Transgender Madness Threatens Children and Parents

Transgender activists are angry at the New York Times… again.

A few days ago, the Times published a lengthy investigative article looking into the number of youths who have been medically or surgically “transitioned,” but who subsequently regretted their decision.

Among the stories it recounts is that of Grace Powell, who began to question whether she was “transgender” when she was in her early teens. Ultimately, Powell began hormone “therapy” at the age of 17, before undergoing a double mastectomy.

Looking back at her tumultuous teenage years, however, Powell now tells a disturbingly common story. The idea that she might be “transgender” first began to appeal to her, she now realizes, precisely at the moment she was undergoing the disconcerting physical changes of puberty. “I felt so detached from my body, and the way it was developing felt hostile to me,” she told the Times.

In other words, Powell experienced feelings that often plague pubescent children. The difference now, however, is that many children will encounter the idea that if you are uncomfortable in your body, it could be because you were “born into the wrong body” — that you are, in fact, the opposite gender.

Standing Against Transgender Ideology

When Powell encountered the idea of transgenderism, it struck her as a possible explanation for her feelings of awkwardness. Instead of helping her learn to embrace her body and her God-given sex, however, the adults in her life enthusiastically encouraged her in her exploration of transgenderism. As she tells it now, none of the therapists or other “experts” she spoke with bothered to explore the possible root cause of her gender dysphoria, including past trauma or other psychological issues.

“I wish there had been more open conversations,” Powell, who has since “detransitioned” and embraced her biological sex, told the Times. “But I was told there is one cure and one thing to do if this is your problem, and this will help you.”


New York Times Surprisingly Critical of Pro-Trans Groupthink

As you might expect, the New York Times article generally affirms transgenderism. Nevertheless, the article is surprisingly frank in criticizing the excesses and pervasive groupthink within the world of transgender activism.

The author, Pamela Paul, notes that the rhetoric has become so heated that even many extremely socially liberal parents, psychologists, and social workers, who simply have concerns about how premature “transitioning” may be harming children, have found that the only people that are willing even to listen to their stories are conservative media outlets.

Within the liberal media, Paul notes, breathing a hint of criticism is bound to bring down an avalanche of rage from transgender activists. Paul cites the case of Stephanie Winn, a therapist in Oregon who has helped many young people become “transgender.” However, as more and more children came to her practice claiming to be “transgender,” but who had no previous history of gender dysphoria, Winn began to have misgivings. She began recommending that such children take things slower. For this, she was targeted by transgender activists, who accused her of being anti-trans. In the end, she simply got out of the business of dealing with gender dysphoria cases.

Given this, it is an encouraging sign of the times that such an article got published in the Times at all.


Stats Show Encouraging Trends

Although transgender activists in the media are extremely skilled in transmitting the message that anybody who questions their dogmas is ipso facto a bigot, we are seeing more and more indications that this manufactured consensus is beginning to break.

Polls are showing that a strong majority of ordinary people do not agree, for instance, that teens should be allowed to undergo hormone “therapy” or transgender surgeries, or that they should be allowed to “transition” at school without their parents being told. Importantly, these views cross political lines, with a significant percentage of liberals expressing misgivings about ideas that transgender activists want us to believe ought never to be questioned.

What makes the Times decision to publish this latest article so encouraging is that the paper has come under serious fire from transgender activists in the past. Last February, over 1200 contributors to the Times signed an open letter criticizing the paper.

Standing Against Transgender Ideology

Among various complaints, the letter criticized the paper for giving airtime to concerns that sometimes children are being rushed into irreversible medical and surgical procedures, and for sympathetically reporting on parents who are worried that schools are deliberately keeping them in the dark about their children’s “transgenderism.” Amusingly, the signatories also accused the liberal paper of “institutionalized homophobia.”


Parents Lose Custody of Children with Gender Dysphoria

One of the most telling sentences in the letter to the Times states that, “parents who want schools to out their trans children are part of a legal strategy pursued by anti-trans hate groups.” Got that? According to transgender activists, simply by being a parent who wants to be told that your child is “transgender” puts you in the company of “anti-trans hate groups.”

Try telling that to couples Todd and Krista Kolstad and Jeremy and Mary Cox, who both recently went public with their tales of what happened when their teenage children decided to identify as “transgender.”

The Kolstads told the Daily Mail that their daughter Jennifer first decided to identify as “transgender” when she was 13. The couple objected to the idea, and refused to call their daughter “Leo,” as she requested.

However, when Jennifer subsequently told friends at school that she was suicidal, Child Protective Services (CPS) got involved. She was later taken to a hospital after she told a social worker that she had tried to kill herself by consuming toxic substances. Although tests showed that she had not, in fact, consumed anything dangerous, the hospital began calling the girl “Leo.” They persisted in this, even when the parents told the hospital not to.

You can see where this is going.

girl looking in mirror and seeing boy - concept of transgenderism

CPS promptly took custody of Jennifer, arguing that “transitioning” was “in her therapeutic interest” and accused her parents of “not following recommended therapy.” To date, Jennifer remains in CPS custody, where she has begun shaving her hair and wearing a “chest binder.”

Her parents are beyond distraught. “It’s been horrible,” Krista told the Daily Mail. “Our family unit will never be the same. Even if they returned our daughter to us now, you’re not going to have the same family unit… it’s created a lot of animosity on Jennifer’s part towards us, she doesn’t believe she has to listen to us as her parents anymore.”

Meanwhile, Jeremy and Mary Cox are going through the same nightmare. Like the Kolstads, the Coxs have lost custody of their child, a son, after they refused his demands that they treat him as a girl. After losing all legal appeals to regain custody of their child, the couple has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their case.

“No other fit parent should lose custody of their child or face a government muzzle on their deeply held religious beliefs and best judgment,” reads their legal brief to the high Court. It adds that the parents, “have exhausted every other remedy and are gravely concerned that the state of Indiana will come for their other children. This Court’s intervention is needed.”


Whistleblowers Expose Worrying Trends in Transgender “Treatment” 

What makes stories like these especially egregious, is the growing amount of evidence that the so-called transgender “experts” have been following a model that has basically no serious scientific evidence to back it up.

surgeons during operation

As we saw above, Grace Powell was able to get prescribed powerful hormones and to undergo permanent, life-altering surgery, without a single therapist probing into possible causes for her gender dysphoria or exploring alternatives to such drastic interventions.

A growing number of whistleblowers at medical centers endorsing transgenderism are exposing the reason why they have been explicitly instructed never to question a child’s claim of being “transgender.” Instead, they are ordered to “affirm” the child on a path that leads ineluctably towards hormone “therapy” and body-mutilating surgery.

The latest whistleblower to step forward is Tamara Pietzke, who published her devastating testimony just a few days ago in The Free Press. The title of her article tells you almost everything you need to know, “I Was Told to Approve All Teen Gender Transitions. I Refused.”

Pietzke explains that she has worked as a therapist for six years. “But in the past year I noticed a concerning new trend in my field,” she writes. “I was getting the message from my supervisors that when a young person I was seeing expressed discomfort with their gender — the diagnostic term is gender dysphoria — I should throw out all my training.”

“No matter the patient’s history or other mental health conditions that could be complicating the situation, I was simply to affirm that the patient was transgender, and even approve the start of a medical transition.”

One of Pietzke’s patients was a 13-year-old who had been sexually abused by multiple men, had a bipolar mother who abused her, and suffered from a litany of psychological issues, including severe anxiety, depression, and autism. During therapy the girl even showed the therapist extremely graphic pornography that she had on her phone, with which she seemed to be obsessed. She also suffered from gender dysphoria.

Clearly, this is a girl who needed extensive, careful therapy.

compassionate counseling session

However, when the girl’s guardian asked the therapist to prescribe cross-sex hormones, Pietzke objected, worried that given the host of complex psychological issues at play, prescribing such powerful drugs was premature. In response, however, her supervisors reprimanded her, accusing her of being “biased” against “transgender” children.


Common Sense Laws Protect Vulnerable Children  

Clearly, this is madness. In fact, it is so mad that even the New York Times is willing to risk the wrath of transgender activists to point out the emperor’s nakedness. As the Times article and many other testimonies make clear, this madness is resulting in severe, life-long harm to vulnerable youth.

No wonder that more and more political jurisdictions are looking at stemming the tide of harm by passing regulations banning transgender “treatments” for minors or requiring that schools inform parents that their children are claiming to be “transgender.”

The Canadian province of Alberta is the latest jurisdiction to protect children and parental rights. The province recently enacted legislation that bans prescribing puberty blockers and hormones to children under the age of 16. The province also requires parental consent for children 16 and under to change their name or pronouns at school. This is quite remarkable, given Canada’s generally socially liberal leanings.

Numerous American states have also passed such laws. There is also a growing trend of European countries passing regulations urging caution in cases of children with gender dysphoria, or outright banning radical interventions like surgery in minors.

African mother holding adopted child - transgender parental rights

This is all very encouraging. It is also nothing more than common sense.

When vulnerable children are being systematically targeted by predatory ideologues who are explicitly seeking to cut parents out of the picture, then it is quite right for the state to step in to reaffirm the rights of parents.

In this, of course, the state is simply catching up with the common sense encapsulated in the Catholic Church’s firm, unshakeable teachings on parental rights and human nature. Indeed, while the world has gone mad over this latest ideological fad, to the point of sacrificing the bodies and lives of children, the Church and its shepherds have patiently continued to call us back to sanity.

Let us hope and pray that the Times article is a sign that the pendulum is beginning to swing back, and that no more children will be sacrificed on the altar of progressive ideology. Already, far too many have.

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. Christine Masters on February 17, 2024 at 1:16 PM

    I absolutely agree, the indoctrination of children in persuading them to change gender is evil, in most cases the children are very young and some even 4 years old, if a boy is seen playing with a doll they ((these adults) assume they are a girl and vice versa, they are too young to decide anything like this in most cases and then comes the reality they made a mistake but cannot have a reversal. Children go through stages and wonder about things but these people who convince them they need to change gender are interfering with their normal development, Why? It must stop, children must be left alone and not be interfered with, there have been some harrowing stories from young people who changed gender because they were made to feel they would get better when in fact they have a mental health problem so this is very serious that these people are allowed to indoctrinate them and ruin their lives.

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