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The Tyranny Of Transgender Ideology

Surprise, surprise: [1]

A transgender man sued a Roman Catholic hospital on Thursday, saying it cited religion in refusing to allow his surgeon to perform a hysterectomy as part of his sex transition.

Jionni Conforti’s sex and gender discrimination lawsuit comes as new regulations hailed as groundbreaking anti-discrimination protections for transgender people are under legal attack from religious groups.

Conforti had scheduled the surgery at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson in 2015. He says a hospital administrator told him the procedure to remove his uterus couldn’t be done because it was a “Catholic hospital.


“I felt completely disrespected,” said Conforti, whose transition began in 2004. “That’s not how any hospital should treat any person regardless of who they are.”

The hospital said Thursday it follows ethical and religious directives from the U.S. Conference of Bishops in making decisions about care and treatment. The directives say procedures judged “morally wrong” by the church don’t have to be performed.

Madness. You cannot dissent from what they want; you’ve got to give them everything, or they’ll do what they can to destroy you.

You’ve probably heard by now about National Geographic‘s celebratory “everything’s coming up trans!” issue [2]. Writing in The Public Discourse today, Andrew T. Walker and Denny Burk eviscerate author Robin Marantz Henig’s report from the magazine Excerpts:

First (and most problematic): Henig offers no substantive argument for why one’s internal, self-perception of his or her “gender identity” ought to determine one’s gender or have authority greater than one’s biological sex. The essay offers testimonies of people who say that their gender identity is at odds with their biological sex. But testimony is not sufficient. Asserting a claim does not demonstrate the authenticity of that claim. Readers are given no explanation for why we ought to regard the claims of one’s gender identity as reality rather than a subjective feeling or self-perception.

Indeed, this is the crux of the matter that plagues the transgender movement. It is based not on evidence, but on the ideology of expressive individualism—the idea that one’s identity is self-determined, that one should live out that identity, and that everyone else must respect and affirm that identity, no matter what it is. Expressive individualism requires no moral argument or empirical justification for its claims, no matter how absurd or controverted they may be. Transgenderism is not a scientific discovery but a prior ideological commitment about the pliability of gender.


The final page of Henig’s article celebrates the mutilation of minor children with a full-page picture of a shirtless 17-year old girl who recently underwent a double mastectomy in order to “transition” to being a boy. Why do transgender ideologues consider it harmful to attempt to change such a child’s mind but consider it progress to display her bare, mutilated chest for a cover story? Transgender ideologues like Henig never address this ethical contradiction at the heart of their paradigm. Why is it acceptable to surgically alter a child’s body to match his sense of self but bigoted to try to change his sense of self to match his body? If it is wrong to attempt to change a child’s gender identity (because it is fixed and meddling with it is harmful), then why is it morally acceptable [3] to alter something as fixed as the reproductive anatomy of a minor? The moral inconsistency here is plain.


Henig makes a surprising and startling admission near the end of her essay: “Biology has a habit of declaring itself eventually.” On this, Henig is right. Humanity cannot escape the limits inscribed upon it. It is impossible to transgress biological boundaries stamped on human nature without the basic categories of human existence unraveling. If the National Geographic story tells anything, it tells of a society going down a path of self-willed experimentation that will lead to misery and a denial of human telos. In truth, this movement born of effete academics and progressive mythology is nothing more than dressed-up barbarism.

Read the whole thing. [4] It is a detailed and systematic demolition of Henig’s piece.

On a number of occasions over the past few years, I’ve cited a lecture I once attended in Cambridge, delivered by the literary critic Dame Gillian Beer. She spoke about the way various elements within Victorian society seized upon Darwin’s findings and claimed them as scientific evidence for various ideologies to which they had a prior commitment. Abolitionists claimed that Darwin clearly showed why slavery was wrong, because deep down, we’re all the same. Imperialists claimed that Darwin clearly showed why it was the destiny of Europeans to rule over “lesser” races in the colonies, because survival of the fittest. And so on. Dame Gillian’s point was that the findings of science are always received within a particular cultural milieu that bends our interpretation of them, and that we must take great care to make ourselves aware of the difference between what is true scientifically, and what is a non-scientific conclusion to which we wish to make the facts conform.

Last February, New York magazine’s Jesse Singal wrote a frankly terrifying piece [5]about how militant transgender advocates bullied a cowardly Canadian clinic into firing Dr. Ken Zucker, one of the world’s top researchers in the transgender field, because he, though a public advocate of accepting transgenders, did not believe that the science justified some of the more radical claims trans activists were making. If you missed it back then, read it now. This actually happened, and it’s going to keep happening, until people push back hard.

The stakes for all of us could hardly be higher. From an important interview with Dr. Jordan Peterson [6], the Canadian <del>psychiatrist</del> clinical psychologist who is being persecuted for his refusal to use the new panoply of Orwellian pronouns:

We’re teaching university students lies, and pandering to them, and I see that as counterproductive.

There’s even an anti-psychology program at OISE [Ontario Institute for Studies in Education]. It started when they got rid of [Ken] Zucker [7], and you don’t stop with one person. Zucker was a more than credible psychologist. He ran a very good program for people who had gender dysphoria, and he was conservative. Zucker’s attitude was that if you’ve got a kid who is complaining about their gender, you follow them up, and you see what happens, and you derive your conclusions from the research. Eighty percent of them declare themselves as homosexual, ninety percent settle into their biological identity as adults. His logical conclusion is to keep the goddamned surgical knife sheathed, and don’t bring out the hormones too soon. Well that’s all gone – it’s illegal now for doctors to question the decision of a three-year old child that he is a she. And if the parents want to start biological transformation, it is illegal for the doctor to reject that.

Did you see that Lauren Southern got identity as a man [8] from the Ontario government? That shows you what the law has done to the physicians. That physician couldn’t question her because it’s illegal. So now Lauren Southern has government identification as a man. She went to the Service Ontario kiosk in high heels and makeup. She didn’t expect to get the god damned ID. That also means that the government is so tangled up in this mess that they’ll actually sacrifice their own ID. Think about that – think about what will happen to our society if people’s identification became unstable.

145 Comments (Open | Close)

145 Comments To "The Tyranny Of Transgender Ideology"

#1 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 6, 2017 @ 11:33 pm

“Wait. What’s this about ‘outlawing’ the surgery? This isn’t about outlawing anything.”

It ought to be outlawed, just as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is, despite the many who support that too, as a cultural celebration.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 6, 2017 @ 11:38 pm

“Religion is myth, legend and fairy-tales. It has no place whatsoever in healthcare.”

Why does profit-driven greed have a central place in “health care”?

Or nonsensical ideologies and delusions? Of course, those do intersect, to “first, cause harm.”

We could call modern medicine the culmination of a “Hypocritic Oath.”

#3 Comment By Jack On January 7, 2017 @ 12:41 am

Voluntary associations, interactions and transactions. You have a right to ask to be modified. Others have a right to agree to this or not. You don’t have a right to the labor of others. They can say no. You can call them names. You can give them bad reviews. You can tell the world how unsatisfied you are with their service.

Laws may try to suppress these rights, but they are inalienable. They are the foundation of private property, and the right to do what you want with your body includes the right to self determine how and when you labor.

#4 Comment By bob On January 7, 2017 @ 2:12 am

If this were being done in Germany in 1940 we know exactly what it would be called. I hope I live to see these successors of Dr. Mengele imprisoned for this. These atrocities are not based on results of clinical trials, they deserve a Nuremberg Trial. It’s amazing to see 21st century free Americans trying to “cure” the “disease” of sex. Yeah, SEX. Using the word gender is BS. If the sex of a person is a disease because they say it is, it’s the end of medicine as science, it’s just magic. Something taught at Hogwarts which is an *imaginary place*, something like the *imaginary sex* of a man who thinks he’s a woman. And the imaginary ethics of those who support him and persecute normal people who can see the truth and don’t believe in magic or lies.

#5 Comment By Sometimes “KD” On January 7, 2017 @ 8:21 am

Hector St. Claire nails it in this one.

Identity is something you are born with, its relatively immutable. For instance, you are born and you learn a native language, which is a primary source of human identity.

On the other hand, you can immigrate somewhere else, learn the language in the new country, forget your old language and customs, and perhaps in the course of your life put aside your old identity.

I assume, if you had the right kind of features, and you spent enough time and money at it, you might be able to “pass” as a MtF (but harder to go FtM I’ll wager). But then, if you could really pass, no one is going to discriminate against you, yes?

I don’t think most conservatives or conservative Christians are going to deny that some people experience ambivalence about their biological sex. This phenomenon is common in many traditional cultures. However, the way traditional cultures deal with it is to create a “third” gender for people who are strongly ambivalent. Hijrah in India for example.

No one, prior to the current craze, pretends that men are women or women are men, or that there are not significant biological differences between the group of organisms that are XX and those that are XY.

I do think trans is a good political issue in the “2 + 2 = 5” sense. Everyone know it is a lie, but if you can intimidate people into professing what they know is a lie, then you have a kind of totalizing power over people that a good system of political tyranny needs to grow.

Now the Party can dictate the “truth” to the people, and the people become collaborators in the lies. Speaking the truth becomes a sign that you are a traitor, and the friends of the regime are the one’s with the most corrupt souls lacking the most basic principles of conscience. Now you have people who will commit the most base kind of atrocities and pretend they never happened.

#6 Comment By Patrick On January 7, 2017 @ 8:50 am

@ Rob G:

Obviously, you’d better stay in the marriage to collect your spouse’s Social Security when you’re too old to work (I don;t see many children there to help you, ahem.)

#7 Comment By ‘nother On January 7, 2017 @ 9:44 am

In 2007, I watched a documentary about Robert/Alexis Arquette, years before his death. His older sister Patricia said something that I always remembered. She said when they were kids, she remembers being in bathrooms with trannies, and she wondered how it affected him.

The bathroom problem is not only about safety of girls and women, but children/people are so easily influenced, sometimes it seems all we do is copy each other. Trans teenagers documenting their How To videos on You Tube play a big part in all this.

Hatred towards woman and the female body is behind all of this, even the men who want to be feminine. Our civilized society is more misogynist than ever before.

On a completely different note, there is a misogynistic streak in Pope Francis.

Back to trans: Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is never heard of because the trans community doesn’t like him because he hasn’t struggled and because he is white. They openly admit it. They want him far away from them because he can’t represent the image they want of the trans community. They ignore him and the media follows suit.

#8 Comment By ‘nother at the soundcheck On January 7, 2017 @ 9:57 am

I keep changing my moniker because all my info keeps going to blank. Also it looked like my previous soundcheck posts disappeared and now there they are back. This just proves I am certainly not a robot! Thank God.

Btw, maybe I was wrong about Conforti’s doctors – and it was not intentional on their part. But how did the doctors (all 20 of them? How many do you need?) not know about procedures not permitted in Catholic hospitals?? Either they were way too busy or something is very fishy with that story. Also, why was she doing her own search for a surgeon? Wouldn’t her obgyn perform it OR give her references? Maybe my healthcare is too elite. I’m unfamiliar with this ‘search around for someone to perform my hysterectomy’ situation.

#9 Comment By Carlo On January 7, 2017 @ 10:49 am


listen, peer reviewed studies is what I do (in part) for a living. Last year I rejected a completely nonsensical paper on the Boltzmann equation, and it was the tenth or the eleventh in a sequence of articles all of which had been published in decent journal because the referees were either blind or friends of the authors. You truly have no idea how much garbage gets published in scientific journals, and this is mathematical physics, not psychology!!! And no, almost nobody cares or has time to refute the garbage after it gets published.

Having said that, your original comment was hopelessly naive at a much more fundamental level. Even assuming that the scientific lecture about gender disphoria is intellectually sound (big if), a moment of reflection will show you that there is a huge step from phenomenological studies to therapeutic prescription, and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, that treatment raises ethical questions that science per se cannot answer.

Was that not clear enough? Let me repeat it in capitals: MEDICINE INVOLVES ETHICAL QUESTIONS THAT ARE NON SCIENTIFIC. Got it? I am sorry for being impatient and questioning your ability to think critically, but this is OBVIOUS. It has nothing to do with religion or scriptures. It is philosophy 101.
Why do I have to explain such a thing?

Hence, to claim as you did that people cannot refuse certain practices because they are “accepted medical procedures” (or whatever you said to that effect is called SCIENTISTIC TOTALITARIANISM, meaning that you are trying to impose your ethical views on other people by falsely claiming that “science” support your religious/philosophical preferences. IT DOES NOT. SCIENCE STUDIES FACTS NOT VALUES.

#10 Comment By JonF On January 7, 2017 @ 12:01 pm

Re: Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is never heard of because the trans community doesn’t like him because he hasn’t struggled and because he is white.

No, not because he’s white! His race has nothing to do with it. Good grief, one hears of plenty of trans people who are white and are lionized by social liberals. Chelsea Manning comes immediately to mind. More to the point Jenner is an attention whore (see: “The Kardashians”)– and a Republican.

#11 Comment By JonF On January 7, 2017 @ 12:06 pm

Something to note here: It;s nothing all that new. Anyone ever heard of Christine Jorgensen? She became Christine in 1951. Contemporary accounts seem to have a sort of “Gee-whiz, what will they think of next” attitude about it in an era when science could do no wrong. It also strikes me that although trans-sexual surgery had been going on since before most of us were born, it’s only been the last several years that the Social Right “discovered” it and started making an issue of it. I don’t recall much ado about it back in the heyday of Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority.

#12 Comment By Potato On January 7, 2017 @ 12:43 pm

This review came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a “male brain in a female body”. That is, brains of transgender women did not look exactly like brains of natal women. Rather, brain structures in male transgender persons (ie in transgender women) were sometimes “feminised”, that is, outside of the typical range for males, and tending in the direction of the female range. They described it as “an intersex condition restricted to the brain.” I think that is a reasonable way to categorise the condition that can be used to build a medical treatment approach that makes sense, that can allow transgender people to thrive, and that can be treated without radically revamping the social structures of all society.

This only works if and when someone can reliably show that it is possible to identify such brains out of a group of many brain scans. Not when they know the “answer” ahead of time. Nothing that I have seen suggests that this is even remotely possible. It’s mostly, “well, this is a scan of someone I know to claim to be transgender and maybe there’s a bit here that might be a little different (“outside the typical range”).”

Also you would have to demonstrate that any such differences were not the result of hormone treatment along the way.

#13 Comment By Oakinhou On January 7, 2017 @ 1:01 pm


But you are somehow rejecting the fact that people that claim gender dysphoria are actually suffering from something, something that it is not just faulty philosophy.

There is a mismatch between what trans people’s brain tells them, and what their XY or XX chromosomes say. Is that thing of epigenetic origin, hormonal imbalances in uteru, chemicals absorbed by the brain in childhood, we don’t (yet) know. But the brain is as much a part of the real world, and the real body, and the real biology, as gonads are. So we cannot, and should not, ignore what the brain is telling us. Whether the mismatch between the information trans people get from their brains and the information they get from their gonads is better solved by modifying the hormonal balance and the gonads themselves, or by modifying the brain response, it’s still open to question. What I don’t think it’s open to question is that there is a real issue there.

As a similar issue example, I believe you have already accepted the fact that homosexual people are attracted to their same sex, notwithstanding the presence of hormones in their bloodstream that normally should trigger attraction to the opposite sex. Something in the brain (we don’t know what) is triggering a different response (which btw natural selection has nort yet eradicated, neither in primates nor in sheep nor in penguins). But almost no one refuses to recognize that the brain of homosexual people is really, really, telling them that they are not attracted to the opposite sex. We can discuss if the proper response is SSM, chastity, or forcing mixed marriages on them. But we don’t (we no longer) say that homosexuality is a lack of philosophical training, or an attempt of depraved people to blemish all that is good and pure, do we?

I’m an engineer by training, a utilities person by business, a historian by hobby, so I don’t know what the proper biological origin is of gender dysphoria is, and what the proper therapeutical response should be. But I know that saying “Duh, Conforti has XX chromosomes, she’s a woman” is a response that comes from the ignorance of how complex biological systems like the brain function, and the many things that can impact their delicate balance. You claim you know better, so I expect that you won’t say: “XX, nothing more to see here”

Further, I believe that gender dysphoria is as value neutral as epilepsy or diabetes. It’s an abnormality that makes the life of the bearer much more difficult, and we should find therapeutical, and societal, ways to make their life easier. Sex reassignment might be one of those ways. If your personal values are stopping you from trying to help epileptics, diabetics, or transgenders to have a better life, then, that’s a pity.

Ethical considerations are of course a part of what we should do. Ethical considerations, for instance, make me oppose any permanent intervention in the body, or the hormonal balance, of transgender people until we reach a point that we are sure there will be no more hormonal changes associated with puberty and sexual maturity. But ethical considerations also make me support the idea of letting transgender people, even minors, don the clothing and attributes of the gender they identify with, because I believe their mental and emotional balance is better protected by letting them express themselves the way their brain is telling them to, than to restrict their self expression. We know (in the temporary nature of all scientific knowledge, including the Boltzmann equation, we know until we know better) that repression has a damaging effect in mental well being. So, in the spirit of “first, do no harm”, do not change children’s bodies irrevocably, and do not restrict children’s mind irreversibly.

But if you start by “My values already give me the capital T True answers to ethical questions”, then you are not doing your ethical exploration, and that is as bad as what you are accusing the other side to do, let their values taint their science. If your values say that gender dysphoria is not, and cannot be, a natural, albeit rare, condition, but it’s instead a rebellion against the telos of gonads or chososome 23 pairs, then you too have abandoned science here, even if your day job is still about thinking of the logarithmic relationship of probability of microstates and entropy of macrostates.

#14 Comment By at the soundcheck On January 7, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

To those formerly heterosexual men and women who now obediently refer to themselves and other heterosexuals as cis-gender:


Transgenders use the term in a derogatory way to bully gays and lesbians (cis-lesbian, cis-gendered gay), if they aren’t presenting or behaving in an approved fashion.

Even Huffington Post reports that the term is inappropriate and incorrect outside academia.

#15 Comment By MichaelGC On January 7, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

Kayla says on January 6, 2017 at 9:40 pm:

1)I find it troubling the author chose a picture of an obvious trans woman who is not passing for a story about a trans man.

Other people have complained about the images Rod has used from time to time. Rod expresses his opinion on this blog, and his selection of a particular photo communicates what he thinks about a particular person or subject as much as his words. It’s part of the package.

Time and Vanity Fair, you may recall, used completely different kinds of images for their splashy transgender issues, images intended to make transgenders look attractive and glamorous. This picture is anything but glamorous. Don’t like it? Get a load of the dark, decadent underbelly, shorn of pretension.

#16 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 7, 2017 @ 1:22 pm

“Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is never heard of because the trans community doesn’t like him … They ignore him and the media follows suit.”

Well, he was the first man to be “Woman of the Year.” I’d say that’s not nothing, except that it was. The inherent contradictions and absurdities are why none of these can long stand media scrutiny.

Looking too long reveals less than meets the eye, so time to move on to the next trans insubstantiation.

#17 Comment By Glaivester On January 7, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

The operant term in this case is “try to”. If you go into the field to find out who is successfully realigning trans people’s sense of self to match their bodies, what you find is the sort of disorganized melange of unproven claims, unstudied methods, anecdotes, and accusations of charlatanry that characterized treatments for erectile dysfunction in the days before Viagra.

Based on what Kalmia said, I suspect the same is true of people who realign their body to match their sense of self. It only seems like it is a more proven treatment because you are using a different yardstick (can we make this person anatomically resemble someone of the opposite biological sex). I’m not certain that we have a lot of evidence that this treatment actually resolves or ameliorates their issue in terms of how they feel after the operation. In other words, we are assuming that it works because we gave them what they thought they wanted before the operation.

#18 Comment By Matt On January 7, 2017 @ 5:49 pm

I identify as Henry VIII, you will refer to me as Sire.

#19 Comment By DRK On January 7, 2017 @ 6:17 pm

Many people on this board object to “removing a healthy organ”. Conforti’s reproductive system is not healthy at all, since it’s been bombarded with testosterone for the last ten years. It is very likely to become cancerous. That’s the medical situation as it currently exists, and Conforti’s going off those hormones would not change the past. Those organs need to come out, no matter what.

(Interestingly, Catholic hospitals are perfectly OK with removing healthy organs when it suits them. For instance, if a woman presents with an ectopic pregnancy, rather than administering methotrexate to end the growth of the nonviable fetus, they will take out the entire Fallopian tube, even though it could have been preserved if that drug was administered. Nor will they do therapeutic abortions, even to save the life of the mother. My daughter is currently pregnant. I am pleased to say she will not be having that much-wanted baby at a Catholic hospital, since Catholic hospitals will let women die rather than perform therapeutic abortions if necessary, and any hospital that does not just stand aside and let such a patient die will lose its affiliation. Just Google Sister Mary Margaret McBride and St. Joseph’s in Phoenix. No pregnant woman should ever set foot in a Catholic hospital).

#20 Comment By MichaelGC On January 7, 2017 @ 6:47 pm

Joan says January 6, 2017 at 11:03 pm:

The surgery, on the other hand, is something medical science knows how to do. It may not be very satisfactory (the trans community itself has lots of complaints about how much less the surgery does than they’d like it to) but it is an established part of medical practice with well-understood outcomes.

Then how much more do the Ts want the surgery to do? What else do they want medical science to do for them? Fix a man so he can have a baby? Fix a woman so she can father a child? Is that their complaint about the surgery?

#21 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 7, 2017 @ 7:50 pm

bob and Carlo nail it.

in the 1960’s black people were included in public accommodation rights that stemmed fro ma lawsuit brought by black people being denied service in a restaurant, this really isnt that different.

This really is very, very different. Nobody had any doubt that people artificially set apart by law or custom as “black” had the same need to eat, for the same reasons, or sleep, etc. But, there is very significant difference between a hysterectomy as a means of preventing a physical disease, and an elective hysterectomy because “I don’t want this body part any more.”

So-called “cis” is the norm for the species homo sapiens sapiens. Deal with it. We have gotten into some badly muddled mental masturbation because of fixation on the word “minority.” Actually, if you look at racism in South Africa, “minority rights” is what M_Young is concerned with — protecting the WHITE minority, and “majority rights” is about empowering the BLACK majority. There was a time when “white” people were a minority in South Carolina and Mississippi. Whether a minority or a majority, race is a poor criterion for the legal rights or social standing of any individual.

There is nothing particularly virtuous about being a minority. Just because a given attribute afflicts a small minority of the population does not ipso facto mean we must accommodate it. Pedophiles are also a minority. And, there is nothing inherently virtuous about trans-sexuality.

there is however some evidence that brain structures are different for trans people based on MRI’s

Ah, perhaps what we need then is brain translplants, or brain surgery, or biochemical treatment, rather than hysterectomy?

nobody really understand what being trans is like or being attracted to same sex is unless they experience it

So what? I don’t have to experience anything to form a reasoned opinion that it is insignificant as a matter of public policy.

But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort…

It may be true that overcoming identified inequality and invidious discrimination involves some discomfort… but it does not follow that any and all discomfort is ipso facto a symptom of inequality.

#22 Comment By David J. White On January 7, 2017 @ 8:17 pm

On a completely different note, there is a misogynistic streak in Pope Francis.

That’s certainly “a completely different note,” ‘nother; it’s a total non-sequitur dropped in the middle of your post. Care to elaborate?

#23 Comment By Fred Schumacher On January 7, 2017 @ 10:38 pm


Science studies testable phenomena, not facts, and values are studied by social scientists. With the pressure to “publish or perish” there are academic papers published that are of marginal value, but when I read my copies of Nature and Science, I find very little “garbage” in there.

On the issue of a hospital refusing to do a surgical procedure, that is done all the time for non-theological reasons. I took my daughter-in-law to the top orthopedic surgeon in Minneapolis. He agreed that she had extreme hip dysplasia and that she was in intense pain but that he wouldn’t do the surgery because she was too young. She was 30 at the time, and another surgeon did replace her hip joints four years later.

#24 Comment By Egypt Steve On January 7, 2017 @ 10:42 pm

Re: “First (and most problematic): Henig offers no substantive argument for why one’s internal, self-perception of his or her “gender identity” ought to determine one’s gender or have authority greater than one’s biological sex.”

Note that “self-perception” arises in the brain, which is a physical thing. Perception is not something magical and immaterial that is just conjured up. It’s no less real than penises and vaginas.

On what authority, other than force of habit, is the evidence of gonads supposed to trump the self-perception produced by the brain, when the two conflict? This argument is a classic case of question-begging: premising its argument on the very point in controversy.

#25 Comment By Elijah On January 8, 2017 @ 7:58 am

This transgender business never ceases to amaze me; we’re talking about turning thousands of years of human sexuality on its head for, what – 0.3% of the population, many of whom outgrow their gender confusion?

Peer reviewed studies? On what, six people?

Gender dysphoria is a real thing, and I do not doubt its severity to those who suffer with it. But I do not think that entitles the sufferers to tell the rest of the world what they must and mustn’t do.

#26 Comment By Oakinhou On January 8, 2017 @ 11:08 am


“But I do not think that entitles the sufferers to tell the rest of the world what they must and mustn’t do.”

And what are you personally being asked to do, besides calling them by the name and pronoun they prefer to be called. Something that used to be common courtesy. (*)

I mean, you prefer to be called Elijah. That’s an imposition on my. I’d rather call you Princess Bananaboat. You have no right to tell me I must call you Elijah, you Princess Bananaboat.

(*) Perhaps once in a blue moon you might have to share a public restroom with a trans man (I’m assuming you are using a male gendered name because you identify as male). For obvious reasons, that trans man will be in a stall, and you won’t notice his lack of a penis, unless you stand up in the door for penis checking duty. Given, how few trans people there are you most likely will never encounter this traumatic experience, of a trans man sitting outside your sight behind a closed stall door. (**)

(**) Perhaps once in a blue moon, one of your female relatives will have to share a rest room with a trans female. Your relative will be in her stall, the trans female will be in her stall, and no one will see anything, except perhaps the hand washing (you hope), or the nose powdering. The horror. To be close to someone applying makeup on her face. I shudder in sympathy with you.

#27 Comment By at the soundcheck On January 8, 2017 @ 12:05 pm

JonF and Fran Macadam,
Several articles list “wealth, hasn’t struggled, white” as reasons the trans community doesn’t like or use Caitlyn Jenner. But after further research, it does sound like being white is just something they sometimes throw in. The real reason is s/he’s a Republican or conservative (and rich, Kardashian, etc.). I mean Trump made the offer and Jenner used the women’s restroom in Trump Tower. I stand corrected regarding “white” being a real reason, although when convenient, it has been used by the trans community.

I think MichaelGC may have detected the direction this is going: state-sanctioned pedophilia.

David J. White,
I knew that non sequitur was a bad idea, lol. I don’t have any way to elaborate to you right now. I suspected it’s only a streak. He hasn’t said anything insulting to his church body lately, so that’s good. Pope Francis may turn out to be less liberal than progressives had hoped, and Trump may turn out to be less socially conservative than conservatives hoped or the progressives expected.

#28 Comment By Potato On January 8, 2017 @ 12:16 pm

Gender dysphoria is a real thing, and I do not doubt its severity to those who suffer with it. But I do not think that entitles the sufferers to tell the rest of the world what they must and mustn’t do.

1. Catholic hospitals, Methodist hospitals, Jehovah’s Witness hospitals (are there any?) are entitled to refuse to perform medical procedures which violate their religious beliefs. I think they should be so entitled, whether I personally agree with those restrictions or not.

2. Good medical practice would seem to me to urge that irrevocable physical changes not be imposed on minors, who are still developing, physically and mentally. If I were a medical practitioner I would have grave reservations about becoming involved in such modifications, lest the children change their minds and sue me later.

3. While “brain differences” might (or might not) be physical (this has not yet been adequately proven), gender roles are not physical, but rather social. For example, whether an individual may/must/must not wear a dress is determined largely by where and when we are making the determination. A white American middle-class housewife in 1950 must; a four-star general in WWII on duty must not; the Pope on duty must; a female astronaut on duty must not. That kind of gender role is infinitely flexible. By me anyone can wear a dress/not wear one/cut their hair short and dominate all conversations/cover themselves with pink ruffles and speak in a whimper/become a neurosurgeon. Whatever. If you are uncomfortable with whatever of that kind of thing is assigned to you by society, you are perfectly welcome to refuse to comply. No surgery required. Is your discomfort with your role sincere? Who cares.

4. I personally object very strongly to seeing a penis in my locker room at the gym. This is not because I am uncomfortable with penises in general; it is because experience has taught us that a certain number of penis-bearers are prone to sexual assault of vulnerable women. I don’t care much what kind of person has the penis, I still object. It might well be a person who “identifies as a woman” and who is perfectly harmless, but there is no way to tell for sure until he/she assaults someone and I don’t think we should be forced to take that risk. Having such people there compromises the safety of women. Our safety is more important than your feelings. Use your own locker room. Also you should not be allowed to compete in women’s athletics, because you have an unfair advantage.

5. Out of good manners I will use any pronoun that pleases you, but you should know that insisting that I use zir or something similar convinces me, right there, that you are a nut, and I reserve the right to limit our contact thenceforth to the best of my ability.

6. You cannot force me to believe that if you were born male you are now female, or that having XY chromosomes you are nonetheless a woman. Or vice versa. Gender is determined at conception, and nothing that you or anyone else can do thereafter can change it. But again out of good manners I am not prepared to make an issue out of it. I do intend to limit our contact, so as not to stress my good manners excessively.

As Elijah says, do what you do, but leave off trying to force the rest of us to behave as though we, too, were crazy.

#29 Comment By at the soundcheck On January 8, 2017 @ 12:53 pm

Jenner used Trump’s women’s restroom against Ted Cruz, possibly this election’s most socially conservative candidate. Yet the trans community’s bathroom strongmen and their straight “cis,” henchmen supporters practically ignored it. Trump may be getting a little more socially conservative at 70, but I still believe overall he is a fiscally conservative liberal (possibly social progressive) who supports immigration regulation. I think a bit of the trans community’s dissing Jenner is ageism (not a new word to the gay male community). Jenner may be first (trans) “woman” of the year (they can thank his hated wealth and fame for getting there), but he is not their ultimate goal. Their goal is on the cover of The National Geographic. I know it’s been said before, but what’s going on is reminiscent of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

On the flip side, the better song: some people in Hollywood have recently made, and distributed, Hacksaw Ridge and <emSilence (I haven’t yet seen the latter) and shhh (quietly) no one is screaming. Hope.

#30 Comment By Carlo On January 8, 2017 @ 2:43 pm


you just attributed to me about half a dozen statements I never made, so I am not going to waste twenty minutes of my time correcting all your imaginary accusations and misinterpretations.

Let’s stick to the point: everybody should be free to conduct their own “ethical explorations” and WITHIN REASON run their hospitals according to their own ethical values. But “within reason” includes the fact that nobody can appeal to science PER SE to force the result of their “ethical explorations” on other people.

When possible one can only appeal to shared ethical values. When ethical values differ
(for instance about the morality of bodily mutilation as a psychiatric therapy): you have to options: either Fascism (which is what you are calling for, essentially) or liberalism (finding ways for people with radically different ethical values to coexist).

I know where you stand!

Fred Schumacher:

you daughter’s procedure does not seem to raise any substantial ethical question, so I don’t understand why you brought it up.

#31 Comment By Carlo On January 8, 2017 @ 2:53 pm


on a different note, I was not talking about Boltzmann’s definition of the entropy. I was talking about Boltzmann’s kinetic equation of evolution for a rarefied gas, one of the most beautiful equations ever written by humans:


#32 Comment By at the soundcheck On January 8, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

In 2008 & 2009, I had a lesbian acquaintance whose partner was transitioning to a man. They split because she is attracted to lesbians, not men. Most straight women want to be with men, not transitioned men (same with trans women; straight men prefer natural born women), and gay men want gay men, usually, so this is another part of the disappointment with transition.

A few years ago, it seemed like the LGB group was more vocal about not being 100% supportive of the trans community.

A therapist based in Houston, Sasha Ayad, helps young people accept themselves and their bodies, before deciding on medical alterations. Her site is below. Here is an excerpt from another blog:

“Children who are gay and lesbian are being converted to straight trans kids. The medical intervention, permanent sterilization, and sometimes irreversible effects of hormones are a new form of conversion therapy for gay people in many cases. This is horrendous and

I hope to see more GLB people speaking out about this.

Our culture molds, primes, and reinforces certain ways of being for men and women. The new gender ideology continues to limit and narrow how feminine a girl has to be to call herself a girl. Based on the current trajectory, we will no longer see butch lesbians, tomboys, or other GNC people. they will have to pick a new label to simply be themselves. Biological realities cannot be ignored, but performance of gender is completely socially constructed.

This is such an essentially conservative and limiting ideology. Far from a liberating or progressive movement.”

From her blog, What Gender Therapists Are Getting Wrong:


excerpt: “There seems to be a strong link between social media use and a phenomenon called “rapid onset gender dysphoria”. This means that kids often binge on websites that promote transgender ideology and subsequently become gender dysphoric in a very short period of time, with no previous symptoms. Many of the ideas presented on trans-affirming websites may set kids up with unhealthy thinking-patterns and cognitive traps in a very short period of time. Affirming these kids without any further exploration is hasty, unethical, and dangerous.”

#33 Comment By creekmama On January 8, 2017 @ 5:47 pm

Potato, I am with you on all points, especially #4. I am stunned by the obtuseness and insensitivity of those who belittle the safety concerns of women and girls and the men who care about them.

The tone of this thread has been pretty nasty, like a Facebook “discussion” with fancier vocabulary and better sentence structure. I’m sorry that I read it. I think I just won’t for a while. But I do look forward to the book, Rod!

#34 Comment By Glaivester On January 8, 2017 @ 8:03 pm

The second is if gender dysphoria is real. The vast amount of research concurs it is real, changing the body works, and changing the mind doesn’t (at least the attempts in the last century). Most transgender people have seen a shrink, and that’s how they were referred to transition. Psychologists have by and large given up on “curing” and see the best results from transition.

I’m not sure that changing the body actually “works” in terms of a consistent increase in happiness after the surgery – but even if it is more effective than “changing the mind” might that not be because until recently you were only considered transgendered if you couldn’t have your mind changed? In other words, in previous decades, if a male thought they were a female and later changed their mind, they would not be counted as transgender.

Put another way, the concern is whether our current system is encouraging the “last resort” treatment for people for whom it is not necessary and not doing enough to detect such people and distinguish them from those for whom it is necessary.

#35 Comment By Rebecca On January 8, 2017 @ 10:34 pm

How hateful of you to post such an article like this. By the way, the woman shown is beautiful.

[NFR: Hatey-hatey hate hate! By the way, that’s a man. — RD]

#36 Comment By Sam M On January 8, 2017 @ 11:41 pm


“…the social Right discovered it and started making an issue of it.”

Evidence for that? Mother Jones actually looked at the history. Not National Review. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. He says:

“Second: “Who started this fight?” Yes, that’s a crude way of putting it. But if we contain ourselves to the last decade or so, the answer is: liberals. Before then, the status quo was simple: men used one bathroom and women used another. It was liberals who started pressing for change, and the conservative protest was a response to that.

As I’ve said before, we should be proud of this. Most of the right-wing culture war is a backlash against changes to the status quo pushed by liberals.”


#37 Comment By Amy On January 9, 2017 @ 1:18 am

Typical anti-transgender ranting that’s not to big on the medical science. Transgender people are both liberal and conservative so get used to it.

#38 Comment By Gerbby On January 9, 2017 @ 11:30 am

In California and Oregon, any person can get cross-sex hormones at “informed consent clinics.” All they have to do is sign a form saying they recognize the health risks. The trans political movements is trying to spread this model, where gender dysphoria is seen as an identity rather than a health concern, and our bodies are simply objects that we can bend to our will.

I have sympathy for people who do have a lifetime struggle with gender dysphoria, and I’m not against medical transition as a last resort, but I don’t think the movement to sterilize children and teenagers is based on sound science. The Dr. Zucker case is a clear instance of where the ideology of identity trumps research.

#39 Comment By carlo On January 9, 2017 @ 12:22 pm


“By the way, the woman shown is beautiful.”

That statement at least proves conclusively that you are a woman.

[NFR: Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! — RD]

#40 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 9, 2017 @ 1:34 pm

Typical anti-transgender ranting that’s not to big on the medical science. Transgender people are both liberal and conservative so get used to it.

That’s as clear as mud, and assumes facts not in evidence. Could you elucidate in some meaningful way?

Oakinhou is going full narcissist today, with a strong admixture of hubris. Maybe he’s channeling Nietzsche, as well as Humpty Dumpty. Now, before he accuses me of hurling baseless epithets, the reasoning behind this choice of adjectives and analogies:

There is a difference between pronouns and Proper Names. My name is my name. There may be others who have the same name, but they are widely dispersed for the most part, so the name identifies me, individually. Pronouns are by nature general terms… we could simplify things by having one neutral pronoun. We could all be “it.” But one does not have the right to demand that a common reference be rewritten because one has come up with a dubious new theory of human kind. Pronouns belong to the species, or the culture, not to the individual, as names, in a definite sense, do.

It was never considered good manners that if I insist that an orange is called a bullet, everyone must use those terms as I desire.

Public restrooms: Once upon a time in certain states we had separate restrooms labeled “white” and “colored.” We got rid of those, partly because “separate” was never “equal.” The “colored” restrooms were smaller, had older and more broken equipment, were not properly supplied with expendables, were cleaned less often, if at all, etc. etc. etc. Also, what “colored” people do in a restroom, what they expose, etc., was, strange as it may seem, exactly identical to what “white” people did or exposed.

We did not get rid of separate restrooms for “men” and “women” because these terms were not invented social constructs and distinctions without a difference. The differences are real, and endemic to the species. Men didn’t really want women, even in the next stall, or washing hands next to them at the sink after exiting the stall, and women didn’t want men.

Now, Oakinhou may have a sincere and deeply committed belief that as long as nobody sees what you are uncovering, it doesn’t really matter. But when 90 percent or 99 percent of the people in a given community or nation want to keep this degree of privacy, it is none of Oakinhou’s business to insist that they MUST give it up because “I don’t really see it makes much difference.” Also, men aren’t alway in stalls in public restrooms.

Now it may be that the most sensible way to go is a series of individual small restrooms, each to be used by any individual who comes along, with doors that lock, and no questions to ask. That would be sensible because once you start thinking of the various gay combinations, much less trans, it might be simpler. But 99 percent of us are men, or women, and like our privacy.

#41 Comment By JonF On January 9, 2017 @ 1:40 pm

Sam M,

My point is that the transgender thing has been happening since the 1950s– longer if we consider men dressing as women, and women as men*. This has only heated up as a matter of political skirmishing in recent years.

* I read the lives of the saints nightly (usually) and last week the OCA website presented one St Apollinaria from the 5th century, who desired to be a monk– not a nun, but a monk. Encouraged by a vision of the Virgin she disguised herself as a man and joined a men’s monastery as Brother Dorotheus. She did eventually “come out” due to her family to some demonic and miraculous doings, but she continued living as Dorotheus until the end of her days.

#42 Comment By a commenter On January 9, 2017 @ 2:07 pm

“Note that “self-perception” arises in the brain, which is a physical thing. Perception is not something magical and immaterial that is just conjured up. It’s no less real than penises and vaginas.”

In a sense, yes, but the brain’s synthesis of innate structure and function in order to arrive at “perception” is very complex. In addition, brain function and development is very much affected by environment, especially in the earliest years of life, but also during middle childhood and puberty. In the past (aka “traditional”) environment, according to the research articles I’ve read, about 80% of children identified initially as transgender, outgrow it by the end of their teens. Changing the practice at an early age, such that children are encouraged to transition socially and take hormones to delay puberty, will likely change the trajectory of brain development, and thus, self-perception. It’s hard to see a mechanism that allows cross-gender hormone treatment at/before puberty without seeing a distributional change towards fewer than 80% outgrowing their dysphoria. I believe in the medical field that is known as an “iatrogenic” effect, which is to say, a negative effect caused by treatment, that wouldn’t have happened without treatment.

In addition, I am not sure why self-perception, which is not observable on the outside, outweighs physical bodily attributes when setting up social structures that involve people in their unclothed state. In the past, we’ve had a cultural agreement that seeing someone of the opposite sex naked was a sexually significant event and therefore must only occur with the consent of both people. Now, we are being told that mixing of oppositely sexed bodies is no longer sexually signficant (LGBT advocates have declared it so) and that therefore wishing to not give consent to having biologically male transwomen in your women’s restroom while you change for the pool or the gym is now bigoted. That is deeply problematic, in my opinion.

The entire ethic of the new progressive sexuality is based on the idea of consent. Now, we are being told that in this one area, it is bigoted to, and you are a hater if you withold consent, that the “business community” (formerly known, when pushing conservative ideas, as “corporate interests”) is lobbying to prevent women and girls from having safe spaces where we can enforce an ethic of consent over whether people of the opposite biological sex can view us unclothed, and that even the federal government may get involved in forcing upon underage kids this new categorisation of which activities with the opposite sex you have a right to ask consent for, and which you don’t.

Again, very problematic.

#43 Comment By Anna On January 10, 2017 @ 10:38 am

Jon F

what’s with retroactively declaring a Saint “trans” – women have dressed and presented as men over the course of history, often to escape social constraints. That doesn’t make these women, or St. Apollinaria, “trans” by your say so.

#44 Comment By seth On February 11, 2017 @ 1:24 am

i am a gay male. this is tragic. the “t” never belonged at the end of lgb. it’s an alphabet soup..
feeding into this “born in wrong body” is bs. a mental illness. but when it’s applied to children, it is is criminal in my opinion

#45 Comment By J.D. On May 7, 2017 @ 2:35 am

At the foundation of the transgender movement is a logical fallacy. Before the requests for hormone treatments or surgery, before the arguments about bathrooms or locker rooms, lies the simple claim that their ideology is legitimate, that it is somehow valid or defensible for a person to claim that they are something that they are not. If anyone argues, the first thing that they do is shift the burden of proof. That is the logical fallacy. When you make a claim, it is your responsibility to prove it, not another’s to disprove you. But, they’re not taking that responsibility.

The truth is that there is nothing valid or defensible about claiming that you are something that you are not. An even greater problem is, why would anyone go through the immense difficulty of working through their issues, dealing with trauma, improper definitions of terms, dissociation, and/or a misdefined sense of self, when they have hormone treatments and surgery waved in front of them as a cure? Really, who would ever take the option of working hard on themselves, perhaps for years, when they can just lie down under anesthesia and wake up different? Just look at the people who aren’t transgender who opt to get cosmetic surgery rather than working on their own self-image — the numbers are increasing every day. They even give out loans now for cosmetic surgeries (I know somebody who got one).

When this movement was added to the LGBQ group, I didn’t know much about it. My first instinct was to be tolerant of them. But, what’s happened as a result of their adhering themselves to the LGBQ groups is that they’ve hijacked them. Their issues are the only ones being brought up anymore and they cannot stand to allow anyone else a turn to speak or a chance to have their issues addressed. Their ideology even contradicts that of the LGBQ group members, because one of the foundational thoughts of transgenderism is that there’s not any significant difference between males and females, which is why they believe that transitioning is even possible. But, if males and females were really so much the same, why would there be homosexuals and heterosexuals only interested in one sex? Together, we make up around 95% of the population. That’s how many people see a difference between males and females. If there were no significant difference between the sexes, we’d all be bisexual. But, we’re not, are we? Transgender individuals often disrespect this, calling lesbians “transphobic” for not dating males (despite the fact that homosexuality is defined as an attraction to the same sex, not the same gender [Cambridge Dictionary]) and referring to their unwillingness to date male transwomen as the “cotton ceiling” — “cotton” referring to women’s underwear and “ceiling” referring to the idea that they want to break through it. (If you find that disturbing, I agree.) They also pressure heterosexuals and gay males, sometimes verbally abusing them and even stalking them in response to not getting what they want. Their whole movement is reliant upon the practice of demanding respect and special treatment for themselves while refusing to respect others. It’s sickening hypocrisy. And, I second the gay male who posted before me in condemning them. I am also homosexual and I can’t stand the transgender movement. I want nothing to do with them — not politically, not personally, not professionally. There is a vein of deep illogic and disrespect in too many of them and it’s just not right for the rest of us to be subjected to it. I’ve refused to join LGBT groups anymore because of their presence, though I used to serve as a vice-president of an LGBT-straight alliance. If they really wanted equality and respect, they wouldn’t demand rights or have fits when they don’t get what they want, they’d sit down with other community members and speak in a civil manner about their needs, listen to our own, and work things out with us respectfully. But, that’s not what happens, is it? Really, I think that says it all.