Teen says anti-trans article misrepresented her story

A non-binary teenager tweeted Tuesday to explain his side of the story after a conservative newspaper published an article about her that was largely based on her mother’s reluctance and eventual resistance to the gender-affirming care they received in Missouri .

Alex, a 16-year-old non-binary teenager from Washington, tweeted on Tuesday that she was the subject of a Free Press article titled, “‘I felt bullied’: Mother of child treated at transgender center speaks out.” The article concealed the teen’s identity by calling her “Casey.” , but Alex shared on Twitter that they wanted to respond to the story and “make sure [their] voice can be heard in full.”

“This is my story, not hers,” Alex tweeted in reference to her mother. “This is not the story of the Free Press.”

The Free Press article, written by Emily Yoffe, documents Alex’s experience of gender-affirming care that included puberty blockers at Washington University’s Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The Daily Dot reached out to the medical center, the Free Press and Yoffe for comment.

The article is written from the point of view of Caroline, the teenager’s mother, who was initially skeptical about any medical intervention. Caroline says she feels “bullied” by medical professionals into agreeing to Alex receiving Supprelin, a puberty blocker in the form of an arm implant.

“Caroline told me that when the psychologist expressed her opposition to putting Casey on blockers, she cited alarming statistics to Casey about gender dysphoric children who commit suicide when not allowed to switch,” reports Yoffe.

Alex’s tweets confirm that doctors cited the suicide rates of teenagers who suffered from gender dysphoria before them and their mother. But according to Alex, their doctors didn’t believe they were there “Significant Risk” of fatal self-harm.

Yoffe’s account, which misgenders Alex by using he/him pronouns, also describes a deterioration in Alex’s mental health and academic performance after they received the arm implant.

“Within one semester, Casey went from all As and Bs to a report card littered with Ds and Fs,” writes Yoffe. “Many days he was unable to get out of bed.”

That drop, which Yoffe reports as Caroline “revoking” her consent to Alex’s puberty blockers, was “exaggerated” according to Alex’s tweets. They say their grades have “steadily decreased since 2020 due to unrelated mental health issues” and that their mental health has “deteriorated” since the pandemic began.

Yoffe’s report includes an email Caroline sent to the university’s transgender center when she withdrew her consent.

“He’s not transgender. He’s a 15-year-old kid,” Caroline’s email read. “The only further treatment that I authorize as JOINT LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE is removal of the puberty blocker and subsequent follow-up.”

Regarding the gender counseling they received at the university’s transgender center, Alex tweeted that her counselor treated her “amazingly.”

“She was a friend of mine and was very supportive,” Alex tweeted. “That was taken away from me when my mother withdrew consent to the supprelin.”

Alex’s biggest issue with the Free Press article, as explained in her tweets, is that Yoffe failed to address her concerns about her coverage before the article was published. Next supposedly Yoffe told Alex that they “had no say in whether or not the article was published.”

“When I read the draft, I was disgusted with what the reporter and my mother had made of my experience,” Alex tweeted. “I asked if my consent was required to publish the article, and the reporter said, ‘That’s not how things work.'”

When the article was published, Alex tweeted that they were “frustrated.” In an interview with the Daily Dot, Alex said they were “pissed”.

“I thought a lot of my concerns would be changed, but that wasn’t the case,” Alex told the Daily Dot. “The article was published anyway.”

They were also upset that their mother had contacted Yoffe and that Yoffe “wrote an entire article when it was brought to Alex’s attention.”

Alex was quoted a few times in Yoffe’s article and confirmed to the Daily Dot that Yoffe interviewed her “in the room” with her mother.

Yoffe reports that Caroline won’t approve of Alex “having feminizing hormone” while they’re still underage. When asked if they would like to start hormone replacement therapy, Alex said, “Of course.”

“But unfortunately that won’t be an option for me,” Alex told the Daily Dot. “I accepted that.”


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*Initial publication: April 4, 2023 7:08 pm CDT

Tricia Crimmins

Tricia Crimmins is the IRL Editor at the Daily Dot. She is also a New York-based comedian and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has previously written for Mashable, Complex Networks and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.

Tricia Crimmins

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/trans-teen-mom-puberty-blocker/ Teen says anti-trans article misrepresented her story

Jaclyn Diaz

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