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Trans Totalitarianism & Your Children

Doctors can insert this puberty blocker into the bodies of minors to prevent adult sex characteristics from kicking in (CBS Sunday Morning screenshot)

The Kelsey Coalition is a volunteer organization of parents and others who are trying to sound the alarm about the great harm being done to young people by the transgender movement. They do not oppose adult transgenders, and they are neither political nor religious. A friend who got active in the group after her teenage daughter was sucked into the trans movement, and is now (as a legal adult) jacking herself up with male hormones, told me that there are Christians in the group, as well as Jews, pagans, and atheists. There are conservatives and liberals. What they share is profound anxiety over what has been done to their children, and — this is key — the fact that nobody wants to listen to them. The media don’t want to tell their stories, at all.

A reader of this blog founded the Kelsey Coalition, and writes under the pseudonym “Katharine Cave”. She e-mailed this to me today, and cc’d a friend of mine who is active with Kelsey, and who vouches for Katharine’s credibility. Katharine writes:

Good morning, Rod. Looking forward to reading Live Not By Lies soon. Thank you for sounding the alarms!

Unlike many of your readers who accuse you of hyperbole, I believe we have already entered into a state of hard totalitarianism in the realm of transgender ideology: People are not only losing their jobs for speaking out, they are losing their children. I don’t think there are many people who grasp the depth and the tragedy of this issue.

As you know, transgender ideology is the notion that a child has an innate and immutable “gender identity” that is dangerous to question and whose young growing body should be medicalized with hormones and surgeries. Our educational systems, the mental health profession, the medical profession, lawmakers, policymakers, and the courts have all adopted this ideology as fact.

What you may not know: there is a movement in progressive legal circles to expand the doctrine of parental neglect to include refusal to consent to hormones and surgeries. Journal articles such as this provide physicians with explicit guidance on how to perform these interventions on minor children when their parents refuse to give permission. Published legal memoranda argue that “gender-affirming” interventions, including vaginoplasties and mastectomies for children under 18 years old, are medical necessities. Therefore, any parent who does not consent to these interventions may be found guilty of child neglect. Read this report for details.

This is a serious issue. This is a medical and legal scandal that is being sanctioned and promoted by the state. This is not a mere matter of which bathroom to use, but about the countless young people in anguish about what was done to their bodies when they were too young to consent. Their stories are absolutely heartbreaking.

One of our Members describes how she was powerless to stop surgeons from removing the breasts, ovaries, and uterus of her 17-year-old daughter. As she explains in this written testimony, surgeries were performed without any extensive mental health assessment or after-care. They were funded 100% by Medicaid.

Our future physicians are currently being trained in these ideologically-based practices, as this medical student reports, and there is a movement pushing for surgeries for children at younger and younger ages. Girls as young as 13 have had mastectomies; those as young as 16 have had their uterus and ovaries removed. Penectomies, orchidectomies, and vaginoplasties are performed on boys as young as 15. In this article (“Age Is Just A Number”), surgeons describe why they conduct invasive and irreversible procedures on mere boys rather than wait until they are older. It is hard to believe that this is actually happening in the US…and yet no one in a position of power is doing anything to stop it.

Instead of working to protect our children from these body-altering practices, our lawmakers are increasing their likelihood by passing “conversion therapy” bans, which prevent therapists from questioning children’s gender identities. This report explains the details. Therapists who dissent risk violating their state’s conversion therapy ban or being reported to their licensing board. The Biden campaign promises that this will become the law of the land under the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act. (H.R. 3570 and S.2008).

This is not a fringe issue; trans identities in children are no longer rare. Read this account of what happened last year in an 8th grade classroom: 14% of 13-year olds identified as transgender and three are already on life-altering hormones. Read our testimonials from across the US. Teachers are afraid to speak out about this issue because they know they will lose their job if they do. Read this report about how schools require teachers to keep parents in the dark.

Many physicians, teachers, and therapists have written to us anonymously. They are scared about what is happening to children, and angry about what their profession is requiring them to do to them. Read their stories: here,here, here, and here.

The pediatric transition movement started under the Obama administration and accelerated under Trump as the number of pediatric gender clinics rose from zero to 65 in just twelve years. While the Democrats are certainly guilty of actively promoting these laws and policies, the Republicans are guilty of silent complicity. Our attempts to seek passage of protective state laws were undermined by corporate interests. Our petitions and face-to-face pleas with federal representatives and administrative officials of both parties have been ignored.

This is not about left vs. right, but fact vs. fiction and right vs. wrong.

Parents write to us desperate for help. Some have already been reported to the authorities. One was reported by her own pediatrician. One family was forced to move out of Oregon so they would not lose custody of their daughter. Where will our families move when federal law becomes as progressive as those in states like Oregon and California? And given the US Supreme Court’s faulty reasoning in Bostock v. Clayton County, it appears that even a conservative-leaning Court may not save our children from gender identity laws.

Our biggest weapon is that we have the truth on our side. We are using that truth to share our testimonials and reports with the general public in small face-to-face meetings throughout the country. But we are up against incredible opposition, and time is of the essence.

She’s telling the truth. In Live Not By Lies, I mention a physician at a major US hospital who told me that hospital management ordered all doctors there to provide cross-sex hormones and any other services requested for transition by patients — even if, in the professional opinion of the attending physician, the patient’s medical issues would not be solved by hormones and the rest. To refuse to do this means termination.

This morning I was on a call-in radio show talking about my book, and a lesbian caller said that she’s not trans, but she doesn’t want to be against “my transgender sisters and brothers.” I bet that woman has no idea at all what’s being done to children in the name of transgender rights. Why should she? Most Americans don’t. Our media don’t want to write about it. As Cave says, Republicans don’t even want to touch the issue. It is impossible to resist even from within the medical community without risking your career. Ask Dr. Allen Josephson. Or ask a world expert on transgenderism, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, who was driven out of his own lab for not being sufficiently trans-affirming for the insane activists.

Unlike in the UK, where there is starting to be some mainstream media pushback against the trans zealots, there is nothing in the US. Joe Rogan’s great interview with Abigail Shrier, a journalist who is trans-affirming for adults, but who wrote a book about how this movement is harming girls, has Spotify employees threatening to strike if the company doesn’t remove it. I asked Katharine Cave if there’s a difference between UK media and US media. She responded:

Absolutely! The media coverage in the UK is quite extensive. Janice Turner at The Times really started leading the way on the trans pediatric medical scandal a few years ago. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trans-teenagers-have-become-an-experiment-87vn5m8fw?shareToken=28d2d82c60a653bed4e6a5b46df0a905

James Kirkup has also been great on this issue: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-document-that-reveals-the-remarkable-tactics-of-trans-lobbyists

Some other examples can be found throughout print media:

Same thing with television. Just one of many examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bX1xMo-jWE
One major difference in the UK is that many on the political left are gender critical, unlike in the US. And for that reason, our counterparts in the UK don’t seem to understand the need for us in the US need to work across aisle to get anything done. You are absolutely right when you talk about the need to work with strange bedfellows. This is all hands on deck.
Another important difference: the UK — with socialized medicine — has data and a bit of control when it comes to medicalizing children. In the US, it is the Wild West of medicine with zero data collection or accountability. We are in desperate need of a thorough investigation into this scandal and no one wants to do it. I tried very hard to get US journalists interested.

Are you aware that schools have protocols in place that actively deceive parents of trans students who declare that their parents wouldn’t support their transition? That’s right: your kid’s school could be collaborating with your minor child to keep you in the dark about the fact that your daughter presents as a male, and is planning to seek out hormones and other aids to transitioning. In Oregon, the medical age of consent is 15. If your 15-year-old daughter wanted to have her breasts surgically removed (or your 15 year old son wanted to have his testicles cut off), and could find a doctor willing to perform the surgery, then you would be powerless to stop them — and their school might have been complicit for years in hiding the dysphoria crisis from you, to prevent you from taking actions to head it off.

There’s so much more. Go to the Kelsey Coalition website. 

Did your favorite newspaper or news site tell you any of this information? Did your pastor? Did anybody? Educate yourself — and prepare to resist. The other day an Orthodox Christian reader of this blog wrote to say that a priest taught their class that transgenderism is nothing more than a different way to be a person. I advised the reader to get the heck out of that parish, because the priest is telling dangerous lies.

In the UK, gender-critical feminists — including many lesbians — have risked a lot to speak out against this exploitation and mutilation of girls. J.K. Rowling is a trans-affirming feminist — for adults. She has brought howls of condemnation down on her head for standing up for girls. We have to find the same courage. And we need to start preparing underground railroads for families who are trying to save their children from these ghouls.

Let’s be very clear: this is a third rail in American life. If you criticize the gender-transition movement at all — even if you limit your criticism to children — you are calling down catastrophe on yourself. Be prepared for it. That’s what it means to live not by lies: to be willing to suffer for the truth. Vaclav Havel was not a religious believer, but he said that only when you are willing to suffer for the truth does the truth mean anything (this was the meaning of his famous Parable of the Greengrocer). Come on, let’s go!

UPDATE: Let me remind you:

UPDATE.2: I completely endorse what reader MichaelGC says here:

The news on this front is consistently bad. A Minnesota appeals court just ruled that a trans-identified female must have access to the school’s male locker rooms, CA Governor Newsom signed a bill into law that requires corrections to let violent sex offenders be housed with women as per stated gender id, and another law that uses taxpayer money to fund more medical experiments on minors. That’s just within the last week.

One bright spot, if you can call it that, is a temporary injunction issued against a Wisconsin school to prevent it from deceiving parents and lying to them about their childrens’ names, pronouns, and activities in school (such as cross-dressing and wearing binders).

We are living in and witnessing the most extreme and monstrous scandal in living memory. Usually, these are in the dark until the media exposes it to the world. This time, the media is part of the scandal, as are institutions, courts, and legislative bodies. Indeed, they are all invested in perpetuating the mass social psychosis for as long as possible. In the end none of them will be able to make the claim that they didn’t know it was going on.

UPDATE.3: Reader Jonah R., as usual, nails it:

My wife has a colleague, college age, a young girl who decided she was born in the wrong body and is really male. This young woman has taken testosterone and has grown a beard. She is going to get surgery to lop off her breasts, but she tells my wife she intends to wait on the “bottom surgery” until, in her own words, “the technology gets better.” Her family is heartbroken, and it’s as if this kid wants to be the loneliest and hardest-to-love being in the world, a bearded, breastless woman.

When the girl began taking testosterone, she told my wife she was utterly disoriented. She felt aggressive, couldn’t concentrate on her classes, and thought about nothing but sex. It should be the first sign of not having been “born in the wrong body” if you’re surprised by your first rush of experience that resembles that of the opposite sex.

I feel terrible pity for this kid. My wife says she’s as directionless now as she was before becoming more “male.” Everything in her life–including her loving but baffled and heartbroken family, and her college classes–are overshadowed by her aimless, futile, obsessive quest for some Platonic form of an identity. She seems both destined and determined to be unhappy, and I have to believe there was a better way to help this kid with what ails her than surgery or hormones. I don’t see her story having a happy ending.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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