I was groomed by the Internet and all I got were these lousy puberty blockers

4 Corners is an investigative / special interest news show in Australia.

Isabelle Langley is an 11 year old at the time of filming, but is describing experiences which happened much earlier.

This transcript and clip demonstrates a young child diagnosing themselves after finding a Jazz Jennings clip on the internet. The parent going along with it, and a national news broadcaster treating this as a perfectly natural course of events.

This is an enormous red flag for grooming. This poor child’s distress is wrapped up in a neat little package named “transgender” and none of the adults in the room dare let him know what that means for his future self. Being tied to medication, body-altering drugs, sterility, loss of a sex life he will never know and the constant feeling that he’s about to be found out.

“Being Me” ABC 4 Corners 2014


ISABELLE LANGLEY: I tried stopping it but I couldn’t really.

JANINE COHEN: Did you fight against it for a little while?

ISABELLE LANGLEY: I was trying to. I didn’t really know there was anything to do about it. I started looking up things.

JANINE COHEN: Where did you look them up?

ISABELLE LANGLEY: Just on the internet. I just looked up what to do if you feel like a girl and I found all these websites and they were saying that you’re able to get special surgery and that you can actually come out that way and I found some videos too about some other children feeling that way.

CUT TO TV SHOW ON iPAD

HOST: She’s here in person, tonight. So say hello to Jazz.

(Sound of applause)

JANINE COHEN: It was American transgender girl Jazz Jennings who made the biggest impression.

JAZZ JENNINGS, TRANSGENDER: Thank you so much, Kids and teens out there, I just want them to know that it is okay to step out of your shadows and just be who you are. Just be true to yourself and express yourself.

CUT BACK TO MOTHER

NAOMI MCNAMARA: She had tears in her eyes like she just said… oh, you know I’m just so glad I saw that. Like it was, she felt less alone and just came with… just a million questions came out of that for her. Um and she watched it over and over again.

ISABELLE LANGLEY: It’s made me realise that there was ways to sort of cope.

JANINE COHEN: And before you saw Jazz, did you not know?

ISABELLE LANGLEY: I didn’t think there was anything to do about it.

JANINE COHEN: What was it like when you realised you could do something?

ISABELLE LANGLEY: I felt very happy then and I told my mum that night.

The Australian Puberty Blocker Market is Worth $27M

You might have the impression that accessing Puberty Blockers is prohibitively expensive. You may have heard that they are unfairly withheld from children, and how they should be subsidised by the government.

TransHub

TransHub

For this post, I have relied on data published by TransHub, which is an informational website owned and operated by ACON.

TransHub is the place trans people, children and parents go for their data about transitioning.

The Cost of Blocking Puberty

TransHub advise that there are 3 types of puberty blockers, and that these are prohibitively expensive. Goserelin, Leuprorelin and Triptorelin are each medications that are taken periodically 3-5 times per year.

These drugs are subsidised for conditions such as – endometriosis, chemical castration, prostate cnacer – and are limited for short treatment periods only.

PBS – https://www.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/1454M

Doctors can prescribe “off label” so the consumer can buy them, but will not receive a subsidy. They must pay full price. For these 3 drugs, the cost is between $800 and $1200 per year per child.

To contrast, my daughter attends karate lessons which are $20 per week, or $1040 per year.

This cost is within reach of most working and middle-class households. The kinds of people who would dress a boy in pink and call him a girl.

Size of the market

Royal Children’s Hospital estimates that there are 45000 trans children in Australia.

If 60% of these children are eligible for puberty blockers, this gives us 27000 children.

27000 children paying $1000 per year is $27 Million dollars.

$27 Million a year

What the current number of trans children are worth in Australia

Each child will take puberty blockers for up to 6 years, meaning there is a need to continually convert younger and younger consumers to maintain the pipeline. The younger the child is placed on to the trans pathway, the more they will look forward to the day they can finally receive puberty-blocking drugs. They are less likely to pause and make a critical decision over something that has become a years-long obsession.

Subsidies are about removing consumer roadblocks

GnRH analogues are not listed on the PBS for puberty suppression related to gender affirmation, and as a result the costs can be prohibitively expensive for many young people and their families. Some young people will seek out public clinics but there are very few currently available in NSW.

TransHub – https://www.transhub.org.au/puberty-blockers

For many medications, the government will agree to pay part of the price direct to the manufacturer so that the consumer only pays a small amount at the pharmacy counter.

The manufacturer gets paid either way. So why is this important?

Subsidising puberty blockers will take away a barrier to starting the treatment. If the financial commitment is taken away, parents are more likely to give it a go and see what happens. This works alongside the myth that puberty blockers are safe and reversible.

That’s how my daughter got started in karate – 2 free trial lessons before I handed over my money.

Pie for everyone

For each trans child, the general practitioner (what Americans might call the primary-care doctor) also gets a small piece of the pie.

TransHub gives a list of doctors who are on board with dispensing puberty blockers to children. These doctors may charge $200 per visit to review and administer doses. There is a medicare rebate for these visits, meaning the doctor gets paid $200 and the customer receives around $80 back from the government.

There are also psychologists, endocrinologists and providers of “trans” paraphernalia such as chest binders and penis-tucking underwear.

These parties all stand to profit from a child who stays on the trans path. They act together with the parents and the pharmaceutical companies to lock the child into a life-long and life-altering decision.