EXCLUSIVE: Top Pediatric Org Quietly Colluded With Trans Ideologues To Push Child Sex Changes, Emails Show

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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the nation’s preeminent pediatric medical organization, worked “very closely” with a transgender medical activist group to advocate for children to receive sex changes, according to emails obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Numerous Republican-led states have recently passed protective legislation banning minors from accessing experimental procedures, such as puberty blockers and genital surgery, as more and more evidence emerged challenging the justification for child sex changes. To combat these bans, the AAP quietly partnered with the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), a group that’s been widely criticized for pushing transgender ideology over sound medical science.

WPATH is a small but influential transgender medical organization that publishes clinical guidance for the sex change industry, called the Standards of Care. Their controversial guidance recommends children receive sterilizing and irreversible sex change interventions such as puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and sex change surgery. (RELATED: THE WPATH TAPES: Behind-The-Scenes Recordings Reveal What Top Gender Doctors Really Think About Sex Change Procedures)

The Cass Review, a recently-released report commissioned by the U.K’s National Health Service (NHS) to make evidence-based recommendations on caring for gender-confused youth, questioned the credibility of the WPATH Standards of Care, highlighting their lack of  “developmental rigour.”

While the AAP and WPATH had previously collaborated on multiple amicus briefs supporting legal challenges to child sex change bans, emails obtained by the DCNF reveal a far deeper level of coordination between the two organizations in pushing for children’s access to the procedures across the country. (RELATED: Private Footage Reveals Leading Medical Org’s Efforts To ‘Normalize’ Gender Ideology)

Members of both organizations regularly coordinated with one another, in some cases strategizing how to combat child sex change bans. Moreover, a board member of the United States Professional Association of Transgender Health (USPATH), a regional subsidiary of WPATH, wrote that expanding their partnership with the AAP was a “goal” of the organization.

Emails detailing coordination between WPATH and AAP.

A spokesperson for the AAP confirmed the collaboration between the AAP and WPATH.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) routinely partners with relevant U.S. medical and mental health associations and global health organizations on a wide range of health issues, including the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH),” the spokesperson said. “While this collaboration is important, the AAP develops policy guidance independently, as do its peer organizations.”

The DCNF obtained the emails between WPATH and AAP leadership through a public records request to West Virginia University (WVU) where Dr. Kacie Kidd and Dr. Lisa Costello are assistant professors at its medical school.

Kidd is a USPATH board member and the medical director of WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital Gender & Sexual Development Clinic. Costello is a member of the AAP Committee on State Government Affairs — which “coordinates all state legislative and regulatory issues of pediatric concern” — and the president of the West Virginia State Medical Association.

In December 2023, the AAP issued an internal memo stating members who serve in a leadership capacity or work on policy must refrain from using work emails for AAP business over privacy concerns, such as emails being subject to Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA).

Neither WPATH, the West Virginia University, Kidd, Hudson or Costello responded to multiple requests for comment.

‘Strong Partner’

The correspondences obtained by the DCNF demonstrate familiarity and collegiality between AAP and WPATH, and in many cases the two organizations appeared to share the same policy goals.

For instance, Jeff Hudson, manager of child welfare initiatives at the AAP, called WPATH a “strong partner” in the organization’s legal challenges to pediatric sex change bans in an email to Kidd and USPATH President Madeline Deutsch.

“WPATH has been and continues to be a strong partner in our amicus brief strategy supporting challenges to state bans on gender‐affirming care for TGD youth, so thank you for your continued engagement with us on those,” Hudson wrote.

“TGD youth” is an abbreviation for transgender and gender-diverse youth used in AAP publications.

“Gender-affirming care” is a euphemism often used by activists to describe the use of puberty suppressing drugs, cross-sex hormones and sex-change surgeries for gender-confused individuals, including children.

Hudson wrote he was communicating directly with WPATH President Marci Bowers about “opportunities to engage” together.

“I’m in direct touch with Dr. Bowers and we are thinking through opportunities to engage together,” wrote Hudson.

Hudson also wrote that he worked “very closely” with, and had “gotten to know,” WPATH’s executive leadership team. In December 2022 Hudson was awarded the AAP Pursuit of Excellence award for his pediatric transgender advocacy work, according to a LinkedIn post.

Bowers and Deutsch did not respond to requests for comment.

Public record emails between AAP and USPATH.

In September 2022, Kidd wrote to Costello asking for help connecting WPATH leadership to AAP leadership.

“I am currently at the WPATH meeting in Montreal and the WPATH and USPATH leadership have requested help from pediatricians working in gender care better connect with AAP leadership to develop further communication and support for pediatricians caring for transgender and gender diverse youth,” Kidd wrote.

Public record email from a USPATH board member.

Through email, Costello connected Kidd with AAP leaders Jamie Poslosky, Vice President of Strategic Communications, and Jeff Hudson.

In one email, Kidd told Poslosky, Hudson and USPATH President Madeline Deutsch that it was WPATH’s goal to partner with the AAP on messaging around pediatric sex reassignment.

“It is the goal of USPATH and the larger international organization, WPATH, to partner with the AAP and other medical and mental health organizations serving children and their families to produce joint and/or aligned messaging to support pediatricians and hospitals caring for transgender and gender diverse youth,” wrote Kidd.

Poslosky did not respond to a request for comment.

USPATH board member discusses WPATH wanting to partner with the AAP.

Hudson responded by setting up a meeting with Kidd to speak about her experiences working in pediatric transgender medicine. Several months later, Kidd spoke at the AAP’s March 2023 Advocacy conference in Washington, D.C.

Kidd’s workshop titled “Defending Evidence-Based Medicine: Gender-Affirming Care,” was slated to discuss the rise in legislative banning pediatric sex-reassignment as well as “advocacy strategies to engage on this issue, information to debunk the myths and misinformation, and messaging recommendations for speaking to state legislators.”

On the last day of the AAP Advocacy conference, March 28th, 2023, pediatricians were bused to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators, according to the conference itinerary.  A series of social media posts show Kidd and Costello meeting with legislators while wearing AAP advocacy buttons.

The DCNF published “The WPATH Tapes,” an in-depth investigation of nearly 30 hours of WPATH conference recordings that were obtained through a public records request. The exclusive footage showed that behind closed doors top WPATH doctors candidly discussed, and at times seemed to challenge, the organization’s own published guidelines for sex change procedures and acknowledged pushing experimental medical interventions that can have devastating and irreversible complications.

The tapes also revealed WPATH officials pushing members to “normalize” gender ideology, particularly in schools. Top WPATH officials also peddled beliefs at odds with long-established scientific understanding of human biology, including claiming that sex is “non-binary.” Moreover, WPATH members were also encouraged to prioritize things like “justice for trans people” over scientific evidence when considering treatments.

‘Highly Influential’

The emails between the AAP and WPATH are just the latest examples of how transgender activist organizations and prominent medical associations have worked hand-in-hand to promote child sex change procedures.

For instance, the AAP’s child sex change policy statement cites the WPATH Standards of Care, which supports puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and sex change surgeries for minors.

The Cass Review found that the WPATH Standards of Care underpinned almost all other guidelines in the field of transgender medicine despite their lack of “rigour.”

“[WPATH] has been highly influential in directing international practice, although its guidelines were found by the University of York appraisal process to lack developmental rigour,” the Cass Review found. “Early versions of two international guidelines – the Endocrine Society 2009 and WPATH 7 – influenced nearly all the other guidelines.”

Several European countries have discontinued child sex changes in the wake of the Cass Review, however, neither AAP nor WPATH have retracted their support of such procedures.

WPATH and USPATH released a three page statement challenging the findings of the Cass Review while AAP has remained somewhat reticent about the report’s findings. AAP President Dr. Benjamin Hoffman said his organization had reviewed the Cass Report and “added it to the evidence base undergoing a systematic review,” The New York Times reported.

“I urge my pediatric colleagues in the AAP to stand up to the AAP leadership and put an end to the harmful protocols they are recommending for children who are having distress over their biological sex,” Dr. Jill Simons, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), told the DCNF.

ACPeds called for an immediate end to pediatric sex change medicine in a published declaration, which says WPATH guidelines’ are “demonstrably flawed and pediatric patients can be harmed when subjected to those protocols.” ACPeds called on American medical associations, including the AAP, to move away from WPATH’s recommendations.

“The facade has been lifted from WPATH,” Simons said. “They are not a professional organization nor are they grounded in science and we should not be relying on them to create medical protocols for our pediatric patients.”

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