A new book exposes the “lie” of transgender identity, the damage it does to children and families, and the money trail propping it up, the authors say.
“The transgender movement is actually an industry,” Jeff Myers, president of Summit Ministries and one of the book’s co-authors, told The Daily Signal in an interview Wednesday. Pharmaceutical companies and activists use it “to elevate themselves into positions of political power and to earn obscene profits.”
The book, “Exposing the Gender Lie: How to Protect Children and Teens from the Transgender Industry’s False Ideology,” went live Wednesday and is available in a free ebook version on Summit’s website. Myers co-wrote the book with Brandon Showalter, a reporter at The Christian Post.
Myers claimed that for each child prescribed to take Lupron or other so-called puberty blockers, the pharmaceutical company makes $30,000 per year.
Myers mentioned market analyses finding that “next year, this will be a $2 billion industry, and the market analysts are saying, ‘Get in on the ground floor while you can.'” Meanwhile, he said, the pharmaceutical industry lobbied Congress to the tune of $700 million in 2022, almost $1.5 million per member of Congress, or three times as much as the next-highest industry.
According to OpenSecrets, the Pharmaceuticals and Health Products industry spent $374 million lobbying Congress, while the entire health sector spent $725 million. Both figures represent a figure higher than any other industry.
The medical process for children diagnosed with gender dysphoria—the persistent and painful identification with the gender opposite one’s biological sex—begins with so-called puberty blockers (drugs meant to delay the onset of natural puberty), proceeding to cross-sex hormones (such as testosterone for girls and estrogen for boys), and ultimately surgery to remove healthy breasts, Adam’s apples, and sex organs and replace them with facsimiles of organs belonging to the opposite sex.
Myers noted that Lupron, “the primary drug” for blocking puberty, is “used to treat men who have prostate cancer” and “women who have endometriosis,” but the Food and Drug Administration has not approved its use for gender-dysphoric children, so every prescription for that use is off-label.
“This is experimental medication under the assumption that you can mutilate the body to heal the mind,” he said. This medicalization leaves any underlying mental health issues “unaddressed,” however.
Showalter pushed back against the transgender activists’ claim that the effects of cross-sex hormones are reversible. “If you go on testosterone as a female, your voice will deepen, and you won’t get that back. If you’re on it for a few years, your uterus will atrophy, and you’ll need a hysterectomy. We’re talking about permanent medical damage,” he said.
The Christian Post reporter also condemned the medical acceptance of transgender surgery. “Since when did it become a medically ethical practice to remove a physically healthy organ?” he asked. “I’m of the view, [Myers] is of the view, and I hear this from many people, that doctors should ‘first, do no harm.’ Well, you certainly don’t remove physically healthy body parts in pursuit of a physiological impossibility. That’s just not ethical, and that’s going to impede the functioning of the body as a whole organism.”
Showalter argued that the “gender lie” amounts to the “illogical and insane” claim that human beings can change their biological sex.
“Transgenderism is fundamentally an attack on the sex of the body,” he said. “So, they might say, ‘I’m not changing my sex. I’m just changing my gender.’ But it’s a sleight of hand. It’s manipulation.”
“If you’re not changing your sex, why are you removing sex organs?” Showalter asked. “Why are you taking drugs, hormones, blockers that will impact your fertility? Yes, you are trying to change the sex of the body.”
He noted that “human beings are only ever male and female, and even those who have disorders of sexual development, Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, these rare chromosomal configurations, all of those people are always also only male and female. There are two sexes. That’s it.”
Showalter also warned that transgender activism is splitting families, with social services removing children from the custody of parents who don’t agree with a transgender identity.
Myers noted that some European countries that first pioneered experimental transgender “medicine”—such as Finland and Britain—have “backed almost entirely away” and are now “recommending psychotherapy as the first line of treatment.”
He also noted that Florida has “set up a medical board that is not controlled by the transgender industry,” which is rewriting standards of care and “developing the medical basis for the proper treatment of children who have identity confusion.” He also praised Florida for lengthening the statute of limitations, which can cover the long-term effects of experimental medical interventions.
Myers insisted that a biblical worldview addresses the underlying problems behind gender dysphoria.
He urged “believers and nonbelievers” alike to insist that there is a meaningful difference between men and women. “The difference is good. It is beautiful. You were not born in the wrong body. You are made in God’s image. You have incredible value to Him. Let’s just set all the stereotypes of what a culture says masculine people do or feminine people do—set all of that stuff aside” and emphasize the image of God.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Tyler O’Neil: This is Tyler O’Neil, managing editor at The Daily Signal. This is “The Daily Signal Podcast” for Thursday, March 9. I’m joined by Dr. Jeff Myers, who is the president of Summit Ministries, and Brandon Showalter, who is a reporter at The Christian Post. I’ve been covering transgender issues for a long time. They are talking about their new hard-hitting book called “Exposing the Gender Lie.” Great to have both of you on the show.
Jeff Myers: Thank you, Tyler.
Brandon Showalter: Thank you, Tyler.
O’Neil: I think I want to zero in, the first thing that I saw that got my attention about your book was this new polling from McLaughlin and Associates and Summit Ministries showing that 71% of voters are angry and upset by the efforts to expose children to the transgender movement using tactics like drag queen shows, school curriculum, and social media. Can you talk to some of this anger and why voters are feeling this way?
Showalter: Well, I think that the anger is because it’s the enforced absurdity of it. That’s my opinion about this. When you see the sports issue, especially, it shows the disparity. Well, it shows just how the gap, the unbridgeable gap that there is that male puberty confers on a male body. And then, you see women who had to fight for their own sports several decades ago with Title IX. The sports issue really showcases just how illogical and insane all of this is.
And it’s not that women’s sports don’t matter, they certainly do. But that’s just the very tip of a very big iceberg of what gender ideology is and what it causes. I think the worst of which, and we can probably discuss this more, are the medical issues and when we see children being put on blockers, hormones, and surgeries. But that’s just in terms of the most grave harm being done because of this ideology.
But I think the sports issue is extremely helpful to help people see this just because of how—Lia Thomas. Will/Lia Thomas at the championships, at the NCAA championships in Georgia last year, when people saw that man standing on the swimming block next to all those women, stealing their hard-fought, their hard-won awards, like placing on the podium when he doesn’t belong there at all, that really—I know of people who have been following this issue a little bit for years, but when they saw that, they said, “OK, I’m done. I’m going to contend against this. I’m going to be public about my opposition to this,” because they just saw how ridiculous it is.
So, it doesn’t surprise me to hear those polling results. It’s clear.
Myers: Tyler, this anger that Brandon is talking about is a feature, not a bug, of the transgender project. They intend to confuse people. They especially intend to confuse children. And this is an entire industry that is shamelessly pursuing power and profits by victimizing children.
And if you watch their public statements, they always say, “You’re attacking trans kids.” This is the interesting thing about this e-book, is, we are not attacking children who are involved in some kind of identity confusion. Rather, we’re pointing the finger at the industry and the ideology that intentionally target them for that confusion and, in a way, end up preventing them from getting the help that they need.
O’Neil: Well, and can we zoom out a little bit here on specifically the gender lie? How would you define that and then, how does it impact our society as a whole?
Showalter: I would say that the gender lie is that it’s somehow possible, that it’s neo-gnosticism, that you can be born in the wrong body. This notion that human beings or sexually dimorphic mammals can change sex. No, you can’t.
Now, if you ask most people, “Do you think human beings can change sex?” They’ll still say “no.” But if you ask them, “Is it possible for a person to be transgender?” Many will say “yes.” Transgenderism is fundamentally an attack on the sex of the body. So, they might say, “I’m not changing my sex. I’m just changing my gender.” But it’s a sleight of hand. It’s manipulation.
If you’re not changing your sex, why are you removing sex organs? Why are you taking drugs, hormones, blockers that will impact your fertility? Yes, you are trying to change the sex of the body.
So, this lie that you can be this, some kind of person for whom your gametes are not relevant, that’s the lie. No, human beings are only ever male and female. And even those who have disorders of sexual development—Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, these rare chromosomal configurations—all of those people are always also only male and female. There are two sexes. That’s it.
Myers: There are 6,500 biological differences between males and females, Tyler. And every single cell, as Brandon is saying, in the body, with the exception of some aspects of your reproductive cells, is marked XX if you’re a woman, marked XY if you are a man.
Now, why is this coming up now? Well, for decades, the post-modern idealogues in our universities have tried to tear down the very idea that we can even know truth. If there’s no such thing as truth versus falsehood, then what other things are people going to look at and say, “Well, we know that to be true for sure,” and that would be male and female, right? So, if you can tear down the idea that there is such a thing as male and female or that those are relevant categories, then you can completely destroy truth.
And that’s what I’ve seen. I saw that as a university professor for many, many years. I’m seeing that now making its way into the popular culture. If you can get children to look at one another and say, “There’s no difference between a boy and a girl,” you can indoctrinate them to believe anything.
O’Neil: And Brandon, you’ve written extensively, reported, and interviewed a lot of people on this issue. What are the concrete impacts? How does this lie actually hit people at home?
Showalter: Well, one of the things that I say a lot is that transgenderism is many things, but one of the main things that it is, is a medical scandal, and it’s also a family-fracturing scourge. But because of … powerful entities within the medical system, within our government, within the professions, therapy centers, counseling offices, this lie is sown into the minds of young people. And if parents are not willing to go along with this new identity of the child identifying as the opposite sex, in some cases, the state, by way of social services agencies or other entities, will remove the child from custody. So, this splits families. This wedges itself between parents and children.
And that’s even before you start to get to the medical harm. Puberty blockers, the line that trans activists like to say is that they’re completely safe and reversible. They are not. That is a lie. Cross-sex hormones, the effects of those are also not reversible. If you go on testosterone as a female, which you can now get within 30 minutes from a telehealth call at Planned Parenthood, your voice will deepen and you won’t get that back. If you’re on it for a few years, your uterus will atrophy and you’ll need a hysterectomy. We’re talking about permanent medical damage.
And then, you get to the surgery, which, the collapse of biomedical ethics is just astonishing in this space because of the incursion of gender ideology into society. Since when did it become a medically ethical practice to remove a physically healthy organ? I’m of the view, Jeff is of the view, and I hear this from many people, that doctors should first do no harm. Well, you certainly don’t remove physically healthy body parts in pursuit of a physiological impossibility. That’s just not ethical. And that’s going to impede the functioning of the body as a whole organism.
O’Neil: When even these so-called puberty blockers, which they claim are completely reversible, that they can just restart puberty naturally at any other time—
Showalter: Not how it works.
O’Neil: And these drugs, what else do they use them for? And are they approved by the [Food and Drug Administration] for this purpose?
Myers: They’re not approved for the purpose of being puberty blockers.
Lupron is the primary drug that is used. It’s used to treat men who have prostate cancer and it’s used very effectively on label for that purpose. Also, women who have endometriosis. But for children, there is no FDA-approved use. This is experimental medication under the assumption that you can mutilate the body to heal the mind, Tyler. And that’s the part of it that I would focus on for the actual impact on mental health on young people.
There are 42,000 young people just last year who were diagnosed gender dysphoric. The natural course of treatment, according to the medical standards of care, is to move them toward puberty blockers, and then cross-sex hormones, and then surgery. That’s not a possible course of action. That is the choreographed course of action outlined by the medical community because of its takeover by transgender activists.
But the mental health issue is being left unaddressed. Just this last week, I was with two different families, completely heartbroken, a child who’s been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, suffering really from childhood trauma that is being left unaddressed because the doctors are telling them, “We can medicalize this and fix them,” and they’re ruining these kids’ lives forever.
O’Neil: Brandon, you’ve also talked about the fracturing of families. What have you seen specifically along these lines in American society?
Showalter: Well, the best thing that I have seen is a showcase. I was recently a part of a film called “Dead Name,” which people can go see on deadnamedocumentary.com. Vimeo scrubbed it in January due to their hate policy. But that’s how this works. It fractures families because transgender activism is so authoritarian. It hijacks our language. We’ve got a whole chapter in “Exposing the Gender Lie” on how trans ideology twists language in order to distort reality. And when you try to distort reality within a family structure, it just fractures the entire unit.
If a child can believe, come to believe that unless their parents go along with their desire to transition, so to speak, that their parents are then just bigoted and hateful, and that they should reject them because of the way in which transgender ideology has redefined the terms, it just ruins human relationships.
And I think we can talk about the medical damage and we should, but I think what holds the key, and this is very evident in the “Dead Name” film, and again, I would urge everyone to go see it deadnamedocumentary.com, is that when you see the human cost of this—the most painful things that we experience in life are, I believe, because of relationships, when they fall apart, and when there’s rupture in the family. I’ve known this to cause divorces. Grandparents are devastated by this, siblings pitted against each other, aunts and uncles.
And the fracturing that happens because of this dogma is devastating and horrible. But people don’t really know that. … Except for The Christian Post, and churches, and a few other ministries, some radical feminists tell the truth about this. You won’t see families’ voices. You won’t see moms and dads who are crushed by this highlighted in the legacy press. And I think that’s probably some of the worst suffering that this has caused. And we are only now just beginning to see some of it manifest.
O’Neil: Well, Jeff, because you lead a Christian ministry, what led you to decide to write this book and why is it so important to set the record straight on these issues?
Myers: Well, when Brandon and I decided to write “Exposing the Gender Lie,” we had a lot of discussions internally. Our ministry is focused on equipping and supporting young adults to embrace a biblical worldview and to embrace God’s truth. And why would we get involved in an issue like transgender? And the answer became very clear to all of us. This idea of the transgender industry is an attack on truth itself.
As I mentioned earlier in the show, if you can get children to look at one another and say, “There’s no difference between a boy and a girl,” then you can indoctrinate them into anything. So, it’s really a stand for truth at this point.
And the truth is, the transgender movement is actually an industry. It is run by organizations intending to use it to elevate themselves into positions of political power and to earn obscene profits. The lobbying that they’re doing at the congressional level, the tens of millions of dollars that are being put into congressional campaigns and to buy off elected officials is extraordinary. And it’s all in the service of tearing down the idea of “Truth.”
O’Neil: Does your book get into some of those economic incentives there, this idea of buying off politicians? Frankly, I’ve been astounded to see the Left fall in almost complete lockstep. There are a few of those who previously were in the Democratic Party, like Tulsi Gabbard, who is now speaking out on this issue. But most of them are just completely buying it, hook, line, and sinker. Is there a money trail that explains that?
Myers: There’s a money trail. We cover one aspect of it in the e-book. And then, I’ll share with you other facts that are not in this particular book, but that are relevant to the conversation.
The money trail in the book is that the transgender medical industry, starting with the idea of how you treat children who have gender dysphoria, who’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, moves them toward medicalization. The standards of care, these are the standards that doctors use because doctors can’t know everything, and they just look: “Well, here’s step one, here’s step two, here’s step three.” It naturally and inevitably moves toward medicalization. And by that, I mean giving children puberty blockers, giving them cross-ex hormones. “Just take the puberty blockers.”
If someone is being treated for prostate cancer, their bill for using Lupron might be $7,000 or $8,000 a year. For a child, being used as a puberty blocker, it’s $30,000 a year that that particular company is making.
There have been market analyses done now, Tyler, saying that next year, this will be a $2 billion industry, and the market analysts are saying, “Get in on the ground floor while you can because you can take advantage of these children’s confusion,” my words, not theirs, “in order to make a tremendous amount of profit.”
But the pharmaceutical industry, as you know, lobbies Congress. They spent last year about $700 million. It’s more than almost $1.5 million per member of Congress. That’s three times as much as the next nearest industry. The particular company that makes Lupron spends millions of dollars. They contribute to political campaigns, mostly people on the Left, but also Republicans.
So, you’ll find the Left strongly against this for financial reasons. You’ll find Republicans soft on it, also for financial reasons. Now, I’m not saying that getting a check from a company always changes a member of Congress’ vote. But man, when you watch these testimonies in these hearings, you can see that these individuals supporting this agenda are mouthpieces for an industry. And I have to emphasize, this is all victimizing children. The children are not the problem here. It is an industry hiding behind children in order to expand power and profit.
O’Neil: And from a Christian perspective, one of the articles I wrote at PJ Media years ago was “Three Promises the Bible Makes for Transgender People.” Because even back in 2017, I saw that this was going to be a big issue. Would you speak briefly to almost the positive other side of this? That Christianity, the Bible, the gospel, speaks to people who are suffering, who might be confused about their gender, who are dealing with underlying psychological issues. And this isn’t just a, “Oh, Christians hate trans people or whatever.” This is, we do have a compelling alternative for them.
Myers: No question. And in the “Exposing the Gender Lie” book, the last section of the book is very detailed in talking about how a biblical worldview actually solves this problem. A biblical worldview shows the theology and the biology coming together. As Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said, “Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean.”
If you start in Genesis 1, 2, and 3, you see a very uplifting account of human beings being made in God’s image as male and female, lifting up men, lifting up women, and showing how they work together in a creative tension, like two pitches of a roof. Either side would collapse if it didn’t lean on the other. But leaning together, they actually create strength.
We talk specifically about biblical aspects of male and female, how to help children be gender secure. And then, in the frequently asked questions section of the book, we do talk specifically about how you help children who are—almost all children dealing with gender dysphoria have underlying childhood trauma that could be caused by early sexual abuse. It could be caused by an experience of divorce or early use of pornography. All kinds of things can cause it. When you deal with the underlying trauma, somewhere between 75% and 95% of children grow out of their gender-dysphoric symptoms. But if children go through the medicalization, the studies are showing there’s a 19 times higher chance that they will be suicidal later in life.
O’Neil: Yeah, that’s just horrifying. Have you seen reasons for hope? I think of countries in Europe and I think in Florida where they’re trying to put together standards of care that would emphasize more psychological treatment, more finding the underlying issues, and a little bit less of this, as Ian Prior said, “the school-to-scalpel pipeline.” Where do you see signs of hope on pushing back?
Myers: Well, I don’t always recommend that we follow Europe’s example, but in this case, countries like Finland and the U.K. pioneered transgender medical treatment. They have backed almost entirely away from that and are now recommending psychotherapy as the first line of treatment. So, they’ve changed their standards of care. They realized they were taken in by people in the transgender industry and now, they’re backing away from it.
In the state of Florida, same thing. They’ve done a couple of things that I think can be very helpful. First of all, they set up a medical board that is not controlled by the transgender industry, that is rewriting the standards of care and developing the medical basis for the proper treatment of children who have identity confusion.
And the second thing they’ve done is expand the statute of limitations to 20 years for medical harm. When doctors say, “There’s absolutely no harm to giving puberty blockers,” well, then they can say that because the statute of limitations in most places is only three years. Those problems will not manifest in three years. So, expand it to 20 years. If you think there’s no harm, expand the statute of limitations, and let people go back and have a medical claim of harm even decades later, if it turns out that those false claims of the transgender industry were not true.
O’Neil: I think many people who understand the issue, who might agree with the perspective, the biblical definition of male and female, the biological definition of male and female might feel a little—there’s this growing tension, I think, among those who are speaking out that perhaps some aspects of the response to transgenderism are going too far and that we need to have more of a moderate approach, not necessarily compromising, obviously, but making sure that it can appeal to those who are on both sides of the political spectrum. Because unfortunately, largely because the Left has seized on transgenderism so much, it appears right now to be more of a conservative issue when it really should appeal to people on both sides.
Myers: I think it is behind the scenes, Tyler, it is a bipartisan issue. When we poll on this, we polled—for example, we’re releasing a new poll this week. Eighty percent of people say they think that having men participate in women’s sports is harmful. Seventy-five percent say that they support—actually, well, somewhere between 70% and 75% say they support legal liability for medical harms caused by transgender treatment. Those are Republicans, Democrats, and independents speaking.
The members of Congress, unfortunately, are now being caught with their pants down because they have taken so much money from Planned Parenthood, from the Human Rights Campaign, from the pharmaceutical industry that they are beholden. And it’s going to have to be a bipartisan effort on the part of Americans saying, “Hey, we may not agree on political issues, but we can at least agree that we ought to protect kids.” And that’s our laser focus in the book “Exposing the Gender Lie.” We’re primarily concerned with the way children and young adults are being manipulated by this industry and then, what to do.
O’Neil: How broad is that? How broad would you talk about the harms? We obviously, we’re talking about Lupron, we’re talking about puberty-blocking drugs. But would you even say that the ideology that some of these books that are encouraging transgender ideology, that children need to be protected from those? And how? And in what way would you encourage Americans to protect their own children, but also, to think about protecting kids in their local school districts and in the states at large?
Myers: It seems to me that sharing the truth is an antidote to lies. If the problem really is an industry and an ideology pushing this, then banning a book here or there is not going to be nearly as effective as—just take our book. It’s free and available. You just go to summit.org/protect. Get this copy of the book “Exposing the Gender Lie” and you’ll see the information that you can give to children.
Listen, children experiencing gender confusion is not new. Children experiencing identity confusion is not new. What is new is an industry that has been built around carefully taking advantage of that confusion to try to promote a particular viewpoint. And we’re now to the place where some surveys say that 39% of young people identify as LGBTQ. They somehow believe transgender means that they’re above gender. They’re above having to make those decisions. And you can imagine why a young woman who is experiencing sexual abuse or bullying might want to be a boy just out of self-protection. The sexual revolution has led to this.
And it’s time for, I think, believers and non-believers to stand up and say, “No, there’s a difference. The difference is meaningful. The difference is good. It is beautiful. You were not born in the wrong body. You are made in God’s image. You have incredible value to him. Let’s just set aside all the stereotypes of what a culture says masculine people do or feminine people do. Set all of that stuff aside. That’s not as important as the fact that you’re made in God’s image.”
O’Neil: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Jeff Myers. Where can people follow you and read the book? I think you already mentioned, but just another shout-out.
Myers: I did. I snuck it in there. Summit.org/protect. The book is called “Exposing the Gender Lie.” My co-author, Brandon Showalter from The Christian Post, and then our team at Summit Ministries here are offering that available at no charge. Download a copy of the e-book, and you can send the link to other people. We want to get the word out as quickly as possible because this is a battle that we can win on behalf of America’s kids.
O’Neil: Thank you so much. This has been Tyler O’Neil, managing editor at The Daily Signal, joined by Dr. Jeff Myers and Brandon Showalter on their excellent new book “Exposing the Gender Lie.”
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.