Australia’s 60 Minutes program failed to air a segment on a transgender teen Sunday night after advertising it all week. The promoted story featured a young man named Patrick Mitchell, who was administered estrogen tablets from the age of twelve by his mother, Ali Mitchell, after she obtained the prescriptions under false pretenses by claiming they were somehow needed for herself.
It is yet unclear whether a physician prescribed them or if she somehow ordered them online without a prescription. Also unclear is whether any blood tests were done to screen the boy for dangerous complications such as liver damage or blood clots. Either way, Ms. Mitchell claims she was justified in doing so and broke no laws. She administered the drugs based on the assessment of clinicians who had diagnosed her (then 12-year-old) son as transgender. Now a feminized 14-year-old male teen with breasts, Patrick says he was misdiagnosed, and is seeking to reverse the changes.
“Just so you know I didn’t break the law. My son was suicidal. When seen by clinicians – and the wait for this was life threatening in itself to the point where I could not continue to work or leave him alone – he was diagnosed by them as transgender. When you won’t blink an eye at your son marrying a 6’4” broad shouldered bride with facial hair and an Adam’s apple … maybe – and only then – then comment on ‘what you would do’. It is illegal to prescribe hormones to an under 16 year old – not for these children to take them. It is the only way to manage the bone growth and soften features – like feet growing into size 15 feet – in such a child. This was not a quick decision. I wanted my child alive and positive about their life future – whether a boy or a girl that is ok too. I appreciate most comments – but like me you think this will never happen to you. Stay close to the ones you love – and let them know that it’s never too late to live your truth. The negative comments on social media are only more reason why living in Australia with diversity is stupidly difficult. Should we have continued on because we had alreadly done so much – or let him re enter life as a boy. These children can end their lives in an instant. It becomes a matter of life or death. When someone says NO to RUOK you take every professional advise available to you. You don’t self diagnose. No child would want this on a whim. It’s terribly REAL at the time. I don’t think anyone would wish anything but life and acceptance for all people – children included.”
– Ali Mitchell, commenting publicly on the since removed segment advertisement on 60 Minutes Australia’s Facebook page.
She went on to comment:
“I took every pathway to the letter. If we’d had quicker access to help and blockers things might have been different – but the society’s are overloaded and under resourced. We discussed and were guided in every step by the top in their field and those required to complete lengthy psychiatric assessments quite separately to any parent being of influence or ‘in the room’. I had never known anyone transgender till this happened in our world. Patrick hopes telling his story might help other kids who are distraught in this – nothing more. Best wishes, Ali.”
Women’s Day Australia is running a feature on the Mitchell’s story in their print edition this week. Excerpt:
“Patrick Mitchell tells: “I transitioned into a girl… now I’m a boy again”
This Aussie schoolboy started growing breasts and transitioning into a girl at just 12 years old – before he realised he made a terrible mistake!
SEP 03, 2017 9:30PMBY MORGAN REARDON
In this exclusive interview and on the eve of his surgery to have his breasts removed, he tells Woman’s Day he has no regrets.
Looking at Patrick Mitchell now, you’d have no idea what an emotional rollercoaster he has been on since he made the decision to transition into a girl at 12 years old.
Now, just two years later, the high school student is about to have an operation to remove excess breast tissue in what will be the final stage of his extraordinary transition – back to being a boy.
“I was experiencing discomfort in my gender… but that’s no longer the case,” explains Patrick, who nevertheless has no regrets about the past two years.
This very unusual journey began when Patrick was just seven years old and visiting a friend’s house, and the topic of trans people came up.
“It was the first time I’d heard the phrase ‘trans’, and because I’d always identified with girls I thought, well, this makes sense, I probably am a girl,” he says.
“I was always more feminine and liked baking, gymnastics and fashion – my superhero name was Organza Man.”
Even so, it wasn’t until he was 12 years old and refused to return to school because of severe bullying that he discussed any of this with his family.
“When everyone went to sleep I’d stay up late researching trans people and potential surgeries that I could have to make me look more feminine,” he says.
“It was so hard to wake up every morning and see something new on my body, or that I’d grown. It was so depressing – I hated looking in the mirror. I didn’t know who the person staring back at me was.”
Seeing him struggling, mum Alison decided to home school Patrick and broached the subject of transgender with him.
“I’d seen a story on TV about transgender people,” says Alison.
“I said to Patrick, ‘I’m not saying this is you but I think we should speak to somebody about it.'”
“I hadn’t even finished the sentence and he had the biggest smile on his face – I hadn’t seen him smile for months.”
Shortly after, Patrick met with doctors who diagnosed him with gender dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
As puberty approached, Patrick began transitioning to a woman.
In the beginning of 2017 however, Patrick started to have a change of heart when a female tutor referred to him as “one of the girls” during a lesson.
“I began to realise I was actually comfortable in my body. Every day I just felt better,” Patrick says.
60 Minutes Australia issued no announcement or explanation regarding their decision not to air the advertised segment. Hundreds of outraged viewers left complaints on the 60 Minutes Facebook page after they tuned in to watch and found the story was not aired as expected.
Viewers who emailed the show received the following comment:
Thank you for your message. The story was due to air, however there were production issues that prevented us from screening the story on Sunday. We hope to be able to broadcast it in the next few weeks.
60 Minutes Team.”
Observers speculated that 60 Minutes pulled the segment over concerns that the broadcast would negatively affect the outcome of the September 12th national postal survey to be conducted on same sex marriage. Citizens will vote on whether the government should begin proceedings to legalize same sex marriage. The non-binding postal survey has been hotly contested by LGBT and right wing groups. Much of the opposition links gay marriage to the transgender children debate, presenting same sex marriage as the ‘slippery slope’ leading to the medicalization of gender in children.
The national same sex marriage vote itself is being challenged by LGBT advocates in Australia’s Supreme Court this week. They seek to overturn the vote on the grounds that the survey was not funded via the usual parliamentary process. They also contest whether the Australian Bureau of Statistics has the authority to administer the survey. Same sex marriage advocates would like the postal survey to be cancelled and for parliament to legalize gay marriage without a popular vote.
Either way, the national vote should be decided “in the next few weeks”, which aligns with the timeline presented by 60 minutes to run the program.
Earlier this year, ABC Australia enacted a last minute cancellation of the BBC documentary “Transgender Children: Who Knows Best?” after transgender activists lobbied for its censorship. The documentary presented alternate views of clinicians – some critical- on the practice of medically stunting the growth of reproductive organs in children who are gender non-conforming.
You can watch the (now censored) 60 Minutes promo for the segment on the Mitchell’s story here:
This is the 60 Minutes promo that Facebook just 'disappeared' from all postings. The story was about a boy changes his mind that he isn't a girl and wishes to revert back to his biological gender. What does FB and 60 Minutes have to hide?
Posted by John Fox on Monday, September 4, 2017