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.