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Sally Zelikovsky

Opinion

Transgender madness must be fought, even when conservatives support it

Sally Zelikovsky

March 11, 2019 (American Thinker) — Has anyone rationally analyzed the direction we are heading along the gender-fluid turnpike? If we don't set some guidelines soon, we'll be cruising headlong into a nasty multi-car pile-up. It might already be too late.

To wit, Josh Rogin's October 2018 article in the Washington Post, "Giselle Donnelly Can Finally Be Herself," came and went with barely a whimper in the conservative world, even though it recounts the transition of AEI's national security expert, Thomas Donnelly, to "transwoman" Giselle Donnelly.

Formerly a married man who fathered two children, this conservative scholar led a clandestine life as a woman wannabe. After his divorce and five years of gender probing, Donnelly found his peace sharing "national security, wine, gender fluidity, and BDSM" with his new wife, Elizabeth Taylor, a former naval nuclear instructor turned trans beauty consultant.

A few years ago, this would have been fodder for a skit on SNL. Today, it's serious stuff.

Rogin seems downright giddy about the transition and rebukes conservatives writ large, except for AEI chieftains Arthur Brooks and Danielle Pletka, who supported Donnelly and seamlessly facilitated changes to the site as if nothing monumental happened. His picture was quietly replaced with "hers"; we were expected to accept this as so normal that only one line at the website gave it away: "Thomas Donnelly transitioned in October 2018. Please go to Giselle Donnelly's current bio page for more recent work." While articles are still attributed to Thomas Donnelly, only Giselle is listed as a scholar. His bio is now "hers" and states: "Formerly Thomas Donnelly, Giselle Donnelly's previous work can be found here." In time, evidence that Thomas Donnelly walked this earth (except for his children) will go down the Memory Hole and be wiped from history. 

I understand there is a human being here who has been in emotional pain and decided that this is how to fix it. While this might have been an exciting journey of gender exploration for Donnelly, Rogin indicates that it has been a struggle for his family. Giselle can tell his children that Dad in a dress and wig is the same rock guitar–playing conservative national security expert he was in a suit, but my guess is that even grown children see clearly that the emperor is stark-raving naked.

While we all go about our daily lives, transgender advocacy organizations have pushed changes in the military, sports, our schools, even the pageantry world. As a society, we haven't been accorded the opportunity to have an honest, comprehensive national conversation about transgender issues and whether individuals should be free to transition absent scientific proof. Debate has been carefully stifled by the proponents of all things transgender; issues are presented not as questions, but as foregone conclusions; and any credible opposition is "transphobia" and "hate" punishable by public humiliation. People lose their jobs, credibility, and memberships in organizations. They're excommunicated from social media, harassed, labeled, and doxxed if they dare question the trans-orthodoxy of the Democrat-Media Complex and LGBTQ Mafia. 

Ironically, there is no deference to science on these issues unless radical academics can contort the science to fit the cause. 

It's almost as if Rogin wants us to take a deep breath and relax now that Thomas is Giselle, but it's not that straightforward. He is a dude who "became" a chick in a relationship with a dude who "became" a chick. Is he gay or lesbian? Are they pansexual? Are they both non-binary and can switch as they choose? The array of possibilities here is dizzying. 

Silly backwards heterosexuals! It's a spectrum, a gold mine of sexualities to be prospected! It doesn't matter what Giselle and Liz are — only what they want to be in that moment! Antiquated scientific realties cum social constructs of "male" and "female" must not impinge on or limit their desires! 

Now, some might call this hedonism, confusion, dysphoria, or mental illness. But you publicly articulate that at your own risk. Even with conclusive scientific evidence and ironclad statistics, you will be thought-lynched in the public square.

While young people seem unfazed, refuse to assign their offspring a sex, and themselves navigate the Chinese menu of gender choices, such upheavals in society are not healthy when they have been thrust upon us by powerful political forces backed by big donors with transformative agendas. 

Those of us who aren't convinced, pretend it doesn't matter, but it does. At my gym, there is a man "transitioning" to a woman. The heterosexuals struggle not to gawk, are courteous and respectful, yet there is an undeniable tension: the men hope he won't change and shower in the men's locker room, while the women hope he will. 

Heterosexuals aren't the only ones concerned. Many gay couples with transitioning children struggle. Lesbian tennis icon Martina Navratilova spoke out against transgenders competing in sports, did some research after being attacked, and now opposes it even more vigorously.

Here's the rub. Just because you want to be a girl, that doesn't mean society should permit you to be injected with hormones, mutilate your genitals, undergo numerous surgeries, use the girls' locker room, compete on a women's sports team, and be accorded advantages in your education and career based on being a woman. Would it be acceptable if white people, who always felt black inside or identified with black culture and history, chemically darkened their skin?

The fact is, our society has not been allowed to draw any lines with regard to transgenders — be it in sports, bathrooms, single-sex schools, the military, or the workplace. Here's a suggestion based on science and reason: if you undergo testing and your chromosomal gender does not match up with your secondary sex characteristics, if you have ambiguous genitalia and the "wrong" sex was selected at birth, if you are a hermaphrodite, then I doubt anyone would have any issues with corrective surgery. What you then become — male or female — will be who you are and you will be treated just like anyone born of that gender.

These conditions are referred to as "intersex," and they are not common. In "How Common is Intersex," Dr. Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D., defines intersex as "those conditions in which (a) the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female, or (b) chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex." Simply put, if your chromosomal sex matches your genitalia, you are not intersex. 

He directly refutes Brown University professor Anne Fausto-Sterling (hereinafter "Fausto")'s claim that 1.7% of births are intersex, representing five million individuals in the U.S. Cited extensively in schools and by the media, Fausto's work is "a counterpoint to the view that the role division between men and women is largely predetermined by human evolutionary history[.] ... [H]uman sexual development is not always dichotomous and ... gender differences fall on a continuum, not into two separate buckets."

Dr. Sax explains in painstaking scientific detail how Fausto inflated her numbers by including non-intersex conditions — i.e., 88% of the patients included in the 1.7% have Late-Onset Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, where "[t]he genitalia of these babies are normal at birth, and consonant with their chromosomes." It develops later in life, sometimes not at all, with the most common symptoms being baldness for men and "oligomenorrhea, hirsutism, infertility, or acne" for women, with rare cases of mild clitoral enlargement. Dr. Sax clarifies that the actual rate of U.S. intersex births is 0.018%, or about 50,000 intersexuals! That's a significant difference.

It is transitions like Tom Donnelly's or the more visible Bruce Jenner's that appear problematic. Unless they can scientifically prove otherwise, they are males, with functioning secondary male sex characteristics, who successfully reproduced in long-term marriages. They look like men, sound like men, and have the plumbing and genetic make-up of men. If it is not anatomical or genetic, then it must be mental, emotional, or psychological and should be treated differently. Drastic "sex reassignment" surgery and hormone therapy should be used only for limited intersex conditions and not for intersex children until the technology advances. 

Decent non-haters are tired of being told gender is fluid, heteronormism is a chimera, and we must accept scientific truths about global warming but dismiss scientific truths about gender. 

We should not indulge brown-shirts silencing doctors and scientists who speak out, like Dr. Paul McHugh, the noted John Hopkins psychiatrist who closed the gender identity clinic in 1979 because it was ineffective in treating gender dysphoria and who continues to be a punching bag of progressive activists and media, or Dr. Kenneth Zucker, who for decades managed Toronto's Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic and was eventually pushed out because of the cautious approach he took with children. We are all held at gunpoint to applaud the emperor parading around in ladies' garb.

The line should be simple: if an individual wants surgery and hormone therapy, the threshold should be genetic testing to determine if he is truly intersexual. If he is, and the procedures are successful, he should be treated as the man or woman he becomes, entitled to legally change his birth certificate, check the appropriate "male" or "female" box, use the appropriate bathroom or locker room, compete in sports and the military per his sex, and be addressed with the appropriate pronouns and titles.

If they do not pass that threshold, they should be free to undergo sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy as they wish — this is, after all, America — but not on the taxpayer's dime or through private insurance, driving up the cost of insurance. They also should not be able to sue to compel admittance to opposite-sex bathrooms, locker rooms, sports, certain jobs, or the military.

Strong voices on the side of science must speak out, especially as technology advances. Activists and scientists with agendas like Dr. Fausto-Sterling will continue to push the notion that gender is fluid. It won't be long before perfections in CRSPR technology allow us to manipulate genes in utero, even in adults, to select and change anything, including our sex; nanobots could be programmed to de-feminize or de-masculinize; as with ears, genitalia could be lab-cultivated or 3D-printed; and the technology that allowed same-sex mice to procreate could be applied to humans. With these astounding technological achievements close by, a brave new culture will be thrust upon us before we have had the chance to examine if that is really the best course for our society, in particular, and humanity, in general.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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