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Bruce Jenner, Media, & Madmen

How far we will go to convince ourselves that sanity is truly madness

A reader sent in the above photo, taken at a Kroger in Dallas over the weekend. View From Your America 2015, seems to me.

At first glance, it’s comically absurd, these competing takes on the same story. But I think there is a grim truth buried beneath the tabloid fanfare. Hear me out.

While my reader was standing in line in the supermarket in Dallas, I was queueing up at the gate at the Boston airport, preparing to board a flight out. I caught CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on the air introducing a segment with media reporter Brian Stelter, who was preparing to comment on Bruce Jenner’s interview. It was like watching a presenter for Russian state television fronting an interview with Vladimir Putin’s astrologer. Whitfield gassed on and on about Jenner’s courage. I half-expected her to ask Stelter if Jenner’s bravery was storm-the-beaches-at-Normandy courageous, or merely rush-into-a-burning-building-to-save-a-baby brave.

It was a mockery of journalism. It was sheer, unapologetic propaganda. But then, that’s exactly what you get from the mainstream media on just about any issue related to sexuality. Where is the line? Why the constant boosterism? Why must we all be subjected to a campaign to convince us that transgenderism is the Best Thing Ever?

What concerns me most is what happens to a society that has been propagandized into accepting ever more bizarre forms of sexual expression. The barriers that have to be bulldozed to rubble so the public can be convinced that a very troubled elderly man deserves a Victoria Cross for going on national TV to discuss wanting to wear a frock and amputate his penis will eventually cause this society to careen off the cliff.

Consider this posted the other day on Reddit:

I have a transgender 7 year old daughter. She has become a beautiful, happy, vibrant person since she started transitioning a year ago. I have no reason to think her identity will change and neither does her therapist.

Because she is so young, she will most likely go on puberty blockers before she ever creates sperm. If she then goes onto hormone treatments directly from the blockers, she will be sterile. She will never create sperm.

She’s too young to tell me whether she might someday want biological children, and I strongly suspect, knowing her personality as I do, that she will not want to give up hormone treatments for the length of time it would take to create sperm, because the effects on HER would be, well, significant.

I am in a “Parent of Trans kids” group online and several of the moms mentioned that they were freezing their own eggs for their transgender daughters, so that their daughters could someday have the option of having children who are at least partially related to them. On the one hand, it seems like a huge expense for my daughter to be able to have a child who is a genetic half-sibling… but on the other hand, I see the reasoning. I am also a chronic worrier and I wonder if doing this would cause the child to feel pressured to use the eggs even if they didn’t really want to. :-/

I’m curious what you older (than my 7 year old daughter) folks think about this. Is it a ridiculous idea? My daughter has two half siblings who could conceivably donate eggs or sperm later on in life, and that kind of seems like it might be a better option to me.

If I did this for her, I’d have to do it NOW before I get any older and my eggs deteriorate, but luckily I’m not out of the age window to have healthy eggs right now. I am, however, not in any financial position to do this, though I hear that there may be options to help with that and will look into them if it seems like a good idea.

So… basically I’m just curious to see what the reaction to the idea is, here in this community. I’m leaning towards “probably unnecessary and maybe even a bit weird” but… if someday my daughter wanted it, I’d hate to say I passed up the opportunity to help her.

EDIT: Secondary question, but related. I am in contact with a young transwoman who does have frozen sperm and wants to have biological children. She is not in a good financial place for in vitro, surrogate, all that. I am not comfortable being a surrogate but would be willing to donate eggs to her for free (no reimbursement for my time, and willing to travel to work within her free healthcare system) but I don’t know her that well and don’t know if it’s appropriate to offer or weird? I’ve donated eggs in the past to an anonymous couple, so I know how it works and what to expect. I just don’t know whether it’s something to offer or not. I don’t want to make someone feel weird or obligated… but it could eliminate a portion of the cost, and I have a good track record – I’ve successfully donated before, and have three healthy children. Just not sure how or whether to approach it, I guess…

Why not? As Justice Kennedy hath explained, “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” If sex and sexuality are not grounded in nature, and if matter is nothing more than inert stuff onto which we can impose our will, then why draw lines?

What happens, though, is you have to keep pretending that everything is just fine, and ramping up the propaganda to convince people that madness is sanity, and that utopia awaits us if we tear down just one more wall, or roll over only one more group of malcontents (e.g., from Frank Bruni’s infamous recent NYT column declaring that orthodox Christians must be compelled to abandon their beliefs, this quote by progressive theologian David Gushee: “Conservative Christian religion is the last bulwark against full acceptance of L.G.B.T. people”).

Walt Heyer lived for years as a transgender woman, and says it was a bad time. Excerpts:

Under his guidance, I underwent gender reassignment surgery and lived for eight years as Laura Jensen, female. Eventually, I gathered the courage to admit that the surgery had fixed nothing—it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems.The deception and lack of transparency I experienced in the 1980s still surround gender change surgery today. For the sake of others who struggle with gender dysphoria, I cannot remain silent.

It is intellectually dishonest to ignore the facts that surgery never has been a medically necessary procedure for treating gender dysphoria and that taking cross-gender hormones can be harmful.  Modern transgender activists, the descendants of Kinsey, Benjamin, and John Money, keep alive the practice of medically unnecessary gender-change surgery by controlling the flow of published information and by squelching research and personal stories that tell of the regret, unhappiness, and suicide experienced by those who undergo such surgery. Negative outcomes are only acknowledged as a way to blame society for its transphobia.

Transgender clients who regret having taken this path are often full of shame and remorse. Those who regret their decision have few places to turn in a world of pro-transgender activism. For me, it took years to muster the courage to stand up and speak out about the regret.

Heyer’s website is SexChangeRegret.

We are injecting hormones into seven year old children, causing permanent changes in their bodies, and we call it liberation, the realization of the progressive beatific vision. And anyone who doubts this is a heretic, a madman whose raving must be deal with harshly: “What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns?”

UPDATE: Robbie George, on his Facebook page, speaks truth:

I pity people with body dysphorias of any type. By all accounts they are psychological torture, and those afflicted should be treated with kindness and compassion. But, honestly, in today’s culture what takes more courage, to go on TV and do what Bruce Jenner did, or to go on TV and do what Ryan Anderson does? The question, it seems to me, answers itself.