U.S. politicians are trying to keep trans kids from getting the medical care they need to transition — and states are banning them from playing on the sports teams that match their gender. So we’re looking at the science here, and asking: are the medical treatments for trans kids dangerous? And do trans folks have an advantage when it comes to sports? We talk to Florence Ashley, Dr. Jack Turban, and Joanna Harper to find out.

UPDATE 5/17/22: A previous version of this episode incorrectly summarized a study from Seattle. We said those who got gender-affirming healthcare "felt better" after getting the treatment. The study actually found that those who got this treatment felt better compared to those who didn't get the treatment. The episode has been updated.

Note: in this episode we discuss suicide and self-harm. Please take care when listening to the show, and here are some resources:


  • Trans Lifeline: A Trans peer support hotline: 1-877-565-8860
  • Trevor Project: crisis support services to LGBTQ young people: Call 1-866-488-7386 or Text ‘START’ to 678-678
  • US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). 
  • International suicide hotlines: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines 


Find our transcript here: https://bit.ly/3tmtFsh 


This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, Rasha Aridi, Ekedi Fausther-Keeys, and Wendy Zukerman with help from Michelle Dang, Rose Rimler, and Courtney Gilbert. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Nick DelRose. Consulting by Rebecca Kling. Music written by Mr Mu Menage, Leon Trapedera, Robby Bold, and Lucas Ambarga. Thanks to the experts we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Arjee Javellana Restar, Dr. Jody Herman, and Dr. Toni D’Orsay. Very special thanks to all the trans kids and their parents we heard from, Crispin Torres, Alex Blumberg, Jack Weinstein, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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