Trans children: “Among minors, nothing should be done that is irreversible”, insists Dr. Eliacheff – Transgender teenagers: a questioning phenomenon

In “The Factory of the Transgender Child” (1), you highlight “the unprecedented explosion of gender reassignment requests among children and young people in the United States and Europe”. What figures is this claim based on?

In the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, all studies produce curves that rise exponentially. Starting from very low, however, we do not arrive at particularly high figures, but it is the increase from 1,000% to 4,000% that worries. And with a few years delay, the phenomenon arrives in France.

Is that why the term “epidemic” is used in your book?

Unless I am wrong, we are not talking about an epidemic (the term is well used by one of their interlocutors, page 40, ed). Among young girls, one can talk about peer infection when several students in the same class declare themselves “trans” at the same time.

These teenagers, who are they? Is there a typical profile?

These young people are mainly girls aged 13 to 17, whereas the boys used to be in the majority. For various reasons, they suffer and are in search of identity.

How do you explain this “exponential” increase?

On social networks (TikTok, Snapchat …) these young people are looking for an answer to their discomfort. They find influencers who reveal their transition, push them to self-diagnosis, and refer them to pro-trans sites. They find advice on how to talk to their parents. For example, confirming that they have felt trans since childhood, that they will commit suicide if their parents do not follow them. They also find the names of complacent doctors with notes like: “In one session you have your certificate”, “In two sessions you have hormones”. The periods of imprisonment have significantly increased the frequency of these social networks.

On social networks, they become popular and heroized

Is it not rather a liberation of speech? For as Jean Chambry, child psychiatrist, explained in “L’Express”, in October 2021: “Previously, there was no room for speech for these young people”. From now on, they can be referred to specialized consultations.

So far, teens have been gagged? What has changed is the response they have received: On social networks, they are becoming popular and heroized. In the family, it’s a big shock, but some parents follow suit with the world’s best intentions. As for the doctors (not all), they respond to this request by “accompanying it”, that is, by prescribing treatments.

You portray overwhelmed parents with, I quote, “mothers reciting the LGBT faith” and slightly passive fathers. How should they position themselves? Can a transition not be the solution to their child’s illness?

It is not me who has to give advice to parents and even less to criticize them. But it would be desirable for them to be informed. Do they know that wholehearted approval of a social transition is a form of conditioning that makes it difficult to change your mind? On the other hand, when the parents keep in touch with the young person but do not completely agree with what he is saying, which gives him the opportunity to express his ambivalence, it does not oblige him 100%. Is their consent to treatment really informed? Are there other circumstances when a young person who wants to make a lifelong decision is not asked to reflect?

The answer is no. The biggest pitfall in this circular is to mix the fight against discrimination, which is quite commendable and must take place in school, and the possibility for such a student to change his first name at his request. Social transition is not insignificant and should be separated from reflection on the fight against all forms of discrimination, which is more complex to practice than to wave as a banner.

Circular or not, it is illegal to change your first name upon request

How should National Education respond to these children?

I have no lesson to give to national education. But I think some indifference would be very welcome. Circular or not, it is illegal to change your first name upon request: you can not take an exam under a “chosen” identity. I do not see why the school would not obey the law.

Éric Zemmour also criticizes this circular, in which the former presidential candidate accuses Jean-Michel Blanquer of being “the toys of the lobbies”. does it not bother you?

We know that many people of all political persuasions agree with us. Let them say it! Because assimilating ourselves to the extreme right wing is a way, with the accusation of transphobia, to intimidate and close the debate.

In your eyes, is France too lenient?

The directives used by doctors in France are international or rather copied from international directives, especially American and Dutch. But they are changing, especially in Sweden, where the prescription of hormones is much more monitored in favor of psychotherapeutic treatment. In France, the Academy of Medicine has issued an opinion calling for “caution”, and in the coming months the High Health Authority will most likely issue directives (1).

What do you think of Céline Masson, your co-author?

In minors, nothing irreversible should be done. Some argue that the effects of puberty blockers are reversible, which is not entirely true. What’s more, it’s a highway that leads to the prescription of hormones. Surgical operations (removal of breasts or testicles) are sexual mutilations. They are not banned for minors, and contrary to what some say, they are performed before the age of 18 (according to the report by Dr. Picard and Simon Jutant, only breast surgeries are performed, editor’s note). We should therefore wait, of course not without doing something, because it is not only young people who are not feeling well, but who have more than 50% of documented psychiatric antecedents. But that a young adult decides to make a transition, that does not pose a problem for me!

Yes, we saw a small group of young people arrive, quite excited with a megaphone. The goal was that this conference could not be held. So we moved somewhere else. It was pretty violent: We were called “murderers” and “transphobes”.

Is dialogue impossible with the LGBTQI + community?

In Geneva, they absolutely did not want to enter into dialogue. But adults do not interest us in the sense that they do what they think they should do. Our concern is children and young people. In this area, I believe that our positions are sound.

It must be said that you are shooting red balls at the LGBTQI + community: you are talking about “sectarian influence”, about “mental influence via the internet and social networks” … What disturbed it.

It disturbs, of course, the trans activists, a minority but very noisy. But again, if it’s adults, we have nothing to say. But that young people who are bad at themselves, easily influenced, find themselves recruited through social networks, reject their parents, even file a complaint against them or threaten to commit suicide if we do not agree to their demands, it poses a problem for us. LGBT people are divided on this topic and some of them completely agree with us on the topic of minors.

Your book must not have pleased any of your colleagues either, right? Thus you write: “Today it is enough to want to change gender with the medical check’s blank check, to be able to do it”.

In the great Parisian services, some exercise very well, accepting these young people over a long period of time. Others are less careful. They take huge risks because more and more parents are going to file a complaint. We were talking about a health scandal. In the United States, a legal scandal threatens.

Detransitions are branded as traitors to the LGBT cause, harassed

What can we say about these people who decide to engage in a detransition? How many are they? What do they live on?

On the contrary, they tend to hide. However, some of them, especially in Belgium, the United States and Canada, have launched websites to welcome those who wish to adapt. They are currently estimated at between 10% and 20%, but this is an estimate that needs to be verified by long-term studies. Again, it’s mostly girls. And there is a difference between the “desisters” who give up all treatment or interrupt it early, and the “detransitions” who have gone further. They are called traitors to the LGBT cause, being harassed. It is quite difficult for them to reveal themselves, to return to the services where they feel they have been abused.

Upon inquiry, HAS has told us that “work on the organization of transition roads was under way”. But it is only in the beginning, “in the pre-framing phase”.


“The factory of the child-transgender” by Caroline Eliacheff and Céline Masson, Editions de l’Observatoire, € 12.

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