I have often written about “transanity,” by which I mean the social madness that has swept our nation (and other nations). It has reached the point that biological males share locker rooms with biological females and compete against them in sports, often obliterating female records and accomplishments in the process.
It has gone so far that a Supreme Court justice nominee could not answer the question, “What is a woman?” And it has reached the point that minors are undergoing chemical castration and young teenage girls are having full mastectomies, with the avid support of the Biden administration. This is what I mean by transanity.
How can it be, then, that so many Americans strongly support those who identify as transgender? How can it be that the current administration is fighting so passionately to guarantee the “rights” of trans-identified kids, meaning, the “right” to identify contrary to biological realities and the “right” to undergo irreversible chemical or surgical changes to their bodies? Has everyone become complicit with this social madness?
Part of the answer is yes, we have lost our minds, corporately speaking. We are celebrating the emperor’s new clothes, which are not clothes at all. We have embraced a mass delusion.
But the other part of the answer is that there is a compelling, personal, pro-transgender argument. It is something we will need to understand if we are to have a full perspective of the challenges at hand, remembering that we are dealing with both people and issues.
To be sure, I do believe that the vast majority of young people identifying as transgender today have been heavily influenced by the society at large, without which many would never have been confused about their gender identity.
I also agree that it is always wrong to alter the natural development of a child based on their own perceptions, and I feel very sure that there are far more examples of sex-change regret than we are aware of.
And I believe that much of the pro-transgender push is simply the natural consequence of years of aggressive LGBTQ+ activism. We are following the inevitable, destructive trajectory.
None of that is in question for me, and by God’s grace, I will continue to remain on the frontlines of those who push back against transanity.
But, to repeat, we do need to understand the pro-transgender argument and why some are so passionate about it.
In short, there are people, young and old alike, who have been deeply tormented with the sense that they are trapped in the wrong bodies. Try as I might to understand how this feels, I can’t come close to wrapping my mind around it. It must be something terrible to live with.
But there are people who have felt like this for decades, suffering silently and feeling that hormone therapy and sex-change surgery are their only hope.
There are people who truly believe that accepting their transgender identity saved them from suicide. And there are parents who feel that the truly loving thing is to affirm their child’s perceived identity. They are convinced that this is the path to wholeness.
Writing for Psychology Today on March 17, 2017, Joel Young, M.D., stated that, “Transgender children face uncertain futures. Many wait years to come out, and face isolation, rejection, and even violence. Our current political climate is a harsh one for trans children and their families. Ideally, children facing these struggles will feel comfortable enough to speak to their families but the news can be tough for some parents to take. Even well-meaning parents who wish to support their children may not know how to do so.”
Dr. Young opined that, “Rejecting your child’s identity as trans, or forcing them to 'prove' it in some way, can be profoundly damaging.” He then explained, “Think for a moment about how you would feel if someone insisted that you were a different sex from what you are or called you a name or a pronoun associated with that incorrect sex. That is precisely how children feel when their parents reject their gender identity.”
Young even claimed that, “Misgendering your child is like denying their existence as a person.”
He further argued that, “Transgenderism is not a mental illness, and your child’s sense that they identify as another gender does not demand treatment. Therapy can, however, help your child find new ways to cope with the challenges of transgender stigma, so consider sending your child to a transgender-friendly psychotherapist.”
And, finally, he noted that, “There are now at least 1.4 million adults living as transgender. Your child is not alone and can have a happy, enriched adult life—but only with support. The single best predictor of outcomes in transgender populations is support from families. Offer your child this unconditional support, and watch them flourish into a happy, healthy adult.”
Naturally, we would push back against many, if not all of these points, especially the idea that affirming our child’s trans-identity is a healthy and good thing to do. There are plenty of professional counselors, therapists, and psychologists who would heartily disagree.
As expressed by the American College of Pediatricians, “Americans are being led astray by a medical establishment driven by a dangerous ideology and economic opportunity, not science and the Hippocratic Oath. The suppression of normal puberty, the use of disease-causing cross-sex hormones and the surgical mutilation and sterilization of children constitute atrocities to be banned, not healthcare.”
I’m simply sharing here why some people are so passionate about “transgender rights,” especially for children, and especially in light of the degree of marginalization, if not outright hostility, that many trans-identified individuals face. That’s part of what President Biden and others mean when they say, “Transgender rights are human rights.”
An older relative of mine who has identified as transgender for more than a decade now told me of the agony he lived with all his life. (He had been married for decades and with grown children when he changed his identity to female.) For him, coming out as trans was worth it all. (He lost his job and disrupted his family.) And for him, prominent trans-identified individuals are heroes and people like me are hateful bigots.
He is just one of hundreds of thousands of others, and as much as I believe that there was a far better solution to his struggles, one that helped him from the inside out, I cannot deny his pain.
Let’s remember the perspective of people like this as we stand up for what is best and what is right. Trans-identified people are not our enemies, even if they consider us as such. And as much as we oppose their activist agenda — and we should oppose it wholeheartedly and unreservedly — we must always care about them as fellow image-bearers of God and objects of His redemptive love.