In an interview with Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka and executive director Maryann Christiansen on KTalk Radio, Ryan Woods, newly elected president of the conservative LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans Utah, announced the group’s endorsement of House Bill 92, which would make it illegal for a doctor to treat a transgender child with hormone therapies or gender-corrective surgeries.
Woods is the ultra-conservative drag queen Lady Maga.
Log Cabin Republicans Utah was founded in 1993.
“This has nothing to do with an LGBT issue,” Woods started, “This has to do with protecting innocent children from procedures that have irreversible and very serious consequences.”
Woods claimed that supporting the bill was not transphobic or hateful.
“We, and most conservatives, fully support and love and believe in the freedom of adult transgender people,” Woods said. “This is simply about protecting children.”
Woods believes that children are pushed into declaring themselves to be transgender by “Social Justice Warrior parents” and “LGBTQIA school curriculums.”
“The reason I’m so passionate about getting this bill passed is that I was one of those children who could have been convinced that I was in the wrong body. I’ve always been effeminate. I’ve always loved to dress up, I’ve always preferred Barbies over GI Joe,” he said. “Then they give [children] puberty blockers.”
“Children, though, are not capable of giving informed consent to these dramatic medical procedures,” he said. “We have age limits on driving, and tattoos, and smoking, and vaping, and voting for a reason. It is because children’s minds are still developing.”
Woods said that politicians, including Republicans, are afraid to support the bill because organizations on the left tend to bully and harass people who speak out against transgender procedures for children.
“People talk about parents’ rights, but what about children’s rights?” he asked.
He claimed that a male child put on puberty blockers at nine years old would end up with the genitalia of a 9-year-old through life.
This, however, runs counter to what medical professionals, including the Mayo Clinic, say.
“Once the puberty blockers are out of their system, they’ll go through the puberty of the sex assigned at birth,” says a writeup by the Mayo Clinic.
Woods claims that “Big Pharma” and the medical industry have a financial reason to “push these drugs.”
“This issue is not about preventing suicide and helping young children; it actually is about keeping those kids safe and allowing them to make decisions about their bodies,” he said.
He claims that the left has “weaponized” the term suicide.
“They say if you oppose puberty blockers and you oppose surgeries on teenagers, then you are going to be responsible for those young people killing themselves,” he said. “And that is just categorically unfair.”
In a statement, Log Cabin Republicans claims, “Hormone therapy and medical procedures amount to little more than unethical experimentation. The FDA has documented thousands of deaths linked to puberty-blocking drugs being used without FDA approval.”
In reality, the claim was actually from a story published by Catholic news outlet LifeSiteNews, which alleged that the drugs used to treat gender dysphoria in some transgender children are linked to “thousands” of deaths.
The story went viral on right-wing news websites such as the Christian Post and the Daily Wire. According to CrowdTangle, a social media metrics platform, these posts — including shares by Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro and commentator Matt Walsh — were some of the top-performing LGBTQ-related content on Facebook and Twitter at the time.
The problem is: the “thousands” of people who die while taking these drugs are the terminally ill cancer patients who receive hormone blockers to fight hormone-sensitive cancers, like prostate cancer, according to experts.
“I think all they did is went into the FDA database and looked at reports,” Joshua Safer, a professor of medicine and the executive director of the Mt. Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, said. “There’s no study here, that’s just a big smorgasbord of reports, and so the problem with that is you don’t even know that those deaths are connected to the agent they are reported to be connected to.”
The original LifeSiteNews story was modified after initial publication.
“Allowing puberty to progress is not a neutral decision for many transgender youths,” Jack Turban, a resident physician in psychiatry who researches transgender youth at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said. “Many of these youth see their mental health drastically deteriorate as puberty starts to progress. While pubertal suppression is reversible, puberty itself is not.”
Transgender Education Advocates of Utah Executive Director Candice Metzler is saddened the bills are basically a political and religious test.
“I have spent many, many years working with transgender youth, and I hate to see their lives and medical decisions politicized in this way. It’s unacceptable, really,” Metzler said. “H.B. 92 demonstrates how power and authority can be used to stigmatize and degrade vulnerable groups of people.”
In his 49-minute free-flow statement in the interview, many of Woods’s claims are very similar to opinions expressed by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. None of the claims made in the group’s statement are sourced, and medical professionals have debunked many.
But the statement does quote one young adult transgender person from Denmark who believes decisions in transgender care should wait until the age of consent.
Eagle Forum’s Ruzicka and Christiansen gushed at Woods’ Glenn Beck-like delivery and entertainment.
Utah Log Cabin has a Facebook page at facebook.com/utahlcr