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Debunking the Transphobic Article "The Real Harm of Transgender Ideology"

14 Mar 2022

The Christian Post is a Religious Rightwing online newspaper, they recently published a called The Real Harm of Transgender Ideology. It filled with errors offering a range of transphobic Christian and TERF arguments. We will dive into this article and debunk the points made. Text in red is from the article.

Every single person, including those who struggle deeply with who they are, are made in the image and likeness of God. However much someone can be mistaken in their self-understanding, whatever they’ve done to add to their own confusion, they’re still infinitely valuable and worthy of the fullest expressions of our love and care. This includes every person within the growing population of people who identify as transgender.

This seems to be a cover for all the hate that's about to be thrown. You can't say transgender people deserve "love and care" while spreading lies about them at the same time.

Because of this, it is important to say, definitively, that radical transgender ideology is destructive, harmful, and disconnected from reality.

First the transgender rights movement is being branded as "radical transgender ideology," this sounds a lot scarier and is turning this into an "us vs them" situation. Next they're calling it destructive and harmful, the problem here is that it's nether. Numerous scientific studies show that transitioning (which is what this article mainly covers), both medically and socially is helpful and decreases suicide rates. The transgender rights movement is also called "disconnected from reality," we believe this is their way of saying that transgender people don't exist. This is an argument we have debunked here.

We are told, of course, that anything less than fully embracing radical transgender ideology is actually what is harmful. We frequently hear, for example, that people who identify as transgender are the most vulnerable group in the world and that critiquing transgender ideology is committing violent discrimination.

The big problem is not questioning transgender people while this is not good the real problem is people trying to take away transgender rights which is what this article will be supporting later on. This is actually harmful. A survey by The Trevor Project found that recent debate around restricting transgender rights is severely negatively impacting the mental health of transgender people. This is not even counting the harm taking away rights will do.

But how true are these claims? In October, Madison Smith, with the UK Critic, wrote about the claim that those who identify as transgender are the most “marginalized, abused, and vulnerable group in the world.” After reviewing the data, Smith concluded, “… even though we’ve seen a sharp rise in the number of people who identify as transgender in the last few years, a trans person hasn’t been murdered in the U.K. for nearly three years.” Furthermore, “there are no reports ever of a trans person in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland being murdered.”

First of all, it sometimes hard to tell if a murder victim is transgender especially if the victim was in the closet and not out to a lot of people, 68% of victims were initially misgendered by the police and media so many transgender victims may have had their gender fly under the radar. Next this claim seems to be false. We did find data showing transgender people were murdered in the UK over the past 3 years.

Even if for the sake of argument we assumed this statement was true, it does not take into account murders world wide or other types of hate crimes. The number of murders of transgender people world wide has been increasing very fast and many transphobic hate crimes have been reported. In the UK more than 1,600 hate crimes were reported against transgender people with more than 40% involving violence, this is according to police records. According to Stonewall numbers are likely much higher as only 20% of victims report these crimes. Also a report from the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 63% transgender people experienced "serious acts of discrimination" and 23% experienced a "catastrophic level of discrimination."

Journalist Anna Slatz elaborates further: “According to Human Rights Campaign’s running list of trans deaths [in the U.S.], only two [are] being investigated as potential hate crimes.” Despite this, the group categorizes all 44 of the deaths as hate crimes, “even when they had nothing to do with being transgender at all.”

This suffers from a lot of the problems before. First anti transgender motivated murders often go unreported because of factors like: police transphobia, the killer not being caught, the victim not being identified as transgender, or in general police not being able to find a clear motive. Also the Christian Post does not seem to realize that murder is not the only metric for transphobia. Discrimination and hate crimes still run rampant as we talked about above.

Any death is tragic because every human being has inherent value. Any act of violence against transgender people, including an act committed against someone for being transgender, is unacceptable. But that’s precisely the point Smith and Slatz are making: the reports of widespread trans-phobic violence simply don’t add up.

We have shown that "reports of widespread [transphobic]" do exist so this argument is invalid.

Instead, the claim is used as a bludgeon to silence anyone who criticizes transgender ideology, the view that one’s inner sense of self is so definitive that people must change their bodies to accommodate their dysphoria. Assumed by those who advance this ideology is that anything less than encouraging people to embrace gender confusion is violence against them.

We have covered the argument that transgender people do not exist in detail here. Also if changing your body is beneficial than it should be done.

The awful truth and tragic irony are that, in reality, it is the current practices of transgender treatment in medicine that causes harm. In his book When Harry Became Sally, Ryan T. Anderson argues that between 80% and 90% of children who say they are transgender eventually abandon those feelings by late adolescence. However, many adolescents are immediately encouraged by the cultural voices and even trusted adults to do real, irreversible damage to their minds and bodies.

Many of the studies that show that 80% to 90% of children abandon being transgender are from the 1960s to 1980s. During these times being transgender was seen much more negatively, this may have motivated many people to change their mind or caused bias in researches. Other more recent research shows this phenomenon probably exists to some extent. However, this is still not a excuse to take away transgender rights. Imagin 2 groups of transgender youth, in group 1 we give people gender afferming care and in group 2 we don't. In group 1 the vast majority of people will be more happy and not very many people will detransition. In group 2 the vast majority of people will have mental health problems and some may even commit suicide. Even if many of the people in group 2 stop being transgender later on a lot of harm will have been done.

Also current transgender treatment does not cause harm. It does the opposite, it improves mental health and lowers suicide rates. This is backed up by dozens of studies. For example a meta analysis of 55 studies on gender transition found that gender transition improves the mental health of transgender people. 51 of the 55 studies show positive results while 4 of the 55 studies were inconclusive. See our studies page for more studies that show the same.

This is why Christians must remember that love for our neighbors, especially the most vulnerable ones, demands telling the truth. As more and more stories of detransitioners emerge, we hear from people who regret the invasive procedures of so-called “gender transition.” They report long-term physical side effects from testosterone injections and surgical mutilations, as well as mental side effects such as anxiety, depression and suicidal intention. Even if many in the larger culture wish that these people did not exist, they do, and their inherent dignity and value demand that they be heard.

While detransitioners exist, they make up a very small amount of people who transition. We wrote about detransition here, but in short detransition rates are around 1% with the true number of people who were not transgender being even lower. This is due to factors like transphobia forcing people back into the closet.

For the love of God and these neighbors, Christians must have the courage to speak the truth, even about this very difficult and socially risky issue. We do so not because we want to be right, but because the Gospel is a message of hope. It’s a message that says we need not be victims of bad ideas, and our minds need not be captive to destructive ideologies which tell us our bodies are secondary, malleable or irrelevant. The Gospel offers what we need: forgiveness, holiness, a new identity and a clean start.

This section seems to be calling for the limiting of transgender care, because transgender kids who don't get care are at a much higher risk for suicide this will kill kids. This section also says that the transgender rights movement is making our bodies "secondary" the thing here is that it does not really matter. If changing your body greatly improves your life as it does for so many transgender people then it should be done. We have wrote about biblical objections to transgender people here and here.

The swelling numbers of young people identifying as LGBT should tell us that captivity to great confusion is a culture-wide phenomenon today. At the same time, we must never lose sight that the victims of the bad ideas are individuals, often children. They must know what Christ has to offer them.

The increasing number of people identifying has LGBT has been covered in detail here along with rapid onset gender dysphoria here which this section seems to be hinting at.

Consider the late Sy Rogers, who, after beginning what was at the time avant-garde hormone therapy through Johns Hopkins medicine, de-transitioned and found new life in Christ. He died two years ago, a married father and grandfather, faithfully walking out the Christian ethic of sexuality, even as he called LGBT people to a new encounter with the God who made them and loves them.

That message of the possibilities of grace, grounded in steadfast truth and Christ’s love, is needed now more than ever, especially as people deal with the fallout of destructive trans-narratives around us. For the sake of God and neighbor, we, of all people, must not live by lies.”

For this person it was likely the right choice to detransition, but this is anecdotal evidence, not real data. Real data points to regret and detransiton rates being low, not everyone will want to detransition like this.

In this article, the Chrsitan Post gave outright false data, called for actions that would kill transgender kids, and was blatantly deceitful while at the same time claiming to care about transgender people.