gender dysphoria transgender
Author of book The Detransition Diaries makes the case for those who feel wronged — and have returned to faith

As the Bible's decree, "God made them male and female," has become lost, even antagonistic, in a culture in which being transgender is celebrated today, the author of a new book believes the stories of young people who have detransitioned very much need to be told.

Jennifer Lahl is founder and former president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture, based in California. She revealed in an interview that she's fighting against, in her view, the lies perpetrated by segments of the medical profession and political support system that push puberty blockers as "gender-affirming" care.

Her battle takes the form of allowing the voiceless to speak about the true nature of their controversial decisions to have body-altering surgeries.

Lahl said, "These are young adults that have had some kind of trauma in their life, whether it's bullying, whether it's a broken home, whether it's sexually abusive experiences."

They can't understand the evil they experienced, she suggested — and are looking for ways to resolve it.

Lahl's new book, The Detransition Diaries, tells the saga of eight men and women who realized they made a mistake in believing they were born into the wrong body.

It is based on her documentary film, The Detransition Diaries: Saving Our Sisters.

Gender dysphoria, she said on a recent episode of Lighthouse Faith podcast, is a mental health problem — but in today's woke culture, it's become a motivation for many young people to agree to surgeries they later regret.

These are permanent surgical interventions, said Lahl.

And while these young people are celebrated for expressing their "true self" as transgender male or female, they are then often attacked, at worst, or just plain ignored when they feel they made the wrong decision and begin the arduous journey of detransitioning.

They find little support in either the medical community or in their own social sphere, she said.

A woman named Chloe is now suing her insurance company because she had a double mastectomy while a young teenager.

Her reconstructive breast surgery is not covered by her insurance.

And what medical professionals and her insurance provider never told her, she said, was that elective surgery to transition from female to male is far different from what happens to a woman with breast cancer.

Said Lahl, "When you have cancer and you have to have a mastectomy ... they remove as little as possible of the breast tissue and the lymphatic [system]. [Yet] in transition medicine, the mastectomy actually involves bone shaping ... They're trying to masculinize the chest and the milk glands are forever removed. So these women, even if they have reconstructive surgery, will never be able to breastfeed their children."

Helena was from a middle-class family, but as a child she lost a beloved caregiver. Unable to express or process her pain, she retreated inward.

As she got older, the pain got worse.

As Lahl writes in her book, "At school, no one reached out to her even though she was clearly in distress and struggling. But, she says, when she finally came out as trans, 'they all wanted to bend over backwards to help me be trans.'"

Parents have to be the "adults in the room" and fight for their children, said Lahl.

They also have to recognize that social media is a breeding ground for a lot of these ideas. Her advice is, "Shut it down!"

There's a difference, in Lahl's view, between why boys and girls suffer from gender dysphoria.

For boys, the messaging they receive from social media and the culture is about toxic masculinity — about "rape culture, the patriarchy, misogyny."

She said they're steeped in these memes that proclaim "men are bad."

Lahl said, "Then when puberty hits they go, 'Oh my gosh, I don't want to become a rapist. I don't want to become ... that guy.'"
gender curriculum schools transgender
© iStockThen when puberty hits, [the boys] go, 'Oh my gosh, I don't want to become a rapist. I don't want to become ... that guy.'" But girls are far more social creatures and their motivation seems to be more of a "social contagion," said one author".
But girls are far more social creatures and their motivation seems to be more of a "social contagion."

Said Lahl, mimicking the thoughts of many young girls, "'If Susie and Debbie are dressing this way and wearing their hair this way, I need to do that. If they're changing their pronouns, I need to do that because I want to be in the pack ... in the in-crowd.'"

But for whatever the reason, Lahl said, these issues are not being addressed through good counseling and psychiatric care.

"Medicine is not protected from our fallen sinful natures," said Lahl. It is not "protected from being captured by ... the ideas of the day."

The good news is that Lahl's work is being vindicated by a recent study in the Netherlands, which found that gender dysphoria diminishes significantly between adolescence and early adulthood.

In England, too, doctors were told to stop prescribing puberty blocking hormones after a report surfaced that teens were given the drugs without medical evidence they were safe.

There is a spiritual silver lining to many of the stories.
The Detransition Diaries gender dysphoria transgender
© Ignatius PressIn a new book, The Detransition Diaries, published by Ignatius Press, Jennifer Lahl and Kallie Fell tell the stories of eight people who detransitioned back to their original biological sex. Lahl said that for many families, the journey of helping their children return to their original biological identity includes a return to faith, their family and their foundations.
Lahl said for many families, the journey of helping their children return to their biological sex includes a return to faith and its foundations.

"I see [people] who quietly, maybe, left their faith ... [and] who are coming back to their faith because there's meaning in that," said Lahl.

She also said that today's transgender debate is "chaotic. There's no there's no bottom to where this ends."

But there is — with a return to the belief of many that God ordered this world — in the complementary natures of male and female.