Part one of this two-part article is here.
Trans extremism has made extraordinary advances in a short period of time. Powerful decision-makers in education, medicine, law, politics, media, religion, and entertainment enforce trans demands that would have seemed bizarre or merely comical in the recent past. In spite of trans extremism’s rapid advance, its days may be numbered. Trans extremist ideology is the great-grandchild of Marxist ideology, but it conflicts with classical Marxism. Too, more conventional leftists are increasingly voicing resistance to trans extremism.
Trans extremism’s rapid advance has occurred on several fronts. Suddenly signs reading “men’s room” and “women’s room” in a church are condemned as discriminatory. Suddenly tens of thousands of people, including children, are begging strangers to give them money so that they can undergo medically unnecessary double mastectomies or castrations. Suddenly Rob Hoogland, a loving father, is jailed because he referred to his daughter as a “daughter,” not a “son” and he used the pronoun “she” rather than “he.” Suddenly police interrogate Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a British housewife and mother, because she said that she opposes the elective castration of a teenage boy. Jackie Green, a sixteen-year-old British boy, was castrated. Keen-Minshull’s verbal protest of that castration was enough to bring police to her door. In 2018, Keen-Minshull paid to have a billboard put up in Liverpool. The billboard read: “Woman: Adult human female.” The billboard was taken down because it offends men who identify as women.
Suddenly the beloved, family-friendly, all-American company, Hershey, manufacturer of chocolate kisses, chooses to emblazon the face of a gay man, Fae Johnstone, aka Zach Johnstone, on its candy wrappers. Johnstone’s face is meant to celebrate International Woman’s Day. Johnstone, a man who identifies as a woman, has advocated for male rapists to be placed in women’s prisons. Johnstone has also called for women to be “vilified” till “they don’t dare to speak their views publicly” if they refuse to acknowledge him as a woman.
Hershey’s campaign is an attempt at woke-washing. Hershey faces a lawsuit because of the lead and cadmium contaminating its chocolate. Hershey has been accused of using child slave labor. Putting a man in woman-face on its chocolate wrappers distracts attention from Hershey’s dark side.
Suddenly Christians can’t wait to announce their support for the word “woman” being redefined in a way that erases women. John Pavlovitz, a superstar Methodist pastor, struts his moral superiority on social media: “I can’t support your transphobic lifestyle,” he preaches to Christians who question trans extremism. “I’m buying more” Hershey’s chocolate, Pavlovitz insists, because “You. Are. Not. Going. To. Erase. LGBTQ. People. On. Our. Watch.” Melodramatic, Captain-Kirk-style punctuation in the original.
Why are these events and others like them happening now? Like all social trends, from the witch craze to tulip mania, trans extremism has many drivers. Those drivers include social media, social contagion, money and power, Marxist-influenced ideology, the crisis of meaning, and the elevation of claims of victim status to societal advantage.
Social media is one factor driving trans extremism, combined with social contagion. “When I was fifteen, I was introduced to gender ideology on Tumblr and began to call myself nonbinary,” writes detransitioner Helena Kirschner. Like many pubescent girls, Kirschner was experiencing discomfort. As with thousands of other girls, she came to believe that she was a boy trapped in a girl’s body because social media peer pressure worked hard to convince her of that.
Dr. Lisa Littman has documented ROGD, or rapid onset gender dysphoria. Peer pressure, often exercised in online communities, causes girls to identify as boys. “The onset of gender dysphoria seemed to occur in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified … Parents also report that their children exhibited an increase in social media/internet use prior to disclosure of a transgender identity.”
Another factor driving trans extremism is profit. In June, 2022, Tablet published Jennifer Bilek’s exposé of the billionaire Pritzker family of Illinois. The Pritzkers use their inherited $29 billion to push trans extremism. Jennifer Pritzker, formerly James Pritzker, as well as his cousin, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker “appear to have used a family philanthropic apparatus to drive an ideology and practice of disembodiment into our medical, legal, cultural, and educational institutions.”
Jennifer Pritzker’s Tawani Foundation funds the Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, and other institutions pushing trans extremism. Bilek documents the Pritzkers donating to medical professionals and institutions, including the Ronald Reagan Medical Center at the University of California Los Angeles, who celebrate “gender affirming care.”
Pritzker money influences education as well. Nicholas Matte is a woman who identifies as a man. Matte is one of the professors Pritzker supports. Matte teaches “Sexual Diversity Studies” at the University of Toronto. “It’s not correct that there is such a thing as biological sex,” Prof. Matte insists. Only “cisnormativity” and a “cisnormative culture” delude people into thinking “that there is such a thing as male and female … scientists have shown that that’s not true.” Even though male and female don’t exist, when her fellow professor Jordan Peterson referred to male students as “he” he was “abusing” students.
According to online reviews left by students, Matte has “zero sense of reality,” and is an “ideology pusher … Very similar to bigoted people who don’t allow for debate.” Matte teaches “one of the few courses in the curricula that will make you less qualified for a job.” Another student of Matte reports, “Initially, we thought we were getting pranked, like some Dadaist bizarro show with hidden cameras.” Other students say of Matte, “Everything that comes out of this professor’s mouth is absolute crap;” “I am ashamed of the school I attend because of people like” Matte; and, “I am ashamed of the University and will not be returning.” Matte is also, according to one student, a “total moron.”
Pritzker money and power affects elementary school students as well as students in universities. “In August 2021, Gov. Pritzker signed into law a new sex education bill for all public schools in Illinois.” As required by this law, second grade students “should be able to define gender, gender identity, and gender-role stereotypes” as well as to “discuss the range of ways people express their gender and how gender role stereotypes may limit behavior.”
Helen Joyce, author of the 2021 bestseller, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, also covered Pritzker money’s influence. “In 2016,” Joyce writes, Pritzker’s Tawani Foundation “gave the University of Victoria $2 million to endow a chair of transgender studies, and throughout the ‘bathroom wars’ it supported Equality Illinois Education Project, which is linked to a group campaigning for gender self-ID in the state.”
Bilek has done subsequent work naming other very wealthy people pushing trans extremism. See for example here, here, here, here, here, here and here. The overall message of Bilek’s work is that trans extremism is not a grassroots movement in which oppressed people organize with other oppressed people, rise up, and peacefully demand that more powerful people grant them equal rights. Rather, she argues, trans extremism is a top-down movement manufactured by very wealthy and powerful people, most of whom have not been elected in any democratic process, but who use their wealth to manipulate the institutions that, in turn, manipulate the masses.
Money drives trans extremism in another way. There are immensely wealthy and powerful people funding trans extremism, and there are immensely wealthy and powerful people profiting from trans extremism. People who identify as trans and attempt medical transition to the sex opposite to their own must continue to take drugs and, given the high rate of surgical complications, must possibly undergo follow-up surgeries for the rest of their lives. Also, when trans people find that a given approach does not resolve their gender dysphoria, they choose to undertake further medical interventions. A double mastectomy might be followed by a phalloplasty. Breast implants might be followed by facial feminization surgery, that involves the cutting of facial bones with a laser or surgical saw, and the shaving of the trachea. Trans people are cash cows for pharmaceutical companies, counselors, surgeons, clinics, hospitals, and health care professionals.
The drug Lupron is currently used as a puberty suppressant in children identified as trans. Journalist Pedro L. Gonzalez covered Lupron in the New York Post in 2021. “Lupron was initially developed to lower testosterone levels in men with prostate cancer, effectively chemically castrating them … Lupron manufacturer AbbVie made $726 million on the drug alone in 2018. AbbVie has joined other major pharmaceutical companies in lobbying to keep drug prices high while virtue-signaling about diversity and inclusion.” Pharmaceutical companies’ cant about “diversity and inclusion” while raking in big profits is another form of woke-washing.
AMAC reports, “In 2009, a group of doctors began using Lupron to treat autism – largely at the behest of Big Pharma, which was desperate to find more uses for the drug, which cost millions of dollars to develop. But using Lupron to treat autism was soon rejected as ‘junk science,’ and one noted professor said the notion of prescribing Lupron to ‘vulnerable children…fills me with horror.’ … TAP Pharmaceutical Products was forced to pay $875 million to settle criminal and civil charges regarding the use and marketing of Lupron. According to the New York Times, the company was illegally manipulating Medicare and Medicaid Programs by providing free samples of Lupron, then collecting reimbursements of ‘hundreds of dollars for each dose’ from the government programs. In addition, six employees were indicted for conspiracy to pay kickbacks to doctors if they prescribed Lupron … By some estimates, each transgender child represents over $1 million to the pharmaceutical industry.”
Scott Newgent is a woman who attempted to transition to being a man. She required repeat medical care, all of which cost her dearly and enriched medical professionals. “I had seven surgeries to change my appearance to male. As side effects, I also had a massive pulmonary embolism, a helicopter life-flight ride, an emergency ambulance ride, a stress-induced heart attack, sepsis, a 17-month recurring infection … 16 rounds of antibiotics, three weeks of daily IV antibiotics, the loss of all my hair, only partially successful arm reconstructive surgery [from a failed phalloplasty], permanent lung and heart damage, a cut bladder, insomnia-induced hallucinations and frequent loss of consciousness due to pain from the hair on the inside of my urethra. All this led to a form of PTSD that made me a prisoner in my apartment for a year. Now, the corrupt forces pushing Lupron seem to have found a new cash cow in the sudden influx of children identifying as transgender … We forget the massive amount of revenue generated by pushing our kids to believe they are transgender.”
In short, transitioning is expensive, it can lead to a lifetime dependency on drugs and possible repeat surgeries and other medical interventions, and transitioners’ lifelong dependence on medical attention generates massive profits for medical professionals, especially if they can guarantee that the funding comes from government programs bullied and shamed into covering trans treatments at taxpayer expense.
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s coverage of trans Medicaid recipients includes a perhaps unintentionally revealing, internally contradictory sentence. “Not all transgender … individuals will want or seek any or all of these medically necessary services.” If a treatment is “medically necessary,” it is not optional. That some, not all, trans people seek, for example, castration, phalloplasty, or breast augmentation, while others reject these procedures, reveals that these treatments are not medically necessary, any more than any other plastic surgery performed for cosmetic reasons. In any case, the KFF certainly feels that taxpayers should cover these medically unnecessary procedures.
Matt Walsh uncovered video in which a health care professional promoted trans extremism as a cash cow. In this video, Dr. Shane Taylor, medical director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center Clinic for Transgender Health, takes credit for establishing the clinic. She says she did so by emphasizing to hospital bigwigs that the clinic would be a gold mine. In a livestreamed lecture, Taylor informed her audience of fellow health care professionals that “gender affirmation surgeries” are “big money makers.” “Staring on January 1, 2017, according to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are mandated to cover medical expenses for trans folks … It’s a lot of money. These surgeries make a lot of money. Female to male chest reconstruction can bring in $40,000. A patient on routine hormone treatment who we see only a few times a year can bring in several thousand dollars. This makes money for the hospital … Vaginoplasty they’re quoting $20,000. This has to be an underestimate. That doesn’t include your hospital stay. That doesn’t include your post-op visit. That doesn’t include your anesthesia, your OR. This is a gross underestimate. Female to male bottom surgery, these are huge moneymakers. Phalloplasty can be up to $100,000. One entire clinic is supported just by phalloplasties. These surgeries are labor intensive. They require a lot of follow up. And they make money. They make money for the hospital.”
Walsh published another Vanderbilt video featuring Dr. Ellen Clayton. In that video, Clayton warned that any health care professional who had a conscientious objection to participating in the transing of children would face “consequences.” “If you don’t wanna do this kind of work, don’t work at Vanderbilt.”
Dr. Clayton is “an internationally respected leader in the field of health law, focusing on … protecting the interests of patients and communities.” Dr. Clayton holds an MS from Stanford, a JD from Yale, and an MD from Harvard. The Vatican has invited Clayton to participate in discussions of ethics. Reading Clayton’s formidable CV brings to mind a quote by Judge Michal Musmanno. In speaking of the defendants before him, Judge Musmanno said, “Each man at the bar has had the benefit of considerable schooling. Eight are lawyers, one a university professor, another a dental physician, still another an expert on art. One … an opera singer.” Musmanno served as a judge in the Nuremberg trials of Nazis.
Apparently Vanderbilt feared that “conscientious objectors” might be lurking beneath the surface, so Vanderbilt deputized thought police called “trans buddies” who would accompany patients, including minor children, to every doctor’s appointment. The “buddy’s” job was to police speech and behavior of health care professionals, to ensure that that speech and behavior complied with the demands of trans extremism. Doctors and nurses must never “misgender” children by, say, using the pronoun “she” to refer to a girl. “Gender affirmation therapy” insists that once a child is labeled transgender, that child must never be exposed to the idea that he is not transgender. “Trans buddies” would make sure that no health care professional allowed a child to be exposed to the idea that God did not make a mistake when creating his body.
Ironically, Marx-influenced ideology is another cause of trans extremism. Marx summed up his idea thus: he wanted the “Abolition of private property.” Marx might be rolling over in his grave to discover that his ideas help rich medical professionals fleece children, insurance companies, and American taxpayers.
Marx also called for the abolition of the individual. “In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality … the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at … You must, therefore, confess that by ‘individual’ you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.”
Trans extremism, on the other hand, is most popular among the bourgeois and it is extremely individualistic. “Radical individualism is at the heart of gender theory,” argues Michael Cook, the Australian bioethics journalist. Trans extremists struggle so hard to be their “authentic selves” that they doubt that they are “trans enough.” There are books, websites, and peer-reviewed scholarly articles exploring whether or not any given person is “trans enough.” There are affirmations reassuring the doubter that he is “trans enough.” see here, here, here, here, here, here.
Trans-identified young people struggling to locate and act upon their authentically true individuality insist on inventing their own individual pronouns like “doll,” “fairy,” “kitty,” “star,” “sloth,” and “demon.” Chloe Cole, a detransitioner, said that her conviction that she was transgender took root when she was alone in her room “ruminating” on her own self. She advised parents that to protect their children from the kind of mistakes she made, they need to keep their children away from social media, and keep the kid active, and engaged in productive activity with other people.
In addition to their hostility to individualism, Marx and Engels exchanged letters that, commentators argue, demonstrate homophobia. See, for example, here. Marxist states have not been known to value LGBT rights.
Given this hostility to profit, to individuality, and to homosexuality, how can Marxist ideology be identified as a source of trans extremism? The route from classical Marxism to trans extremism is tangled and thorny; it is best depicted as a corkscrew, not an arrow. Scholars Chris Rufo and James Lindsay work out the complicated family tree of trans extremism. In this video, Lindsay describes Marxism as the template into which a variety of ingredients can be plugged. Classical Marxism divides humanity into two irreconcilable opposites: the oppressors and the oppressed. Virtuous action consists of overturning the oppressors and uplifting the oppressed. For Marx, the oppressors were capitalism and the capitalist class. The oppressed were the workers.
As time has gone on, other would-be revolutionaries, with other axes to grind, have adopted the Marxist template and plugged in their own grievances. For Marxist-influenced BLM, the oppressors are all whites and the oppressed are all blacks. For queer theorists and trans extremists, normality itself is the oppressor, and the oppressed are those considered not normal. Notions of normality must be obliterated, including, as Lindsay says, the taboo against the sexual abuse of children.
The original Marxist template divides humanity up into two perpetually irreconcilable groups: the oppressive capitalists and the oppressed workers. Virtue, in this model, consists of warfare between these two groups, till the oppressed finally defeat the oppressor and usher in Utopia. This model can be applied to the transing of children. The process is articulated exactly in the agonized confession of “Rose,” an otherwise anonymous mother. In August, 2022, Rose confessed that she transed her two sons. She later realized that her sons were not her daughters, but were actually her sons. She deeply regrets what she did to her sons, and her sons regret her actions, as well.
Why did Rose trans her two sons? Because she embraced the Marxist-influenced worldview. “I was on the forefront, introducing the concept of intersectionality to progressive organizations, and having people share their pronouns. My friends and I felt we were the cool kids, the vanguard of revolutionary work to change the world, to achieve what people in the social justice movement call ‘collective liberation.’ I was deeply committed to the work of creating another world that was possible.”
When her four-year-old son, being raised by two lesbian mothers, asked if he were a girl or a boy, Rose introduced her defenseless son to trans ideology. “What I know now is that … I was leading my innocent, sensitive child down a path of lies that were a direct on-ramp to psychological damage and life-long irreversible medical intervention. All in the name of love, acceptance, and liberation.” Rose now admits that her behavior was the behavior of a member of a cult. (An interview with Rose is here.)
Why are Marxism’s great-grandchildren, like trans extremism, finding adherents among young Americans? Because nature abhors a vacuum. America is undergoing a crisis of meaning. Americans are rapidly leaving organized religion, which had been a mainstay of American culture. The family also used to be a bedrock. Americanness used to be mom and apple pie. Mom is fading into extinction. The US has the world’s highest rate of children living in single parent households, according to Pew. According to recent census data, “Just 18% of US households are ‘nuclear families’ with a married couple and children, down from 40% since 1970s and the lowest since 1959,” reports the Daily Mail. Schools used to provide a sense of community and purpose. Today American schools are in crisis, as are American students. Girls are in especially bad shape. Since the Sexual Revolution, females have been stripped of the protection of modesty and respect. At least one detransitioner, Chloe Cole, admitted that she attempted to become a boy because she was sexually assaulted in an eighth grade classroom by a boy who habitually bullied her, and though others witnessed the assault, no one aided her or protested the assailant’s action. Cole said in a recent interview that sexual assault is a significant cause of transing among girls she knows. America’s crisis of meaning is reflected in “deaths of despair.” Americans are lonely and are even having less sex (here, here, here).
Former American neo-Nazi Christian Piccolini says he was recruited into hate groups because, like all young people, he sought “identity, community, and purpose.” Father Jim Friedrich, an Episcoplian priest, observes that a loss of meaning can drive young people to any movement that gives them that sense of identity, community, and purpose. Friedrich writes that many young Nazis in 1930s Germany “weren’t looking for ideas, but meaning. They desired a cure for melancholy and malaise, a pick-me-up to restore a sense of personal significance.” Friedrich quotes historian Richard J. Evans. Often, young Nazi recruits “had only the haziest notion of what they were fighting for.” “Hostility to the enemy de jour – Communists, Jews, whomever – was the core of their commitment.” Trans extremists invented a new class of enemy – “transphobes” and “TERF”s.
Marxist ideology divided humanity into oppressors and the oppressed. In this worldview, the oppressed have a monopoly on victim identity, community, and purpose. They are above criticism. White, middle-class, American children must resign themselves to despised oppressor identity. If they can claim to be trans, they can escape their despised status as oppressors and claim superior victim status.
It’s undeniable that trans extremism is a great-grandchild of Marxist ideology, but it’s also undeniable that it doesn’t fit with classical Marxism. I was an active leftist for decades, on the east and west coasts, overseas, and in Indiana. We focused on US military intervention overseas, striking workers, environmental issues, feminism, black liberation, wealth redistribution, gay liberation, nuclear disarmament. Garden variety leftists felt free to make jokes about “trannies.” To the hardcore Marxists, trans people were not an issue; class revolution was.
“Marxism vs. Queer Theory,” a detailed 2019 essay by Yola Kipcak of the International Marxist Tendency, outlines a classical Marxist rejection of queer theory. Kipcak blasts gender-identity-based politics as leading to “a strengthening of petty-bourgeois ideas.” Class struggle, not gender, should be the guiding light. “Declining class struggle” causes “identity politics” to sink “ever deeper into a crisis.” “Small, subjective narratives” and “the psychology of individualization” are not Marxist. To Marxists ,”matter is primary.” “The dualism of mind and body” – the idea that one can be a boy trapped in a girl’s body – does not comply with Marxism’s emphasis on the primacy of matter. Queer theory is nothing but “pompous” “intellectual games” that cannot advance the revolution. “Oppression is rooted in class society” and if you want to make the world a better place, you have to invest in material reality and join the class-based revolution. “Gender roles are thus not purely cultural fantasies derived from the world of ideas, but spring from the material base of class society … as well as biological factors.” “Queer Theory and Marxism are irreconcilable,” she concludes.
Classical Marxism, though, will not spell the end of trans extremism in the US; the American left is not classically Marxist. What will end trans extremism? A backlash from those who initially supported trans extremism, that is, middle class people on the American political left.
Straws in the wind suggest that a backlash against trans extremism has begun in this population. “Whose ox is gored?” goes the old saying. If people are being personally harmed, they are more likely to act. The very demographic who initially advanced trans extremism is now expressing opposition to trans extremism. Left-leaning women are speaking up. Why? Because they see themselves and their kids being hurt.
Reader comments in left-leaning publications reflect an undercurrent of resistance to trans extremism. These comments are all the more remarkable given that any criticism of trans extremism is immediately condemned as “transphobic” and critics suffer penalties, from being doxed to losing jobs to death threats. In spite of these punishments, not only can criticisms of trans extremism be found in left-leaning publications, but the commenter frequently self-identifies as a leftist, and offers bona fides. I’m a lifelong Democrat, they say. I hate Republicans. I supported gay rights long before it was popular. I am gay myself. I am myself a trans person, they say.
Of course not all comments on trans-themed articles offer resistance. Things change in the comments sections of articles focused more on identified enemies than on trans extremism per se. When an article focuses on a prominent Republican who voices an anti-trans-extremist stance, the comments section reflects the joy and bonding that tribe members receive from ganging up on the hated enemy tribe. For example, on March 5, 2023, the Washington Post published an article entitled “Florida Bills Would Ban Gender Studies, Limit Trans Pronouns, Erode Tenure.” The article featured a large color photo of Ron DeSantis. The article received almost 14,000 comments. The most popular comment was an attack on Republicans. The second most popular comment was a warning about the danger of “white Christians.” The third most popular griped about “damage” to “higher ed.” None of these top comments mentioned trans; rather, they focused on the hated enemy.
On March 6, 2023, the New York Times published “Tennessee and the Anti-Drag Race.” This op-ed demonized Republicans, whites, and Christians, all of whom are “waterboarding” LGBT people. The most popular comment says Tennessee wants to return to the “Dark Ages.” The second and third most popular comments call for “Economic pressure on our enemies.” The fourth most popular comment compares “regressive and medieval” Republicans to Russians and Saudi Arabians. In short, when the focus is on bashing the left’s enemy tribes, that is, white people, Christians, Southerners, people in flyover country, and Republicans, the comments section erupts in the enthusiastic bonding of shared hate.
Things change in the comments section when the piece being responded to argues for trans extremism per se. On March 6, 2023, New York Magazine responded to Michael Knowles’ CPAC comment that “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life.” As with other articles that focus on attacking the right, the most popular comments also attacked the right. An unpopular comment, though, is a straw in the wind. An anonymous poster wrote, “The trans activist lobby and by extension, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have ZERO empathy for women or the children who are pushed into gender affirmation care, which, because of the serious and irreversible consequences, will end up being the WORST medical scandal in history. Not only is it malpractice, it’s Frankenstein-level malpractice – being committed on KIDS! I say this as a liberal woman who has voted D for over 25 years. No more. If the Ds want my vote they can stop being a men’s rights org that promotes the maiming of children!”
This comment is fairly typical of comments that depart from gender extremism. The poster self-identifies as a left-wing woman. She expresses concern for trans extremism’s erasure of women, and she protests the transing of children. This comment is unpopular, though. Are comments that criticize trans extremism, comments appearing in left-wing publications, and by commenters who self-identify as left-wing, ever popular? Yes, yes they are.
On February 16, 2023, left-leaning Slate published an article alleging that JK Rowling is a transphobe. Note that this article did not go after what leftists perceive as an enemy tribe, that is, white, conservative Christians living in the South or the Midwest. This article criticized a beloved author. The most popular comment defended Rowling and stated that “Reasonable people can have disagreements on trans-women in women’s shelters and hormones/puberty blockers in young kids.” The next most popular comment defended Rowling and condemned attacks on Rowling. The third most popular comment stated, “People have to be able to discuss this topic without instantly starting a firestorm. From the left, you’re reprimanded that any questions about transgenderism deny the humanity of trans people … this is a relatively new phenomenon. People need to be able to openly ask questions and have their opinions respected … Accept that people are confused on this, that many are repelled or frightened by it and that some have legitimately thought out objections to the concept.” This comment is extraordinary in its rationality and humanity. It directly contradicts trans extremism. The fourth most popular comment defended Rowling and condemned the attacks on her. And so on. Granted, these departures from trans extremism were immediately attacked by trans extremists for the posters’ departures from the party line.
On February 16, 2023, the New York Times published a defense of JK Rowling. Again, readers were not offered the raw meat of an attack on their hated tribe, but rather a defense of a charismatic author. The most popular comment, which received 6,212 upvotes from New York Times readers, defended JK Rowling, and condemned men who identify as women invading women’s spaces like sports. The poster self-identified as “a pro-LGBTQ liberal bio woman.” The second most popular comment is worth reading in full. “As a transgender woman, I find nothing at all offensive from Ms. Rowling. As this essay shows, she has expressed great compassion for those who are vulnerable. My political views lean left, but I have grown so weary of all this language policing, the them/they pronouns, and using words like ‘harm’ when one is merely offended by others’ writing or speech. ‘Witch trial’ is an excellent phrase to describe it all, especially in our academic institutions.”
The third most popular comment is similarly attention-worthy. “I’m a gay man but do not want to be associated with the current extremism of many LGBTQ organizations. In fact, I don’t see the trans movement as a gay/lesbian issue at all. Sexual orientation and gender identity are separate issues in my view and should not be confused. Rowling clearly supports trans rights, but she has a realistic view of when women’s rights and trans rights collide. I believe gay rights organizations that have adopted the cause of the trans extremists are endangering all the progress that has been made in recent decades for our cause.”
If space allowed, I would continue quoting from all the top comments. They are remarkable. Readers, again and again, self-identify as left, as Democrats, as gay-friendly, or as gay or trans themselves, and they forthrightly condemn trans extremism. They don’t like the hysteria, the accusations, the cancelations, the transing of children, the invasion of women’s spaces including sports, prisons, and shelters.
On February 10, 2023, the Washington Post published “Missouri Atty. Gen. Calls For Halt To Drug Care For Transgender Youth.” The article mentioned Jamie Reed’s devastating expose of trans extremism in a Missouri clinic. Some comments focus on bashing the left’s chosen demons, those pesky medieval, backward, hateful, white, Christian conservatives in Missouri, flyover country. But other comments, which often receive upvotes, focus on the dangers of trans extremism. From one popular comment, “If you think this is one clinic in Missouri, you are in for an ugly surprise. How do I know? My own daughter was prescribed testosterone at a highly-regarded clinic – before the bloodwork was back. That’s not medic. It’s political advocacy with a prescription pad.” Another popular comment, “Let’s face it – in our well-meaning desire to be supportive of people with gender dysphoria, we’ve gone waaaaayy overboard. Hopefully this scandal will bring back some of the caution this illness used to be dealt with.” Subsequent comments, often from self-identified, left-leaning parents, voice concern about trans extremism.
Two recent media resisting trans extremism are remarkable because they are products of women who self-identify as left. On February 9, 2023, Jamie Reed, a “a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders … married to a trans man” published a detailed account of abuse of trans-identified children at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
On February 18, 2023, left-leaning filmmakers released the documentary Affirmation Generation. The filmmakers self-identify as “lifelong, West Coast Liberal Democrats.” On February 17, 2023, the Dallas Morning News published an op-ed by one of the filmmakers of Affirmation Generation. On one level, the article reads like a parody. First, the filmmaker is anonymous. Others less wealthy, connected, and powerful than she have had the courage to criticize trans extremism under their real names. She hides behind a pseudonym. The filmmaker repeats again and again that she is “liberal.” She’s not one of those bad, bad conservatives who produce “hit pieces.” In fact it was her fellow leftists who damaged her son through trans extremism, and it is conservative values that will rescue her son. The filmmaker, who never stops emphasizing how “liberal” she is, went along with the transing of her son, till she realized how much harm that transing was doing to her child.
And there you have it. Leftists are steering the trans extremist car. Leftists’ children are being transed. Some leftists are realizing that trans extremism is hurting their children, and also reversing feminism’s gains. Their ox is gored, and they will be the ones who derail the trans extremist train. The other factor that will help to defeat trans extremism is lawsuits, like this one and this one. Once institutions and health care professionals have to pay for the damage they have done to children, that damage will begin to wane.
As mentioned in part one, trans extremism is a distinct approach. This article is not critical of people who identify as trans. Indeed, concerned citizens agree with trans people who resist trans extremism, for example, Buck Angel, a woman who identifies as a man and who has vociferously condemned trans extremism. This author opposes any dehumanization, bullying, persecution, or discrimination against trans people. Trans extremism is not trans people. Trans extremism is not about tolerance, dignity, or respect for anyone. Trans extremism is a societal trend, one that is doing harm, and that will some day end.
Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery.