“Gender Identity”: The Conservative Transgender War Against Children

by GallusMag

Lotta news and op/ed this week about a self-described “gender diversity training” program funded by a grant from the California Teachers Association and administered to elementary school students in Oakland. The teachers and administrators thought they were funding/supporting a program that teaches kids to be “Free To Be You and Me”, the idea that sex roles are culturally created fiction and that kids should be free to act and dress however they want without being teased or having sex-based stereotypes forced upon them. “All state schools are required to have a specific plan to address safety and other issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.”

But that’s not what they got. What they got was a program from “GenderSpectrum” a non-profit created by transsexuals for the sole purpose of teaching  kids the transsexual philosophy: that sex roles are innate, and if the role doesn’t fit it must be the sex that is wrong. Gender Spectrum was founded by Kory Martin-Damon and Stephanie Brill, the “working partner” of Aiden Key who runs Seattle’s “Gender Odyssey” which presents conferences promoting genderism and runs a day camp for children deemed transgender. Gender Spectrum’s mission is to spread genderism (the belief that sex roles are innate) to children and the parents of kids who are not compliant with typical sex roles. They are one of several organizations which seek to “correct” children who don’t perform gender correctly by defining them as “transgender” -that is to say having a birth defect of biological sex. This philosophy states that kids that don’t comply with sex-roles must have a malalignment, and that (since they purport that sex-roles are innately tied to sex) the sex of the child must be incorrect, since the role is incorrect.

They believe:

1.sex-roles are not culturally created but organic and biological.

2.sex-roles (“gender identities”) are biologically hard-wired and unchangeable.

3.human neurology is plastic except for sex-roles which are fixed.

4. incongruence between sex and sex-role is a life threatening illness.

5. children who fail at their assigned sex role should be medically “corrected” (not  by addressing the alleged neurological birth defect but by superficially changing the social appearance of the body to appear as the sexed body the role is assigned to.)

6. children under the age of twelve should be chemically castrated before maturity then sterilized and placed on an irreversible lifetime synthetic hormone regimen to promote congruence between sex-role and the appearance of one’s physical sex.

Far from the “free to be you and me” the educators thought they were getting, GenderSpectrum is actually a genderist group geared entirely towards promoting the genderist philosophy to children. Rather than “sex-roles are sexist and outdated” the kids were shown how some fish can change reproductive sex – and people can too!

“That’s a lot of variation in nature,” Gender Spectrum trainer, Joel Baum, told the students. “Evolution comes up with some pretty funny ways for animals to reproduce.” And that same kind of diversity applies to people too, said Baum, the education director for the San Leandro nonprofit. For example, some boys can act like girls; some girls can have boy body parts; and some biological boys feel like a girl inside their hearts, he said.

“It turns out that there are not just two options,” he said.”

Obviously that is completely untrue. Humans don’t have a variety of ways to reproduce. We don’t change like fish. Human reproduction is not altered by the practice of genderism, or by any other means. No matter how much money you throw at your (or your child’s) surgeon. Human sex is immutable by any means. Wanting to wear a dress or be treated the way people of the opposite sex are treated doesn’t mean one is actually the other sex and can change their mode of reproduction. And that’s all sex is. A reproductive category. Unchangable.

Sex roles are NOT hard-wired. They are culturally created stereotypes inflicted on us from infancy and designed to control and oppress those born with the biological capacity for reproduction (females). Sex role objectors DO NOT have a “birth defect”. The very evidence that people prefer an alternate sex-role to the one assigned their sex (or who prefer none at all) disproves the gender-sex connection. But genderists are a faith-based group with very much in common with conservative Christians and Muslims and Jews. Conservative branches of these groups share the gender beliefs of transgenders= that sex roles are biologically innate. Religious fundamentalists insist that people should conform to sex based roles according to sex. Transgenderists like GenderSpectrum insist that children should conform to sex based roles according to sex but that sex doesn’t actually exist, and humans can change their reproductive biology like fish. Both groups assert that sex-roles are innate and not culturally created. The only complaints raised to these elementary school genderist propaganda sessions came from conservatives who while conceding that sex roles are innate, disputed the idea that sex could be changed to adjust to the innate role. Really a minor squabble. God bless the kids when the conservative religious folks get on board with the genderists the way they have in Iran, which perform castrations and sterilizations as a curative for homosexuality. Most gender non-compliant kids if left alone grow up to be gay.

But why take my word for it. Let’s listen to what GenderSpectrum has to say. Keep in mind this organization’s SOLE purpose is children and the parents of sex-role noncompliant children. What think?

From the GenderSpectrum website:

“The Gender Spectrum

Western culture has come to view gender as a binary concept, with two rigidly fixed options: male or female.  When a child is born, a quick glance between the legs determines the gender label that the child will carry for life. But even if gender is to be restricted to basic biology, a binary concept still fails to capture the rich variation observed. Rather than just two distinct boxes, biological gender occurs across a continuum of possibilities. This spectrum of anatomical variations by itself should be enough to disregard the simplistic notion of only two genders.

But beyond anatomy, there are multiple domains defining gender. In turn, these domains can be independently characterized across a range of possibilities.  Instead of the static, binary model produced through a solely physical understanding of gender, a far more rich texture of biology, gender expression, and gender identity intersect in multidimensional array of possibilities. Quite simply, the gender spectrum represents a more nuanced, and ultimately truly authentic model of human gender.

Biological/Anatomical Sex. The physical structure of one’s reproductive organs that is used to assign sex at birth. Biological sex is determined by chromosomes (XX for females; XY for males); hormones (estrogen/progesterone for females, testosterone for males); and internal and external genitalia (vulva, clitoris, vagina for assigned females, penis and testicles for assigned males). Given the potential variation in all of these, biological sex must be seen as a spectrum or range of possibilities rather than a binary set of two options.

Gender Identity. One’s innermost concept of self as male or female or both or neither—how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different than the sex assigned at birth. Individuals are conscious of this between the ages 18 months and 3 years. Most people develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex. For some, however, their gender identity is different from their biological or assigned sex. Some of these individuals choose to socially, hormonally and/or surgically change their sex to more fully match their gender identity.

Gender Role. This is the set of roles, activities, expectations and behaviors assigned to females and males by society. Our culture recognizes two basic gender roles: Masculine (having the qualities attributed to males) and feminine (having the qualities attributed to females). People who step out of their socially assigned gender roles are sometimes referred to as transgender. Other cultures have three or more gender roles.”

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28 Responses to ““Gender Identity”: The Conservative Transgender War Against Children”

  1. this stuff about “transgender children” is really just viscerally disturbing to me. all the stuff radfems discuss is, but this just really…i dont know! the quote you provided is such utter gobbledygook, with all its “nuance” and “possibilities” talk, they arent saying anything! and to think that they are talking to or intending to talk to children this way just really disturbs me. they are really going to confuse them, which is kind of the whole point isnt it? huge numbers of people that are CONFUSED about GENDER are these transgender groups (and their surgeons’) wet dream.

    and the thing about confusing kids about gender, is that all the gender shit IS confusing. i asked my mother many questions when i was young about “rules” for boys and girls and got answers that sounded nothing like the “nuance” and “possibilities” stuff…mostly she told me that the rules dont make sense, and they arent fair but thats just the way it is. at least there was the sense there that it wasnt FAIR and that people acknowledged that there was a reality there that wasnt fair. she never told me that i must be in the wrong body. i cant imagine hearing that when i was 10 or 12 or at any age really. what an utter, UTTER mindfuck. it makes me so angry…and thats even before they start with the medical interventions, which are just medical experimentation and child abuse.

    i am so glad you are reporting on this gallus. thanks!

  2. what strikes me is that GenderSpectrum omit reference to internal reproductive and sex organs, such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and prostate. Now, why the Freudian omission? Could it be that these organs cannot be surgically ‘reproduced’? Jealousy? Dismissing the obvious is an insult especially to FAABs. External genitalia are only half the picture. A baby girl will often produce a small bleed several days after birth as a result of taking in her mothers hormones.

    Another bad science moment is gender fluidity – this is clearly made up, to cover all eventualities and it’s dangerous crap too as it allows men to enter female and child spaces and cause harm. Transgender keeps the sex and gender binary intact, it destroys the notion of gay and lesbian and wrecks havoc with the tiny minority of people who have chromosonal sex differences.

  3. This subject is literally painful for me to read. I admire you Gallus for managing to shift through it. It’s painful because it’s going to end up in a lot of mutilated, sterilized children. Global patriarchy mutliated enough kids and women during the twentieth century.. and it gives me the chills that men are still playing GOd.. they still believe in eugenics, they still believe women give birth to faulty children…

    All children are born perfect. This is something men will never understand

  4. FCM, when I read this I had the same reaction. Gender was always confusing to me as a child in the 1950’s. Here’s how it seemed to me: It was clear early on that girls were looked down on, that their gender roles were looked down on. Also there were scary adult men who would “do bad things” to girls, boys, especially older boys, as well. So sexuality started to be very confusing. I don’t mean biological sex but the acts associated with bio sex. For the boys, there were also dominance rules amongst them and the weaker boys were forever getting beat up, sometimes brutally by the other boys, by the bullies. It was frowned on for boys to beat up girls though. Plus, fathers often beat their sons more than their daughters. It was hidden that fathers might rape their daughters, never talked about, but if your father was not a child rapist, it was likely that you heard about this happening to other girls and boys as well. No one ever talked about their mothers being rapists, though sometimes the mothers did hit or beat their children. In addition, boys had freedom.

    Once I realized these were the rules, I did want to be a boy. This was mainly so I could have freedom, it was a dream to hitchhike across the country or ride the trains across the country, and stay outdoors like the “hobos” did. I had one doll that I played with, but not lots of dolls and I only played with my doll sometimes, mostly other games that had more action. I also had one dressy dress that I liked, but that would be to wear to school, since all girls had to wear dresses or skirts to school. Mostly, I couldn’t wait to get home and put on pants and go outside and play without regard to getting a dress dirty. I would say that most of my friends were about like me in these regards. I looked up to one girl, my best friend for a time, who was very tough and could beat up most boys, so the boys could not harrass her or her friends. Also, there was Dale Evans and Annie Oakley. When girls played we often pretended to be them. We had Annie Oakley guns and holsters, and pretended to shoot others, including the boys. Or we played, pretending to be gender neutral but powerful animals, horses. Sometimes other animals. We did play dress-up sometimes, pretending to be grownups, but would take either gender role.

    Luckily I grew up in a large family that was poor, so there were not a lot of fancy clothes for girls or boys. There were only a couple of girls who were always in their gender role, dressed in fussy dresses, curls in their hair, never allowed to get dirty. It seemed to me and to the other kids that these girls were not like us. Also, it was their mothers who made them lead this restricted lifestyle. So, the gender role consistent girls were in the vast minority.

    So, I’d say that most of us would be candidates for this kind of indoctrination. The couple of girls who had to be fussily dressed always as girls would be the exception. As for the boys, I wonder if the boys who were always picked on might not have liked to be girls, thinking it would have been safer.

    Also, sexuality has always been confusing to me. I never understood why boys behaved the ways that they did toward me. Massively confusing. Physically, my own sexuality was not confusing at all. But sex between people was fraught with behaviors that never made sense. Closeness, or intimacy also made perfect sense to me. But linking it with sex with men again was massively confusing. Twilight-Zonelike. Seriously.

    Generations after mine had it much worse in some ways, with the fashion, entertainment, and pron industries acting as predators on young children. The confusion must be even worse now. People, when confused, look to experts to help them. Unfortunately, the so-called experts are only making it worse. With an agenda that is highly suspect.

  5. CherryblossomLife, it is painful to think about this being done to children. All children are born perfect. Yes!

  6. *Evolutionary Biology*, *Evolutionary Psychology*, *Gender Spectrums*.

    All the same agenda: It’s perfectly natural to treat women and girls like shit AND if men want to be trated like shit too then that’s their RIGHT as men!

  7. It occurs to me that far from being about the acceptance of gender fluidity, this is really about punishing any divergence from strict gender norms. Your girls must behave in a clearly feminine way and your sons in a clearly masculine way. Otherwise they will be taken away and operated on! This will soon be extended to lesbian and gay adults, sending homosexuality and the truths it reveals about “heterosexuality” underground again.

    I would rather spend a couple of years in prison for being gay than be operated on and sterilised!

    As a point of interest, female bonobos have more sexual interludes together, than they have with the males. Males also have many sexual interludes together, as well as with the females, can’t remember if its more that way round. It is natural to be bisexual but we have it socialised out of us.
    Sex may have evolved as a mechanism for reproduction but like other evolved mechanisms i.e fingers, we have found secondary uses for it. Male deer use it, in the non mating season, to ratify dominance over each other. Female bonobos use it to confirm alliances between each other.
    The belief in one to one heterosexuality, is an important component in enforcing marriage and therefore the subjection of all individual females to individual males, this serves to keep patriarchal structures in place.

  8. I love the bonobos, Zeph! I thought about this with the Anti-Viagra post and using rats to demonstrate human sexuality, How stupid is that? They never mention bonobos, though, do they.

  9. Yes, there is certainly a political Eugenics agenda – the chemical & surgical castration, is designed to sterilise the “unfit”, and what better way than to do it in childhood before maturity?

  10. “Sex roles are NOT hard-wired. They are culturally created stereotypes inflicted on us from infancy and designed to control and oppress those born with the biological capacity for reproduction (females). Sex role objectors DO NOT have a “birth defect”. The very evidence that people prefer an alternate sex-role to the one assigned their sex (or who prefer none at all) disproves the gender-sex connection. But genderists are a faith-based group with very much in common with conservative Christians and Muslims and Jews. Conservative branches of these groups share the gender beliefs of transgenders= that sex roles are biologically innate. Religious fundamentalists insist that people should conform to sex based roles according to sex. Transgenderists like GenderSpectrum insist that children should conform to sex based roles according to sex but that sex doesn’t actually exist, and humans can change their reproductive biology like fish. Both groups assert that sex-roles are innate and not culturally created.”

    Once you abandon reality and replace it with abstract concepts you are in deep trouble. The frankenstein doctors, and the money they are making at the expense of vulnerable people are real, the patriarchal reproductive agenda is real. The abstract constructs can reverse themselves in a moment.

    Women will protect their children by forcing them to adopt strict gender conformity. The state already has far to much power to remove children from their mothers, it is used especially against poor single mothers, and it is their children who will be taken and operated on, the rest of society will get the message; girls must remain in feminised roles.

  11. Awesome reporting, Gallus! The medical pathologizing of gender-objectors is truly horrifying. To commit children to life long dependence on artificial medical interventions simply because they do not conform to ideas of “normal” is nothing short of abuse.

    Sex role objectors DO NOT have a “birth defect”.

    That’s it. Gender is a construct. Gender IDENTITY has nothing whatsoever to do with biological or anatomical realities. SEX cannot be changed. And more importantly, we shouldn’t even even be trying to change sex! We should be encouraging everyone– especially children!– to express themselves however they want, irregarldless of gender or sex roles.

  12. “Women will protect their children by forcing them to adopt strict gender conformity. The state already has far to much power to remove children from their mothers, it is used especially against poor single mothers, and it is their children who will be taken and operated on, the rest of society will get the message; girls must remain in feminised roles.”

    YEs… this is what will happen unless we nip this in the bud NOW.. Another generation DESTROYED by the stupidity of men

  13. The only hope is that enough girls with powerful fathers step outside their prescriped gender role, and then the mothers of those girls are bright enough to protect their daughters (with the backing of a powerful husband) against this latest patriarchal monstrosity…
    Not the IDEAL feminist solution, obviously- to rely on middle class women to be sensible– but poor mothers are truly too vulnerable to make any kind of political stance. They *Will* lose their children.Married women have a lot of leeway on this; the state can’t just step in and remove the child of a mother who is married to a powerful man. A lot of women who are unaware of the trans propaganda believe that boys should be free to play with prams and girls should be allowed to get dirty. so there is hope.

  14. That’s a great point, CBL. It’s reality. We cant wait for the perfect storm to allow perfect political conditions. We have to work with what WORKS, here and NOW.

    One of our high profile mothers might be Jenna from the J Crew “boy with pink toenails” media scandal. I don’t know anything about a powerful father, but Jenna sure took a lot of heat for that photo spread. And she never backed down (JCrew was silent, as far as I know). Jenna is just more famous than ever!! Anyway, it’s an example. 🙂

  15. This is terrifying to read. Literally terrifying. I’m having flashbacks of my childhood and adolescence and how young women like myself are perfect candidates for this experimentation. I am so thankful that I had a progressive father that allowed me room to be myself, regardless of “expression”.

  16. It is terrifying, the promotion of gender as biologically based and the medicalization of sex-role disobedience. They are really making these kids sick, disabled for life with these puberty blockers. In some ways that we know about like decreased bone density and growth, and in other ways that we won’t know until decades from now. Things like effects on the brain have simply never been studied. Here’s a video posted today by a fifteen year old named Ryan Cassatta who is a kind of minor celebrity of the trans community, doing talk shows and such as a “trans kid”. She says “I’ve been nauseous and have headaches for the first week that I took it” (from the monthly injection). “I guess like every time I get it injected I’m gonna feel like sick. Until I get used to it I guess.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DdaQbMQ4mg
    And this is being done so that radical cosmetic surgery (double mastectomy of healthy breasts) scheduled to make her look male, will have a “better” cosmetic appearance. Decisions she is making at 15 years old. Decisions not possible without the complicity of the medical providers who are enacting the “treatments”.
    A 15 year old would never be allowed to have amputation of healthy body parts performed on them by “informed consent”. But when those body parts are sexed- it’s A-OK, according to the medical establishment.

  17. The thing is that teens and young adults are in a developmental stage where they want to try on different identities. That’s why they try all the piercings, brightly colored hair, unusual fashion statements, etc. It is normal and natural to become very attached to and sure of a given identity, and later discard it. Teachers, parents, and others who deal a lot with this age group are familiar with it and know it’s a stage. It’s a normal part of the maturation process, figuring out what they want to become. This idea is central in developmental psychology, and not a new theory (Eric Erickson, I believe, and probably others). There is something called “premature foreclosure” related to this stage. For instance, if a young teen decides they want to become a pilot, but never explores any other option, it is generally not thought of as a good choice, not a good decision-making process. The thing is the child cannot know where she or he will end up in this process. In these cases, it is the worst thing imaginable to something like this. I think about it and tears come to my eyes.

    I don’t know why no educators are standing up for this, many of them presumably know about it, having studied it as part of their training. Or why no developmental psychologists have weighed in. Seriously, there needs to be an open debate about this. It is shocking that anyone can get away with it. Where are the teachers? College professors? Developmental psychologists? Parents who understand child development? There are lots and lots of teachers around the world. Some of them care a lot about kids.

  18. So true Katie. And many adult trans folks change their mind later in life. It’s a big taboo to discuss it in the trans community but it’s not at all uncommon. This young man changed his mind and now has to live on synthetic hormones and has to deal with life as a gay man with no genitalia, and with breasts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3Mz4rc8y9g
    And most gender non-conforming kids ARE gay. Heterosexuals who become trans as adults do NOT show objective signs of gender nonconformity as children.
    What do we say to teens who say “I am _____”? We say okay great. You’re young, check out ______, check out lots of stuff, no need to tie yourself into anything, it’s a time for exploration”. Except when it comes to sex-roles. Then we say castrate sterilize and remove endogenous hormone production. Be drug dependent for life. You have a birth defect that requires medically disabling you.

    I don’t think educators DO know about this actually. It’s important that we get the information out there. There’s an enormous amount of silencing around this, and ANY gender issue by Genderists.

  19. Excellent post GallusMag, and very timely. You are spot on, with how ‘regrettors’ are silenced. I know of a group of ex-trans who are trying to sue their surgical clinic for medical negligence, with little success. Just goes to show how seriously political this all is.

  20. More people should know about this horrible trend. I’m glad that my parents didn’t know about this transgender stuff. I have could been a transgender child too because I Ioved everything what the boys did and sometimes I was very sad that I wasn’t allowed to do some activities because I had the wrong gender. Now I know this is just sick.

    Cizz from europe

  21. yes, and i am so happy that gallus reports on this issue regularly on her own blog, and now here on the HUB. its horrifying, criminal even, and this shit needs to be exposed for what it is, and a bright light shone on the entire pile of shit this transgender nonsense is, particularly when its being perpetrated on kids. thank you gallusmag!

  22. I think one of the best strategies in this fight is drawing connections between the patriarchal supportive implications of transgenderism with other issues, as you have done here Gallus with conservative philosophies, and as Sheila Jeffreys does with the sterilization movement of the 20th century in her article on this site. Another important parallel is with the imperative to surgically correct all kinds of “flaws” which usually turns out to mean enhancing secondary sex characteristics for females (and those who “feel” themselves to be women), the various very harmful weight-loss surgeries, and creating more caucasian features in people of noncaucasian races. See the following article for more on this:

    http://feminist-reprise.org/docs/winter2004.htm

  23. This is truly disgusting. If I ever needed proof that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, this is it.

    Also, I’m pretty sick of the idea that a non-gender-conforming person is automatically stamped as lesbian/gay. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, but I have no interest in women beyond platonic friendship. Men are fucking useless assholes, but I’ve been physically attracted to them since day one. *shrug* So much for gender theories.

  24. This is brilliant!!! Yes, the “transgender” movement is fundamentally gender essentialist, conservative, a blacklash against feminism, and extremely damaging to both men and women. The six points you outlined were very succinct. Thank you.

  25. Absolutely Manits. I’m another, exactly as you describe. I don’t believe these kids are necessarily going to be gay if left alone. I imagine, about the same percentage as the rest of the population. I’m a rock climbing, hunting, canoeing heterosexual, who responds to men.

  26. Have you ever TRIED lesbianism? You might like it. 🙂

  27. Excellent post! Thank you Gallus! As soon as you started talking about religious freaks and transgenderism, I started wondering if the only reason churches haven’t yet jumped on the trans bandwagon was due to their homophobia. If Camp Twanz wasn’t so “officially” accepting of homosexuality then the religious folks would probably welcome tranz with open arms.

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