-analysis was extremely biased and problematic. Either the Child Sexual Mutilation advocates at HRC didn't read it, or they're manipulating parents and lying to gay people. It used data about detransition and regret that have been carried out over the past 40 years. Random-effects meta-analysis, meta-regression, and sensitivity analyses were performed. The Egger test was used to measure potential publication bias. The I² statistic was used to evaluate heterogeneity. The NIH quality assessment tool, effect size, and funnel plot tested for bias.


Issue #1: Heterogeneity

Heterogeneity was the most severe methodological limitation for this meta-analysis. Heterogeneity is the variation or diversity among studies being analyzed. It can be statistical (resulting from diverse study findings) or clinical (stemming from differences in study populations, interventions, or outcomes). Significant heterogeneity can skew the results in either direction and compromise the validity and reliability of the results. Inconsistent methodologies, varying participant characteristics, and the use of non-validated questionnaires further exacerbate the problem. In the context of transition regret and detransition, where precise and consistent measurements are essential, the presence of heterogeneity can be detrimental. It signifies a critical lack of consistency among research results. This is something that can be measured. The I² statistic measures variations in effect size (ES) attributable to heterogeneity. It is a quantifiable representation of study inconsistency, denoting the extent to which the variation is purely due to heterogeneity and not due to chance. Any I² value above 50% implies that the heterogeneity is too large for the results to be taken at face value (p < 0.05 or I² > 50%). For this publication, I² was 75.08%, which is alarmingly high.


Issue #2: Invalid Methods and Tools

An overarching issue this study had was the prevalent use of non-validated questionnaires for assessing regret. Researchers were often compelled to use such instruments due to the lack of standardized questionnaires tailored to the specific context of "gender-affirming" surgery. 73% of the studies included in this review relied on non-validated instruments to investigate detransition, and statistical power was pathetically low. Face validity evaluates whether the questionnaire appears relevant to the participants. In situations where there is no way of having proper face validity, participants may not find such questionnaires to be credible tools for measuring their detransition experiences. Low test-retest reliability indicates that responses may not be consistent over time. In the case of detransition research, where experiences are evolving over time, maintaining consistent responses is necessary. A low test-retest reliability score could imply inconsistent or fluctuating responses, which can lead to erroneous conclusions. Results of this publication are not robust enough to make any valid conclusions.


Most importantly, it does not measure the current tidal wave of teenage girls identifying as transgender in recent years. Data was collected from adults over multiple decades. The study characteristics, quality assessment, and overall outcomes give absolutely no insight into the current debate about pediatric transition. Why are Child Sexual Mutilation advocates using this botched statistic to further their agenda?


Issue #3: Bias

It is safe to say that this meta-analysis is biased. Using the NIH quality assessment tool, only five of the pooled studies, representing 3% of total participants, were considered "Good." There was only one "good" study that was carried out post-2013, which took place in Germany (Papadopulos et al, 2017). The presence of a significant proportion of studies with a "high risk of bias" further complicates the validity of the study's findings, as the results may not accurately represent the damage being done to children's bodies in the name of "Gender-affirming Care."



85% of the studies they used were labeled "moderate or high risk of bias." Detecting publication bias in a meta-analysis is a critical problem because it may lead to incorrect conclusions about the validity and generalization of results. Publication bias tends to favor studies with positive results which can inflate the perceived credibility of a relationship and skew our understanding of the true prevalence of transition regret. Funnel-plot methods use graphs to create visual representations of study variation. Asymmetry in a funnel plot, with studies scattered unevenly, is indicative of publication bias. When placed on a graph, the data points (each representing an individual study) are asymmetrical. Once again, the persistence of publication bias casts doubt on the validity and reliability of the reported "1%" rates of transition regret.


Funnel Plot showing asymmetry, indicating publication bias (Bustos et al., 2021).

Sensitivity analyses, using weight and effect size (ES), can evaluate how the results would be different if the high-risk studies were excluded.


For this meta-analysis, incorporating 14 previously excluded studies via the Trim-and-Fill Method shifted effect size from 0.010 to 0.005, an adjustment which did not reach statistical significance. Publication bias can be quantified using Egger's regression test and reporting the p-value (Lin & Chu, 2018). Employing Egger's test yielded statistically significant results with a p-value of 0.0271 (p ≤ 0.05), indicating the presence of publication bias. This publication is too biased to yield valid results or make conclusions about detransition or regret.


Pooled prevalence of regret among TGNB individuals after gender confirmation surgery. Heterogeneity χ2 = 104.31 (d.f. = 26), P = 0.00, I2 [variation in effect size (ES) attributable to heterogeneity] = 75.08%, Estimate of between-study variance Ʈ2 = 0.02, Test of ES = 0, z = 4.22, P = 0.00. (Bustos et al., 2021)



The fact that the largest study of this kind is biased and invalid says a lot about how biased and invalid queer propaganda is. The lack of standardized questionnaires complicates the generalization of results, making them prone to even more bias across the board.


Funnel plot of the Trim & Fill method (Bustos et al., 2021)

Issue#4: Different Cohorts

This information proves nothing about "gender-affirming care" for kids. Even the researchers who carried out this analysis warn against taking it too seriously. The surge in children being affirmed and fast-tracked to a path of sterilization is a new phenomenon. The group of individuals seeking treatment for gender dysphoria today differs significantly from those studied in the research periods covered by the included studies. Additionally, there has been a notable broadening of the criteria used to evaluate readiness for surgery over time. As a result, the findings reported in these studies have no applicability in estimating the outcomes of surgery for current cases. Low reported rates of regret in previous studies will not be applicable to current populations. A publication from last year stated "with the increase in numbers of persons presenting for gender-affirming care, shift to informed consent, likely reduced proportion of TGD people receiving an adequate mental health evaluation, and a change in the distribution of TGD people to more assigned female at birth and nonbinary individuals, there is reason to believe that the numbers of detransitioners may increase (Irwig, 2022)."


The HRC then links to the Roberts study, which is one that notably captures this new demographic of children presenting with gender discomfort (mostly teenage girls). What the study actually found was very unsettling. An analysis of 952 patients found a 4-year continuation rate of 74.4% for those who initiated treatment under the age of 18. In the patients under the age of 18, which were mostly adolescent girls, 25% of children who were chemically castrated wound up detransitioning or discontinuing their hormone treatment within just four years. While there is no current standard due to lack of research, transition regret usually takes longer than four years to manifest. Some studies found that it takes 8 years on average. This is worrisome because we can only expect this to get worse as years go on. HRC moves on to say that "virtually all transgender youth remain consistent and persistent in their gender identity over time." That is not consistent with what is being taught in school. Boys and girls are being taught that their "gender identity" is on a spectrum. If "gender identity" is fluid and may change from day-to-day, as children are being taught in Gender-Inclusive Schools, then why are children being encouraged to make permanent bodily changes? Either gender is on an infinite, ever-changing spectrum or it is a stable category that can be appropriately medicalized in children. Both of these cannot be true at once.


The HRC cites statistics about how people detransition due to reasons other than surgical regret. Some people detransition due to external factors such as social pressure, lack of support, or difficulty accessing medical care. However, there are detransitioners who initially felt comfortable with their transition but were unable to continue due to medical complications. Some detransitioners were led down the wrong path when they were too young to know any better. Decisions to transition are now being made by children who lack the cognitive and emotional maturity to fully appreciate the long-term repercussions of their decisions. Some mention feeling overly encouraged in their identities by their clinicians, which led to a limited understanding of the medical procedures and the potential consequences of those changes.


Their evidence does not match up with the narrative we are being fed by the HRC, who refuse to acknowledge the truth about child sterilization. Detransitioners are lost to follow-up. The 1% detransition rate is false. Claiming otherwise is a lie. As the social contagion continues to spread like wildfire, this medical abuse and the lifelong ramifications remain unknown. Parents are being lied to every single day. And innocent children are collateral damage. Shame on you, HRC.


On page eleven of their attached pdf report, the HRC lists Gays Against Groomers' Fox News appearance where our president, Jaimee Michell, talked about a Balenciaga campaign and a mass-shooting. She condemned the shooter and expressed concern that attacks would continue. HRC lists the interview and describes it in a way that makes it seem like Gays Against Groomers went on TV and supported the mass shooting…and was encouraging for more. They go even further and use it as an example of threatening real-world violence. They took half of one sentence from an entire interview out-of-context and are using it to frame Jaimee Michell. The HRC is manipulating a mass-shooting to make the claim that our Fox News interview was encouraging violence, despite never saying anything like that. She was expressing concern. Remove this accusation immediately.


Elected officials like Scott Weiner are using biased, irrelevant data that the HRC endorses in order to inform laws and public policy around sterilizing children. Child Sexual Mutilation advocates in power are using the botched statistics that they push in order to justify an international medical scandal. Yet the HRC accuses Jaimee of doing real-world harm by…going on Fox News? The HRC's propaganda has significant real-world harm. They deny the existence of a social contagion but at least 121,882 children ages 6 to 17 were diagnosed with gender dysphoria from 2017 through 2021 alone. If you have to censor everyone who disagrees with you in order to prove that you're innocent, then there is a good chance you might not be. Someday, every state will have a Chloe Cole. You will have to answer to every single one of them about how you denied their existence and said that their experiences and suffering were irrelevant. Having a transgender identity does not give a child the ability to transcend the boundaries of age appropriateness or escape medical malpractice.


Not only is the HRC's statement full of lies about child castration, but it is also dangerous misinformation for parents. Parents of a child claiming a cross-sex identity wouldn't be challenged to consider any other route when such a faulty medical path is not talked about honestly. Masculine girls and feminine boys become permanently enfettered by the shackles of life-long pharmaceutical dependency and complications as a result. HRC, you're on our RADAR. If you actually did advocate for "LGBTQIA+" people then the LGB people who were harmed by gender medicine as children would not be shunned and censored. Your organization wants to "Protect Trans Kids" yet you villainize and ignore those who were hurt by gender medicine. You promote transition to minors, but they get censored when it makes them sick. They shield abusers from criticism, silence those who get hurt, and punish the few who dare to speak up. It's abusive. Victims deserve justice. And as the gender affirmation empire continues to crumble, it is gay people who will be called into blame for its aftermath, despite never consenting to the lies in the first place.



REFERENCES


American Medical Association. (2022). Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Adolescents. JAMA Surgery, 157(3), 209–210. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2021.4995


BBC News. (2022). Puberty blockers: NHS to set up independent review group. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-62335665


BBC News. (2023). Puberty blockers: NHS to set up independent review group. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-65564032


Bustos, V. P., Bustos, S. S., Mascaro, A., Del Corral, G., Forte, A. J., Ciudad, P., Kim, E. A., Langstein, H. N., & Manrique, O. J. (2021). Regret after Gender-affirmation Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Prevalence. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open, 9(3), e3477. https://doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000003477


Choi, J. H., Lee, J. W., Lee, J. K., Jang, S., Yoo, M., Lee, D. B., Hong, J. W., Noh, I. S., & Lim, M. H. (2018). Therapeutic Effects of Leuprorelin (Leuprolide Acetate) in Sexual Offenders with Paraphilia. Journal of Korean medical science, 33(37), e231. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e231


Dallas News. (2023, April 22). I worked at the Tavistock gender clinic. This is why closing it was the right move. https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2023/04/22/i-worked-at-the-tavistock-gender-clinic-this-is-why-closing-it-was-the-right-move/


Endocrine Society. (2022, October 13). Longer Treatment with Puberty-Delaying Medication Leads to Lower Bone Mineral Density. https://www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/2022/longer-treatment-with-puberty-delaying-medication-leads-to-lower-bone-mineral-density


Fox News. (2023, September 22). Jaimee Michell: Being anti-groomer and anti child mutilation is not being anti-gay. https://www.foxnews.com/video/6316042385112


Hembree, W. C., Cohen-Kettenis, P. T., Gooren, L., Hannema, S. E., Meyer, W. J., Murad, M. H., Rosenthal, S. M., Safer, J. D., Tangpricha, V., & T'Sjoen, G. G. (2017). Endocrine Treatment of Gender-Dysphoric/Gender-Incongruent Persons: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 102(11), 3869–3903. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2017-01658


Human Rights Campaign. (2023, November 3). Human Rights Campaign Condemns X, Elon Musk for Accepting Timeline Takeover of Transphobic, Fact-Free “Documentary”. Retrieved November 3, 2023, from https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/human-rights-campaign-condemns-x-elon-musk-for-accepting-timeline-takeover-of-transphobic-fact-free-documentary


Independent Review of the Gender Identity Development Service. (2020). Evidence Review: Puberty Blockers. https://cass.independent-review.uk/nice-evidence-reviews/


Jorgensen, S.C.J. Transition Regret and Detransition: Meanings and Uncertainties. Arch Sex Behav 52, 2173–2184 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-023-02626-2


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Recommendation of the Health Service Selection Council (Finland) https://palveluvalikoima.fi/sukupuolidysforia-alaikaiset


Reuters. (2022). Number of transgender children seeking treatment surges in U.S. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-transyouth-data/


Sauter, J., Turner, D., Briken, P., & Rettenberger, M. (2021). Testosterone-Lowering Medication and Its Association With Recidivism Risk in Individuals Convicted of Sexual Offenses. Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment, 33(4), 475–500. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063220910723


Schafer, J.L. (1999) Multiple Imputation: A Primer. Statistical Methods in Medical Research, 8, 3-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/096228099671525676


Schiffer, B., & Vonlaufen, C. (2008). Leuprolide Acetate in the Treatment of Paraphilias: A Report of 2 Cases. In Forensic Psychiatry: Influences of Evil (pp. 109–118). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-79288-8_11


Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. (2019). Gender Dysphoria, Gender Identity Disorder and Incongruent Gender Development: Medical Assessment and Treatment. https://www.sbu.se/342



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