Billion-Dollar Transgender Industry Leaves Broken Families and Lives

By Darlene McCormick Sanchez
Darlene McCormick Sanchez
Darlene McCormick Sanchez
Darlene McCormick Sanchez reports for The Epoch Times from Texas. She writes on a variety of issues with a focus on Texas politics, election fraud, and the erosion of traditional values. She previously worked as an investigative reporter and covered crime, courts, and government for newspapers in Texas, Florida, and Connecticut. Her work on The Sinful Messiah series, which exposed Branch Davidians leader David Koresh, was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting in the 1990s.
October 7, 2022Updated: October 13, 2022

Photos of Jeff Younger’s smiling twin boys are scattered throughout his home in the Dallas suburbs—happy moments, frozen in time.

Next to the back door, a jump rope and youth-sizes boxing headgear haven’t moved from the corner where they were tossed 13 months ago. Outside, a punching bag hangs silent from a sturdy shade tree towering over a yard once filled with the tap-tap-tap sound of little fists pounding canvas.

Younger spent hours at a time in that space with his boys, James and Jude, who were 9 at the time, teaching them how to wrestle and how to land a punch—just as his father taught him when he was a kid.

“I remember people by the things they do,” Younger said.

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Jeff Younger stands in the backyard of his home, where he used to box with his sons, on Sept. 16, 2022. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)

He took the boys to parks, teaching them how to hurl sticks and track rabbits along a creek, all part of growing his boys into men.

But for James, now 10, manhood may never come.

James is like so many swept up in the hype of transgenderism, part of an exploding trend among youth and young adults. And Younger is among a swarm of objectors, many of them parents, fighting an uphill battle against a $2.1 billion transgender industry in the United States.

Younger’s ex-wife, Anne Georgulas, a pediatrician in Coppell, Texas, says that James has wanted to identify as a female since preschool, wears dresses, and goes by the name Luna. Younger hasn’t seen James in more than a year because he has refused to go along with the idea that James is a girl.

Now, the Texas father, who’s embroiled in a high-profile custody battle, fears that a court ruling in September could allow his ex-wife to move to California and chemically castrate his son.

Younger worries that his ex-wife now will transition James medically. He said documents he obtained during court proceedings show that she took James to a therapist who recommended that the family “explore” gender transitioning at the Dallas-based Genecis medical clinic.

Younger said his former wife’s medical practice is scheduled to close on Oct. 31. Georgulas declined to comment about a potential move to California when contacted by The Epoch Times.

But California is a welcoming place for young people seeking to medically transition.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Sept. 29 giving the state authority over transgender minors, creating a potential nightmare for Younger. Gender-altering surgery and drugs, referred to as “gender-affirming care” by its supporters, is legal in California, and the new law shields Californians from laws and court actions in other states that could block transition treatments.

Jeff (L) and James Younger
Jeff Younger with his son, James Younger, then 7. In the midst of a publicized legal battle, Jeff Younger, who opposes the transition of James, is fearful that his ex-wife will chemically castrate his son, now 10. (Courtesy of

Younger believes that the new California law will allow his ex-wife to get around a previous Texas court order preventing either parent from treating the child with hormonal suppression therapy, puberty blockers, or transgender reassignment surgery without both parents’ consent or a court order.

Transgender Money Machine

Money and a hysteria epidemic are driving the transgenderism phenomenon, according to Clifford Alan Hopewell, a Fort Worth neuropsychologist who spoke to The Epoch Times.

Hopewell—a trained behaviorist, a former Texas Psychological Association president, and a fellow with the American Psychological Association—said therapy has become the gateway to a bustling transgender economy.

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Clifford Alan Hopewell, a Fort Worth neuropsychologist. (Photo courtesy of Hopewell’s office)

Gender dysphoria is a relatively new diagnosis, made up so insurance companies will cover the costs of so-called gender-affirming care, he said.

Therapists will write out a prescription with no questions asked, he said. Mental health providers “just see the money.”

“It’s all bogus,” Hopewell said. “There’s this transgender money-making machine.”

The current market for transgender surgery is expected to increase to $5 billion in 2030 from $2.1 billion in 2022, an 11 percent compound annual growth rate, according to Grand View Research, a market research company.

Breast or chest surgery in females transitioning to males showed the most growth in terms of transitioning surgeries, which increased by 15 percent over the 2019–20 period, according to the Plastic Surgery Statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The absurdity of the cycle is astonishing, Hopewell said.

A man or woman can visit a licensed mental health provider and express interest in becoming the opposite sex. The therapist affirms the patient, who has self-diagnosed, he said.

“If you walk in and say, ‘Amputate my leg,’ nobody would do it,” Hopewell said. “You walk in and say, ‘Amputate my penis,’ ‘Oh, well, let’s get you on the surgery list right now [is the response].'”

He cited a recently exposed 2018 Vanderbilt University video in which a hospital representative talked about money-making opportunities in the transgender industry. Top surgeries could bring in $40,000 per patient, the representative told the audience enthusiastically.

Creating a Need

People who decide to transition need transgender care for the rest of their lives, Hopewell said. Hormones and other needed medications could cost $200,000 or more over the lifetime of a transgender person.

But as some transitioners have discovered, the total cost can be much higher—and can’t be counted just in dollars.

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Scott Newgent, a biological female who had surgery to transition to appear male, is featured in the 2022 documentary “What is a Woman” by Matt Walsh. (Courtesy of Scott Newgent)

For 49-year-old Scott Newgent, a woman who began transitioning to appear male seven years ago, the journey has been filled with expensive medications, surgeries, and complications.

Newgent, who lives in Texas, estimates that the transition has cost about $1.2 million so far.

Like Hopewell, Newgent believes that transitioning represents a lucrative new revenue stream for the health care industry.

“It’s all very, very evil,” Newgent told The Epoch Times. “There’s too much money.”

Cross-sex hormones prescribed to Newgent have cost roughly $30,000. The price of phalloplasty was $309,000. During that procedure, a surgeon cuts into the forearm to remove a tissue flap to form and attach a pseudo-penis and extend the urethra.

Insurance has paid for much of the transition, Newgent said, noting that without insurance, the surgery would have cost $70,000 in cash.

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Skin was cut from Scott Newgent’s arm as part of transition surgery, leaving permanent scars. (Courtesy of Scott Newgent)

Newgent now refers to the surgeon who performed the surgery as a “monster.” Complications from the procedures led to months of infections, emergency room visits, and maddening pain. The cost of care climbed by another $850,000.

In a recently released documentary titled “What is a Woman?” Newgent passionately described the suffering in hopes of warning the world about the dangers of transition surgeries.

If she had known the dangers, transitioning wouldn’t have been an option for her, Newgent said.

The transgender industry, which now appears to be targeting children, is driven by greed, Newgent said, pointing out that the cost of hormones for transitioning children is eight times that of adults.

A one-year supply of hormones that block puberty for children, such as Supprelin LA, has a list price of $37,300. In contrast, the cost of Vantas, a hormone prescribed to adults, is listed at $4,400, National Public Radio reported in 2020.

Social Hysteria

Driving the transgender boom is a hysteria epidemic, which some say stems from social media, according to Hopewell.

Hysteria can impact small communities and tends to affect females more than males.

He compared the surge in gender dysphoria, discussed obsessively in some online communities, to other mass-hysteria events. He pointed to sudden, unexplained outbreaks of multiple personality disorder cases and the historic and tragic Salem witch trials.

In the 1980s, cases of multiple personality disorder—now known as dissociative identity disorder—began to pop up in Texas and elsewhere so frequently that new hospitals were built to deal with the problem, Hopewell said.

But when insurance companies began to limit what they would pay for regarding multiple personality disorder claims, the cases suddenly dried up, he said. Now those diagnoses are rare again.

“I’ve never seen one in my entire career,” he said. “I’ve never seen somebody come in with a claim they had multiple personalities.”

Explosive Growth

Studies show that growth in transgenderism is booming in society’s most vulnerable demographic—children. To Hopewell, the trend of minors being affirmed as transgender amounts to child abuse.

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A transgender high school student (C) and classmate (L) visit the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles booth during a college and career convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Dec. 8, 2010. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A recent report based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that an estimated 150,000 teens aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender.

Numbers were similar for Americans aged 18 to 24. In 2017, 206,000 young adults identified as transgender. By 2020, that number had swelled to 399,000.

Methodology and more comprehensive data may account for the increase in transgender identification, according to the Williams Institute.

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Chloe Cole, an 18-year-old woman who regrets surgically removing her breasts, holds testosterone medication used for transgender patients in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Transgender Gateway

The path to becoming transgender often starts with a mental health provider, Hopewell said.

Patients he saw in the 1970s while working at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston appeared to be following a script in requesting sex-change surgery so they could get the diagnosis they wanted. And they were suffering from mental illness, he said. It’s unclear who produced and distributed the script.

But today, the media and academia have cut off discussion and studies into the causes behind the transgender fad and the harm it may cause—especially in children, he said.

“Science has been perverted. Psychology, frankly, is no longer scientific,” Hopewell said.

Therapy sessions cost as much as $5,000 per year, according to Treatments for the resulting “gender-affirming care” can include puberty blockers, hormones, and psychological evaluations.

A letter from a licensed mental health provider is usually needed before going further with “top surgery” or “bottom surgery,” as they’re known.

A range of options is available.

For males seeking to become female, procedures to consider include an orchiectomy to remove testicles and a vaginoplasty, which aims to create a vagina and vulva. Breasts can be constructed with implants, which costs about $8,000.

Bottom surgery to remove testes and create a vagina costs about $20,000, according to a University of Florida informational website about the procedures. Surgery to soften facial features and feminize voice pitch can cost between $19,000 and $45,000.

Options for females hoping to live as males include a hysterectomy to remove the uterus and a mastectomy to remove the breasts and sculpt the chest to appear more masculine. And with phalloplasty, a surgeon aims to create a penis.

For female-to-male transitions, the price tag for top surgery is $6,000 to $8,000. Bottom surgery costs $21,000 or more.

Some procedures, such as a hysterectomy, may become necessary after years of hormone treatments.

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Abel Garcia, which is an alias, detransitioned back to living as a male after realizing he would never be a woman. He holds paperwork detailing his medical procedures at a friend’s home in the Dallas area on Sept. 18, 2022. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)

Sold a Lie

When 19-year-old Abel Garcia decided he was transgender in 2016, he was eager to recreate himself as a woman.

Garcia—who asked to use an alias—allowed doctors to inject him with hormones and paid surgeons to implant breasts. He renamed himself April.

As the architect of his new self, Garcia told The Epoch Times that he was confident it would satisfy something missing in his life.

But after six years, 25-year-old Garcia, now living in north Texas, became one of a growing number of “detransitioners” realizing that they would never actually be the other sex. He realized he had been sold a lie.

“To my knowledge, no one tried to stop me or anything,” he said. “The only one who ever questioned anything was my mother. But that was when I first told her.”

His mother cried at the news. His father tried to convince him that he was a man.

Shortly after the announcement, his father asked Garcia to drive him to a dental appointment in Mexico. Afterward, his father told him they were going to a restaurant, but in reality, he took his son to see a prostitute.

Garcia’s father believed it would somehow cure the young man of his confusion.

The experience of having sex for the first time, with a stranger with whom he had no connection, was traumatic. It had the opposite effect than the one that his father wanted. It drove him toward transitioning to a woman, Garcia said.

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Abel Garcia (an alias) in Denton, Tex., in a recent photo. (Courtesy of Abel Garcia)

Garcia said he had a lonely upbringing and wanted to explore his feelings on gender with a therapist.

As the son of Mexican immigrants who crossed into the United States illegally to find work, he remembers moving from city to city as a child in the Central Valley region of Southern California.

With no roots in one community, it was hard for Garcia to make friends growing up. His parents constantly worked, and his father was absent for long periods.

“I didn’t really have a role model in my childhood growing up because my dad was always working 24/7,” he said. “So I never really learned how to be a man.”

Garcia was born in Utah, the first of his parents’ children born in the United States. Although his parents eventually became U.S. citizens, he always had a nagging feeling that he didn’t belong.

When he went to see a therapist in order to sort out his feelings on gender, she never questioned him. Instead, she immediately wrote him a referral letter to start the transition process, which began with hormones, he said.

“She told me that I’m definitely transgender, even though it was my first session,” he said.

Garcia was raised to trust medical professionals because they’re “trained and knowledgeable.”

“I thought, ‘Great. This therapist knows what she’s talking about. I must definitely be transgender.'”

After a year of hormones, the therapist wrote another letter—this time recommending surgery for breast implants.

Without asking for a second referral, he a letter recommending him for “bottom” surgery—penile inversion to transform his male genitals into parts that looked female.

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Abel Garcia was approved for transgender surgery by a mental health professional with no questions asked. (Darlene Sanchez/The Epoch Times)

Something told him to wait on the bottom surgery. In the back of his mind, his conscience nagged at him on whether it was the right thing to do, Garcia said.

He now realizes that the therapist worked at a pro-transgender clinic, where there’s only approval for such requests. He remembers being told that he would become “the woman he always wanted to become” by a transgender activist working in the clinic, a cheerleader for those who are considering transitions.

One day, as Garcia sat in a room waiting for his appointment, the activist asked Garcia to stand up and “do a little twirl.”

Garcia said the activist gushed, “Oh, yeah, I can definitely tell you were supposed to be born a woman. Your body picture says that.”

The Human Cost

Many media outlets and social media platforms paint transitioning as having a beneficial effect on the mental health of those suffering from gender dysphoria. Those who don’t support transgender people are labeled bigots and transphobic.

Some people report feeling happier after socially and medically transitioning.

Morgan, an 18-year-old woman transitioning to a male, told Buzzfeed News in 2017 that since starting the process, her mental health had dramatically improved.

“I feel genuine joy in life now that I have a future. I’m finally in love with my body. I’ve never had so much confidence until now, and I have never felt so happy!” Morgan told the media outlet.

Most of the anecdotal accounts in the Buzzfeed article were from people in the early stages of transitioning.

It’s often later that transitioners experience problems, detransitioners told The Epoch Times.

A 30-year study conducted by researcher Cecilia Dhejne tracked 324 sex-reassigned people in Sweden. It calculated their mortality, morbidity, and criminal rate after surgery through 2003.

The study, published in 2011, shows that those who transition through surgery or hormones have a higher mortality rate, particularly from suicide. It also found that transitioners had an increased risk for suicide attempts and psychiatric inpatient care.

Advocates of transitioning point out that the study doesn’t state that the sex reassignment caused the increases in morbidity and mortality. The results may have been worse had participants not undergone sex reassignment, they argue.

Many media outlets ignore the human cost of transitioning, often paid in terms of broken families and lives, detransitioners say. Instead, the outlets play advocate.

A recent headline at Vox focused on the “rights” of transgender children. “What’s so scary about a transgender child? Stop worrying about what happens if we let kids transition. Worry about what happens if we don’t,” the headline reads.

About three months after receiving breast implants in 2018, Garcia knew something was wrong. He woke up one day feeling as though he had made a terrible mistake.

“‘What the hell am I doing?'” he said remembers asking himself. “And that’s when I looked at my body, and I realized, no matter what I would have done, I would always be a man. I’d be just becoming a caricature of what I believed a woman was.”

Garcia had his breast implants removed in 2020 as part of detransitioning, but he acknowledged that he may never be the same.

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Abel Garcia, photographed at a Dallas home on Sept. 18, 2022, shows his scars from the removal of breast implants. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)

Garcia said years of cross-sex hormones have made urination difficult. He fears that the drugs have caused him to be sterile—a reality that would shatter his hope of having children one day.

Since detransitioning, Garcia has become outspoken against the gender reassignment movement, comparing it to a cult.

Transgender activists pretend to “love you” and become your new family, he said. He realized too late that their tactics were abusive and meant to divide families.

“Anyone who doesn’t support you is a hateful, transphobic bigot,” Garcia said. “They try to ostracize you, get between you and your family.”

Like Garcia, Newgent said the idea of becoming the opposite sex was an illusion.

“I’ll never be a man,” Newgent said.

And there’s no way to go back to appearing female after surgery, she said.

Newgent said a pattern of discontent among some transitioners occurs five to six years after completing all the surgeries. That’s often when they realize that they’ll never be the opposite sex.

When the reality sets in and the complications arise, it can be a devastating combination that can drive some to suicide, she said.

In Newgent’s opinion, phalloplasty is a “barbaric” procedure that should be outlawed.

She believes that even the best surgeons would have trouble with the intricacies of reconnecting blood vessels and extending the urethra. It’s no wonder that the surgeries fail.

After phalloplasty, the pain from an undiagnosed infection was so great that Newgent couldn’t sleep. Emergency room visits became the norm night after night, a desperate attempt to find relief, only to be told that nothing was wrong.

At one point, she was sure death was near. At first, it was a relief. But then Newgent, who has three children, imagined what life would be like for them.

She promised the Almighty to tell the world the story of what transitioning is really like.

Finally, a doctor discovered the source of the pain—a six-inch hair had grown inside the extended urethra, causing an infection. The surgeon had used the wrong type of skin that allowed hair growth inside the new appendage, Newgent was told.

And discovering the same procedures now are performed on children who want to change their gender, her resolve galvanized her to fight back by speaking out against transitioning.

Newgent now has a website called TreVoices and states that it’s “the original trans against groomers.”

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Jeff Younger at his Texas home on Sept. 16, 2022. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)

Younger knows all too well the consequences of transitioning children. Wearing a black T-shirt with “Save James” on the front, he has an intense stare when he speaks of his son.

At six feet four inches tall, Younger was a boxer in the military and embraced masculinity. He wants his sons to do the same.

But his ex-wife has full custody of the boys, James and Jude.

She started questioning James’s gender when he was a toddler, Younger said.

She argued that James chose to identify as a female from a young age. Eventually, she socially transitioned the boy and presented him at preschool as a girl. The school supported that after the couple separated in 2015.

Younger accused his ex-spouse of leading their young child to socially transition before he could understand the concept or its implications. He said James rejected his female identity and didn’t wear dresses at his home during visits.

In 2021, Dallas District Judge Mary Brown stripped Younger of most parental rights, giving full custody in a temporary order to his ex-wife. That was after Younger was late making child support payments, medical support, and interest as ordered by the court.

Brown also ordered Younger to pay hundreds of dollars for each supervised visit and said he must not change James out of a dress when he visited. Younger refused to agree to that.

What started as a custody battle has now moved into the political arena for Younger.

This spring, he made an unsuccessful bid for the state legislature in the hopes of changing Texas law, making it illegal to transition children.

“Puberty is the cure for gender dysphoria,” Younger said.

The transition trend is, in his words, “mass genital mutilation.”

He’s desperate to save his son from the fate of other transitioners and vowed to continue speaking out despite a gag order issued by the judge.

Younger said he would never give up his fight for James.

“I’m a Texas father,” he said. “I don’t give up.”