Published August 19, 2022
People don’t like hospitals that hurt children instead of healing them. Boston Children’s Hospital has been deluged with criticism after conservative activists highlighted its own materials promoting medical transition for minors. The hospital has tried to cover up its deeds, but it cannot escape the truth that so-called gender-affirming care isn’t. The euphemistic phrase conceals the brutal realities of medical transition, but these procedures — including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and various surgeries — do not affirm patients’ gender, let alone care for them. Gender-affirming care is a lie and we must stop it.
The tide may be turning against the transgender craze. Across the pond, the United Kingdom’s infamous Tavistock pediatric gender clinic has been shut down, and a massive medical malpractice action has begun against those responsible for rushing children into transition. Here in the U.S., Republican politicians are increasingly willing to stand up against the radical transgender agenda, as even the spineless are realizing that this is a winning issue. And it seems only a matter of time until trial lawyers target America’s aggressive and unregulated gender clinic industry.
Thus, there is hope that regulations and lawsuits will curb the craze for rushing people, especially children, into medical transition. It is even possible to imagine a quiet climb-down in which the political left, and the institutions it controls, realize that radical gender ideology is a loser and sidle away from it. There have been a few signs that this is happening, such as New York Times articles questioning transgender orthodoxy.
Will Proponents Back Down?
But there are no guarantees of victory, in large part because many people may be in too deep to back down. Democrats in general, and the Biden administration in particular, have embraced transgender ideology. They have done everything from putting men in women’s shelters to using school lunch programs for poor children as leverage to force schools to adopt the rainbow agenda, including letting males into girls’ locker rooms. And, of course, pretty much every major left-wing group has followed the LGBT lobby into pushing a radical transgender agenda.
Nor is it only politicians and activists who have staked their credibility on the trans agenda. From education to entertainment to Big Business, a lot of people have embraced transgender ideology, including medically transitioning children. The medical industry in particular has a lot to lose, both in credibility and cash, if the transition train slows down. This may explain why pro-trans research is routinely published even though the studies are mostly low quality, with some being demonstrably terrible. The goal isn’t to publish good research, but to provide cover for an ideology that is chemically and surgically sterilizing children.
And, of course, there is pride — no, not the rainbow celebrations sponsored by big business, but actual personal pride. Will parents who bought into gender transition admit the harm they have done to their children? Will liberals admit not only that they were wrong, but that Christian conservatives were right? These and similar truths may be too hard for many to accept.
Consequently, we opponents of the transgender agenda must keep the pressure on. We must make sure that those in thrall to transgender ideology — from politicians to academia to the media to Big Tech and Big Business — either abandon it or are defeated. In doing so, it will help to show how the horrifying harms inflicted by gender transition are the result of denying the truth of sex and gender.
Gender-Affirming Care Is a Lie
Gender-affirming care is a lie because gender is not a free-floating metaphysical substance. Gender becomes nonsensical when disconnected from sex, because gender is the social expression of the biological realities of human sex. As Matt Walsh’s recent documentary “What is a Woman?” demonstrates, gender makes no sense without reference to biological sex — it either goes around in circles (e.g. a woman is anyone who identifies as a woman) or descends into crude stereotypes (e.g. a boy who likes pink must be a girl).
We are a sexually dimorphic species; the difference between male and female is essential to the continuation of humanity. Thus, though there is variation in gender expression between individuals, and gender expectations between cultures, gender always has to refer back to our embodied realities as male or female. Thus, there cannot be a gender identity that is deeper, more essential, or more immutable than our sex. And so it is impossible to have “gender-affirming” medical care that attempts to efface the reality of bodily sex.
There are people who are unhappy with their bodies and wish that they were the other sex. But they are not, nor can they become, the other sex — at most they can be chemically and surgically altered to resemble the other sex and attempt to socially live that role. These people need compassion and help in accepting their healthy natural bodies, not chemicals and surgery to contort their bodies into facsimiles of the other sex. Transition is never medically necessary, which is why activists encourage suicide threats from those who identify as transgender — they have to take themselves hostage because they are in no medical danger.
The ugly truth hidden behind the lying promises of “gender-affirming care” is that medical transition always inflicts physical harm for no physical benefit; it damages a patient’s body, rather than healing it.
Gender-affirming care isn’t, and it must be stopped.
Nathanael Blake, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His primary research interests are American political theory, Christian political thought, and the intersection of natural law and philosophical hermeneutics. His published scholarship has focused on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Alasdair MacIntyre and Russell Kirk. He is currently working on a study of J.R.R. Tolkien’s anti-rationalism. As a cultural observer and commentator, he is also fascinated at how our secularizing culture develops substitutes for the loss of religious symbols, meaning and order.