An URGENT plea for my nuanced friends

Carey Callahan
5 min readDec 14, 2023


The situation in Ohio is dire. As I’m writing this HB 68, which would shutter Ohio’s 6 gender affirming pediatric programs, has passed. (This bill also shuts out trans kids from high school sports, which is cruel. I will be concentrating on the cruelty of the healthcare piece.) In Ohio right now we are calling our Governor, Mike DeWine, asking him to please veto this bill. I assume if he signs this bill into law there will be lawsuits, and ways we can support the plaintiffs suing the state.

Ohio is a national leader in healthcare, and that applies to our children’s hospitals. There is no research or anecdotal experience to suggest our gender affirming pediatric programs are producing, at this point, any detransitioners. This is because our clinicians take seriously their ethical responsibility to not rush through the diagnostic process, to engage the parents fully, and to be careful and slow about assuring pediatric patients understand the consequences of their family’s decisions about their medical care.

Scott Leibowitz, the MD in charge of Nationwide Hospital’s THRIVE program, has been a leader in asking that other pediatric clinicians take seriously the experiences of detransitioners, take seriously the fears and concerns of the parent community, take seriously the ethical demand for the program’s care to be driven by research. He has gone above and beyond in his ethical duty as a clinician. THIS is the healthcare leadership that is being punished and shut down because of the the willingness of critics of trans healthcare to work with right wing political organizations.

For many years I had friendships and working relationships with other critics of trans healthcare who consistently called for “nuance” in ethics discussions about pediatric gender affirming care. I still believe in nuance. I still absolutely believe in a commitment to detailed tracking and analysis of patient outcomes. I still absolutely believe in detransitioners sharing their healthcare experiences.

But I need you to ACT to defend healthcare in Ohio. This healthcare ban is not nuanced. This healthcare ban does not improve outcome research. This healthcare ban does not help detransitioners, does not improve care, does not create an environment where ethical clinicians are lauded as the great role models they are. If discussions about pediatric gender affirming care need to take place in an atmosphere of respect for nuance and open-mindedness, shutting down clinics also shuts down our ability to have those kinds of discussions.

I’ve been advocating for nuance in these discussions for a long time. I’ve been living in Ohio for a long time. If you are serious about presenting yourself as driven by data, by a commitment to truth even when it’s uncomfortable, by a commitment to asking hard questions you also need to be ACTING to keep these pediatric programs in Ohio open. I’m asking you to not only call Governor DeWine and ask him to veto this bill (614–466–3555) or use this form to send him an email, I’m asking you to use your platform to strongly encourage others to do so.

Below is my testimony from asking that the Senate Government Oversight Committee vote no on this bill. I really wish they had listened to the 19 detransitioners who spoke out against this bill, or the nearly 300 medical professionals, family members, and trans adults and children who warned them of how harmful this bill would be.

“Chairwoman Roegner, Vice Chair Antani, Ranking Member Hicks-Hudson, and members of the Senate Government Oversight Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify in opposition to HB68.

My name is Carey Callahan English. I am a detransitioned woman, licensed professional clinical counselor, and independent marriage and family therapist living in Bainbridge, Ohio. I have been organizing other detransitioners for the purposes of peer support and improving healthcare for 9 years. I last testified against HB 68 which would close Ohio’s 6 highly respected gender-affirming pediatric programs over the summer. At the time I was the only public detransitioned Ohioan. The population of public detransitioners in Ohio has since doubled to 2 people. Neither of us transitioned as minors and thus none of the public detransitioners in Ohio
can offer personal experiences of the quality of healthcare provided by the 6 pediatric programs that will be shuttered by this bill. These programs are clearly not producing a significant population of patients who are unhappy or regretful about the care they received. The proponents of this bill have struggled to produce testimony from regretful patients who received care even through other states’ pediatric programs. Both of us Ohio detransitioners accessed care as adults, and I would argue only 2 patients experiencing regret demonstrates that Ohio’s informed consent gender-affirming care for adults is producing startlingly positive patient outcomes.
It’s hard to not draw the conclusion that Ohio’s pediatric programs are particularly good at their goal of producing patients who feel satisfied by their healthcare experiences. This does not surprise me. Ohio has a national reputation as a healthcare leader. The doctor who runs the
Nationwide Hospital THRIVE clinic, Scott Leibowitz, is notable for both meeting one-on-one with detransitioners to hear their concerns and for writing about the need for a cautious, considered approach in The New York Times. The majority of children being provided care in these 6
programs do not receive any hormonal treatment. None of Ohio’s programs will perform surgeries on minor patients.

The detransitioners nationwide who are opposed to dangerous bans on pediatric healthcare have not been able to find an organization to pay for so many plane tickets to Columbus. I hope the committee will read their testimonies carefully. I am particularly concerned that an impact of this bill will be to shut down Ohio’s gender-affirming clinics where healthcare leaders are modeling what cautious, considered care looks like. Other states which follow less cautious approaches will continue to promote those approaches, and our Ohio families will have to go to those states with lower quality programs and higher risk of regret to access help. The detransitioners who had negative experiences as minors in other states would probably have been served by those programs learning from the
successful processes of Ohio’s clinicians. The success of our pediatric programs at preventing detransition through guiding youth through a careful discernment process is an achievement of our state we should be proud of. The rest of the country should be more like Ohio in this regard.

If the state government is worried about the resources available to the detransitioned population the two of us could meet with you to talk about what state resources would serve us. I have attempted to schedule meetings with members of the House and Senate, and have received the feedback that meeting with me would be “pointless.” I disagree, I think deepening
your understanding of the Detransition experience would be the point. I hope the committee will consider that Ohio’s healthcare leaders in gender-affirming care promote exactly the cautious and considered processes that prevent the negative patient experiences the proponents of this bill have brought to your attention. Thank you for your time.”



Carey Callahan

LPCC, IMFT, detransitioner, I don't do twitter bc ppl are awful, follow me on tiktok @detranslightful