Lost in Trans Nation: A Child Psychiatrist’s Guide out of the Madness by Dr. Miriam Grossman, is the single best resource on trans that I’ve come across. That’s saying a lot, because there are many excellent resources. There are documentaries, podcasts and detransitioner and desister testimonies. You should check them all out. But if you have limited time, or if a friend will read only one book, or even if you’ve been researching the topic for years, buy Lost in Trans Nation. Read it, give it to friends, and stock libraries with it. Dr. Grossman is a compassionate professional who has counseled gender distressed persons. She’s in the trenches, on the front lines. She is not anti-trans. She is anti-trans-extremism, a new movement driven by a destructive political agenda, a movement that has done harm to many people, both those who identify as trans and those who do not. We know of the harm because the victims of trans extremism have spoken out in mainstream and social media. Dr. Grossman offers the solutions we need.
It is easy to lose faith. Where are the good people? Dr. Miriam Grossman is a light in the darkness. She recognizes the difference between good and evil. She feels a responsibility to do good and to fight evil. She cares deeply about her fellow human beings. No, I’ve never met Grossman, but all of these qualities shine like a light house beacon in the pages of her book. She’s not a snide cynic, tossing out snarky commentary. She’s not a remote intellectual surgeon coolly dissecting pop culture. She’s not a partisan digging up dirt from only one side of the political divide in order to claim turf in a tug-of-war. Dr. Grossman has been publishing humanitarian work at least since her 2007 book, Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student. She has the heart of a mother and the mind of a physician and she is giving her all to resisting the destruction of human bodies, souls, and the wider society. She isn’t just condemning the bad. She is uplifting the good. She nurtures human thriving.
Trans extremists go after their opponents with venom. Good teachers lose jobs. Detransitioners receive death threats. The state has separated parents from children and jailed those who refuse to knuckle under. It takes courage to resist. Trans extremists have persecuted Grossman for her courage. One trans extremist website identifies her as a “fascist.” Her work life and personal relationships have suffered.
Grossman identifies history and faith as the fuel for her endurance and courage. “My parents were Holocaust survivors,” she says. “All of my grandparents, and a good bit of both sides of the family, were exterminated … I understand tyranny. I understand lies. I understand when dangerous people stand up and say falsehoods. They are followed out of fear and intimidation … I’m a person of deep faith. I believe that there are eternal truths. I believe that part of why I am here in the world is to stand up in my small way when I can. To stand up for truth and to protect, especially, young people and their families from this terrible darkness of lies.”
Lost in Trans Nation is 317 pages long, inclusive of endnotes and seven appendices. It was published by Skyhorse on July 18, 2023.
In Grossman’s dedication, she salutes the many parents around the world who have called on her. There’s a name I recognize – Erin Friday, a mother who has become a public activist. Many of the names are simply “Anonymous,” or “Necesito un completo anonimato.” Other names are more descriptive. “Madre luchadora de Espana” – a fighting mother from Spain. “Trans teen Sorge berechtigt,” a German group. There are parents in Ecuador, Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, South Africa and “rural, red state America.” There are pseudonyms like “Lesbian Mom” and “Broken Father.” There are parents who call themselves, simply, “Angry, ” “Devastated,” “Living on in spite of loss,” “Unresolved Grief in Vancouver,” “Fighting for My Kid,” “Horrified Left-Wing Berkeley Liberal,” and “Hurting Mom in the Carolinas.” All of them, in all their pain, share a quality with “Massachusetts mom living in reality.” “I spoke with you from your cars, basements, and bathrooms. You huddled and whispered … as if seeking my help was criminal … You are not criminals. You are heroes,” Grossman writes of these parents, to whom she has dedicated her book.
In his foreword, Dr. Jordan Peterson points out that trans is clearly identifiable as a fad, comparable to preceding fads, or “transmissible psychological diseases,” like outbreaks of alleged multiple personality disorder, hysteria, self-mutilation, and anorexia. The typical victim is a young female with an underlying neurosis that seeks a socially acceptable form of expression. These forms of expression vary with the times. Someday, Peterson says, the current trans fad will be viewed as we now view lobotomies.
Grossman opens with “A Note on Language.” “We face a crusade, a juggernaut, that seeks to demolish male and female, and its success hinges on the control of language. Under those circumstances, to call a man ‘she’ is not a kindness. It’s a concession to a scheme to control our beliefs and advance an agenda, one pronoun at a time.” Grossman rejects not just trans extremist pronoun demands but other trans extremist Newspeak. “Sex is not assigned at birth; it’s established at conception. Brains always match the bodies to which they are attached; we are not Legos or Mr. Potato Heads that might be improperly assembled. Sex is binary. Sex is permanent. Males cannot become females” or vice versa. Grossman acknowledges that some people suffer from torturous gender dysphoria, and that those people, in adulthood, might benefit from surgery and drugs, but it is impossible to know in advance which patients would benefit and which would suffer.
Scott Newgent was a woman who attempted to transition to being a man. Newgent said that the process was a like an extended session of opening wrapped presents. First the drugs, then the surgery, then more surgery. It was all so exciting. But after all the wrapping had been torn away, and she had no more “gifts” to anticipate, she realized that nothing worked. She was hoping for the impossible. The wrapped presents were empty promises. Instead of relief and instead of inhabiting a male body, Newgent lives with life-threatening, iatrogenic health issues, physical pain, and deep regret.
“From conception,” Grossman reports, “there is a wide-reaching, permanent impact of biology on every system of the body. Each of our seventy trillion cells with a nucleus is stamped ‘XX’ or ‘XY’ and hard science demonstrates the enduring influence of that biological reality on the brain and every other organ system.” In contrast to biological fact, trans extremism offers “Articles of Faith.” Grossman, in listing these ten articles of faith, characterizes trans extremism as an intolerant cult, akin to a religion. Trans extremism is not a scientific enterprise whose north star is truth.
Grossman details the godawful career and impact of John Money. Money was a New-Zealand-born, American psychologist and Johns Hopkins professor. There he established the first US clinic that performed so-called “sex change” surgeries. Money coined the term “gender identity” to describe “socially constructed” masculinity and femininity. He believed that masculinity and femininity were imposed by society. John Money spoke in favor of pedophilia, incest, and exposing children to hardcore pornography.
Janet and Ron Reimer, two naive Canadian parents, brought their twin sons to John Money after seeing Money on TV. The penis of one of the twins was damaged by a doctor. Money’s idea that a child could be successfully raised as either male or female seemed to offer the Reimers hope. Instead Money sexually and psychologically abused the twins. Both ultimately died in their thirties, one from a drug overdose, one from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Mother Janet had to be hospitalized for depression. Father Ron became an alcoholic.
Money did not acknowledge that he had harmed the twins, and that the boy with the medically damaged penis was never comfortable being raised as a girl. In fact once he was told the truth, he struggled as hard as he could to adopt the manhood that had been denied him by an evil quack. None of these facts had any impact on Money. He told the world that the boy being raised as a girl was completely happy and feminine. “Money never came clean,” Grossman writes. “He went to the grave knowing he destroyed a family and duped the world.” Natalie Angier of the New York Times sums Money up perfectly. “Money emerges as almost too evil to be believed. In addition to the ordinary scientific sins of arrogance, opportunism and bombast, he apparently added sadism and perversion.”
Money’s murderous career presaged an abandonment of biology among medical professionals. Biology is what our politics say biology is, they began to insist. This pathological path is recorded in revision in standards of care and definitions of terms. Grossman informs her readers that, “Until the 2000s,” medical professionals agreed that there are two sexes and persistent distress over one’s sex was best treated with counseling. Persons with gender dysphoria intense enough to require professional treatment were rare. People were not rushing to psychologists and surgeons insisting that they were the opposite sex trapped in the wrong body. Patients were not hesitant to report other complaints, so this lack of self-identified trans people was not from inhibition or fear of condemnation or ostracism. Patients have been willing to confess to everything from kleptomania to coprophagy. There were certainly millions of gay men and lesbians. It’s not evidence of “intolerance” that there were magnitudes fewer self-identified trans people in the past. Today’s astronomical numbers are, as Dr. Lisa Littman and Peterson report, the result of a social contagion sparked by politically motivated activists empowered by a criminal scientist, John Money.
The initialism “WPATH ” looks very much like the word “warpath,” but it stands for the ironically titled “World Professional Association for Transgender Health.” In 2012, WPATH insisted that attempts to align one’s sense of one’s own gender with biological reality were “unethical” and comparable to “conversion therapy.” “My profession caved to ideology,” Grossman reports to readers who are way ahead of her on this conclusion.
Grossman’s statement, that her professional field abandoned its Hippocratic oath, may seem extreme. Nurses, doctors, and pharmacists are among the most trusted professions. But as these words are written, people in the UK are reeling from the case of Lucy Letby, an attractive, 33-year-old nurse who was convicted in August, 2023, of murdering seven newborn babies and attempting to murder seven more. Dr. Minh Alexander alleges, in a Guardian column, that Letby’s baby-murder spree could have stopped earlier, but it was not. Alexander makes a good case that the lives of babies could have been saved, given available evidence early on. No one took effective action, and the murders continued. Charles Edmund Cullen, a New Jersey nurse, murdered dozens, perhaps hundreds of patients, over the course of sixteen years, in a series of New Jersey medical centers, ending in 2003. People who had the power to stop Cullen failed to do so. People died because of these failures.
The careers of John Money, Lucy Letby, and Charles Edmund Cullen are just a few examples of medical professionals, and their peers who silently and passively witnessed their crimes, who failed to live up to the Hippocratic oath. That being the case, why believe any health care professional? There is this little artifact of Western Civilization called the scientific method. Grossman adduces massive amounts of research. This research does not support trans extremism. Grossman also shows how trans extremists have distorted research, and how mainstream media gobbles up and regurgitates distorted messages.
Dr. Stephen Levine is a psychiatrist whose fifty-year career has focused on sex. Grossman quotes him. “Diagnosis in psychiatry is supposed to be based on studies, not politics or well-intentioned concepts of how to make the world a better place.” Dr. Levine insists that advocates and activists have different agendas and practices than scientists. WPATH has become an activist, advocacy organization. As such, its recommendations do not meet the criteria demanded by the scientific method. “WPATH does not welcome skepticism and therefore deviates from the core of philosophical medical science.” Levine described a WPATH conference where trans-identified men booed research that they did not like. Boos may change what ideologues say and do, but boos do not change facts.
Objective criteria differentiate between poorer studies and better studies. These criteria include sample size, control groups, unbiased researchers, transparency, randomization, replicability, and long-term follow-up. Grossman repeatedly exposes how research can be manipulated to meet ideological demands. For example, the transing of children is a new phenomenon. Extremists claim that such procedures have a low regret rate. On the Media, a taxpayer-funded, National Public Radio production, has repeatedly given one percent, or less than one percent, as the trans regret rate (see here.)
The trans extremist claim of a one percent or less regret rate is clearly false. In one study, patients who have undergone simple cosmetic surgery express a regret rate of 65%. One has to assume that patients who have become incontinent, or who have lost the ability to orgasm, will feel greater regret than those undergoing rhinoplasty. Since transing children is new, and since those experiencing regret may take years to express that regret, we can’t yet know what percent of current transitioners will experience regret. Further, many health care professionals in this field simply refuse to interact with patients who express regret, on the grounds that if they express regret they are no longer classified as trans and therefore no longer part of the focus of research.
The scientific method demands accurate statistics and scrupulous record-keeping to create and maintain those statistical records. Trans extremists reject accurate record-keeping. Whistleblower Jamie Reed attempted to track how many of her clinic’s patients detransitioned or attempted suicide. Her superiors “actively avoided” such record-keeping and discouraged her from her efforts. BBC journalist Hannah Barnes exposed shambolic record-keeping at the Tavistock gender clinic. Dr. Az Hakeem, a psychotherapist who works with gender dysphoric patients, says that “The public are often told that relative regret is extremely low. This is, of course, a complete fiction. There are no follow-up studies, no one knows what the regret rate actually is … The patients I saw did not officially exist … Many of them were too embarrassed to admit that they regretted their decision.”
Another example of an abandonment of science is how WPATH handles transparency. Science requires transparency, the free flow of thought and research results. Dr. Erica Anderson is a man who identifies as a woman; that is, he identifies as a trans person. He has a lengthy professional career addressing trans issues. On November 24, 2021, he published an op ed in the Washington Post entitled, “The Mental Health Establishment Is Failing Trans Kids.” Anderson said that young people may have suffered a traumatic event previous to their announcement of trans identity. These young people should receive talk therapy that focuses on that trauma. For example, a girl may have been sexually assaulted, or bullied in school, before announcing that she is trans. Instead of offering talk therapy to address her trauma, trans extremists insist on immediate and unquestioned “gender affirmation care.” In this approach, as soon as a young person declares herself trans, any disagreement is classified as abuse, and therapists and parents who attempt to address underlying issues are classified as abusers. This classification of any questioning of trans identity as a form of abuse has legal ramifications. Parents have been separated from their children, with dire results. At least one parent has been jailed. After Erica Anderson published this op-ed, his colleagues placed a gag on him, forbidding him or any other professional from talking to the press. Anderson quit his leadership position at WPATH. Dr. Stephen Levine says that “Nowhere in medicine has free speech been as limited as it has been in the trans arena.”
At the same time that ideologues were taking over professional medical societies and non-governmental organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, that barely mentioned trans before 2015 but that in recent years is obsessed with trans, hard scientists were making new discoveries in human biology. They discovered what most already knew: sex is “inborn, unchanging, binary.” How do we know? We know thanks to the scientific method, which demands that, as Grossman notes, “experiments have controlled variables, objective measurements, critical analysis, and verification.” New research overturned the “bikini model” in which it was assumed that significant differences between male and female were limited to the geography covered by a bikini. “Distinctions are found in each organ system, are determined in the earliest stages of development, and have lifelong impact.”
Grossman, disguising details to protect anonymity, presents case studies of gender dysphoric patients and their families. These stories are heartbreaking. A boy dumped Rosa, and COVID lockdowns isolated her. Rosa turned to the computer and was groomed by trans extremists, a common fate and precursor to youth adopting a trans identity. Her mother naively brought Rosa to a gender clinic where staff worked hard to cement Rosa’s trans identification and to outlaw any questioning of it. Staff didn’t want to know about Rosa’s having been rejected by a boy or the impact of the nationwide lockdown and internet grooming. Online groomers, as Grossman describes, perform a prepared ritual to induct new cult members. They instruct their recruits to say that they will commit suicide if they don’t get immediate gender transition, and to fashion their bios to match whatever criteria the DSM lists.
Grossman quotes detransitioner Helena Kerschner stating publicly what many of us have been saying privately since the emergence of trans extremism. Young people resort to trans extremism as a way of escaping self-hate inculcated in them by Woke education and media. Woke indoctrinates young people to believe that white skin is evil. Woke celebrates invented victims. In an era where to be “BIPOC” is to be superior, what can economically comfortable white kids do to gain status? They can claim to be trans, and to be a victim of “Trans Jim Crow” and “Trans genocide.” To declare oneself to be trans is to escape Woke demonization of white, middle class, heterosexual Westerners.
To the Woke, Kerschner writes, the “cishet white girl” is “the most privileged and therefore the most inherently bad.” She is “guilty and responsible for all the horrors and atrocities of the world.” The Woke preach that “LGBT people and POC can’t even walk out of their houses without being murdered by cishet white people! … It’s as easy as putting ‘she/they’ in your bio. Instantly you are transformed from an oppressing, entitled, evil, bigoted, selfish, disgusting cishet white scum into a valid trans person who deserves celebration.” Grossman sums up Kerschner’s point, “Transgenderism offers a way for adolescents to be absolved of privilege and join the ranks of the oppressed.”
Grossman writes that once a child declares himself to be transgender, he can conclude that “I’m listened to. I’m special. I’m getting so much attention at home and school. Adults are making big changes for me.” The child “has never felt so empowered. You’ve turbocharged his self-esteem.”
“Gender affirming care” is a euphemism for the rapid prescription of life-altering pharmaceuticals and surgeries. Anyone, including a parent, who resists its dictates risks being accused of child abuse, being fired from a teaching or health care job, or, if a parent, being cut out of a child’s life forever. Trans extremists insist that gender affirming care is the “gold standard” to which all health care professionals agree. Grossman exposes this lie. Institutions were captured by extremists and standards of care were drawn up by tiny groups of activists who do not represent organizational membership.
Other countries that adopted gender affirmation before the US, have since abandoned the practice. Sweden was the first country to legalize gender change. A 2021 Swedish documentary, Transbarnen, covered Leo, who began identifying as a boy when she was ten. Doctors gave her puberty blockers when she was 11. By age 15, Leo had chronic pain, osteoporosis, spinal fractures, and vertebral damage. Investigators discovered other children damaged by trans extremist “care” at the Karolinska University Hospital. Newsweek ranks Karolinska as the eighth best hospital in the entire world and the third best hospital in Europe. Sweden, as well as Norway, Finland, and the UK, are now putting the brakes on gender affirming care.
Puberty blockers put skeletal structures at risk and increase the risk of depression that may also increase suicidality. But there’s another feature of puberty blockers that renders their administration absolutely sinister. Puberty is often a cure for gender dysphoria. Going through puberty causes most young children with gender dysphoria to desist, and to come to terms with their bodies. “The most recent study in this group [of studies], published in 2013, confirms that gender dysphoria does not persist in most children past puberty,” reports Transgender Trend, a UK group of parents and professionals. In 2016, Dr. James Cantor wrote that “all the studies have come to a remarkably similar conclusion: Only very few trans- kids still want to transition by the time they are adults. Instead, they generally turn out to be regular gay or lesbian folks.” Puberty blockers rob children of the opportunity to grow out of their gender dysphoria and to come to peace with the only bodies they will ever have.
Grossman reminds her readers that puberty is not just about “bikini” features. It’s not just about deeper voices and shaving. Puberty is a period of explosive growth, not all of which is understood. Puberty pushes the brain to develop; this process is not complete till the mid-twenties. Dr. Michelle Forcier is an MD, an abortionist, and a trans extremist. In the documentary What Is a Woman, Dr. Forcier claims that “Puberty blockers are completely reversible and don’t have permanent effects. You can put a pause on puberty, just like you were listening to music. You put the pause on, you can stop the blockers and puberty will continue at the same note in the song.” Grossman proves Forcier wrong. “How does ‘pausing’ puberty with blockers affect the development of your child’s pre-frontal cortex, amygdala, or, for that matter, any other part of her brain? We have no idea,” Grossman warns. A study on animals suggests that puberty blockers may pose permanent impairment to brain development (see here). Grossman quotes whistleblower Jamie Reed. Reed reported that the doctors with whom she worked at a gender clinic outright lied to patients. They “tell parents of patients that puberty blockers are fully reversible. They really are not. They do lasting damage to the body.”
Young people begun on puberty blockers generally do not merely put a “pause” on puberty. Rather, the vast majority move on to taking hormones of the sex opposite to their own. Studies suggest that 98% of children given puberty blockers eventually are administered cross-sex hormones. Giving girls testosterone and giving boys estrogen has many negative effects, some of them fatal. One of Reed’s patients was prescribed testosterone. This caused vaginal atrophy, a predictable side effect. The patient attempted intercourse and ended up bleeding so heavily she soaked through a pad, her jeans, and a towel. Females taking testosterone are four times more likely to have heart attacks and strokes.
Males taking estrogen risk libido loss, deep vein blood clots, stroke, coronary artery disease, and cerebrovascular disease. And not just. Another risk is glioblastoma, aka “The Terminator” or “The Eraser.” Glioblastoma is a brain tumor that kills and kills rapidly. A March 24, 2023 paper reports that a man who identifies as a woman developed glioblastoma, and that hormones may have played a role. “In this case of a transgender female [a man who identifies as a woman] who has undergone HRT [hormone replacement therapy, that is, estrogen], there may be a potential risk of developing multiple glioblastomas due to the increased levels of hormones that can stimulate the growth of cancer cells.”
Grossman goes point by point through the Dutch Protocol, which has been used as support for gender affirming care. She exposes its flaws and the flaws in how it has been applied. The Dutch Protocol and those who use it do not follow the scientific method. She also debunks trans extremists’ insistence that children must be medically transed or they will kill themselves. Rather, the best available statistics indicate that “women living as men had increased mortality from many causes, especially suicide. They were forty times more likely to die from suicide than women in the general population, matched for age and other demographics.” Trans extremists twist research results, Grossman explains. “A study showing no long-term benefit from surgery was touted as providing evidence of long-term benefit from surgery.”
Grossman provides sample conversations parents can have to protect their children. One sample conversation models how to converse with professionals. Another models how to converse with a child who claims to be transgender. An appendix advises parents on how to deal with child protective services.
Grossman summarizes the story of Sage Lily Blair, a traumatized girl who was encouraged to identify as a boy. The nightmare that this girl, and her grandparents, endured, is difficult to believe. I won’t even attempt to summarize Sage’s horrific experience here. I will allow the reader to discover how badly transgender ideology can damage a child by reading about Sage in Grossman’s book. Grossman also summarizes the very grim fate of Yaeli Galdamez, another girl encouraged to believe that she was a boy. Grossman also writes with deep compassion of the all-too-often unmentioned victims of trans extremism: the parents.
Much of Grossman’s book is difficult to read. At times I had to put the book down and wipe away tears, or simply stare into space. One of the most poignant, and heartbreaking passages describes the miracle of breast-feeding. Many detransitioners specifically cite regretting mastectomies. Trans extremists obscenely dismiss mastectomies as “top surgery.” This language is one of the most misogynist euphemisms ever deployed to denigrate women and girls.
Grossman describes a neonate placed on his mother’s belly. He instinctively crawls toward her breasts. He is guided by a sense of smell. Her breasts automatically produce a scent similar to that of the amniotic fluid in which he had been suspended previous to birth. The scent is so essential that a few drops of breast milk on a piece of cloth and placed near his head when he is put to bed will reduce the time he spends crying. Breast feeding releases oxytocin in the mother, and this helps her to feel good. Grossman continues for a couple of pages detailing how essential breast feeding is for mother and child. Those cranking out “top surgeries” do not provide these details to the victims of their misogynist butchery.
Danusha Goska is the author of God Through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery