Part I of III
Transgenderism: Data and Commentators
For several centuries, Western culture has been extricating itself from Judeo-Christian presuppositions, cutting ties between humans and the guidance of God. The movement has been in the direction of independence, autonomy, and is drifting into solipsism. The trend accelerated rapidly in the 60s with the embrace of “free love”, mind-altering drugs, escapism, and an acceptance of the sexuality smorgasbord. More recently, sex-identity activists have pushed for the legal endorsement and financial underwriting of subjective genderism. The rejection of biology is a logical response to the elevation of subjectivity. Ironically, the result has been an increasing insistence on the need for biological modifications. The body is proclaimed to be irrelevant to a person’s identity while, at the same time, there is a growing clamor for the critical need to alter the body to reflect a person’s identity. Nature itself has come to be seen as the last oppressor, standing in the way of human freedom. But, perhaps, it would be wise to look closely at whether it is healthy or even possible to overcome human boundaries.
Marta found Englebert perched on the window ledge of their 20th-floor apartment. “Englebert, what are you doing out there!?” “Nothing to worry about, Marta. I am a free bird. Free to be me; free to fly. I feel it out here, feel it in my soul!” “Well, of course, sweetie; you must follow your heart.” Engelbert followed his heart.
Down on the sidewalk a crowd had formed. Some turned away from the bloodied, broken Engelbert, but many stood transfixed, making comments out of the sides of their mouths. Police Captain McDougel exited the apartment building and was quickly surrounded by reporters. “What can you tell us about the deceased, officer? Was this a murder? “Was this a case of COVID fatigue?”, “Was he high on drugs?” they prodded, cacophonously. “We talked to a number of people in the building and, strangely, several of them made the same observation,” he responded, with a slight smirk. “What did they say?” “As he flew past their windows they heard him say: ‘So far so good.’”
The reporters rolled their eyes and pocketed their recording devices. “Jackass,” could be distinctly heard, though who the sayer was was hard to say.
One onlooker commented, “Doesn’t it look like a smile on his face? I think he died happy.” A young boy, hearing this, wondered out loud, “But when he was happy, wasn’t he alive?”
Everyone wants to be happy, and why not? Happiness is an indicator of human flourishing. But the pursuit of happiness is a cat after its tail. Life-goals and dreams are often unrealized, which can lead to frustration or despair, and even self-hatred. Even the achievement of dreams often results in disappointment. Something in the dream turn out to be flawed, often inexplicably so. Happiness can be and often is achieved at the expense of others. Hitler was happy when his soldiers overran Europe, killing and destroying property. Somehow, those who were overrun were not happy at all. The point is that happiness is an unreliable indicator as to whether our decisions and achievements are wise or beneficial or healthy. Ill-gotten happiness is particularly fragile. “Whatever makes you happy,” is terrible advice.
Affirmation seems to be kindness, but when affirmation reinforces delusion, it is a curse. To be loving, affirmations must take reality into account.
Is grace grace without truth? Leftist ideology is winning the debate about sexual identity issues primarily because of its posture of grace. “Let’s all be accepting of one another.” “We want everyone to be free to be their true selves.” Mutual acceptance is a good thing. All people possess immeasurable intrinsic value, and it is good for us to approach one another with genuine respect. That being said, it does not follow that all the thoughts and actions that proceed from humans are worthy of acceptance, or support, or even toleration. To be human is also to be in need of correction. Delusions are always harmful, both to the one who is deluded, and to that person’s circle of influence.
We must also consider whether truth without grace is actually truth. Jesus summed up the Law in these terms: “Love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself”. The law fundamentally is about treating others with the kindness. But, of course, kindness is not merely a matter of tone of voice and a well-meaning disposition; it is even more about real-world care. Loving parents do not let their children play in the street or play with loaded guns…or abandon the real world for their avatar(s) in the toxic world of the internet. Loving parents do not hesitate to pull rank and order their children away from foolish behavior. As Apostle Paul put it: “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. (1 Corinthians 10.23). Truth without grace is not truth; grace without truth is not grace.
Transitioning For the Young
Individual humans put a lot of stock in their own judgment. In one sense, what choice do we have? The responsibility for making choices is part of the human condition, particularly as we become adults. The conundrum this presents is that we make errors, even when we know what we’re doing. We also know that we don’t have mastery over the decisions we make even when they are good decisions: “I will not be mean to my wife.” “I will not eat sugar today.” “I will stay focused on this project for the next four hours.” “I will not binge on t.v.” “I will not get hooked by a meandering internet news/sales mind trap.”
Our abilities to function and think are seriously affected by our health. We try to maintain good health but our efforts have their limits. “I will get a good night’s sleep (though my worries often keep me awake). I will eat good food (assuming I can afford to, and I remember to buy some). I will exercise, (assuming I feel well enough to do so, or unless it gets too boring). I will not get sick. I will not get old.”
It is terrifying when we ponder our own poor records of controlling ourselves. Throw in external circumstances and life seems like a crap shoot. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, or a worldwide Covid scourge, or a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Terror can paralyze, driving us to escapism and even suicide. There were 1.2 million attempts at suicide in the U.S. in 2020. Forty-six thousand people killed themselves. Deaths from drug overdose are now running at over 100,000 per year. People used to understand themselves in terms of family, community, and in relation to God. But people have become untethered. Being untethered is to be free…which is to be alone and inadequate.
Considerations about our limitations ought to make us much more cautious about our decision-making. It ought to drive us to seek trustworthy counselors. It ought to drive us to consider thoughts that originate outside our silos. More than this, it ought to drive us to look for understanding beyond the prophets du jour. “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who happen to be walking about.” – G.K. Chesterton.
Transgenderism comes out of a philosophy that leads us in the opposite direction. It does not look to the Elders; it does not look to the collective wisdom of human experience or to theological revelation. It looks to the child for guidance. Ryan Anderson, American political philosopher and author of When Harry Became Sally, explains, “Transgender activists maintain that when a child identifies as the opposite sex in a manner that is ‘consistent, persistent, and insistent,’ the appropriate response is to support that identification.”
Anderson goes on to explain the normal track that transitioning takes: “This means, first, a social transition: giving the child a new wardrobe, a new name, new pronouns, and generally treating the child as if he or she were the opposite sex.
“Second, a child approaching puberty will be placed on puberty blockers to prevent the normal process of maturation and development. This means there will be no progression of the pubertal stage, and a regression of sex characteristics that have already developed. In girls, breast tissue will weaken and may disappear altogether; in boys, testicular volume will decrease.
“Third, around age sixteen, comes the administration of cross-sex hormones: boys will be given feminizing hormones such as estrogen, and girls will be given masculinizing hormones such as androgens (testosterone). The purpose is to mimic the process of puberty that would occur in the opposite sex. For girls, testosterone treatment leads to ‘a low voice, facial and body hair growth, and a more masculine body shape’ along with enlargement of the clitoris and atrophying of the breast tissue. For boys, estrogen treatment results in the development of breasts and a body shape with a female appearance. These patients will be prescribed cross-sex hormones throughout their lives.
“Finally, at age eighteen, these individuals may undergo sex reassignment surgery: amputation of primary and secondary sex characteristics and plastic surgery to create new sex characteristics.”
Transgender activists push the notion that children know their true gender and are capable of responsibly making choices that are contrary to their own biologies. While this view has gained a great deal of traction, not all agree, even among those who consider themselves far Left. Dr. Debra Soh, sex researcher, columnist, and author of The End of Gender argues for a biology-driven perspective. “The ‘therapeutic’ approach or the ‘developmental model,’ allows a child to explore their gender while being open to the possibility that they may grow comfortable in their birth sex. A clinician will seek to understand factors relevant to the child’s development, including trauma or other psychopathology, and what else is going on in the child’s life that may be leading them to feel this way. This final approach, which is backed by the scientific literature as the most appropriate course of therapy for these children, has instead been denounced by experts, medical organizations and academic researchers as transphobic, ‘conversion therapy,’ and abusive.”
Paul R. McHugh, M.D., Dr. Paul Hruz, M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, Ph.D. presented their concerns about transitioning the young to the Supreme Court: “Puberty suppression hormones prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics, arrest bone growth, decrease bone accretion, prevent full organization and maturation of the brain, and inhibit fertility. Cross-gender hormones increase a child’s risk for coronary disease and sterility. Oral estrogen, which is administered to gender dysphoric boys, may cause thrombosis, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, hypertriglyceridemia, elevated blood pressure, decreased glucose tolerance, gallbladder disease, prolactinoma, and breast cancer. Similarly, testosterone administered to gender dysphoric girls may negatively affect their cholesterol; increase their homocysteine levels (a risk factor for heart disease); cause hepatotoxicity and polycythemia (an excess of red blood cells); increase their risk of sleep apnea; cause insulin resistance; and have unknown effects on breast, endometrial and ovarian tissues. Finally, girls may legally obtain a mastectomy at sixteen, which carries with it its own unique set of future problems, especially because it is irreversible.”
Considering the thought process prior to transitioning, Ryan Anderson makes this point: “Thomas Nagel argued back in 1974, no one (other than a bat) can answer the question ‘What is it like to be a bat?’ So, can a man know what it feels like to be a woman? Or vice versa? It is impossible to know experientially what it is like to be something one is not. The claim of a biological male that he is ‘a woman stuck in a man’s body’ presupposes that someone who has a man’s body, a man’s brain, a man’s sexual capacities, and a man’s DNA can know what it is like to be a woman. As many feminists have pointed out, no biological male can really experience what it is like to a be a woman, for males can have no embodied female experiences. Many of the claims made by transgender activists seem therefore to rely on stereotypes of what ‘real’ men and women are like, of male verses female preferences and interests.” The point is clear. The transgender movement looks to immature children who are making impossible identity claims—claims almost certainly based on male and female stereotypes. Rather than helping children to recognize that males and females share many characteristics, and helping the children to understand that their exceptionalities are not problems, they use childhood insecurities as leverage. The leverage leads to environmental conditioning that further biases children in the direction of more radical body-altering actions.
[Neuroscientists often tell us that] “the adolescent brain is too immature to make reliably rational decisions. And, yet, we are supposed to expect emotionally troubled adolescents to make decisions about their gender identities and about serious medical treatments at the age of 12 or younger.” – Hruz, McHugh & Mayer
“Researchers have found that a young child’s gender identity is both ‘elastic’ and ‘plastic”. It can change over time, and it responds to outside forces, including the approval or disapproval of parents, as well as messages received from the broader culture. This means that transgender-affirming treatments may cause some children to persist in a transgender identity when they would otherwise have grown to accept their natal sex. Those children may then go on to subject themselves to unnecessary surgeries and ongoing hormonal treatments.”- Ryan Anderson
“Parents may come to play a role in discouraging desistance if they accept the diagnosis and treatment plan offered by the clinic, [Jesse] Singal, [journalist] writes. First they become ‘champions’ of their child’s transgender identity to teachers and other parents, and often they become advocates for transgender ideology more generally. These efforts are bound to influence the child’s sense of self, one clinician told Singal. If the dysphoria begins to fade, the child then faces a dilemma: ‘either sticking with a gender identity that no longer feels like it fits or telling their parents’, as the clinician put it, ‘This whole life that you’ve created for yourself as an advocate, I don’t want to be part of that anymore.’” – Ryan Anderson
“All competent authorities agree that between 80 and 95 percent of children who say that they are transgender, naturally come to accept their sex and to enjoy emotional health by late adolescence.” McHugh, Hruz, and Mayer.
Transition advocates and providers argue that they are cautious in their approach and that they have come to the place where they can distinguish children going through a phase or those afflicted with some other underlying cause from those children truly in need of transitioning. “There is not reliable scientific evidence to support the view that professionals can actually know whether a child will persist in a transgender identity into adulthood.” – Ryan Anderson
“All the young people in the study had a childhood history of gender incongruence and went through a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, to establish the psychological and social context of their gender identity and how it might intersect with other mental-health conditions. That helped prompt Leibowitz and his co-authors to recommend a comprehensive diagnostic assessment (as well as parental consent and other criteria) as they updated the international care guidelines.
“Other gender-affirming providers, however, argue that the purpose of an assessment is not to determine the basis of a kid’s gender identity. ‘People are who they say they are,’said Colt St. Amand, a clinical psychologist and family-medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic. ‘So I am less concerned with certainty around identity and more concerned with hearing the person’s embodiment goals. Do you want to have a deep voice? Do you want to have breasts?’” – Emily Bazelon, N.Y. Times.
It’s good to see that among those who believe transitioning is sometimes a good thing, there is, at least, a recognition that sometimes it is not. At the same time, it’s clear there are individuals such as St. Amand who are completely cavalier about the process. On the other hand, it makes little difference whether bad guidance is given by a charlatan or a person who is careful and still comes to wrong conclusions.
So this becomes a critical question for a society that is being pressed to accommodate “progressive” ideology through socializations and regulations that encourage young children to pursue sexual self re-imaginings. These thoughts then lead to physical developmental alterations and ultimately to mutilations. We won’t let our children play in traffic, we won’t let them eat candy bars for supper, and we won’t let them build campfires in their bedrooms. But on the issue of their own sexuality, do we imagine they see a deeper truth than what is revealed by their own bodies and consent to let them alter themselves?
It’s understandable that those who’ve personally committed to gender dysphoria, of whatever sort, would want to promote transgenderism. Such “normalization” of gender optioning provides them with psychological affirmation. This is why marriage became an important issue for homosexuals and lesbians. It’s not that there weren’t already in place domestic partner laws that provided the legal benefits of marriage. That wasn’t enough. They wanted to be legally assured that society affirmed their opinions of themselves. The fact that such relationships are incapable of bearing children—a critical element of marriage as it has been defined by countless cultures for millennia—was swept under the rug. Somehow those with legislative authority felt it was right to regulate into existence a national myopia. The law was changed but not the reality. The word “marriage” came to mean something new, something less, which has contributed to the ongoing devaluation of marriage in our society. This diminishment is having a disastrous effect, especially for children.
And it’s understandable that those of the medical industrial complex would want to create new markets for their drugs and exotic medical practices. There’s money to be made. (And who gets to foot the bill? Everyone.) “A postmodern worldview is changing medicine from a profession that restores health and wholeness, into a set of techniques to provide customers with what they desire.” – Ryan Anderson.
“Since when is being male a disease to be cured? Since when is being female a medical condition that needs intervention? If there are no biological complexities involved like intersex complications, why would you do this to an otherwise healthy, normal body? Why do we intervene in other ‘body dysmorphic’ issues like anorexia but not this one?
“With someone who is literally starving but believes she is overweight, we properly locate where the struggle is: the person’s mind and heart, which has become influenced by self-destructive impulses, erroneous beliefs, and cultural distortions of what a body should look like.” – R. Nicholas Black, Executive Director of Harvest, USA.
But it’s not understandable that legislative bodies would cave to the pressures of transgender activists and write laws that give children authority over their parents, or grant authority to medical practitioners to perform elective medical procedures over the objections of parents. And it’s not understandable how many parents have come to see parenting as providing affirmation for their children, while neglecting their responsibility to provide firm guidance when necessary.
Impacts on Individuals Who Transition
“There is not a single large, randomized, controlled study that documents the alleged benefits and potential harms to gender-dysphoric children from pubertal suppression and decades of cross-sex hormone use. Nor is there a single long-term, large, randomized, controlled study that compares the outcomes of various psychotherapeutic interventions for childhood GD with those of pubertal suppression followed by decades of toxic synthetic steroids, In today’s age of ‘evidence-based medicine’, this should give everyone pause.” – Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatrics.
There is much disagreement about whether transitioning has been beneficial to those who have chosen it. The general scuttlebutt is that the majority of those who have transitioned are satisfied with their changes. But we ought to be cautious about this perception, partly because there have been almost no rigorous studies to confirm it, and partly because there is a built-in bias to the question. It is difficult for any of us to look back on major life decisions and admit that we really screwed up. The more invested we are in particular decisions, the more difficult it is to walk them back.
It amazes me when I read celebrities, many of whom are saddled with chaotic, relationally immature histories, remark that they “have no regrets”. What can this mean other than that they haven’t learned anything from 40 years of mistakes. It doesn’t matter who you are, you have made some doozy decisions in your life. We would all do well to think on them from time-to-time. There may be fences in need of mending. There may be important warning signs we drove over that need to be straightened and replanted…and then read.
“It’s not fun being rejected in the marketplace. A study from 2018 showed that transgender people are indeed often excluded from the pool. In a sample of more than nine hundred people, including gay, straight, bisexual, and trans individuals, close to 90% of respondents stated they would not consider dating a transgender person.” – Dr. Debra Soh
“During the LGBTQ Presidential Forum in 2019, Biden remarked, ‘In prison, the determination should be that your sexual identity is defined by what you say it is, not what in fact the prison says it is.’ This may not be the most enlightened move, as we saw with one convicted rapist and child molester in the United Kingdom, who was placed in a women’s prison and subsequently sexually assaulted four female inmates.” – Dr. Debra Soh
Another baffling incongruence is the approach to sex transitioning relative to the approach to sexual activity in the young. We’re allowing children to make decisions about their own sexuality at 10 and 12 years old. On the other hand, we don’t permit them to partake in sex at that age. In fact, most children are incapable of sexual activity at that age. For an adult to participate in sex with children of this age is what we call statutory rape. What do we call it when adults participate in the decision-making of children to move forward with sexual transitioning. (How can a child decide to sexually transition prior to even experiencing the full development of his or her sexuality?)
There are people who have repented of having transitioned, and this is a rapidly growing number of individuals. “This is a real outcome of transition. I’m a real live 22 year old woman with a scarred chest and a broken voice and 5 o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman. That’s my reality.” – Cari Stella
“Trauma and misogyny led us to dissociate from being female and then to transition. Transitioning was itself further trauma. First others attacked and wounded our bodies and distorted our self-perceptions and then we hurt ourselves in response. Transitioning was an act of self-destruction, enabled by medical professionals who were supposedly ‘helping’ us to be our ‘true selves’. It is truly horrifying to come out of that dissociated state and realize that not only were you suppressing and trying to destroy yourself but that other people were there encouraging and assisting you in doing so. Many of us came to see the ‘care’ we received as unethical or a form of medical abuse. Many of us believe that the present ‘trans affirmative care’ and ‘informed consent’ models are misleading, irresponsible and do not truly ensure that people make realistic, fully informed choices.” – Crash
“We have to learn to live in a a modified body and this usually involves grieving. All of us who took t [testosterone], whether for a few months or for years, all of us have altered voices. There is a very deep, painful symbolism behind losing your original voice and having no way of getting it back. For many of us it is not the physical changes themselves that are troubling but what they represent. I am not disturbed by changes like my facial hair or my deeper voice in and of themselves but they remind me constantly of what I did to myself, how I rejected and betrayed myself, how deeply I took other people’s hatred into my own body. My body is now marked forever by that hatred and that can be a lot to carry. Many of us have struggled with feeling like we have ruined ourselves.” – Crash
“There is the problem of bias reinforcement. For adolescents struggling to understand themselves and their place in the world, a self-diagnosis as transgender can offer seemingly easy answers. But clinicians shouldn’t be ‘affirming’ that sort of self-diagnosis on a no-questions-asked basis. By contrast, an approach that emphasizes supportive, neutral counseling over time (the so-called ‘watchful waiting’ approach), which includes a realistic discussion of biology and explores the risks as well as benefits of transition, could facilitate better decision-making. This approach would be best for young people, but it has fallen out of fashion among members of the medical community who prioritize ideology over best practices.
“I’m a Philadelphia-based clinician who treats detransitioned individuals. Though my sample size is small, I have seen a number of common themes emerge among clients.
The detransitioners I see in my practice are all female, and they are all in their early twenties. At the time they became trans-identified, many were suffering from complex social and mental health issues. Transition often not only failed to address these issues, but at times exacerbated them or added new issues. These young women often became derailed from educational or vocational goals during their period of trans identification.
Since detransitioning, they have lost the support of the trans community, often both online and in person. Some report that they are vilified if they speak about their experience as a detransitioner. And so, in addition to suffering from their pre-existing conditions, they also now suffer social isolation and a lack of peer support.
“The young women with whom I have worked became trans identified during adolescence. They frequently did so in the context of significant family dysfunction or complex psycho-social issues. Sexual assault and sexual harassment were common precursors. A majority had an eating disorder at the time they became trans identified. Since detransitioning, most now understand themselves to be butch lesbians. In our work together, they traced complex histories of coming to terms with their homosexuality. Some faced vicious homophobic bullying before they announced their trans identification.
“All of these young women report that their experience of gender dysphoria had been sincerely felt. According to their recollections, they were as ‘truly trans’ as anyone. In some cases, they received a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria from mental-health clinicians. Others attended informed-consent clinics, through which they were able to access testosterone after only a brief discussion with a health provider.
“For most of these young women, identifying as trans worsened their mental health. Although some report that starting on hormones initially brought an increase in confidence and well-being, these drugs eventually seemed to make some of them more emotionally labile, and intensified depression and suicidality. Some of the women who underwent surgeries such as mastectomies or hysterectomies found that these procedures brought no relief from their suffering and instead resulted in nerve damage, regret and, in some cases, life-long dependence on synthetic hormones.
“NBC News cited the NCTE claim that most instances of detransition are temporary. But the group surveyed in the NCTE’s study consisted of those who identify as trans, and so does not include detransitioned individuals who now have no connection to the trans community. The NBC article claims ‘the most common reason for detransitioning, according to the survey, was pressure from a parent, while only 0.4 percent of respondents said they detransitioned after realizing transitioning wasn’t right for them.’ But again, this claim originates in a study of people who still self-identified as trans at the time they were surveyed. The women with whom I have worked, on the other hand, all detransitioned because they did not feel that transition had addressed their problems; and, in some cases, because they felt that transition had made their problems worse. They are now certain that transition was a mistake. In many cases, they feel angry at the medical and mental health providers who ‘affirmed’ them. In hindsight, some of these women say that they wished that therapists and doctors had not encouraged them to believe that their body was defective, nor to believe that extreme physical modification was a healthy option for dealing with distress about their bodies.
“For the reasons discussed, none of the women with whom I have worked would likely be counted in the studies cited by trans activists. Indeed, most of them are still likely counted by their transition doctors as examples of ‘successful’ transition stories, since they have simply stopped reporting for treatment.
“To repeat: The clinical observations I have shared here are based on a small sample size, with a selection bias corresponding to the nature of my clinical practice. They don’t come close to capturing the full complexity of either those who transition and are happy, or those who detransition. However, such impressions help paint a picture, and indicate areas where more data is needed. Though the NBC article asserts that detransition is not common, we actually have no idea how widespread the phenomenon is—and we need more research to find out.”- Lisa Marchiano, Jungian analyst and writer on issues related to gender dysphoria since 2016.
“Is there enough subjective satisfaction from sex reassignment procedures to make the case for them? Judging from the evidence available so far, the psychological benefit is not very great, and this isn’t surprising when the result is so artificial. ‘Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men’ through hormones and surgery, Dr. McHugh emphasizes. Instead they become ‘feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they “identify”’. Their future is problematic since it is ‘not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb.’” – Ryan Anderson.
“One of the chief functions of the brain is to perceive physical reality. Thoughts that are in accordance with physical reality are normal. Thoughts that deviate from physical reality are abnormal—as well as potentially harmful to the individual or to others. This is true whether or not the individual who possesses the abnormal thoughts feels distress. A person’s belief that he is something or someone he is not is, at best, a sin of confused thinking; at worst, it is a delusion. Just because a person thinks or feels something does not make it so.” – Dr. Michelle Cretella
Mental health tends to rank highly among health concerns for the transgendered, along with HIV. According to some studies, 25% of transgender women and 56% of African American transgender women in the United States are living with HIV, although this estimate could be high because it is based on people seeking treatment.
“The largest and most vigorous academic study on the results of hormonal and surgical transitioning, published in 2011 by Cecilia Dhejne and her colleagues at the Karolinska Institute and Gothenburg University in Sweden, found strong evidence of poor psychological outcomes. For example, the rate of psychiatric hospitalization for postoperative transsexuals was about three time the rate for the control groups, adjusted for previous psychiatric treatment. The risk of mortality from all causes was significantly higher, and so was the rate of criminal conviction. Suicide attempts were nearly five times more frequent, and the likelihood of death by suicide was nineteen times higher—again, after adjustment for prior psychiatric illness. It is important to be clear about what the Dhejne study says and does not say. It does not speak to whether sex reassignment was the cause of these poor outcomes. What is does suggest is that those procedures may not alleviate the mental health problems associated with transgender identities.” – Ryan Anderson.
“Reading Richard McNally’s review of “Desperate Remedies”, I am reminded that the frontal lobotomy, now considered barbaric, was worthy of a Nobel Prize in my grandparents’ era. I have to wonder if, 50 years from now, the gender-affirmation surgeries that alter or remove breasts or genitalia will also be considered a cruel relic of the past.”- Jason Kolb, M.D.
“As to diseases, make a habit of two things—to help, or at least, to do no harm.” – Hippocrates
“The more I learn about detransitioners, the more heartbroken I become. There is no question in my mind that the 2 percent statistic of those who regret transitioning is going to multiply vastly in the years to come. When society looks back on this in horror—we tried to warn you.” – Dr. Debra Soh
Societal Impacts of Transitioning
Transgender advocates promote policies that conceptually connect transgenderism to racial equality and laws that call for the equal treatment of women. But insisting that all people should be treated justly and respectfully is not the same as saying that all people should have the right to imagine themselves in whatever fashion they will, and then require others to affirm their imaginings through their social interactions and with their charge cards. Legal conflicts are sprouting up everywhere.
A federal judge in North Dakota has blocked two federal agencies from forcing a Christian business group and its members to offer health insurance coverage to employees for gender transition procedures. U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor in Bismarck said that regulations adopted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that apply to most health insurance plans would force the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) and its members to violate their religious beliefs, causing an irreparable injury.
The Justice Department announced on March 31, 2022, that it issued a letter to all state attorneys general reminding them of federal constitutional and statutory provisions that protect transgender youth against discrimination, including when those youth seek gender-affirming care.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that all children are able to live free from discrimination, abuse and harassment,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Today’s letter reaffirms state and local officials’ obligation to ensure that their laws and policies do not undermine or harm the health and safety of children, regardless of a child’s gender identity.”
The letter advises states that laws and policies that prevent individuals from receiving gender-affirming medical care may infringe on federal constitutional protections under the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The sticking point of this particular piece of legislation is that parents or guardians are overruled by medical practitioners when determining what is best for their children. While such legislation would seem correct when considering such issues as treatment for a broken arm, or even for inoculation against disease, providing the power to medical practitioners to insist on transitioning treatments, which are very far from demonstrating benefit, is a very serious issue. This is government overreach at its worst.
A lawsuit filed June 9, 2022 in the U.S. District Court challenges a Biden administration mandate requiring doctors to perform gender transition procedures, even if such practices violate the medical judgment or religious beliefs of those physicians. The “freedom” demanded by transgender activists is pushing well past the boundaries of the meaning of a pluralistic society. Not only are the convictions of doctors about the meaning of personhood overruled by the government, but their professional opinions about what is medically beneficial are also overruled. Federal bureaucrats are demanding that medical practitioners function on the basis of ideology rather than science. If I become convinced I am a fish, must society provide me with a pool, fin transplants, and gills? Yes, this is an absurdist example, but we have already arrived at the absurd, and the cost, especially is borne by those who are being bamboozled into believing that superficial body alterations are going to resolve the conflicts in their souls.
“First, schools will teach children to accept an ideology that is predicated on the lie that biological sex plays second fiddle to a self-proclaimed, subjective gender identity, and that the sex of one’s body is mutable or even irrelevant. This isn’t just an idea that you can tuck away in a unit study or an anti-bullying presentation. It will inevitably find its way into every aspect of a school and make a deep impression on the developing minds of children. For example, girls, under the regressive mandates of anti-bullying and gender inclusion policies, would have to agree to call boys in their locker room ‘girls,’ effectively losing their rights to free speech and to privacy from males. And science—particularly biology—would die a quick death at the hands of a concept that necessarily eradicates observable facts about human sexuality. Gender ideology in the curriculum is a lie enshrined as truth.” – Emily Zinos
“An amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Woman’s Liberation Front highlights the strange transformation of Title IX into a means to deny privacy, safety, educational opportunity, and equality to women. This is happening because ‘the sex-class comprising women and girls now includes men, with all the physiological and social characteristics that come with being male (and vice-versa)’ When government agencies adopt ‘gender identity’ policies, people can be whatever they claim to be. Women thus lose the protections that rest on acknowledging the differences between men and women. ‘The idea that women and girls must surrender their rights and protections under Title IX—enacted specifically to secure women’s access to education—in order to extend Title IX to cover men claiming to be women is a jaw-dropping act of administrative jujitsu.’” – Ryan Anderson
Lia Thomas is a lightning rod for the issue of the transgendered competing in women’s sports. Lia had competed as a man for the University of Pennsylvania on the men’s swim team and then transitioned to a woman, taking hormone-suppressing therapy for a year, as required by the NCAA for her to compete as a woman. Her success as a man was greatly exceeded by her success as a woman swimmer. Most notably, she had been ranked 65th in the country at the men’s 500-yard freestyle race but won the title as a female.
Martina Navratilova, retired tennis legend, and champion for liberal and lesbian causes, has been called a “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) for her position against trans men competing in women’s sports. “So I’m a ‘TERF”—OK, that’s the way you want to go? I played against taller women, I played against stronger women, and I beat them all. But if I faced the male equivalent of Lia in tennis, that’s biology. I would have had no shot. And I would have been livid.”
A father observed his daughter lose a race to Lia Thomas in a competition in Atlanta. Neither his daughter nor he considered the race fair. The next day the he saw Thomas lose a race and walk out of the pool area, seemingly isolated. “In fairness to Lia, man, the emotional toll. I look at her and see the pressure she’s under. And I think: She’s a 22-year-old kid.”
Dr. Lambelet Coleman, a Duke University law professor supports legal protections for transgender people but foresees havoc in the arena of sports. “We are bringing a male body into a female sport. Once you cross that line, there’s no more rationale for women’s sport.”
Swimming’s international governing body FINA ruled in June of 2022 that transgender athletes can no longer compete in women’s events unless they completed their transition by age 12. [Is that possible?] This will prevent Lia Thomas from competing in international events.
A Texas judge on Friday, June 10, 2022, temporarily blocked the state from investigating families of transgender children who have received gender-confirming medical care, a new obstacle to the state labeling such treatments as child abuse.
The temporary restraining order issued by Judge Jan Soifer halts investigations against three families who sued, and prevents any similar investigations against members of the LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAGInc. The group has more than 600 members in Texas.
The ruling comes about a month after the Texas Supreme Court allowed the state to investigate parents of transgender youth for child abuse while also ruling in favor of one family that was among the first contacted by child welfare officials following order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. —Associated Press
It may not be the conservative element of society that provides the big push-back against the transitioning of the young. Some who have transitioned feel they were improperly counseled, and feel it was inappropriate to grant them powers over life-altering decisions when they were too immature to understand the consequences. Some of these individuals are pushing back in the courts. Doctors and parents may step away from the transitioning industry when they begin to understand the potential for being sued.
For example, a 23-year-old woman is taking legal action against an NHS gender clinic. “I should have been challenged on the proposals or the claims that I was making for myself,” she said. “And I think that would have made a big difference.”
Papers have been lodged at the U.K. High Court by a mother and a nurse against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the UK’s only gender-identity development service (Gids). Lawyers will argue it is illegal to prescribe the drugs, as children cannot give informed consent to the treatment.
The nurse, Sue Evans, left the Gids more than a decade ago after becoming increasingly concerned that teenagers who wanted to transition to a different gender were being given the puberty blockers without adequate assessments and psychological work.
Since then, she says, even younger children are being given the drugs, which block the hormones that lead to puberty-related changes including periods and facial hair.
The number of young people referred to the Gids rose from 678 in 2014-15 to 2,590 in the past year. Of the 2,590, more than 1,700 wanted to transition to male, while 624 wanted to transition to female. Most were in their early to mid-teens, but 171 were under 10. Ms Evans said: “I used to feel concerned it was being given to 16-year-olds.
But now, the age limit has been lowered – and children as young as perhaps nine or 10 are being asked to give informed consent to a completely experimental treatment for which the long-term consequences are not known.”
On a more theoretical level, we have to wonder about other dysphoric human perceptions that society might be forced to support. What if an individual insists that his identity is a sadist. Will we have to supply partners willing to suffer for the sake of giving the sadist pleasure? Will we seek out masochists to provide the perfect fit? But if the masochist is not suffering can the sadist experience pleasure? Will we be able to put limits on the damage a sadist inflicts on his partners?
Or what if the person insists that his identity is that of a pedophiliac? Will we be required to provide children in order that the pedophiliac will experience fulfillment?
The obvious retort is that transitioning is different because it does not call for others to be injured or harmed. But that is not true. A child’s transitioning always brings stress and difficulty to the child’s parents, family, and to all his friends and neighbors. Everyone is called on to adjust his reality to the individual’s subjective demands. It’s painful and disorienting. And, as has been alluded to earlier, it forces certain social concessions on people that they consider morally compromising, and it forces certain concessions on others that they consider embarrassing or indecent or dangerous. The threat of danger, in some cases, will prove to be real.
The very notion that others must conform to the subjective self-assessments and/or the subjective feelings of others is a kind of aggression. “You must see me as I see me,” is a kind of assault. The next logical step is, “You must see everything as I see everything.” This is contrary to the very notion of a pluralistic society. And even the briefest of considerations reveal such an approach as an impossibility. Throw in the trending concept of gender fluidity and the situation becomes absurd.