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‘Shameful fearmongering’? LGBTQ+ activists blast 60 Minutes for segment on trans youths featuring people who have detransitioned

The segment in question looked at multiple US states seeking to prohibit minors from receiving transgender-related health care, including puberty blockers, testosterone, estrogen, or surgeries related to their transition.

“Tonight @60Minutes @LesleyRStahl aired a shameful segment fearmongering about trans youth. Parents of trans youth could walk away with the false belief that young people are being rushed into medical transition,” GLAAD wrote following the segment that aired on Sunday.

The group said the majority of the ‘60 Minutes’ story was “devoted to ‘raising concerns’ about youths” accessing such healthcare. 

Psychologist Dr. Laura Edwards Leeper was interviewed during the segment about her work helping teenagers and young adults successfully transition after a “comprehensive assessment” and she raised concerns about healthcare professionals accepting young people claiming to be transgender “too readily.”

Leeper said she and other colleagues fear that some transitioning processes are happening too quickly and those taking issue with this are “afraid to speak up.”

“We’re afraid of not being seen as being affirming or being supportive of these young people or doing something to hurt the trans community,” she said.

Another interview critics took issue with featured Grace Lidinsky-Smith, who began a full gender transition in her 20s only to later detransition less than a year later. 

“I can’t believe that I transitioned and detransitioned, including hormones and surgery, in the course of, like, less than one year,” she said. “It’s completely crazy.”

GLAAD seemed to blast Lidinsky-Smith’s involvement with the CBS story, saying the network failed to “disclose that a person profiled in the story is the president of a group that actively seeks to limit affirming transition-related healthcare.”

Lidinsky-Smith is the president of the Gender Consumer Advocacy Network, which “aims to empower consumers to make the best decisions possible when starting or stopping gender care services.”

One of the organizers for the group pushed back against GLAAD’s description of them. 

“Hi @glaad I am one of the initial organizers of @officialGCCAN and this is not and has never been a goal of @officialGCCAN. Please correct this immediately,” Carey Maria tweeted. 

Four other people who had detransitioned were also interviewed. 

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David raised concern with the focus on people who have regretted transitioning in a ‘60 Minutes Overtime’ segment.

“Bringing a story to light about detransitioning without talking about the vast majority of ppl who positively transition would cause concern because it sends a message,” he said. “We need to also elevate the positive stories who successfully transition.”

Others similarly targeted the segment, including American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer Chase Strangio.

“Giving airtime now to young people who are ‘detransitioning’ while the whole trans community is under attack is rather like running a segment on Asian Americans who believe calling it the ‘China Virus’ is perfectly fine. Did you think this through, @60Minutes?” ‘Star Trek’ actor and liberal activist George Takei added. 

Others praised the segment as “fair” journalism highlighting a “serious problem.”

“GLAAD wants the truth concealed,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted in his defense of the story.

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