Jamie Reed

This content was last updated Nov. 14, 2023, 11:28 p.m. UTC

Jamie Reed is a former employee of the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She is most known for making unsubstantiated allegations that the Center failed to require proper psychological evaluation of children, pushed them to undergo medical transition, and failed to get the consent of parents, and that this resulted in harm to multiple children. She is currently a member of the Killarney Group, a think-tank for the anti-trans organization Genspect.

Reed’s core claims have never been corroborated. Numerous parents have attested that the clinic required stringent psychological evaluations, had thorough procedures for hormone distribution, and encouraged parental involvement. An internal investigation by the university found the claims of wrongdoing to be unsubstantiated.

Reed has been criticized for possibly retaining and sharing the private health information of the patients she once worked with in an improper fashion. Parents who believe their children’s data were improperly retained and shared by Reed have filed federal complaints.

I believe that to ensure the safety of American children, we need a moratorium on the hormonal and surgical treatment of young people with gender dysphoria.

Reed for The Free Press, 9 February 2023

Education and Case Management Career

In a signed affidavit, Reed stated that she received her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from University of Missouri-St. Louis, and her Master of Science in Clinical Research Management from Washington University.

She went on to work for Washington University for seven years, caring for HIV-positive patients, many of whom she claims were transgender.

She then went on to work from some time in 2018 to November, 2022 for Washington University Transgender Center in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital as a case manager.

Political Identity and Anti-Trans Affiliations

In her Free Press article, Reed claims she is “left of Bernie Sanders,” stating her identity as a queer woman who is married to a transgender man. In the same article, she claims that many transgender youth are victims of ‘social contagion,’ and supports the idea that many trans youth are detransitioning, in spite of evidence that rates of detransition among such youth are low.

She is connected to many conservative and anti-trans actors, including Jesse Singal who she spoke to for his blog, her lawyer Vernadette Broyles, an anti-trans activist tied to the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, and the Gender: A Wider Lens podcast, which itself is tied to other anti-trans groups such as Genspect.

She has spoken against the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) which sets the professional guidelines for doctors working with transgender patients, believing them to be little more than an ‘advocacy organization’

Free Press Article and Media Appearances

Jamie Reed first took her allegations public with an article for the Free Press, in which she alleged that medical professionals at Washington University Transgender Center were failing to get parental consent for many patients, pushed hormonal therapy on to minors against their needs, put children on a pipeline to surgery, and ignored her concerns. These claims were repackaged by many conservative outlets including Daily Mail, The Christian Post, Deseret News, and National Post. The article included what appeared to be dated email correspondence with parents of patients from Reed’s employment by the Transgender Center in which detailed medical information about patients were discussed.

Her claims have been contradicted by patients and parents of the clinic, medical professionals who have worked there, and an internal investigation into the validity of her claims. Many have stated she has reported on procedures that either did not occur or were grossly exaggerated. The clinic instead follows the standards of care outlined by WPATH, which are supported by professionals internationally, including those in the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, and American Psychological Association. The procedures are also backed by scientific research which suggests that children and adults who receive trans-affirming care are more likely to have positive mental health outcomes.

Reed’s claims were re-examined in August 2023 by Azeen Ghorayshi for the New York Times. Ghorayshi found new evidence of false information in Reed’s allegations after speaking to the parent of a patient whose medical history was referenced by Reed. The NYT found Reed had mischaracterized that history and the parent’s response. However, the NYT story also said that it had corroborated some of Reed’s claims, though none which alleged wrongdoing at the Center.

Affidavit and State Investigation

Reed has released a signed affidavit which testifies on much of the same information as detailed in the Free Press article, albeit with some claims that are elaborated on in greater detail. For example, while she only briefly touches on specific patients in her Free Press article, whereas in the affidavit, she goes into detail on specific patients and patient information, including things like medical history and prescriptions applied. This detailing of patients possibly violates HIPAA for the state of Missouri, although her lawyers deny this.

This affidavit has spawned an investigation by Missouri state officials into Washington University Transgender Center and the medical professionals working with the facility.

Reed has spoken in front of public officials to urge a ban of transgender care for minors in the state, something that was later implemented by the state’s governor.

Attack Helicopter

Reed, in her affidavit, claimed that patients came to the facility identifying as inanimate objects including one who identified as an “attack helicopter.” This is a reference to a widely circulated internet meme. 

In a blog post by Jesse Singal that followed up on this detail Singal says that Reed shared a medical record with him that she had retained after leaving the Transgender Center. The record included or consisted of a therapist’s note which quoted a patient in a therapy session as describing themself as “Communist, attack helicopter, human, female, maybe non binary.” Reed also admitted to Singal that she knew “attack helicopter” was an internet meme before she published her article in the Free Press.

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