’60 Minutes’ reporter frets anti-transgender groups will ‘weaponize’ her own segment on ‘detransitioners’
“60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl worried this week that anti-transgender groups would “weaponize” her newsmagazine’s featuring of people who regretted their attempts to transition to another gender.
“We were concerned that the groups that oppose transgender people might try to weaponize our story and use it against transgender people,” Stahl said about her segment on “60 Minutes Overtime.” “Some of the activists who reached out to us told us they were worried about it too. Our story was really about health care. And we wanted to keep it focused on health care and not make it a political story.”
While Stahl stated Sunday the “vast majority” of transgender youths and adults are satisfied with their decision, she said she interviewed more than 30 “detransitioners” who changed their minds, citing reasons from regret to family pressure to job concerns.
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Dr. Erica Anderson, a transgender woman who sits on the board of The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), acknowledged to Stahl that clinicians don’t always follow its guidelines for dispensing medical treatments like hormones and reassignment surgery.
Four who spoke with Stahl on-camera all raised their hands when asked if they felt “blindly affirmed” as they began the transitioning process.
“I didn’t get enough pushback on transitioning. I went for two appointments and after the second one I had, like, my letter to go get on cross-sex hormones,” a man named Garrett told Stahl.
Another detransitioner, Grace Lidinsky-Smith, said the “gender therapist” she worked with didn’t deeply delve into the reasons for her gender dysphoria. Since she was over 18 when she began transitioning, she signed an informed consent form at a clinic and received hormone shots.
“They asked me, ‘So, why do you wanna go on testosterone?’ And I said, ‘Well, being a woman just isn’t working for me anymore.” And they said, ‘OK,'” she said.
“So, that was that. You got your prescription for testosterone?” Stahl asked.
“Yup,” Lidinsky-Smith said, later adding she changed her mind as she was about to get a mastectomy.
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“I can’t believe that I transitioned and detransitioned, including hormones and surgery, in the course of, like, less than one year. It’s completely crazy,” she said.
She later told Stahl, after the anchor cited her concerns that stories like hers could be “used against trans people,” that she wanted to advocate for more therapeutic help for those with dysphoria.
Stahl’s segment also featured critics of GOP legislation in some states that would ban certain forms of transgender treatment, such as a law passed last month in Arkansas prohibiting doctors from treating transgender youth with puberty blockers and other transition-aiding procedures.
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Yet LGBT groups and advocates criticized “60 Minutes” for the segment; GLAAD called it “shameful” and “fearmongering.”
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