A recent example of just how illogical gender identity ideology can be came from an unlikely place: CNN.
This CNN article highlights how wearing masks during the pandemic has made life easier for those who live with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Body dysmorphia “is a psychiatric illness in which people are preoccupied with perceived physical flaws to the extent that it impacts daily functioning.” Those who suffer from BDD might constantly check their bodies, pick at their skin, or try plastic surgery to align their bodies with their idealized image. Some people have sadly even performed self-surgeries and amputations.
The article details how Dr. Eda Gorbis, director of the Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders, Inc., uses different tools to help her patients face what they fear most and try to accept themselves how they are. For those with BDD, treatment is key. About 80 percent consider suicide at some point in their lives. But research shows that those who receive treatment often recover fully. According to Dr. Gorbis, “the only permanent fix to an illness so deft and disruptive is committed treatments.”
The message of the article was clear: Fixating on falsehoods about the way you perceive your body is unhealthy and should be corrected with therapy.
Yet, when it comes to the gender identity ideology, that same message doesn’t apply.
But shouldn’t it?
In Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say , Dr. Preston Sprinkle argues that transgender identities are based on an “incongruence between their biological sex and their internal sense of self.” In other words, these individuals experience a disconnect between their biological reality and how they feel or identify internally.
There’s a breadth of diversity within the transgender community. Sometimes the incongruence is based upon simple stereotypes (i.e., a biological female who enjoys more traditionally masculine hobbies). Other times, an individual who identifies as transgender experiences deep and debilitating dysphoria. Tragically, more than 40 percent of adults who identify as transgender have attempted suicide. But research suggests that “80 to 95 percent of young people with a gender identity conflict will naturally reconcile their identity with the body if their development is not interfered with.”
But the interference is the problem. Rather than help these individuals come to accept biological reality through therapy—as with the treatment of BDD—there are numerous (and related) efforts to erase the importance of biological sex and replace it with gender identity in law and culture.
1. There is an ever-expanding (and rewritten) vocabulary around issues of gender identity.
Biological sex becomes “sex assigned at birth.” A double mastectomy becomes “chest surgery.” A woman who identifies as male is a “man who menstruates.”
2. The next generation is being educated in gender identity ideology.
In some public schools, children are encouraged to live as the opposite sex. And this information is kept from parents (as was the case in Madison, Wisconsin). In other places, kids are being taught that there is no such things as boys and girls. And, as is widely known, males who identify as females are being allowed to compete on girls’ teams and in girls’ events.
3. There is an effort to rebrand counseling services that help those struggling with their gender identity as “conversion therapy.”
In some places, lawmakers have tried outlawing this counseling between adults. In one case, ADF challenged a New York City ban on behalf of Jewish psychotherapist Dr. Dovid Schwartz. In response, the city council repealed the ordinance.
4. So-called experts increasingly favor the use of puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and invasive surgery to remove and refashion reproductive organs in minors.
Dr. Rachel Levine, the (transgender) nominee for Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), refused to answer questions from Senator Rand Paul when he repeatedly asked Levine if minors can undertake procedures like those above without parental consent. Additionally, journalist Abigail Shrier has documented how the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is also the nation’s “second largest provider of Gender Affirming Hormone Care.” Shrier relates the story of a former Planned Parenthood employee. According to the employee, Planned Parenthood “circumvented” the need of patients to speak with actual mental health counselors and, instead, put them as quickly as possible into hormonal or surgical procedures.
5. Any argument critical of gender identity ideology, as well as anyone who makes those arguments, can be labeled as “transphobic.”
For instance, Vox writer Gabby Birenbaum railed against Senator Paul for engaging in what she saw as a “transphobic” line of questioning with Dr. Levine. Or, consider Amazon’s erasing of Dr. Ryan T. Anderson’s book, When Harry Became Sally.
As Dr. Carl Trueman has said: “What constitutes a person is now apparently nothing more than your feelings, your psychology. You feel you are a woman, despite what your body tells you? Then understand that your body has no authority here; go with your gut.”
But, as we’ve seen with body dysmorphia, rejecting reality has devastating consequences—regardless of whether an individual is fixated on a falsehood about their nose or about their sex. So why help one accept reality and encourage the other to pursue harmful surgery?
It’s inconsistent. It’s illogical. It’s cruel.
And it must stop.
Downtown Hope Center serves everyone, while focusing on protecting vulnerable women at night. They should be free to do so according to their religious beliefs.