TN Rep Responds To Claims That Legislators Refused To Take Action On “Gender Affirming” Surgeries At Vanderbilt

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

In an interview with Forge and Anvil, Representative Ryan Williams (R-District 42-Cookeville) said that members of the Tennessee General Assembly were not aware that Vanderbilt was doing ‘gender affirming’ procedures prior to Matt Walsh’s exposé.  

In September, Walsh’s report outlined the use of irreversible puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and surgeries on healthy children at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.

Legislation to prevent the mutilation of minors has been sponsored by Senator Janice Bowling (R-District 16-Tullahoma) and Representative John Ragan (R-District33-Oak Ridge) for the last two years but Williams said that legislators were focused on passing bills to address matters that they knew for a fact were happening in the state. 

During the interview, Williams recalled one of the first bills that Ragan worked on.

“I remember one of his first bills because it singed my psyche, it changed my view on what it meant to be a lawmaker,” said Williams. “It had to do with laws that prohibit genital mutilation, which happens in some religious faiths around the world, and we had to have this discussion in the health committee, of which I was the subcommittee chairman on.”

Williams remembers those discussions about genital mutilation happening in the state as being “uncomfortable.” “This was going on in certain religious communities in our state,” he said. “We knew for a fact it was going on.”

Referring to the “gender affirming” surgeries at Vanderbilt, Williams said, “We didn’t know any of this was going on in our state.”

“We are a red state among red states,” Williams told Connor, host of the Forge and Anvil podcast. “We never thought in a million years this would be happening in our state.”

Talking about another bill that came up in the health committee at the same time regarding hormone blockers for children, Williams said, “We were having those discussions about hormone blockers because we knew that was going on in the state of Tennessee and we had to get control of it.”

That bill, which prohibits hormone treatments for 8 to 10-year-olds became law last year.

According to Williams, the news that gender surgeries had taken place at Vanderbilt “came out of left field” and was a shock to lawmakers. “No-one envisioned this was even in our future, in our near future, much less going on and what we found out is, it was going on.”

In response to claims that lawmakers did not take action, Williams said, “To say that we knew what was going on and we didn’t do anything is simply not true.”

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-District 5-Oak Ridge) and Senator Ferrell Haile (R-District 19-Gallatin) have stated that they expect a bill dealing with “transgender medical care” to be sponsored when the 113th General Assembly convenes in 2023.

Representative Ragan told The Tennessee Conservative that he has another similar bill in draft but the push for its passage will depend upon whether he is reelected to office.

Watch the interview with Representative Williams below.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

9 thoughts on “TN Rep Responds To Claims That Legislators Refused To Take Action On “Gender Affirming” Surgeries At Vanderbilt

  • October 20, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    So let me get this straight. Ya’ll had discussions and thought that this could never happen in this state and just pushed it under the rug. You didn’t want to do anything about it because it was with religious groups that were doing it and you weren’t going to go there? What exactly was the reason you decided not to look into it and find out what was really going on? Why did you think it was ok for religious groups to do such a thing? Of course, it was only ok because that was to little girls? Laughing about this is repulsive. So, what are you going to do about it NOW, that you know it is going on in our state regardless of religious or gender changing?

  • October 20, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    The Tennessee Legislature needs a thorough housecleaning. If this is how they do business, we damn sure don’t need them. My dogs could do a better job

  • October 20, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    Claims that they did not know about this are bogus. Here is a link to the video of a Vanderbilt Physician’s testimony on March 31. 2021 about what Vandy doctors were ALREADY doing to kids.

  • October 21, 2022 at 3:29 am

    Who’s the guy wearing the Pizza and Owls shirt? Looks like symbols shirt. He surely has heard enough about that, and wear it on an interview…. for who?

  • October 21, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    TN Patriot, thanks for sharing that link. It was a disgusting spectacle to watch. The world has become an insane place, and it’s sad to see Tennessee following along.

  • October 22, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Yup, TNGOP’s RINOs.

  • October 24, 2022 at 1:23 am

    Well they passed HB1027 which prohibits gender reassignment treatment on PREPUBERTAL kids, like under 13…because at 13 the Mature Minor Doctrine Kicks in when the kids can get medical without parental oversight. WHY DID THEY STOP WITH PERPUBERTAL? What happened with TEENS, like up to age of ADULTHOOD LEGALLY?? Liars.


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