Featured Image

You’re invited! Join LifeSite in celebrating 25 years of pro-life and pro-family reporting at our anniversary Gala August 17th in Naples, Florida. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by clicking here. 

(LifeSiteNews) — It has been four years since Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University was viciously attacked for publishing a paper titled “Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria.” Littman revealed that a key reason for the exponential growth of children and teens identifying as transgender is that gender ideology has become a peer contagion. Nearly every week since Littman’s much-maligned research was published, new evidence has emerged that she was correct. 

The stories of how this peer contagion are spreading truly are surreal. Consider this story, from one mother writing anonymously (as most parents coming forward on this issue do): 

A quarter of the girls in my daughter’s class identify as transgender. Seven out of 28… I did not make this up. A quarter of the girls in my kid’s class identify as boys. One of them has had four names this year, all from anime series. I keep seeing people say, both on the hell-site Twitter and in the popular media, that the trans population is a tiny minority, less than 0.1% of the population. If that is true, what is going on at my child’s school? What has made the number of trans-identified girls in one year group grow from a constant zero pre-pandemic, to 25% now? 

This mom has a theory, and I think it is an important one. She believes that these schools are creating trans kids—that they are teaching children about transgender identities, introducing them to the possibility that they might be trans (and that they can choose whichever identity they want), and then cultivating and encouraging that idea when it (inevitably) begins to surface in many children. If parents disagree, then they’re cut out. 

As the beleaguered mother put it: “My daughter’s trans identity started when the school taught a module on ‘identity’ during which they told a group of 11-year-olds that, if you feel uncomfortable in your body, it means you are transgender. My daughter had just had her first period two months prior to this class. Of course she was feeling uncomfortable in her body. She went home, looked up ‘transgender’ on Tiktok, and that was it. She was now trans.” 

I’ve spoken with many parents whose kids have come out as trans, and social media is a factor in every single story. Parents are generally not aware that social media essentially allows their children to create unsupervised communities of peers impervious to parental supervision; their sons and daughters inhabit digital subcultures that are utterly foreign to parents, and parents are unaware of what their children learn there. Social media is dangerous, for it not only removes your child from your influence, it usually replaces it entirely. 

Another reason so many children want to identify as something other than straight (a mom recently told me that her young daughter actually gets made fun of at school as “boring” because she’s simply a normal girl) is that it is made attractive to kids desperate to figure out their identity and fit in. As the anonymous writer put it, “the school’s non-stop celebration of LGBTQI+ identities” pushes kids into them. “[I]n the last two to three years, this has meant a relentless stream of identity flags and rainbows. Transgender ‘heroes’ like Jazz Jennings are worked into any part of the curriculum that they even vaguely fit. This is a school for kids aged 9 to 13. I’m no prude, but I also don’t think a constant parade of sexual politics is appropriate for such young children.” 

READ: School board director running ‘safe sex’ workshops for 9-year-olds

That, of course, is the sort of statement that would have once been utterly uncontroversial but now costs you your ally card. In fact, parents who display caution can end up sidelined by the very school that introduced their children to the transgender lifestyle in the first place. The writer’s daughter’s name and pronouns were changed by the school without her knowledge—not even a phone call. That, she noted, seems to be the unofficial policy—just go with whatever the child says. The effects are often awful. “For my daughter,” she wrote, “the name and pronoun change (which we foolishly went along with, on the advice of a therapist) was a tipping point into depression and self-harm. It has made her miserable. When I spoke to the school about the harm they are doing, they would not hear it.”  

“They told me that they celebrate all identities, that they pride themselves on being inclusive,” she wrote. “They cannot see the transgender issue as anything other than fun flags and inclusivity and respect. They do not see the dark side that we parents do: we are trying to protect our kids from bone-crushing puberty blockers; from taking cross-sex hormones when they’re too young to have had sex; from having radical surgery on their developing bodies. Some days it feels like we are holding back a tsunami.” 

READ: Catholic school board member in Toronto faces renewed attacks over opposition to LGBT agenda

Other parents feel the same, the author noted. “I regularly speak to the parents of the other girls. Everyone has had a different response: some have started to medicalise, others are against it; some have bought binders, others not; some have gone with the name changes, others are resisting. The one thing that all the parents share is a sense of bafflement. What the hell is going on here? Why is a quarter of the girls in the class identifying as trans?” One parent noted that this trend seems similar to the ‘90s anorexia craze. The whistleblower agreed—but with one difference. 

 “In the 90s, no medical professionals were encouraging these groups of girls in their skewed perceptions of their bodies, and their self-harm. No school celebrated anorexia. But this time, the doctors and schools are helping the anorexics to diet.” 

Featured Image

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.