Benjamin Wiker is Professor of Political Science, Director of Human Life Studies, and Senior Fellow of the Veritas Center at Franciscan University. His newest book is In Defense of Nature: the Catholic Unity of Environmental, Economic, and Moral Ecology. His website is www.benjaminwiker.com.
In my previous article, I argued that transgenderism will surely be the gateway to social and legal acceptance of pedophilia. The reason is very clear. While efforts to push through pedophilia on the heels of the victories of the homosexual movement have hit a wall, the transgender movement has had immediate, astounding success.
It seems like yesterday that the Supreme Court decided in Obergefell vs. Hodges that “gay marriage” was a fundamental right; now transgender activists have permeated every aspect of our education system, our health care system, powerful governmental bureaucracies and nearly the entire media.
How bad is it? Since our public education system has been defined by progressivism since its inception, it carries the sexual revolutionary torch for the indoctrination of our youngest children. Do an internet search for “transgender agenda push elementary schools,” and you’ll find countless instances of trans activists using state power and educational organizations like the NEA to advance their cause, e.g., in California, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
If you doubt that there is a well-orchestrated campaign to use our schools for indoctrination, then visit one of the most influential advocacy groups, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), whose website boasts, “Championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990.” Note how T (transgenderism) is linked to the success of the L (lesbian) and G (gay) movement.
The growth in the medical industry serving the transgender agenda is immense—and lucrative. It is responding to the “odd” growth in the number of children identifying as transgender, which is in great part the result of the success of trans activists in penetrating our school system, preying on the insecurities and confusions of children and teenagers to convince them that their problems can be solved by changing their gender (backed up by a barrage of social media helping to create a kind of “social contagion”). The American Medical Association is officially on board. The American Psychiatric Association is on board. The American Academy of Pediatrics is on board.
And finally there is the political bandwagon. Can you name one Democratic candidate running for president who doesn’t adamantly support throwing the powers of government behind the transgender movement? Obama led the way with his “Dear Colleague” letter that, by presidential mandate, suddenly found that Title IX, meant to protect women from discrimination, also extends to protecting transgenderism — ironically, allowing men who “identify” as women to compete in women’s sports, and use the same locker rooms and bathrooms.
Can anything be done to stop the transgender juggernaut?
Yes. Call in the lawyers. Lots of them.
The strategy is very simple, and will be very effective it is carried out quickly and comprehensively: Sue the doctors.
To understand why this would be an immensely powerful strategy we need to review the four steps of “transitioning,” moving from one gender to the other, as outlined by trans activists themselves and carried out by the medical community.
These four steps are not carried out in a vacuum, we must understand, but in the midst of an immense and direct campaign to convince children as young as two years old that they may choose their own “gender identity” independently of the actual biological sex. The campaign is also aimed at the parents, but if they refuse to comply, the educational establishment and the state will enforce the trans agenda.
First, the child is told that he doesn’t really have a sex, but that he was merely “assigned” a gender at birth. Thus, he may choose his own “gender identity.” If he chooses one that’s the opposite of his actual biology, then he should be allowed to choose a new name and dress as the opposite sex. Parents and everyone else must comply with this new identity.
Second, if the child believes he’s the opposite sex, then his natural biological development must be staved off. Or, perhaps the child is still “exploring” gender identity, and so wants to keep his options open by holding off puberty. In either case, a doctor prescribes puberty blockers.
Third, once the child, probably now a young teenager, decides to go forward, he will be given hormone treatments of the sex he is not, to help turn him into the sex he wants to be.
Fourth, there’s nothing left but to remove the biological parts remaining of his biological sex, and try to cobble together via plastic surgery the parts of the opposite sex.
All four steps can be gone through before someone is 18, without the consent (and even against the wishes) of the parents.
To justify their campaign to push children through the four steps, trans activists rely on an actual medical-psychological condition known as Gender Dysphoria, where the afflicted child feels like he or she should be the opposite gender. But what activists don’t want anyone to know is that such feelings almost invariably desist — that is, the child grows out of them. As Lisa Marchiano in the journal Psychological Perspectives, reports, “There is a wealth of replicated research that tells us that 80–95% of children who experience a cross-sex identification in childhood will eventually desist and come to identify with their natal sex as adults.”
You can see the problem. Trans activists and supporters in education, psychology, social work, and medicine prey on confused kids, pushing them as rapidly as possible through the four stages, which are completed just about the time when, if they had left them alone, 80-95% of them would naturally have ceased having gender dysphoric feelings.
That’s medical malpractice. The vulnerable stages for lawsuits are two, three and four. Puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and sex realignment surgery all do irreparable harm, despite what the trans activists and medical establishment say.
We find out about this from the de-transitioners themselves — that is, those who have gone through some or all of these stages and then realize that it was all a great big horrible mistake — and they are very, very angry at those psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and surgeons who whisked them from one step to the next.
Medical malpractice attorneys need to read the chilling Chapter 3 of Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally, “Detransitioners Tell Their Stories.” These are the stories that trans activists don’t want you to hear.
All the stories share a common thread: they were not told of alternatives to the four-step transitioning regimen; they were not given adequate psychological counseling to find out if there was some other, deeper cause for their feelings of Gender Dysphoria; they were not told that almost all kids grow out of it; they were not told that taking puberty blockers have immensely serious bad side-effects, not just directly related to the drugs but because the harm done by disrupting the natural hormonally-based growth is permanent; they were not told that taking hormones of the opposite sex does lifelong damage to one’s body that is irreversible; they were not told how traumatic sex reassignment surgery really is, the damage of which can never be repaired.
Just to illustrate, one of the detransitioners, a boy, was bullied when young, and thought that becoming a girl would cure his problems. Instead of trying to get to the psychological bottom of his problems, he was rushed into transitioning. Another boy’s grandmother withheld affection from him unless he dressed like a girl. You can imagine what happened, and why transitioning did not cure the underlying psychological malformation.
By any reasonable definition, this is medical and psychiatric malpractice, where real, evidential, permanent physical and psychological harm has been done. It’s especially heinous, given that all of these radical and irreversible procedures are being done on a malady that, in 80-90% of the cases, would disappear on its own. Even worse, the uptick of kids thinking they are transgender seems to be caused, in no small part, by social trends amplified by social media.
Here’s the strategy. There is a very large number of detransitioners, who have been silenced or who are afraid to speak, and consequently who need their day in court. We need a phalanx of medical malpractice attorneys to find these detransitioners, get their stories and sue the psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors and surgeons who were involved every step of the way.
This would bring the whole transgender juggernaut to screeching halt. It doesn’t matter what the trans activists want to do. Like abortion activists, they need other people to do it. If these “others” are hit with multimillion dollar lawsuits, doctors will be far less likely to prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, or to perform sex-reassignment surgery.
It isn’t just about the money. It’s about the inevitable publicity which, finally, brings the sad stories of detransitioners into public view, along with the real harm done by the transgender agenda.
That doesn’t mean the transgender movement will magically disappear, but it won’t be steamrolling over the entire culture. Hopefully, it will slow it enough so that those who oppose it can have some breathing space to work on additional strategies to regain ground against the progressive sexual revolution.