SHARON SLATER | PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Dear Friend of the Family,
A dangerous and radical philosophy is raging across the globe.
“Gender ideology” is a toxic blend of misinformation, political correctness, deception, irrational reasoning, unscientific claims, zealotry and magical thinking that has emerged in recent years as a major and growing threat to the family.
Radical gender ideology challenges the scientific basis of being either male or female, and in the process, undermines the socially important biological realities associated with the two sexes. It promotes the fantasy that a person can be born into the wrong body and that people can change their sex with hormones and mutilating surgeries that amputate or otherwise alter healthy organs. It creates confusion about the essential uniqueness of men and women and the relationships that define the family, which in turn pose a serious threat to the health of societies.
You are likely familiar with the term, “LGBT,” which stands for “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual” and “transgender.” Much of the focus of the LGBT rights activists over the past few decades has been on advancing the “L,” the “G” and the “B” component of the LGBT agenda. In many developed countries, activists have been successful in accomplishing much of their agenda, ranging from legalizing same-sex marriage, to perpetrating the myth that people are “born gay,” and even banning access to proven psychotherapy that could help individuals struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction.
With those LGB successes under their belt, sexual rights activists have now been focusing on the “T” element of the LGBT agenda—the promotion of gender ideology and transgender-affirming laws and policies.
Those defending the family learned some hard lessons from the losses in the battles over various elements of the homosexual agenda that must be applied if we are to be successful in protecting individuals and society from radical gender ideology. One of the lessons learned is that we need to get the medical and scientific facts out to the public as quickly and widely as possible to counter the propaganda coming from these activists.
Along these lines, Family Watch created 16 Facts on Gender Confusion to debunk many of the false claims being made about gender confusion.
And fortunately, another excellent tool has just become available.
I am particularly excited about the newly released book by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. entitled “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.” Readers of FWI’s Newswire will recognize Ryan as the author of many of the insightful opinion pieces we have featured over the years. I was fortunate to be at the launch of the book’s release recently in Washington D.C. (See below to view the video of his presentation at that event.)
Ryan’s new book is by far the most definitive examination to date of the origins, false claims, inconsistencies, dangers and future implications of gender ideology. It is very readable, well organized, and exhaustively sourced, with almost 700 footnotes.
Ryan stresses the need to treat those who experience extreme gender dysphoria, a recognized mental disorder, with respect, compassion and concern. This is certainly Family Watch’s position as well. And he makes it clear that these are the very individuals who are in fact suffering the greatest harm from the growing public acceptance of gender ideology.
This is a fascinating but profoundly disturbing book that focuses on the social and policy environment that allowed something as illogical and unscientific as gender ideology to emerge as the increasingly influential social and medical fad it has become.
Of particular interest and concern is how a growing number of recognized experts in the medical and mental health fields are allowing political correctness to taint their professional and policy positions. Ryan identifies and analyzes some of these positions and exposes their illogical and ludicrous nature. In helping us understand the origins of the transgender movement, he has done us all a service by exposing its weaknesses and inconsistencies.
One very useful chapter focuses specifically on claims by LGBT activists and the tactics they employ. Ryan identifies the insidious way these tactics are infecting virtually all aspects of society and shows how these efforts can be challenged and exposed.
Some of the most disturbing parts of this book are the sections that put a human face on the harm that gender ideology is causing. One chapter profiles the stories and experiences of individuals who attempted to “transition” to the opposite sex then determined that they had made a mistake and “transitioned” back to their biological sex.
Sadly, as gender ideology has increasingly pushed people who experience gender dysphoria into cross-gender hormone treatments and other interventions, there are more and more of these “regretters” every year. Theirs is an essential but largely untold story of the dark side of the transgender movement but one which demands more public attention.
Perhaps even more troubling are the tragic and harmful things being done to children by medical and mental health professionals, educators, and even parents who have bought into the gender ideology agenda. Ryan discusses the dangers of puberty blockers, cross-hormone drugs, and the tragic implications of ignoring well-documented scientific evidence that the vast majority of gender-confused children will simply outgrow their confusion if they are allowed to develop naturally and are not arrested in their development by the insidious interventions called for by transgender activists.
Other chapters of the book address the biological differences between men and women and the cultural context of gender, both of which are important for gaining necessary perspectives on the fallacies and dangers of gender ideology.
This book is particularly valuable because it also offers concrete recommendations, both on what good public policy in this area should be and advice on how anyone concerned about the spread of radical gender ideology can fight it. As Ryan says, he believes that many Americans “can recognize the transgender moment as a politically correct fad built on a shaky platform, and many are pushing back. This book is intended to arm them with knowledge.”
This book is essential reading for anyone who deals with gender ideology and the transgender movement, whether as policymakers, members of the media, educators or family members. I hope that all of you who are concerned about the radical sexual rights agenda and especially the gender ideology component will utilize these resources and forward this information on to anyone who is involved in gender ideology policy battles or to those who may have a family member who experiences gender dysphoria.
P.S. Space limitations prevent me from going into more detail on the many invaluable specific facts and recommendations in Ryan’s book. I hope that many of you will actually read the book and use it as a resource. But for those who simply want to have a better idea of Ryan’s findings, conclusions and recommendations, here are several excellent links.
Ryan provides an excellent overview of the themes in his book (beginning at 11:20) in this presentation at the formal launch of his book at the Heritage Foundation. View it here.
Tucker Carlson, a popular conservative T.V. personality, conducted a short interview with Ryan about his book. View it here.
“Transgender Ideology is Riddled With Contradictions. Here Are the Big Ones” is a column that summarizes a key theme in Ryan’s book. Read it here.
An excellent 50-minute interview with Ryan in which he highlights and discusses some of the major themes in his book is available here.
An article by the American College of Pediatricians titled “Gender Ideology Harms Children” is available here.
An additional article by the American College of Pediatricians titled “Gender Dysphoria in Children” is available here.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, President of the American College of Pediatricians on “The Dangers of a Transgender Ideology” is available here.
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