Over the last few years, an entire industry aimed at providing transgender accessories to children has sprung up to meet — and drive — the demand for gender-bending supplies.
Children hooked on the idea of changing genders through peer contagion or Internet trans celebrities can order “breast-binders,” which flatten the chest, or “packers,” which girls use to “present” as having a penis, online without their parents’ knowledge. Internet influencers coach kids on how to lie to their parents or get doctors to prescribe them hormones; one new app could connect gender-confused kids to hormone treatment for less than $100 a month.
It may be accurate to say that this pandemic of gender confusion could not have happened without the Internet. Now, a Daily Mail report indicates that children are crowdfunding their sex-change surgeries online. Thirteen-year-old Emily Waldron of the U.K., who appeared on the BBC to talk about being transgender, is currently crowdfunding his sex change. He has been on puberty blockers to “stop her biological male body slipping into puberty,” as the Mail put it since he was 12. His parents purchase his puberty blockers privately, and they’ve raised £14,000 on GoFundMe for this purpose.
According to Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of Transgender Trend, children are “side-stepping the National Health Service,” which has warned of some of the long-term dangers of these treatments. But many private clinics at home and abroad are willing to do what the NHS will not, and children convinced they are trans are obsessed with transitioning. According to the Mail:
Crowdfunders are paying for puberty-blockers taken by children, as well as for operations by private surgeons who remove teenagers’ breasts or construct them, remodel their genitalia to simulate a penis or vagina, and remove internal female or male anatomy — including the womb — to match their preferred sex.
Hundreds of children and teens have apparently already done this. Nineteen-year-old Bella Fitzpatrcik from Cumbria took only weeks to raise £20,000 for sex-change surgery at a private clinic. A young woman named Ash put out a GoFundMe to have her breasts removed: “I am here to raise money so that I can get a bilateral mastectomy. My chest dysphoria gets harder to deal with every day…Although I am lucky enough to live in a country with free healthcare, it is a painfully long wait to transition on the NHS. Some people are waiting years. So I am going private!”
Nineteen-year-old Jo is trying the same thing, launching crowdfunding to get her hands on testosterone and begin the attempted “transition” to male. Eighteen-year-old Phoenix Howard from Grimsby is trying to crowdfund £8,000 to get her breasts cut off by a private surgeon in London. “Type the phrase ‘crowdfund trans-surgery’ into the internet and hundreds of messages, videos and posts from British teenagers and twenty-somethings appear, all asking for money to fund treatment,” the Mail noted.
Many children and teens are going to private clinics to procure their desired treatments. GenderGP is one of them — although funder Helen Webberley has been accused of “failing to provide good care to three children” who were attempting to transition (ages 11, 12, and 17). She is currently facing a hearing over this, although she denies all charges. She has been banned from practicing medicine in the U.K., is not a doctor, and has been forced to pay £12,000 once already after a judge ruled that her decision to give hormones to 12-year-olds risked patient safety. She moved her clinic from Wales to Spain to avoid NHS safeguards.
Thus, children crowdfunding the cash to get their breasts or genitals removed or the drugs to stop puberty can find someone to comply with their wishes even if government standards forbid it — for the right price.