Matt Schoenfeldt
Matt Schoenfeldt is promoting the sophistry that knowing about LGBTQ persons poses a danger to his 13-year-old son | via Heritage Foundation

Christian cons wed to the proposition that information about LGBTQ persons poses a threat to their children.

Heritage Foundation informs us that Matt Schoenfeldt is a career army officer. Matt Schoenfeldt also seems to be ill-informed and a promoter of bigotry. His offering at Heritage Foundation’s blog is titled: My Son’s English Teacher Showed a Transgender Activist’s Video in Class. Here’s What I Did Next.

Heritage Foundation — which has never been friendly towards LGBTQ persons — has become a central repository of rabid transphobia. The departure of Ryan T. Anderson has not diminished the hate directed at people that Heritage disapproves of on the basis of scripture.

Schoenfeldt’s current diatribe is his only contribution to the Heritage blog. I wonder about the mechanics of Schoenfeldt pairing up with Heritage. Who contacted whom? But I digress.

According to Schoenfeldt, he and his eighth grade son are victims of, … something:

As a society, we have seen this sort of thing play out time and time again in recent years. First the left asks for tolerance, then acceptance, and then they demand that you celebrate their push for full “social justice” indoctrination in every classroom in America.

That “celebrate” BS is all too familiar. It is used to suggest that we demand their approval. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Schoenfeldt’s approval is irrelevant. It is not sought. Furthermore, Matt Schoenfeldt’s approval is not required by anyone other than the troops he commands.

However, Schoenfeldt’s world consists of either approval or shame. These represent the principal levers for religious conformity. I have found that these folks go unhinged when confronted with the fact that their blessing is unimportant.

“Consider that toxic and futile conversion therapy is dishonestly promoted as an argument that sexuality is a choice.”

Information about things that Schoenfeldt does not approve of constitute “indoctrination:”

To me, this is not part of a “culture war,” but about keeping our schools focused on education and not indoctrination.

Were the school explaining to children what Christians believe, via a video produced by the Vatican, that would not be labeled “indoctrination.” Indoctrination means any information that Schoenfeldt would prefer to be kept from his kid.

Ultimately, schools provide information about LGBTQ people to inspire understanding on the part of students. A small number of their peers are gay or, possibly, transgender. It is important for students to understand that none of these LGBTQ kids are volunteers. None of them made bad choices in life. Moreover, this is basically a lesson about kindness.

Consider that toxic and futile conversion therapy is dishonestly promoted as an argument that sexuality is a choice. Schoenfeldt’s fears are irrational. Which of the two possibilities does he find so upsetting:

  1. Is Schoenfeldt concerned that teaching people about sexual minorities makes prejudice less acceptable (and less likely) or;
  2. does Schoenfeldt fear that such knowledge could turn his own son gay or trans?

Door number one is the sociopath’s entrance. Furthermore, door number two is preposterous.

Six minutes of anxiety:

The 6-minute video is from a TED Talks presentation originally made in December 2017 by Jackson Bird, a transgender activist who was born a girl but identifies as a boy.

I believe that Mr. Bird is a transgender man (not “boy”). Moreover, why not simply write transgender man instead of the religious bullshit “born a … identifies as … ?”

“I think that the average 13-year-old is sufficiently curious (until some schmuck convinces him that curiosity is evil) to ponder just how transgender persons live.”

The video is titled How to talk (and listen) to transgender people. There is nothing in the video that anyone should find objectionable. It is a video about politeness. Furthermore, children should know how to converse with people deemed “the other.”

Of course Schoenfeldt is afraid:

In just the first minute, my 13 year-old son and about 20 classmates were treated to “hypothetical questions” and insightful observations from Bird about transgender individuals, such as:

—“I wonder if he has had the surgery yet? Oh, now I’m looking at his crotch.”

—“Wait, how does he use the bathroom? How does he have sex?”

— “People are pretty much always wondering how we have sex and what kind of equipment we’re working with below the belt.”

What a wonderful educational opportunity for my son to sit through and then be subjected to a ridiculous prompt from his teacher “to share something you learned from the video.”

I encourage you to watch the first couple of minutes of the video. Schoenfeldt captures neither the tone nor the point of the rhetorical questions which are presented out of context. Furthermore, Bird arrives at saying: “Being trans is awkward.”

Moreover, and more importantly, what, exactly, is the problem? I imagine that kids do wonder about the questions that Jack Bird raises. I think that the average 13-year-old is sufficiently curious (until some schmuck convinces him that curiosity is evil) to ponder just how transgender persons live.

According to the esteemed Mayo Clinic, school age children ponder questions like:

  • What’s an erection?
  • What’s a period?
  • How do people have sex?
  • Can two girls have sex? Or two boys?
  • What’s masturbation?

“Then, of course, there is the tragedy caused by expectations for politeness.”

Questions about transgender people are not out of the ordinary. That is, unless, one wants to pretend that transgender persons do not exist because, if they did, that would be contrary to ancient texts.

Of course Matt Schoenfeldt is just getting started:

Only Affirmation Acceptable

In the video, Bird asserts that it is only awkward being trans because all of us uneducated rubes do not understand what it is like to be trans. Biological realities are simply our misconceptions, denying that gender can be misassigned at birth.

First of all, gender-affirming care is the only acceptable treatment according to medical science. Secondly, Schoenfeldt does not have the first clue what it is like to be trans. To be honest being cisgender I can barely emphasize with the basics.

Thirdly, no one disputes biological realities. No one! Nor is this about gender being misassigned. It is a scientific reality that some people have a gender identity that is incongruent with their natal sex. That is an indisputable fact.

What the above quoted text is all about is: “Poor us. We are presumed to be rubes.”

The victimization theme does not stop there:

“When you come out as trans,” Bird says in the video, “you have to face the misconceptions that will color other people’s impressions of you, even after you’ve educated them.”

There you have it: A trans activist is now in charge of my son’s eighth-grade English lesson.

“Eliminate superstition projected as religious opprobrium and there is no ‘transgender issue.'”

Then, of course, there is the tragedy caused by expectations for politeness:

Affirmation is the only acceptable way to address the transgender issue, and you must use a trans individual’s preferred pronouns as soon as you are told the person’s new name and pronouns, Bird says during the talk filmed before a small, mostly quiet audience.

Note how we are back to shame and approval. Some conservative Christians find it essential to misgender transgender persons in order to demonstrate their disapproval. The dispensation of shame is more important to them then common courtesy.

Furthermore, there should be no such thing as a “transgender issue.” It’s only an issue because some religious fanatics insists that transgender people cannot possibly exist. “Issue,” in this context, means something that is subjected to debate.

Underpinning the state of being transgender is a medical condition (gender dysphoria). One of my friends is paralyzed due to a car accident. Is there a “wheelchair issue?” I wear glasses. Is there a “vision correction issue?” Eliminate superstition projected as religious opprobrium and there is no “transgender issue.”

Following a dissertation on the “LGBTQ+ agenda:”

“Just because someone has a different perspective does not mean that they are an activist.”

That brings us to the three other actors involved in my meeting at the school: the pusher, the patsy, and the unwitting accomplice.

In the role of pusher is the district’s director of the English language arts curriculum. The patsy is played by the fully indoctrinated teacher, a young woman straight out of the higher education system. And the unwitting accomplice is none other than our principal.

Actually, those three people are simply better educated, more attuned to the needs of minorities and more appreciative of diversity than Matt Schoenfeldt is. Moreover, those three people seem to have a grasp on the associated consensus of medical science which is, perhaps, best demonstrated by the clinical practice standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Yeah, I know. Those “liberal Jewish doctors” are just being politically correct at Schoenfeldt’s expense. What do they know anyway? People like Schoenfeldt have an excuse for everything and everyone who disagrees with them.

However, as Wayne Besen used to say: “They’re not all like that.” My very conservative Catholic therapist does pre-surgical reviews prior to gender confirmation surgery. Professionally, he admires trans persons and how “together” they are.

Ultra-orthodox Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is another example. Rabbi Moskowitz is a dedicated warrior for the dignity of LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people. Indeed most Christians disagree with Matt Schoenfeldt.

“Better to keep the kids ignorant so that they learn how to hate from their parents.”

Someone tried, in vain, to educate Mr. Schoenfeldt:

Crossing the Line

During the 35-minute meeting, I expressed serious concern over this lesson being taught in my son’s English class with no prior notice to parents. I questioned why the school openly advocates LGBTQ+ activism and presents it as something that must be celebrated.

Our pusher tried to obfuscate reality and told me, to the best of my memory: “With all due respect, trans and LGBTQ people’s existence is not controversial.”

First of all, Schoenfeldt is indulging in the logical fallacy of begging the question. Just because someone has a different perspective does not mean that they are an activist. Moreover, nothing is being “celebrated.” It is not a religious rite.

And just who is an “activist?”

Parents, See for Yourselves

If parents who read this article check their school district’s website and their child’s “canvas” pages, I suspect that they will be quite surprised by what they find. I encourage every parent to do this and to schedule a meeting at their school, like I did. Hopefully you will be able to “opt out” your children prior to their indoctrination lessons.

Opt-outs normally only apply to sex education. Nevertheless, it is this kind of activism that is truly harmful to young people. Schoenfeldt is claiming that knowing about LGBTQ people poses a danger to children. Better to keep the kids ignorant so that they learn how to hate from their parents.

“None of what [Schoenfeldt] does not like would exist in the absence of bigotry.”

It is easy to understand just why Matt Schoenfeldt is so profoundly disturbed:

… our son’s classmates had to write about either “what are our responsibilities to explore and create a more inclusive, equitable future” or “how do we hold or create space for change in society when we learn about people who have been marginalized?”

Not exactly a balanced look at the complex issue of allowing boys to play girls sports, and what states are doing to protect young women and their opportunities.

Matt Schoenfeldt clearly does not want LGBTQ persons to have a “more inclusive, equitable future.” Moreover, he feels personally obligated to marginalize people he disapproves of. There is no “balanced look” when the opposing weight is towards prejudice, discrimination and intolerance.

Indeed, two sides do not exist. Just as there are not two sides to the Holocaust or two sides to the January 6 insurrection. Nor are there two sides to anti-Semitism, racism or Islamophobia.

Were Mr. Schoenfeldt more introspective he might realize that he and people like him create the need for diversity education. None of what he does not like would exist in the absence of bigotry.

I will quote just one more paragraph:

I do not want to cede control of our schools to political ideologues, but to make them places where the priority is teaching our children the skills they will need in life.

Tolerance is a skill. It is a skill that children will need in life. Matt Schoenfeldt’s kid might end up with a prick like me for a boss. He might have LGBTQ coworkers. What would his career development prospects look like if he cannot respect people who are different?

In order to have respect, one must have understanding. Matt Schoenfeldt is limiting his son’s prospects while the school is acting in the kid’s best interests.

In spite of all the deflection regarding political ideologies and other excuses, there remain only two real fears in regards to diversity education:

  1. Education that induces tolerance will make it more difficult for Schoenfeldt’s son to be as bigoted and divisive as he is or;
  2. an understanding of LGBTQ people will cause his son to “choose” to be gay or trans.

As for item number two, that ship has sailed. By about two-years-of-age Matt Schoenfeldt’s son developed his sexual orientation and his gender identity. There is not a damned thing that his father can do to alter that.

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.