Gender Ideology, a Radical Attack on Family

Negative Impact upon Families, Children, and Society

Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion.
—  Pope Francis

lgbt rainbowThe speed with which gender ideology has grown from the radical fringe to a movement dominating our media, legislation, education and entertainment is nothing less than staggering. Unless you are a professional LGBT activist, keeping up with the bewildering lexicon of new terms and “gender-neutral” pronouns is an exercise in futility. Even more disorienting is how quickly their use has become mandatory by the gatekeepers of culture and political correctness.

Last week, news broke that Twitter had introduced a new “hateful conduct” policy. The policy bans, among other things, “misgendering” and “deadnaming.” To “misgender” someone is to refer to them by a gender other than the one they currently claim to have. That’s relatively self-explanatory.

But I had to look up “deadnaming.” Apparently, this is when you refer to someone by the name they were given or used before they “transitioned.” If you were to refer to the Olympic athlete who now calls himself Caitlyn Jenner as “Bruce,” you would be guilty of “deadnaming” him. And for this, you are a hater, and worthy of banishment by Twitter.

But as self-evidently totalitarian as the gender movement is becoming and has become, nothing disturbs me as much as what this movement is doing to children.

Celine Dion, and Prepubescent Drag Queens

Celine Dion is making news this week for all the wrong reasons. With a new video, Dion has launched a new line of ‘gender-neutral’ babies and children’s clothing. In the video, which can only be described as bizarre, Celine breaks into a hospital maternity ward, where she finds two rows of newborn babies, boys and girls. Celine unzips a black leather bag, from which she takes out a package of black glitter which she blows over the sleeping children. Immediately the pink and blue clothes vanish and are replaced with drab, gender-neutral clothes in shades of black, white and grey.

Drab, in fact, is a generous description. Some of the clothing in Celine’s new line –CELINUNUNU – look like something out of a dystopian nightmare. Many of the shirts are emblazoned with the words “New Order” – presumably referring to Celine’s mission to eliminate traditional gender-roles. Some of the other articles of clothing bear skulls…lots of skulls. There are lots of photos of children and babies on the website for Celine’s new clothing line. None of them are smiling. In one photo a young child, who appears unhappy (other product shots show children staring blankly ahead) is covered in a “onesie” of skulls.

Anyone who has been around children knows that, given they are well-loved, they are naturally happy. Children are energetic, rambunctious; they love to laugh, they love to play. They love a good story, a good joke, a good game. Any parent or educator worth their salt wants to protect this carefreeness, to carve out space for children to develop their personality and talents without being burdened by the complicated troubles of the adult world. Instead, LGBT activists seem hell-bent on inaugurating children into a bleak word of politicized ideology and hyper-sexualization.

Earlier this month Good Morning America, one of the most-watched television shows in America, featured 11-year-old “drag queen” Desmond Napoles. The co-hosts of the show tripped over each other in their efforts to praise Desmond for his “bravery.” The audience beamed and clapped and laughed. But watching this young boy, who should be outside playing tag and catch and riding his bike, slither up the aisle, strutting like a show-girl is enough to make one weep. Who is responsible for this? Who has stolen this boy’s innocence?

Desmond and the hosts of the show furiously pretended that he was simply “expressing himself” and being “true” to himself. But this is a lie. Eleven-year-old boys do not sprawl sensually on the floor and writhe and strut and put on wigs and makeup and elaborate costumes, unless someone has coached them on how to do so.

The Real Agenda: Grooming

Drag queens, once exclusively encountered in the kind of “adult” establishments where decent folk wouldn’t dare set foot, have emerged from the brothels and strip clubs and ended up – of all places – in our children’s schools and libraries. Across the country libraries are hosting children’s storytime with drag queens. This week, one such drag queen openly admitted what he is doing. “This is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation,” said Dylan Pontiff.

Boys love to be boys!

And the next generation is indeed being groomed. One UK teacher recently stepped forward anonymously, describing how at her school there are currently seventeen children transitioning their gender. Seventeen! This teacher explained that when one student approached her about her gender dysphoria, she supported the child and referred her to a transgender clinic. She now regrets that decision, since the girl – who is autistic – is now planning on going through a double mastectomy. Other children at the school, many of whom are also autistic, are taking hormone blockers, and planning on irreversible surgical mutilations of their bodies.

The teacher says she is convinced most of the children aren’t even suffering from gender dysphoria. They’re simply vulnerable to persuasion. “They are just young people with mental health problems who have found an identity and want to be part of a group of like-minded people,” she said. She says the first student began “educating” other students on transgenderism. She described this as a form of “grooming.” The media, celebrities like Celine Dion, and many politicians are enthusiastically cooperating with this grooming by presenting gender dysphoria as normal, admirable, and a cause for celebration.

And what kind of life is it that Mr. Pontiff and his ilk are “grooming” children into? One eye-opening essay published by the New York Times this month gives us some idea. In the essay, titled “My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy,” author Andrew Long Chu (a biological male who “identifies” as female) describes how he is planning on undergoing sex change surgery, even though he knows that it likely won’t make him happy. On the contrary. When Mr. Chu started taking female hormones to “transition” this made the psychological distress caused by his gender dysphoria “demonstrably worse.” The surgery will likely only do the same; after all, the fake “vagina” that the surgeons will construct, says Mr. Chu, will be treated by his body as a “wound” (which it is) until the day he dies. But Mr. Chu thinks he should be able to get the surgery anyway. Why? Because he wants it. This is the radical “freedom” that our culture now celebrates, and into which gender ideologues are co-opting our children: the “freedom” to be miserable.

Children are vulnerable to peer pressure and fads. Adults – above all parents – are supposed to be the voices of reason in the room, standing up against irrational trends and protecting children from manipulative ideologues who want to claim them as feathers in their cap. Instead, in many cases the children’s parents are encouraging the children’s confusion, actively pushing them into a sexual subculture that, statistically, is rife with depression, drug abuse, and suicide. In many cases, one can’t help but suspect that it is the parents who planted the first seeds of gender confusion in the first place. Why would any parent want to do that?

The Diabolical Attack on Children

This week many mainstream media sources are roundly mocking a Catholic exorcist who responded to Celine Dion’s gender-neutral clothing line by speculating that the spread of gender ideology is of demonic origin. “The devil is going after children by confusing gender,” said Msgr. John Esseff, an exorcist in the diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania. “When a child is born, what is the first thing we say about that child? It’s a boy, or it’s a girl. That is the most natural thing in the world to say. But to say that there is no difference is satanic.”

Many media outlets are treating this as self-evidently preposterous. And yet, who with clear vision can acknowledge the deliberate effort to co-opt even the youngest and most innocent children into this extreme ideology, with all the physical and psychological dangers involved, and not conclude that this is diabolical?

This is not to say that any one person involved is evil. On the contrary, many gender-confused people are struggling with an enormous cross and urgently need our compassion and prayers. Many others promoting gender ideology at least seem to believe that they are motivated by compassion. But even if we must resist any impulse to demonize people, we must acknowledge gender ideology as a form of mass delusion that is threatening the innocence and lives of our children. Satan is real and he is the Father of Lies. As social pressure continues to mount to either support or stay silent in the face of gender ideology, we must resist the temptation to capitulate. We must keep our eyes open, and engage productively, calmly, compassionately and rationally in this crucial cultural debate.

As Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson noted about this issue: “If you don’t stand your ground, then all that happens is people push you backwards… But if you don’t stand up and do something about it, especially when it affects your own family, then all that’s going to happen is that it’s going to continue to spread.”

St. Michael the Archangel

This has been a bleak column to write, and I’m sure it is a bleak one to read. But as Jeeves once told Wooster, it is better to know “what tune the devil is playing.” We can’t afford to close our eyes. But neither  do we need to give in to hopelessness. On the contrary, we cling to hope. We must hold close to Christ and his mother. We must invoke their protection on our families and culture. And finally, as I always urge, we must pray. I agree with Msgr. Esseff that there is a diabolical origin to the cultural confusion we are witnessing right now. That is one reason why I believe that we must resurrect the prayer to St. Michael, which I hope you will join me in praying:

Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.


As president of Human Life International, Fr. Boquet is a leading expert on the international pro-life and family movement, having journeyed to nearly 90 countries on pro-life missions over the last decade. Father Boquet works with pro-life and family leaders in 116 counties that partner with HLI to proclaim and advance the Gospel of Life. Read his full bio here.

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  1. Gerry S on December 4, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    Good article and comments.
    St. Thomas Aquinas said that the first deleterious effect of the abuse of the sexual faculty is in the intellect. Any wonder so many people cannot reason properly today? I once informed a local ordinary in my diocese of a Newman Center chaplain who was preaching in direct contradiction to Church teaching on human sexuality, particularly the work of Cardinal (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) Ratzinger head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. In addition to that, the chaplain had a wonderful recipe for altar bread(?) containing honey. Instead of correcting the chaplain, the ordinary promoted him to be in charge of all campus ministries in the diocese. God save our children.
    Hosea, in his beautiful prophetic book of the Bible said with a broken heart: “…in going after your lovers,[you] forgot me, says the Lord.”
    As a Franciscan of 40+ years, I have learned a prayer popular among Franciscans that I highly recommend in our age:
    Ecce Crucem Domini! Behold the Cross of the Lord!
    Fugite partes Adversae! Be gone all evil Powers!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda, The Lion of the tribe of Judah,
    Radix David! Alleluia! The root of David has conquered! Alleluia!
    This prayer is part of the longer form of the prayer to St. Michael and is believed to have been given by St. Anthony of Padua to a poor woman troubled by temptations.

  2. Katherine on December 4, 2018 at 12:45 AM


    YES! You nailed it. I have the same final page of that storybook pop into my head frequently, for years now. Picturing a whole town (nation) full of gaping mouthed and sheepish adults, at hearing the most simple truth from a babe. Which is why it is ironic that there is such a frantic drive to adultify our children. To give them too much responsibility. To ascribe to them characteristics that are not fitting for their development (mental, physical, emotional, sexual). And also hand over the baton for “wisdom” — that common theme that young people today magically have all the answers that old folks are missing. To reshape these little ones so that they can no longer see the reality of the world as it exists.

    And as my own kids age, I feel more strongly that all the adults in the world need to stop shoving our dysfunctions upon the young. Take up the charge to be the parents, Godparents, grandparents, and interested aunts and uncles that we are called to be because of the nature of our age and life experiences. To be WISE and AUTHENTIC examples of ADULTHOOD for these children and teenagers!

    Young people should be a source of joy and delight and play and curiosity and problem solving. But they are not adults. They deserve to have their innocence protected and honored and to grow up in world that (while imperfect) makes common sense.

    Would be grand if a clear minded, thoughtful, grounded, creative movie maker were to create a screenplay with a modern rendition of The Emperor. A cautionary metaphorical tale.

    So that more people can find the courage and the call to say, “That is not the truth.”

    (The other scene that comes to mind is from the wonderful Inigo Montoya of The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)

  3. Cathy Moliski on December 3, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    Adults have done a poor job shedding light on this. My very first reaction, years ago, to all of this? The Emperor’s New Clothes. Why are people buying into this? Perhaps it will take a child to point, and exclaim, “Look! He’s naked!”

  4. Michel Thibodeau on December 3, 2018 at 3:23 PM

    Nice words …you may now want to help us being “compassionate” AND “calm” under such assaults! Not easy when wearing a layman’s garb which apparently appears prejudiced and irrationally “non-descript” enough!

  5. Margaret Murphy on December 3, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    And the following Drag Queen Story Time at a library north of Detroit, MI
    This December event is the first of 3 scheduled monthly events…it is titled “Holiday Stories”

  6. Margaret Murphy on December 3, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    Here’s what we’re dealing with in Michigan with elected officials who apparently have time on their hands for NONSENSE…

  7. Katherine on December 3, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    Bleak perhaps, only because there is such a need for this writing. But full of light, indeed – because you have thoughtfully and prayerfully and clearly written with Truth.

    Thank you for sitting down to wrestle with ALL of this and giving such a thorough teaching and reflection.

    I read about Desmond weeks ago, the story haunted me. I have prayed for him, lamenting the tragedy that is his crushed childhood. And the gleefulness with which it has been promoted, celebrated, and lifted up as a symbol of “freedom of expression.”

    In this piece, you connected so many sad dots that have been popping up in news, media, blogs, etc. There is definitely one main theme underlying them all: the massive God-shaped hole in people’s hearts and souls. They frantically seek happiness to fill it, while busying and entertaining selves to death with internet, computer games, social media, movies and music and television. There is no peace of mind. No peace of self. No time to honestly think about thinking or examine feelings. Just reaction, instant gratification.

    This is the time of the Selfie. And our grownups, children, old people — our entire culture is harmed by this radical inward — but highly superficial gaze. Satan does appreciate a vacuum. He will use tragedy, narcissism, confusion, and the fracturing of real relationship to his benefit.

    I am ever the Pollyanna, however. Am glad to be living in this time. To pray for all of these people hurting. To read the lives of the saints and learn how they lived in their own troubled times. To ask God to show me the one person or people that I can help THIS DAY in some small way. To celebrate both Life and Faith with my family. To work hard at marriage. To encourage others to engage with discovering their real vocations. To recognize neighbor and build community whenever possible. To wake up each day. To be able to go to church and worship freely.

    There is a joyful, beautiful antidote to the darkness created by today’s fads and furies. We find it in the manger, on the cross, the empty tomb, the wonderful Book, and in his highly imperfect and struggling but here til the end of time church.

    Happy Advent to you, Father Boquet. Thank you for living your calling and priesthood in such a public, courageous, ever hopeful way. Write on, sir, write on!

    Peace be with you.

  8. Paola on December 3, 2018 at 12:44 PM

    Thanks Fr Boquet. You have such a clarity in writing on this complex issue and give us hope. Sometimes you feel, as a parent, you cannot protect your children any longer…..I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the diabolical around us and wish the Holy Spirit can provide additional inspiration for us not only to stand up but also to regain the normality. Hopefully, this craziness will wake up more people, this radical minority will be pushed backwards. Unfortunately the MSM and elites like actors etc seem to have been enrolled to make us believe this is the ‘normal’….. I have boycotted since many years TVs, Cinemas and the Music industry as they seem all enrolled by the diabolical….. hope to keep my children away from all these false and fake “stars” who use their fame to indoctrinate the masses and now even children…. like they are not ‘our’ children….when all of this will be over? it is like an ongoing nightmare…

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