ORLANDO, FLORIDA — A joint legislative committee voted to approve a new rule that would protect minors from harmful procedures designed to “transition” boys and girls into the opposite gender. The Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine committee reached the decision after a five-hour meeting on Friday.
During the meeting, the committee heard from subject matter experts and members of the public, including some who underwent hormone therapy and breast removal surgery as teens. The meeting concluded before final details were ironed out, such as when the rule will go into effect and possible exceptions.
Surgeries and drugs designed to “transition” gender-dysphoric teens have serious long-term consequences. Examples of these include hormone or puberty blocking drugs and surgical procedures like those that remove the uterus, penis or breasts.
“I believe that based upon the testimony that we’ve heard this morning and the materials in the portal, that the risk of puberty suppressing therapies, cross-hormonal therapy and surgery, those risks outweigh the possible benefits and that there is a lack of consistent, reliable, scientific peer reviewed evidence concerning the efficacy and safety of such treatment,” Board Member Nicholas Romanello, who proposed the rule change, said.
The meeting was held in response to the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) petition in July requesting the Board begin the rule-making process to ban “gender-affirming care” given to teens confused about their identity. In August, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) created a new rule that restricted Medicaid from covering the aforementioned treatments.
DETRANSITIONERS SPEAK UP
The committee heard from several “detransitioners” – men and women attempting to stop or reverse the effects of surgical or pharmaceutical transitioning. One 23-year-old female detransitioner testified about the harmful effects she’s experienced from taking synthetic testosterone.
“Three years later, my menstrual cycle has still been irregular, I still have to shave my face daily, and I still struggle with hormonal acne,” she said. “I'm truly grateful I never got surgery, because now I'm happily married and eight weeks pregnant.”
Chloe Cole, an outspoken 18-year-old detransitioner from California, also testified at the meeting. Cole previously shared her story with the Florida DOH and applauded Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo for his efforts to protect children from the harm caused by unnecessary drugs or surgical procedures.
"Over 2 years post-op… my nipples leak fluid and they stain my clothes. I have no breasts,” Cole shared on Friday morning. “I want to be a mother some day and yet I can never naturally feed my future children. My breasts were beautiful and now they have been incinerated for nothing."
OUTRAGE FROM TRANS ACTIVISTS
After the committee announced that the public comments portion of the meeting would end before everyone who signed up to speak was given a chance to do so, LGBTQ activists began screaming in anger. “Their blood is on your hands,” they chanted at one point.
"Don't shout, you're not going to win," one board member responded.
Online, LGBTQ activists immediately erupted in a flurry of social media posts. Some called it a “dark day for trans youth.” One user called for violence against the board members, tweeting “So, who wants to help me mail pipe bombs to the Florida Board of Medicine’s Legislative Committee?”