Transgenderism is being portrayed as a progressive form of self-expression by the political, media, and business complex, but it is also damaging and marring — in many cases irreparably — the girls who come into contact with it. This series is exploring some of the cruelty experienced by people who have interacted with the “cyber-sect” of radical gender ideology, through testimony in their own words.
About 20 percent of Generation Z is likely to identify on the “LGBTQQIP2SAA” spectrum, and “LGBTQIA+” identification overall has become much more common in the United States in the past decade, according to 2022 polling by Gallup. Over five percent of Americans from 18 to 30-years-old identify as “transgender” or “nonbinary,” according a Pew Research Center survey published in June.
The number of diagnoses of “gender dysphoria” of children between the ages of 6–17 in the United States has surged over recent years, from 15,172 in 2017 to 24,847 in 2020, to 42,167 in 2021, according to data published by Reuters. In 2017, there were 1,905 children in the same age range, 6–17, undergoing hormone therapy, spiking to 4,231 in 2021.
Despite dubious data surrounding the practice of “gender-affirming care,” especially for adolescents, the United States is the “most permissive country” for child sex change operations and gender “transition” drug treatments compared with any European country, according to a study by Do No Harm. Doctors who recently spoke to Breitbart News, requesting their identities be concealed for fear of backlash, said there is a “perverse” monetary incentive structure built around pushing “transgender” drugs and surgeries on kids. The United States sex-reassignment surgery market was valued at almost two billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.23 percent until 2030, according to a market report by Grand View Research.
“Looking for an escape”
“Oftentimes, people are looking for an escape. There’s a lot of escapism in my generation, and this is especially true with the trans ideology,” Estella Suarez-Hamilton, a young woman who “transitioned” as a teenager and presented herself as a man, told Breitbart News. “It was a distraction that I needed, to not look at the parts of my life and the relationships in my life that I was not succeeding in, and were falling apart.”
“I was looking for escape — and the political, kind of spiritual, aspects of trans ideology, when they’re combined with the online [community], that offers a type of escapism,” she continued. “A lot of times people will say that it’s a ‘cult,’ and in a way, that could be applied, but I think a more accurate term is a ‘cyber sect’.”
Estella called herself “Phillip” and took testosterone injections over a period of over seven years before realizing her emotional ills could not be healed by changing her hormonal composition and physical appearance. Estella was recommended for hormone therapy at the age of 18 by a counselor who identifies as “transgender.” Her mother was deployed with the U.S. Air Force at the time.
She is now in early menopause at the age of 27, despite having stopped taking testosterone a year ago.
Estella views the transgender movement as a pseudo-spiritual belief system she describes as “modern Gnosticism,” which includes initiation, rituals, and rules.
“If you are thinking about how to describe the sect, it is very much connected to, like, the modern Gnostic principles. This is a syncretic cyber sect of modern Gnosticism,” Estella said, “and I love how complicated it sounds, because the trans community loves language, and they love to complicate language to the nth degree. So, I think that this term is just very — from my experience — very accurate to explain what I went through, that’s what I think happened, and that’s how I can articulate it.”
“The trans community has this stupid line, ‘When you become trans you become your authentic self.’ It’s actually the complete opposite,” Pamela Garfield-Jaeger, licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), told Breitbart News. “You’re actually becoming somebody else, you’re actually, in a way, killing off, or getting out of touch with your authentic self, and you’re now becoming this almost fake identity.”
Garfield-Jaeger — a licensed social worker in the Bay Area who practiced for 20 years after being educated at New York University and a “lifelong Democrat” — spoke to Breitbart News after becoming wise to what she calls a movement of “destruction of humankind,” as trans ideology relies on “dissociating people from their body, destroying their ability to procreate, and destroying the nuclear family.” She is not currently practicing, instead focusing her efforts on speaking out about the harmful effects of transgenderism and writing a curriculum for parents to find “non-indoctrinating mental health care.”
“The reason I think it has such parallels to a cult is because it finds the vulnerable people, divides them from the people who care about them, then provides this kind of faux-community. That feels really good, and feels really loving, and feels like you’re part of something, but it’s not. It’s superficial and ends up being not genuine,” Garfield-Jaeger told Breitbart News.
“Then they’re sort of policing each other’s language. They can’t really be themselves — they call it ‘authentic self,’ but they’re really being this kind of other version, this new version of themselves. You can’t break the rules. As soon as you break the rules, even just a little bit, you’re out,” she continued, describing how former members of the “community” get death threats and in some cases require security after they publicly speak out about negative experiences in their “transition.”
“It’s like they don’t want the people who are out there speaking the truth to, like, crack this spell,” she said. “Really what it feels like is people are under this sort of spell. A lot of them will say that that they were under a spell. I always ask them, ‘What could someone have said or done?’ And they usually say they don’t have a good answer for it.”
“Language is part of their rituals, part of the initiation is understanding the terms,” Estella told Breitbart News. “It’s so alien, it’s another type of language. … That’s a lot of where they get their power from — in the Gnostic principles. It’s like you have this otherworldly knowledge … You have this deep understanding of the world, and yourself, and your soul, that no one can fully understand unless they also, you know, have the Gnosis.”
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Matt Perdie / Breitbart News
“On the surface level, it’s pro-self-actualization, pro-sex, pro-feminine, antiestablishment, but when you investigate deeper … it’s a patriarchal spiritual movement, and the female aspects, and the pro-sex aspects, are like accessories used to justify their claims of equality,” she continued.
Estella was ejected from the “community” when she expressed trepidation about having a double mastectomy and questioned why a “trans-man” cannot have breasts. At that point, after being on testosterone for a number of years, she was blocked from online trans forums and prevented from posting and engaging.
“I was not given coherent informed consent”
After being absorbed into the “cyber-sect,” the “transition” process of taking cross-sex hormones involves a litany of side effects. A woman taking testosterone will experience changes in the form of her body, shrinking hips and thighs, muscle growth, facial and body hair, cracking voice, increased sex drive. But then there are other, less predictable side effects, which, according to Estella, are mostly glazed over in the process of “informed consent.”
She told Breitbart News, “I was not given coherent informed consent,” explaining that side effects were told in terms of effects on men taking testosterone, not women, and that other side effects she experienced were not mentioned at all. She speculates this is because they are just not investigated. Estella said that when she expressed having negative side effects, she was dismissed, saying, “If I say, ‘I have experienced this, this is something that it caused me,’ they’ll be like, ‘Well, it just didn’t work out for you, that was your body.’”
According to Abigail Shrier’s book on the transgender movement’s effect on teenage girls, Irreversible Damage, testosterone will be administered based on “desired physical appearance — rather than the alleviation of physical illness — it is guided by aesthetic principles, not medical ones.”
Testosterone is typically justified as a treatment for ‘gender dysphoria,’ but the endocrinologists who administer it rarely seem even to be evaluating its progress with the patient’s dysphoria. What they examine instead are blood levels to ensure that testosterone stays within normal range for a man. This seems to place endocrinologists (and just as often, nurse practitioners) in the position of hair stylists, who aim to satisfy, rather than medical professionals who seek to cure.
Although alleviation of gender dysphoria was supposed to be its justification, doctors administering [testosterone] very often seem less interested in treating ‘gender dysphoria’ than in giving trans-identified patients the look they want.
This reporting reflects Estella’s experience with hormone treatment.
“There are expected changes, you know, your voice, and your clitoris grows, and there is a sex drive increase, muscles, you know, all the lovely… They give you all these beautiful changes that will happen, and then they kind of like whisper the shitty stuff that happens,” Estella told Breitbart News.
“What I went through incrementally was weakened bladder, disruption of my pH, which was recurring infections, insomnia — they say insomnia, but they don’t explain where the insomnia comes from, and it’s from excruciating heat flashes that were like itching pins and needles on my skin, and that was every single night — and that creates mental health problems, the highs and lows of hormones, and that causes strains on relationships — that’s all not addressed,” she continued. “You don’t cry when you’re on testosterone — that’s a weird side effect that is not investigated — it’s very hard to feel those … feminine emotions.”
“I was always allowed to do whatever I wanted with my hormones, like, my doctors gave me a suggested amount, but they never were like, ‘Don’t do this.’ If I was like, ‘I want to go on a higher dose,’ they were like, ‘Okay.’ ‘I want to go to lower dose,’ ‘Okay, we’ll just take your blood and look at it’,” Estella explained.
“There’s no standard,” she continued. “Their job is to make your hormones match the testosterone levels of a boy the same height and weight as you, which is, to me, that’s the most pseudo-scientific thing. I don’t have testicles or semen, why would I need that much testosterone, that’s the amount of testosterone needed to maintain semen and testicles, all those things, and I don’t have that system, so why would I be given that amount, to match those levels?”
“The standardization of this prescription, prescribed transition, I think that if the doctors were going to go by ‘Do no harm,’ if they were going to go by that and work by that, there would be no justification to prescribing hormones and surgery to this idea of gender dysphoria, which is very much … a consciousness issue. It’s a spiritual issue, your soul is in the wrong body,” Estella said.
Garfield-Jaeger explained that health professionals and educators engage in an “emotionally abusive relationship” with vulnerable young people by engaging in an experimental treatment of promoting and “affirming” transgenderism as a solution to any number of maladaptive feelings and behaviors.
She said the “transition” process has an initial, temporary period of “euphoria,” creating positive reinforcement, despite professionals acting out “a rescue fantasy” of administering treatment that has not been demonstrated to be helpful or effective.
“I don’t understand it, in terms of from the professional side, how they can believe in this,” Garfield-Jaeger told Breitbart. “I understand how a person can be tricked to believe in it if they’re told, ‘All of your pain and suffering will go away if you take this, almost, magic pill,’ which is become transgender, and then you get all this positive reinforcement.”
“There is a sort of honeymoon phase where you do end up having this… they call it euphoria, what they feel is euphoria. Sometimes it’s even physical, because the hormones actually will, especially with testosterone, will give you a high, so it’s almost like taking a drug that gives you a high at the beginning for quite a while for them,” she explained.
“And then you also get, like, love-bombed by this community,” Garfield-Jaeger went on. “If you’re on a social media, you often get a whole bunch of new likes and followers and a whole bunch of, like, social status from becoming transgender. So now if you’re someone who felt very invisible in your life, you maybe were autistic, or were struggling socially in some way, or feeling alone, or feeling emotionally neglected, maybe your family was going through something, maybe your parents are going through a divorce, or for whatever reason, people weren’t there for you, even if they were there for you, you didn’t feel they were there for you, and now you’ve got these people who are saying that you’re the greatest thing on earth because you’re transgender, you almost get worshipped.”
She said that “naive” mental health providers, though, are acting out of codependence, as they do not “affirm” any number of other maladaptive behaviors, such as drug addiction or eating disorders.
“What I don’t understand … is how professionals are able to believe that this is the right thing to do,” she said. “I understand there are people who are silenced. I understand there are people who are fearful, and there are people that are maybe avoiding the topic so that they can continue to have some kind of livelihood, but I’m still having trouble understanding the people who truly are believers in this, who aren’t evil; I believe that [there] are just naive people who think they’re doing the right thing because this is about acceptance and love, and I think they’re riding out some kind of rescue fantasy … I think it’s giving helpers this feeling that they’re helping and they have this desire to help, and there’s almost a codependence happening.”
“It’s almost like an emotionally abusive relationship, like ‘Mommy Dearest’,” she said. “If you look at other disorders — of course now they don’t want to call it a disorder, they compare it more to an immutable characteristic, but we know that’s not the case because people are choosing to do it — if you look at other mental health issues, like an eating disorder, or drug addiction, you don’t have institutions being, like, ‘Well you need to affirm their addiction,’ ‘We need to affirm their eating disorder.’”
“This is very much like, I would say, negligence. Just people who maybe are well meaning and doing things that are irresponsible, just because they thought, ‘Oh, well, this is the expected thing, the cool thing,” Estella told Breitbart News of those who treated her in her “transition.”
“I can look at myself objectively and see that I was … an 18-year-old … a young adult, who was already going through way too much, like, had too much on her shoulders. So I’ll forgive myself for making big girl decisions when I did not, you know, have the capacity to deal with the big girl consequences,” Estella said, reflecting on her experience.
“I have so much love for the people who are still in this sect, because I can see them, I do see them, and I see the pain, and I remember.”
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Matt Perdie / Breitbart News
Emma-Jo Morris is the Politics Editor at Breitbart News. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.
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