‘I literally lost organs:’ Why detransitioned teens regret changing genders

“I was failed by the system. I literally lost organs.”

When Chloe was 12 years old, she decided she was transgender. At 13, she came out to her parents. That same year, she was put on puberty blockers and prescribed testosterone. At 15, she underwent a double mastectomy. Less than a year later, she realized she’d made a mistake — all by the time she was 16 years old.

Now 17, Chloe is one of a growing cohort called “detransitioners” — those who seek to reverse a gender transition, often after realizing they actually do identify with their biological sex. Tragically, many will struggle for the rest of their lives with the irreversible medical consequences of a decision they made as minors.

“I can’t stay quiet,” said Chloe. “I need to do something about this and to share my own cautionary tale.”

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In recent years, the number of children experiencing gender dysphoria in the West has skyrocketed. Exact figures are difficult to come by, but, between 2009 and 2019, children being referred for transitioning treatment in the United Kingdom increased 1,000% among biological males and 4,400% among biological females. Meanwhile, the number of young people identifying as transgender in the US has almost doubled since 2017, according to a new Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report.

Historically, transitioning from male to female was vastly more common, with this cohort typically experiencing persistent gender dysphoria from a very young age. Recently, however, the status quo has reversed, and female-to-male transitions have become the overwhelming majority.

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