Joseph Backholm
Joseph Backholm attempts to marginalize gender diverse people

via What Would You Say?

A new anti-LGBTQ enterprise is called What Would You Say? I would say that it is pretty moronic … but it does have a slick website. WWYS was supposedly formed by preeminent anti-LGBTQ douchebag, Joseph Backholm, who is now with the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

Joining in the festivities are Katy Faust of Ask the Bigot fame and Stephanie Gray. Gray, who resides in Canada, is a professional Catholic and anti-choice zealot. Gray is the author of The Physicians Guide to Discussing Abortion. Perhaps her erudition via an undergrad degree in PolySci qualifies her to lecture doctors.

The purpose of this website is to host anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice videos. There are currently three videos on the site. One from Gray titled: Does Life Begin at Conception?. One from Backholm: Is Sex Assigned at Birth? One from Faust: Doesn’t Love Make a Family? These people are quite fond of asking rhetorical questions. Each video is prefaced with a classic example of begging the question.

Ms. Gray’s is a wasted life. If she is opposed to abortion she can choose not to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. She claims to have debated numerous pro-choice advocates. They have presumably cleaned her clock but she has probably convinced herself otherwise.

I will not bother with Ms. Gray’s video. I am more interested in Mr. Backholm’s propaganda and Ms. Faust’s spew.

Backholm: Is Sex Assigned at Birth?


So you’re having a conversation with someone and they tell you that sex is not a fixed part of a person’s identity, but something that is merely assigned at birth. They go on to say that since sex is assigned at birth, it can be reassigned later if the persons discovers that a mistake was made.

What would you say?

Who the hell says what Backholm says someone says? We already know that we are in for about five minutes of gender denial. Backholm pretends that the construct of gender, which is separate from natal sex, does not exist. The fact that Backholm, a half-assed lawyer, disagrees with the overwhelming consensus of medical science causes him no concern whatsoever.

I wonder what it must be like to live in Backholm’s fantasy world.

There is nothing new here. It is argument designed to discredit transgender people because of religious disapproval. We all understand chromosomal realities. Every transgender person in the world is aware of the fact that their gender is not consistent with their natal sex which, in most cases, is assigned at birth.

Backholm, who is not the swiftest boat on the lake, actually undermines his own argument. Were it not for the realities of natal sex there would be no transgender people. One theme that he repeats several times is this:

Disorders of sexual development are not evidence of a new sex category any more than disorders of the cardiac or respiratory systems are evidence of new kinds of hearts or lungs. A baby born with ambiguous genitalia is not evidence of a new sex within the human species.

Congratulations Joseph. You have successfully whisked together confusion with stupidity. It is a beurre blanc of bewilderment. “New sex category?” What does that even mean?

Let us pretend for a moment that gender incongruence is a developmental disorder (it isn’t). Real world: A 10 year old child is in significant distress, even suicidal due to gender dysphoria. He is experiencing extreme anxiety with crushing depression. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and all of mainstream medicine the only solution is to affirm the child’s gender along with parental support.

How does Mr. Backholm’s bullshit address the situation? What does he recommend on the basis of specifically what medical literature? Should people suffer because of Backholm’s god?

“What would you say?” I would say that Mr. Backholm cannot answer the question and will not even try. Now I will flag this video.

Faust: Doesn’t Love Make a Family?


You’re in a conversation about families and marriage, and someone says, “it doesn’t matter what a family looks like. After all, love makes a family.” What would you say?

Ms. Faust doesn’t fare any better than Mr. Backholm. This is an effort to discredit and marginalize LGBTQ people because of — once again — religious disapproval. The bottom line to this BS is that a family, according to Backholm, is exclusively defined as mommy, daddy and children born to mommy and daddy. Gays need not apply.

Even then, Ms. Faust has to lie her way to her conclusions:

Sociologists have been studying family structure for decades. They overwhelmingly agree that, by far, the best situation for children is being in the homes of their married, biological mother and father. That means three things. Gender matters. Biology matters. And marriage matters.

That is an abstract claim and it is not true. Virtually every peer-reviewed study of children raised by gay couples published to a respected academic journal has determined that those kids are as healthy, happy, secure and successful in their development as children raised by traditional families.

The studies that Faust refers to have compared things like married parents to single parents. Faust obviously has an agenda:

So let’s not let a slogan get in the way of what’s really best for kids. When it comes to family, love matters, but when it comes to what’s best for children, that’s not all that matters.

Faust is correct that successful parenting requires more than love. However, structures other than those approved by conservative Christians meet those requirements. Faust cites herself rather than any of those supposed sociologists:

Citations: 556_Heather_Barwick_and_Katy_Faust.pdf

In the end What Would You Say? is just one more anti-LGBTQ outlet motivated by religious disapproval of LGBTQ people as a whole. It is not nearly as clever as these folks believe. In fact, it is not clever at all. The audience for this intellectual spam is not terribly discerning.

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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.