The Medical University of South Carolina initially said it wouldn’t be affected by a law banning use of state funds for treatment “furthering the gender transition” of children under 16. Months later, it cut off that care to all trans minors.

One Saturday morning in September 2022, Terrence Steyer, the dean of the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, placed an urgent call to a student. Just a year prior, the medical student, Thomas Agostini, had won first place at a university-sponsored event for his graduate research on transgender pediatric patients. He also had been featured in a video on MUSC’s website highlighting resources that support the LGBTQ+ community.

Now, Agostini and his once-lauded study had set off a political firestorm. Conservative activists seized on one line in particular in the study’s summary — a parenthetical noting the youngest transgender patient to visit MUSC’s pediatric endocrinology clinic was 4 years old — and inaccurately claimed that children that young were prescribed hormones as part of a gender transition. Elon Musk amplified the false claim, tweeting, “Is it really true that four-year-olds are receiving hormone treatment?” That led federal and state lawmakers to frantically ask top MUSC leaders whether the public hospital was in fact helping young children medically transition. The hospital was not; its pediatric transgender patients did not receive hormone therapy before puberty, nor does it offer surgical options to minors.

  • ShaunaTheDead
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    6 months ago

    I wonder what the same people criticizing trans health care as “mutilation of children” think of intersex babies having genital surgery forced upon them to align their genitals with gender binary ideals.

    And just before anyone has a chance to say it, trans healthcare for teens is okay despite them not being able to consent because if they don’t choose quickly then one of the options is going to be forced upon them.

    It’s like a child standing on train tracks with a train speeding toward them and the child expressing that they’d like to get out of the way while people telling them “No! You’re not old enough to make that decision!”