Jonathon Van Maren

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Are you a bigot for refusing to date a transgender person? LGBT activists think so

Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon

July 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Indications that our culture is on its last legs, rationally speaking, are in abundance these days. Earlier this month, for example, we’ve been exposed to the delightful new term “theybies”—which, if you’re wondering, is what you call a baby when you decide to raise the child “gender-neutral” so that they can choose their own gender at around four years old. In Ireland, which has been gleefully offloading its Christian heritage since they repealed the right to life for pre-born children in May, the social protection minister lauded a report on “Ireland’s gender identity laws…that recommended extending the right to self-identity and non-binary people” by allowing them to change their gender “from birth.” 

But in 2018, things can always get crazier. Consider this trending story from the BBC:

A reality television programme kicked off a debate about whether it's discriminatory or transphobic to refuse to date a transsexual person. The argument started on UK reality television show Celebrity Big Brother, where minor celebrities are locked into a studio made to look like a house, then filmed 24/7.

As might be expected in such a situation, tensions run high and conversations can be fractious. One of the housemates is India Willoughby, a TV journalist who had an established career as a man before transitioning to become a woman.

Willoughby asked her housemates about their dating preferences, and the resulting conversation kicked off a social media storm.

"Would you go out with a transsexual woman?" she queried.

"I believe it's your choice... I would choose not to," replied the R'n'B singer Ginuwine. "That doesn't make me scared."

"You would go out with a woman?" Willoughby asked.

"Yes."

"But you wouldn't go out with a transsexual woman?"

"No."

The conversation rumbled on. When Willoughby suggested "Let's have a kiss," Ginuwine replied "no" and leaned away from her.

India was later seen telling another guest that "all this superficial stuff that you are a woman and all that sounds great and is the right thing to say. But it makes no difference if people don't believe it - that's the problem."

While some housemates defended Ginuwine's refusal to date a transsexual woman as a "preference", the issue divided the audience on Twitter.

Twitter promptly exploded with LGBT activists accusing this fellow of being “transphobic” for declining to be sexually interested in a biological-male-turned-female, along with a discussion about whether sexual preference outweighed the plight of transgender people who have a rough time getting a date.

Let that sink in for a moment. We are apparently at the point where someone is not only “transphobic” for finding the tenets of gender ideology scientifically and philosophically dubious, but can also find themselves guilty of this recently-invented sin for failing to display sexual interest in a transgender person. It is difficult to find anything to say that can emphasize how bizarre, perverse, and utterly surreal this is. I’d like to say that this is rock bottom, but unfortunately there does not seem to be a floor to this madness.

As I’ve written many times before in this space, we will pay dearly for accepting the ideology of gender fluidity. Some researchers are already cautiously sounding the alarm—a recent study reviewed in the Research Digest of the British Psychological Society warns that “early transition” can come with some severe risks:

Clinicians treating teenagers with gender dysphoria, the teens themselves, and their parents, are faced with a dilemma – puberty suppressing drugs and hormonal treatments will likely make it easier for the adolescent to gender transition in due course, and the earlier that process begins, the more effective it is likely to be. However, intervening earlier comes with a greater risk that the teen may later de-transition (that is, change their mind about wanting to transition to the other gender), leaving them with potentially irreversible bodily changes caused by the hormonal treatment.

According to a systematic review published recently in the journal Pediatrics, adding to this clinical dilemma is a dearth of quality data on the physical and psychosocial effects of hormonal treatments on gender dysphoric teenagers and young adults. The limited evidence that is available provides only “qualified support” for these treatments, the review concludes, and while puberty suppressors have some benefits, they do not actually alleviate gender dysphoria.

The new findings – based on an exhaustive search of any and all relevant studies published between 1946 and 2017 – are published at a time when the medical and allied professions have shifted toward an increasingly “affirmative” approach toward gender dysphoria, one that at the extreme involves encouraging the process of transition at the very first signs of the condition… the new review reveals how this advice is based on extremely limited evidence. When it comes to teens and young adults aged under 25, we simply do not yet know much about the psychosocial effects of pubertal suppressors (including gonadotropin-releasing analogs which suppress the development of secondary sexual characteristics) and hormonal treatments (both gender-affirming hormones and cross-hormonal treatments, such as anti-androgens, which counter the effects of testosterone, and progestins, which suppress the menses).

The study goes on to warn that there is virtually no data on the trend of “detransitioning,” when young people attempt to reverse the physical and hormonal changes they have embarked on—and that much caution and more research are needed to determine the way forward. These findings, of course, are dismissed by the ideologues who find these scientific heresies unwelcome and inconvenient—if not “transphobic.” Jesse Singal of The Atlantic got crucified for merely raising these questions earlier this summer.

The single silver lining in all of this is that increasingly, many liberals are growing suspicious of the totalitarian instincts displayed by the trans movement. The fact that scientific findings—or even questions—can be promptly suppressed by a few rounds of highly public name-calling and social ostracization are causing concern and even suspicion among many who accepted same-sex “marriage” without qualms. And then, of course, there is the growing ridiculousness that defies parody—demands that straight men demonstrate their lack of transphobia by showing sexual interest in transgender people, for example.

It will be interesting to find out if there will be a straw that breaks the camel’s back in the transgender debate. Most people simply ignore these trends, and many ordinary people disregard these cultural discussions as ridiculous and unworthy of their time. In fact, trans activists are counting on many parents remaining ignorant while they insert their ideologies into public school curriculums across North America, and some parents have already discovered, to their horror, that the ideology they had ignored has resulted in their children requesting physical transition. Many of these parents are now pushing back, only to find themselves presented as a threat to the well-being of their own children.

Our culture will face a reckoning for indoctrinating children into these ideologies, and it will not be pretty.

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Jonathon Van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.