Women and girls are being sucked into the sex change industry by reckless clinics that give out “testosterone like candy,” says Andrew Sullivan, the sometimes-conservative gay activist.
Sullivan’s break from the transgender movement comes after he met with a group of women who have walked away from their teenage claims of being transgender. He wrote in New York magazine:
By their own accounts, they had been adamantly trans in their teens. “I was the student trying to get a professor fired because he wouldn’t allow they and them to be used for a singular person in my papers … I threatened my parents and friends with suicide. It became part of my identity to be suicidal. I screamed at my parents about this, even though I knew I wasn’t going to kill myself.” One went by the pronouns xe and xer and flew into a rage if she was misgendered. Once they had transitioned, and felt miserable nonetheless, they felt that this too was just part of being transgender. One talked of “the hunger to suffer.” Another spoke of “using your pain to validate your own destruction.”
Sullivan can challenge the vindictive transgender groups — and keep his career — because he helped jump-start the gay-marriage campaign.
But Sullivan is also quietly helped by the “detransitioned” women, and by many gays and lesbians who see the transgender industry as preying on the young gays and lesbians who are seeking an escape from teenage angst. The transgender movement offers an escape via sex changes which are impossible — and which also leaves the young people medically crippled and socially alienated.
In his New York magazine article, Sullivan warned his fellow leftwingers that the rush to “affirm” teenage claims of transgenderism is endangering many young girls, including lesbians:
With trans kids, it’s a whole different story. Social transition is one thing. Off-label puberty blockers and irreversible hormones and surgeries are quite another. And this is zero-sum. All the women I spoke with who detransitioned now date women or don’t date at all. Their transition was based entirely on how they felt at the moment, which they now regard as a false signal about their long-term identity. Which prompts the question: How much of the extraordinary surge in transgender girls is related to their discomfort with being a lesbian? What role does homophobia play in enabling transition?
Sullivan’s intervention is important because most reporters in the establishment media are following the “transition-or-suicide” script dictated by medical experts and the top leaders of the transgender movement. That progressive movement insists that government has the totalitarian power and duty to rewrite people’s sexual desires — starting with pronoun rules — because people’s “blank slate” minds somehow operate independently of their male or female bodies.
The transgender claim of interchangeable sexes is such a fundamental threat to teenagers and society that Sullivan and several feminist groups — WoLF and 4thWaveNow, for example — find themselves temporarily allied with a broad front of many conservative groups and medical professionals:
What we need is an open debate about what’s best for gender dysphoric children and teens. Questioning the current orthodoxy is not transphobic, as so many reflexively charge. No one, including trans people, wants to transition kids who might turn out to be cis (and often gay and lesbian). Equally, we don’t want to prevent genuinely trans kids from having treatment and care. This balance is hard. But because of that, waiting and seeing if a gender dysphoric child or teen really is trans before making irreversible decisions seems to me to be the right call. Ditto requiring several broad-ranging therapy sessions for teens before they make the jump — as opposed to swift affirmation and handing out testosterone like candy. And setting up studies that can tell us definitively how rare or common detransitioning is, and whether puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones damage kids and teens in the long term is essential. Right now, we are effectively experimenting on minors who cannot give meaningful consent. And that alone should give us pause.
Feminist speaker stares down jeering swarm of pro-transgender progressives: "On what basis do women’s rights exist, if the word 'woman' is meaningless?" https://t.co/053YOQNd0j
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) November 2, 2019
If this temporary alliance of non-progressives wins the transgender debate, the incongruous allies will immediately split and return to older arguments about abortion, sex roles, families, and freedoms.
Conservatives & (some) feminists agree biology shapes our personalities & politics. They're uniting to stop the progressives' ruthless "transgender" demand that we deny biology's impact on people & politics despite the known hazards to adults, teens & kids https://t.co/gND8VfyMOl
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) October 9, 2019