Dr. Rob Garofalo, Lurie Children Hospital of Chicago: “Transgender is really a Pediatric Condition”

Dr. Robert Garofalo. photo credit: WindyCityMediaGroup
Dr. Robert Garofalo. photo credit: WindyCityMediaGroup

Dr. Rob Garofalo is the director of the newly created pediatric transgender medical center at the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

From WBEZ news: “The clinic will offer transgender and gender variant children a range of supportive services including psychology, endocrinology, and pediatrics.”

  Garofalo describes what he calls the pathology or “pediatric condition” of sex-role variance and the clinic’s goals:


“So the families, I think, came before the clinic. So there was a clear need for this type of multidisciplinary clinic to be formed. I wasn’t even aware of it. I mean really, it started to come in dribs and drabs but then all of a sudden it became clear that Lurie [Children’s Hospital of Chicago] or someone had to step forward with this idea of a “One Stop Shop” easy access place for these families who are often in distress or in turmoil about having a child that’s gender variant, which can be very challenging to them. So the idea was really to create a program that was comprehensive and very developmentally appropriate. I mean I think you asked “why pediatric?”. It’s because this is really a pediatric condition.

When we think of gender, and gender formation, it doesn’t happen when you’re an adult. It doesn’t happen when you’re a teenager. Someone’s gender is determined when they’re 3, 4, 5. So oftentimes that’s when these issues begin to become apparent for children and families. So I think a pediatric institution with a range of specialists and services designed to not just treat the child, but to treat the whole system, the whole family, is really critically important for this, and for Lurie.

Social construct discordant child
Sex-role discordant child

So really what we do is we work with families on- you know, basic pediatric things, just within the context of having a gender-variant child. So safety issues at home, making sure that kids don’t get bullied in school, creating an environment which allows the child some freedom to figure out who they are within their family structure, within society. It’s not about us giving a child a label or making any sort of extreme intervention early on. That’s not what happens. It’s really about creating a culture of safety for families that often feel like there isn’t anywhere for them to turn.

People are most comfortable when there’s an obvious answer. People are most comfortable when you can put someone in a box and give someone a label. That’s not always the case here. And sometimes the label that we might want to give someone isn’t the most natural: you know, might be calling someone who is distinctly born, you know, with a biologic sense of a boy: a girl.

Sex-role discordant toy advert
Sex-role discordant toy advert

Gender is a social construct. You know, biological sex is about anatomy. You were born with certain anatomy you get called a boy. You were born with different anatomy you get called a girl. Gender is a social construct. So it may relate to their anatomy, but it may not. So it may be concordant with what that anatomy is, but it might not. It might be discordant.

I bet you five years from now that there are going to be programs like this cropping up all over the place. I mean, I think there are new pediatric endocrine society guidelines that speak to this, the World- WPATH- the World Professional Association of Transgender Health Professionals has new guidelines. I think even the AMA has developed policies that are increasingly permissive around transgender conditions. So I think, again, you’re going to see five years from now this will be far more mainstream than it is now.”


Dr. Garofalo’s clinic will provide endocrinological modifications and medical corrections for children suffering from socially constructed gender variance up to the age of 13.

According to the Chicagoist, Garofalo’s Lurie pediatric transgender medical clinic is funded by The Tawani Foundation,  whose mission according to their website is:


Tawani Foundation is committed to:

  • Enhancing and promoting awareness of the importance of the citizen soldier, through preservation of military history & heritage
  • Preserving unique sites of significance to American history
  • Improving public spaces and services that enhance quality of life
  • Honoring the history and supporting the service of military personnel through recognition of achievement

The Tawani Foundation is also a generous funder of WPATH, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, whose guidelines for transgender children were rejected by the American Psychiatric Association last year due to lack of scientific basis. 

14 thoughts on “Dr. Rob Garofalo, Lurie Children Hospital of Chicago: “Transgender is really a Pediatric Condition”

  1. Thank you for this, Gallus. We knew this was increasing, but it’s still a shock when it is so clearly all about money. And those fucking men saying they always felt like women feed this, and they are lying, as we know. The few who did feel confused when young are usually gay men who are self-hating and so say they are trans.
    This is criminal. It’s the most disgusting of all the harm that the trans cult does –Torturing and permanently harming kids for the fame and fortune of the doctors, clinic, and pharmaceutical industry.

  2. My little brother used to walk around in mine and my mother’s shoes all the time. All the time, he loved this. We never saw any problem with this, who would, he was just a child being a child. He also loved to cook with us, he liked to sew with us…I can’t begin to imagine what I would do to someone who tried to diagnose him with a disorder, encourage him to get life-altering medication and surgery before he’s old enough to legally drink, and ruin his life. What are these people thinking? WHERE ARE THE ADULTS? I don’t agree with everything which I read here, but please continue to write your posts. It’s important that people get a look at what’s going on, and ask themselves whether they meant to co-sign an “equality” which means that little kids and teens are somehow now able to consent to decisions which are extremely inappropriate for their ages, with no real science to back up these claims of infant transgenderism/transsexualism. /back to lurking

  3. So a social construct needs a medical “cure?” This man is obviously confused, not thinking clearly. Perhaps he should see a psychiatrist.

  4. “Preserving unique sites of significance to American history” wtf !An American Facist??? It is wrong leaving young impressionable minds to a creature like that. I don’t doubt that some males feel ‘weak and feeble’ = “feminine” compared to alpha male shithouses like him. It seems that males will feel ‘weak’ compared to these “macho powerhouses” like these sick guys.
    They make other males feel rubbish and then announce they have a cure for them: Become females!!! “Here is why you never felt like the lad that was the macho boy in school: You are really Female”!!! Their sickness knows know bounds.

  5. ” … Someone’s gender is determined when they’re 3, 4, 5. So oftentimes that’s when these issues begin to become apparent for children and families.”
    Yes, “these issues” become apparent early in a person’s life. However, they have nothing to do with endocrinology, neurology, or anything physical. They are psychosocial issues. And the notion that psychosocial issues require intensive medical intervention is extremely creepy.

  6. I understand your issue with transwomen invading women-only spaces and I can’t say I disagree with it but do you also have a problem with FTMs?

  7. I used to work with Rob many years ago. He was really the epitome of “straight-acting” at that time – a totally gender-normative straight man who happened to be attracted to other men. He didn’t know anything about transsexual people, and my intense androgyny at that time clearly made him uncomfortable.
    Given his very traditional take on gender roles, it’s not really surprising that he wants to “help” kids fit into gender. It will probably make him feel more safe with the world!
    However, I’m also torn, because it would have really benefited my life if I’d had access to hormone blockers as a teen. If someone like me is accidentally helped by his clinic, that’s great. But it’s very hard for me to trust his motivations!

  8. it is frightening the way gender nonconformists are being pathologised not only by the medical profession, but also by their own parents. i saw this comment on a punk/leftist messageboard and was completely speechless
    “i just said i refer to my kids as boys but i’m also sure to tell them they can be girls/women or somewhere in between. it’s hard for them to grasp as their so young but i feel like it’s a good start to a conversation if there ever needs to be one. errol really wants to me a “mama” when he grows up and i tell him that he can be.”

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