Former patient calls for closing Scottish gender clinic for kids after detransitioning

Last week, Jazz wrote about the decision by Britain’s National Health Service to close the Tavistock clinic in London after parents complained that the “gender-affirming care” being offered to children was “shoddy.” Saturday, the Times of London published a story about a Scottish clinic which one former patient says is just as bad.


The Sandyford clinic in Glasgow offers gender-affirming care to minors and adults. Sinead Watson referred herself to the clinic when she was 24-years-old and transitioned to being a man named Sean. But Sinead has since detransitioned and regrets that the clinic didn’t do more to address her underlying depression that she now believes drove her desire to transition.

Watson, from Glasgow, told The Times: “I went to Sandyford as a 24-year-old woman with a long history of depression, anxiety, self-harm, alcohol abuse and suicidal ideation.

“I did not have gender dysphoria prior to my teens. Yet for some reason, the clinic thought it was appropriate to ignore all of these other issues. Within a matter of months, I was put on irreversible cross-sex hormones.”…

“I met with a gender specialist who asked me about my childhood,” she said. “I told him that I was a perfectly normal little girl who didn’t have any gender issues at all. They contacted my GP with my permission and got access to all of my medical history. They weren’t really interested in exploring the depression, the anxiety or the self-harm. All they were interested in was talking about my gender crisis.”..

Sandyford referred Watson, by then living as Sean, to a hospital in Manchester for a mastectomy in 2017. This was a little later than the clinic had intended, she said, because of the numbers of trans men it was sending there. “I was so consumed by my desire that this transition was going to make me feel so much better, that I couldn’t wait,” she said.


But for Watson, the mastectomy became the moment she began to have doubts about what she was doing to her body.

“Going into the operating room with breasts then the next minute they’re gone … it is such a big change and you know you can’t undo it . . . I just kind of thought … what have I done?”

By 2018 Watson “fully regretted” transitioning, she said, but it was more than a year before she started detransitioning. She has not been back to the clinic since before her mastectomy.

Watson had hoped that transitioning would solve her underlying problems with depression. Instead it made her realize those problems were deeper and weren’t going away. She wound up deeply depressed and drinking excessively. She dropped out of school and tried to kill herself.

Eventually, Watson stopped taking testosterone and changed her legal name and sex back to what they’d been before but the other changes aren’t reversible. Her voice is permanently deeper. She has facial hair and of course her breasts are gone. She has decided not to get breast implants but to try to accept herself as she is.

Although she was an adult when she went to Sandyford, Watson believes children referred there would receive the same insufficient treatment she received. “Having a child gender clinic is just setting these kids up to be fast-tracked through transition,” she told the Times.


For the moment, the NHS of Glasgow isn’t saying whether the Sandyford clinic will be shut down. A government spokesperson said they were considering the findings of the report which led to the closing of Tavistock.

Here’s a clip of Watson telling her story from last May.

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