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"They're Wanting to Play God"
A new whistleblower describes the horrors of “gender-affirming care” at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Last week, I worked with a whistleblower to expose the child sex-change program at Texas Children’s Hospital. Executives had promised to stop such procedures, but, as the medical records demonstrate, this was not done—doctors secretly continued to provide puberty blockers and other hormones to children between the ages of 11 and 17.
Within days of the story’s publication, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched an official investigation, saying that “children are not to be treated as science experiments.” And state legislators secured the votes to pass a bipartisan bill, SB 14, that would outlaw all so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors.
Now, a new whistleblower has come forward with allegations against Dr. Richard Ogden Roberts, one of the leaders of TCH’s child sex-change program. The whistleblower is a medical professional who has spent a significant amount of time observing Roberts working with gender-dysphoric patients and their families.
“I’m absolutely sick to my stomach,” this person says, expressing heartbreak at the number of children who have been led down the path of sterilization and regret. “We’re ruining them.”
This transcript has been edited for length and clarity. TCH and Dr. Roberts did not return request for comment.
Christopher Rufo: Start from the beginning and tell me what you’ve seen.
Whistleblower: I work very closely with this provider, Dr. Richard Roberts. I’ve been in the room with him when he speaks with these patients. I’ve just wanted to see for myself how he speaks to them and how these transgender patients, what they look like with their history, what other underlying medical conditions they have. And it is absolutely astonishing: so many of the charts that I have just perused and read through as I’m doing my work, they have serious mental health issues. They’re autistic. They have previous suicide attempts. They’re depressed. They’re on anxiety medications. They have a disability of some kind. It’s just absolutely wild.
Christopher Rufo: Tell me more about Dr. Roberts, his demeanor and his approach inside the clinic room. Is he addressing those underlying problems or is he just saying “gender-affirming care is the answer to all your problems”?
Whistleblower: He is concerned about his lane, so he is staying in his lane in terms of prescribing estrogen or testosterone. If there’s a patient who comes in who wants an increase in testosterone, for example, he’ll totally do it. He’ll up the dose. I have personally seen letters and referrals that he has made for double mastectomies. He’s written letters to other states referring these kids to get surgery saying that he’s 100 percent on board, because they qualify under the gender-dysphoria criteria and the diagnoses from WPATH [the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the professional society that sets standards for transgender medicine]. It’s just really sad. They’re looking for affirmation. They’re seeking the validation and approval of the adults that are in their lives. They’re insecure. This is just from my interactions with these patients.
Christopher Rufo: How does the hospital approach these “transgender” minors?
Whistleblower: In our hospitals, they have completely gone full-blown woke and changed people’s sex to whatever they identify as instead of their biological sex. And that’s across the board. They’ve changed the names of the kid to what the kid wants to be referred to as, so you have to dig a little bit to discover, “Oh, this is actually a female who is actually named whatever and not Anthony.”
There is one particular story I want to share. There was a ten-year-old girl—I went into the room with the adolescent gynecology provider—and she was transgender. She wanted to be referred to as her preferred name. We’ll say that her preferred name was “John.” She wanted to be referred to as John. She was with her mom. They were of Hispanic origin. And they were there essentially for period-related issues.
The conversation gets going, and the provider refers to her as him. She says, “John, what is going on? What can I do for you today?” And then the mom replies and accidentally refers to the daughter as a “her.” She says “Well, she is having these kind of issues and this kind of pain.” And then the girl turns around, looks at the mom, and she goes, “I’m a ‘he,’ mom. I’m a ‘he.’”
And I’m watching this exchange. And the girl is this beautiful girl, but she’s dressed like a boy, very masculine, baggy pants, oversized shirt. Then the doctor asks this girl, “How are your periods coming along? Would you like for your periods to go away? Do you feel uncomfortable?” And the girl looks at the doctor and says, “Yeah, can we do that? Yes, I would love that.” And then the provider tells the girl, “It’s totally fine. You don’t have to have a period at all if you don’t want to.” And of course, this is all because she’s trying to transition to be a boy, and she doesn’t want a period.
And the mom had this puzzled look. The mom had some real concerns, and this provider totally shut her down.
Christopher Rufo: How do these children react after being placed on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones?
Whistleblower: All the interactions I’ve had is that these kids, at first, seem very happy with what’s going on. They’re noticing all these changes in their body. For the girls, they’re getting a lot more hair in different parts of their body. Their voices are changing, getting deeper. They don’t sweat as much. They don’t have much acne. And they seem very satisfied with that and with those changes. Dr. Roberts is extremely encouraging of their transition and will essentially do whatever he can to make sure that they are happy, at least externally happy, because I’m absolutely certain that they’re not internally happy. He’s very accommodating. He does whatever they want. Essentially, there’s no critical analysis of the process.
Christopher Rufo: How fast is the decision made to prescribe puberty blockers to these children? Is it same-day?
Whistleblower: Yes, if they fit the WPATH criteria for gender dysphoria, which is widely available online. And these kids get coached on exactly what to say through Reddit and all these sites. They know exactly the verbiage to use. They just have to establish care with Dr. Roberts, he has a conversation with them, and he essentially starts them on puberty blockers, almost immediately.
Christopher Rufo: Do parents push back against this?
Whistleblower: Usually what happens is, at first, maybe one parent or two, they’ll be confused. They’ll be wondering why. But then when they come to the appointment, and they’re with Dr. Roberts, from what I can tell, what they show is that they’re supportive. I think they’re just scared.
Christopher Rufo: They’re scared of what?
Whistleblower: They’re scared of being reported to Child Protective Services. They’re scared that if they don’t affirm their child, that their kid is going to commit suicide and do self-harm—which is a lie. And they’re intimidated by these doctors that are on the side of their kid and have a lot of power. They could report them and then their child could be taken away from them.
Christopher Rufo: How do you feel observing this?
Whistleblower: I’m absolutely sick to my stomach. Absolutely just devastated. Literally, sometimes I have to go outside and cry, because, I don’t mean to be dramatic, but I truly feel like there is a demonic presence at my workplace. And I’m so 100 percent against this whole ideology and this movement of children just feeling like they were born in the wrong body and then being “affirmed” by adults who want to take advantage of them and make a buck. Transgender medicine is hugely lucrative. It’s like $70,000 to $80,000 dollars per kid if they go through with the whole thing—all the pharmacology drugs, all these companies that are making millions of dollars.
Christopher Rufo: Do you have colleagues who feel the same way but are just scared to speak out?
Whistleblower: I know of two at least who feel this way, but they don’t share their opinions because we’re all afraid to lose our jobs.
Christopher Rufo: There is a culture of fear surrounding these procedures at Texas Children’s Hospital?
Whistleblower: A culture of fear—yes. I think it’s unspoken. It’s an undercurrent. It’s not something that any of us would want to question or find out by questioning. I worked really hard to get to where I am. I make amazing money, and I have a great job. It’s difficult; but I would be willing to lose my job because this does matter to me. I’ve come to the point where I am just saying, “Hey, this has to stop. And if I can help our attorney general or our governor to investigate my employer and provide them with documents or proof, sign me up.”
Christopher Rufo: What motivates your colleagues to do these procedures?
Whistleblower: They’re activists. These doctors are activists, and they live for the applause of the medical community that praises and glorifies this up-and-coming success that has absolutely exploded, this transgender wing of medicine that has exploded over the last ten years. And they’re regarded as up-and-coming and cutting edge. And everyone’s on their side: the media is on their side, big tech is on their side. And everyone is applauding these providers who do this. And I do think that they think that they’re changing the world by what they’re doing. For better or worse, I think they believe that they’re making their mark on history, and they’re wanting to play God.
Christopher Rufo: But ultimately you can’t play God.
Whistleblower: No. It won’t turn out well. There’s absolutely no proof that a transgender surgery will “cure” patients’ depression or whatever mental health issue they’re going through, which I believe is real. We have a generation of kids with mental health problems. It’s very sad. And we need to treat those problems correctly, not by recommending that they change genders to fix their mental health problem. That’s never worked. It never will work. There’s no proof that it will work anywhere in the literature. So yes, we’re ruining them. They’re going to wake up in ten years and discover that they’re infertile, that they can’t have children, that their sexuality is completely dysfunctional. That they can’t function as a normal human being. And ultimately, I believe that that realization is going to cause them to harm themselves—when they wake up and realize that they’ve already been ruined.
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Originally published in City Journal.