Jamie Reed is a 42-year-old former caseworker at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital from 2018 to 2022. She has described herself as a queer woman married to a trans man and “politically left of Bernie Sanders,” the U.S. senator from Vermont.
She became a whistleblower after alleging that she had witnessed “morally and medically appalling” treatment of transgender children and their parents during her four years working at the center. Reed has called for the center to be shut down and detailed her allegations in a sworn affidavit to Missouri’s attorney general, who launched one of three investigations into the center now underway.
She’s written a substack piece about a system that tore families apart. Don’t call her a hero, she says. For she waited too long to speak up.
Her account is a stark revelation of the practices within the gender center. She confesses to having been complicit in a system that prioritized affirmation over questioning, and in doing so, often tore families apart. The protocol followed by the center, she says, sides with affirming parents and maligns those who ask for more time or caution in the process of gender transition for their children.
She admits to using shaming tactics against non-affirming parents and disregarding their legal rights.
Mothers & Fathers Differ
Reed’s account reveals a notable difference in the reactions and approaches of mothers and fathers in the context of their children’s gender transition. She observed that it was often the fathers who were more skeptical and resistant to the quick affirmation of their children’s gender transitions. These fathers, she says, fought for more time in therapy, sought deeper exploration of their children’s desires to transition, and desired more comprehensive mental health assessments.
Conversely, she noticed that some mothers seemed more invested in the gender transition process than in the children themselves. She even suggested that some mothers showed signs of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder where a caretaker seeks medical help for made-up or exaggerated symptoms in their child to gain attention or sympathy.
These mothers, Reed says, often stood against fathers who simply wanted their children to have access to real assessments and therapy. This created a significant divide within families, often leading to legal battles and further strain on the family unit.