The proliferation of “gender identity”
designations in every sphere of life, from educational institutions to
corporations and government entities, has led many to ask how it began and
where it might lead.
Until recently, the idea that someone might be “transgender” was confined to the margins of society and was seen as an extremely rare phenomenon. Today, rising numbers of people, especially in the younger generations, are not only identifying as the opposite sex, as transgender, but are choosing a new gender identity from an ever-growing list of made-up options. Some of these include “nonbinary,” “agender” or “genderqueer.” None of these so-called gender identities can be defined biologically or in material terms.
Here are 5 things every Christian should know about the transgender movement.
1.The shift from 'transsexual' to 'transgender'Critical to understanding how the push to normalize the idea that someone could be “born in the wrong body” or was “assigned” the wrong sex at birth, as is said among transgender activists, is an important shift in language.
According to Atlanta-based endocrinologist Dr. Quintin Van Meter, whom CP interviewed in 2018 about the dangers of chemical puberty blockers, much of the foundation for shaping the public discourse regarding what is now known as “gender identity” can be attributed to one man: John Money.
Money was a New Zealand-American psychologist who was on staff several decades ago at Johns Hopkins, one of the most prominent hospitals in the United States.
He also had a particular interest in children with sexual differentiation disorders, and it was his idea that a gender identity that might differ from the sex of the body developed in a person at some point in time, according to Van Meter, who also detailed this phenomenon in the new documentary film “Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender?” that was released on June 17 by the Center for Bioethics & Culture Network.
Back then, the cadre of patients that Money worked with were called “transsexuals.” Prior to that, sex and gender were used interchangeably.
"He had patients that he treated as adults, and then he also had the
pediatric patients treated with surgical and hormonal manipulations with really
phenomenally bad outcomes," Van Meter told CP at the time.
"He thought perhaps we could societally change one's gender by treating people differently, socially and with hormones. And what he found was that he was trying to change sex," which was impossible, he said.
Money’s operation was eventually shut down, but it was reinvigorated in recent years amid a growing cultural push in favor of transgender identities, Van Meter said.
The word “gender” was a linguistic term and it did not even appear in medical literature prior to the 1950s and '60s, the Atlanta doctor explained in the documentary.
Although many continue to use the word gender interchangeably with “sex” out of habit — and indeed the etymology of the word gender contains “gene” which connects it to DNA — trans activists pushing for gender identity to be adopted as a legal category to be enshrined in federal and state laws and public policies have redefined the word to mean something other than biological sex, sowing confusion among the masses.
With this redefinition of gender by ideologues, it has become a weaponized tool to “de-sex” human beings in law and culture, according to Stella Morabito, a senior contributor to The Federalist.
“In a society de-sexed by law, would the state recognize your relationship
as a husband or a wife? Mother or father? Daughter or son? Those are all sexed
terms. A system that does not recognize the existence of male and female would
be free to ignore the parentage of any child," she noted of the
implications of this shift in language in a piece for Public
Discourse in 2016.
“You might be recognized as your child’s ‘legal guardian,’ but only if the state agrees to that. Anybody can be a guardian to your child if the state decides it’s in the child’s ‘best interest.’ In this vision, there is nothing to prevent the state from severing the mother-child bond at will,” she added.
2. Gender dysphoria afflicting teenage girls, young women
The psychological ailment known as gender identity disorder and later renamed “gender dysphoria," which is defined as persistent psychological distress or incongruence with one's biological sex, was until recently an extremely rare condition that almost entirely afflicted young boys. But a significant shift has occurred in the last decade.
Today, for the first time in approximately 100 years of clinical diagnostic history, the predominant demographic of those suffering from gender dysphoria are teenage girls and young adult women.
Yet the kind of dysphoria these girls and women are experiencing is notably
different, and the skyrocketing rates have many believing that it's the result
of an internet-fueled peer contagion, what has been called “Rapid Onset Gender
In the United Kingdom, for example, referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service increased by over 4,000-fold in the past decade, as was documented by the trans-critical website TransgenderTrend.
This medical mystery of ROGD was thoroughly explored in a book released last
year titled, Irreversible
Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by
journalist Abigail Shrier. Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria was the subject of
public health researcher Lisa Littman who published a peer-reviewed scholarly
article in the academic journal PLoS One in 2018 after she noticed growing
numbers of youth identifying as the opposite sex.
Littman’s research revealed that 65% of young girls who had self-identified as transgender during their adolescence did so after spending considerable time on social media. She thus posited that the sharp rise in transgender-identifying girls was not organic but a sudden social contagion.
Soon after publication, trans activists claimed her study employed faulty research methods, and PLoS One's editor-in-chief wound up apologizing for publishing the article. In an unprecedented move in March 2019, the academic journal published a "correction" for Littman's original article, even though her findings were unchanged.
Earlier this year, mothers involved in a secret online group who managed to connect because their young sons are mired in this peer contagion told CP that teenage boys are also suffering, even as the social dynamics and contributing factors vary from what girls endure.
3. The theological angle: Neo-Gnosticism, the meaning of being human
The claim that a person can have a sexed body but a gendered brain, a body-mind split, a “mismatch” between their gender identity and their biological sex is not a particularly unique idea, though it might seem new, theologians say.
In a short letter to the editor of the U.K. Times published in August 2017, renowned Anglican theologian and author N.T. Wright opined that the contemporary confusion about gender identity in youth “is a modern, and now internet-fueled, form of the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism.”
He continued, “[t]he Gnostic, one who ‘knows,’ has discovered the secret of ‘who I really am,’ behind the deceptive outward appearance.”
“This involves denying the goodness, or even the ultimate reality, of the
natural world. Nature, however, tends to strike back, with the likely victims
in this case being vulnerable and impressionable youngsters who, as confused
adults, will pay the price for their elders’ fashionable fantasies,” he said.
In CP's 2017 article series on the many facets of transgender ideology, CP executive editor and outgoing Southern Evangelical Seminary President Richard Land said that when a human being takes on a transgender identity it's the epitome of self-idolatry and an affront to God’s created order.
"It is the ultimate attempt to become one's own god. I want to be different than the way God made me, so I'm going to employ modern medical science to change my gender, chemically and surgically," Land said at the time.
"The religion of America today is narcissism. … We want to define our own version of truth of who we are regardless of anything else."
Land believes that a particularly pressing philosophical question that all Christians must consider today is: “What is a human being?' The forces at work within modern culture ... are self-centered."
Echoing Wright, Land further explained that at the root of the transgender
movement is a resurgent Gnostic view that the body and mind are not united,
coupled with the hedonistic creed of the sexual revolution that “if it feels
good, do it."
"The sacred trinity of modern man is I, myself and me. And it is only with modern science that people have the ability to claim they can change their gender and seek to do so," he added.
4. The Dentons document
In December 2019, journalist James Kirkup wrote a piece for The Spectator about a document from Dentons, which claims to be the largest law firm in the world; the Thomson Reuters Foundation; and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth & Student Organisation (sic).
The document, titled "Only adults? Good practices in legal
gender recognition for youth," exposed the tactics that gender identity
activists use in order to accomplish their policy aims, including how
government entities should override parental rights so they no longer have
legal control over their children on issues pertaining to gender
Although both Dentons and the Thomson Reuters Foundation noted that the document does not necessarily reflect their viewpoints, it nevertheless advises that "states should take action against parents who are obstructing the free development of a young trans person’s identity in refusing to give parental authorization when required."
The document also urged trans activist groups to wed themselves to politically popular initiatives, such as marriage equality bills, to "provided a veil of protection," particularly in countries "where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remaineda more difficult issue to win public support for."
"Another technique which has been used to great effect is the
limitation of press coverage and exposure," the document adds.
For concerned citizens who wonder why corporate entities are in any way involved in driving the idea of the “transgender child” — a minor who claims by mere say-so to be the opposite sex — into legal structures around the world, it is necessary to observe the language manipulation, follow the money, and note the rise in pediatric gender clinics worldwide, according to investigative journalist Jennifer Bilek, who writes at The11thHourBlog.
“Biological sex seems to be what is deconstructed in the global push to
change the definition of female to include male, which deconstructs sex as a
meaningful definition,” Bilek wrote in a January 2020 blog post.
“Children who experience body dysphoria about their sex, up until very recently were so rare a phenomenon, no one ever heard of them. Now we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 ‘gender’ clinics in the U.S. (the largest serving 1,000 children), treating a condition that is considered at once, disordered enough from the norm to need clinics, drugs, medical oversight and the halting of puberty, but also normal enough to be considered just another way to be human, hence the guidance from Reuters and Dentons.”
In 2007, the United States was home to only one gender clinic, located in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Biological reality is being legally queered, it would appear, to pave the way for more and more complex changes to human biology and children’s bodies are being used as the fodder for this experiment,” she added in a follow-up blog post.
“This experiment is being run by the richest, global corporatists who naturally use the largest and richest legal structures (Dentons and Reuters) to construct their lie.”
5. Opposition spans the spectrum, pushed by Democrats, slow-walked
In both the federal and state legislatures, the opposition to transgender policies, particularly regarding the experimental medicalization in youth, is almost universally voiced by Republicans.
Elected Democrats are almost entirely in favor of transgender-friendly laws,
as it has largely been touted as the next civil rights frontier amid the push
for "LGBT rights" to be codified in nondiscrimination laws.
But legislative accomplishments pushing back gender identity ideology in public life are few amid pressure from heavy-hitting financial interests. Despite the seemingly stark left-right divide on the issue, opposition to certain policies spans the political spectrum in the general public, in both liberal and conservative states.
Left-wing radical feminist groups such as the Women’s Liberation Front and the U.S. chapter of the nonpartisan Women’s Human Rights Campaign have contended in a variety of fora in recent years that women’s rights are indelibly undermined with the inclusion of gender identity in the legal definition of sex.
The hard-fought legal gains that the suffragists and early feminists
achieved were won on the grounds that biological sex matters and that women
have been held down and discriminated against on that basis. They contend that
no one was confused about what a woman was when they were banned from voting or
serving on juries.
Last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to gain more attention, Idaho became the first state in the nation to adopt laws resisting trans ideology. These laws stated that women’s sports are reserved for females only and that vital statistics in state records must be maintained on the basis of biological sex.
Since then, several states have passed similar laws forbidding males,
regardless of how they identify, from competing in women’s athletic
competitions. In Louisiana, several Democratic legislators voted in favor of
its bill designating women’s sports as female-only. The state's Democratic Gov.
John Bel Edwards, however, vetoed the measure.
Prohibiting the prescription of experimental puberty-suppressing drugs, cross-sex hormones and performing elective cosmetic gender surgeries on minors has proven to be a tougher battle, even in states with overwhelming Republican majorities, where many might think such proposals would pass easily.
In 2020, the first legislative effort pushing back against trans medicalization in the U.S. took place in South Dakota. Though the bill passed in the lower chamber, it died in a Senate committee under pressure from the Chamber of Commerce.
In May, despite its reputation as a conservative bastion, a Texas bill banning chemical and surgical sex changes for children younger than 18 failed to be scheduled for a vote in the House after stall tactics were deployed, activists and insiders told CP.
In South Carolina, it was notable that Rep. Cezar McKnight (D-Williamsburg), was the sponsor of a bill attempting to ban the experimental practices in the state.
“Black Democrats tend to be more conservative than white progressives,” McKnight told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this year.
“I would not have ever put this bill forward if I didn’t think the people in my district wouldn’t be receptive, and they are. Pastors, young parents, older parents, they all tell me the same thing: if you want to do this, wait until you’re 18.”
This Report is Filed by Brandon Showalter,
Christian Post Reporter
Wednesday, June 30, 2021