Doctor Warns Legislators Not to Fund Transgender “Carousel” for Kids, Calling Treatments “Circular Hell”

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SACRAMENTO – Earlier this week a pediatric endocrinologist warned state legislators about a dangerous bill under consideration to fund transgender drugs and surgeries for minors as well as adults. He warned that the emotionally troubled children lured into these “carousel” like treatments, would return to legally hold responsible those who built and ran the ride once they realize they were placed in a “circular hell.” Legislators in the Assembly Health Committee rejected his advice and overwhelmingly approved the $15 million expenditure, AB 2218, anyway and without any legislative debate. 

Dr. Quentin Van Meter is a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist and an adjunct professor of pediatrics at both Emory University and Morehouse College with 44 years of experience. In his testimony before the committee, he explained how “one’s sex is concrete and immutable” and “can never be changed.” He pointed to studies showing children who are treated with cross-sex hormones for their gender confusion have “significant mental health issues,” that remain even after hormone therapy.  

And to further illustrate his point, Van Meter used an analogy of a carousel to explain how treatments that affirm transgender feelings are luring vulnerable and emotionally troubled children into treatment that turns into a nightmare.  

“Think of a carousel in a park, beckoning to a troubled child with promises of rides on ponies and dolphins with cotton candy offered at every turn,” Van Meter explained. “Ask the child if they want to get on, and they will say yes. Ask them after one ride if they want to get off and return to a painful place, and they will say no. Ask them if they are happy on the ride, and they will say yes. Follow them on this carousel ride for 10 years, and there will be a change in their answer as the luster has worn off and they are seeking real answers as to why they were troubled in the first place. Medical literature and the testimonies of trans-adults who have returned to a congruence of gender and sex show that this carousel is, in the end, a circular hell.”

Van Meter concluded this testimony with a warning. “Those who were led to believe that affirmation is the answer to their prayers will come back through legal means and hold accountable those who built the carousel, who ran the carousel and saw fit to polish the brass poles and serve cotton candy in order to keep people on board,” he said.  (Read Dr. Van Meters AB 2218 opposition letter)

Listen to the AB 2218 hearing before the Assembly Health Committee. Bill author Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D – Los Angeles) is pictured above.

After Van Meter finished and others voiced their support and opposition, the committee chair opened the hearing up for questions. Instead of debating the evidence presented and discussing the supposed merits of the bill, legislators sat in silence. None of the Democrats wanted to defend the bill, but neither did the Republicans question the harm the bill could cause. After the author Assemblyman Miguel Santiago gave his concluding remarks,  all 11 Democrats and one Independent (former Republican Chad Mayes) voted yes, one Republican (Heath Flora) voted no, while Republican Minority Leader Maria Waldron and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow didn’t vote at all.  

The bill will now be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The hearing date has not been set. 

Call to Action

Call members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee below and tell them to vote “NO” on AB 2218. (Learn more about AB 2218 here.)

Committee MembersDistrictOffice & Contact Information
Lorena Gonzalez (Chair)Dem – 80Contact Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Capitol Office, Room 2114P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0080; (916) 319-2080
Frank Bigelow (Vice Chair)Rep – 05Contact Assembly Member Frank Bigelow
Capitol Office, Room 4158P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0005; (916) 319-2005
Rebecca Bauer-KahanDem – 16Contact Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan Capitol Office, Room 2130P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0016; (916) 319-2016
Richard BloomDem – 50Contact Assembly Member Richard Bloom Capitol Office, Room 2003P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0050; (916) 319-2050
Rob BontaDem – 18Contact Assembly Member Rob Bonta
Capitol Office, Room 2148P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0018; (916) 319-2018
William P. BroughRep – 73Contact Assembly Member William P. Brough Capitol Office, Room 3141P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0073; (916) 319-2073
Ian C. CalderonDem – 57Contact Assembly Member Ian C. Calderon Capitol Office, Room 319P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0057; (916) 319-2057
Wendy CarrilloDem – 51Contact Assembly Member Wendy Carrillo Capitol Office, Room 4167P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0051; (916) 319-2051
Ed ChauDem – 49Contact Assembly Member Ed Chau
Capitol Office, Room 5016P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0049; (916) 319-2049
Megan DahleRep – 01Contact Assembly Member Megan Dahle
Capitol Office, Room 4208P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0001; (916) 319-2001
Tyler DiepRep – 72Contact Assembly Member Tyler Diep
Capitol Office, Room 4153P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0072; (916) 319-2072
Susan Talamantes EggmanDem – 13Contact Assembly Member Susan Talamantes EggmanCapitol Office, Room 4117P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0013; (916) 319-2013
Vince FongRep – 34Contact Assembly Member Vince Fong
Capitol Office, Room 2002P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0034; (916) 319-2034
Jesse GabrielDem – 45Contact Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel
Capitol Office, Room 4139P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0045; (916) 319-2045
Eduardo GarciaDem – 56Contact Assembly Member Eduardo GarciaCapitol Office, Room 4140P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0056; (916) 319-2056
Cottie Petrie-NorrisDem – 74Contact Assembly Member Cottie Petrie-Norris
Capitol Office, Room 4144P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0074; (916) 319-2074
Bill QuirkDem – 20Contact Assembly Member Bill Quirk
Capitol Office, Room 2163P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0020; (916) 319-2020
Robert RivasDem – 30Contact Assembly Member Robert Rivas
Capitol Office, Room 5158P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0030; (916) 319-2030

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