“Sometimes I wake up in the morning and realize that they’re gone. I have these scars.”
Camille Kiefel, 32 years old, had her breasts removed to make her gender more compatible with her nonbinary sexual identity in 2020. After two Zoom meetings, her doctors agreed to the surgery. They also brushed aside a variety of mental health issues.
Camille realizes now that her surgery was a mistake. Two and a half year later, she sued her social worker and therapist and the gender clinics they work for — Brave Space Oregon & Quest Center for Integrative Health – seeking damages up to $850,000
Camille was a child and never thought about her gender identity. After her best friend was raped at the hands of a relative in sixth grade she realized her femininity and became more aware of it. Her father gave her some well-intentioned advice around that time, which turned out to be counterproductive.
According to her, “My father told me about the way men talk about girls because he wanted me to be safe and to get me more conservative clothing.” She shared this with The Post. But it made me more anxious. All that made me miserable. I still remember being afraid of being alone.”
From then on she started dressing more androgynously. “I didn’t want to emphasize my curves. “I felt discomfort in my breasts and hips.”
Camille was not aware that she might be a woman until she entered Portland State University. She studied gender studies and was exposed and challenged by other perspectives about sex.
When she was in her twenties, she adopted a nonbinary name and started using the she/they pronouns. She struggled with a number of mental-health problems, including anxiety disorder (social anxiety), major depressive disorder (MDD) and ADHD.
Camille was 30, and still had mental health issues. She thought a gender-neutral surgery would help her. She said, “I was so dysfunctional. I just wanted something that would help.” “I thought I’d be happier.”
She received a referral from a major Oregon clinic for gender issues. She spoke with doctors via Zoom twice in May and July. Each conversation lasted approximately an hour. It was that was all it took. She claimed that she has never met anyone before having her breasts removed. (Quest Center for Integrative Health and Brave Space Oregon did not respond to inquiries for comment.
These complications could be felt almost immediately. She stated that she had difficulty swallowing, and scopolamine poisoning due to a patch placed on her back to treat nausea. Her pupils continued to dilate for many months after the surgery.
All of a sudden she felt like the doctors who approved her surgery had abandoned her. Camille explained, “Doctors had taken me seriously until surgery. But after I developed all these problems, they stopped taking my seriously.” “I was on the road to recovery at that time.”
While she believed the procedure would improve her mental well-being, she wasn’t so certain when she saw the final results. “I remember feeling kind of mixed when the doctor took off the bandages.
Camille was able to regain her mental health and physical well-being over the next few months. She now considers herself a female. She explained that she now has a more stable view of the situation.
Camille stated that there is no transition to be made to nonbinary. There’s no third type of sex. It is just a feeling that you would find this a good fit. It’s a designer procedure, but I didn’t know it at that time. . . It’s an odd Frankenstein surgery they’re doing.
In retrospect she realized just how much her doctor had missed when they approved her operation. She spoke out about the trauma and emotional turmoil she went through when her friend was subject to rape. But she was still allowed to remove her breasts.
She explained, “The doctors are also under this gender ideology so there’s this kind of idea that you could have mental illness and be trans.” It almost feels like confirmation bias. They didn’t even look into it.
Her relationships have also been affected. After finding out she doesn’t have breasts, her partner ended their relationship. Camille is not able to breastfeed and would love to have children.
She stated, “I still get sad about it.” “It was depressing. I had this surgery and will continue to deal with the aftermath.
Jackson Bone LLP represents Camille in her Oregon State Court legal battle. Camille is also being supported by the feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front.
She hopes that by taking the case to court, history will not repeat itself.
Many people who should not have these procedures are having them, she stated. “There are underlying issues in health that are not being addressed. People like me are being overlooked.”