How Liberals Trick Republicans into Ceding the Moral High Ground.
Transgenderism, When Rights Collide
Transgender policy exploits human suffering in service of a warped agenda.
Whether it’s LGBTQ, LGBTQIA+, LGBTTTQQIAAP, or any other acronym du jour, a Gallup poll of 12,416 adults released in February found that just 7.1 percent of U.S. adults self-identify as other than heterosexual. The real percentage could be higher, though with the cool factor and DEI benefits, some respondents probably falsely identify as LGBTQ (I will refer to those who identify as non-heterosexuals and trans as LGBTQ; in doing so I mean no microaggression to any other acronym).
I don’t care if someone is any of the acronyms, or some other acronym. Except when the rights of one person collide with another, every person should live as he, she, they, or it wishes. With 70 percent approval for gay marriage, including a majority of older adults and Republicans, most Americans agree.
According to Gallup, LGBTQ identification has risen from 5.6 percent in 2020 to 7.1 percent today, an unlikely 25 percent increase in under two years. However, about one in five Gen Z adults (born between 1997 and 2003) now identifies as LGBTQ, and Gen Z makes up an increasing percentage of the total as they turn 18. About 10.5 percent of Millennials (born 1981-1996), 4.2 percent of Gen X (born 1965-1980) and 2.6 percent of Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) identify as LGBTQ. Since Gallup began measuring LGBTQ identification in 2012, these percentages have been fairly stable, except that identification as LGBTQ among Millennials has grown from 5.8 percent in 2012 to 10.5 percent currently.
Nearly 60 percent of those identifying as LGBTQ, including 75 percent of Gen Z, say they are bisexual. About 35 percent identify as gay (including lesbian), and less than 10 percent say they are transgender. A May 2022 Pew poll found similar results, with 0.6 percent identifying as transgender, including 3.1 percent of those under 25. Fewer than 0.6 percent to 0.7 percent have undergone gender-re-assignment surgeries; the remainder are impersonating the opposite sex, as what we use to call transvestites. An additional one percent of adults identify as non-binary, which means they dress and style themselves in what used to be called “unisex” fashion and think of themselves as wandering between the sexes. That means the groups who are the focus of all the stridency account for less than 1.7 percent of American adults.
As Mr. Spock informed us, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Contrary to logic, the Constitution, federal law, and public opinion, the Biden administration promotes transgenderism as a cornerstone policy to the exclusion of the needs of the many.
Being LGBTQ may or may not be protected by a penumbra of a vague privacy right read into the Constitution by the Supreme Court, particularly in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) (contraceptives), Stanley v. Georgia (1969) (pornography), Roe v. Wade (1972) (abortion, reversed), and Lawrence v. Texas (2003) (sodomy), or by a right to liberty, e.g., Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) (gay marriage).
By contrast, the Constitution unambiguously protects free speech and the exercise of religion.
The Constitution does not protect an individual’s right to force others to refer to him or her as a “they.” When describing more than one person, if one or more of those persons is referred to as a “they” it is nearly impossible to know to whom “they” refers. A primary goal of communicating is to convey meaning accurately. With “they,” that often is impossible. Each person is one individual and with the rarest of true hermaphrodites, a he or a she. Aside from often misused possessive tenses, we reserve self-referential plural personhood to pompous royalty and we are not amused.
No baker should be forced to bake a cake, or write a message in favor of anyone with whom the baker disagrees. If you are getting married and a baker doesn’t want to participate, get another baker. If the comedian tells a joke you find offensive, change the channel, cancel the subscription, tell your own joke. Don’t invite the baker or comedian to your next party.
No aspect of transgenderism has received more attention than whether males who identify as females should have the right to play in girls’ sports. A 2021 poll from the pro-transgender Public Religion Research Institute shows a steep drop in support for boys playing in girls’ sports, and the claim that “gender” is unconnected to biological sex. Thirty-six percent believe that transgender males should be allowed to participate in female sports, down from 50 percent in 2018. Just 17 percent strongly agree there are genders other than male and female, down from 24 percent in 2019. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll published in June found just 30 percent of Americans support allowing transgender males to compete in female sports in high school, and 28 percent in college and professional sports.
In line with this thinking, last month, 71 percent of the members of FINA, the international Olympics swimming federation, effectively voted to ban transgender men from competing in women’s races by prohibiting male-to-female transgenders who experienced male puberty beyond Tanner 2 (earliest puberty), or any male puberty after age 12.
Though it receives less attention, however, the larger issue is the health of our children.
One day children want to be firefighters, the next day, athletes, and the next, doctors. Their brains, experiences, and emotions are not fully formed. They lack the legal right to enter into contracts, and require parental approval to dye their hair, or take a school trip. They can’t vote, drive, or drink. In late 2017, the American College of Pediatricians reported that about 98 percent of gender-confused boys, and 88 percent of gender-confused girls, naturally resolve their confusion, and that rates of suicide are nearly 20 times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery.
A comprehensive analysis by the Heritage Foundations shows that in states that permit minors to obtain sex-reassignment treatments without parental consent the suicide rate among minors is significantly higher.
Gender re-assignment, ranging from puberty blockers to surgery (labeled “gender affirming care” by progressives) can kill. It must be a last resort. Yet, the Biden administration is endangering children and adults by aggressively promoting transgenderism, at the expense of parents, families, and national security.
On his first day in office, Biden issued an executive order to “fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” Though seemingly benign and consistent with Bostock v. Clayton Country (2020), in which the Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, the meaning of the executive order is much broader. For example, the president believes that if young children do not discuss sex and LGBTQ lifestyles with their teachers it is “an attack on gay people.” Until just recently, there was consensus that teaching young grade school students about sex and gender identity is inappropriate. Though polls muddy the issue by including older students, most parents still hold that view (see here and here).
On January 25, 2021, a second executive order repealed an Obama-era policy that banned federally funded gender reassignment surgery. The Defense Department and Bureau of Prisons now provide free reassignment surgery for their constituencies.
U.S. passport applicants now may select any gender, or an “X” gender, and are not required to submit medical documentation, even if their selection differs from their other citizenship or identity documents. At least 13 states issue birth certificates with a third gender or “X” gender, and at least 19 states and the District of Columbia allow an “X” gender identifier on driver’s licenses and other identification. The purpose of identification is just that. Any identification other than biological sex, or possibly, a second marker for post-op transgenders, mocks these documents.
In his 2022 State of the Union address, Biden assured younger transgenders that he has their “backs” so they can reach their “God-given” potentials. Shortly after, the administration announced that it would cease funding lunches in schools that don’t let trans students use the bathrooms, locker rooms, showers and sleeping quarters of their choosing. Then, June saw a blitz:
- The White House issued an executive order promoting “gender-affirming care” for children, without parental consent, and seeking to end therapy aimed at dissuading children from transitioning (so-called, “conversion therapy”);
- The U.S. Department of Education began a rules-making process to permit all boys who identify as girls (whether pre- or post-op) to compete in girls’ sports, and to reduce protections for individuals accused of sexual discrimination;
- House Democrats announced a Transgender Bill of Rights that would expand legal rights and funding for transgenders, eliminate Federal requirements to include gender in identification documents, expand access to “gender-affirming” care, and ban conversion therapy. The bill provides that transgender policies will be led by “transgender communities, in particular Black and indigenous women.” [My emphasis.]
Adults should be free to live the gender or sexual preferences they prefer, or that nature selected for them. It is, however, child abuse, even with parental consent, to encourage or permit children to make irrevocable life-altering decisions to chop off body parts, or take cross-sex drugs.
Except to the radical left, “transphobe” is not an antonym for “transgenders have priority over all other people.” Genuinely held beliefs do not transmogrify into facts. We can protect transgenders and nonbinary identifiers from violence and job discrimination without funding their lifestyles, putting them on a pedestal that demeans 98.4 percent of us, or destroying the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment and Title IX.
The use of government, corporate and social media power to endanger our children, squelch dissent, or impede law enforcement doesn’t come primarily from the LGBTQ community. It comes from straight, heteronormative, cisgendered radical leftists. Their motives have nothing to do with improving mental health, or helping children cope with bullies. Rather, they openly seek to dismantle American structures, starting with the nuclear family. Transgenders, nonbinaries, and children are just their latest pawns. Using sick and suffering people to advance a destructive political agenda is the real transphobia.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.