Brian S. Brown has no regard for medical science. If science conflicts with Catholic doctrine, Brown dismisses the science. Faith over evidence. It makes no sense. The latest pay-me-mail from Brown, on behalf of National Organization for Marriage, includes this tidbit:
LGBT activists regularly encourage people to explore “changing” their gender when they perceive something “off” about how they feel. A girl can no longer be a tomboy – she’s said to be a “transgender man.” And once she succumbs to the idea that she is “transgender,” her life will be forever changed, for the worse.
No activist has ever “encouraged” anyone to “explore changing their gender.” Brown is trying to argue that transgender people are transgender because of the influence of others and that is simply untrue. Let’s start with the basics:
- Gender dysphoria is a well known medical condition that has been documented in scientific literature for nearly a century. Some people — not many but a few — suffer from incongruent gender and sex.
- Gender dysphoria can be objectively diagnosed. There are separate sets of criteria for children and adults.
- Gender dysphoria has the potential to cause great misery. It can cause extreme anxiety with crushing depression.
- Children who are in severe distress due to gender dysphoria will find ways of obtaining relief. They may begin presenting, in various forms, as their gender; subtly or not so subtly.
- Kids do not transition on a whim as Brown suggests. The persistence of gender dysphoria is predicated on its severity. Severity determines whether or not a child will choose to transition in some form.
- When children transition they are given the support and acceptance (hopefully) to explore their gender. According to the research, “parental support was significantly associated with higher life satisfaction, lower perceived burden of being transgender, and fewer depressive symptoms.” Brown has misappropriated the word “explore.”
- Children with gender dysphoria and their family members should receive continuous counseling.
- According to one of the nation’s leading experts on juvenile gender dysphoria, Dr. Kristina Olson at University of Washington:
- Results so far show that trans children have just as firm a sense of their own gender as nontrans kids at very early ages, both when asked directly and when tested. Furthermore, trans kids follow different trajectories than children who simply prefer toys and clothes associated with the opposite gender.
- …trans youth who make the social transition at a young age are doing remarkably well. They have depression rates comparable to their peers and only slightly elevated rates of anxiety. They also show very strong self-esteem.
Brian S. Brown’s claim that gender transitioning ruins lives is nonsense based, not on science, but religious doctrine. His entire narrative is inconsistent with medical and scientific realities. The Catholic Church teaches that transgender people do not really exist just as there are no gay people (just people who experience same-sex attraction). Brown seeks to defend Church teachings no matter how idiotic they might be.
Brown’s behavior could have dire consequences. Brown is doing this for only one reason:
Needless to say, if you click on that graphic it opens up NOM’s donation page. The graphic is also bullshit. Science is agnostic. Research disproving commonly held beliefs about gender is just as valuable as research confirming those beliefs. There should be plenty of grant money available (just as there was to support Mark Regnerus’ anti-gay BS) to study gender with the objective of proving that gender affirmation is toxic. Where is the peer-reviewed research to support Brown’s views? Where?
I try very hard to control my anger when writing about this kind of gibberish. It is hard to do so. Transgender and gender diverse children are fragile and vulnerable enough. In this case Brian S. Brown is spreading misinformation which, if believed, has the potential of making the lives of those children worse.
Brian S. Brown is perfectly willing to trade in bullshit if it will ring NOM’s cash register. That is shameful.
As for potential donors to National Organization for Marriage, how many know that through 2017 NOM has burned through about $70 million with nothing to show for it? How many know that a great deal of that money seems to have gone — illicitly — into Mr. Brown’s pockets.
Above all, people should not subsidize an organization that hurts children to raise money.