December 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – An association of pediatricians is condemning National Geographic over its decision to put a 9-year-old child who identifies as transgender on the cover of its January issue.
National Geographic will be highlighting the “gender revolution” for its January 2017 issue, featuring Avery Jackson, a 9-year-old child, the first appearance of a transgender person on the publication’s cover.
Avery is quoted on the cover stating, “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.”
Michelle Cretella, MD, president of the American College of Pediatricians, told LifeSiteNews that National Geographic is “promoting a political agenda over science and the wellbeing of innocent children” by featuring a young transgender child.
“'Affirming’ so called transgender children means sterilizing them as young as 11years old,” said Dr. Cretella. “Puberty blockers plus cross-sex hormones causes permanent sterility. And biological girls who ‘transition’ to male by taking testosterone may have a double mastectomy at age 16. The life time use of cross-sex hormones also puts these children at risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancers and more.”
Since the child began to identify as a girl at the age of three, Avery’s parents have remained avid supporters. Avery’s mother, Debbie Jackson describes her and Avery’s father’s feelings of confusion and doubt at the beginning of the process in a video statement: “Until that point she was quite a rough-and-tumble little boy with a buzz cut and a shark tooth necklace. But when she was three, she asked her dad and I if we could buy her a princess dress.”
Jackson explains not buying Avery a dress at first because they thought it was just a phase, but when they found out their son was wearing his favorite dress at daycare they went and bought him a princess dress. According to Jackson, Avery wore that dress every moment while at home, and eventually asked for more: dresses, nightgowns, headbands, and sparkly shoes. But his parents drew the line at girl underwear.
After meeting with a psychologist and endocrinologist, and ruling out any hidden medical issues, Avery was allowed to go to school dressed as a girl. Jackson and her family lost friends and family members and went “into hiding” for a year while Avery “grew out her hair to look like the girl she is,” Jackson explains. When the family emerged, “it was with a very happy and confident daughter.”
Cretella believes it is both unethical and harmful for parents to make such decisions regarding their children’s gender because they will most likely grow out of their gender dysphoria. “When a child under the age of 12 thinks they are the opposite sex and is allowed to naturally pass through puberty, 75%-95% of the time that child will accept his or her biological sex by the late teen years.”
Though National Geographic has covered the transgender before, this is by far it’s most high-profile treatment of the issue to date.
Cretella argues that public support of “transgenderism” in children is tantamount to “child abuse.” “When academic, medical and other public institutions propagate the lifetime use of toxic hormones and the surgical removal of healthy body parts as healthcare for children they are engaged in institutionalized child abuse,” she said.