OMG. Have you ever been disappointed in a conversation? And then gone ballistic? And then thought that maybe your body needs you to calm down so you don’t have a stroke straightaway?
That would be me recently. I watched a video on transgenderism that was shown prior to a discussion. It was essentially a cheerleading video. It showed a religious person who explained transgender by including DSDs as part of the explanation, another religious person who talked about Adam and Eve, then a bunch of young trans people talking about the joys of being trans.
Strike one: People with Differences of Sexual Development (aka “intersex conditions”) have one of a number of conditions that affect normal sexual development in ways that can affect their fertility or make their sex ambiguous at birth. Few people have DSDs, they didn’t choose their condition, and they generally dislike being used as a weapon in the current ruckus over transgender issues.
Strike two: Who cares what religious people think of transgender people? In fact, “religious people” is a big tent, and the people in it don’t all think alike. There are many legitimate concerns about trans dogma (the opinions of trans activists who want to control discussion of trans issues). In fact, many trans individuals do not adhere to trans dogma and resent the trans activists who claim to speak for all trans individuals. People who are voicing concerns about trans dogma include physicians and counselors who are alarmed at seeing a huge increase in the number of teens claiming to be trans, teachers who are concerned about the introduction of trans dogma into early elementary grades, parents who see their teens being captured by what seems to be a fad –a fad that could lead them to alter their bodies before they’re old enough to understand the implications of medical transitioning, and everyone who cares about the importance of free and open dialog about important issues.
Strike three: Trans people today are not the trans people of the past. Presenting the views of today’s transgender young people without some history of how rapidly the demographics of trans identifying people have changed leaves the audience ill-equipped to entertain a serious discussion of what’s happening today. Fifty years ago, most people transitioning were adult men who wanted to present as women. Today, massive numbers of teens, especially girls, but boys as well, think it’s now cool to be trans. “Gender-affirming care” (puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones) is offered by organizations such as Planned Parenthood and for-profit gender clinics to teens without extensive counseling. We need to stop and think about what’s behind this dramatic change.
Here are some of my concerns: Self-ID; “Trans women are women;” confusing sex and gender; schools withholding information from parents; and minimizing the reality of de-transitioners.
I’ll start with Self-ID. Washington is a Self-ID state. This means that any person can claim to be either male or female, and thereafter it is now true. Once this happens, the new sex is what is recorded for any and all data sets that specify male or female. This is a potential problem for crime statistics, medical data, and research on any issue where sex differences might be relevant such as employment and education. Self-ID is primarily a concern of women since female-to-male transitioners are not much of a threat to natal men.
Women care about Self-ID because men in a men’s prison can simply claim to be women and must then be transferred to a women’s prison. Often women’s prisons are more appealing because there is generally less violence. Perhaps the women would relish having a biological male in their midst; perhaps not. But data will not reveal if these new women are a problem because they are now tallied as women; their crimes, if there are any, are crimes committed by women. So is this a problem or not? If you doubt that men would take advantage of this way out of a men’s prison, of this way to be around women again even if they are in prison for rape or sexual assault, think again. They do.
Self-ID is also a concern when male-to-female transitioners can suddenly appear in women’s sports. Oddly enough, there just aren’t many FTM transitioners showing up in mens’ sports. Why is that? But you’ve seen the news about two MTF swimmers who have obliterated long standing records in collegiate women’s swim events. Why is that?
“Trans women are women.” Actually, “women” are not a thing anymore. Anyone can simply claim to be a woman, so what the heck is a woman. And as for trans women, they’ve made a big stink about natal women being “cis” women, leaving the category of “women” to trans people, so pardon me if I bow out of this nonsense. I’ve never understood what this “trans women are women” dogma is all about anyway. What does it mean to “feel like a woman?” Feel inferior? Feel threatened? Feel unsafe alone? Feel overworked and underpaid? Seriously! What does that mean? I really want to know what people feel when they claim to feel like a man or feel like a woman. They can only be thinking of stereotypes.
Purists in the trans debate mix up sex and gender, claim that sex is as mutable as gender, that there are so many different sexes that the notion of a sexual binary is just wrong, and so on. So, if sex is not a thing, if sex and gender are both “social constructs,” then what the heck is a person doing if they are trans-ing. And why do they need hormones and surgeries for shifting to a different social construct?
This deliberate confusion creates a problem for people who are same sex attracted, or homosexual in the old days. They are accused of being transphobic if they prefer genitalia like their own. It also creates problems for people who claim humans are sexually dimorphic on the internet or in a classroom. Twitter will ban you for life for such a statement. YouTube will “de-monetize” your videos, meaning you can’t get money from ads. (Both true.)
Parents are upset about what’s happening with K-12 schools on many different fronts. Trans issues are but one of many topics of concern. Mask and vaccine mandates, dismantling gifted programs, race essentialism, remote learning, and gender identity curricula top their concerns today. Specifically related to gender identity curricula, some parents feel that schools are pushing young kids to choose a gender when the kids are not expressing any discomfort being the boys and girls that they are.
Many people who’ve transitioned as adults talk about their sense that from a young age they felt they were different, how they identified more with kids of the opposite sex, how this feeling never left them. During their teens, some realized they were gay or lesbian, while others eventually decided on transition. But do the lives of these relatively few people mean that we need to tell young kids that they can be any gender they choose when they haven’t expressed any discomfort being what they are? Do schools need to support kids who claim a trans identity by withholding this information from their parents?
People like me who express any hesitation with the dogma pushed by trans activists are immediately labeled transphobic. In most cases this is just wrong. I don’t mind being labeled because no one pays any attention to me, so the impact is minimal, but it’s a label, like homophobic or Islamophobic, that most often just means that the person wants to discuss issues that have the status of dogma within certain groups. Sadly, many trans individuals who accept the reality of biological sex are labeled transphobic by people who claim to speak for all trans individuals. That’s absurd.
Likewise, journalists who have documented the existence of de-transitioners and written about their experiences are labeled transphobic. Trans activists feel some sort of need to downplay the reality that some people, especially young people, receive inadequate counseling before being pushed through the transition process of hormones and surgeries. Psychologists who work primarily with gender-questioning young people are now speaking out vociferously about the need to carefully evaluate young people before prescribing puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, much less surgery. They note that many “trans” teens are on the autism spectrum, others have sexual trauma in their personal stories that might not be resolved by transition, others are seriously depressed or anxious and looking for a solution to their discomfort. Still others are part of a social group in which some are coming out as trans so they suddenly want to do the same.
The motive of people who are raising concerns after coming to know de-transitioners is simply to minimize the damage to kids who need to slow down and make sure they’ve resolved other problems before changing their bodies in ways that cannot be undone. They also want to make sure kids are given full information about lasting effects of cross-sex hormones, such as the likely loss of fertility and a negative impact on sexual health.
“Trans” is a big, thorny topic. But the vast majority people who care about this issue bear no ill will toward trans individuals. I want trans people to lead successful lives with food on the table, a roof over their head, a decent job with decent pay, a supportive family, a social group that is fun and supportive. I want these things for everyone. I also want women in prison to be safe, for women in domestic violence shelters to be safe, for lesbians to be safe being lesbians, and for natal women athletes to be able to win medals. Call me transphobic if you like. Not a problem for me because I know I’m not.