The clinic opened in 2017, led by Dr. Christopher Lewis, a pediatric endocrinologist, and Dr. Sarah Garwood, an adolescent medicine specialist, who had each attended TransParent meetings. They saw patients once a week on the second floor of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, spending most days elsewhere in the sprawling complex.
When Ms. Reed arrived, in 2018, she was the clinic’s only full-time employee. Eventually, the clinic would have about nine staff members, most part-time.
Their patients were part of a striking generational change: Between 2017 and 2020, about 1.4 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds in the United States identified as transgender, nearly double the rate from a few years earlier.
It’s clear the St. Louis clinic benefited many adolescents: Eighteen patients and parents said that their experiences there were overwhelmingly positive, and they refuted Ms. Reed’s depiction of it. For example, her affidavit claimed that the clinic’s doctors did not inform parents or children of the serious side effects of puberty blockers and hormones. But emails show that Ms. Reed herself provided parents with fliers outlining possible risks.
Ms. Hutton’s son, who requested anonymity because of privacy concerns, is now in college, and said he was grateful he transitioned years earlier. “I have normal-people problems, which is all that I ever wanted,” he said.