Biden Admin’s Confused Embrace of Trans Rights

Its muddling of terms is a real mess

The Economist
Until recently the term “conversion therapy” was used to refer to the barbaric and pointless practice of trying to turn a gay person straight. Of late it has been widened to include talking therapy that explores why a person’s gender identity is at odds with their biological sex. President Joe Biden used that broader meaning in an executive order “advancing equality for LGBTQI+ Individuals”, on June 15th. The order is designed to tackle discrimination suffered by “LGBTQI+” young people, which is laudable. But it refers to them as a single group (offering no definition of “queer” or “intersex”), which raises problems. It describes conversion therapy as “a discredited practice that research indicates can cause significant harm”, yet fails to specify what it means when applied to trans-identifying children.

Some therapists who work with children with gender dysphoria worry that this could be interpreted to mean therapists should not investigate why someone feels distressed about their biological sex. This is not the same as trying to convince someone they are not gay. Sexual orientation and gender identity are different. Sexual orientation tends to be innate and fixed; gender identity can be nebulous and changeable. It also, increasingly, prompts medical interventions that can have irreversible, harmful effects. It has long been held that people with gender dysphoria should have therapy before drugs.

[Source: The Economist]

Clinicians and counselors will lose their jobs because of this confused embrace. Or they will decide to forgo doing a thorough job. Either way, their patients suffer.

I repeat what I said in an earlier post. Who is the Conversion Therapist?

Is it the one who is trying to help a person align their thoughts and feelings with the body they were given at birth or the professional who disregards the body and proposes irreversible radical surgeries combined with life-long hormone treatments in hopes of aligning the outer body with a patient’s inner desires?

Full post:

Another relevant post.


Love Cannot Affirm Confusion, But It Can Embrace

Children Cannot Consent

We’ve met Chloe already.

She just offered important testimony to a legislative committee in California in an effort to stop SB107.

“Our Trans-identities were not questioned.”

Chloe Cole


As a Classic Christian I encourage everyone to “Embrace, Don’t Affirm.”

Individuals with a Gender Identity Disorder (Gender-Dysphoria) need Truth-filled Love. Please read this post for more details.


College Students Demand Protection From Words and Ideas

Thomas Jefferson once said:

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.  - Notes on the State of Virginia

Freedom of Religion was an uncomplicated matter. For Jefferson, tolerance of other worldviews would be wide ranging unless it damaged him financially or harmed him physically.

Andrew B. Myers / The Atlantic

The times have changed. In today’s world the psychologized self reigns supreme such that if what you do or say hurts another person’s feelings then you have harmed them. This amounts to a form of oppression. The offender must therefore be silenced. No pockets need be picked. Nor legs broken.

Words and Ideas are enough to cause harm. Identities are thereby marginalized. And legitimacy denied.

Tolerance is passé. Affirmation or silence is required.

Obviously, in such a fragile world, freedom of religion and freedom of speech will be under threat.

Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt were featured in a previous post.

Their very fine book, The Coddling of the American Mind offers insight into today’s fragile student psyche. And how we got to this point in our culture.

They wrote a series of articles in The Atlantic which they eventually turned into that book.

Here are some quotes:

In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.

Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress. In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education describing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her. In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said.

Two terms have risen quickly from obscurity into common campus parlance. Microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless. For example, by some campus guidelines, it is a microaggression to ask an Asian American or Latino American “Where were you born?,” because this implies that he or she is not a real American. Trigger warnings are alerts that professors are expected to issue if something in a course might cause a strong emotional response. For example, some students have called for warnings that Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart describes racial violence and that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might “trigger” a recurrence of past trauma.  

Source: The Atlantic

According to the most-basic tenets of psychology, helping people with anxiety disorders avoid the things they fear is misguided.

Lukianoff & Haidt

Read the whole thing.


As a Christian I certainly advocate avoiding offensive speech, if at all possible, without denying my worldview.

As a grandparent I bemoan the overall lack of resilience and grit in today’s younger generation.

What are we doing to our students if we encourage them to develop extra-thin skin just before they leave the cocoon of adult protection?

Lukianoff & Haidt

We’ve coddled too far. The weakest person in the room now dictates the discussion. And remains woefully unprepared for life in this world.