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Supporting "Trans Kids" Isn't Love, It's Resignation
It is not the moral position
Imagine looking at an effeminate little boy and believing that he has no chance at happiness in life if he continues to recognize himself as a boy. Imagine looking at a tomboy and believing that some combination of her traits—her hairstyle, her clothing, her interests, her mannerisms—should exclude her from her sex and that she should be considered a boy instead. Imagine arguing, passionately, that such little boys and girls need to have their development halted and altered or they would be miserable, perhaps even to the point of suicide.
This is what trans activists mean when they talk about “trans kids” and argue for childhood transition. They have completely resigned themselves to the idea that gender non-conforming kids are so damaged that there is no hope for them if they are simply allowed to live and be who they are.
Are gender non-conforming kids going to face unique challenges? Absolutely. I was one of those kids. Many of my loved ones were those kids. Plenty of people I know who are older than me and came of age in an even less accepting time were those kids. We all grew up to thrive in our healthy bodies—many of us gay.
Imagine if adults at the time had decided that we were just too different and that we should be forced to become sterilized facsimiles of the opposite sex instead.
These ideas have been bouncing around in my head for almost a year, ever since I watched Benjamin Boyce’s wonderful interview with Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad. At one point, Stella and Sasha describe an interview they did on their own podcast with the two Dutch researchers who pioneered the use of puberty blockers for children: Thomas D. Steensma and Annelou de Vries. In a particularly poignant moment, they noted how these researchers seem to view “trans” children.
At 1:02:45, Sasha says:
I think the interview really highlighted for me that the kind of fundamental assumption is that these people are so disturbed—gender dysphoria is so bizarre and disruptive—that we cannot expect normal trajectories. We can’t expect normal love lives, we cannot have the same expectations of these people as we would of a more typical child, so all bets are therefore off.
A bit later on (1:06:38), Stella speaks about how she would have been one of those children:
They couldn’t have missed me. I would’ve passed right through into those clinical trials, and it would have been a disaster. It would have been a diaster because I suppose I would have lived a very heavily medicalized life. And instead, I’ve become completely accepting of my body. I’ve had two children. The best things that I’ve ever had in my life is my two children, by a country mile. And so, what I would have missed would have been my kids, which would take my breath away.
This conversation is never far from my mind when people talk so nonchalantly about “trans kids,” with no regard for the regret they are sowing and the lives they are ruining.
And, lately, neither is a quote from Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation:
The temptation of our day is to equate “love” and “conformity”—passive subservience to the mass-mind or to the organization.
The people who claim to support and “love” trans kids are showing no love or care for these kids and their futures—they love only their tribe and are worried only about conforming to the proper beliefs. They have outsourced their morality to the progressive mass-mind and to the organizations that have been captured by it.
They don’t truly believe that gender non-conforming kids are capable of leading a happy life, so what’s the problem with misleading these kids and giving them what they think they want in the moment? The kids won’t amount to anything anyway, and those who “support trans kids” get to enjoy the holier-than-thou feeling that comes with being part of the mob. In their minds, it’s a win-win.
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