A pediatric endocrinologist warned state legislators about a dangerous bill under consideration to fund transgender drugs and surgeries for minors as well as adults. He warned that the emotionally troubled children lured into these “carousel” like treatments, would return to legally hold responsible those who built and ran the ride once they realize they were placed in a “circular hell.” Legislators in the Assembly Health Committee rejected his advice and overwhelmingly approved the $15 million expenditure, AB 2218, anyway and without any legislative debate.
Dr. Quentin Van Meter is a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist and an adjunct professor of pediatrics at both Emory University and Morehouse College with 44 years of experience. In his testimony before the committee, he explained how “one’s sex is concrete and immutable” and “can never be changed.” He pointed to studies showing children who are treated with cross-sex hormones for their gender confusion have “significant mental health issues,” that remain even after hormone therapy.
And to further illustrate his point, Van Meter used an analogy of a carousel to explain how treatments that affirm transgender feelings are luring vulnerable and emotionally troubled children into treatment that turns into a nightmare.
“Think of a carousel in a park, beckoning to a troubled child with promises of rides on ponies and dolphins with cotton candy offered at every turn,” Van Meter explained. “Ask the child if they want to get on, and they will say yes. Ask them after one ride if they want to get off and return to a painful place, and they will say no. Ask them if they are happy on the ride, and they will say yes. Follow them on this carousel ride for 10 years, and there will be a change in their answer as the luster has worn off and they are seeking real answers as to why they were troubled in the first place. Medical literature and the testimonies of trans-adults who have returned to a congruence of gender and sex show that this carousel is, in the end, a circular hell.”
Van Meter concluded this testimony with a warning. “Those who were led to believe that affirmation is the answer to their prayers will come back through legal means and hold accountable those who built the carousel, who ran the carousel and saw fit to polish the brass poles and serve cotton candy in order to keep people on board,” he said. (Read Dr. Van Meters AB 2218 opposition letter)
After Van Meter finished and others voiced their support and opposition, the committee chair opened the hearing up for questions. Instead of debating the evidence presented and discussing the supposed merits of the bill, legislators sat in silence. None of the Democrats wanted to defend the bill, but neither did the Republicans question the harm the bill could cause. After the author Assemblyman Miguel Santiago gave his concluding remarks, all 11 Democrats and one Independent (former Republican Chad Mayes) voted yes, one Republican (Heath Flora) voted no, while Republican Minority Leader Maria Waldron and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow didn’t vote at all.
The bill will now be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The hearing date has not been set.
Watch the Assembly Health Committee hearing here. Dr. Van Meter’s comments begin at the 15:15 minute mark.