Transgender ideology is a threat to children, and also to their right to childhood. Childhood should be a time of innocence and learning to grow into an emotionally well-adjusted, intellectually competent, morally capable adult. Transgender activists seek to sexualize and politicize children long before puberty, telling them they have a right to transition even though their bodies and minds are not fully-formed, and against their parents‘ objections.
Transgender ideology treats children as if they have the same rights as adults and ignores the fact that they are vulnerable to all kinds of suggestion and manipulation. This undermines the principle that we should value a child’s protection above all other considerations, protecting children from the negative effects of their own ignorance, impulsiveness, and enthusiasms, and from those adults who may seek to pursue their own interests at the expense of a child’s well-being and welfare. It amounts to a war on childhood and on responsible parenting.
But trans activists have already labeled attempts by some state legislatures to head off the undermining of protection for children as a ‘war’ on trans people.
These state legislatures are actually seeking to protect children. Children are being targeted for life-changing and irreversible medical procedures to prevent their natural development, the long-term implications of which they are not mature enough to understand.
The slightest indication of confusion about sex and the expression of sexual identity can be seized upon as an indication of transgenderism and cultivated as such by activists. This is a form of grooming. Most children are not in a position to resist this unless they have very wise, committed, and resourceful parents to protect them.
Transgender ideology presumes that children can have a clear and firm conviction as to their ‘gender identity’ and can decide on those grounds that they are in the wrong body and they are really of the opposite sex. But the logic is faulty.
Gender is supposedly not biologically determined. Medically qualified trans activists advocate puberty-blocking hormone treatments and gender-reassignment surgery to address an incompatibility between a subjective, non-biologically determined gender identity and the child’s biological sex. But if gender identity has nothing to do with sex or biology this can only make things worse not better. We know that adults identifying as trans already have a significantly higher incidence of mental illness. And this risk continues after transition.
Which is a clear indicator that transition did nothing to address the underlying psychological problems. Perhaps this is why trans activists are so angry and resentful.
But the same approach is being advocated for vulnerable, impressionable, confused and anxious children who get caught up in the spider’s web of transgender ideology.
How can any doctor know for sure that a child’s adoption of a transgender ‘identity’ is not a passing fad? Certainty is impossible. While a child is growing towards adulthood, different genes will express themselves and all manner of psycho-social influences will impact. No one — not even the parents, let alone the child — can possibly know in advance exactly what this process will involve or what the eventual outcome will be. Parents can only hope for the best whilst doing everything they can to bring this about.
The child, meanwhile, is experimenting at being the kind of person he or she imagines best expresses his/her aspirations. But those aspirations may change drastically over the course of growing up. What children need is guidance, support, and protection. This should come primarily from their parents but also those in loco parentis. Children are prey to all sorts of misguided ideas and need protection from themselves as well as from those adults who might do them harm, and this protection should remain in place until children have reached maturity and can take responsibility for themselves.
Doctors who offer transgender interventions to children argue that the developing body and mind of a child can offer unequivocal evidence of the desirability of transitioning before maturity is reached. But transgenderism is not viewed as a pathology by transgender activists; not even the medically qualified ones. This view is becoming increasingly prevalent.
But if transgenderism is not a pathology, what is it? A lifestyle choice? So why all the rush to intervene in the lives of children who are confused about their sexuality? If these children are not ill or disordered, what is the medical justification for altering their minds and bodies (with hormones and surgery) even before they are fully formed? Even if the child desires this outcome, is it wise to gratify this desire before mental and physical maturity is attained?
And yet medically qualified transgender activists seek to do just this.
This is an example of what I term ‘pathological irrationality’ — the kind of reasoning that undermines the very idea of reason itself. The logic of transgender ideology is riddled with contradictions.
In what sense is it defensible to hold that children are competent to make life-changing decisions that are irreversible, the consequences of which will be with them for the rest of their lives, and which in any case might not be necessary at all and simply reflect a lifestyle choice, which in itself might be a passing fad? The doctors ‘treating’ such children are literally ‘playing God’ because they are taking upon themselves the role of omniscient benefactor when in fact they are not omniscient. They cannot possibly know for sure that what they are doing is for the long-term benefit of their patient. But at present they can act with impunity whilst the child carries all the risk and suffers the adverse consequences for life.
Concerns about the well-being and welfare of children motivate the child protection laws, policies, and practices. Why should such protections be sidelined in the case of medical interventions in the lives of children in the name of transgenderism?
If the child later has a change of heart, will that child be justified in judging that they have been mutilated by adults who took advantage of their vulnerability? Even if what happened was with the child’s consent, this consent will have been influenced by the medical transgender activists who have a vested interest in changing children from one sex to the other to suit their political agenda. But if they turn out to have changed a child into the opposite sex who then decides that this was the wrong thing to do after all, then in reality what happened was the taking advantage of a vulnerable, suggestible child to gratify the adults involved.
This is a child protection issue, one that is created by transgender activists who refuse to acknowledge that children have a right to a childhood unmolested by adults with a political agenda. What is really needed is much stronger protection, so that children are allowed to be children without being manipulated into making decisions that may irreversibly ruin their lives.
Wen Wryte, American Thinker