Amy Contrada and Brian Camenker
Amy Contrada and Brian Camenker (MassResistance) circa 2013

Amy Contrada writes: How to get started opposing the transgender movement. As I wrote earlier today, it is easier to oppose a non-existent movement than actual people, particularly since those people’s only “sin” is having a common medical condition. I need to take a few moments explaining where this is coming from. It is not argument ad hominem but an attempt at providing perspective.

Amy Contrada was an early associate of the rabidly bigoted MassResistance which was one of the first (then) anti-gay hate groups identified as such by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Contrada is not your ordinary anti-LGBT zealot. She is well educated, a violinist and even a violin maker. LGBT people seem to threaten her. She has railed about Catholic Charities withdrawing from adoptions in Massachusetts. Some years ago she involved herself in a controversy over The Vagina Monologues being performed at Holy Cross College. Contrada is probably Catholic but I cannot determine to what extent that has influenced her thinking.

The term “gender ideology” (which is meaningless) was seemingly coined by Pope Francis as amateur psychiatrist. More important than the provenance of the arguments or the intent of the arguer are the arguments themselves:

The transgender war on cultural norms is not just about restrooms and pronouns. It’s about denying biological fact and quotidian reality. It’s about an epidemic of irrationality, a cultural contagion, a mass delusion claiming more victims every day. It’s about silencing free thinkers who refuse to bow to the radical “gender” ideology.

There is no war on cultural norms. Transgender people have existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years (they are written about in ancient Hindu texts). Nor are transgender people ignoring biological fact. The scientific fact is that gender and natal sex are two different constructs. None of the rest of that paragraph makes a whit of sense.

Gender dysphoria, the underlying condition, is not contagious and the incongruence of gender and natal sex is not irrational. Trans people are certainly not delusional. There is a mountain of peer-reviewed research about the existence of gender dysphoria.

These people are intent on manufacturing victims. In this case it is “silenced free thinkers.” Finally being transgender is not part of an ideology.

Having gender dysphoria and being transgender are two different things. She is conflating the two. Gender dysphoria can create immense discomfort and there is no intervention known to medical science to treat the condition. Being transgender is a form of gender affirmation. In terms of human traits, gender usually prevails over natal sex. People use gender affirmation to mitigate the symptoms of gender dysphoria. It relieves suffering and there is no medical solution.

Being transgender is hard. It is not a choice. It is a step that people are inexorably drawn to in order to get some relief. Transgender people are already marginalized and ridiculed. Promoting the mistreatment of a class of people is sociopathic.

Absurd theories that deny scientific fact have been adopted by the mainstream press, the entertainment industry, the medical establishment, public schools, universities, corporate management, and government agencies. People who fear social isolation and charges of bigotry are following along.

While Contrada provides links to sources of information, she doesn’t point to any specific theories followed by an explanation of why they are wrong. “Scientific fact” usually means that we are going to be confronted solely with chromosomal realities which overlooks the equally factual scientific consensus regarding gender.

How do those of us still grounded in reality fight this insanity? Not with misguided “compassion” or compromise, but with straight talk and tough love. Let’s not waste our time analyzing or answering absurd gender theories with logical rebuttals. Those ideas don’t deserve that respect. And the useful idiots who swallow the trans lies – whether as promoters, allies, or victims – will not listen to reason or science.

The medical establishment does not consider people with gender dysphoria insane. They have a medical condition. Nor are transgender people insane. They are willing to face ridicule to mitigate the symptoms of their condition. “Gender theory” was the initial utterance of the pope. He eventually changed it to “gender ideology.” Gender is an established scientific fact and an unwillingness to deal with it is telling. Contrada does not indicate which science people with gender dysphoria do not adhere to. They and their medical practitioners are committed to exploiting the very best and latest that science has to offer.

Then we go with the list which, in part, provides:

Refuse to go along with trans madness that declares:

  • “Sex is assigned at birth” by doctors.
  • Gender identity is inborn.
  • A three-year-old can know he’s “trapped in the wrong body.”
  • Some girls have penises; some boys have vaginas.
  • Blocking puberty in pre-adolescent children is sound medical practice.
  • A man can gestate and birth a baby.
  • Gender stereotypes are bad (unless you adopt one as your “authentic” trans identity).
  • A person’s choice of new name and pronouns must be respected.
  • A person determines his appropriate restroom, locker room, sports team, etc.
  • “Transgender” persons’ feelings take precedence over everyone else’s.

Recognize only biological sex classifications: male and female.

Avoid using the politically loaded word “gender.”

Some of this indulges in the logical fallacy of begging the question and also rebutting arguments that do not exist in the first place. Contrada’s post goes on at considerable length but I will respond to this small portion to provide a general understanding of Contrada’s zealous advocacy.

Regarding the quoted portion above:

  • Natal sex is determined at birth by chromosomes for about 99.8% of the population (some intersex people have ambiguous chromosomes). No one that I am aware of has asserted otherwise.
  • Gender identity usually forms by the age of two. The point is that is not a choice that a person makes.
  • The “trapped in the wrong body” is a religious straw man. We know when a three-year-old has gender dysphoria because when a biological boy, for example, persistently insists that he is a girl he should be professionally evaluated. Being a girl feels perfectly natural to him and he is quite certain of his gender.
  • I am not going to dignify the penis/vagina point.
  • No one is claiming that a man can produce a child. It is perfectly possible for a transgender man to get pregnant and give birth. So what?
  • Gender stereotypes have little to do with this issue and they have the potential to be problematic. People who affirm their gender are not affirming a gender stereotype. Many of the stereotypes are related to testosterone. Trans women generally have about as much testosterone as biological women due to hormone treatments. Some stereotypes are the result of religion and they tend to subjugate women.
  • Yes, in polite society we address people as they choose to be addressed. There is no earthly reason to intentionally disrespect someone who is transgender. He or she may choose a name to conform to their gender but that’s the only thing they choose.
  • It is not the person who determines what facilities to use. It is his or her gender. For most people gender is congruent with natal sex so this proposition of gender appropriate facilities applies to all.
  • No one has prioritized transgender feelings over others. It doesn’t harm someone else to be accommodating, understanding and respectful to others.
  • Recognizing only natal sex is to dismiss gender which is clearly understood as a separate construct by medical science. Why be obtuse?
  • Gender is not a “politically loaded word.” That is utter nonsense. Gender is, again, clearly understood by medical science and it does exist. Dismissing its existence is a display of willful ignorance.

I have linked to the original post so that you can read it in full if you choose. I simply lack the patience for more of the crackpottery. The final two paragraphs read:

Don’t try to convince brainwashed trans allies to reject trans insanity. But do embolden people who know in their hearts and minds that trans ideology is utterly false and destructive. They will resist if they see others doing so.

What’s really at stake is thought control. Government and institutions are forcing people to deny reality and accept a destructive, nonsensical ideology – accustoming us to obey the most idiotic directives. If people can accept as fact that “some boys have vaginas and some girls have penises,” they’ll roll over for anything.

People who have kept up with the peer-reviewed research are not brainwashed. Contrada doesn’t want to deal with someone like me because I can cite the evidence to support the scientific findings.

The final paragraph poses a conspiracy theory and it is provably wrong. It is just a tirade of transphobic gibberish.

Whether or not Contrada is a defender of the faith or has a personality disorder (or both) is irrelevant. I prefer to deal with the arguments she makes which are something less than compelling. She is intent on marginalizing a class of people including innocent children. In my mind that is indefensible.

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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.