John Stonestreet is lying about transgender people
John Stonestreet, 2019

Wednesday, John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center, is lying about transgender people; specifically transgender women. In some ways it is due to Stonestreet’s penchant for citing opinion as fact.

Stonestreet’s polemic (published to the Christian Post) is titled: California allows hundreds of men to transfer to women’s prisons. It’s a subject that I have previously covered. However, with each religious crackpot, new biases and new misconceptions are revealed.

Since this law went into effect back in January, in a new case of “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” over 200 prisoners have requested to be transferred from men’s prisons into those detaining women. As of April 6, not a single request has been denied.

So called Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is not supported by peer-reviewed research. Stonestreet is absurdly lying that cisgender prisoners are pretending to be transgender in order to be transferred to women’s prisons. There is no evidence to support Stonestreet’s contention.

It is even more preposterous when you consider that California prisons provide hormone therapy. If that is a factor in eligibility (and it probably is) then, to pretend to be trans, a cisgender man will have to be on hormone therapy which significantly suppresses testosterone.

Stonestreet’s source for “not a single request has been denied” is an article that originated from the Daily Caller. Yet, even that disreputable outlet does not confirm Stonestreet’s intended inference that hundreds of prisoners have been approved for accommodations consistent with their gender identity.

According to the article:

CDCR has not denied a single gender-based housing request, the spokesperson confirmed.

The CDCR has approved 21 of the requests, and four of these 21 have been transferred to Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.

Religious fundamentalists have a major difficulty writing the words “transgender woman.” Stonestreet goes on to suggest that transgender women pose a peril to cisgender women greater than that posed by cisgender women in prison:

The real peril is for transgender women in male prisons.

Imagine attempting to argue for this law 20 years ago. Imagine trying to convince anyone that biological males, specifically males who’d already demonstrated a willingness to break the law, should be incarcerated with women. Even if abuse of all sorts wasn’t a real problem for America’s prison population, this would be a bad idea.

Once again, there is no evidence to support that claim. It seems quite possible — if not probable — that trans inmates want to draw as little attention to themselves as possible. Furthermore California continues hormone therapy for prisoners.

Stonestreet attempts to be more specific in his prevarications:

In reality, of course, perceptions of or claims to gender identity do not change chromosomes, nor do they eliminate male desire or weaken male physical strength when compared to women. To ignore these realities of the physical world is not only to our peril but to the peril of the women who will be trapped with biological males against their wills. This isn’t sound or compassionate policy. This will be, for many women, the definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

That is wrong on many counts. The most egregious lie is that trans women have “male physical strength.” To accurately assess that one would have to know each individual’s history with testosterone suppression. Again, they are likely to be on cross-sex hormones.

Stonestreet’s forced observation of “male desire” is also a fabrication. Hormones suppress testosterone. Testosterone is one of the hormones that physiologically stimulates the male sex drive. Researchers have found that reduced libido is one of the most common symptoms of a low testosterone level.

If Mr. Stonestreet has contrary research then he has failed to identify it. In other words, Stonestreet is making shit up to bolster a porous argument. Furthermore, Stonestreet is probably not concerned with the fate of incarcerated women. This nonsense from religious conservatives is an effort to defend Genesis 1:27.

Stonestreet then prattles on, off the rails, in complete denial of medical science:

To ignore biological reality in the context of punishment and rehabilitation is not wholly different than a doctor or nurse treating a patient according to a perceived identity that conflicts with biological reality. Such medical care would not be helpful or loving. It would be malpractice.

Apparently Mr. Stonestreet is wed to the notion that he has the erudition to contest the clinical findings of virtually every professional medical organization in the country. According to the Colson Center “John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN).” Both of those are Christian colleges. Mr. Stonestreet does not hold a medical degree. The arrogance is stunning.

The balance of Stonestreet’s post is theological. I do not have the knowledge to opine on religious history and scripture. However, none of that has a damned thing to do with transgender people.

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.