When Harry Became Sally: A Love Letter from the Age of Reason

Anderson's book is a horror story. A true one, set in the present.

By Maggie Gallagher Published on March 8, 2018

Ryan Anderson just published a fine and brave book. It unpacks the very recent manufactured “consensus” that sex is a social fiction. Instead of what every human in history always thought it: a biological fact. So why does the book feel like a relic? I’ll be more specific. It seems like some treasure of an ancient civilization, a place where arguments and data mattered. One we dug up in some Mad-Max post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Anderson’s book proceeds through thoughtful, logical statements. Prestigious scholars endorse it:

  • A Johns Hopkins professor of psychiatry.
  • A Harvard law professor.
  • An Oxford don.
  • An assistant professor of medical ethics at Columbia Medical

These scholars too hearken back to a golden age. A time when honest thinking really mattered. Before we started treating our children like little lab rats.

Peel back its lucid arguments. Anderson’s book, When Harry Became Sally, is a horror story. A true one, set in the present.

A Sick Human Experiment 

Right now, the West is conducting a vast, sick human experiment. The subjects? Children. The costs and side-effects? Unknown. Perhaps unimaginable. Think back to the 1950s and its cruel lobotomy craze. But this could be worse.

Maybe the book is also a kind of war story. It tells how Ideology plowed into Medicine. Then smashed through it like the Blitzkrieg. The surrender came almost instantly.

Don’t take it from me. Ask a brain scientist. Boston University Professor Margaret Hagen says of this book:

Ryan Anderson forthrightly calls out the suspension of disbelief that has led us into ever more bizarre denials of reality, blindfolding our eyes and our head in the name of political ideology and ensuring the suffering of the mentally ill.

Agree, Or Else

The transgender ideology hit most of us by surprise. Suddenly, doctors across the country are bleating it in unison: “Fantasy good. Biology bad.” They’re warning parents that their children will kill themselves unless … they give the kids high-powered steroids to block their bodies’ natural growth in puberty. Survivors of sex-change operations report that they were pressured too. As Anderson quotes one of them:

I learned many women, especially lesbians, have experienced periods of wanting to be men in intense and visceral ways, ways that met the diagnostic criteria for GID or gender dysphoria, but were eventually really glad that they had instead made peace with themselves as one type or another of unconventional women. I learned, from connecting with other women, that womanhood could hold women like me.

So doctors are squeezing gays to go through drastic treatments to “change” themselves. Weren’t liberals supposed to be against that sort of thing?

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Doctors who side with science are being hunted out of their professions. See Dr. Kenneth Zucker. He was no hidebound moralist, but a leading transgender therapist. That’s before he dared to criticize giving puberty blockers to children. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (whose chosen acronym is thus WPATH) went after Dr. Zucker. Why? For the crime of publishing what he found in a study: That even after surgery, transgendered people suffered high rates of mental health disorder. When he refused to retract his study, the Canadian government sent in the Mounties. It shut down his clinic.

Children are Suffering

In the real world, Zucker is right. Even for adults, such surgeries may or may not be helpful. See the large 2011 study by Cecilia Dhjene and colleagues in Sweden. They found that even after surgery, transsexuals needed psychiatric hospitalization three times more than the general population. They were five times more likely to attempt suicide. And 19 times more likely to die by suicide. That’s even after surgery. In one of the most accepting nations.

Even after surgery, transsexuals needed psychiatric hospitalization three times more than the general population. They were five times more likely to attempt suicide. And 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

Gender reassignment is thus a very high risk choice for children. The mental health outcomes are much, much better for those patients who can reintegrate body and self. By changing the software, not the hardware, if you will.

Meanwhile the physical health risks of puberty blockers are considerable. As Anderson notes, kids who take them suffer all of the following:

  • Slower rates of growth.
  • Elevated risk of low bone-mineral density.
  • Disfiguring acne.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Weight gain.
  • Abnormal glucose tolerance.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Liver disease.
  • Thrombosis.
  • And cardiovascular disease.

And one more little thing: “[A]ll of the children who persist in their transgender identity and take puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones will be infertile.” Indeed, the U.S. FDA does not approve the use of drugs for puberty suppression in children. Yet. But give the ideology a little more time. It will eat through the rest of the science.

Meanwhile, children suffer. Their parents listen to “just-so” stories from doctors. They’re told that all those side-effects are reversible. Are they? We have no idea. There hasn’t been time for any long-term research on the question. We do know this: Children who block their natural hormones get locked into transgender identities. That despite the fact that most such kids would otherwise simply outgrow their sex confusion.

Primal Mobbing

How has it happened? How has our advanced civilization given way to a crude, anti-science superstition? Raw cultural power. The former Poet Laureate of Vancouver, Brad Cran wrote about how this happens. (He wasn’t talking about the LGBT movement, by the way.) As Cran said:

No matter how educated or enlightened a person may think they are, when faced with the primal nature of a mobbing most people will betray their own principles and move to the safety of power. The people most closely associated with the target may then become the target’s fiercest attackers since there is no better way to create distance from the primal danger of a mob than to attack with vigor. Once they begin attacking their own identity as righteous then becomes intertwined with the depravity of the target.

The mob dehumanizes the victim, then each of its members, in the process of surrendering to evil. To watch primal mobbing happen in our Temples to Reason is a sober reminder that education is not an antidote to original sin.

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  • Marita

    Why do people keep misrepresenting the Dhjene/Karolinska study. It did NOT determine that in general Trans people post-surgery are 19x more likely to die by suicide than the general population. It viewed two different cohorts (1973-1988 and 1989-2003). It only found increased suicidality in the 1973-1988 cohort. Suicidality in the 1989-2003 cohort was not significantly different from the general population.

    People should look at the research themselves. All this book does is misrepresent the data for people looking for anti-trans confirmation bias.

    • Reason0verhate

      Your real name is Mark, isn’t it?

      • John Connor

        Fail

        • Reason0verhate

          Must be “Marty” then. Definitely not “Marita.” People who don’t accept themselves have serious mental issues.

          • Marita

            I’m not entirely sure what your point is. My real name isn’t even Marita. That’s the name of my Twi’lek Smuggler (see profile image).

          • Reason0verhate

            You obviously do NOT live in the real world, so you are not a mentally healthy adult. We don’t need lecturing by the mentally ill.

          • Marita

            Because I play video games? Um… ok…

            Is your real name “Reason0verhate”? No? Then I guess you don’t live in the real world either and aren’t a mentally healthy adult.

            I guess I’ll be seeing you around the psych ward.

    • Jerry Brickley

      If I were presented with a study and two conflicting outcomes, I wouldn’t choose one as valid and reject the other based on how it suited me.

      Do you happen to know if suicidality is significantly reduced in post-surgery Trans people compared to the general Trans population? That is, is surgery a lifesaver?

      • Marita

        That is correct. There are quite a few studies comparing pre-medical
        transition to post-medical transition and these are some of the results:

        A study from Belgium in 2006 found that trans people’s rates of suicide attempts dropped from 29.3% before surgery to 5.1% after.

        Another study of 50 trans women who received genital surgery found that their physical and mental health was not significantly different from samples of cis women.

        A 2013 study of 433 trans people in Canada found that 27% of those
        who hadn’t begun transitioning had attempted suicide in the past year,
        but this dropped to 1% for those who were finished transitioning.

        And a 2010 meta-analysis of 28 studies showed that 78% of trans people showed an improvement in psychiatric symptoms
        after transitioning, with a level of psychological functioning similar
        to the general population and greater than that of untreated trans
        people.

  • Stinger

    Progressives constantly talk about “the children,” but in fact they value children as human guinea pigs for their cockeyed agenda. They certainly don’t value children in themselves, as the abortion industry has proven.

    • Marita

      Unresolved Gender Dysphoria results in crippling depression and suicidality. Are you really valuing the lives of children if you’re condemning them to suffer those effects?

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