The title may cause some to think this post is going to say something else, but that won’t change the truth of that title: Why is the world turning against transgender people?
If you will forgive what will come across as a shameless self-promotion, I recorded this Tomorrow’s World webcast last time I was in Charlotte: (Apologies if you have sound issues while watching. I know it was a bit quiet when I watched it, and on my iPhone the volume kept dropping at odd times. Hopefully your viewing is better.)
That commentary is one I have actually wanted to give for a long time — actually, since the day after Joshua Alcorn (again, not Leelah Alcorn) died. The President’s irresponsible comments concerning therapy for such individuals occasioned an opportunity to bring it up again in the context of recent events.
You can click here for the Dr. Paul HcHugh article on transgenderism in the WSJ that I referred to in the video. (The article is behind a paywall, I believe, but the link there goes through a Google search link which may allow the full article to be displayed with some WSJ ads.)
I’m sure I will discuss the topic again. One of the reasons I am being moved to Charlotte is to create more content to help keep pace with the growing scale of the Work, and that is intended to include webcasts. But until then, maybe I can vent a little more frustration about the topic here.
I have seen nothing substantial to refute the idea that Paul McHugh highlights in his article: Transgender people suffer from a disorder of assumption, just like those who suffer other such body-related disorders, and they need help. I’ve read some reactions to his paper, some from professionals in the field of mental health, and none of them seem to point to any significant evidence, at all, that the conclusion should be any different. You hear “stuck in the past” and “people have grown” and “now we know better” but no actual evidence that the changes that have happened in the profession in how they deal with the issue do anything more than reflect changing cultural attitudes.
The fact is, people who are trapped in a cycle where they are confused about their gender need help. They need a hand reaching out to them to help them through the maze they have become trapped in. Yet, we are in a place as a society where we are beginning to actually ban attempts to help such people in favor of simply accepting their suffering — even actively encouraging their harm to continue.
Those who consider themselves the “transgender community” seem to agree that they need help. They point to horrifying suicide rates, and, like Joshua Alcorn, claim that the solution is for society to become more accepting — claim that the cause of the suicides and depression is society’s unwillingness to accept them as they are.
There is, however, good cause to suspect such claims. As journalist Dale O’Leary reported in the 2007 book One Man, One Woman,
“If these problems were caused entirely by lack of public acceptance of [same-sex attraction], we would expect to find fewer problems in places where tolerance was high and ‘homophobia’ low. But this isn’t the case. Studies done in the Netherlands and New Zealand, for example, where there is generally high tolerance of sexual ‘diversity’ found the same high rates of psychological difficulties as those done elsewhere.”
[Quoted from here.]
Even that evidence aside, where is the good evidence that transgenderism is anything but a disorder of association? No one is arguing that we should accept the self-perceptions of those suffering from anorexia or bulimia. Rather, we are driven to help such people to see themselves rightly, to help them address the self-damaging misperceptions reigning in their minds.
And note: This isn’t an argument that people suffering from gender confusion chose to feel and see themselves the way they do. At the same time, there are many perceptions people have, about themselves and others, that are not accurate but which have been formed by a variety of circumstances, both psychological and even chemical. Again, which anorexic or bulimic sufferer actually chose to see themselves or their bodies in such a manner?
Some might say, “But, transgenderism can show up in individuals at such a young age.” Really? Like the 9-year-old dying of anorexia reported by Salon? Like the 1500 anorexics between 13- & 15-years-old, 400 between 10- & 12-years-old, 99 between 8 & 9-years-old, and 98 between 5 & 7-years-old treated in England over a three year period according to the NHS, as reported by the Daily Mail? (Warning: The link is to the Daily Mail…) And those are reported cases. Conditions like anorexia are often unreported — surely that is so in children so young, where the condition is not normally expected.
I’m sorry, but the argument that “I have felt this way since I was very young” just doesn’t mean, in any way, that it is the way you are meant to be and doesn’t mean that it isn’t a condition that you can be helped to overcome and escape.
Yet, as those who have overcome anorexia often relate, overcoming it can take a long time with continuous help and an environment supportive of your healing. So, why are we, as a society, choosing increasingly to abandon those suffering with gender confusion — robbing them of both professional care that could help them and an environment that encourages the healing they need?
Part of the problem is that it has to do with sex and gender, and our society has a huge hang up about that. To suggest that male and female identities are anything but “fluid” these days is to invite wrath, regardless of what actual biology and (real) psychology might say. (Let alone the Bible! “Turn on the rage machine — someone mentioned Genesis!”)
It is caught up in the same storm that is dedicated to convincing everyone that people are “born” homosexual. Weakening one case weakens the other, and the direction in which our society is currently dragging itself demands that the “born that way” dogma not be questioned in any way whatsoever.
Yet it is a dogma that is begging to be questioned. Consider this comment from David Benkof, a homosexual historian, himself (underlining mine):
“Of course, none of this means people don’t have sexual orientations today, it just means sexual orientations are specific to our culture, and thus not basic human nature. In tech-speak, that means being gay is in the software of some people’s lives, but it’s in nobody’s hardware.
“The compelling evidence nobody’s born gay doesn’t necessarily have to shred the LGBT agenda. Legitimate reasons for more liberal attitudes and policies regarding gays and lesbians still exist, such as freedom of association, the right to privacy, and respect for other people’s experiences. But those who demand social or political change because gays are born that way just don’t know much about history.”
I know — people will dismiss Benkof as a self-hating orthodox Jewish homosexual. That is to their detriment, because his point is well founded, corresponding to all we know right now in science and in culture.
His point is a good one. One does not have to relegate homosexual urges, mindsets, proclivities, or inclinations to pure “choice” and conservative social commentators from a wide variety of directions have admitted that there can be many influences that push a person in such a direction — just as is the case for many conditions, such as alcoholism, violence, other body disorders, etc. Even those searching for a “gay gene” have admitted that the scant evidence they have found for correlations between genetic features and homosexual men would not argue for anything that “causes” homosexuality but, at most, something that would have to combine with multiple other factors to bring about such strong influences in someone’s life. The “gay gene” that somehow “makes” a person a homosexual is a myth — it has been declared so by those who have come the closest to finding anything that might be called such, even while those who point to their studies ignore what they actually say.
Who could question that there are influences in this world that can push a person into wrong and harmful lifestyles and thought patterns — lifestyles and patterns they would never actively choose for themselves? I wouldn’t. But since when did we declare that just because there may be such influences we should embrace them rather than help people overcome them?
And it is no different concerning the transgender movement.
I read an excellent article in the Federalist yesterday titled, “It Isn’t Hateful To Point Out Bruce Jenner Isn’t a Woman” (May 12, 2015). It covers similar ground as I did in the video above, with a special emphasis on the insanity and harmfulness of mainstream journalism’s response to the transgender movement (e.g., accepting false pronouns), but I love how well the author, Daniel Payne, makes his points.
For instance, he asks what I think is a very relevant question: What if someone “identified” as a different race or ethnicity? Like me — I’m about as caucasian as Barry Manilow and Weird “Al” Yankovic, but what if I began identifying as Chinese or African-American? What if I believed — as in deeply, truly believed — that I was another very different ethnicity or race? Would everyone have to begin ignoring reality and start referring to me by the ethnicity I identified as?
Similarly, if a young woman suffers from anorexia, should everyone simply accept the individual’s self-perception — how she “identifies” — over the facts? Especially if the facts mean that she is suffering in her state, whether she believes she is suffering it or not?
The answers to these questions should be virtually self-evident. Yet, the insanity of our current culture means they are not. At least not when sex is concerned.
And even worse, just as our culture is creating more body-image problems in the young through the onslaught of marketing, movies, etc. that saturate their minds, we are doing the same thing with the young when it comes to gender confusion. As Dr. Paul McHugh had reported in his WSJ essay, somewhere around 75% of those who express gender confusion when they are young do pass through that time with such confusion spontaneously disappearing without intervention. Expect that number to drop as society begins increasingly sending such young people more and more messages, through every form of media imaginable and through the mouths of the perceived authorities in their lives, that teach them “This confusion means you aren’t really what you seem to be. Trust and follow that confusion.” How terrible. Frankly, how satanic.
Rather than solve a problem and seek to help people, we are intensifying a problem and abandoning people to it.
May God have mercy on our nation as we increasingly sentence more and more people, young and old, to suffering by refusing to help them — even by making it illegal to help them. What a messed up place.