Laws in some states put teens as young as 13 in the driver's seat when it comes to their own mental-health care -- including "gender affirming" care -- and renders parents powerless to stop them.
Ahmed — not his real name — is a Pakistani immigrant, a faithful Muslim and, until recently, a financial consultant to Seattle’s high-tech industry. But when he reached me by phone in October 2020, he was just one more frightened father. Days earlier, he and his wife had checked their 16-year-old son into Seattle Children’s Hospital for credible threats of suicide. Now Ahmed was worried that the white coats who had gently admitted his son to their care would refuse to return him.
“They sent an e-mail to us, you know, ‘You should take your “daughter” to the gender clinic,’” he told me.
At first, Ahmed assumed there had been a mistake. He had dropped off a son, Syed, to the hospital, in a terrible state of distress. Now, the e-mail he received from hospital staff used a new name for that son and claimed he was Ahmed’s daughter. “We had calls with counselors and therapists in the establishment, telling us how important it is for him to change his gender because that’s the only way he’s going to be better out of this suicidal depressive state.”
Abigail Shrier is a writer living in Los Angeles and the author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Adapted from City Journal.
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