Kelly Riddell at the Washington Times is a poseur. She would presume to be an expert on pediatric sexuality by relying on the likes of Dr. Paul McHugh and the anti-LGBT hate group, the American College of Pediatricians.
The headline of Riddell's polemic reads: “Transgendered child abuse” while the title (what shows up on your browser's bar) is “Transgender issue indoctrinating the public.” The subtitle reads:
The trend of medicating children toward their ‘authentic selves’ is wrong and dangerous
So sayeth the uninformed polemicist. Citing some television programs regarding trans kids (including the superb Trans Youth on HBO):
If you think you’re being indoctrinated — or even manipulated — by the mainstream media and Hollywood telling you how you should feel about transgender kids, it’s because you are.
The media are trying to educate people. Riddell is proof that they have not been entirely successful. Manipulation? Religious conservatives, lacking a persuasive argument (quoting scripture doesn't have much traction), label facts that they do not like “indoctrination.”
Rarely, if ever, do any of these news stories highlight the dangers of chemically transitioning a child, or depict the parents as using their kid as a political prop. As a grown adult, I would be horrified if my parents allowed NBC to film my 5-year-old self-grappling with such a question as gender for the nation to see.
No specifics. The HBO documentary certainly explores the dangers of puberty blockers and hormones. Political prop? These parents come forward because they feel that they need to help educate the public for the benefit of their own child.
And yet, we’re not supposed to think this way. We’re supposed to feel for these families, and then change our way of thinking about the centuries-old paradigms of male and female.
Apparently Ms. Riddell does need to change how she thinks about gender. In the late 19th century some equally idiotic person probably said: “That darned telephone contraption. Now I have to change how I think about talking to people.” And, please, texts that are thousands of years old reveal knowledge of trans people. They have always been around.
Sorry, as a mother of three boys five and under, I view these child transgender exposes as exploitative, and yes, down-right abusive.
Nothing is as abusive of trans children as willful ignorance.
First, there is no way a five-year-old knows if they are indeed transgender. Although most brain development occurs during the first three years of life, throughout a kid’s youth, neurons are being made and synapses developed.
Actually that is not what the research demonstrates. Kids have very strong feelings about their gender and they are not confused. What kids at that age don't have is gender dysphoria. People have not caused them to feel uncomfortable about incongruous sex and gender. Actually, they do have gender dysphoria but they are not aware of it.
All of my boys at one time have asked why they can’t wear a dress, high-heel shoes, or paint their nails. I simply reply: Because you’re a boy. Everyone seems satisfied, and we move on to the next activity.
Nonsense. A trans child will reply: “No mommy, I am a girl.”
In my house, we say “no,” and instead direct him to the boys section of the store where he can dress up like Thor if he likes long hair. Because that’s what adults do. They set parameters for their children, they teach them about their God-given sex and social norms. They don’t let the child dictate to them, or indulge the kid’s every whim. Being a parent means being responsible. None of that BS is applicable to a parent with a trans child. A parent cannot discipline gender nonconformity away. It doesn't work. Riddell simply doesn't understand what a trans kid is going through. Apparently, she does not want to understand — or care?
Which brings me to my second point: How is it responsible — or even sane — to chemically alter your child before puberty?
Last year, the American College of Pediatrics reached a politically incorrect decision which concluded that transgenderism of a child amounts to child abuse. It argued facts, not ideology, determine reality. Parents make decisions about (in this case) puberty blockers in consultation with experienced, professional clinicians who know a bit more than Ms. Riddell.
In its policy statement, written by Johns Hopkins Medical School Psychology Professor Paul McHugh, it laid out eight arguments why transgendering a child was harmful, including the basic fact that everyone is born with a biological sex, so if a child is born a boy but thinks he’s a girl, the problem’s with the mind not the body, and should be treated as such.
I also brought to Riddell's attention the facts that: 1. McHugh has never published anything about pediatric sexuality to a peer-reviewed journal and; 2. McHugh has been effectively retired for some time and; 3. In January Johns Hopkins announced that it was resuming its gender affirming surgery program.
I doubt that Ms. Riddell will respond and would be shocked if she modified her piece. She will never do that. Perhaps the most devastating argument is as many as 98 percent of gender-confused boys and 88 percent of gender-confused girls accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.
Gender confused is the hackneyed expression of the Catholic Church and religious right. Riddell does not provide a cite to those statistics. Some children do grow out of gender nonconformity but most probably do not. And it is not an argument. Puberty blockers are completely reversible. The general practice guideline for hormones is 16 years of age. At that point the kid is going to be pretty sure of his or her sexuality. Moreover, throughout this process these children are receiving counseling from experienced professionals who are going to err on the side of caution.
In other words — it may just be a phase. It’s important for parents, before chemically altering their children, know whether it is or not. These kids, after-all, are too young to sign off on the medical procedures themselves.
Puberty blockers don't chemically alter children. That's just rhetoric. When children are gender nonconforming the first thing that a parent should do is to meet with experienced clinicians, usually at a secular research hospital. No one is suggesting that kids sign off on meds. No one. That is just more rhetoric.
But imagine making a decision as a five-year-old that would alter the course of your life — all in part, because your parents thought it was cool to have a transgender kid or wanted to be a social justice warrior. To me, that’s sickening. That’s the definition of abuse.
What is sickening is to suggest that parents of transgender kids are self-absorbed and self-centered. It is an outrageous accusation, even for the Moonie outlet. Perhaps Ms. Riddell is projecting.