“Today children – children! – are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. Why are they teaching this?” ― Pope Francis, Meeting with the Polish Bishops
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, made the above remarks to a group of bishops during a visit to Poland in 2016. As the Holy Father noted, gender ideology is being exported to developing countries by people who demand that schools teach these radical ideas in exchange for development funds. “These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this is terrible!” he said.
I share the Holy Father’s dismay. He is quite right to denounce such efforts to export such damaging ideas to countries that often have strong pro-life and pro-family values. However, in some ways things are even worse here in the developed world, where ideologues are not only ideologically colonizing the minds of children but are actively recruiting them into making irreversible medical decisions that cause enormous, life-long harm.
That is the brutal truth exposed in one of the most important recent articles on the issue of transgenderism. The article is by a whistleblower named Jamie Reed, who spent years working at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
During her years there, Reed oversaw the cases of nearly 1,000 children who underwent transgender procedures, including receiving artificial hormones and body-mutilating surgeries. However, as time went on, she became increasingly uncomfortable with the speed with which children were being ushered through the process and the total unwillingness of healthcare workers at the clinic even to consider that they might be doing harm.
As Reed explains towards the beginning of the article, she is extremely progressive in her personal believes. She describes herself as “queer,” and is in a union with someone who claims to be “transgender.” However, she says, she left the transgender clinic at which she worked last November, convinced that “we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care.”
No Protocols, Parents Sidelined, Lives Destroyed
As Reed describes it, even from the beginning she was shocked at the lack of careful protocols for assessing children. Initially, she said, most of the children coming in were boys who wanted to be girls. However, things changed drastically around 2015, when suddenly the number of girls identifying as “transgender” coming to the clinic skyrocketed. This same phenomenon has been witnesses in various other developed nations as well. In the UK, for instance, alarm bells went off in 2018 when it was revealed that the number of girls identifying as “transgender” had increased by over 4000% in less than ten years!
Many of these girls suffered from other mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and autism. Many of them also had no prior history of gender dysphoria. Reed says she expressed concern that some of these girls’ transgenderism might be induced by a social contagion effect. However, her concerns were brushed aside.
Instead of taking time to explore the girls’ mental health issues, healthcare workers rapidly put them on a pathway to “transitioning,” often after they had met with a therapist only once or twice. The first order of “treatment” was cross-sex hormones. However, as Reed notes, many of the children simply did not, or were unequipped to understand the gravity of the side effects of these drugs, including permanent and significant alterations to their bodies (voice drop, breast growth, changes to the genitalia, etc.), increased risks of things like liver toxicity, and life-long sterility.
I wonder how many children in their early teens, having just entered puberty, have the slightest notion of what it means to permanently give up all hope of ever having children of their own. Reed recounts one heart-breaking case in which a girl contacted the office three months after having a double mastectomy, her breasts removed, saying that she was de-transitioning. “I want my breasts back,” she told the nurse.
Even worse, however, Reed noted that the doctors and fellow workers at the clinic tended to purposefully sideline parents. If one parent was enthusiastic about the gender transition, and the other parent wasn’t, then they would give all the decision-making power to the supportive parent. Reed recounts one case in which a mom showed clear signs of manipulating her 11-year-old daughter towards gender transition in order to get back at her ex-husband, who opposed the transition. Despite the red flags, the mom was given all the decision-making power, and the girl’s father pushed out of the picture.
But when Reed started speaking up and advocating for slowing down before putting children on these drugs, she was told that she was being insufficiently “supportive” of the children’s new “gender identity.” At one meeting, she says, she was told that she needed to stop questioning “the medicine and the science” and to, “Get on board, or get out.”
She got out.
No Courage to Speak Up
I am deeply grateful to Reed for speaking up. Even though I disagree with her on many of her beliefs, her courage in standing up against the judgment and hatred of her own ideological tribe to speak truth to those in power in defense of the innocent is an example for us all.
Unfortunately, there are so few right now who are willing to take a risk and stand up to the transgender juggernaut.
Several recent stories from schools in Canada, where transgender ideology is even more advanced than here, illustrate this in a disturbing way. One story involves a mentally disturbed shop class teacher at a school near Toronto who claims to be transgender. As part of his new “identity” he wears massive prosthetic breasts to school. The outfit is highly sexualized, and simply grotesque.
However, despite a public outcry after photos and videos of the teacher emerged, the teacher has continued to wear them into class, and the school board took no meaningful action against him. Only recently, months after the fact, has the school made some half-hearted moves to introduce a dress code policy that might possibly be used to force the teacher to abandon the provocative outfit.
In saner ages, the school trustees would have immediately thrown the teacher out, as being fundamentally unfit to be around children. Meanwhile, every parent in that school would have threatened to remove their child from school until the teacher was gone. Protecting children from sexual creeps is the bare minimum responsibility of adults.
Instead, while some parents have indeed protested, and some action has (slowly) been taken, nearly everyone is tiptoeing around the issue, being very careful to make sure that all criticisms carefully affirm the teacher’s sacred “right” to identify and dress as a woman. The consequence is the teacher teaches on, thumbing his nose at everyone.
And once again, it is the children, vulnerable, impressionable, and innocent, who suffer. They are the ones who are sternly told not to take photos of their teacher, and to “respect” his decision, making sure not to show any discomfort or displeasure at the fact that there is something seriously wrong with their teacher.
The next story is even worse. Last fall, a student by the name of Josh Alexander, who attends St. Joseph’s Catholic High School near Toronto, made remarks in class during a discussion affirming that there are only two genders. He subsequently organized a protest in support of keeping restrooms at the school sex segregated. For this, he was suspended from school for the rest of the year.
Josh decided to stand up for his beliefs, however. Despite being ordered not to come to the school, a few days ago he went to school and sat down in one of his classes. The school, incredibly, called the police on Josh, and he was arrested. For saying that there are only two genders…in a Catholic school!
But as far as I’m concerned, the worst thing about Josh’s story isn’t that he was suspended or arrested. It is that so far as I can find there is no evidence that any of the adults at that school have stood up in support of him. If a student had organized a protest in support of allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms or changerooms of the opposite sex, he would have been celebrated and feted by the media and in the school as a promising young man.
A War Against the Creator
During the same remarks given to the Polish bishops noted above, Pope Francis recounted a conversation that he had with Pope Benedict XVI.
“Holiness,” Pope Francis recalled Benedict saying, “this is the age of sin against God the Creator.” “He is very perceptive,” continued Pope Francis, “God created man and woman; God created the world in a certain way… and we are doing the exact opposite. … Benedict’s observation should make us think. ‘This is the age of sin against God the Creator. That will help us.”
In June of 2019, the Vatican released “Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education.” This 31-page document, outlines Church teaching on the complementarity of the sexes, providing a Christian anthropology while affirming the dignity of all human beings.
While including a call for love and respect for the suffering from gender dysphoria, the document rejects the idea that gender is distinct from biological sex. A transgender identity, the document asserts, seeks to “annihilate the concept of nature.” The document argues that identifying outside of a gender binary is “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants.” Our response is to advance a Christian anthropology, a vision that “sees sexuality as a fundamental component of one’s personhood.”
It is critical that Christians educate themselves on the deeper issues underlying this transgender craze. Popes Benedict and Francis are exactly right. Transgenderism as an ideology is in many ways the ultimate form of rebellion against creation. It assumes that a human being, through a sheer act of will, can become anything that he or she wants. As some pro-family activists have rightly pointed out, there is no reason it should stop with gender. Indeed, we have already seen some people claiming to “identify” as people of other races, or even animals of different species!
True Freedom in What God Has Given
However, what the Catholic Church teaches, is that true freedom is not found in rebellion against all rules and strictures. Any being less infinite than God is necessarily limited in certain respects. There are things that the creature is, and things that it isn’t. There are actions that are good for it in light of its nature, and actions that aren’t good for it.
Freedom is not found in pointlessly straining to become what you are not, or to change the fabric of reality. It is found in willingly conforming ourselves to what God has given us. As the rapidly growing number of “de-transitioners” are now testifying, while they thought they could find happiness and freedom through becoming transgender, instead all they found was sorrow, heartbreak, and suffering. It is only by re-embracing their God-given sex that they have found the freedom to become more fully who they are.
Many transgender individuals are confused, suffering, broken souls, who have often had troubled childhoods, or suffered from bullying or various mental health issues. They deserve our love and compassion. Transgenderism as an ideology, however, bears echo of the rebellion of Satan: non serviam (“I will not serve”!). I can become whatever I will. And whatever I will must be affirmed as good, even if it leads to my destruction, and the destruction of others.
There is no excuse for the adult advocates of this ideology, especially those who are targeting children, cheer-leading children on their way to physical mutilation and a lifetime of suffering. And there is no excuse for adults who stand on the sidelines allowing this to happen.
Gender ideology is being mainstreamed, and children are being exploited and exposed to grave harm, especially within school culture, i.e., through courses, extracurricular activities, lecturers, organizations, etc. Parents need to stop being passive and push back against this radical tide that is harming their children and ultimately our society.
Understandably, there’s justifiable fear that when parents speak up, they or their children will suffer being ostracized and bullied. But parents have the “original, primary and inalienable right” to educate their children (The Charter of the Rights of the Family). Therefore, parents, who have ultimate responsibility for their children, need support in protecting them from government and education bureaucrats and radical activists that show blatant disregard for their parental rights. Also, parents must unite and work together to make their voices heard, bringing their concerns to school board meetings and public hearings.
Moreover, we need more Jamie Reeds and Josh Alexanders. We need courageous people who are willing to buck the global groupthink that has infiltrated so many of our institutions and brought down a blanket of silence in relation to an issue that is causing so much suffering. As Reed has shown, though I disagree with her on many of her beliefs, this need not be a “conservative” issue. It is a pro-child issue. Thank God for those who have said “enough is enough.” Let us pray that more and more will resist this madness, standing up for our children who must be protected from this devouring ideology.
Horrific problem and no one is accountable. To allow this to happen to children who have trouble making small everyday decisions in their lives> it’s Satan at work in the worst ways. What’s happened to the adults in our world today,,, they certainly don’t have God in their life.
This is the most harmful ideology that has come to children…I almost can’t read about it it’s so disturbing…and preposterous!!!!!