Douglas Farrow
via McGill University

Douglas B. Farrow, we are informed, is a professor of theology and Christian thought at McGill University in Montreal. Farrow’s work experience has obviously provided him with expertise in gender dysphoria and adolescent psychiatry. Just ask him. Apparently the study of ancient texts and the catechism of the Catholic Church provides Mr. Farrow a remarkable level of insight into medical science.

I am impressed. No, I am inspired by Farrow’s omniscience. I intend to communicate with him regarding my acid reflux. Perhaps there are answers in scripture to replace the prescription strength Nexium that I take daily. I wonder how he deals with flatulence.

Wednesday, Douglas Farrow has penned The New Family Violence. Do tell. The essay deals with one teen’s gender dysphoria. Mr. Farrow determined in advance that he does not approve of transgender youth. Employing selective observation Farrow has honed that belief (based on religious dogma) into a scientific treatise for which an undergraduate would deserve a “D” (from a generous grader).

Family violence can take many forms,” says Madam Justice Marzari of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, including “unreasonable restrictions or preventions of a family member’s personal autonomy.” To be more specific, “family violence” can now take the form of refusing to accept a family member’s chosen gender identity. Such is the violence inflicted on a fourteen-year-old girl (referred to as AB) who is determined to be a boy, by her father (dubbed CD), who insists she is no such thing.

It should be obvious — even to someone with limited curiosity — that people do not choose their gender identity. Common sense dictates that, were it a matter of personal choice, no one would suffer with gender dysphoria. Mr. Farrow also leaves out a few details. Among these is the fact that AB’s father is not a custodial parent. AB’s parents are divorced and the teen lives with his mother. It is safe to assume that daddy is not a trained medical practitioner. CD can insist anything he chooses to embrace. His opinion is subordinate to the opinions of medical specialists.

Under Justice Bowden [a lower court jurist], it has “already determined that it is a form of family violence to AB for any of his family members to address him by his birth name, refer to him as a girl or with female pronouns (whether to him directly or to third parties), or to attempt to persuade him to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria” (par. 21). And now it means to enforce its embargo on such behavior by permitting the arrest without warrant of CD, should he give the least appearance of persisting in this violence.

The Court has issued an order. When people do not comply with orders of a court they are subject to arrest. Oh, the unfairness of it all.

Let us assume, just for the moment, that AB does not have gender dysphoria but, rather, suffers from dangerously acute and chronic depression. AB is in the care of a qualified psychiatrist and psychologist and has been prescribed medication for his condition. At the outset this condition would be markedly different because it would not be subject to religious disapproval.

Along comes CD who “insists” that his son is not depressed, pressures his son to stop taking those stupid pills, pray more, get more fresh air and stop listening to his doctor. Would there be any doubt that CD was dangerously interfering in medical treatment? Mom, as the custodial parent, might very well end up in family court and CD might be subject to a court order.

Mr. Farrow is subjecting a different psychiatric condition to religious disapproval. Does he believe that the condition is caused by demons? It is from that disapproval that Farrow’s enlightenment flows. Mr. Farrow creates an amalgamation of incompatibles: Belief based on faith whisked together with science which is based on evidence.

With exquisite medical judgment Mr. Farrow offers the following:

… “treatment for gender dysphoria” means—at a minimum—the application of opposite-sex hormones, with their permanent effects on AB’s body. It certainly does not mean trying to get at the root causes in her soul—alienation from a parent, perhaps?—through any kind of cognitive therapy.

Within that quote there is a link to a Wikipedia article regarding locales that have banned juvenile conversion therapy. Oddly, however, there is no link to a study of cognitive therapy proven effective in the treatment of gender dysphoria. I am certain that it was just a momentary lapse in the process of citing sources. Surely the therapy that Farrow has prescribed has been proven safe and effective.

Not being a family member, I will say in response to the court what AB’s father has been saying, but is now forbidden to say on pain of arrest: His daughter is a daughter not a son, a she not a he, and the court has no power by legal writ to change what is written in her chromosomes or to declare her chromosomes irrelevant. And I will add this: The court’s attempt to declare her chromosomes irrelevant is itself a form of violence against the family—this family and every family.

Translation: Let us pretend that gender does not exist as a separate construct from natal sex. Does it not occur to these imbeciles that, were gender not determinative, there would be no such thing as gender incongruence? Is Mr. Farrow wed to the believe that this is all just made up to frustrate conservative Christians?

It is a medical fact that, when gender and sex are incongruent, gender is often controlling. All of the religious material written since the emergence of human beings on this planet will not change that simple fact. Wishful thinking, prayer and religious certitude will not alter a fact known to medical science for nearly a century.

Don’t get me wrong. AB’s gender dysphoria may well be a product of one or more of the many forms of violence that family violence can take, though other possibilities exist and I am in no position to make inferences or draw conclusions. It is not for me to defend the father or any other member of the family, or to pass any kind of judgment at all on root causes.

About all that Mr. Farrow has done is to make medical judgments absent the necessary erudition to do so. This mini-confession is intended to obfuscate the fact that he has done the opposite of what he now claims. It is willfully misleading.

What warrants this draconian gag order that both denies CD’s right to speak and tries to compels him, if he does speak, to say what he does not believe, using words he thinks wrong?

This is just an outright lie. CD had been sharing confidential materials, improperly redacted, with someone at the Federalist. The Court put a stop to that. Essentially, CD can say whatever he wants but not to his son which constitutes interference in medical treatment. CD is not compelled to say anything at all. Keep in mind that there is no rational basis for CD’s beliefs about gender dysphoria. CD is about as ignorant as Douglas Farrow.

Far from protecting AB from violence through the exercise of its parens patriae power, the court itself is engaged in violence against AB, aiding and abetting those who have encouraged her to rebel against her own body in a vain attempt to find the peace her soul needs.

Again, Mr. Farrow is claiming to have knowledge that he simply does not possess. He is just repeating the same idiotic argument. Repeating the claim that gender does not exist does not make it any less idiotic. Mr. Farrow insists on substituting his judgment for that of medical professionals. Doing so is naked arrogance.

Courts are increasingly listening, for they are now stocked by judges bred in the same stable. Justice Marzari even sees fit (hence her reference to “degrading and violent” commentary) to quote from comment-box trolls at The Federalist in justification of her decision. Nice touch, that. We’re all trolls now, apparently, if like CD we dare to question SOGI ideology, which Marzari has just declared to be her court’s own ideology.

The Court quoted comments to illustrate the sentiments that have made AB’s clinicians fear for their safety. It would not be necessary had CD obeyed the Court and not disseminated the identities of these people in the first place. Furthermore, neither sexual orientation nor gender identity are ideologies, philosophies or doctrines. It is easy to understand how Mr. Farrow might be confused in that regard.

Furthermore, Mr. Farrow is not interested in “questioning” the science which is done through an examination of the evidence. By “question” Mr. Farrow means denigrate or discredit because the science does not conform to his religious beliefs.

Well, her gag order doesn’t apply to me (though I hail from Beautiful British Columbia). Not yet. If and when it does, it will be evident to all that the law has become an instrument of oppression rather than of justice.

If he had an ounce of self-respect, Mr. Farrow would gag himself lest he look like the puffed up fool that he truly is.

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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.