Traansgender girl
Transgender teens do not pose a threat to anyone.

Spots invaded the field of vision in my right eye. Something must be in my eye, I thought, but eyewash did nothing. Soon thereafter I was seeing lightning bolts every time I turned my head. That marks when I became unglued. I saw one of the city’s top ophthalmologists in a very high-rent office on Park Avenue. I was impressed with her thoroughness, professionalism and obvious intellect although she was a bit abrupt. That physician was Renée Richards.

Dr. Richards is an esteemed professional who surgically transitioned more than 40 years ago. American Family Association, a hate group, would insist on referring to her with male pronouns to demonstrate their disapproval. I still do not really understand what they disapprove of. Thursday they interview hate group leader Linda Harvey who chimes in with her intentional disrespect (along with a fair measure of ignorance and stupidity).

If you read the piece in full (and can spare the lost brain cells), Harvey’s objective is to drive a wedge between feminists and transgender women. It is neither novel nor clever. Ryan T. Anderson has attempted at Heritage Foundation. It is based (actually promoted) on the false notion that trans women pose some threat to women’s rights. There is a certain irony that this feigned concern is on the part of conservative Christians who have their own ideas about the status of women.

On the very best day of their lives, Linda Harvey and AFA’s Tim Wildmon are spectacularly inferior intellectually and professionally to Dr. Richards. That does not matter. Dr. Richards, according to them, is an insane pervert. So are trans children:

Linda Harvey of Mission America says biologically female athletes are being shoved aside by transgender athletes who have a natural physical advantage.

A male sprinter in Connecticut, for example, made headlines in June when he defeated female athletes in two state-level championships.

It was noted by The Daily Caller that the same scores by Andraya Yearwood … would have put him last in the boys’ competition.

The story went on to point out that Yearwood had yet to undergo surgery or even take hormone blockers but the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference allows students to compete on a sports team that aligns with their gender identity.

“We have a girl on the team who runs pretty quickly,” said the track coach, even though the “girl” is really a male who says he’s a girl.

In point of fact, Yearwood has not said anything about puberty blockers. Harvey is either confused or intentionally misleading (perhaps both). The high school freshman has said that she has not yet begun hormone therapy. As far is Yearwood is concerned she is a girl and her school district recognizes her as a girl. It is reasonably safe to assume that she is taking puberty blockers.

There is a legitimate question with respect to whether or not a transgender girl has an unfair advantage in sports. Dr. Richards has said: “I know if I’d had surgery at the age of 22, and then at 24 went on the [professional tennis] tour, no genetic woman in the world would have been able to come close to me. And so I’ve reconsidered my opinion.” Is Richards correct and even if she is, is it unfair insofar as high school athletics are concerned? According to Andraya’s father:

In terms of the fairness aspect, I don’t think about that as a father. I only think about, is my daughter happy, healthy and able to participate in what she wants to do? I don’t care if she wins or loses. I don’t care if she wins and gives the medals back. She got to compete as a girl where she feels she should compete. That’s all that matters to me.

He makes a good point. Fairness includes the best interests of his daughter.

There are no easy answers but a meaningful dialog is one free of religious opprobrium. I do not know why conservative Christians are so threatened by the existence of transgender people but I do know that their approval is irrelevant. Most of us are offended by their divisiveness which is dependent upon a willful embrace of ignorance about people with gender dysphoria.

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Afterthought: Renée Richards enjoyed wide acceptance as a doctor. When her tennis career ended she dedicated her talents to her practice and became head of her department at the prestigious Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. She is a stunningly brilliant woman. I wonder how she would be received today. Better or worse? One thing is certain. In no way is Richards representative of the plight of transgender people. Employment and even housing remain considerable challenges. That has to change. The mullahs have far too much influence on our culture.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.