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The tide is turning against gender reas­signing pro­ce­dures for minors. I Wiki­media Commons

Judges and leg­is­lators across the country are taking up pedi­atric gender treatment. Finally, our gov­ernment is pri­or­i­tizing the pro­tection of children, one of its most important duties, above a parent’s right to “wok­eness.”

In October, Sydney Wright, an ex-trans man, wrote her story for the Daily Signal called “I Spent a Year as a Trans Man. Doctors Failed Me at Every Turn.” Embar­rassed by the looks she’d receive in public while holding hands with girl­friends in high school, Wright  became envious of the happy trans­gender men on Instagram who could. 

Without her parents’ consent, Wright found a ther­apist who helped her acquire the letter needed to begin a testos­terone regimen. When she handed the letter to her doctor, he didn’t even open it before writing her pre­scription. When she asked with sur­prise if he wasn’t going to give her the shot himself, he told her to figure it out at home and to consult YouTube if she needed help.

Six months and 50 pounds later, with pre-dia­betes and heart problems, Wright felt trapped. She hadn’t found the hap­piness she sought and was too embar­rassed to change her mind about such a grave decision. Wright’s grandpa was the first person to ask her to stop the treat­ments. She quit cold turkey and is finally regaining a sense of nor­malcy after months in and out of the hos­pital from with­drawal symptoms. 

Wright’s story unfor­tu­nately isn’t special. She tells the story of all those sac­ri­ficed on the altar of American wok­eness.

Thank­fully, judges and leg­is­lators are taking notice of stories like Wright’s, and the tide is turning. Brave adults are finally daring to admit that they see and hear the voices of the children whose lives are on the line. 

Last month, Ohio rep­re­sen­ta­tives Ron Hood and Bill Dean intro­duced the Vul­nerable Child Pro­tection Act. If passed into law, the bill would crim­i­nalize any medical pro­fes­sional who per­forms treatment on a minor which changes a child’s repro­ductive anatomy, delays or pre­vents puberty, or dis­rupts pro­duction of sex hor­mones such as estrogen and testos­terone, among other more widely-accepted vio­la­tions of medical ethics, like restraining or inflicting pain on a minor. 

Rob Hoogland is an Alabama father of a 12-year-old. Last year, his daughter’s school coun­selor told her that she was a boy, and the school picked out a boy’s name and treated her as a boy without informing her parents. Two years later, Hoogland was fighting his 14-year-old in court over the ini­ti­ation of testos­terone treat­ments. The courts ruled, all too typ­i­cally, against the will of the parents. Hoogland speaks out now and warns other parents against com­pla­cency: “Don’t think it can’t happen to you.” 

After hearing stories like the Hoog­lands’, the house and senate of Alabama are working to pass a bill similar to Ohio’s, called the Vul­nerable Child Com­passion and Pro­tection Act. 

It is time for parents, not just law­makers and judges, to rise to the occasion to fight for the family. 

Society has crumbled under the weight of its inverted pri­or­ities. A healthy society is struc­tured like a pyramid: first, per­sonhood; then, the family; then, the neigh­borhood, the com­munity, the state, and finally, the country. This arrangement is called “sub­sidiarity,” taken from the Latin “sub­sidias,” meaning “help.” It makes sense, too: the entire structure is ordered toward the pri­ority of the person. The larger orders, like the gov­ernment, only interfere with the smaller orders, like your local com­munity, when the smaller orders cannot solve the problem on their own. 

The entire structure is aimed not at financial equity or dis­trib­uting priv­ilege, but far more impor­tantly at the dignity of each person. Sub­sidiarity looks like indi­viduals helping them­selves first, and parents pro­tecting their dependent children, and com­mu­nities helping when parents can’t. In the rare cir­cum­stances that exceed the abil­ities of a com­munity, the state will step in. And finally, when all else has failed, the federal gov­ernment will help.

In our current state of affairs, the indi­vidual often turns imme­di­ately to federal welfare. The per­verse concept of seeking help first from a stranger rather than those closest to us is bol­stered by the effects of social media; a major influence in Wright’s gender tran­sition were the Instagram snap­shots of appar­ently happy trans­gender men. Mean­while, her parents stood by and despaired as they watched their daughter destroy herself. It is easy to see how per­sonal dignity is being smothered, not empowered, by this unstable upside-down pyramid. 

The stances taken in Ohio and Alabama are a promising start, but laws won’t change the heart of our nation. If we want to protect the youth of America, it’s up to local com­mu­nities: Parents ought to stand up for their children, and friends ought to stand up for their friends. 

Gender treatment therapy is bad for kids, and it’s about time we admit it. 

 

Reagan Cool is a senior studying phi­losophy and religion. She is a columnist on faith and culture.