If individuals identify with a different gender than they were born, it is no one's right to prevent them from remedying it. If people are sexually attracted to someone in their same gender, again, it is no one's right to prevent them from pursuing happiness in this regard. But acceptance and indoctrination are two very different issues.
We all have the right to pursue what makes us happy and we all have the right to decide exactly what that pursuit may be.
People are different, and children, even more so. This is why discussions about their sexuality and gender should be had between them and their parents — especially at very young ages. We now live in a world where transgender identity is more widely accepted and children should be taught by their parents that there is nothing wrong with this and their acceptance is a good thing as they were once heavily shunned and ridiculed in society for simply being different.
Increased awareness and acceptance in the media has helped the trans community gain access to support which didn't previously exist — and this is a good thing. What's more, there is no evidence that talking with your children about gender identity will "accidentally" make your child transgender.
However, according to studies, social media influencers, societal pressure, and authority figures can be very influential on children and when these conversations are had without parents involved, confusion and stress can result. As Psychology Today reports:
In a recent survey of 250 families whose children developed symptoms of gender dysphoria during or right after puberty, Lisa Littman, a physician and professor of behavioral science at Brown University, found that over 80 percent of the youth in her sample were female at birth. Littman’s study reported many other surprising findings. To meet the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria, a child typically needs to have shown observable characteristics of the condition prior to puberty, such as “a strong rejection of typically feminine or masculine toys," or “a strong resistance to wearing typically feminine or masculine clothes." Again, 80 percent of the parents in the study reported observing none of these early signs in their children.
The plot thickens again: First, many of the youth in the survey had been directly exposed to one or more peers who had recently "come out" as trans. Next, 63.5 percent of the parents reported that in the time just before announcing they were trans, their child had exhibited a marked increase in Internet and social media consumption. Following popular YouTubers who discussed their transition thus emerged as a common factor in many of the cases. After the youth came out, an increase in distress, conflict with parents, and voiced antagonism toward heterosexual people and non-transgender people (known as “cis” or “cisgender”) was also frequently reported. This animosity was also described as extending to “males, white people, gay and lesbian (non-transgender) people.”
Littman hypothesizes that Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, or ROGD, can be cast as a maladaptive coping mechanism for other underlying mental health issues such as trauma or social maladjustment, but also for other exceptional traits like high IQ and giftedness.
In 2017, 3-4 in 100 teens in the United States reported that they are or may be transgender. A more recent 2021 study suggests that the rate of transgender identification among America's youth may be as high as 9 in 100 — a 300% increase.
No one here is claiming that a rise in transgender youth is necessarily bad thing but it should be discussed and analyzed without fear of being labelled transphobic. And, importantly, this is something that should be discussed between parents and their children. Unfortunately, however, there is a push by some folks to have the government discuss these choices with children — and given the impressionable nature of children and their desire to often rebel against their parents, this is worrisome.
Just as no government agent should tell children about their spiritual and religious beliefs, it is not the job of the state to guide children through the exploration of their sexuality. Yet this is happening more and more, and there appears to be a deliberate trend to exclude the parents.
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Many schools appear to be creating a wedge between gender-confused children and their parents. Shockingly enough, they are excluding parents from mental evaluations of their children which include other mental health issues that often times accompany a transgender identity, like depression and anxiety.
In many states, including Florida, where HB 1557 recently passed, schools have been going behind their parents' backs and giving them surveys, asking them if they feel like a boy or a girl. Many of these children are very young. Some school officials have even been having secret meetings with children without the consent of their parents to discuss their child's sexuality.
In one specific example, the Leon County School District in Tallahassee, Florida was having children fill out surveys on their gender identity, allowing them to legally change their names in the school system database, while keeping this a secret from their parents. The school system then recorded the child's new non-binary status, “preferred name,” and “preferred pronouns” — all without their parents knowing.
On these surveys, under the heading of “Parent/Guardian Involvement,” it was made clear that staff wouldn’t notify the parents of anything involved in “implementing this plan” and wouldn’t “include gender-specific pronouns when speaking w/parents.”
In other words, the school system promised children they would deliberately deceive their parents about their child's sexual identity.
In another example from the Hampton City School District in Virginia, their policy clearly states that parents will be excluded from these decisions. Under these guidelines, school officials can facilitate a child's gender transition, entirely behind the backs of parents.
There are no regulations requiring school staff to notify a parent or guardian of a student’s request to affirm their gender identity. Therefore, it is to be understood that the division has no affirmative legal duty to inform parents of the student’s gender identity choice acknowledged while the student is involved in HCS learning or activities.
“Our children still need permission slips for field trips or consent to take Tylenol at school, but schools will allow children to change their names, pronouns, and bathroom choices at school without even telling parents,” one parent in Philadelphia, Pa. stated about their school's policy.
To reiterate, children going through gender dysphoria should not be ostracized and ridiculed but the state talking to children behind their parents' backs and allowing them to make life altering decisions is not acceptable. The government has no business severing the bond between child and parent yet there is an increasing desire to do just that.
This is not a decision like getting a nose ring or a tattoo. Some of these children will undergo irreversible hormone therapy and surgeries affecting them for the rest of their lives. Given the fact that multiple studies have shown roughly 95 percent of children will cease to desire to be the other sex by the time they enter puberty, the idea of government or society encouraging irreversible life altering procedures for children — especially without a parent involved — is terrifying.
Transgender identity is real. It should be accepted and those in the transgender community should be shown equality. But when the state actors could potentially encourage children to make these decisions without their parent's permission, we move from acceptance to indoctrination — and this is not okay.