Last week, a 25-year-old detransitioned North Carolina woman filed a lawsuit against those she claims were responsible for convincing her to undergo gender-reassignment medical procedures when she was a minor.
Filed as a civil case in Gaston County Superior Court, Prisha Mosley alleges a team of doctors and counselors regularly “lied” to her by stating that transitioning from female to male would solve her mental health issues.
The complaint also states doctors injected her with testosterone shots which caused her to develop a deeper voice and led to considerable physical pain. Mosley also claims she may be infertile as a result of the testosterone.
Doctors also removed Mosley’s breasts in a procedure known as “top surgery.”
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of fraud, facilitating fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, medical malpractice, infliction of emotional distress, and deceptive trade practices.
Mosley’s attorneys are asking for a jury trial and are demanding financial compensation for an undisclosed amount.
“I hope that by filing my lawsuit, more people who have unfortunately similar stories will hear my story and be encouraged,” Mosley said. “I hope that if young people know that others are by their side, they’ll feel less alone and more empowered.”
Also named in Mosley’s suit are her pediatrician Dr. Martha Perry and her employer Cone Health; Shana Gordon and the LGBT-centered clinic where she works called Tree of Life Counseling; Brie Klein-Fowler and her employer Family Solutions counseling; and plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Emerson with his employer Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology (PPSD).
The defendants could not be reached or did not respond to Carolina Journal’s request for comment.
Speaking to Carolina Journal’s David Larson in May, Mosley spoke about her mental health struggles when she was a teenager, when she committed acts of self-harm and was diagnosed with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anorexia. Mosley believes a sexual assault at age 14 led in part to her mental health struggles.
When seeking mental health treatment at age 16, Mosley alleges that various doctors and counselors began to “push” her into transitioning, stating it would relieve her struggles.
Mosley alleges that in 2015, Dr. Perry, also a Professor of Pediatrics at UNC’s School of Medicine, diagnosed her as having a “gender identity crisis” after their first meeting when she was 16. The lawsuit claims Perry “guided Prisha into medicalized gender transition through deception and negligence.”
Mosley claims Dr. Perry told her that through testosterone injections, she would grow male genitalia.
Later in 2015, Mosley met with counselor Sheena Gordon at Tree of Life who agreed that Mosley should transition from female to male to solve “her many psychological and mental health problems.”
The complaint also claims counselor Brie Klein-Fowler of Family Solutions recommended that Mosley undergo the “top surgery” procedure to remove her breasts, despite not being specialized in gender health.
Dr. Emerson of PPDS operated on Mosley to remove her breasts, in an act the plaintiff claims was “without true and accurate written authorization and informed consent.” Mosley underwent the operation after she turned 18.
Mosley began to detransition in the years following the operation and now fully identifies as a woman. She is currently raising money to support further detransition operations.
Attorneys Anthony Biller of Envisage Law in Raleigh and Josh Payne of Campbell Miller Payne in Dallas, Texas represent Mosley in the case.
Campbell Miller Payne, established this year, bills itself on its website as being dedicated to “justice for the detransitioner community.”
Transgender health care debate in N.C.
Mosley’s lawsuit coincides with other controversies regarding transgender-related healthcare in North Carolina.
In June, the N.C. General Assembly passed House Bill 808 with primarily Republican support. H.B. 808 prohibits medical professionals from performing surgical gender transition procedures, giving puberty-blocking drugs, or giving cross-sex hormones to minors.
In early July, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill, stating, “a doctor’s office is no place for politicians, and North Carolina should continue to let parents and medical professionals make decisions about the best way to offer gender care for their children.”
However, the N.C. General Assembly is expected to overturn Cooper’s veto using their veto-proof majority in both chambers. Currently, the veto override is scheduled for August 7, but may be subject to change.
Mosley spoke in favor of the bill and similar legislation in front of General Assembly committees in the past months.
Issues over gender-reassignment surgery for minors have sprung to the forefront of state and nationwide political discussion. Current 2024 GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson condemned transitioning procedures for minors as “child abuse” in a speech in May.
Earlier this year, a poll conducted by The Washington Post found that 68% of polled U.S. adults oppose transitioning for those aged 10-14 while 58% oppose similar procedures for those 15-17. More than 60% said they are in favor of minors seeking gender-affirming therapy and counseling.