“Sometimes, in the shower I realize they are gone. These scars are all mine.”
Camille Kiefel (32), had her healthy breasts removed in 2020 so that they would align with her nonbinary identity. After two Zoom meetings, she says her doctors approved the surgery. This was despite a host of mental health issues.
Camille now realizes that her surgery was a mistake. Two and a quarter years later, she is suing her social workers, therapists, and the gender clinics that they work for — Brave Space Oregon, Quest Center for Integrative Health — for up to $850,000 in damages.
Camille didn’t give her gender identity any thought as a child. She said that she was made aware of her feminine nature after her best friend was raped in sixth grade by a relative. Her father gave her well-meaning advice, but it backfired.
She told The Post that her dad had told her about men’s comments about girls. He wanted to protect me and get me to be more conservative. It made my anxiety worse. All of that really messed me up. I can recall being afraid to be alone.
She began to dress more androgynously from that point. I didn’t want my curves to be highlighted. I felt a lot of pain around my breasts, hips, and stomach.
Camille didn’t realize she was a woman until she enrolled at Portland State University. There, she studied gender studies and was exposed to other views on sex.
She adopted a nonbinary identity and began using she/they pronouns by her mid-20s. She was also struggling with a variety of mental-health issues including anxiety disorder, social anxiety and major depressive disorder.
Camille, who was 30 at the time, was still suffering from mental-health problems and believed that a gender-neutral top-surgery could help. She recalled, “I was so dysfunctional and I just wanted to have something that would help me.” “I thought that I would be happier.”
She was referred to a major Oregon gender clinic, and she spoke to doctors via Zoom twice, once in May, and once in July. Each time, it took about an hour. That was all it took. Before she had her breasts surgically removed on August 28, she claimed she had never seen anyone in person. (Brave Space Oregon, Quest Center for Integrative Health didn’t respond to our requests for comment.
The complications were almost immediately apparent. She reported difficulty swallowing and scopolamine poisoning after a patch was placed behind her ear to treat nausea. This caused her pupils to dilate for several months.
She said that doctors who had approved her surgery and validated her feelings suddenly left her. Camille stated, “Doctors treated me seriously up to surgery, but I discovered that they no longer took me seriously after I had all these complications.” “I was on my feet at that point.”
She hoped that the procedure would improve her mental health. However, she was not quite sure when she saw its final results: “I recall feeling mixed when the doctor removed the bandages.
Camille regained her mental and bodily health over the following months and is now a woman. She stated that she now views the situation with a more stable perspective.
Camille stated, “There’s no way to make a transition to nonbinary,” There is no third sex. This is based on the feeling that you would make a good match. Although it’s a design surgery, I didn’t realize it at the time. . . They’re performing a bizarre Frankenstein surgery.
She realized how much her doctors missed when she approved her procedure. She shared with them the trauma she had suffered when her friend was raped, and her emotional struggles. She was given the green light to have her breasts removed.
She explained that doctors also believe in this gender ideology. It’s almost like they have a confirmation bias, but they didn’t look into it.
Her relationship life has been affected as well. A partner split with her recently after finding out that she didn’t have breasts. Camille will never be able breastfeed, even though she would love to have children.
She said, “I still feel sad about that.” It’s sad what happened. “I had to have this major surgery and I will always be dealing with the results.”
Jackson Bone LLP is representing Camille in her legal battle at Oregon State Court. She is supported by the feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front.
She hopes that the court case will stop history repeating itself.
She said that many people are “getting these surgeries when they shouldn’t,” and she was not surprised. “There are many underlying health issues being ignored. Many people, like me, are falling through the cracks.”