This op-ed originally appeared in the Union Leader on Thursday, August 10, 2023
This Summer, WMUR published a piece by its General Manager Andrew Vrees and their editorial board about the horribly hostile country we live in when it comes to those who are part of the so-termed “LGBTQIA+” alliance.
He begins by drawing a parallel between the U.S. and Uganda, whose president recently signed legislation that carries harsh penalties for individuals engaging in same-sex relations. It is clearly wrong, and the world is right to decry it.
But then, he turns the lens on the U.S. Our crimes against the expanding alphabet of those who choose alternate lifestyles and gender identities are grave indeed.
He talks about book bans, specifically in Florida. That would be alarming if it were true. What he is likely referring to is the Florida law that addresses teaching children age-appropriate material on sexuality and gender identity. And, while the state does not ban books, some school districts have taken action on what books and literature children, especially younger children should be exposed to. So, I must assume he believes that there should be no limits on what materials schools expose students to.
He also refers to the support of open communication between schools and parents on children to be “politicized.” What a terrible world it would be if schools couldn’t secretly indoctrinate and transition children and lie to parents about it?
He ends with a call for “respect.” I agree. Everyone deserves respect. But I’m afraid that’s not really what he’s talking about. In these times, words are tricky things. In the LGBTQ parlance, “respect” doesn’t just mean treating another as you would want to be treated, it means absolute adherence and paying homage to the rapidly-evolving world of subjective sexuality and gender, i.e. “What I claim myself to be, you must unquestionably worship.”
Something else he wrote also stood out to me, “Sexual orientation is being politicized in ways most of us have never seen, and it’s widening the gap that divides so many of us.” He’s right, but I would argue that those who simply acknowledge the science and physiology of the two sexes are not the ones politicizing and dividing the country.
Take transgenderism. It went from an infrequently occurring phenomenon largely happening in adult males to a rapidly-exploding trend in our schools disproportionately impacting girls. In the name of respect and tolerance, parents and the public at large are not allowed to question this or the advisability of irreversible hormone or surgical interventions in children. To do so is perceived to be hateful and divisive and could cause harm.
But studies have shown that transgenderism itself comes with significant risks. An extensive 2019 Trevor Project National Survey of LGBTQ children revealed that more than half of those who were transgender have seriously considered suicide and nearly 70% were dealing with a major depressive disorder. And, in a recent, and likely only, study that has examined shifts in requests for medical care by “transgender and gender diverse” adolescents, fully 29% changed their mind about surgery or hormone therapy, or both. In the name of protecting our children, we should want to look beyond sweeping claims of universal benefit to children provided by permanently changing their natural physiology and/or bodies.
Yet when Chloe Cole, a former transgender individual who is part of that nearly 30%, wanted to share her personal story in New Hampshire, it was labeled as “hate speech” and she was denied dozens of venues that would gladly host those that would attack her for such an affront to LGBTQ dogma.
The fact is that each week seems to bring new rules for the public when it comes to the coalition of those who identify as LGBTQIA+. We are not allowed to question, assert our own rights as individuals under the U.S. Constitution, or say anything that doesn’t toe the line being set for us. This isn’t about universal respect after all. It’s about being held hostage to an agenda that ultimately is about control – control of our beliefs, control of science, control of our children. Now that is something that should make us all feel unsafe.