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June 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this week, in their July/August issue, The Atlantic made what appears to be a very serious mistake: They published a long-form article by Jesse Singal titled “When Children Say They’re Trans.”

The prestigious liberal publication—which dutifully fired columnist Kevin D. Williamson when the social media mobs came for him for off-hand comments on a podcast about abortion—is now on the receiving end of raw hatred and vitriol from trans activists that shows you everything you need to know about the tolerance of the transgender movement—and how they plan to respond to dissent in a society they seek to transform by the acceptance of their gender ideologies.

Jesse Singal, it seems, committed a few unpardonable sins in the course of conducting interviews and writing his essay.

First of all, he talked to a teenage girl who thought she was trans, but later realized that she was not—and was relieved that her parents had delayed getting her the double-mastectomy and hormone treatments she’d been pleading for just a short time before. Those parents, even though they prevented the permanent mutilation of their daughter, did the wrong thing in the eyes of trans activists—as Singal notes, the LGBT movement urges parents and other authorities to respond to any indication that a teen or child might be trans with “affirmation.” Singal made the mistake of telling a story that clearly implied what the results of that could be.

Secondly, Singal also interviewed a number of “detransitioners”: Men and women who attempted to physically transition to the opposite gender, and later decided to transition back to their biological sex—often after much physical and mental trauma. As far as trans activists are concerned, these men and women are nonpersons. Any mention of them in any column or article incurs their immediate rage—as the Twitter mobs headed over to Jesse Singal’s profile, journalist Katie Herzog chimed in with a chilling observation: “Watching people beat up on Jesse Singal is giving me major flashbacks. When I wrote about detransition, people burned stacks of the paper and put up fliers in my neighborhood calling me, The Stranger, my editor, and Dan Savage (of all people) transphobic.”

It is important to note here that Jesse Singal’s essay not only presented the stories of many trans people who have apparently happily gone through “gender reassignment surgery,” he also lauds the advances the trans movement has made and seems to accept entirely the premises of the transgender ideology. In other words, Singal’s views on transgenderism would be considered extraordinarily “progressive” just a few short years ago, but in 2018 trans activists have moved beyond seeking cultural acceptance and are now demanding cultural dominance. Singal might accept all of the fundamental premises of their movement, but he dared to point out that transitioning for teenagers could be dangerous, and that there are people who are profoundly unhappy and hurt by 'transitioning.' And for that, apparently, he must be exiled.

Jesse Singal seems to be joining a growing group of liberals that have found themselves abruptly ejected from polite company over views that were radical only a decade ago. Activist Amelia Gapin responded to The Atlantic essay on Twitter, which was accompanied by the question: “Your child says she’s trans. She wants hormones and surgery. She’s 13 years old. What do you do?” Only one response, Gapin said, irrespective of the double-mastectomy a healthy teenage girl would have gotten due to Gapin’s ideological extremism, is permissible in response to a child saying they might be trans: “You listen to her and believe her. You take her to a therapist who has experience with transgender children. You get her on hormone blockers if that’s what she wants/needs. You have compassion and focus on her needs and happiness. You ignore anything Jesse Singal writes.” What about the fact that 80% of children grow out of gender dysphoria? Shut up! she explained.

Gapin’s response was tame compared to the tidal wave of hatred from blue-checkmarked trans activists.

Emily Gorcenski tweeted, “If you wonder if there’s anyone who I dislike more than the Nazis who assaulted me and nearly killed me, there is one person and his name is Jesse Singal.” In other words: A journalist who lauded many advances of the trans movement, but interviewed a few people the trans movement thinks should stay invisible, means that Singal is worse than a physically violent Nazi.

Another activist on Twitter stated that publications who choose to publish Jesse Singal would cause trans kids to commit suicide (although apparently a teenage girl transitioning before she realizes that she is female will cause no issues whatsoever.) Riley J. Dennis, who describes herself as a queer trans nonbinary polyamorous lesbian, was more succinct: “F*** you and f***this transphobic garbage.” 

Quite a few other writers on Twitter, again most of them liberal, expressed confusion that Singal’s nuanced essay was attracting such vitriol. Lilly Dancyger helpfully spelled it out for them: “Tip for cis people who may be confused by the reaction to Jesse Singal’s work: It doesn’t matter whether we see what’s harmful or transphobic about it—trans people are saying it is, and they’re the ones that get to decide that!” To translate: External observers to the trans movement are forbidden. Only Official Community Spokespersons spouting the Officially Approved Lines As They Stand Currently are allowed to speak for the trans movement. Anyone else is subject to an instant smear-job. 

One activist even had a message for those journalists who supported the trans movement, but were insufficiently enthusiastic about attacking the same people trans activists are attacking: “Y’all trans amorous journalists in NYC who just kinda shrug your shoulders about being the same magazines as Jesse Singal are part of the problem, btw.” Another claimed that Singal—again, a pro-LGBT liberal—was sharing “the same ideological real estate” as the Westboro Baptist Church. The range of acceptable discourse around the trans ideology, according to trans activists, is about an inch wide and features heavily patrolled borders on both Left and Right. Singal is simply the latest liberal to walk into the tolerance buzz saw.

It is important to note the reaction of trans activists to this sort of thing because it illustrates the extent to which this movement is one fundamentally rooted in intolerance and a desire to stomp out, by whatever means necessary, any dissent. Any dissent, they threaten, will cause people to kill themselves. Any dissent makes you worse than a Nazi. Even when real children are being genuinely harmed by permanently altering their bodies on the basis of scientifically disproven gender ideologies, that doesn’t matter—children are always the collateral damage in revolutions. Discussion is forbidden, questions are forbidden, and you can either fall into line or cross it.

This is precisely why so many people believe that the trans movement may be overreaching: They have turned into hysterical totalitarians, and they do not even seem to realize it. 

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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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