Commentary: A rift in the rainbow?
The Trump Administration announced the continuation of its ongoing transgender military ban. Though inflammatory to far-left liberals the decision reflects the growing numbers who are wary of transgender ideology.
Transgenderism isn’t new. The first reassignment surgery occurred in 1930. “The Danish Girl” film highlighted those members of society who believe their biological sex and identity clash. But when Bruce Jenner underwent reassignment surgery, transgender became a front-page issue with corporate giants and celebrities demanding equality.
For activists, equality includes transition aimed at reconciling body and belief, and as early as possible. A 2016 Guardian article revealed UK doctors prescribing cross-sex hormones to 12 year olds. Interestingly, in October 2017, The UK’s Telegraph ran a countering headline. “Sex change regret: Gender reversal surgery is on the rise so why aren’t we talking about it?”
Despite psychiatric warnings and cautions from de-transitioners, advocates urge gender beliefs be honored in children as young as 5. Think about that. Perhaps unable to tie shoelaces, know colors, or remember over a year or two of its young life, this child supposedly understands sexual distinctions enough to make an informed choice to transition. A decision bringing allegations of hate-filled bigotry on hesitant parents. An Ohio couple recently lost custody rights for not supporting their child’s decision.
Under bright rainbow colors activists would have us ignore the rigors of transition. The first step? A new name, and clothing to match the preferred identity. Next, puberty blockers. Then cross-sex hormone treatments. Finally, unalterable, reassignment surgery finalizing the journey from one sex to the other. It isn’t as simple or rosy as activists imply.
A 2016 New York article by liberal Jesse Singal reported 80 to 95 percent of confused children growing through their dysphoria to become comfortable with their biological sex if not encouraged by others to begin transition. Under such encouragement is it really the child’s decision?
Then there are the cross-sex hormone treatments. Lifelong in nature, they, with the puberty blockers, produce infertility despite discontinuing after the frequent change of mind occurs. Then reassignment surgery mimics sexual organs. This requires repeated surgical procedures to maintain and is often unproductive.
Given the facts above why should hesitancy be considered hateful? Though under the same banner this clearly isn’t the same discrimination concern over two people in love.
The “T” casts an odd hue in the lesbian, gay, bisexual rainbow. According to Ryan Anderson’s bestselling book “When Harry Became Sally,” many LGB members feel gender identity and sexual orientation are unrelated. GLAD and GLSEN were spelled without “T.” How ironic. A movement committed to ensuring the safe, legal expression of same gender sexuality finds itself tied to an ideology denying that very distinction. Even some LGBs find promoting bodily changes that remove or severely inhibit sexual abilities counterproductive.
“The Hands Across the Aisle Coalition” composed of lesbians, feminists, and others is committed to opposing the transgender plan. Focusing primarily on how denying biological sex endangers women’s safety, it nevertheless illustrates the concerns of some in the LGB community. Miriam Ben-Shalom, a lesbian and gay rights activist, comments; “When gender identity wins, women always lose.”
“Transgender ideology tells us there is no such thing as biological sex,” says long-term leftist and Women’s Liberation Front member Mary Lou Singleton, “[It] is harmful to women and girls.”
A 2017 Heritage Foundation report documented 130 reported cases of women’s privacy and safety violations in public restrooms by men claiming transgendered identity, despite assurances from corporate giant Target that this wouldn’t happen.
Although some distinctions exist between transgender ideology and persons, shouts of intolerance shouldn’t suppress these concerns. Discussion can’t hurt healthy life decisions. Key word, healthy. In addition to de-transitioner trauma, the suicide rate in the transgender community is extraordinarily high. A 2014 Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by the UCLA School of Law set the appalling figure at 41 percent, contrasted to 4.6 percent in the general population. Is full-throated endorsement of the above ideology the best or only way to address that concern? Activists, argue yes. Those whose transition efforts were unhelpful aren’t as enthusiastic. We can agree that bigotry is bad. But is our culture’s willful blindness to biological truth better?
In this light, civic and business leaders should rethink “Pride” events. Designating a section of town to that display is one thing. Schools, libraries, or child-oriented groups embracing the ideology is another. While transgender dogma is part of LGB and committed to these historic extremes we might be culpable of directing people down a dead-end street.
William Shifflett is a resident of Edinburg.