Chad Felix Greene
Chad Felix Greene

It bears repeating that Witherspoon Institute, an ultra-conservative Catholic organization, was founded by Luis E. Tellez, an Opus Dei numerary, and Robert P. George. The odious pair were also co-founders of National Organization for Marriage. Its blog — Public Discourse — is edited by the closeted-yet-homophobic Ryan T. Anderson.

Thursday’s offering is titled “I Was an Eight-Year-Old Drag Queen” by Chad Felix Greene. Greene claims to be a conservative gay Jew from West Virginia who is HIV+. I haven’t a clue what he is doing at an anti-gay Catholic outlet. In any event; No, Mr. Greene, you were not an eight-year-old drag queen. He writes:

Elle Magazine recently released a video of an eight-year-old drag queen who calls himself “Lactatia.” The viral video features a young boy wearing dresses, wigs, and copious amounts of makeup. It praises his exuberant fascination with drag and his courage in choosing to live his life as a girl.

Let us get a few things “straight.” A drag queen is an entertainer who is not necessarily transgender. There is no indication that this child is “choosing to live his life as a girl” or that he has gender dysphoria. He might just think that Ru Paul is cool. Moreover, Elle’s tweet doesn’t say anything close to what Greene claims it says:

When I was eight years old, I too wanted to be a girl. I was utterly fascinated with all aspects of femininity. To me, my grandmother was the manifestation of femininity—stylish, sophisticated, and incredibly beautiful. She loved jewelry and makeup, and she never left the house in a less than perfect state of appearance. For nine years, my father and I lived next door to her, and she raised me. When I was eight, she was my entire world.

That is not a drag queen. Nor is that necessarily an indication of gender dysphoria. A natal boy with gender dysphoria doesn’t want to be a girl. Rather, he insists vehemently that he is a girl.

Later on (he is painfully verbose);

I can remember fantasizing about what it would be like to wake up as a girl. I imagined it would make my grandmother happy, as she obviously wished I was a girl. I figured it would be easier to fit in at school, too. All of my friends were girls, and I was constantly being lectured by teachers to play with the boys.

I am no shrink but I do not think that gender dysphoric children fantasize about what is, for them, a reality.

Gender Dysphoria, Hyper-Masculinity, and Risky Sex

As I grew older, my feeling of being displaced in my body began to manifest itself in the opposite direction. I became obsessed with everything hyper-masculine I could find. I read comic books, subscribed to bodybuilding magazines, and watched sports, always trying to find some secret key to being a man. I wanted men to like me, and I figured these resources might be able to show me how to act in order to achieve that goal. I was always awkward and shy around other boys and men, and they would either ignore me or make fun of me.

Thus he had congruent sex and gender along with 99% of the population. Whoopie.

As I moved into puberty, this fixation on the extremes of sexuality evolved into sexual arousal. I became sexually attracted to men, and I harbored a lingering longing to be female. As my obsession with masculinity grew into sexual fetishism, I became more and more adventurous, seeking out older boys to ask about this mysterious sexual world I only saw hinted at in magazines and on TV. This led to my engaging in sexual behavior with several male peers, all in their early teens. By age fourteen, I was hanging out in the basement bathroom at the library of the college campus where my father worked, engaging in anonymous sex with strangers. I experimented with drag and took on feminine sexual roles. My entire sense of self revolved around my sexuality and my sense of being “wrong” in my body.

I am still waiting for support for claiming to have been an eight-year-old drag queen. In any event it sounds like this kid needed some counseling (and probably still does).

This goes on and on. Then:

Early sexual behavior increases the risk of sexual violence, both by young persons and against them. Young people between the ages of thirteen and twenty-four made up 22 percent of all new HIV cases in 2015. According to the CDC, “Studies conducted among teens have identified an association between substance use and sexual risk behaviors such as ever having sex, having multiple sex partners, not using a condom, and pregnancy before the age of 15.”

That link is to the CDC and Greene vastly over-simplifies the many risk factors for sexual violence. Again, what the fuck does this have to do with an eight-year-old drag queen? More importantly, is there some point to all of this?

LGBT teens are also at risk of becoming homeless and becoming
involved in prostitution. Unfortunately, some LGBT activists actually
encourage this choice. …

LGBT teens become homeless and involved in prostitution normally because they get kicked out when they come out by parents who think that they can make the kid straight with some idiotic variety of “tough love.” Has that ever worked for any parent? Were adults more concerned with the wellbeing of their children than pleasing some fanciful deity there would be considerably fewer homeless teens. And I do not know of any so-called activist encouraging children to become prostitutes (assuming that is the “choice” Greene is referring to). Again, what does any of this have to do, … ugh!?

As Mark Regnerus has pointed out, within the academy, some scholars are working to erase the taboo around adults having sex with minors. This is clearly taking place on a broader cultural level as well. The first season of the TV show Queer as Folk featured a storyline in which a seventeen-year-old high school boy leaves his family to move in with a twenty-nine-year-old man he met at a gay bar.

Regnerus was referring to the controversial work of Bruce Rind who is an outlier. And, yes, Queer as Folk did have an underage character inherited from the original British version some years earlier. So what? It was provocative entertainment. That’s all. I watched a movie last night (Blue Ruin) where everyone gets murdered with guns. It’s not a social statement. Moreover, I thought that the teen character in Queer as Folk was exceptionally well handled. Justin made a point of being more mature than any of Brian’s other friends. It’s just entertainment.

Meanwhile, children like “Lactatia” are being pushed to cross-dress in sexually provocative ways and to embrace a trans identity at younger and younger ages. National Geographic famously featured a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl in 2016 as well.

This guy makes too many assumptions. It seemed to me that the child was doing all of the pushing and, frankly, I do not find anything “sexually provocative” about drag queens. Furthermore, the kid is not adopting a trans identity — at least not that we know of. The nine-year-old on the cover of National Geographic is a transgender girl — not a boy dressed as a girl. A gay man should know better.

People do not become transgender as a form of sexual exploration. They do so to affirm their gender in order to mitigate the symptoms of gender dysphoria. I doubt that Greene bothered to read the piece in National Geographic because Avery (that is her name) was really together. Many trans people have a very keen understanding of who they are — perhaps because they receive more counseling than the average individual.

What Greene is hinting at is some sort of trans fad and that is not the case. It just reflects the changes to the treatment protocol, allowing younger people to get relief from depression and anxiety by socially transitioning. The total number of trans people remains about the same.

I fear this boy, fixated on a sexual persona and encouraged by media and activists, will never truly experience childhood. He will experiment with dangerous sexual activity at a young age. If he is exposed to drag culture in his very early teens, he will see drugs, alcohol, and anonymous sex as part of the culture he is told he belongs to.

Greene knows nothing about this kid and predicting his future is preposterous. He might grow up to be the next Ru Paul; very happy and very wealthy. Moreover, Greene’s pervasive suggestions that the child is being manipulated are an argument from ignorance. He doesn’t have any of the information necessary to draw to those conclusions.

I am going to skip to the end before I eat my keyboard:

My gender dysphoria was a symptom of a larger issue. Today, many want to turn psychological symptoms into an identity. In truth, what I needed was help understanding and overcoming my social anxiety. I needed tools to build healthy, lasting friendships. I needed exposure to masculine environments and strong male leaders. I needed to understand my own masculinity rather than fantasize about a feminine ideal.

Unfortunately, without a dramatic change in our culture, no child experiencing what I did will have that opportunity. We must stand up for them before it is too late.

I gather that Mr. Greene was never diagnosed as having gender dysphoria and people do not “turn symptoms into an identity.” That’s just not how things work. Like most other conditions, gender dysphoria has a range of discomfort. Some kids are desperate for relief from the symptoms. They obtain that relief through gender affirmation. What he claims to have experience is applicable only to him and he doesn’t impress me as being particularly insightful or truthful for that matter. People who make grand assumptions are lacking in analytical depth.

Greene had another transphobic piece that I wrote about last July. He is a virus.

… and so it goes on Witherspoon’s pretentious pseudo-intellectual blog. Ryan T. will publish just about anything if it is sufficiently anti-LGBT. It defines self-loathing.

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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.