The transgender movement is “a social contagion,” says Chris Elston, an activist known as “Billboard Chris.”
Elston has drawn international attention for his work to defend children against gender identity ideology. Wearing billboards on his front and back bearing statements like “Children cannot consent to puberty blockers,” he travels throughout Canada and the U.S. having conversations on sidewalks and street corners with men and women about the harms of the transgender movement.
“I do see this as a cult that has permeated our entire society,” Elston says. “The biggest indicator of that might be how they [detransitioners] are treated when they decide to detransition, because they’re given tons of love when they declare that they’re trans, but the moment they declare they’re not, they’re cut off from their community, just like any cult.”
Elston joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to explain why he’s dedicating his time to educating society on the harms of gender identity ideology. He also discusses reports that Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., are performing hysterectomies on minors.
Listen to the podcast below, watch the interview above, or read the lightly edited transcript:
Virginia Allen: It is my privilege to welcome to the show Chris Elston. He is also known as Billboard Chris. Chris, thanks so much for being here.
Chris Elston: Thank you so much for having me. This is fun.
Allen: I know. For those who are not familiar with your story, share a little bit about what you do and why people call you Billboard Chris.
Elston: I’m just a dad from Vancouver, Canada, who got tired of all this gender nonsense going on in society, specifically the child abuse associated with trying to change the sex of children.
Kids are getting puberty-blocking drugs, the opposite-sex hormones, and they’re even getting surgeries to cut off body parts when they’re still children. I don’t want to live in a world where this is happening. I don’t want to send my girls off into a world that doesn’t even know what a woman is. So I took a stand.
The first thing I did was I put up an actual billboard that said, “I love J. K. Rowling,” following the lead of a woman named Posey Parker in the U.K., who had put up a poster at the Edinburgh train station that got taken down after one day because some people said it was hate speech to love the world’s greatest children’s author.
I got tired of this nonsense. I got tired of our speech being canceled and people getting in trouble just for telling the truth, so I said, “Forget this. I will back up Posey and I’ll put up something in Vancouver.” I put up a big billboard that said the same thing. It also lasted one day. It got paint-bombed overnight. And then a Vancouver politician said it was hate speech and they took it down.
I leveraged a bunch of outrage online into a little campaign and I put up billboards all across America. And then, because I couldn’t even put up a sign in Canada anymore, none of the sign companies will work with me, I decided to become a billboard. I had these signs made and I just go out on the street.
Literally the only way I could reach people was to talk to them one-on-one. I’m just kicking it old school, having conversations out on the street day after day, hour after hour.
I knew if I just didn’t stop and took all the abuse and arrests and assaults and all the things I’ve been through, just keep going, that this can’t help but spread because it’s too crazy to last. The truth spreads for free. That’s what I’m out there trying to do.
Allen: Now, we have some of your billboards here in studio with us. You walk around Canada, you walk around the United States, and you have these one-on-one conversations as you have a billboard strapped to your front and one on your back. They say things like this one here, “Dad: a human male who protects his kids from gender ideology.” “Children cannot consent to puberty blockers.” What is the reaction that you get from people as you’re walking around? Let’s start with positive reactions. What’s the positive feedback that you get from people?
Elston: Yeah, it’s almost always positive. Honestly, more than 90% of the population. I’m talking people from all walks of life, all ages, all political persuasions. They agree. They get it. We shouldn’t be sterilizing children. It’s not that controversial. The Democrats are losing party members because of this specific issue.
But a lot of people just don’t believe what’s happening because it honestly is too crazy to believe. I don’t blame them. Sometimes … you got to come at it with a gradient. You can’t go all in all the way. You got to kind of warm people up to the more crazy things.
But no, people get it and they support what I’m doing. The ones who don’t support what I’m doing I would say are less than 10% of the population. They’re very aggressive and angry and they’re trying to stop me at any cost really.
Allen: You’ve had some pretty negative interactions out on the streets with people?
Elston: Yeah. I’ve been assaulted more than 20 times. I’ve been arrested twice after getting assaulted. I’ve had my arm broken. I got attacked by Antifa on the streets of Montreal and got my arm broken by a traffic cone that a man kept swinging at my head and I kept blocking it, but the base on those things is pretty thick so it cut my forearm.
But no big deal. A broken bone is nothing compared to what’s happened to all these kids, literally. I mean that literally. It’s nothing. I’ll take another one any day because it helped me to reach millions of people.
Allen: Well, and you have been just beating the drum on this for so long and you have a large presence on social media. And you use social media to really share with people what you’re doing and what is happening in this world.
You’ve recently shared some videos from Boston Children’s Hospital. Boston Children’s Hospital, they came out with a video advertising gender-reassignment surgeries. They call them gender-affirming surgeries for children.
There was a video that had one of the doctors, Dr. Frances Grimstad at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she described gender-affirming hysterectomies. This is when surgeons remove most of a female’s reproductive organs. I want to play just a clip from that video for our listeners to hear.
Chris, you shared this video on Aug. 11, and I do want to note that since that video gained attention, that gender-affirming hysterectomies no longer appears on the Boston Children’s Hospital website as a service offered. What was your first thought when you saw this video and kind of these videos from Boston Children’s Hospital?
Elston: I was excited because I know this stuff is happening and my whole objective is to get the truth out there. But if I’m saying it, people can easily just discredit me. But when it’s coming from the so-called experts themselves who work in the gender clinic, no one can deny it.
The reaction was immediate, swift, huge. I think the average Joe out there just thinks there’s a bunch of kids who are having some struggles. I think they get that, yeah, these gender clinics are doing some crazy things, but they’re trying to help these kids. And then they see what these people have to say.
There’s several videos. They’ve deleted them all, but I recorded about 40 different videos before they deleted them. These people are crazy. They are literally saying that if a little boy doesn’t want to get his haircut, that’s a sign he’s really a girl inside. Or if a little toddler girl tries to pee standing up, that’s a sign she’s a boy.
They literally said that the toys a child plays with are a determining factor in their gender, and that they know seemingly from the womb that they are transgender. They can’t define what transgender means, of course. They can’t define what a woman means. They can’t define what it means for a girl to be a boy.
But these are the people running the show, cutting off body parts, giving experimental puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones to children that leave them infertile.
Half these kids, by the way, are on the autism spectrum. These children’s hospitals actually have partnerships with autism organizations because so many of those kids don’t feel like they fit in. This is kind of being presented as the solution for why they don’t fit in and they obsess over it.
It becomes really hard for the parents to reach these kids, especially if they’ve been getting indoctrinated in school for months where schools are also hiding that they’re socially transitioning kids from the parents. These videos were really helpful to show the public exactly who’s running these gender clinics.
Allen: As news is coming out, obviously, about Boston, then we also learn that Children’s National Hospital here in Washington, D.C., also maybe has a similar practice.
There’s an independent journalist, essentially Libs of TikTok, who reports very kind of radical left ideology and takes a lot of videos and content from what the left is saying and doing and just re-shares that.
Well, Libs of TikTok, they called Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., and said, “Do you perform hysterectomies on 16-year-olds?” This was the conversation that was had. I want to play a portion of that.
Children’s National, they are now denying that they perform hysterectomies on minors, but you actually visited Children’s National Hospital with your billboards in August. You stood outside. You were having conversations with folks. Talk a little bit about that experience. Was the hospital aware that you were there? Did they ask you to leave? What happened?
Elston: Yeah, they were ready for us before we even got there. Some other staff from Heritage were there before us, but they had their own special police, they’re called, ready to greet us. … I was on a sidewalk, but apparently I was 2 feet onto their property.
This police officer got very aggressive, definitely giving the vibe that he wanted to arrest me if I didn’t get off their property and move 2 feet to the north immediately.
I don’t know what they were expecting, but there’s not a ton of foot traffic there. A lot of car traffic does, of course, see us. There are different places to go. You get different effects.
I think it’s good to send a message to the hospital that we’re here because people coming into the hospital, staff coming into the hospital, they start talking and these conversations spread, because it’s not every day they have a protest going on outside.
A lot of these physicians also are against this. They just have no idea it’s going on because they’re doing their own specialty—they’re working in the ER, doing whatever. There’s so many different specialties. It’s a really small corner of this hospital that’s doing this child abuse to kids and most doctors have no idea.
That’s a really good benefit of going to these children’s hospitals. Even though it’s not the best place to have conversations out on the street, it has a different effect.
Allen: Do we know if there’s other children’s hospitals in America that are performing gender-transition surgeries on children?
Elston: Oh, yeah. This is going on in every major city in the United States. I tweeted out someone’s story yesterday. Her daughter, at the age of 17, got a gender-affirming hysterectomy and also had a phalloplasty.
That’s when they construct a phallus and they do that by harvesting tissue from the girl’s forearm. They cut out all the flesh from the forearm, the nerves, the blood vessels, the fat, the skin, and they construct that into this phallus.
This girl was still 17 and she signed a consent form at 15 for these surgeries because in Oregon, that’s the age that they didn’t need parental consent. Parental consent for a lot of these surgeries now isn’t needed even for 13-year-olds.
Like Washington state, girls can get puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones. Boys can get this stuff, too. Girls can even get double mastectomies without their parents’ knowledge or consent using their parents’ private insurance plan. The parent will then get the bill for the copay, but the procedure or the drugs will be redacted, so the parents don’t even know what they’re paying for.
This is how insane the world’s getting. It’s an attack on kids. It’s an attack on parental rights to take care of and safeguard our own children. People are losing their children to the state if they don’t want to sterilize their own child because they call this gender-affirming care.
They’re even passing laws called conversion therapy laws where it’s now totally fine to indoctrinate a girl to think she’s a boy, but it’s not OK to then help her feel comfortable as a girl again. That’s considered conversion therapy, as though you’re trying to convert someone’s mystical gender identity.
Allen: Share a little bit about what you’re seeing in Canada versus America, because you are Canadian and that’s, as you said, where you really started everything with the billboards, but you frequently make trips to the U.S. What are the similarities and differences you see between the two nations?
Elston: Canada’s way further along. It’s a much more dire situation up there. This has spread more, especially on the West Coast, but it’s everywhere now. All of our politicians are pushing this. They just unanimously passed a conversion therapy bill, like I was just talking about, where it’s now a crime to help your own child feel comfortable.
Not one conservative politician will speak up against this. We have no conservative media speaking out against this. All of our three main media sources—CBC, CTV, and Global—all push this as though it’s some romantic notion of helping a child to become who they really are.
To the average person on the street, when they hear all these euphemisms that these gender ideologues use, like gender-affirming care, it sounds nice. What gender-affirming care is involves experimental chemical castration drugs.
This drug was literally used on sex offenders and pedophiles in the past to chemically castrate them. It was approved for prostate cancer and endometriosis in women. It’s being used experimentally on these kids.
And then cross-sex hormones, like testosterone, for example, with a girl will cause uterine and vaginal atrophy. She’ll have to get her uterus removed whether she wants to or not after four or five years.
Sometimes they’re removing the ovaries as well, so now they can never produce estrogen for the rest of their life, even if they decide to detransition in the future or go back to declaring themselves their birth sex. I mean, you can’t really detransition. The damage is done, but now they’re lifelong medical patients, forever dependent on synthetic hormones, either testosterone or estrogen, whatever they decide to do.
We’re sending these kids or young women into immediate menopause, because that’s what happens. There’s a hundred side effects there—early onset dementia; osteoporosis; shortened lifespans; greater chance of heart attacks; cancers; kidney, liver problems.
A young woman, she’s in her 20s, she just messaged me last night. She lives here in D.C. She was rushed to the ER on three different occasions because testosterone was damaging her kidneys. She didn’t know about all these side effects.
This is being presented as some beautiful thing, like, “It’s not a big deal. You just take these hormones. You’re going to be a man.” These kids are in a fog and they’re indoctrinated. They’re struggling with some comorbidity, depression, anxiety, autism.
Some of these girls have suffered sexual abuse. Guess what? They’re not loving being a girl at this point in time. Can you blame them? They’re presented with this out from being a girl. And what young woman or girl loves puberty? It’s a tough time. I don’t think I’ve run into any women who’ve ever loved it. It’s just hard.
Allen: Yeah, it is.
Chris: Now these teachers, these woke teachers, are giving them an out. It’s a social contagion. Entire friend groups are transitioning and they get loved for it. They get love-bombed, like in any cult.
I do see this as a cult that has permeated our entire society. The biggest indicator of that might be how they are treated when they decide to detransition, because they’re given tons of love when they declare that they’re trans, but the moment they declare they’re not, they’re cut off from their community, just like any cult. They’re told they were never really trans, even though they’re now missing body parts and are infertile and can never have their own family—through adoption, they can, of course. But this is heartbreaking stuff.
And then they’re told, oh, they were never really trans. Well, if this was really about helping someone to be who they really are, they should be getting celebrated either way, but they’re only celebrated one way when they declare that they’re trans because that’s all this ideology wants. It wants to trans your kids.
Allen: Chris, what’s your end goal? What’s your long game here? What’s next for you?
Elston: I just keep going. I say “yes” to every media interview. I stood on the street for a long time with no support, six, seven hours at a time, standing through Canadian winters. I was happy just to reach one person at a time because then they could protect their kids. Of course, it’s better with media to reach a thousand or a million.
But I’m just going to keep going. I’m just going to keep having conversations and I’m not going to stop until this child abuse is a thing of history all around the world. I’m not going to stop because I feel like this is what I’m called to do.
I’ve gained, obviously, some knowledge and experience that no one else has. I’ve had more conversations about this with everyday people than anyone else in the world. I’ve probably had about 8,000 conversations to this point. I know all the objections, there’s only two or three, and I know how to handle these conversations. I feel like I’m making a difference. That’s more important to me than making money.
Allen: What are those most common objections that you hear from people and what’s your response?
Elston: They’ll say that puberty blockers are reversible. Really? OK. It’s never good to just bang heads with someone. It’s best to find some source of agreement. I’ll say, “OK. Well, sure. If a child went on puberty blockers for three months, not too much harm done, right? Puberty would resume.”
This is just a sales pitch they use. In practice, 98% of these children that start on puberty blockers stay on them. We know this from gender clinic statistics, like at the Tavistock where they release this. Then they go on to the next step, which is the opposite-sex hormones. You’re locking them in.
The actual cure for real gender dysphoria—and that’s not what these kids have. Most are just caught up in a craze. But historically, if you look at all the academic studies into gender dysphoria, this used to affect boys, 1 out of 10, 20, 30,000. When they went through puberty, 80% to 90% of the time their dysphoria just went away. The cure for gender dysphoria is their own hormones.
Now, we stop their own hormones from being released naturally in their bodies and we give them the opposite-sex hormones. It’s making their dysphoria worse because now they’re trying to present the opposite sex and they don’t. People know. And that’s a whole new stressor. Whereas if we just left them alone to grow up, they’d grow out of it.
Historically, a lot of these boys that were more feminine and had gender dysphoria, a lot of them grew up to be gay. Now we’re sterilizing these kids. Their penis doesn’t grow. Girls’ breasts don’t grow. Their hips don’t widen. They suffer bone demoralization.
A young girl in Sweden just suffered spinal fractures and has osteopenia because she was on puberty blockers for three years. Twelve other kids at the hospital there suffered catastrophic injuries and they’ve stopped this practice there. They stopped it in Finland. England’s on their way to stopping it. They just had a devastating inquiry that revealed the total lack of science and lack of proper care for all of these kids.
They’re just putting them on a medical treadmill straight away. First appointment, puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones all the time. A girl here in the United States can walk into Planned Parenthood, walk out half an hour later with testosterone. This shouldn’t be happening.
The other objection is that kids will kill themselves if you don’t let them transition, which is a really despicable lie. Again, it is true and it’s good to find some source of agreement. Yes, these children have higher suicidality, so do kids with autism, anorexia, bulimia, personality disorders. It’s higher for some of those than it is for this.
But with an anorexic girl, if she threatens suicide, we don’t say, “OK, sweetheart, let’s get you that liposuction right away.” We help her with the various underlying problems that are causing this. It’s never one thing that causes a child to feel suicidal.
It’s not true that they’re all committing suicide either. It’s just not true, but it’s a threat used to coerce parents to go along with this. Parents will be told, “You’ve got two options, mom and dad. You can have a dead girl or a live son.”
A parent who’s new to this talking to the so-called expert at this gender clinic, they’re being coerced like this. Of course, they love their kid. They want to do the best for their kid, so they’ll go along with this, but they’re being coerced and they’re being lied to.
Allen: Chris, for those listening who either want to learn more or they want to get more involved, they want to be a support, how can they do that? How can they support?
Elston: My website’s billboardchris.com. I travel around a lot. It cost money. So they can donate to help me because I do this all on my own expense. But really, I just ask people to have conversations. They need to get up to speed, get educated.
Go to Twitter. Follow me on Twitter @billboardchris. It can be hard to find me because Twitter’s censoring me. They made my account adult content. But you’ll find my Twitter feed on my website as well. But it’s @billboardchris. That’s where I do most of my stuff.
Please just get educated and have these conversations because the landscape is changing fast. Compared to two years ago, we are light-years ahead of where we were. I’m very hopeful. I’m very positive. I know we’re going to win this battle. It’s just a question of how many kids come to harm before we do.
Allen: Chris, thank you for your time. We really appreciate it.
Elston: My pleasure. Thank you.
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