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A Lighthouse of Courage: Irreversible Damage Investigates Girls Identifying as Transgender

It started with an article in the Wall Street Journal in August 2018 on the constitutional argument against compelling people to use certain pronouns, and Abigail Shrier was contacted by a persistent mother who told the story of her daughter suddenly declaring herself to be “trans,” along with a group of friends. From one parent and one article on the topic to a deluge of parents contacting her, it was a story that could not be ignored, and thus, Shrier felt compelled to write it. “The truth is, I’m not sure I could have done anything else. Once I was aware of what was going on…how could I just walk away from that and not look into it?” Shrier asks rhetorically in an interview with Jordan Peterson. She continues, “Lies really bother me…The truth seemed obvious, and it was fairly horrifying. A lot of young women are getting badly hurt.”

The book explores how and why adolescent girls are identifying as “transgender” at such a rapid pace that scientists told Shrier that it should be properly called an “epidemic.” This phenomenon was identified by Dr. Lisa Littman in a well-known research paper, but the deep exploration of many of the factors, including peer and social media influence, playing into this massive increase in (self-)diagnoses of “gender dysphoria” in girls is found in Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. The book was named as a 2020 Book of the Year by The Economist, yet refuses to allow Regnery Publishers to advertise the book on their platform. A thorough chapter by chapter review of the book by a detransitioner (Waffling Willow) can be found on YouTube.

In interviews, Shrier speaks in a humble and conversational tone that mirrors the accessibility of the book to any audience curious about the topic. With 23 pages of citations, there’s no reason to doubt the credibility of the book. “Nobody has pointed to a single factual error” even under extreme scrutiny since its publication, Shrier points out in the interview with Peterson. Shrier has been a journalist for the Wall Street Journal for years, and you can also read her work online at with the tagline “The Truth Fairy.” Several long- and short-form interviews with her discussing the book can be found online, including with Jordan Peterson, Benjamin Boyce, Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, Kellie-Jay Keen, Meghan Murphy, Matt Walsh, John Anderson, Dave Rubin, and her speeches at Princeton University and Hillsdale College. There are also a number of podcasts, including this one with the Independent Women's Forum, in which she is interviewed about the book and her experiences investigating the topic and overcoming the doubts she had after facing criticism for addressing the topic.

In an interview with Benjamin Boyce, he asks Shrier about how she weighed the costs and benefits of writing the book. She explains that she did not allow herself to consider that. Instead, she recalled a moment in which a mentor told her a guiding principle that she summarizes, “You can’t think about the reviews when you’re writing. You can’t think about what people will say. You have to divorce yourself from all that and think about what’s true.” Her wish for what comes of the book is best told in the final moments of her interview with Jordan Peterson. She asserts, “The lies have to stop somewhere. Don’t they? We’re living through a blizzard of them, and at some point, someone has to say enough.”

Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters is now in paperback and cannot be purchased at Target, but it can be found on, Regnery Publishing, and other book retailers. Consider sending a copy to a school leader, pediatrician, therapist, or government official, as well as purchasing one for yourself. If your local library does not have it, you can request that a copy be added to the library’s collection. Translations of the book in Spanish and Swedish are available.

We are incredibly grateful that Abigail Shrier felt compelled to create these pages of light in a cultural moment of dark lies. Courage is calling you too. Will you answer the call?


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