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Aaron Kimberly, Canada

"I had been excited to start creating services for youth at the clinic. I wanted to deliver quality, whole-person care to our clients, getting to know multiple aspects of their lives. Instead, I was told that doing assessments was 'gatekeeping' and was not allowed."

Aaron Kimberly is a trans man with a rare ovotesticular disorder of sex development who legally and medically transitioned in 2006. Aaron is an RN with a specialization in mental health. Since 2008, he has worked in a variety of settings including as a staff nurse in hospital psychiatric units, a nurse educator for the British Columbia Adult Tertiary Eating Disorders Program, and as a case manager, counselor and clinical supervisor at Foundry, a multi-service network of clinics serving youth ages 12-25.

It was during his time working with youth that Aaron became concerned about current practices in gender medicine, and trans activism generally. The clinic was seeing a high demand for gender related services, so Aaron started designing services and assessing patients, in collaboration with a physician. Most of the youth requesting hormones were highly complex, same sex-attracted, natal females, with existing diagnoses of autism, ADHD and/or trauma being predominant.  Many reported no childhood history of gender non-conformity or gender dysphoria. Aaron observed many similarities between this cohort and the patients he worked with at the eating disorders program. His observations are consistent with what other whistleblowers are reporting: that a novel cohort of patients has emerged among youth. This new presentation is what Dr Lisa Littman named “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria”.

 

When Aaron voiced concerns within the healthcare system, he was met with hostility. The directors of Trans Care BC (TCBC) accused him of “gatekeeping,” spreading anti-trans propaganda, and using the clinical listserv to spy on them. There were subsequent attempts to have Aaron fired and he was moved out of the clinic and into a general mental health program for adults. A staff member of TCBC, herself a trans woman, was found on social media conspiring with other trans activists to boycott the clinic and pressure Aaron’s employer to fire him outright.

 

In January 2021, Aaron co-founded the Gender Dysphoria Alliance with several other trans men, to voice his concerns publicly.  He co-hosts the Transparency podcast, writes articles, and has been a guest on several podcasts including Unspeakable Podcast, The Boyce of Reason and Gender A Wider Lens. Aaron presents at webinars and conferences, and has spoken with the press in order to help shift the public conversation and highlight the harms being done by “Queer” activism within healthcare.

Are you a clinician who relates to Aaron's story? We'd love to hear from you. 

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