Ladapo Says Parenting is ‘Even Harder’ When Schools Push Gender Transitions on Children

By Lydia Nusbaum, Florida's Voice

July 12, 2022 Updated 10:44 AM ET

Dr Joseph Ladapo Interview_Moment

July 12, 2022 Updated 10:44 A.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said gender-affirming therapy for minors with gender dysphoria runs an “unacceptably high risk of harm.”

“Being a parent is hard enough, and it’s even harder when schools push gender transitions without you(r) consent,” Ladapo said. “The affirmation model, pushed by groups such as (American Academy of Pediatrics), runs an unacceptably high risk of harm,” Ladapo said. 

Ladapo held a roundtable discussion Friday before a hearing over a proposed rule that would ban Medicaid reimbursements for treatments including puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries. 

Wendell Perez, a Florida Parent, spoke at the roundtable about his choice not to affirm his daughter’s gender dysphoria when she was suicidal. 

“We were not going to validate the delusion contrary to the recommendation from some professionals in the field,” Perez said. 

Instead, the parents said they provided “unconditional support” with proper mental health care for disorders like depression and anxiety. They removed her from the school environment as well. 

“We brought her back from her confusion. She is steadfast and sure of her gender, and the suicidal ideation is gone,” Perez said. 

Perez said his daughter is ready to return to the brick and mortar school setting.

“In summary, our daughter was suicidal when she was being affirmed,” Perez said. 

Groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics said gender-affirming care reduces the risk of suicide. They cited a study claiming a 60% decrease in moderate and severe depression and 73% decrease in suicidality among transgender and non-binary youth who received puberty blockers or gender-affirming hormones over a 12-month period.

“However, when she was brought back from that state of confusion, the suicidal ideation disappeared completely,” Perez said. “Therefore, my daughter’s case disproves the current narrative that the lives of children with gender dysphoria are in jeopardy if they do not get affirmed.”

Chloe Cole, who once identified as transgender and underwent surgery to affirm that identity, spoke at the hearing and the roundtable. Cole medically transitioned from ages 13 to 16.

“My parents were given a suicide threat as a reason to move me forward in my transition,” Cole said. 

Former Transgender Teen Supports FL Proposal to Ban Medicaid Funding for Puberty Blockers, Sex Reassignment Surgery

Cole said she regretted her decision and did not understand all of the ramifications of the medical decision at the time.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to fully carry a child and I might be at increased risk for certain cancers,” Cole said. “Because I do not have my breasts, I don’t have breasts, I’m not able to breastfeed whatever future children I have.”

The Florida Department of Health released a fact sheet in April recommending against affirming care for gender dysphoria in minors.

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