After I wrote “Transgender Delusion” a couple weeks ago: ” Transgender Delusion – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com), I found an article from Vice magazine entitled: Hey Conservatives, There’s Nothing “Delusional” About Being Trans (https://www.vice.com/en/article/5gkmkk/theres-nothing-delusional-about-being-trans). I also quoted Ben Shapiro who said the gaslighting taking place regarding transgenderism is the “normalization of delusion”. I will consider what the author of the Vice article, Harry Cheadle, has to say and address his main points while defending the argument against delusion.
The Vice article goes back many years, but still seems relevant to our current societal debate; it begins with this provocative statement:
The National Review apparently believes that trans people are mentally ill and need to be “cured.” Maybe they should stop being such f—ing intolerant bigots?
It’s not a good way to start a debate, but I will set aside this one statement and keep an open mind. I am not an intolerant bigot myself, but I definitely want to hear why the author thinks people like me are intolerant bigots.
I will give the author the benefit of the doubt and trust that he is genuinely concerned about transgender folks, and so I mostly agree with the following statement he makes early in the article:
The simplest and most humane way to treat trans people is to just treat them as people, refer to them as the gender they want to be referred to as, and accept that unless you’re having sex with someone, it doesn’t matter what his or her genitals look like.
I am not in full agreement, but we are very close to common ground. I am tolerant of transgenders and I believe they should be treated respectfully. I also believe they do belong in our society and should be welcomed, in our churches, in our workplaces, and everywhere else. If afforded the opportunity, we should also “walk with them on their journey”, as Father Mike Schmitz said in a video I provided earlier. But I stop at affirming their behavior. Mr. Cheadle believes it vitally important that folks like me address transgenders using the gender they prefer (i.e. their preferred pronouns), but I see that as affirming their behavior, so I won’t do it. On all other points, I am in alignment with Mr. Cheadle’s comment above. Unfortunately, I think accepting their chosen gender is the main sticking point for folks like Mr. Cheadle; it is a bridge too far for him and other progressives to accede to folks like me on this point.
I would ask Mr. Cheadle: Isn’t America still a free country? If I agree to respect others, treat them humanely, and tolerate their behaviors and viewpoints, shouldn’t I have the right to my opinion and withhold my agreement with what they are doing? That’s not being an intolerant bigot, is it? We don’t agree with our neighbors, colleagues, even our friends and family members quite often. Agreement is not a requirement for living together in a civilized and free society. Authoritarian societies demand agreement on all points, but Americans never have–until recently. Maybe if we could just “agree to disagree” on calling transgenders by their preferred pronouns and agree on all other points, this debate could be settled.
I also think the author is reasonable when he says not understanding the notion of transgenderism is not vicious or transphobic. I only wish the article ended at this point:
Fox and Friends’ bewilderment is certainly insensitive but using the wrong pronoun or admitting that you don’t understand transgender issues isn’t all that vicious or transphobic, necessarily.
He is gracious to accept that some people are truly bewildered and not quite ready to accept this new-fangled notion of people wiy-nily changing their sex. However, the crux of Mr. Cheadle’s argument takes shape as he tells us he takes great offense at a piece written in National Review.
Enter the National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson, who just wrote a post titled “Bradley Manning Is Not a Woman” and subtitled “Pronouns and delusions do not trump biology.”
Williamson’s basic point, however, is simple: transgender people are “mentally ill and in need of treatment” and “biological sexual fact” should trump everything.
Mr. Williamson is entitled to an opinion, as we all are. I agree with Williamson; unless you are a child playing a game, it is not healthy to live your life pretending to be something you are not. Furthermore, this point, as Mr. Cheadle noted, is simple and not difficult for any of us to understand. But next Mr. Cheadle goes off the rails:
Hear that, trans people? Your feelings don’t matter, you’re sick and disturbed, and you should have no say in decisions about your body.
No, Mr. Cheadle. You are putting words in our mouths. Nobody said trans people’s feelings don’t matter. It is a quantum leap to jump from “they think trans folks are confused and doing something not good for themselves” to “they think trans people’s feelings don’t matter”. More on feelings in the section below.
In addition, nobody said you can’t do what you want with your own body. This assertion is just patently false. Nobody has outlawed sex-reassignment surgery. We don’t have to agree with your decision to change your sex, but you clearly have the option if you so choose. You can do what you like with your body. We all can. Mr. Williamson’s opinion is not preventing anyone control over their own bodies. You don’t like his opinion, but it is not harming trans folks or limiting them in any way.
Furthermore, I don’t hear anyone calling for the banning of gender reassignment procedures. We would rather you have freedom of choice. We hope that your choice is best for you, but it is still your choice, and we respect and tolerate your choices, even your bad choices. I think it is a bad idea for you to eat a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts for breakfast (even if the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign is lit), and I will voice my opinion on the matter; I may even voice my opinion repeatedly and assertively, but I can’t stop you from eating a dozen doughnuts, nor do I wish to stand between you and the cute cashier at the register as she hands them over to you. My wife and I have similar problems with our children’s diets from time to time. We give them advice and provide better alternatives and hope they change bad habits on their own accord.
I just don’t see how in the world does Mr. Cheadle think that anyone is stopping transgender folks from having control over their own bodies. He provides no evidence to support this claim. Those of us on the other side of the argument do want to influence the culture and change prevailing attitudes, for sure, but none of us is even advocating for taking away transgender’s freedoms in any such way. Mr. Cheadle’s logic is clearly flawed.
But What’s the Harm?
Mr. Cheadle continues on and asks the very relevant question, one which he assumes is rhetorical and the rest of us have no answer for:
They never say why trans people pose such a threat or a problem, or what interest society at large should have in the genitals and gender performance of individuals.
Mr. Cheadle, I will state quite clearly what the harm is. Please take note.
First, these folks are doing something not in their best interest and it is our responsibility as moral individuals to point out the harm they are doing themselves. As I said earlier wouldn’t you do all you could to convince a drug addict that his habit is destructive? The term “tough love” comes to mind.
Furthermore, I showed quite clearly in my initial post on this topic how others, not just the transgenders folks themselves, are harmed by such behavior, particularly women and children. I summarize the points here:
- Many who are not transgender are being forced onto the path they themselves have not chosen (refer to the discussion of Ahmed’s son and seven-year-old James Younger)
- Many who are not transgender are following the latest fad, choosing a path that is trendy but may be an appropriate one for them (listen to Abagail Shirer’s concern about teenage girls going along with their friends choices to become transgender). Here is another recent example of a confused young lady who has dabbled in all the different forms on the spectrum: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/andrew-cuomos-daughter-says-shes-demisexual-heres-what-that-means/ar-AALQDgu
- Our wives, our mothers, and our daughters are being exposed to naked men in bathrooms and locker rooms (refer to the story on the LA spa allowing this) . This is generally a quite traumatic experience for most women.
- Many of us, including young children, are being exposed to overt sexuality in public places when it is not appropriate and unwanted (refer to the story of the Iowa swimming pool)
- Young girls are putting themselves in dangerous and compromising situations and need to be protected by those who know better (again refer to the Iowa pool article).
- Children are being exposed to sexuality when they are far too young for it (refer to the article on “Kink Culture” in the Washington Post).
- Female sports are being corrupted by transgender men who want a biological advantage. This is very unfair to women who should have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field (refer to the article on transgender weight lifter Laurel Hubbard) .
Later in the Vice article, Mr. Cheadle makes a point on suicide which I think supports my argument more than his own. Suicide is certainly another harm we should be concerned about:
“Dr. James Bellringer, a British physician who has performed hundreds of sex-reassignment surgeries at the Charing Cross Hospital gender-identity clinic, points out in defense of the practice that about one-fifth of those who are denied the procedure attempt suicide; but a study conducted by the British National Health Service found practically identical—18 percent —suicide-attempt rates for those who had undergone the procedure.”
Why do so many trans people try to commit suicide? Could it have something to do with the widespread prejudice they face—i.e., people like Williamson calling them mentally ill? Could the hate crimes that target trans people, like the transgender woman who was just beaten to death in New York City, have anything to do with the intolerance that is casually spit out by conservative writers?
Mr. Cheadle informs us one-fifth of those who seek and are denied sex-reassignment surgery along with one-fifth of those who actually undergo the procedure, eventually attempt suicide. That’s an exceptionally high rate in either case. Cheadle blames the high suicide rates on people like Williamson who he says are prejudiced and harming them with his speech, but that is a cop-out. He never shows that Williamson or anyone else is a bigot or prejudiced against transgenders; all he tell us is that calling transgenders “mentally ill and in need of treatment” is horribly prejudiced, but that’s a matter of opinion. Cheadle also never shows a clear link between comments from Williamson and any attempted suicides. Furthermore, suicide is a mental health issue and transgenders clearly have a vastly higher rate of suicide than the general population, so it is not reasonable to claim that transgenderism itself might be a mental health issue? It’s simple deductive logic. Elementary, my dear Watson.
Furthermore, Mr. Cheadle fails to acknowledge that American society is, in fact, very tolerant of transgender folks. They have their own month. They have parades all across the country. They have their own flag. They are on TV frequently and their advocates are very vocal and featured prominently. My workplace as well as my wife’s and many others celebrate pride month and preach acceptance of all the LGBTQ folks. Every government agency and every large corporation has an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion department which vigorously defends LGBTQ against all comers. The LGBTQ advocates practically demand our acceptance and don’t dare let us speak an alternative opinion in any workplace setting. I don’t see the intolerance. Nobody is preaching hate; anyone who did would be publicly shamed in any case. In his article, Mr. Cheadle pointed to zero examples of hatred towards transgenders. He just doesn’t like our opinions. We think they are confused and may need help. That’s all. I might help my kids when they are confused about their math homework; I might even force my help upon them even when they think that don’t need it. That is not hatred; I am not angry at them for failing. I am just trying to help them do better.
Mr. Cheadle is also confusing affirmation of LGBTQ behavior with tolerance of LGBTQ folks. Affirmation and tolerance are not at all the same thing. We tolerate transgender people, but we do not affirm their behavior. This is the bait and switch that the Left always tries in these situations. It is not enough to tolerate, you must affirm, you must sign on to their agenda, you must buy in to their re-definition of basic science, and you must think like they do or else you are deemed a bigot. Mr. Cheadle, I want to unmask your silly game of bait and switch.
Cheadle ends his article with the following point:
It’s not clear exactly what harm he thinks this will do, but it’s obviously a bad thing—if we tolerate transgender people, what’s next? According to him, what’s next is that people will want to turn themselves into animals and chop off their limbs. Seriously, he brings up something called Body Identity Integrity Disorder, a condition where people want to amputate their own limbs, and the case of David Avner, who tried to turn himself into a tiger through extensive body modification.
Equating these uncommon mental issues—there have only been 300 documented instances of BIID; Avner clearly had an extremely rare condition—to the 700,000 transgender people in the US is obviously absurd.
First, it doesn’t matter how many transgenders there are, whether 300 or 700,000. A disorder is a disorder is a disorder, no matter the number it affects. Cheadle says there are 700,000 transgenders in the U.S. That’s just 0.2% of the population, so transgenders are relatively rare within the U.S. Does that mean we shouldn’t take Mr. Cheadle’s argument quite so seriously because of the small number of transgenders? I think he wouldn’t accept that argument, so nor should we accept his point above regarding comparing transgenderism to other disorders.
Secondly, I would like to point out that in our local high schools there are kids who act out being dogs during the school day. They wear dog collars to school and act in ways befitting a dog throughout the day. They even have a name for themselves: furries. I couldn’t believe this was a thing when I first heard of it, yet there are actually groups of kids who support each other in this endeavor and the schools tolerate it and don’t counsel these kids in any way–I suppose because they believe it is part of their identity. These kids need to be told no. They do not need affirmation. This is an escape from reality and they adult administrators should not give their imprimaturs. We have created a society that is so tolerant of every behavior, even behavior that is bizarre and aberrant because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, or some such nonsense. Every such group demands our tolerance along with our affirmation or they say we don’t care about their feelings. These kids will grow up thinking this type of behavior is okay and normal–and when they realize later how silly they have appeared for all these years, they will eventually blame the mentors in their lives for not pointing this out sooner. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/furry-furries-research-sharon-roberts-just-like-you-1.3885048
Along a similar line, I found this interesting video regarding a British man who decided he is transracial. He believes he is Korean and does not actually belong to the regular old WASP family he was born into. He even had eleven surgeries to change his appearance. In this video, the journalist asks folks on the street if one can be transracial. After all, if one can change one’s gender why can’t one change one’s race as well?
I find it interesting that many accept transgenderism but can’t accept the notion of transracialism. I don’t accept either. Maybe that makes me a bigot, but at least I am consistent one. One gentlemen at least recognized this contradiction and so changed his answer at the end. “Sure”, he said, “I guess you can be either transgender or transracial. Why not?” Can I be Buck Rogers if I want? Can I be Michael Jordan? Can I be president if I only want it enough? Will any of you please support me in this dream of mine so I really feel like it is true and be fulfilled? How silly this has all become.
More on Feelings and Delusion
The problem I see here is that nobody on the other side of the argument wants to draw a line anywhere. Perhaps they are afraid of what will be said about them if they make a stand, and so we just keep sliding further and further down the slippery slope. Where does any of this end? We must say no at some point. I’ve drawn the line at transgenders, transracials, and furries. I don’t accept any of them as legitimate. But those who care about the feelings of transgenders apparently will swallow just about anything to avoid being labeled a bigot. So we get what Ben Shapiro called the “normalization of delusion”.
Below is one of the most delusional and bizarre stories I have heard in these years of ever-increasing insanity. This is a full-length TV feature of a couple, one of whom is a transgender male and the other a transgender female, who just had a baby. The “father” who was once a woman gave birth to a child and the “mother” who was once a man is attempting (unsuccessfully) to breast feed the newborn. The “father” who now clearly looks like a man, complete with facial hair, is upset that the doctor’s office assumed his partner, the one who now looks like a woman, was the mother.
As the episodes go on, Cox claims the couple “faces discrimination” at the doctor’s office because someone wrongly assumed each partner’s sex.
“They didn’t even speak to me,” Ahanu said.
“I just felt like they just made assumptions, making an assumption from the very beginning without even asking our names, not asking the thing about us,” Petrona added.
Leading up to the home birth the couple opted for to prevent further medical “discrimination” and “trauma,” the show also documented the couple’s struggle to “claiming my truth” and choosing who in their families will respect their wishes to raise a non-binary child.
The “father” after telling us the medical professionals didn’t recognize him as the pregnant one, asks “how do you think this makes me feel”? Just like Harry Cheadle, author of the Vice article, it all comes down to feelings. You see, folks like me who don’t want to play along with what we see as bizarre and unhealthy, are just unfeeling brutes who don’t understand the new reality:
Petrona also expressed reluctance that his family would choose to ignore the baby’s sex because “their minds are filled with Christian supremacy.”
“They’re stuck. There’s no escape. They’re trapped and to me, that’s really sad,” he said while masquerading as a woman in front of the entire world.
They demand we play along with the charade; we must accept their version of reality, not the other way around. They believe they can stretch reality to whatever limits they choose as if reality is a balloon which can be perpetually inflated. What crazy idea will they think of next?
You know, Cheadle and Courtney Cox are among the same crowd who lecture conservatives like me, telling us we “are not following the science”. Well here is some science for you: a man’s body cannot produce milk so he can breast feed a child. Bless his heart for continuing to try though. Here is a bit more of science: if you dress in men’s clothes and sport a scraggly beard, nobody will not recognize you as a pregnant mother. Unfortunately, Cox and Cheadle want to humor folks like Petrona and Ahuna because they have a misguided notion of tolerance and kindness; this couple should hear “no” more often, but there are too many who will affirm their version of reality, so they are now convinced they are in the right. Pretty soon reality will hit them like a truck. Your delusion will last only so long.
I am also concerned about the feelings of this couple’s child who must grow up in the insane world created by his/her parents. The poor child is starving to death while futilely trying to get milk from his (biological) father’s breast. Do his parents care? Can I not say such an obvious thing without being labeled bigot? Good parents, in any case, would be concerned for their child before talking about their own feelings. These two self-absorbed folks who are mad at half the world, better grow up fast or this child will turn out a mess. I am concerned as well about other kids who will be influenced by “reality” shows like Cox’s which have now gone mainstream. When is everyone going to acknowledge the emperor has no clothes? What a mess we have made of our culture.
Harry Cheadle, Courtney Cox, and others who go along with this alternate version of reality should also be ashamed that a 14-year-old girl like the one in the video needs to lecture folks like them on reality. I would be very proud of my daughter for speaking up as this young lady did:
How Do You Define Yourself?
I want to go back to the Washington Post article by Lauren Rowello that I highlighted in my last post: Yes, kink belongs at Pride. And I want my kids to see it. – The Washington Post. This woman’s world view is antithetical to all I believe in myself. Nonetheless, I feel pity for her. She, like so many LGBTQ people who have spoken out, appear to define themsleves by their sexuality. I think this way of defining one’s self is problematic and it is why I believe she and others in the LGBTQ “community” feel alienated.
When most people introduce themselves or define themselves for others, they talk about their family and their kids, their jobs, their places of worship or their faith, their friends, their alma mater, or maybe places they’ve been or their hobbies or other interests. One’s sexuality is not something that comes into the equation when we introduce ourselves. Personally, I have no desire to tell anyone other than my wife about my sex life or my sexual fantasies or anything of the sort (especially at my age) and I certainly don’t use my sexuality to base my worth as a person, and yet this is exactly what so many in the LGBTQ+ community do. I don’t know why this is, but it just seems to be so.
Several months ago I analyzed another article from a woman whose definition of healthy relationship is one that that results in an orgasm. That’s her only measure of a healthy relationship. I wouldn’t make that my one and only measure of a healthy relationship. I think it is a rather shallow definition from a person who thinks rather shallowly. https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/03/03/is-this-toxic-feminity/
When the rest of us don’t view sexuality as central to our lives, we don’t understand those who do–and they don’t understand us. Furthermore, when we don’t agree with others’ more extreme sexual mores, then they feel we are rejecting them as individuals, but that is not our intention. We accept transgenders as people, but we don’t share the same world view. We also make a distinction between who you are as a person and your sexuality, but for people like Ms. Rowello and the transgender couple, Petrona and Ahuna, their sexuality is so intertwined with how they view themselves and how they view the world in general, that any criticism of their sexuality and their views on sexuality are seen as attacks on them.
What is Freedom?
The other thing in Ms. Rowello’s article that stands out for me is how she celebrates sexual freedom. For her, this sexual openness and the wide range of choices it offers is a model for freedom in general and a way in which she can teach her kids about the value of freedom:
Children who witness kink culture are reassured that alternative experiences of sexuality and expression are valid — no matter who they become as they mature, helping them recognize that their personal experiences aren’t bad or wrong, and that they aren’t alone in their experiences.
Kink visibility is a reminder that any person can and should shamelessly explore what brings joy and excitement. We don’t talk to our children enough about pursuing sex to fulfill carnal needs that delight and captivate us in the moment.
Kink embodies the freedom that Pride stands for, reminding attendees to unapologetically take up space as an act of resistance and celebration — refusing to bend to social pressure that asks us to be presentable.
She talks about her kids and appears to be trying to pass on her own values to her kids. I respect that intention; her intentions may be good, but her methodology is not in my opinion. She equates freedom with having more choices, but more choices don’t necessarily make one more free. If you are a parent or a grandparent or a teacher or someone who works with kids or just someone who cares about kids, then you should know more choices are not better for kids. In this day and age of the internet, more choices means more bad choices, and more bad choices means a higher chance of choosing badly. I want my kids to have good choices, but not unlimited choices; they are not wise enough yet to pick well from an unbounded list. Doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant, or scientist all seem like good choices for their future careers, but open their minds to all available choices and they suddenly realize they can also be a sex industry worker, a loan shark, or a drug dealer. A few choices are good, but I will steer them away from the latter three. More choices might just lead them to enslavement in some lousy future.
Kids need a structure, a framework, a value system upon which to judge the choices they are provided. They don’t need to be micro-managed; they don’t need “helicopter” parents who rescue them from every potential failure, but still they often need from us a push in the right direction. The world will always provide them with a panoply of choices, most of which are not good. Ask yourself: did your teachers give you unlimited freedom in your school projects? The science fair has guidelines and standards and yet so many kids are very creative even under these restrictions. Give them a blank canvas and tell them to do whatever they want and you are more likely to get something resembling a Rorschach test, not an interesting science project.
At the risk of being accused of being a “Christian Supremacist”, let me end with a couple quotes, one from the Bible and one from a Christian apologist:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does (James 1:22-25).
For today’s progressives, the law restricts and confines, but St. James tells us the “perfect law gives freedom”. Without it, we will be like Andrew Cuomo’s daughter who drifts aimlessly from lesbianism to bisexualism to pansexuality and now to demi-sexualism, whatever that is. I predict she will never be happy or fulfilled in any of these.
Kids are not the only ones who need structure, rules, and limitations in our lives. We all do. God’s law is designed to lead us in the right direction while still preserving our free will, not to inhibit our creativity and subsume our “true identity”. God wants us to be free, not always compelled by Him to do the right thing. Human nature has not changed in 2021, so that we are now liberated from God’s law or as the Declaration of Independence says Nature’s law.
Finally, I quote the opening paragraphs from The Unbroken Thread by Sohrab Ahmari, current NY Post op-ed editor. He makes the same point as St. James by comparing his initial positive view of the ultra free and ultra tolerant American society, formed when he was a teenager and adolescent, with his current, more mature, view that he has come to as a parent and responsible adult:
An immigrant isn’t supposed to complain about the society that gave him refuge. That is what I am: an immigrant, a radically assimilated one at that–who nevertheless harbors fundamental doubts about the society that assimilated him.
I spent the first thirteen years of my life in Iran, a nation many in the West associate with traditional backwardness, with black chadors, and dour clerics, severe sexual mores, and teeming multitudes that fill the streets on Fridays to pray and to chant, “God is great!” As a boy growing up there I had already absorbed this judgment and made it my own: I blamed all that ailed my native land, its repressiveness and the double-thinking and double-living it engendered on our hidebound traditions.
Once I immigrated to the United States, I reveled my chance to remake myself anew each day. My moral opinions were as interchangeable as my clothing styles and musical tastes. I could pick up and drop this ideology or that. I could be a high school “goth”, a college socialist, a law school neo-conservative. I could dabble in drugs and build an identity around my dabbling. I could get a girl friend, cheat on her, dump her wily-nily, and build a psuedo-identity around that too. All along, it outraged me to recall that there were people that were still trapped in societies that didn’t permit such experiments in individual self definition.
But lately, my mind has taken an unexpected turn when I soberly examine the West as it really is, I find much wanting in its worldview and way of life. More than that, I have come to believe that the very modes of life and thinking that strike most people in the West as “antiquated” or “limiting” can liberate us, while the Western dream of autonomy and choice without limits, in fact, is a prison; that the quest to define ourselves on our own is a kind of El Dorado, driving to madness the many who seek after it; that for our best, highest selves to soar, other parts of us, must be tied down, enclosed, limited, bound.
Ahmari tried unlimited freedom and found it wanting. Those who advocate for unlimited sexual freedom, will eventually experience this disappointment as well, hopefully, before it is too late. Many see God’s law as inhibiting us, but in reality God’s Law or Natural Law actually free us, allows us to realize our true potential. When you dismiss these restrictions and limitations, something must fill the void, and the void these days is filled with nonsense (as I hope I have demonstrated above). Furthermore, those who dismiss the law will ultimately be disappointed and never really find their true identity, their true vocation, or their true potential. Let us pray they can eventually be freed from this prison created by “the dream of autonomy and choice without limits”.
Praise be to God, now and forever.