Earlier this week, internal files leaked from the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), the leading medical association pushing for the chemical and surgical “gender transition” of minors, were made public by journalist and thought leader Michael Shellenberger. For years, clinical, political, and pop culture activists have cited WPATH to claim that the science is “settled” on “gender-affirming care,” and that social, chemical, and surgical “transition” interventions are safe, reversible, and life-saving. WPATH leaders even claimed that young children and minors with autism can meaningfully consent to such “care.”

The leaked “WPATH Files,” however, reveal a different, more damning story. Far from being settled science, “transitioning” can lead to painful complications, regret, and even life-threatening conditions such as cancer, especially for vulnerable populations. Even more, the leaked files revealed that WPATH personnel knew this and yet continued to actively mislead patients and the public.

For example, a WPATH doctor shared with colleagues about a 16-year-old female patient “found to have two [cancerous] liver masses [tumors]” and that “the oncologist and surgeon both have indicated that the likely offending agent(s) are the hormones.” Despite knowing that the hormonal interventions were the cause of cancer in this minor, that same doctor was “prepared to support the patient in any way we can (e.g. top surgery when medically stable, etc.).”

Another doctor confirmed they also knew of a patient who had developed liver cancer after taking testosterone for 8-10 years: “To the best of my knowledge, it was linked to his hormone treatment. …It was so advanced that he opted for palliative care and died a couple of months later.”

Doctors cited in the documents clearly knew of complications with sexual function in those being “treated,” including pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic floor dysfunction, and pain during any kind of arousal or sexual intercourse. Others saw no issues continuing “treatments” with those showing serious mental health issues. According to one WPATH member: “The mere presence of psychiatric illness should not block a person’s ability to start hormones.” Another “referred for genital surgery people diagnosed with major depressive disorder, c-PTSD, and who are homeless.”

Perhaps most troubling, WPATH clinicians are quoted openly admitting that the minors they treat do not fully understand what’s at stake when it comes to “transitioning,” including the permanent damage that will result to their ability to have children in the future. Canadian endocrinologist Dr. Daniel Metzger admitted:

We’re often explaining these sorts of things to people who haven’t even had biology in high school yet… It’s always a good theory that you talk about fertility preservation with a 14-year-old, but I know I’m talking to a blank wall. …They’d be like, “Ew, kids, babies, gross.” …Most of the kids are nowhere in any kind of a brain space to really… talk about [fertility preservation] in a serious way.

Another clinician confessed that children and adolescents often “say they understand, but then they’ll say something else that makes you think, oh, they didn’t really understand that they are going to have facial hair.”

The leaked files also demonstrate how WPATH clinicians overlooked and even invalidated the experience and regret of those who detransitioned. In one comment, WPATH President Marci Bowers admitted that the “acknowledgment that de-transition exists to even a minor extent is considered off limits for many in our community.”

But it’s not only that it’s off limits. The documents reveal that no responsibility is taken by WPATH medical professionals for what these children were put through. As one researcher noted:

Individuals are entitled to make their own mistakes, and while medical systems and professionals can and should help them avoid mistakes, the power dynamic between a gender specialist and their patients, and between cis and trans people more generally, means that some mistakes are valued higher than others.

And another claimed:

It’s unlikely an entire network of mental and health care professionals over the span of [one] youth’s adolescence have created a system sophisticated enough to collaborate in brainwashing a child in to transitioning.

However, the “WPATH Files” reveal an entire network of so-called “healthcare professionals” who have, in fact, created a system of brainwashing.

Ultimately, these leaked documents confirm that so-called “gender-affirming care” is a pseudoscience built on an unproven ideology that endangers the most vulnerable, especially children. Even worse, these documents reveal that WPATH and its gender activist allies are neither ignorant nor simply ideological. They have intentionally deceived the public and destroyed the bodies of young people.

Hopefully, exposing these atrocities is the first step in bringing an end to this nightmare.

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Jared Hayden. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to

Image credit: Luis Melendez/Unsplash

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of CrosswalkHeadlines.

BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.