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Five Hours and a Letter - Sydney's Transgender Story

Five hours and a letter. That’s all that Sydney Wright needed to begin hormone replacement therapy and gender “transition.” Sydney was on the verge of turning 19 and was convinced that transitioning to being a boy would solve the psychological problems she was facing. She was a classic tomboy, but also was mainly attracted to girls. The encouragement to “transition” was coming from various sources: her therapist, the seemingly ubiquitous transgender success stories she saw in the media, and even her friends.

Five hours might be the time spent on two dates with someone. How well do you know someone after two dates? Telling someone your darkest inner secrets after two dates usually gets you ghosted for the third. Even psychologists aren’t always able to treat their patients after five sessions. Yet, for Sydney, the specialist she saw felt that the five hours amounted to enough to get a recommendation letter for hormone therapy.

She summed up the problematic thinking our society has engaged in, “At age 18, I wasn’t even legal to buy alcohol, but I was old enough to go to a therapist and get hormones to change my gender.”

After she received the letter, she met with a doctor whom, she thought, would administer the treatments himself. Instead, he showed callous disregard for her and her future well-being. In response to her stating that she was nervous, he asked whether or not she wanted to move forward, accepted her letter (without even opening it), phoned in the prescription, and told her to administer the shots herself – perhaps learning how on YouTube.

Sydney began the treatments and noticed some worrying results almost immediately. She gained weight, her skin became discolored, and, most terrifyingly of all, her blood started to thicken. She also discovered that she was now pre-diabetic. The original doctor said that these symptoms weren’t something to be worried about. Fortunately, she had the good sense to seek out a second opinion, which informed her that she was at risk for a stroke or heart attack.

And yet, for all the potentially life threatening side-effects of the treatments, not one of her friends, or people who cared for her, dared to speak out, or even talk to her about the terrible impact it was having on her. No one, that is, except for her grandfather. “Finally, one day, my grandfather sat me down to talk about it. He was, and will remain the only person whose opinion I will ever care about. With tears in his eyes, he asked me to stop… That was a saving grace. I would have let this treatment kill me before admitting I’d screwed up. His intervention may have saved my life.”

While Sydney didn’t have any surgeries, quitting the therapy took an immensely heavy toll on her. For four months she went through terrible withdrawals. Her hormone balance was off, she spent nearly every day sick, was unable to keep any food down, and during her last ER visit, was convinced that if she wasn’t admitted to the hospital, she wouldn’t make it. Even a year after being off of hormones, her voice is still deep and she appears very masculine, but fortunately, she has been able to return to a semi-normal life.

Sydney now identifies as the female she has always been, though it will take a court order in order for her to change her driver’s license to reflect that. She is still a lesbian, but has recently come out in support of an Alabama bill banning transgender treatments for people under the age of 19. Peter Sprigg, of the Family Research Council explained about Sydney’s stance, “She made clear that she's not opposing this bill because she's against the LGBT community. She's part of the LGBT community. She opposes it because of the physical harm that it causes to the bodies of transgender kids.”

Sydney’s story is a travesty and she knows it. From the zeitgeist of affirmation to the medical profession’s indulgence of childish fantasies, to the doctor’s preferment of pharmaceutical payments to the health of their desperate and fragile clients, our children, and anyone suffering from gender confusion, deserves better.



Sydney lives in Georgia and told her story to the Daily Signal. We are grateful to her for having the courage to share her story, and to the Daily Signal for publishing it.