Monday, July 8, 2019

Oops: "We Fought the Transgender Activists, and Lost..."

The tirade is from someone named Kristen Allen and she has penned 5 Lessons for Every Parent. The outlet for this gibberish is Heritage Foundation's blog. We are informed that Allen is a member of the Arlington Parent Coalition. The Arlington Parent Association (APC) is a small anti-LGBT group presumably of conservative Christian origin.

What Ms. Allen finds so upsetting is transgender accommodations in Arlington, Virginia's schools. It's a safe bet that Ms. Allen has a religious objection to the existence of transgender people. The Catholic Church recently released an anti-trans screed: “Male and Female He Created Them.” The title refers to a passage in Genesis.

It makes perfect sense to conform social science to the absence of gender dysphoria in Bronze Age texts of indeterminable provenance. Right? Are CAT scans in peril?

APC has a Wix website. There is no contact information. For that matter there is no information about the org. The section titled “Research” contains no research at all. Rather, it provides the musings of religious crackpots like Michelle Cretella and Ryan T. Anderson's panel of people who have never published any research on LGBT people. No one seems to be reading the Forum posts (Wix provides a convenient counter).

Ultimately, Ms. Allen is a crank and she was received by the school board accordingly.
Activists, activist, activists:
The steady and focused efforts of transgender activists over the last 20-30 years are now bearing fruit. Some of the policy changes coming to Arlington County include biological boys and girls being allowed into each others’ bathrooms and locker rooms, girls having to compete against transgender boys in sports, and schools compelling speech in favor of transgender pronouns.
It is the combination of common sense and common courtesy that passes for activism.

I wonder how many trans students there are in the Arlington school system. So what if people are using gender-appropriate bathrooms? It is nothing but a trope to incite anti-trans bigotry? As for sports, that too is an artifice. Were someone really concerned with fairness in sports they would ask the school board to develop a specific policy. It might include things like how long the kid has been in transition and what medications she has been taking.

Compelled speech? We compel many forms of speech in public schools including how faculty and students are addressed. It is simply a matter of politeness to address transgender students properly and no one dies from doing so. Misgendering a transgender kid is as offensive as calling gay child a “faggot.” Doing so might earn the offender some time in detention or even a suspension.
Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for the Alliance for Defending Freedom, estimates that hundreds of school systems across the country are now fighting the roll-out of transgender ideology. Communities are woefully unprepared for the impact this will have on our children. There is no road map for grassroots groups to follow as they fight this radical agenda and cultural shift.
They always out themselves. “Transgender ideology” is a Vatican theme. Being transgender is neither a philosophy nor doctrine. It is a means of mitigating the effects of gender dysphoria. Children should not be forced to suffer because of a few religious cranks. ADF, as you all know, is an anti-LGBT hate group.
Ah yes, those five tips for parents. Repeat the losing arguments:
1. Courage is contagious.

While some hesitate to engage for fear of being called a “hater” or “bigot,” we must push back on those who want to reshape our children’s understanding of biology, personhood, privacy, and the primary role of parents. …
Have the courage to voice your bigotry and ignorance? This has nothing whatsoever to do with biology or privacy. I have no idea what personhood refers to (it is usually anti-choice rhetoric). What would this parent do if she had a child suffering with gender incongruence? The “primary role of parents” is not to impose religious ideology (yes, ideology) on public school policies.
2. Put together a diverse coalition.

The transgender movement divides—the child against him or herself, children against parents, and neighbor against neighbor.

Use the power of common interest across the lines of faith, culture, and politics to create alliances. Christians and Muslims must coordinate. Immigrant parents need to be involved. Liberals and conservatives must find points on which they agree.
Hmm. She left Jews out of the mix. The only thing that divides a child against him or herself is prejudice topped with ignorance. Once the starting point is religious belief, the coalition is pointless (unless of course you are in some place like Alabama). The starting point with transgender issues is medical science. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends gender-affirming care.

How do you rebut science with passages from ancient texts? Does any rational, well educated person believe that the American College of Pediatricians with its annual budget of less than $100 thousand is authoritative? Where is Michelle Cretella's peer-review research that has been published to a respected academic journal?
3. The gatekeepers have failed parents.

Despite significant internal disagreement, professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the National School Board Association succumbed to pressure from the transgender advocates to endorse affirmation ideology.
[…]
However, local doctors and mental-health professionals have a powerful voice when speaking about the dangers of affirming transgender children. Get them involved.
It is probably a safe bet that Ms. Allen has never read the American Academy of Pediatrics document. She should really stop blaming ubiquitous activists for science that she does not like.

When you don't like the science claim that it is only an effort to be politically correct. Claim that there is internal conflict without evidence. Science is evidence-based. She is confusing religion — which is an ideology — with medical science.

As for the doctors and mental health professionals that are mystically in agreement with he, where is the peer-reviewed research that they have published? The only people assigning danger to gender-affirmation are religious fanatics. They do not treat kids with gender dysphoria and they do not research the matter. People on school boards (for the most part) aren't stupid. They will ask the embarrassing questions.

Cretella, Quentin van Meter or Paul Hruz would probably suit up for a reasonably close locale. Some of those embarrassing questions might include:

  • Are you board certified in psychiatry?
  • Do you treat children with gender dysphoria?
  • Have you published research on gender dysphoria?
  • Have you ever give a professional presentation on gender dysphoria?

4. Spread the truth about gender-affirming therapy.

Educating people is essential, and information about the dangers of affirming gender dysphoria is being suppressed. For instance, a simple internet search on “transgender children” provides lists of references from transgender advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign. It’s much harder to find the alternative point of view.

Parents should prepare talking points and source citations to use with school administrators, their school board, and other parents.
So the absence of alternative evidence means that it is being suppressed? That is the claim of every charlatan with a cure for cancer. The reason it is not there is because it does not exist. There is a link in the above to articles in Christian outlets like Witherspoon Institute. There is even one to TFP which is kind of like the merger of Opus Dei and the John Birch Society. What she does not link to is any peer-reviewed research supporting her religious dogma.
5. There are no opt-outs for our kids.

Parents must understand that we now exist in a post-opt-out world. You are misled if you believe pulling your children out of certain course units will protect them.

Transgender ideology is coming from the “bottom up” through social media and massive cultural changes. Public school children are being indoctrinated in transgender ideology by posters on the wall, speakers in the library, books on the shelves, after-school clubs, school-wide celebrations, and politicized teachers. Vigilance and consistent engagement with principals and classroom teachers are critical.
Opt out of what exactly? The only “ideology” that is present is encouraging kids to treat their peers with kindness. Kids should not be instructed to ostracize of marginalize other kids because they are different. This awful woman hasn't the first clue about trans and gender nonconforming children. She wants to pretend that they do not exist.
At one point, I found myself looking for an exit from the fight when an activist from neighboring Fairfax County gave me a steely look and said, “It is far worse than you understand, and don’t you dare walk away.”

Only parents can demand accountability from school systems and set boundaries around their children. We can’t walk away.
That's actually correct. Those transgender and gender nonconforming children have parents too. Their friends and neighbors actually understand this issue. Most parents resent efforts to impose religious dogma on school policy. So those parents who constitute the informed majority do set boundaries for students. Those boundaries are defined by respect and kindness. They demand that schools are accountable to a diversity of students and their parents. Minority students should not suffer at the hands of a noisy group of religious zealots.

Many years ago my father had a very ugly incident in Virginia due to anti-Semitism. While his company was based in Manhattan, he had an office in Richmond. One morning, the local manager found that someone had painted a sign on the front door referring to “Jew York Kikes.” It was probably from a disgruntled employee or an unhappy customer. Whatever the cause, the bigotry was licensed by religious dogma.

These days, the same people, based on the same religious nonsense, promote their hatred of gay people. They have retooled much of that anti-gay rhetoric to apply to transgender people; mostly trans youth. They should be ashamed of themselves but they never will be. According to them they are warriors for their god. If there really is a god then S/He is going to be very pissed off at the treatment of his or her people.

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