In private, leaders of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) express concerns indistinguishable from those of their most ardent critics. This is the conclusion that one reaches when reading the WPATH files, leaked from the group’s internal forums and communications. In them, members drop the euphemisms and doublespeak that characterize their public-facing comments in exchange for frank discussions about how to navigate the challenges and complications arising from their gender-based medical interventions.

My primary takeaway after reading the files was to note the stark contrast between the group’s fraught internal exchanges and their outward assertions of confidence and authority. Indeed, if you read transcripts of some of the leaked videos without knowing the source, you might think that the speakers were ardent critics of transgender ideology and “gender-affirming” care. Here, for example, is Daniel Metzger, a Canadian endocrinologist:

I’m sure putting a kid on a blocker at age nine, and then letting them get to the age of whatever, when they’re developing a sexual identity, can that be, uh, cannot be great, right? So I think that the other people brought this up that we are to a degree robbing these kids of that sort of early to mid-pubertal sexual stuff that’s happening with their cisgender peers.

The physicians also discuss, without equivocation, the profound impact experienced by their patients. The irony of many of their remarks is striking, given that the criticisms that they denounce and deflect publicly are those that they make themselves in private.

Though the WPATH doctors share concerns with their critics, the similarities end there. Instead of exhibiting the spirit of deliberation necessary for the proper and ethical practice of medicine, they respond to external criticism by disavowing any responsibility for guiding their distressed patients and by justifying their actions with pseudointellectual jargon.

As a result, the WPATH physicians’ self-correcting capacities, which are critical for health-care professionals, have atrophied. Instead of employing the doctor’s instinctual caution when faced with unclear diagnoses and potential iatrogenic harm, they rely on gender ideology. This reaction, without any meaningful reflection on alternatives, guardrails, or consequences, confirms gender-ideology critics’ suspicions that WPATH members are charlatans of the highest order—cosplaying, in effect, as authoritative professionals to the detriment of their patients. What makes their actions even more culpable is that they claim to be their victims’ primary protectors.

WPATH’s irresponsibility has done incalculable damage to many patients and their families. As the WPATH files make clear, behind closed doors, hidden away from critics, they acknowledged the harm being done. They knew they were doing wrong but failed to correct course, thus betraying the goodwill of their patients. Now that the WPATH files have been released, it is time for this cartel of medical negligence to be held to account.

Photo: Chinnapong/iStock/Getty Images Plus


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