My very good buddy and compatriot Joseph Backholm, Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, recently took to the Quad at the University of Washington to get the studious students’ insights on an important issue very much in the news today. Watch what Joseph learned from the students in response to some very simple questions:
But you see, what Backholm brought to campus that day was an exercise in critical thinking—and the result was embarrassing not only for the students featured, but for the faculty and administration as well. What are these students paying for: easy indoctrination of the status quo, or the encouragement and skills to think critically about important public issues? Backholm’s follow-up questions might seem ridiculous—how can he seriously say he’s Chinese, over six feet tall, seven years old or a first-grade student? There are clear and objective reasons why none of these are true about him.
But that’s the problem that most of these college students, professors, and administrators—as well as the morally outraged people, the boycotting CEOs, the Hollywood beautiful people and the rock stars—fail to appreciate. There is just as much objective evidence for someone being transgender as for any of the things Backholm mentioned. They all exists solely in the mind of the person who makes the claim and if we cannot contest one, why should we be able to contest any of the others?
Supporters of such supposed protections for trans folk are shocked to learn that there are no objective legal criteria or benchmarks that an individual must meet in order to be declared or accepted as transgender. There is no threshold of clothing change-over, body modification, doctor’s diagnosis or legal declaration that must be met. I think, therefore I am, is the rule here. And no one can dispute it. You could transition between male and female three times while reading this article, and if you truly believed that you did, nothing in current gender theory could prove otherwise. In fact, no criteria could tell you were wrong if you didn’t believe a bit of it. Your simple declaration is sufficient, as this man in Seattle demonstrated to the consternation of authorities.
This sloppy subjectivity is precisely what Backholm revealed with his questions to students. What he revealed was a sucking black hole in the public minds—not only on his local campus, but in the collective mind of far too many free-thinking elites.
Glenn T. Stanton debates and lectures extensively on the issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and parenting at universities and churches around the world.
He is the author of eight books on families, theology and gender and contributor to many others. His latest two are Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor: Being Friends in Grace and Truth and The Ring Makes All the Difference.