Christian Propagandist Autumn Leva
Christian Propagandist Autumn Leva | via Imago

A tactic of bigots is to lie about a disfavored
minority as part of an effort to marginalize them.

The deliberate promotion of knowingly false information about gender-expansive youth does real harm to real people — often vulnerable children.

Autumn Leva has posed a rhetorical question: What is actually happening with this transgender issue (that feels like it came out of nowhere), and how do I handle it with the children I love?

It is unlikely to be the most idiotic thing that I read on Friday but it will be in the running. Ms. Leva is either dense or dishonest (or, perhaps, both). There is no “transgender issue” except in the minds of religious fanatics who are in alarm over a potential conflict with ancient texts.

Their pique is selective. Those same texts assert that the sun revolves around earth and that there is a hard shell around our atmosphere (“firmament”). Moreover, based upon the same scripture, some literalists believe that Earth recently celebrated its 7,000th birthday (it’s actually about 4.5 billion years old). But I digress.

The shitfit over transgender youth did not “come out of nowhere.” Two things happened:

  1. Starting about 15 years ago, in accordance with scientific discovery, parents started to allow children to transition earlier in life. There aren’t more transgender people. Just more trans youth. Earlier transition results in healthier, happier kids.
  2. Moreover, about 12 years ago the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance to public schools encouraging accommodations for transgender kids. Fundamentalists were appalled. Apoplectic. Speaking in (angry) tongues.

As for the last part of Leva’s inquiry (“how do I handle it with the children I love?”) the answer is simple. You treat pediatric gender dysphoria like any other medical condition. You seek qualified medical advice and treatment. Second opinions are always in order.

What you don’t do is to listen to Christian fundamentalists who don’t give a rat’s ass about the welfare of children. If they did care then they would not be doing what they are doing.

On that subject, Leva’s screed continues:

We’d like to invite you to the first-ever Help Not Harm Summit to help answer …

“Oh, so now they want to ‘protect children?’ Trans kids need protection from them, not by them.”

The “we” is Focus on the Family’s political wing, Family Policy Alliance. Overall, I think that the parents of gender-expansive kids are pretty responsible. They seek out qualified clinicians and treat their kids according to the best available medical science.

It is highly unlikely that any of those parents is interested in that summit. Furthermore, the “Help Not Harm Summit” is harmful. They falsely claim to have considerable expertise:

The Help Not Harm Summit peels back the transgender ideology to help busy parents (or anyone concerned about the issue!) understand what’s going on—what the issue is really about, what’s happening in schools, what is the right way to talk about it medically, how to talk to your child, how to make a difference, and more.

Oh, so they are going to offer medical advice? The people who call a medical condition an “ideology” are going to proffer sound medical science?

Here are their “experts:”

Hear from Family Policy Alliance’s CEO Craig DeRoche, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance, American Principles Project, and Christian Medical & Dental Associations. They will help us start the day out right giving an overview of the importance of this issue. It’s a virtual “rally” to protect children!

“The next time Autumn Leva requires medical treatment for herself or a family member, the first consult should be John Stonestreet whose recommendation will be determinative.”

Craig DeRoche is a former politician. Penny Nance is a Christian activist. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations exist to challenge medical science with faith-based intellectual goo. Who among them knows the first fucking thing about treating pediatric gender dysphoria? Which member of CMDA has published research about or even treated the condition?

Oh, so now they want to “protect children?” Trans kids need protection from them, not by them.

Moreover, if they are the ones offering protection then there must be a vast sinister conspiracy to damage children comprised of the kids themselves, their parents, their doctors, all of medical science, all of the professional medical association and everyone who believes in the value of evidence.

All of those people would have to be malicious, ignorant and incompetent if FPA must come to the rescue of children.

Oh but there are more “experts:”

Hear from John Stonestreet of the Colson Center on why there’s more to this issue than meets the eye.

A view from D.C. – hear from Members of Congress

Join our guests, a U.S. Senator and two U.S. Representatives, who will share about what’s going on in DC and how there are still Members of Congress who care about protecting children.

How can YOU make a difference with this ideology sweeping the nation?

“… all of the scientists are wrong. The Bible tells them so. People should listen, instead, to a bunch of religious zealots …

Once again, these people claim that they are “protecting children.” Protecting them from what exactly? 21st century medical science? A mountain of peer-reviewed research published to prestigious academic journals? The clinical practice standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society?

What makes John Stonestreet even remotely qualified to offer medical advice? When arrogance, piety and willful ignorance are qualifiers, science becomes pointless.

Here’s a thought: The next time Autumn Leva requires medical treatment for herself or a family member, the first consult should be John Stonestreet whose recommendation will be determinative.

When a child is struggling with gender dysphoria, what can a parent do to help?

Most of the resources and “medical associations” out there push struggling children to make drastic changes to themselves and their bodies. It doesn’t have to be that way, and these experts bring the facts.

Let’s STOP all this experimenting on children’s bodies!

“… these people claim that they are “protecting children.” Protecting them from what exactly? 21st century medical science? …”

As I said, all of the scientists are wrong. The Bible tells them so. People should listen, instead, to a bunch of religious zealots who have no regard, whatsoever for the wellbeing of others.

What these people are doing is reckless and bigoted. They are promoting knowingly false information in an effort to stop kids from transitioning lest those children insult their god.

Furthermore, they are lining their pockets through the promotion of transphobia. Moreover, they are participating in a pernicious attempt by Republicans to create a wedge issue. They did it with gay marriage. Now they are doing it on the backs of transgender youth.

The effort is unlikely to succeed. However, in the process, they are essentially saying that kids, their parents and their doctors have all made very bad decisions. Furthermore, in doing so they are encouraging prejudice and discrimination. The are marginalizing especially vulnerable kids.

Autumn Leva and Family Policy Alliance:

  • Wrong on the facts.
  • Wrong on the science.
  • Wrong on who has authoritative expertise.
  • Wrong on the morality.

There is nothing moral or pious about deliberately harming children in pursuit of a theological agenda. Doing so is sociopathic.

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.