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July 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – It appears that the war of words between J.K. Rowling and trans activists will not be resulting in a ceasefire anytime soon. Since the publication of her essay explaining why she is opposed to many of the aims of the transgender movement (while emphasizing her support for many aspects of the LGBT agenda overall), trans activists have been trolling her page with increasing hysteria and vitriol. Even a tweet Rowling sent out to encourage a child with cancer was immediately swarmed by trans activists, demanding that the heretic recant.

Yesterday, Rowling spoke out again, tweeting in part that “Many health professionals are concerned that young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests. Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.” 

To back this up, she tweeted a recent BBC investigation into the Tavistock Clinic, which features the concerns of many former employees.

In response to all of this, trans activists launched the hashtag #TransPeopleAreRealPeople, with thousands of tweets condemning Rowling and many people posting personal stories and photos of themselves before and after transition. In tweet after tweet, the assertion “trans people are real people!” was bandied about as if that were the fact being questioned.

I don’t want to review the entire J.K. Rowling brawl here, as I’ve covered that extensively in previous columns. But I do think it is important to point out that trans activists are once again doing what they do best: Gaslighting the public. Rowling has made some important critiques of trans ideology, and she has done so from a pro-LGBT, feminist perspective. Her views have been formed primarily by her discussions with members of those progressive communities. She is not a social conservative, and she has no objections to nearly any of the tenets of the Sexual Revolution.

Most importantly, neither she nor anyone else is saying that “trans people don’t exist.” Neither she nor anyone else is saying that trans people are not “real people.” Nobody is trying to “erase trans people.” That is not the assertion Rowling is making from a progressive standpoint, and it is not the assertion myself and others are making from a socially conservative standpoint. That is not the debate here, and trans activists are only attempting to reframe the debate so that they can attack straw men and avoid rebutting the actual assertions being made. 

It would be foolish and ignorant to say that such people “don’t exist.” What we are saying is that biological men cannot become biological women. We are saying that someone cannot change genders simply be choosing to identify as the opposite sex. We are saying that biological men should not be permitted access to female-only spaces. We are saying that the spike — by thousands of percentage points — in girls choosing to identify as boys is dangerous and will have tragic consequences. But trans activists do not want to engage with those critiques. They would rather babble on about how they are being “erased” and how we claim that they “do not exist.”

How, exactly, could we have a debate about trans ideology with people who don’t exist? This argument is simultaneously nonsensical and, of course, accepted at face value by most of the media establishment. By claiming that our objections to their ideology constitute “erasing” people, they make even mild divergence from their views (like Rowling’s) appear to be somehow dangerous, or even violent. Speech is violence now, according to many progressive activists. And thus it is easier for them to pretend that their opponents, who are responding to their assertions, are actually saying that the very folks they are responding to “don’t exist.” That is a much safer avenue of attack than, say, explaining why tens of thousands of girls are suddenly identifying as boys.

Unsurprisingly, trans activists don’t want to have those discussions.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews famed Chesterton scholar and founder of the Chesterton society and the Chesterton schools, Dale Ahlquist. They discusss what G.K. Chesterton would think of the riots happening in the United States and the current state of the world.

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below:

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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.


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