The furor Mr. Biden’s executive order allowing biological men to dominate women’s sports is viewed unfavorably by a majority of Americans, including many in the homosexual community. Both sides of the debate frame the ongoing discussion as an issue of freedom. But transgender supporters fail to note the loss of the most fundamental of all freedoms.

Religious liberty (Congress shall make no law restricting the free exercise of religion) has been central in the debate often linked to parental rights, and school choice. Yet beyond the religious question, the cultural hesitance toward a full-blown endorsement of transgenderism is clearly on display, both here and abroad. Fourteen states have passed or are considering restrictive laws prohibiting biological males from entering women’s restrooms or locker rooms, and not competing in girls’ sports. Last year, in light of mounting evidence of irreversible harm, England, where reassignment regret has been an issue for years, banned the procedure for minors.

Here at home, Biden’s transgendered nominee for assistant Secretary of Health refused Senator Rand Paul’s question of whether she would support 5-year-olds being given puberty blockers in preparation for reassignment procedures. Paul rightly pointed out that at this stage medically speaking the effects of these drugs are irreversible. Transgendered proponents aren’t likely to accept that a person might change their mind after the fact, but that evidently real prospect is where the ultimate attack on freedom occurs.

The greatest expression of self-determination, underlying everything else we do as humans, is the freedom to change our minds. We change cars, neighborhoods, jobs, churches, religions, vacation spots, restaurants, college majors, sports teams, lovers, marital partners, all according to our whims, or our examination of the choices before us.

Politicians modify their positions, famously demonstrated in Barak Obama’s change of mind from not supporting homosexual marriage to championing it. And what do lobbyists do? Try to change the mind of the voters whether in members of Congress themselves or in the hearts of those who send them there.

It is a women’s prerogative to change her mind. But not if transgenderism has its ultimate way. For the individual who has chosen the path of gender reassignment, no such freedom exists because changing the mind doesn’t alter the circumstances. Lifelong dependence on hormone therapy, sterility and other emotional challenges become inseparable companions. Can any amount of normalization and acceptance undo the regret? Hundreds farther along the road shout no!

Even the youngest of children are taught the power of choice. Try this, and if you don’t like it OK. But for the pre-adolescent victim – yes victim – of reassignment surgery, no such choice exists. The fundamental right to change one’s mind, to decide to live the gender I was born into, with whatever challenges that may present, is lost forever. No amount of open-mindedness can undo the damage. The freedom to change my mind is gone – forever!

William Shifflett is an Edinburg resident