In recent years, transgender ideologues have mounted a cultural offensive that swept all rationality before them. First, biological science and objective reality were trashed as internal feelings came to matter more than biological facts. Then, existing procedures for dealing with transgender ideation were trashed, allowing anyone who believed themselves to be the opposite sex to simply declare their new identity—and, presto-chango—that’s what they are.
Soon, womanhood itself was canceled. Females began to be called by ridiculous terms such as “people with uteruses.” We were told ubiquitously that “men can give birth” and “women have penises.” Female athletes were forced to compete with transgender “women” in sports such as track, swimming, golf, and volleyball. Girls’ and women’s locker rooms were opened to anyone claiming to be female, regardless of genitalia.
Then, they came for the children. Activists took to social media platforms such as TikTok to push transgender ideology onto youth and silently invaded even the most culturally traditional households. The number of children who claim to be the opposite sex went from a bare trickle to a flash flood. In the name of preventing youth suicides, the Biden administration, medical associations, and professional journals crafted standards of care requiring that youngsters and teenagers claiming to be transgender or nonbinary receive only “gender-affirming” support—meaning that their ideation is to be accepted unquestioningly.
Under the new regime, children claiming to not be their biological sex first receive unquestioning “social affirmation”— they are never called by their “dead (given) names” and are referred to only by their “preferred” pronouns. Some schools secretly affirm these ideations by openly promoting transgender ideology in classrooms and, sometimes, hiding ongoing student “transitions” from parents. Children were invited to “family friendly” drag queen performances that had the impact—and probably the point—of sexualizing childhood.
Worse, children and adolescents are next given “gender-affirming” medical care, in which doctors prescribe drugs and hormones to prevent normal puberty. Gender transition surgeries have become increasingly routine with thousands of girls as young as age 12 having had their breasts removed. Teenagers receive invasive facial reconstruction surgeries to masculinize or feminize their faces. A few even had their genitals reconstructed.
Socially Liberal Countries Are Hitting the BrakesContrary to what the ideologues tell us, “the science” around transgenderism—particularly with regard to caring for gender dysphoric children—is not “settled.”
‘Detransitioners’ Are Telling Their StoriesThe transgender movement has been propelled by stories of children celebrating their surgeries and worries about suicides. Now, young people who transitioned are increasingly returning to their born sex, a process known as “detransitioning.” Their stories are often tragic and compelling. For example, Chloe Cole, an 18-year-old detransitioner, recounts how she was “affirmed” in her sex confusion at age 12 and had her breasts removed at 15. Now 18, she understands she is a woman and is issuing a clarion warning, saying, “My teenage life has been the culmination of excruciating pain, regret, and most importantly injustice.”
Attack of the Trial LawyersCole has decided to sue the doctors who she says allowed her to be irreversibly harmed by medical and surgical interventions. Other cases are being threatened or filed. In Oregon, Camille Kiefel, 32, announced a lawsuit against the health professionals who, she says, approved her mastectomy after only two brief Zoom meetings.
States Are Passing Youth-Protecting LawsConservative states have started enacting laws to protect children from being propagandized by transgender ideology and having medical and surgical transitions. Florida forbids discussion of sensitive sexual issues, including transgenderism, through the third grade. Several states have banned biological boys from competing against girls in sports. Some have required people to use the public restroom of their biological sex. Arkansas, Alabama, and Arizona have outlawed medical and surgical transitions in youth, with more such laws likely on the way.
Gender ideology is one of the direst cultural threats Western society faces. Not only are the bodies and minds of precious people—particularly children—at risk, but if all that matters ultimately are feelings, if we cast objective truth aside to accommodate deeply held personal desires, then the stability of civilization itself is at material risk.
The time has come for an intense but mutually respectful societal conversation that focuses not only on the causes of transgenderism and the potential benefits of transitioning such people but also on the many risks and alternatives that can care compassionately for suffering people while maintaining cultural equilibrium. Our future thriving requires nothing less.