Thursday, February 18, 2021

Brian S. Brown's Igor Is Having a Transphobic Tantrum

Joseph Grabowski
Joseph Grabowski
via International Organization for the Family
“In their upside-down world view, teaching kids to be kind and understanding is bad. Teaching them to hate others because they are different is virtuous.”
Thursday, Joseph Grabowski offers Transgender kids’ book sparks outrage on behalf of International Organization for the Family, an anti-LGBTQ hate group. The genius adds a subtitle which reads: “Unfortunately, this kind of ideology-driven curriculum is becoming increasingly typical around the country, and is impacting every age group.”

“Unfortunately” Mr. Grabowski is a Christian extremist who chooses to believe:
  1. Transgender people do not really exist. Those people “who identify as transgender” are just “confused” people who make very bad choices.
  2. Gender dysphoria is somehow contagious.
Grabowski, a proud graduate of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, is the person who is profoundly confused. Gender incongruence is a condition that is copiously addressed by medical science. Religious dogma should have no role in the care of a medical condition. But I digress. According to Grabowski:
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
A Murray teacher read a book about a transgender child to a class of third graders last month — which set off a backlash from parents. In response, the school district has now suspended a program aimed at introducing kids to more diverse and inclusive literature.

The uproar started when a student at Horizon Elementary brought a copy of “Call Me Max” from home and asked the teacher to read it aloud during story time. The book is an illustrated account of a young transgender boy who educates his own teacher and classmates about his identity.
The source article at the Salt Lake Tribune seems to be critical of the school district. It notes that “a few” parents complained. That is not an “uproar.”

The fact that a few (presumably) Mormons do not approve of transgender people has no relevance to the reality of a child suffering with gender dysphoria. The fact that the school district acceded to the wishes of a few ignorant religious zealots is equally irrelevant.

Third graders are about eight years of age. The real question is whether or not the material is age-appropriate.

If age-appropriateness is settled then comes the issue of educational value. The book, by the way, is a best-seller with mostly five-star Amazon reviews.

The author is “a school librarian and writer in New York City. He first came out as trans in 2004, and has over fifteen years of experience in discussing trans identities and issues with adults and children from many different communities.” According to the publisher it is suitable for seven to nine-year-old children.

The simple fact is that trans kids do exist. Pretending otherwise is to promote ignorance.

Grabowski doesn't care about any of that. Grabowski is a Catholic zealot who defines truth as the teachings of the Church. Evidence — or lack of evidence — has no bearing on what is true or false:
The article goes on to quote Murray School District spokesman Doug Perry as saying that the school district stands by the overall program and the inclusion of pro-LGBT propaganda in the “equity books bundle” generally, even noting that the district participates in the Utah Pride conference. But Perry did say that they did not support the decision to read this particular book to third graders, explaining, “[The teacher] just flat out made a mistake. That book is not appropriate at the grade level it was being shared.”
I can assure you that the article in the Tribune (which I encourage you to read) does not refer to “pro-LGBT propaganda.”

As the Tribune points out, the reason that the books was in the classroom was because a student had a copy. It also explains that some Utah schools also have a problem with Black History Month. They actually allowed parents to opt out of that part of the curriculum.

Utah has some very sober people who are fair-minded critical thinkers. Utah also has its fair share of whack jobs in residence. The aforementioned Mr. Perry is not an educator. Nor does he possess an advanced degree. Mr. Perry is the public information officer for a very small school district. Perry is in no position to determine the age-appropriateness of a book.

Grabowski adds this bit of bigotry:
Note, while the article continually refers to Lukoff as a “he,” Lukoff is in fact a biological woman and ‘female-to-male transitioned’ individual.
That's right Mr. Grabowski. In polite society we address people as they choose to be addressed. Fanatical religious beliefs (let's pretend) that transgender people do not exist should extend only to one's own beliefs; not to their behavior. In this case some vary bad behavior.

The presumed arbiter of educational standards, Mr. Grabowski, has more to say (emphasis per original):
Call Me Max may be only the tip of the iceberg. By way of experiment, I selected one at random to peruse—a book called Be You! by Peter Reynolds. The book is designated on the list as being for Kindergarteners and above. One page reads, “Think for yourself and set your own unique course. It isn’t always easy, but you’ll be heading in the direction of YOU.” Apart from the question of whether even the syntax and grammar are appropriate for Kindergarteners (one could argue that “set your own unique course” is a bit sophisticated for the age group), it is certainly open to debate whether the message is appropriate.
It's the “think for yourself” that Grabowski finds most disturbing. Religious literalism depends upon adherent who do not think for themselves. Grabowski even goes on the write:
… perhaps it’s better that they learn the lesson of staying in line and following directions rather than that it’s good to “go your own way.”
The dumb schmuck is probably fucking up his own children if he has any.
An advanced society requires intellectually curious people who are critical thinkers. “Think for yourself” fosters a diversity of opinion which is anathema for ultra-conservative Christians.
Grabowski is painfully verbose. He goes on the assert that books about lesbian moms, families headed by gay couples and the entire cornucopia of people he does not approve of are never age appropriate. His conclusion provides evidence of his makeup:
Unfortunately, this kind of ideology-driven curriculum is becoming increasingly typical around the country, and is impacting every age group. The book list from Utah clearly reflects not only insidious messages of LGBT propaganda like Call Me Max that destabilize and confuse children, but also books that would definitely fit under the umbrella of Marxist-inspired “critical theory” about race and gender, which are in many ways just as troubling.

It is crucial that parents remain vigilant to what their kids are being taught in schools, and to look behind the innocuous sounding names of programs like “equity books bundles” to discern what is really being “bundled” into their children’s education.

The two most common reasons for opposing scientifically accurate curricula that addresses sexual diversity:
  1. The fear that learning about LGBTQ people will cause children to choose to be gay or transgender.
  2. The objectivity makes it harder for children to be indoctrinated with prejudice.
In their upside-down world view, teaching kids to be kind and understanding is bad. Teaching them to hate others because they are different is virtuous.

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