Our Team

Stella O’Malley

Ireland
Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

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Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella’s first book, ‘Cotton Wool Kids’, was released in 2015 while ‘Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong’ was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book ‘Fragile’, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary ‘Trans – Kids: It’s Time To Talk’ broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, ‘Inventing Transgender Children and Young People’.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched ‘Secrets of the Motherworld’ in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone. In December 2020, Sasha Ayad and Stella launched ‘Gender: A Wider Lens’, in a bid to explore the concept of gender from a psychological depth perspective.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Michelle Alleva

Canada
Michelle Alleva is a detransitioned woman in her thirties.

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Michelle identified as transgender for a period of ten years, during which time she was prescribed testosterone and underwent two medically unnecessary surgeries (mastectomy and hysterectomy). Seven years after being prescribed testosterone, at nearly 30 years of age, she was diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, and post-traumatic stress. She detransitioned a few years later.

In the aftermath of her transition, Michelle began to question why she’d been encouraged to pursue an extreme medical treatment that ultimately wasn’t right for her. She became particularly concerned that the affirmation approach by professionals left no room to consider developmental dysphoria and that her undiagnosed disabilities contributed to her experience. 

Michelle considers writing to be her primary passion in life. She is currently working on her first book, but in the meantime, she blogs about her post-transition experiences on her Substack, “Some Nuance, Please.

Pamela Buffone

Canada
Pam Buffone became an accidental activist after trying to raise concerns about how gender ideology was being taught in her daughters’ Grade 1 class.

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Her 6 year old daughter had become distressed about the lessons because she was being told “there’s no such thing as girls and boys” and “girls are not real and boys are not real”. In one of the lessons, all of the children were asked to write their names on a gender spectrum at the front of the class. Her daughter had written her name at the “girl” label. No one at the school was open to understanding the family’s concerns and the only option they were given was for their daughter to be removed from class for the lessons on gender. The family filed a discrimination case and will receive a full hearing at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. 

Pam is a software executive in the field of data analytics and firmly believes people make better decisions with data and evidence. She started looking into the research behind “gender affirmation” and soon discovered that this practice is not based on any objective evidence. After her family’s human rights case became public knowledge, she was contacted by many Canadian families who shared personal stories and concern for their children’s well-being. In all cases, parents expressed frustration at the healthcare and education systems that are intent on enabling, and even celebrating any child that transitions, without questioning whether this is in their long term best interests. She founded Canadian Gender Report to analyze and document the impact of gender ideology in Canada.

Kathleen H. Dooley

United States
Kathleen is an attorney, having been in private practice with international law firms as a civil defense lawyer for several decades before taking on a general counsel role for a tech startup for one year.

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She is currently on hiatus as she seeks to (1) serve the community of parents of ROGD kids where she can; (2) educate her local school board officials on the need for appropriate school board policies that include, inform and involve parents; and (3) educate her community as a whole as to the dangers of ideologies that seek to convince vulnerable children, tweens, teens and adolescents that they were born in the wrong body – all with compassion, care and respect. 

Claire Graham

United Kingdom
Claire Graham is a qualified teacher, with over 20 years’ experience, who now works in SEND education in the UK. She is also an “intersex”/DSD advocate.

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She began writing about her experience of growing up with a DSD a few years ago, after she grew frustrated with how people like her were often spoken about in debates about identity and gender. She created a blog and started tackling people’s misconceptions about what “intersex” is, or isn’t. She strongly believes in the importance of evidence-based healthcare and policy, along with good quality education and accessible information that enables people to make informed decisions. She also advocates for peer and mental health support for people born with DSDs and their families. 

Her other interest is how current debates around sex and gender are having an impact on academic freedom and free speech in general. She spoke to the Scottish government, in opposition to their controversial hate crime legislation, and is interested in elevating the voices of others who often don’t feel heard. 

Helena Kerschner

United States
Helena Kerschner is a 23-year-old detransitioned woman who identified as transgender during her teenage years and eventually was prescribed testosterone shortly after her 18th birthday.

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After being on testosterone for a year and a half, she realized that transitioning was a misguided way of dealing with her social and emotional struggles. Now, years later, she is interested in exploring the cultural and psychological factors that contribute to the sharp rise in adolescents identifying as transgender and choosing to medically transition with hormones and surgeries.

Julia Mason, MD

United States
Dr. Julia Mason has been a pediatrician for over 25 years, primarily in private practice, but also as a hospitalist and urgent care provider.  She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences and a special interest in ADHD and its management.

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She was pulled into the pediatric transition medicine debate in 2018, the same year the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a non-evidence based position statement on care of the gender dysphoric child.

Avi Ring

Sweden & Norway
Avi Ring is a guest professor at the University of Oslo, and cofounded Gender Identity Challenge (GENID) Scandinavia, where he compiled the web science pages on gender dysphoria.

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He earned a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from the University Uppsala, Sweden where he was an associate professor and worked in cellular electrophysiology. At the Norwegian Defence Research Est. Ring was a chief scientist, working on countermeasures to chemical warfare. He has been on the reference panel to the Norwegian Directory of Health for developing their new guidelines for treatment of Gender Dysphoria and lectured at both the Norwegian and Swedish Parliament seminars.

Marit Rønstad

Norway
Marit Ronstad from Norway is an art teacher, and has worked with children of all ages for over 20 years. The last 8 years her experience is mostly with teenagers in public school settings. She has a wide range of experience working with children in groups and learning communities.

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As a result of working with children since the 1990´s she has experienced the changes brought to the new generations of kids who’ve grown up in the quickly changing online and social media eras. 

One of her observations is children’s increased alienation from reality, and ability to differentiate between roleplay and real life. Marit believes this plays an important part in the exponential rise in children and young people identifying out of their birth-sex.

Marit has met a large number of parents seeking answers to their childrens often rapid urge to change sex through the Scandinavian network GENID – genderchallenge.no. These parents are often more than willing to go all the way with their child, but find that the help being offered puts the parent-child relationship at risk. Marit is engaged in connecting practitioners and parents across Norway, Scandinavia, Europe and other parts of the world. 

Noah Ryan

United States
Noah Ryan is a New York based psychotherapist in private practice whose clinical work centers on trauma recovery.

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As a clinician, Noah believes in the notion of post-traumatic growth and is guided by the theory that people are innately wired to heal and self-right, embodying powerful capacities to transform suffering into flourishing. His career has focused heavily on the emotional fallout of individuals and families impacted by gender dysphoria.

Noah holds a Masters of Social Work degree in Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups from Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work. As an advocate for an exploratory model of psychotherapy for gender dysphoria, Noah is an active member of GETA (Gender Exploratory Therapy Association), and offers support services to parents and families through GDSN (Gender Dysphoria Support Network).

Sinéad Watson

United Kingdom
Sinéad Watson is a 30-year-old detransitioned woman from Scotland who underwent medical transition between 2015-2019.   

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Her personal experience of having been evaluated, diagnosed and treated at a gender clinic has given her some insights into the process that others may not have.

As a detransitioned woman who has spent many hours discussing and dissecting her transition with her mother and father, she is very aware that the parents of gender-questioning people may have questions and concerns that have been ignored or dismissed. For that reason, she is happy to advise anyone from a personal, rather than a professional, position.

The Anonymous Parent

The World
This space represents the dozens of parents who work with Genspect behind the scenes — and the many thousands more who support what we are doing.

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In many cases, parents cannot speak out about their concerns. They are scared that their relationships with their children will suffer; many worry about other personal and professional consequences which might follow if they speak out about what is happening in their families. 

Advisors

Sasha Ayad

United States
Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

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She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is a founding board member of the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:

  • School counselor for middle- and high-school students at a charter school for underserved communities
  • Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum
  • Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence
  • Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.

Keira Bell

United Kingdom
Keira Bell is a 25 year old woman from England, UK who at the age of 16 began the process of a “sex change” with the help of the Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) and University College London Hospital (UCLH) via hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones and then surgery.

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At the age of 22 she decided to halt further hormone treatments upon realising that there was a deeper, psychological issue as well as realising the negative physical and mental effects of cross-sex hormones. Moving forward she joined a judicial review case against the Tavistock GIDS to challenge the idea that under 18s could give informed consent to this experimental and harmful treatment. She is a firm believer in appropriate mental health care and advocates for the elimination of the stigma of mental health, and therefore gender dysphoria.

Roberto D’Angelo

Australia
Roberto D’Angelo is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Byron Bay, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

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He is a training and supervising analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, and President of the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine. He has authored publications about psychotherapeutic treatment of gender dysphoria and has critiqued the gender affirming approach. He works with adolescents and adults with gender distress.

Stephanie Davies-Arai

United Kingdom
Stephanie Davies-Arai is an accredited communication skills trainer, writer and author of the book Communicating with Kids. She has delivered courses and workshops for parents and teachers for over twenty years.

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From 2013 -15 Stephanie was a prominent member of the No More Page 3 campaign, speaking on female objectification at schools, universities and organisations including Girlguiding and the Institute of Public Policy Research.

She founded the organisation Transgender Trend in 2015 and produced a schools guide Supporting gender variant and trans-identified students in schools in 2018, for which she was shortlisted for the John Maddox Prize, which “recognises the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.”

Stephanie has delivered presentations on the subject of gender-questioning children at events across the UK, including in the House of Commons and House of Lords, and has appeared numerous times on TV and radio, including Newsnight, Good Morning Britain, the Today Programme and Woman’s Hour.Stephanie contributed chapters to the best-selling books Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body (2018) and Inventing Transgender Children and Young People (2019), both edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore and published by Cambridge Scholars. She also contributed a chapter to Transgender Children: A Discussion published by Civitas (2019).

https://www.transgendertrend.com/ 

https://stephaniedaviesarai.com/ 

https://www.cambridgescholars.com/transgender-children-and-young-people 

https://cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-5275-3638-8 

https://www.civitas.org.uk/publications/transgender-children/

Marcus Evans

United Kingdom
Marcus Evans is a psychoanalyst with the British Psychoanalytical Society. He worked in mental health services and as an adult psychotherapist in the NHS for 40 years.

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For several years he was Clinical Lead of the Adult and Adolescent Departments at the Tavistock & Portman NHSFT. He was also one of the founding members of the Fitzjohn’s Service for the treatment of patients with severe and enduring mental health conditions and/or personality disorder. He is the author of Making Room for Madness in Mental Health and Psychoanalytic Thinking in Mental Health Settings. Marcus is the co-author of Gender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Children, Adolescents and Young Adults, published by Phoenix Publishing House in April 2021.

Susan Evans

United Kingdom
Susan Evans is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She worked for nearly 40 years in a variety of mental health services in the NHS, including the national gender identity service for children.



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She now has a private practice in South East London. She is a member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, the London Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Service, and is registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council. Sue is the co-author of Gender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Children, Adolescents and Young Adults, published by Phoenix Publishing House in April 2021.

Sophie Frost

Germany
Sophie Frost is a licensed psychotherapist working in private practice in Berlin, Germany, with over 10 years of organizational and private practice experience as a psychotherapist, group facilitator and clinical coordinator.


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Before opening her own private psychotherapy practice in Berlin working with the international community, she worked in the UK for a private inpatient psychiatric service specializing in severe mental health issues such as eating disorders, body dysphoria, addictions, obsessive compulsive behaviours, anxiety disorders and depression.

In 2021 she started Life Detransitions, an advocacy and support service for detransitioners and desisters. She is a member of GETA (Gender Exploratory Therapists Association) as well as the IATDD (International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners)

Sophie holds an MA in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.

Az Hakeem

United Kingdom
Dr. Az Hakeem is a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist based at The Priory Hospital, Roehampton, who also has an outpatient clinic on Harley Street, London. He offers treatment for a wide variety of mental health conditions. 

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He studied Medicine at University College London, completed House Officer posts in Medicine and Surgery at London and Glasgow teaching hospitals, and completed Senior House Officer training in Psychiatry on the Royal Free Hospital training scheme, gaining membership of The Royal College of Psychiatrists. He also completed Higher Specialist Training in Forensic Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at The Tavistock and Portman Clinics alongside a Kleinian full training analysis. 

In 2011, in recognition of his contribution to Psychiatry and specialist Psychotherapy, Dr Hakeem was awarded Fellowship to The Royal College of Psychiatrists. In recognition of his contribution to Psychiatry and specialist Psychotherapy. In 2019, he was appointed Honorary Associate Clinical Professor at University College London (UCL) Medical School. 

Milli Hill

United Kingdom
Milli Hill is a writer with a passion for positively reframing the narrative around women’s bodies and female biology.

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She is the bestselling author of The Positive Birth Book, Give Birth Like a Feminist, and My Period (for preteen girls), and is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, ipaper, Independent, Guardian and Mail, and appeared on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5, talkRADIO and many leading podcasts.

In 2012 she founded the Positive Birth Movement – a global network of antenatal groups to bring women together to improve birth, which she ran for nine years. She lives in the south west of England with her partner and three children.

Aaron Kimberly

Canada
Aaron Kimberly is an RN with a specialization in mental health. He was a staff nurse for the Psychiatric Stabilization Unit at St Paul’s Hospital and the Nurse Educator for the Provincial Adult Tertiary Eating Disorders Program. 

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More recently, he’s worked with youth in community mental health settings which included transgender health services, and is now a clinical coordinator and counsellor for an adult virtual counselling program. 

Aaron also has lived experience of gender dysphoria since early childhood, and medically transitioned as an adult 14 years ago.  He is the founding member of the Gender Dysphoria Alliance, an international advocacy and education network. 

He lives in British Columbia with his wife, 4 teenage kids, and a myriad of family pets. 

genderdysphoriaalliance.com

Stephen Levine

United States
Dr. Levine is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. 


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He is the solo author of six books, Sex Is Not Simple in 1989 (translated to German in 1992 and reissued in English in 1997 as Solving Common Sexual Problems); Sexual Life: A clinician’s guide in 1992; Sexuality in Midlife in 1998 and Demystifying Love: Plain talk for the mental health professional in 2006; Barriers to Loving: A clinician’s perspective in 2013; Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Sexual Problems: An Essential Guide for Mental Health Professionals in 2020.  He is the Senior Editor of the first (2003), second (2010) and third (2016) editions of the Handbook of Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals. He has been teaching, providing clinical care, and writing since 197 and has generated original research, invited papers, commentaries, chapters, and book reviews. He has served as a journal manuscript and book prospectus reviewer for many years. He was co-director of the Center for Marital and Sexual Health/ Levine, Risen & Associates, Inc. in Beachwood, Ohio from 1992-2017. He and two colleagues received a lifetime achievement Masters and Johnson’s Award from the Society for Sex Therapy and Research in March 2005. 

Lisa Littman

United States
Dr. Littman is a physician-scientist whose research is focused on gender dysphoria, the experiences of people who desist (or re-identify) after identifying as transgender, and people who detransition after gender transition.   

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She is known for coining the phrase, “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (also called ROGD) to describe a phenomenon that has been observed by clinicians and parents, and has been acknowledged by several detransitioners. Currently, ROGD is not a formal diagnosis. However, the evidence supporting the ROGD hypotheses has increased since the 2018 publication of the research.

She is a physician who is trained in Preventive Medicine and Public Health and in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her experience providing reproductive health care to teens and women and her public health training informs her research about gender dysphoria, desistance, and detransition. The findings of her 2018 publication, “Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria,” generated hypotheses about the potential role of psychosocial factors in the development of gender dysphoria.

Dr. Littman is currently the President and Director of the Institute for Comprehensive Gender Dysphoria Research. She has previously held academic positions at the Brown University School of Public Health and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Michelle Mackness

Canada
 Michelle Mackness has worked in the helping profession for over 25 years. She’s been in clinical practice as a Registered Clinical Counsellor since 2014. Currently, Michelle is in private practice in Edmonton, Canada, where her practice is focused on gender, grief, substance use/concurrent disorders, emotional wellbeing, and existential issues.

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Prior to her clinical career, Michelle worked in frontline social services supporting marginalised individuals struggling with addictions, psychiatric instability, poverty, and homelessness. As a clinician, she’s worked in health regions providing individual and group therapy addressing substance use/concurrent disorders, psychiatric instability, grief, complex trauma, identity formation, sexual orientation, and gender dysphoria.

Michelle is a member of GETA (Gender Exploratory Therapy Association), CTAN (Critical Therapy Antidote Network), and is a friend of HxA (Heterodox Academy).

Lisa Marchiano

United States
Lisa Marchiano, LCSW is a writer and Jungian analyst in private practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has worked with parents of gender dysphoric youth, gender dysphoric and transgender young adults, and detransitioners.      

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Her writings on gender have appeared in Quillette and Psychological Perspectives, among other publications. Lisa is the cohost of the popular podcast This Jungian Life and teaches at the C.G. Jung Institute of Philadelphia. Her book Motherhood: Facing and Finding Yourself was published by Sounds True in May, 2021. You can find her on Twitter at @LisaMarchiano.

Sarah Phillimore

United Kingdom
 Sarah Phillimore is a family law barrister who has specialised in public law Children Act proceedings since 1999.

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Since 2014, she has been the site administrator of www.childprotectionresource.online.

Rachel Rooney

United Kingdom
Rachel Rooney is a former SEN teacher and an award-winning children’s poet & author.

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She has a particular interest in autism, having raised an autistic son alongside receiving a late autism diagnosis herself. She has also written ‘My Body is Me!’, a picture book published by TransgenderTrend.

www.rachelrooneypoet.com

Abigail Shrier

United States
Abigail Shrier is a journalist and author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (2020). A graduate of Columbia College, University of Oxford, and Yale Law School, her work regularly appears in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and other publications.      

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Named by the Economist among its “Best Books of the Year,” Irreversible Damage continues to receive many accolades. The Mail On Sunday described it as “Courageous. Vital. Brilliant. Humane.” For the Sunday Times, Abigail’s work was “explosive… punchy, analytical and written with zest and elegance.”

Jane Wheeler

United States
Jane Wheeler is President of Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME) a non-profit education and research corporation dedicated to promoting optimal ethical care for gender non-conforming children and youth.      

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She practiced law for many years as a corporate regulatory healthcare attorney in licensing, standards of care and informed consent. She was a board member of Lawyers for Human Rights (now the Los Angeles LGBT Bar Association) and served on GLAAD/LA Women’s Committee. Prior to COVID -19, she worked as a consultant for non-profits in the area of funding for health and education related programs focused on improving care provided in nursing homes. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and is mom to two teenagers.

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