© 2020 The Kelsey Coalition

ABOUT US

The Kelsey Coalition is a non-partisan, volunteer-run organization based in the United States. Our singular mission is to promote policies and laws to protect young people who identify as transgender or nonbinary from medical and psychological harms.

 

What We Believe

People who identify as transgender deserve compassionate support. Their discomfort is real. But the causes are complicated, poorly understood, and under-researched. 

While mature adults should be free to make their own informed healthcare decisions, young people must be protected from interventions that are not based on sound science. No child or teenager should be given powerful drugs, hormones, or invasive surgeries that are not supported by rigorous research. They deserve evidence-based care, not experimental medicine.

And their parents deserve to know the truth: that the use of puberty-blocking drugs, hormones, and surgeries are not supported by a single long-term study that proves efficacy and safety...and are not the answer to their child’s emotional pain. It is unconscionable that medical associations portray harmful hormonal treatments and risky irreversible surgical interventions as the standard of care when psychological approaches have never been studied for their efficacy.

Who We Are

We formed in March 2019 as a group of concerned parents whose children have been harmed by transgender healthcare practices. Our membership now includes:

  • Young people who express profound regret that healthcare professionals offered them hormones and surgeries without helping them understand possible causes of their profound dysphoria or desire to transition;

  • Endocrinologists who warn about the impact of puberty blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones on children which are known to cause serious harm, including infertility and loss of sexual function;

  • Teachers who voice concerns that they are now required to change students’ names and pronouns without informing their parents, and who are wondering why so many children in their classroom identify as transgender;

  • Medical students who are challenging their training that instructs them to affirm without question young patients' claims of being in the “wrong body”; and

  • Therapists who are worried about laws that now make it illegal for them to help their young clients explore why they believe they are transgender. 

 

As a nonpartisan group representing members of various political backgrounds, we will work with any organization or individual sharing our singular mission: to promote laws and policies that protect young people from medical and psychological harms.

 

Our Leaders

 

Founder: Katherine Cave

When Katherine sought help from gender clinicians after her young daughter told her she was a boy, they convinced her to support her daughter’s transition. But after much research, she discovered that the claims of these once-trusted clinicians were fueled by ideology, not science. Katherine is a lifelong Democrat who has worked for left-leaning causes throughout her professional career. She became politically homeless after realizing that progressive activism dictates medical protocol and promotes laws that cause harm to vulnerable children. Katherine left her previous employment so she could work full-time to help prevent what happened to her daughter from happening to other children. Katherine is a pseudonym to protect her daughter’s privacy

Outreach Project Coordinator: Sheri Throckmorton

Sheri worked as a teacher for 22 years with students ranging from three-year-olds to high school seniors. Though retired from her profession, she continues to teach by offering free tutoring to low-income children. As a mother of two, a heart for helping those who are hurting, and a personal witness to the harms caused by ideologically-based medical practices, she retired from her profession to help protect young people from harm.

Legal Strategies Coordinator: Katherin Kirkpatrick 

Katherin spent her professional career working in health information, public policy and medical law; including work in a high-volume gender clinic. She has followed the gender debate for more than 25 years and witnessed firsthand its evolution from a risky and experimental endeavor meant only for consenting adults to a still-risky and still-experimental endeavor promoted to children through public school curriculum and through legislation that restricts practitioners’ right to inform young patients and their families about the risks of gender interventions.  As the disabled mother of a disabled child, she is devoted to protecting the vulnerable from medical exploitation and preserving their right to medically accurate information.

Parent Leader and Speaker: Lynn Meagher

Lynn is a parent and a lifelong medical professional. Her work with the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition has demonstrated the importance and effectiveness of concerned individuals working together across widely different political orientations. She is a national speaker and has traveled across the US and to London to advocate for parents and the safety of children. 

Speaker and Advocate: Sydney Wright

Sydney experienced firsthand the harmful consequences from being prescribed testosterone as a trans-identifying teen. Now a young lesbian woman, she leads Kelsey Coalition’s Gender Harm Project to help other victims of transgender medicine. Sydney is also a passionate speaker who is willing to share her personal story with anyone who will listen. 

Media Coordinator/Writer/Editor: Casey King

Casey is a lifelong liberal who championed LGB issues.  Casey was forced to re-examine her strict political allegiance when she saw the harm being done to so many youth with the rise and popularity of medical procedures, legislation that support the “wrong body” narrative, and the failure among liberals to defend the interests of vulnerable children.  At that point, Casey decided her education and background in media/public relations and writing could be better served in helping to inform the public about the mental and physical damage done by rushing to affirm and cement the complicated and conflicting feelings of childhood and adolescence. 

Summary of Concerns 

In recent years, an unprecedented number of young people have begun to self-identify as transgender or non-binary. Preliminary research has identified potential social and psychological factors fueling this rise. 

Research points to many underlying factors, including mental health issues, ADHD, trauma, and same-sex attraction. There is an especially high correlation with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as reported in replicated published research and observed in clinics around the world. In the UK, for example, nearly half of all children seeking Gender Identity Disorder Services displayed autistic traits.

 

Concerningly, children’s self-proclaimed gender identities are often quickly affirmed by therapists and clinicians who have not examined these underlying issues. As child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Sven Roman has stated

 

Since gender dysphoria often is secondary to psychiatric conditions for which there is evidence-based treatment and gender-corrective therapy for adolescents lacks scientific support, all gender-corrective therapy for patients younger than 25 years should be discontinued.

And yet the practice of treating young people with powerful puberty-blocking drugs, hormones, and irreversible surgeries is growing rapidly.

 

In the past, such serious medical interventions were offered only to adults with a lifelong history of unremitting and severe distress, and only after extensive medical and psychological screening. Today, life-altering treatments and irreversible surgeries that impact future fertility, affect sexual function, and pose serious health risks are routinely offered to children based on feelings that are likely to change with time and non-invasive therapy.

 

These medical interventions are now offered at increasingly younger ages despite the lack of even one long-term study supporting their efficacy or safety. Puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones, such as testosterone, are currently prescribed to children as young as eight years old. “Gender-confirming” surgeries, including mastectomies, radical hysterectomies, vaginoplasties, and orchiectomies (testicle removals), are now performed on teenagers. Parents who consent to these treatments are often misled to believe that their child will be at greater risk of suicide if they do not.

 

Non-invasive therapeutic options are difficult to find. The “affirmative care” approach encourages healthcare professionals to follow the child’s lead on the false assumption that delaying transition can have serious negative consequences. “Conversion therapy” bans, currently in effect in many states and municipalities, further hinder therapists’ abilities to help their young clients. These bans legally require them to affirm children’s self-proclaimed gender identities. 

 

As a result, children’s distress is unlikely to be alleviated through time-tested counseling techniques, further increasing the likelihood that they will pursue risky medical procedures. Meanwhile, growing numbers of young adults who have medically transitioned are beginning to speak publicly. Most report that they did not receive proper counseling and were not encouraged to consider non-invasive options, rather than irreversible surgeries and hormonal interventions that impact health, fertility, and sexual function.

Young adults are also at risk of hasty medicalization: an increasing number of “informed consent” clinics provide cross-sex hormones to young people after only one to three visits without thorough mental or physical health assessments. Young people should not be offered life-altering hormonal and surgical interventions that are not supported by rigorous studies establishing long-term efficacy and safety. The risks of irreparable harm and regret are too great.

Our Inspiration

Our work is inspired by the courageous FDA pharmacologist Dr. Frances Kelsey, whose refusal to authorize thalidomide for market use in 1961 prevented thousands of serious birth defects and helped strengthen FDA oversight of the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Kelsey's bravery in the face of immense corporate and political pressure has inspired us to speak truth to power, regardless of the personal cost or strength of our opposition.

Our Strategy

  • Personal Testimony: We show that harms are real, not theoretical, by providing law- and policy-makers with first-person testimonials from parents whose children have been harmed, from young people who regret their medical transitions, and concerned professionals.

  • Personal Outreach: We equip members with step-by-step Action Plans and downloadable one-pagers so that they can be effective activists through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and letter-writing campaigns. Kelsey Coalition members use their personal stories, accompanied by our fact-checked reports, to educate their local communities and implement targeted outreach projects across the U.S.

  • Nonpartisanship: Our members leave political differences aside to work with groups and individuals across the political spectrum.

Please Join Us 

You can help us expose and put an end to what world-renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist Christopher Gillberg has described asone of the greatest scandals in medical history” Please support our efforts by participating in our projects. Just click on an “Action Plan” for step-by-step instructions.