The first time I listened to a parent tell the story of how her child came out as transgender, it seemed like a strange tale of a private misadventure, plagued with the kind of disproportion most commonly found in fairy tales. But then I heard another such tale. And another. And another. The stories started to sound less like warped fairy tales fed through a game of telephone and more like an epidemic: the first case you encounter is mysterious, and the symptoms make no sense. The next case is eerily similar. Keep looking, and a pattern emerges.
Or perhaps my first metaphor was the right one: one day, the Pied Piper came through town and all the children disappeared.
I’ve come to realize that when one person transitions, everyone in their life gets recast as supporting characters. They are judged along a single axis: how affirming are you of your loved one’s new identity? How quickly do you reform your speech and rewrite your memories?
Eliza Mondegreenargues that the current conflict over trans rights was not inevitable but rather a result of the radical approach taken by the trans movement. She suggests that a more empathetic and understanding approach could have been more effective in winning people’s empathy.
She criticizes the trans movement for focusing on erasing sex in law and society, putting men in women’s prisons and boys in girls’ sports, and running unregulated medical experiments on gender-nonconforming children. These radical demands have led to an absurd and dystopian reality, and have put the trans movement on a collision course….
Reasonable accommodations for confused people could have been made. And still could be made. There is a strong constituency out there who are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the “reasonable accommodations” route, but empathy doesn’t mean submission or writing blank checks to the activist script.
Sometimes empathy sounds like “If I were a kid today, I would have transitioned, too. I’m glad I didn’t.” Or: “I understand why you want that but the answer is still no.”
"It wasn’t necessary to put the trans movement on a collision course with reality, fairness, common sense, medical ethics, toleration for difference, freedom of speech and conscience, and the basic recognition that sex matters." – @elizamondegreenhttps://t.co/MvqW5WXsgD