Andrew Sullivan: Gay, Lesbian Kids Are Being Consumed by Transgender Propaganda

In this June 8, 2014, file photo, a Boy Scout wears his kerchief embroidered with a rainbow knot during Salt Lake City's annual gay pride parade. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, said in the statement Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, that it's …
AP/Rick Bowmer, File

Gay and lesbian youths are being consumed by the transgender ideology, says Andrew Sullivan, the gay New York writer who helped start the gay marriage movement.

“Increasingly, girly boys and tomboys are being told that gender trumps sex, and if a boy is effeminate or bookish or freaked out by team sports, he may actually be a girl, and if a girl is rough and tumble, sporty, and plays with boys, she may actually be a boy,” Sullivan wrote September 20 for New York Magazine.

The cost of that pro-transgender propaganda may be huge, Sullivan wrote:

I don’t have children, but I sure worry about gay kids in this context. I remember being taunted by some other kids when I was young — they suggested that because I was mildly gender-nonconforming, I must be a girl. If my teachers and parents and doctors had adopted this new ideology, I might never have found the happiness of being gay and comfort in being male. How many gay kids, I wonder, are now being led into permanent physical damage or surgery that may be life-saving for many, but catastrophic for others, who come to realize they made a mistake. And what are gay adults doing to protect them? Nothing. Only a few ornery feminists, God bless them, are querying this.

In some ways, the extremism of the new transgender ideology also risks becoming homophobic. Instead of seeing effeminate men as one kind of masculinity, as legitimate as any other, transgenderism insists that girliness requires being a biological girl. Similarly, a tomboy is not allowed to expand the bandwidth of what being female can mean, but must be put into the category of male. In my view, this is not progressive; it’s deeply regressive. There’s a reason why Iran is a world leader in sex-reassignment surgery, and why the mullahs pay for it. Homosexuality in Iran is so anathema that gay boys must be turned into girls, and lesbian girls into boys, to conform to heterosexual norms. Sound a little too familiar?

Sullivan backs up his concerns by noting that the teenage sex-change treatment seems to be very hazardous to the physical health of the children:

In the case of merely confused or less informed kids, the consequences of [sex-change] treatment can be permanent. Many of these prepubescent trans-identifying children are put on puberty blockers, drugs that suppress a child’s normal hormonal development, and were originally designed for prostate cancer and premature puberty. The use of these drugs for gender dysphoria is off-labelunapproved by the FDA; there have been no long-term trials to gauge the safety or effectiveness of them for gender dysphoria, and the evidence we have of the side effects of these drugs in FDA-approved treatment is horrifying. Among adults, the FDA has received 24,000 reports of adverse reactions, over half of which it deemed serious. Parents are pressured into giving these drugs to their kids on the grounds that the alternative could be their child’s suicide. Imagine the toll of making a decision about your child like that?

Sullivan’s concern was echoed in an article describing how an Australian teenage girl broke away from her transgender clique by gathering the courage to declare herself a lesbian. The September 21 article in the Australian said:

Seemingly conservative, her parents couldn’t see the liberating appeal of trans. “They said, ‘Why would you say you’re not a woman? Wouldn’t it be better to defy all the expectations that are put on women, accept you’re a woman and be a good role model?’

“I remember going back to the queer group and saying, ‘Can you believe they said something so transphobic to me?’ ”

But she began flirting with her own thought crime. She took a risk, in private with a fellow queer group member she judged a friend. “I said, ‘I think it’s OK for women to be only into other women’, which you’d think in a tolerant inclusive community would be an OK thing to say.”

Questions and doubts came in a tumble. “It was very rapid, which was kind of scary because I felt like everything unravelled really quickly, and I think that’s somewhat common. I became really aware that I was going to lose all my friends, lose my whole [transgender] community as soon as I said I was not trans. I moved cities before I told anyone.”

The growing concerns about the radical ideology are forcing some governments to curb the use of drugs and surgery to impose “gender confirmation” on children who are too young to vote:

In the United States, President Donald Trump is changing rules and regulations to restore the clear legal and civic distinctions between the two equal, different, and complementary sexes of male and female. This policy has outraged progressive leaders and the transgender groups, and both are asking the Supreme Court to legally abolish the two sexes by declaring that people’s internal feelings of “gender” be declared as always more important than their female-or-male biological sex.

Breitbart News has extensively covered the ideological motives which explain why progressives are so eager to exploit the adults and children who say they want to change their sex, despite much evidence of the medical dangers and loneliness suffered people who try to change their sex:

The progressive authors do not urge the small number of transgender people to seek other options, for example, waiting to see if their feelings change, or perhaps accepting a gay or lesbian identity. Instead, the authors use the plight of transgender Americans to push for a government-engineered transformation of sex and human relations throughout the United States.

Progressives believe this sexual revolution is possible because they believe sexual preferences are merely a “social construct,” which can be demolished and rebuilt by government. “Sexual classification is neither natural nor universal, but rather historically and culturally specific …. [and] sexual orientation is more accurately described as fluid …  or in a constant state of (re)negotiation,” say the authors, Karen L. Blair, and Rhea Ashley Hoskin.

To change the public’s view that heterosexuality is the normal and best path, the pro-transgender progressives have adopted a strategy of using their allies in universities, media, and marketing to first downplay the linguistic, legal and civic distinctions between the two sexes.

For example, progressives are using the vague idea of  “gender” to bury the obvious notion of “male or female.” This rhetorical carpet-bombing has also encouraged the claim that men who live as women possess a “female penis.”

Also, progressives use outliers —  such as gay people, transgender people, or “intersex” people who have some biological attributes of the other sex, or the fact that women produce small levels of the male hormone, testosterone  — to deny the overwhelming popularity of two-sex heterosexual normality.

This progressives’ strategy also requires their coalition to hide or downplay facts which spotlight the importance of biological sexual differences. For example, progressives ignore the many young women and men who “detransition” by quitting their damaging efforts to become transgender, and they denounce evidence that young people who would become gays or lesbians are being “transed.”

Transgender Facts

In general, the transgender ideology says a person’s legal and civic recognition as a man or a woman must be determined by their “gender identity,” not by their biology.

The ideology also insists that men and women are more or less interchangeable, and it objects to the public’s view of the two sexes as simultaneously different, complementary, and equal.

The transgender advocates want to impose their ideology on Americans by establishing “transgender rights” laws, which would require the Department of Justice to penalize individuals and groups who insist that biology determines male-or-female status — and also shapes peoples’ likely political, civic, and personal priorities.

Polls show the transgender ideology is deeply unpopular, especially among women and parents. In 2017, former President Barack Obama told NPR that his promotion of the transgender ideology made it easier for Donald Trump to win the presidency.

Multiple polls show that most Americans reasonably wish to help and comfort people who think they are a member of the opposite sex, even as they also reject the transgender ideology’s claim that people’s legal sex is determined by their feeling of “gender identity,” not by biology. A U.K. survey shows a similar mix of sympathy for people who say they are transgender alongside lopsided opposition to the ideology.

The transgender movement is diverse, so its different factions have competing goals and priorities. It includes sexual liberationists, progressives, feminists who wish to blur distinctions between the two sexes, and people who glamorize the differences between the two sexes. It includes high-profile children, people who are trying to live as members of the opposite sex, troubled teenage girls trying to flee womanhood, and people trying to “detransition” back to their sex.

It also includes men who demand sex from lesbians, masculine autogynephiles who say they are entitled to women’s rights, alpha males who insist they are the natural leaders of women, parents eager to support their children’s’ transgender claims, wealthy donorspoliticians, political professionals, revenue-seeking drug companies, surgeons, and medical service providers.

Transgender advocates claim that two million Americans say they are transgender to a greater or lesser extent. But very few people who describe themselves as transgender undergo cosmetic surgery of the genitals. Only about 4,118 Americans surgically altered their bodies in hospitals from 2000 to 2014 to appear like members of the opposite sex, according to a pro-transgender medical study. A Pentagon report commissioned by former Defense Secretary James Mattis said that “rates for genital surgery are exceedingly low- 2% of transgender men and 10% of transgender women.”

The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender identity” has already attacked and cracked many popular social rules. Those rules help Americans manage cooperation and competition among and between complementary, different, and equal men and women.

These pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K-12 curricula, university speech codesreligious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in childrearing, children’s safety, practices to help teenagers, health outcomes, women’s ideals of beauty, culture and civil society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, military culture, and children’s sexual privacy.

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