Trans-Identified People Need Our Help
I am fully aware that some readers of this article will be deeply offended, accusing me of extreme condescension and transphobia. In a word, they would say, “We don’t need or want your help or compassion. To the contrary, it’s people like you who create problems for us.”
Yes, I fully expect such reactions, but it is love for God, love for people and love for truth that compel me to write.
To be clear, I am not saying that we can generalize about trans-identified individuals based on the recent mass shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville by a trans-identified female shooter. That would be cruel and unfair.
But I am saying that we should focus on the serious needs within the transgender community, needs that no amount of surgery or hormones can fully address.
The Underlying Emotional Issues at the Heart of Gender Dysphoria
In the words of Robert L. Vazzo, M.M.F.T., a California-based, licensed marriage and family therapist and professional clinical counselor, “We need to educate pastors that the human condition is full of contradictions, paradoxes, and failings due to the fallen condition of the human race. There are many physical and psychological phenomena that illustrate this including autoimmune disorders, inflammation, mental retardation, autism, and yes, transgenderism.”
Vazzo wrote these words in a group email in response to Quentin Van Meter, a pediatric endocrinologist, and president of the American College of Pediatricians. He had observed, “Unfortunately, there are ‘Christian’ pastors in all sorts of denominations who are promoting the trans agenda with the argument that God doesn’t make mistakes, and therefore these ‘true trans’ patients are God’s creation. They were in full force yesterday in Austin Texas, rallying against the HB 1686 which will ban all affirmation efforts. The Episcopal church is all in on trans.”
Vazzo’s point was well-taken. There are underlying mental and/or emotional issues that lay at the heart of gender dysphoria, and affirming people’s struggles and delusions is the worst thing we can do.
Threats of Killing Oneself Aren’t Signs of Emotional Health
How else do we explain the constant mantra that, “If I don’t get gender-affirming surgery, I’m going to kill myself”?
I’m not denying or belittling the depth of these people’s struggles. I’m simply saying that threats of, “I must have this or I will kill myself” are not the threats of emotionally and/or mentally whole people.
In the same way, those who are emotionally and mentally whole are not calling for “days of vengeance” against those who want to stop the chemical castration and genital mutilation of children.
Yet that’s the very thing that transgender activists have done, changing their previous “Trans Day of Visibility” to a “Trans Day of Vengeance,” held annually on March 31. (Note also that the organizers did not change the title of this event in the aftermath of the Nashville shooting. They did decide to cancel the event’s April 1 march in D.C., but it was out of concern that they would be targeted for violence. And rather than take an ounce of responsibility for their own inflammatory rhetoric, they blamed “the flood of raw hatred directed toward the trans community after the Tennessee shooting.”)
Thankfully, Twitter had the sense to remove tweets related to the event. As explained by Ella Irwin, Twitter’s chief of trust and safety, “We do not support tweets that incite violence irrespective of who posts them. ‘Vengeance’ does not imply peaceful protest. Organizing or support for peaceful protests is ok.”
The language of the organizers of the event does not speak of “peaceful protests” either, calling for allies to “stand up and fight with us to bring down the forces that try to subjugate us all.”
Day of Vengeance and Firearms: “Where is Your God Now?”
As reported by the Daily Mail, “Controversial group behind ‘Trans Day of Vengeance’ raised money for firearms training – as other trans protestors pose with guns ahead of march in DC on Saturday.”
Yes, “Despite three nine-year-olds being gunned down by a transgender shooter at a private Christian school in Nashville, activists are still rallying the troops to protest for a ‘Trans Day of Vengeance’ – months after raising money for firearms training.”
Worse still, the mass-murderer, Audrey Hale, is now being celebrated by a gun-toting trans-activist as “a martyr against transphobia from hateful CHRISTIAN BIGOTS like you genociding us.” The message continues: “WE WILL DEFEND OURSELVES FROM YOU. Where is your god now? Pray … for mercy … because we can’t show any.”
These are not the words of a well person. Instead, sentiments like this are as dangerous as they are disturbing. What else can you call it when a mass murderer becomes a victim and the murderer’s victims become the guilty party?
Of course, we can always point to the social insanity of allowing biological males to compete against biological females.
The Issue Isn’t Fairness, but Wellness
In that regard, a Canadian male weightlifter, Avi Silverberg, bearded and dressed as a male, entered a Canadian female powerlifting competition identified as a woman. He did this to make a point, quickly demolishing the previous record, which had been set by a man who identified as a woman and who has been crushing the female competition. (Talk about poetic justice.)
Even Joe Rogan recently opined that the “trans athlete thing” is an “[expletive] crime.”
But the issue here is not just one of fairness. It’s one of wellness. And there are serious issues that must be addressed if we want to help those who identify as transgender. (I’m not speaking here about people who are intersex and who have biological or chromosomal abnormalities. I’m speaking here of people whose battle is one of the mind.)
“Worse Off After Transition”
A recent article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior titled, “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: Parent Reports on 1655 Possible Cases” underscores this need, specifically for those who suddenly develop gender dysphoria in their teen years.
As the article states:
One statistically robust finding was both disturbing and seemingly important. Youths with a history of mental health issues were especially likely to have taken steps to socially and medically transition. This relationship held even after statistically adjusting for likely confounders (e.g., age). The finding is concerning because youth with mental health issues may be especially likely to lack judgment necessary to make these important, and in the case of medical transition permanent, decisions. The finding supports the worries of parents whose preferences differ from their gender dysphoric children. It is consistent with another finding of this study that parents believed gender clinicians and clinics pressured the families toward transition. The finding is particularly concerning given that parents tended to rate their children as worse off after transition.
(For the record, this journal is anything but Christian fundamentalist.)
As for those who develop gender dysphoria at much younger ages, the best solution is to allow them to grow out of it, which the vast majority will, while trying to address the root causes of their struggles.
This is not hatred. This is common sense, compassion, and, from the viewpoint of an increasing number of countries, the wisest professional thing to do.
Trans-Activism Isn’t Helping Those Who Experience Gender Dysphoria
Do I believe that a disproportionate number of trans-identified people are violent? No. Do I believe that, as people, they are a special menace to society? Certainly not. Are they our enemies? God forbid. Jesus died for them the same way He died for each of us, and we must recognize that our fight is with spiritual forces, not with people. (see Ephesians 6:12)
But I do believe that trans-activism, sponsored enthusiastically by the Biden administration, is a real threat to our societal stability. And, more importantly, I believe that we need to recognize that the transgender community is filled with wounded and hurting people, and even with endless affirmation and unlimited medical options, their pain will not go away.
Let’s continue to do our best to find constructive ways to help them, even as they view us as enemies, accuse us of genocide, and, in some cases, threaten us with vengeance.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is The Political Seduction of the Church: How Millions of American Christians Have Confused Politics with the Gospel. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.