Talk of “transgender rights” is everywhere.
Even public schools are getting in the mix by introducing transgender-affirming material into elementary schools. Last Thursday, schools across the country read the book I am Jazz, about a transgender child. Ashlawn Elementary in Arlington, Virginia even read it to kindergartners:
“I have a girl brain but a boy body. This is called transgender. I was born this way,” Sarah McBride, a transgender person and a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, read to kindergartners from the book.
“Born this way,” besides being a hit song by Lady Gaga, has become the rallying cry of a generation who claims not only that homosexuality is innate, but also transgender and even so-called “nonbinary” genders, sometimes called “genderqueer.”
And so the transgender rights parade marches on, crying “born this way.” Everything they demand must be affirmed and by society – preferred pronouns, the right to go into a bathroom of choice, identity documents that affirm whatever they choose, sex education that includes expansive teaching about how transgender and non-binary genders are included, just to name a few. Countless other demanded accommodations and issues are stated in policy documents such as this “Transgender State Agenda” from the National Center for Transgender Equality.
But basically, transgender-rights advocates are pushing for society to change everything it does to affirm non-traditional genders and transgender individuals.
Have it Both Ways With Frozen Eggs
However, it hits quite a snag when you encounter stories like this one from NBC News, about a gay couple with a transgender biological woman who wants to freeze her eggs:
Rick Zentler can’t wait to have biological children — just not in the near future. The transgender man knew he needed to plan ahead to make this a reality, so he froze his eggs just before undergoing treatment that would soon render him infertile.
Zentler, 31, who was assigned female at birth, underwent a hysterectomy and hormone replacement therapy through testosterone soon after with the idea of starting a family on his own terms when the time was right.
“I want four,” he said of having kids. “Because I have 34 eggs on ice, I joke that if I was rich, I could start my own army.”
Zentler, an MBA student at San Jose State University in California, says he plans to hire a female surrogate to carry his children eventually.
As an aside, isn’t it funny how NBC News and all other major media outlets totally buy into the language of transgender activists? “Assigned female at birth,” are you kidding me? But I digress.
This person who was born a female, and has lived life as a transgender man, wants to have kids someday. She therefore froze her eggs “just before undergoing treatment that would soon render [her] infertile.”
Let’s pause and ask the obvious question. If she/he was truly born as a man but “assigned” as a female at birth, why even worry about freezing eggs at all?
Therein lies the rub, and this is where it becomes a huge problem for the transgender activists who want full-on recognition for everything from sports to bathrooms. A person who is willing to medically vacillate between female and transgender male, in order to put eggs on ice for future surrogate children, is affirming that being their preferred gender is not so important that they don’t have to honor their biological one.
In other words, a transgender man who wants to have kids must acknowledge their biological reality and take advantage of that reality in order to produce eggs. “Big deal,” someone might say. Well, it is a big deal if a transgender person is simultaneously claiming, even as they freeze their eggs before becoming a man, that they were really a man all along and now deserve to go into the male bathroom or be recognized only as a man on official documentation.
Surgically Altered Sex Has an Impact on Fertility
Just as interesting in this article is the notion that transgender individuals who are transitioning to the opposite gender may not be aware of potential impacts to their fertility if they are surgically changed (!). Here:
Maya Scott-Chung, program director for SprOUT Family, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ people through the family building process, told NBC News she is not confident that trans people are being properly informed about their reproductive options.
“I still think it’s disturbingly erratic around providers properly educating transgender people about their family building options and around fertility preservation,” Scott-Chung said. Many providers, she noted, are putting trans people “through hormones and/or surgeries” that can “potentially sterilize people without educating them about the impact of it.”
Then they quote a transgender person, who I presume was born a woman, lamenting that child-bearing is not an option due to hormone replacement therapy:
Vega Darling, 39, a trans documentary-filmmaker who lives in Atlanta, said he has been on hormone replacement therapy since 2004. He would have liked to have had his own children, he said, but his reproductive glands are no longer viable.
“I really wish that people had just treated me as they would have treated any other person that had come into the office and discussed just reproductive options,” Darling said, “and just realized that both queer and trans people also want to have children.”
Excuse me, but isn’t reproductive glands no longer being viable kind of the point? If a person is so committed to living life as the opposite gender that they want to surgically or medically transition, they are often making a (mostly) permanent choice. In fact, this very choice has been so promoted that the United States military branches have policies to help people transition.
While there are ways for people to detransition after transitioning, many surgical procedures can never be completely undone.
Affirming Life-Altering “Choices” For Young Kids
This gets way more problematic when talking about kids.
As the transgender movement has steamrolled ahead, some lawmakers are getting in on the idea that children should be able to transition without parental approval. Because, you know, kids never have identity crises or anything, and are fully aware of the lifetime impact of their choices.
That’s where California’s new 2018 law, Assembly Bill 2119, comes in. It gives children in foster care the right to transition, including the use of puberty blockers, without any kind of adult approval required.
But the heretofore mentioned article on egg-freezing notes, with some alarm:
When combined with hormone blockers — drugs that delay puberty until an adolescent is old enough to decide whether they want to take cross-sex hormones — fertility is far less likely since the reproductive organs do not develop, unless the patients stop taking blockers, according to Dr. Amanda Adeleye, a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
Wait, you’re telling me that having prepubescent kids taking drugs to radically alter their sexual development has consequences?
This seems to be lost on the transgender movement, which is squarely focused on affirmation and changing the laws to that effect. Troublingly, some very powerful voices are beginning to advocate for the government helping all children transition even without parental approval. As notes Wesley J. Smith in the National Review Online:
The American Journal of Bioethics is a mainstream professional publication with wide distribution among members of the bioethics movement and within the medical intelligentsia. If advocacy appears in AJOB, it is considered respectable; it is considered defendable; it is considered justifiable.
Which is why the article I am about to describe should alarm the hell out of everyone. A bioethicist named Maura Priest, from Arizona State University, argues that children with gender dysphoriahave the right to have their puberty blocked medically — and that if parents don’t consent, the state should push them aside and do it anyway.
Smith quotes from Priest’s article, which can be found here; the following are Priest’s own words (bold emphasis mine):
One objection to my proposal is simply a concern about the intrusion it imposes on the autonomy of the family. Imagine that parents have religious values against children expressing transgender dress and behavior. Are not parents allowed to raise their kids according to their own religious values? And if so, how can I argue that parents must be forced not only to accept, but to facilitate, transition?
The mistake here is in thinking that parents have rights to raise their children according to their religious values, full stop. Like nearly all rights, the right of parents to raise children according to their own values is not absolute. Rather, parents have such authority up to and until the point at which a given decision or practice threatens serious harm. According to some religious sects, after all, girls who are raped should be put to death. Obviously, parents have no right to do this regardless of whether doing so accords with their religion.
Smith follows that quote from Priest with his own terse comment:
Good grief. Refusing to allow your child to be the subject of experimental interventions is equivalent morally and should be legally, she says, to killing a child who was raped? That’s just flat-out nuts.
Indeed. These people are so focused on getting their way that they’re willing to equate a parent not allowing their child to transition to killing a child. It’s pure insanity.
And what constitutes having a transgender child, by the way? Is it some innate biological characteristic? Some clear sign that would be the same across cultures and centuries?
No, it’s whether a child agrees with the modern-day social signals of what a boy likes or what a girl likes. A boy who likes to put on dresses and play with Disney princesses MUST be a girl, in spite of the fact that no child is born with an innate sense of what toys girls or boys are “supposed to” like. No, such preferences are conditioned and reconditioned by external influences in the child’s life.
But that doesn’t stop parents from imposing their understanding of the world on the little boy who likes princesses, and “realizing” for them that they are actually a princess too. Then the parents may begin to treat the child that way, and, surprise, perhaps groom the child into whatever their progressive mindset believes about how their child is different.
Don’t tell me this doesn’t happen. It does (from Parents Magazine):
Until that moment, I’d seen my rough-and-tumble girl as a tomboy who loved mud puddles, forts, superheroes, zombies, and Hot Wheels. Brave and true, she was 35 pounds of adorable awesomeness.
Or was it more than that? Didn’t she always choose the boy pieces in Chutes and Ladders? Weren’t her closest friends boys? Did she ever once play with the My Little Pony she got for Christmas? Hadn’t every pink or purple outfit ended up in the Goodwill bag, unworn? Didn’t she enjoy it when other people mistook her for a boy?
Obviously, playing with Hot Wheels and choosing the boy pieces in Chutes and Ladders means your four-year-old girl is really a boy, as it has for thousands of years.
No, Transgender is Not the Same
As I wrote the other day, tennis legend Martina Navratilova took enormous heat from the “T” part of the LGBT community when she critically examined how transgender men who are biological women actually have an advantage in sports.
In that article, the trans-affirming website I quoted from was so angry with Navratilova (a lesbian who has done immense work on behalf of gay rights) that they compared her to the Nazi war criminal Joseph Goebbels. I’m not kidding, read it for yourself.
The problem with Navratilova, for trans activists, wasn’t that she was wrong. Obviously a big strong man who transitions and lives life as a woman has a huge advantage in a sport like powerlifting, for example – regardless of what trans activists may say.
No, the problem is that she didn’t unthinkingly accept every aspect of the affirmation that trans activists demand. And why would she? She can see for herself that a man who transitions to be a woman is still, biologically, a man.
Few would argue that an adult has no right to do such things to their body, and that’s not what I’m arguing, either. It’s also not what Navratilova is arguing, if I’m understanding her correctly.
No, the problem is when “affirmation” suddenly becomes the basis for law. While the battle for gay rights raged for decades, when you think about it, homosexuality doesn’t require a change in the basic narrative about human beings. A man is a man and a woman is a woman.
It just means a person has a different sexual orientation.
Transgender activists want you to accept a completely different idea of reality, which is not in fact reality. They want you to accept that whatever they say gender is, it is. If a woman who becomes a man then decides they’re an alien who isn’t any gender at all, you must accept that. Oh and you must use whatever pronouns they prefer, or else you’re a bigot.
But what happens when gender is whatever anyone says it is?
Then the world has to accept whatever you say about yourself, right? And then you get to impose your “reality” upon other people.
No, transgender rights are not the same as gay rights. Not even close. Homosexuality is not, by and large, forcing you to totally reevaluate biology and the very nature of science itself. Transgender wants you to accept some really crazy stuff. Like this tweet, discovered and blogged about by Rod Dreher:
Bonkers. If you had to summarize the transgender movement in a phrase, it’s this: force everyone to accept your definition of gender. If you then grant that moving target legal protection up to and including the right to not be offended, ever, you’ve created a nightmare. And we are on our way, folks. Well on our way.
As the egg-freezing shows, however, that “reality” is built on very, very shaky ground.