The World Health Organization (WHO) has formed a group of 21 individuals to develop guidelines for transgender health care to be used globally. This news is concerning, but the group’s composition is even more alarming. It is predominantly made up of transgender activists with little to no medical background, which may lead to extreme and irreversible care advice for transgender individuals. One member of the board has drawn media attention due to a tattoo on their body and past comments advocating for puberty blockers for minors without any age restrictions.
Florence Ashley, a transgender criminal law professor, is one of the panel members tasked with creating guidelines for “the health of trans and gender diverse people.” Florence, who prefers the pronouns “they, them, that, bitch,” has authored a book titled Gender/Fucking: The Pleasures and Politics of Living in a Gendered Body, which explores sexual arousal as a form of self-discovery. They also believe that puberty blockers should be the default option for all minors and that the potential risks of these blockers do not outweigh the benefits of undergoing puberty.
The majority of the WHO panel lacks medical expertise and consists mainly of gender activists. This raises concerns as the panel may not consider alternative treatment methods, including mental health avenues, for transgender individuals. The question arises as to why the WHO is pushing for such extreme and irreversible care without balancing perspectives.
The guidelines proposed by these non-medical or healthcare professionals aim to provide evidence and implementation guidance on health sector interventions for trans and gender diverse people. These guidelines will focus on specific areas such as transition care, hormone therapy, gender-inclusive health policies, and laws respecting an individual’s right to express their gender.
The influence of the WHO is crucial as the United States is one of the largest donors to the organization, with a significant financial contribution. It is important to consider the impact of the WHO’s decisions on a global scale, as what we invest in reflects what we care about.