Stand Against Transgender Madness
[Disclaimer: This week’s subject matter and its discussion involve some explicit content. Out of respect for our readers, some words have been altered. The original language can be ascertained by accessing the link that is provided within the column. Please be aware.]
A few weeks ago, we learned of a terrible – but, in many ways, sadly predictable – twist in a recent incident involving a “transgender” individual. You might remember that a couple months ago, a video began circulating of a deeply upset woman at a spa in Los Angeles, complaining to staff that a man had exposed himself in the women’s area of the spa. The woman also claimed that the man was visibly sexually aroused.
Staff, however, refused to intervene, claiming that as a “transgender” person, the man (i.e., “transgender woman”) had a right to be naked in the women’s changing area.
After the video in the incident went viral, the spa published a statement defending the staff’s decision. “Like many other metropolitan areas, Los Angeles contains a transgender population, some of whom enjoy visiting a spa. Wi Spa strives to meet the needs of all its customers,” they said.
The mainstream media, as is to be expected, rose up in outraged defense of the “oppressed” transgender individual. Some media even tried to dismiss the video as an anti-transgender “hoax.”
In perhaps the most egregious instance of mainstream reporting, the LA Times editorial board published an editorial saying that there was “no doubt” that the spa acted correctly “in defending the right of a transgender customer to be nude in the women’s area, even though the sight of male-appearing genitalia discomfited at least one female customer, who complained at the front desk.”
“Male-appearing genitalia” must be among the most Orwellian phrases ever invented. However, it is almost as bad as the phrase that comes up a few sentences down. “Everyone” the editors wrote, “transgender customers, members of every faith and women who are upset by the sight of male [genitalia] (original word changed) — has the right to use the spa and other public accommodations. It just happens that in this case, the public accommodation also includes nudity.”
Did you catch that? “[W]omen who are upset by the sight of male [genitalia].” What an appallingly, breathtakingly derogatory way to refer to all those perfectly normal women who rightly expect that when they go into sex-segregated facilities, those facilities will be, well, sex-segregated.
A Predictable Twist
Then, a few weeks ago, came the twist. The New York Post reported that Los Angeles police had “discreetly” filed charges against Darren Agee Merager for indecent exposure. Yes, Merager was the “transgender woman” whom the LA Times had been so eager to portray as an oppressed minority. And yes, Merager (who naturally claims to be a woman) was a sex offender with two prior convictions for indecent exposure in 2002 and 2003.
According to the Post, he is also currently facing charges for indecent exposure, stemming from a 2018 incident, and has convictions for other crimes including burglary.
According to the Post, the LA County Sheriff’s department had circulated a flyer in 2018 warning about Merager, who, the flyer said, “claims to identify as female so he can access women’s locker rooms and showers.”
Merager, of course, has responded to the revelations of his history of sex crimes by claiming to be the victim of anti-transgender sentiment.
All of this, of course, was perfectly predictable. Pro-family advocates have long argued that denying the fact of biological sex would inevitably lead to cases where women and children are put at risk by unscrupulous sex predators.
However, progressive ideologues are so intent on breaking down every barrier, every distinction, every reality that they find inconvenient or oppressive in pursuit of their radically re-envisioned society, that they seem never to give a moment’s thought to what happens when all the laws, distinctions, and truths that have guided society and protected the vulnerable are gone.
It all reminds me of a famous scene in the film A Man for All Seasons. St. Thomas More is speaking with his daughter and his future son-in-law, William Roper, who are urging More to “arrest” the villain Richard Rich, even though they have no definite proof that he has broken the law. More says no, that he would let even the Devil go, if he had not broken the law. Roper cries out that he would “cut down every law in England” to get the Devil.
“Oh?” replies More, “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”
The Consequences of Rewriting Reality
In many ways, Merager is useful in that he has exposed the fundamental madness of transgender ideology, and the natural consequences of the demolition of our understanding of biological sex. Not only does Merager claim he is transgender, but he has pushed the logic of transgenderism to its absurd limit, arguing that the indecent exposure charges against him are in fact proof that he is being systematically oppressed.
“You allow [trans women] to go in there [women’s spaces] and then people simply claim indecent exposure and you’re arrested,” Merager told the New York Post. “If you go into an area where you’re expected to be nude, there has to be an indecent exposure exemption.”
And you know what? He’s right. Once you’ve rewritten the law to eradicate recognition of the sexual difference, then you have no reliable, non-discriminatory way to enforce indecent exposure laws. The charging police officers and presiding judge will have to figure out a way that they can reliably distinguish “indecent exposure” from acceptable nudity from a “transgender” individual who has the right to be nude in the facility that matches his or her “gender identity.”
Recently, the journalist Andrew Sullivan – who happens to be homosexual – wrote an article about a new comedy routine by Dave Chappelle. Chappelle’s form of humor tends to be extremely crude, and I certainly don’t recommend it. But though he is a confirmed social liberal, his new Netflix routine apparently spends a considerable amount of time lambasting the absurdities of transgender ideology.
Naturally, Chappelle is getting raked over the coals by the media, for – as Sullivan points out – saying things that “until five minutes ago” were “too obvious to be stated.” Things like: men can’t give birth, and biological sex is binary.
“This means that the debate is no longer about 0.2 percent of humanity,” wrote Sullivan, referring to the tiny minority of transgender individuals:
It’s about imposing an anti-scientific falsehood on 99.8 percent of humanity. It means that we have to strip all women of their unique biological experience, to deny any physical differences between men and women in sports, to tell all boys and girls that they can choose their sex, to erase any places reserved exclusively for biological women, like shelters for those who have been abused by men, and to come up with terms like “pregnant people” to describe mothers. Yes — mothers. The misogyny buried in this is gob-smacking. Is Mothers’ Day next for the trans chopping block?
There are many things that I would disagree with Sullivan about. But on this, he’s dead right.
The Merager indecent exposure case is only the tip of the iceberg in the ways that transgender ideology is attacking our fundamental sense of reality and destroying the laws and norms that were designed to protect the vulnerable. And all too often, the victims are women.
This is one reason for why Pope Francis has repeatedly criticized and condemned gender ideology for being “evil.” As he said on one occasion, gender ideology attacks “diversity, distinction. It would make everything homogenous, neutral. It is an attack on difference, on the creativity of God and on men and women.”
Personally, however, I am encouraged that even social liberals like Dave Chappelle and Andrew Sullivan are publicly speaking up against the transgender madness. I pray that the tide is turning, and that our society will correct course before more women and children get hurt.
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Father Shenan J. Boquet was ordained in 1993 and is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, his home state, where he served before joining HLI as its President in August 2011. Father Boquet earned a BA from Saint Joseph Seminary College, a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Notre Dame Seminary Graduate School of Theology, a Certification Program in Health Care Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and a Master of Science in Bioethics (MSBe) from the University of Mary in Bismarck. In 2018, Father Boquet was awarded an honorary visiting professorship by the Benedict XVI Catholic University in Trujillo, Peru. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing email@example.com.