DR Sidhbh (pronounced ‘Sigh-vee’) Gallagher’s online profile photo shows a youngish-looking woman pushing 40, with long blonde hair and large, deep-set, piercing blue eyes. Her arms are folded and she is looking directly and rather intensely at the camera. Her makeup is flawlessly applied, the expression on her face a millimetre or two shy of what students of Greek sculpture call an archaic smile. The impression is of a self-possessed, trendsetting Girlboss succeeding in a supposedly male-dominated profession, while chipping away at that pesky glass ceiling.
Dr Gallagher is a highly trained, highly paid and presumably highly capable plastic surgeon, specialising in an area which is euphemistically called ‘gender confirmation surgeries’. In plain language, she uses her considerable skills to mutilate mostly young people and drastically change their lives for ever, receiving large sums of money to cut off the healthy breasts of anxiety-ridden teenage girls, one as young as thirteen, and to slice off the genitals of confused young men.
Indeed, Gallagher confirms the irreversibility of these mutilations herself, assuring her TikTok followers – who number well over a quarter of a million – that breasts, once removed, do not grow back. Neither, I might add, do testicles or penises.
She makes the clearly spurious claim that ‘Most folks say their top surgery is easier than wisdom teeth removal’, adding she has yet to meet a patient who says a ‘teet yeet’ (a double mastectomy) is worse than the removal of wisdom teeth.
For those of you who, like me, were unaware of the term ‘yeet’, it is Gen Z slang for violently throwing away an object that you deem worthless. In one of her many TikTok videos, Gallagher assures young women contemplating double mastectomies that they can elect to have their nipples (which she calls ‘nips’) reattached if that feels more ‘affirming’.
Affirming of what, for God’s sake? Both male and female members of our species possess nipples, the female variety of which facilitate the feeding of infants, a joy that those young women who have been subjected to Dr Gallagher’s scalpels, scissors, forceps, needles and sutures will never experience.
Styling herself ‘Dr Teetus Deletus’ (I kid you not), ‘yeet’ is one of her favourite terms. She also promotes orchiectomies (the removal of testicles) for men and boys who do not feel comfortable with male genitalia, biological males who, she tells us, identify as eunuchs, just ‘another group of gender-diverse individuals’, albeit one that has ‘not been very visible’.
So profuse is her exposure on TikTok – her videos aimed at young people have received well over 7million likes – that she has been dubbed the ‘TikTok Surgeon’, although I prefer the sobriquet given her by the courageous gender-critical therapist and author James Esses in reference to the town in Ireland where she was apparently born and raised: ‘The Butcher of Louth’.
Now based in Miami, Florida, she continues to ply her trade in ‘top surgeries’ (double mastectomies) and ‘bottom surgeries’ (genital mutilation), enriching herself on the disfigurement of some of the most emotionally vulnerable and psychologically fragile young people our society has to offer.
As a retired teacher, I am seldom lost for words. But as I strive to come to terms with what this woman is doing to young men and women around the age of the students I was teaching until recently, and the crass way she presents herself online, I struggle to find the appropriate language. The only word that springs immediately to mind is ‘evil’, along with one or two synonyms such as ‘depraved’ and ‘demonic’. The latter, a term I almost never used during the first six decades of my life, I now use on a daily basis as our civilisation unravels.
I have believed in the existence of evil since I was a child. My devout Roman Catholic parents saw to that. I also realise that evil comes in many forms, one of the most unsettling being when evil is done by those who think they are doing good, like early-twentieth-century eugenicists who believed they were benefiting humanity by advocating the forced sterilisation of people they saw as genetically unfit. I have read that the gravest sin in Judaism is when men do evil in the belief that they are honouring God, something that has many applications, I am afraid, both in the traditional theistic religions and in the increasingly popular secular religions of the twenty-first century.
German philosopher Hannah Arendt even believed that individuals could do evil without being evil themselves, a conclusion she reached while watching the trial of Adolf Eichmann, generally cited as a principal architect of the Holocaust, in Jerusalem in 1961.
Observing Eichmann in court, Arendt found him to be ordinary and bland, with the demeanor of a petty bureaucrat, a compliant functionary who had carried out evil deeds without evil intent, ‘neither perverted nor sadistic’, but ‘terrifyingly normal’. In her book about the trial, she coined the famous phrase ‘banality of evil’ which, whether true or not true in Eichmann’s case, entered the lexicon of educated people throughout the world and has now assumed the status of a cliché.
Having spent time exploring Dr Gallagher’s social media presence – which is considerable, TikTok, popular among teenagers, understandably being her preferred stamping ground – I have come to two conclusions.
First, Gallagher has a knack for relating to young people, her quirky persona appealing especially to young women, her main target audience and the source of most of her income. The aesthetics of her website and videos are unutterably banal, having a Teen Vogue feel to them, replete with upbeat pop music; but I say this, of course, as an ageing baby boomer, not exactly the demographic Dr Gallagher seeks to impress.
Secondly, my impression of Dr Gallagher is of a human type all too common these days: a highly educated and credentialled professional enriching themselves on the backs of pseudoscientific but fashionable and lucrative ideologies which harm people often beyond repair and do great damage to the fabric of society.
Certainly mutilating and disfiguring young people and calling it ‘gender affirming care’ has become very lucrative for those surgeons who practise it, with double mastectomies at $12,000 a pop and complete transitions costing as much as $150,000. Given its elite support and widespread acceptance among the chattering classes, it is also becoming increasingly normalised. Indeed, judging by the explosion in the number of gender clinics in the United States, ‘yeeting the teets’ and God knows what else is big business and apparently all the rage.
I end with a question that I am not qualified to answer. To what extent is this woman evil? I would say she is doing evil things to vulnerable people, but the jury remains divided. If I were sitting on it, I would vote to find Dr Sidhbh Gallagher MD guilty of shamelessly trivialising life-altering surgeries for troubled young people and profiting from medical fads and pseudoscientific claptrap whose impact on the mental, physical, and spiritual health of those subjected to it can only be guessed at.