WHO Should Go Back to the Drawing Board
on its Transgender Health Guidelines

We, the undersigned, strongly object to the World Health Organization's (WHO) biased panel tasked with creating new transgender health guidelines. Of the 21 panel members, over three-fourths are transgender activists. The few physicians either specialize in HIV or are “gender doctors.” There is currently a worldwide explosion of teenagers wishing to undergo a sex change; WHO’s stated plan to promote hormones and “legal recognition of self-identified gender” will harm innumerable gender-dysphoric youth, gays, lesbians and other women. WHO must cancel this group's first planned meeting in February and go back to the drawing board.


WHO Should Go Back to the Drawing Board

We call on the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in, rather than preempt, an open and transparent dialogue about the scientific and societal implications of gender dysphoria treatments, the importance of biological sex, and the best way to protect trans-identified individuals without sacrificing protections for other vulnerable groups including women and children. Such a dialogue requires that a diversity of perspectives from experts and stakeholders be heard, that the public be given sufficient time to weigh in, and that the guideline development group (GDG) take the time and care necessary to understand all the risks, benefits, and unknowns involved, rather than arriving in Geneva with their minds already made up.

On December 18, 2023, WHO announced that it will be developing a guideline on "the health of trans and gender diverse people." WHO also published the names of the 21 guideline panel members who are scheduled to meet from February 19-21, 2024 at WHO's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. As part of that announcement, WHO opened a brief window for public comment, scheduled to close on January 8, 2024.

The signatories to this online Petition have many grave concerns about WHO's announcement. These concerns, addressed in greater detail below, include:

  1. Biased guideline development group (GDG). The current panel is highly biased in favor of "gender-affirming" approaches, with an absence of critical perspectives. The majority of the panel members have expressed strong views in favor of hormonal and surgical interventions for transition, dismissed known and potential risks associated with these interventions, and denigrated psychotherapeutic approaches as "conversion therapy". The panel does not include any experts in child and adolescent development or any critics of the affirmation model. Detransitioners and desisters are also excluded. Given the panel's composition, there is strong reason to believe that the guideline will be similarly biased.
  2. Perfunctory public consultation period. WHO opened a brief window (just three weeks) for public comment at a time of year when much of the world has unplugged to celebrate the holidays. This suggests a lack of interest in gathering the public's input.
  3. Rushed guideline development process overall. The group's meeting to make key decisions has already been scheduled for February 19, 2024. This does not provide sufficient time to create a balanced panel, commission independent reviews, and synthesize the evidence - let alone issue responsible recommendations.

A. Biased panel composition.

A cursory internet search into the positions and views held by the 21 guideline panel members finds that most have denigrated exploratory therapy as “conversion therapy" while promoting a highly medicalized “gender-affirming” approach. Three-fourths of these members are either trans-identifying individuals, members of advocacy organizations like Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE), or members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), including multiple former WPATH presidents and executive commmittee members supportive of that organization's medicalized approach to managing gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults.

Some members have failed to properly disclose conflicts of interest in their publicly shared profiles. For example, Teddy Cook served as Vice President of AusPath - a fact not mentioned in his biography contained within WHO's announcement. We also note with concern that WPATH endorses the so-called "informed consent" model of care requiring no psychological assessment whatsoever, and in its most recent Standards of Care (SOC-8) removed nearly all age restrictions for hormones and surgeries while promoting the unevidenced view that minors can identify as "eunuchs".

Given the highly polarized nature of gender medicine, conflicts of interest (COIs) are unavoidable, especially regarding intellectual positions held. However, WHO has a responsibility to fully disclose and balance such conflicts among members to ensure they produce unbiased guidelines. There should be as many pro-affirmation individuals on the GDG as there are members concerned about its potential harms. There should be a diversity of stakeholders, not just in terms of geographic location (which WHO did achieve) but also regarding their professional backgrounds and perspectives.

We wish to express our deep concern regarding the care of gender-questioning children, adolescents, and adults. Important questions remain unanswered, concerns regarding risks and unknowns are mounting, and the science is far from settled. The explosion of adolescents and young adults identifying as transgender and seeking life-altering interventions (and the concurrent shift in patient demographics) is poorly understood. These young patients are overwhelmingly female, typically have no history of childhood gender dysphoria, and often present with serious neurocognitive and psychiatric comorbidities. Rising numbers of detransitioners show that medical practice in this area is flawed and that some patients are being harmed rather than helped. Any guideline recommendations made by WHO must therefore address the needs of this complex and vulnerable group. The GDG as constituted, however, does not include a single detransitioner, desister, or expert working with these cohorts.

While a biased WHO guideline is likely to have little impact on countries with strong public health authorities already adhering to the principles of evidence-based medicine (e.g., England, Finland, Sweden), it will have a detrimental effect on other countries where the debate is just emerging (e.g., Australia, Germany, the United States). In addition, it will likely have a negative influence on public health in developing countries that do not have the resources or expertise to invest in a quality guideline development process, and who have come to rely on WHO guidance for defining and promoting best practices.

B. Brief and perfunctory public consultation period.

WHO provided a very short window for public comment (Dec 18th-Jan 8th) which falls over the winter holidays. During this period, most people are unable to engage with detailed documents and write responses. This is the second instance of WHO creating such a short window for response during a holiday period. The first time, when the original announcement was made in June 2023, coincided with a common summer holiday break and allowed a mere two weeks for public comment. The list of panelists WHO shared at that time was incomplete.

We are also concerned that WHO has already scheduled the panel group's meeting in Geneva in mid-February 2024 when the group will be tasked with making a number of important decisions and recommendations. This would seem to render the public comment period moot, for WHO would be unable to address public concerns about the panel's composition in such a brief timeframe.

This meeting must be postponed until the public has been given ample time to review and comment on the composition of the GDG and its charge to develop recommendations around hormonal and surgical interventions, as well as legal gender self-identification. WHO must address the conflicts of interest that are already apparent by rebalancing the panel's membership. Some members should not be allowed to participate due to extreme intellectual conflicts of interest (which the WHO handbook specifically calls out), while other members' participation may need to be confined to certain areas. In addition, WHO should consider hiring an independent methodologist to assist in the guideline development process.

C. Rushed guideline development process.

The final composition of the panel was only announced on December 18 but, according to WHO, this group will evaluate the evidence and formulate recommendations across a range of topics including healthcare, clinician education, health policies, and laws by February 21. To call this a rushed procedure would be a dramatic understatement. Compare this to the process embarked upon by the Cass Review in the UK, for example - a multi-year effort to address the health care needs of just one patient demographic (under 18s) within a single country (England).

This is lightning-fast speed for any organization, but especially for WHO, which must consult with various stakeholders, commission evidence reviews from third parties, and potentially engage independent experts to help oversee the guideline development process. None of this can be realistically accomplished within WHO's artificially constrained time frame.

* * *

For all the above reasons, the signatories to this Petition call on WHO to appoint individuals with a range of perspectives to the guideline development group and extend the period for public comment to ensure that all voices in this debate have an opportunity to be heard. We request that WHO cancel the upcoming February Geneva meeting for the guideline development group as currently constituted, and address the many conflicts of interest currently in play. We also ask for transparency regarding how participants in the GDG are selected, full disclosure of any conflicts of interest (financial as well as intellectual), and a clear plan for how WHO intends to balance strong opposing views and facilitate dialogue across differences of perspective.

Members must also represent a range of perspectives on the important question of legal recognition of gender self-identification. These issues have profound implications for both trans-identified individuals and society-at-large (particularly the rights of women and girls), and must not be rushed.

Finally, we request that WHO observe its own internal procedures for the development of guidelines, to ensure that such guidelines are trustworthy and credible. All WHO guidelines must rely on the best available evidence. Where evidence is weak, as it is in this area of medicine, guidance must clarify risks and unknowns. If recommendations are made, WHO must make clear whose values and preferences are driving the recommendations and specify what those values are. This is a requirement for any evidence-based guideline.

Deploying the language of evidence-based medicine without actually practicing it is not enough. Gender-dysphoric and gender-questioning patients of all ages deserve better; the unique needs of children, adolescents, and young adults demand particular care and attention -- as do women's rights to safety.

Sign The Petition


1,000 - 2,000 of 12,024

Daniel Rodger

Allied Health Professional

Candice Islander

Broken Hearted Mother

Laurie Gaddis Barrett

Parents United RI

Alison Lewis

Retired Social Worker

Olivia Keister

Teacher - K12

Kate C

concerned parent

Timsit Sonia

Psychiatre psychanalyste

Josie Easton

Medical doctor

Josie Easton

Medical doctor

Lenny Cornwall

Consultant Psychiatrist

Joseph Hackman

Senior Analyst

Wanda Tebby

Registered Nurse

Elliot Kaminetzky

Licensed Clinical Psychologist
The Center for Child Behavioral Health

Laura Grandmont

Mom of a teen caught in the gender identity s

Wanda Tebby

Registered Nurse

Nathanael Blake

Ethics and Public Policy Center

Ewan Kelly

BA Hons (Cantab)

Matthew Osborne


Sonja Houtkooper

MSc Psychology

Antony Wootten

Antony Wootten
Antony Wootten

Ross Dyer

Sports TV Broadcaster

Mary Frances Kryzak

Contract Administrator

Margaret Cheryl Revell

Member of public

Loreto Iglesias

Breastfeeding supporter

Mem Capp

Mother of gender distressed adolescent

Mary Frances Kryzak

Contract administrator

Edward E Waldrep

Clinical Psychologist

Diane McBride


Patrick Miller

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst

Susan Forbes

CBT Psychotherapist

Patrick Miller

Psychiatrist Psychoanalyst

Claire Lewis


Patrick Miller

Psychiatrist Psychoanalyst

Chris Holdridge

Doctor (general practitioner)
Chris Holdridge

Johanna Lasry


Sol Chinea

Sales manager


Société Psycnanalytique de Paris (SPP)

Anna Seager

This ideology has ruined my family

Mandy Vere

Green Women's Declaration

Talia Nava

Science writer and Researcher
The Paradox Institute

Spider Redgold

Spider Redgold

Shahanara Hussain

Consultant Child Psychiatrist

Tish Naughton

Ms. Parent

Claire Squires

Psychiatrist Psychoanalyst Assistant Professo

faith donkin

parent / teacher

Daniel Gallagher

MA Education

Paula Brinkley, MD


Kitty Carver

Concerned transsexual

Jennifer Rogers

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Lauren Schwartz

MD, Board Certified Psychiatrist

Jennifer Rogers

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Fred Sargeant

Gay rights activist

Beth Bourne

Mom exposing the trans agenda
Davis Joint Unified School District (CA) Pare

Jessica Leanne Bendel

Detransitioned Female / Student

Karen Richardson

Clinical Drug Development

Jessica Leanne Bendel

Survivor of Gender Affirming Care

Andrew Chase

Retired scientist

Glenda Martin

Glenda Martin

Hilary Burrage

Adjunct Professor
FGM expert

Anna Kennedy


Deborah Haas

Director of Education

Kate Fitzmaurice

Healthcare Professional

Carol Anne Sundahl

Adult human female
Lesbian woman

Judith Heppner


Jerry Sternberg

Biologist CBiol FRSB
University of Aberdeen



Veronica Valli

Sobriety coach

Jyri Tolppanen

Master of Arts in English Studies

Carol Stilson

Licensed professional counselor

Kerry Clifford

Public citizen

Darlene Watters


Dr Janet Smith

Writer & Developmental Biologist

Natasha Chart

LGB United

Dr. Hannerose Falkiner

Consultant Psychiatrist

Alice Volans


Womens Sports Policy Working Group

Think Tank Affirming All-Female Category & Tr

Melanie Bennet


Simon Tegg

Fully Informed

Mariah Burton Nelson

Women's Sports Policy Working Group

John Martin


Nikola Brabenec

Mental health and substance use counsellor

Gary Acord


Rory Waterman


Amber Vitai

Retired RMN

Catherine Anderson-Karena

Executive Director
Active Watchful Waiting Inc.

Amber Vitai

Retired Registered Mental Nurse

Jason Brandick

Northern Light Alliance


Mental health clinician


Mental health clinician


Mental health clinician

Alex Capo

Executive Director
The Charlton School

Francis Neary

M.Sc. (Medical Physiology)

Candice Islander

Broken Hearted Mother

Ann Cuddy

Adult Human Female

Eric Horst

Member American Association Clinical Endocrin

Jason Brandick

Northern Light Alliance

Francis Oliver Neary

Medical Physiologist (Neuro)

Stanley Goldfarb

Do No Harm

Bethany Marchant

Adult Human Female.
Objective Reality

Margaret Martin

Coalition of Activist Lesbians

Susan Hawthorne

James Cook University

Olivia Keister


Carol Zogran

Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

Constance Whyte

Adult Human Female

Pablo Gabela Molina

Specialist in Clinical Psychology
Freedom Consulting Services

Monique Zorn

Speak up for Women, NZ

Monique Zorn

Speak up for Women

Pradip Hari

GNC and parent of a GNC child

margaret jean harris

retired social worker

Mark Evans

Retired, garandparent of gender non-conformin

Ean Bett

Medical Doctor

Claudia Huber

Concerned older lesbian
Gender critical groups and individuals

Erica McMillan

Public servant

Erica Joy McMillan

Public servant

Lisa Fiederer

Mental Health Clinician

Aaron Arutunian

Former Board of Trustees President, Portland

Zvonimir Tot

DMA, musician, music educator

Aileen Little


Barbara Tefft

Adult Human Female
Human dimorphic species

Vanessa Blakeslee

Vanessa Blakeslee

Derick Alexandre

Campus Minister
Roman Catholic Church

Jackalynn Lopez

Concerned parent and California Educator

Tory Lodge

Physical therapist

Carole Ann

Lesbian Action Group

Matthew R Benson

Pediatrician and Pediatric Endocrinologist

Nikola Brabenec

Registered clinical counsellor

William Turek

Catholic Medical Association

Marcella McClure


Jack Gregorian

Graduate Student

Shane Anderson

MD, Internal Medicine

Nikola Brabenec

Registered Clinical Counsellor

Darren Moore

Concerned citizen

Melanie Brown

Member, Free Speech Union Australia

James Brown

Phenotype Recovery Network

Allie Snyder

Women's Rights Campaigner


MD, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Unive

Jane Gamez


James Lindsay

New Discourses

Wiley Henry Mosley, MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heal

Susan Steadman

Aspen Wellness

VISIBLE Lesbian Group (Australia)

Lesbian Rights Co-ordination
Lesbian Rights are Human Rights

Dina Ortis

Respiratory Therapist

Dina Karchut

Respiratory Therapist

Dina Karchut

Retired Respiratory Therapist



Erin Everitt

Advocates Protecting Children

Kate Williams

Medical Researcher

Robin Atkins, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine

Diane P. Bischak

University of Calgary

Melissa Gwyn

artist and eduacator

Julie Framingham

Licensed Master Social Worker

Tiko Phin

Nonprofit manager

Carol Evans

Woman and mother

Matthew J Calderaz

Software Engineer

Laurie E Samuelson

Concerned Parent
Concerned Parent

Cecile Harrell

Woman and mother

Cecile Harrell

Woman and mother

Jennifer Block

Concerned parent

Teresa Murray

Teacher (retired)

Helen Gollan

Concern Butch life long Lesbian

Champion Women

Advocacy for Women and Girls in Sports

Lisi Holt


Vanessa Ruiz

American parent

Kristopher Kaliebe

Professor, university of South Florida

David Boettger

ACP, Do No Harm

Ram S. Duriseti MD, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor

Renee M. Marcelle

Attorney-Child Counsel
Our Duty and ROGD Parents

Alison Clayton


Linda Dear

Medical doctor

Adrian Luis Sanchez

MA, Gender and Womens Studies / Cultural

Marcia Gibson

University of Glasgow

Natalya Murakhver

Restore Childhood

Jean Wyldbore

Community Member

Phoebe Muriwai

Global Womens Party.

Surya Silva


Daniel Richard Grayson

Professor Emeritus
University of Illinois

Cathie Peut

Social Worker

Virginia Mansel Lees

Academic Social Work & Social Policy
La Trobe University

Jennifer Sutherlin

Certified Nurse Midwife

Celia Sexton

B Arch
Woman. Lesbian.

Melinda Kelleher

Catholic church

Clare Smith

Registered Nurse. Registered Midwife.

Ni Dhalaigh Madeleine

Medical Doctor

Carolyn Skelton

Retired Teacher

Susan Hancock

Nurse & Midwife

Clare Smith

Registered Nurse Registered Midwife

Hein Pohl

Father of four and medical doctor

Ankaoua Fabienne


Nadia El-Mabrouk

Pour les Droits des Enfants du Quebec (PDEQ)

Dr. William Ganz


Andrew Dobell

Retired Headteacher

Erin Talbot


Belinda Mulvey


Anna Kerr

Principal Solicitor
Feminist Legal Clinic Inc.

Karen Neuwirth

Attorney & Mother of trans-identified teen

Penka Kouneva

Ph.D., CEO

Susan Wilson


Maria Schmitt

Classical Liberal

Alan Chapman

LiveWildLiveFree.org and AlanChapman.com

Helen Mills

Retired OCT

Alan Chapman


Nicole Yvert


Paul Martin

Financial Advisor

Kevin Lister

Ex teacher. Dismissed and Barred from the chi

Dumont Francis


Jean-Philippe Boulenger MD PhD

Professor of Psychiatry
University of Montpellier France

Nahan Leeson

Lesbian Gay Bi alliance (LGB Alliance)

Lucy Grain

Consultant paediatrician

Corina Heijne

Recovery nurse

Godin Christian


Marco Del Giudice

Associate Professor, psychology
University of Trieste

Sharon Cooper

Health care professional

Stephen Warren

Imperial College London

Lola Baker

Finance Analyst

Stina Ojeda

Stina Ojeda
Stina Ojeda

Giancarlo Dimaggio

Psychiatrist Psychotherapist
Centro di Terapia Metacognitiva Interpersonal

Matthew Hibbert


Lola Baker

Finance Analyst

Jennifer Hayward

Jennifer Hayward
Jennifer Hayward

Carolyn Hay


Tim Elliott

Father of daughters

Cornelia Dayes

Bucharest Bar, Romania

Toby Anderson

Same-Sex Attracted Man

Cornelia Dayes

Bucharest Bar

Tim Elliott

Father of daughters

Stephen Westgarth

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Child Psychiatry UK

Paul Atherton

father and grandfather

Stephen Westgarth

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Child Psychiatry UK

Anthony Jacob

University of Washington

Elaine Allison

Retired high school teacher

Linda Blade

Sport Performance Coach

Mark Chater

LGB Christians

Mats Reimer

Gothenburg, SWEDEN

Mats Reimer

Gothenburg SWEDEN

Sandra Lee Pertot

PhD clinical psychologist

Carine Silver

GP (trainee)

Xenia Roszik-Volovik

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Az Hakeem

Consultant Psychiatrist

Viviane Morrigan

Dr (PhD) - woman & lesbian

Nuria marcos


Viviane Morrigan

Dr, woman, lesbian
Coalition of Activist Lesbians (CoAL)

Helen Davies

Teacher and parent

Paloma Azpilicueta Aguilar

Clinical Psychologist - Pychotherapist

Catherine Shepperd

Registered Nurse

Sarah Watson

Mental Health Professional

Sarah Watson

Mental Health Professional

Gregory Evans

Public Health Officer retired -- Award Winnin

Alexandra Geddis

Education Consultant (retired)

Keith Jordan

Our Duty

Jackie Kore


J Kennedy

Child and adolescent psychotherapist

Jet London

Harmed by gender medicine

Tina Beattie


Carolina Munoz

Physical Therapist

Leclercq Jean-Paul

Psychologue Clnicien
Observatoire de la Petite Sirène

Anna McCormack

IWD Meanjin Brisbane

GENID Norway

Katarzyna Kozak-Opsahl, board member of Gende

Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt

Barrister & Human Rights Lawyer

Margaret Elliot

Retired psychiatric nurse
Scottish Lesbians

Steve Davies

IT technician

Gerison Lansdown

International child rights consultant

Peter Daly


Terry Patterson

Psychodynamic Counsellor
Thoughtful Therapists

Robert Hodges


Alice Volans


Sarah Jorgensen

PharmD, PhD

thierry lamote

Associate professor
University Paris Cite





Vicky Morland

Social Prescriber


Womens Rights Organisation

Luisa Melioli


Rosemary Griffin

Grandmother of desisted 15 yr-old girl

Kaspar Bulling

Teacher of philosophy and ethics

Helen Robinson

Risk & Regulations Consulting

Glenda McIntosh

UKCP accredited

Susanna Carter

Snr Specialist Women's Health and Pelvic

Lise Curcuma

Travail Social

Vanessa McCulloch

High School Teacher

Roman Nurpeissov

Lawyer, LL.B., J.D., LL.M.

Alice Volans


Farges nicole


Laura Tennant

Child psychotherapist in training



Nicolas Liengme


Elizabeth Loveridge

Teacher of students aged 11-18

C Johnson

Registered Medical Professional

Gwendoline Chapman

Retired, Community development worker

BERGER Maurice

Child psychiatrist, associate Professor of Ch
Paris-Cite University

Jean Francois Braunstein

Philosophy professor
Sorbonne Paris 1

Dion Stuart Khlentzos

Psychologist (Doctor)

Dr Joan Haig

Author, Lecturer



Claire Wyatt

Psychology Student and Mental Health Support

Leigh Taylor

Primary School Teacher

Taylor Hamilton


Sven Rettkowski


1,000 - 2,000 of 12,024


SIGN THE Petition


Email Address will not be displayed on list of Co-Signers.