Article originally published January-February 2020.
November 2020 – What has happened? It’s as though we’ve stepped through the looking glass with Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Through the Looking-Glass. Alice found herself in a world where she is the only sensible one.
It’s a confusing other-world where up is down and down is up, where she must walk backward to move forward, where time is in reverse. And everyone there thinks she’s strange.
Fortunately, Alice awakens to discover her other-world was only a dream.
Culture in an other-world
Unlike Alice, Boyd Burton is real. In 2014, Burton, a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, quickly defeated his opponent, inflicting a concussion, a fracture, and a wound needing seven staples to close it. Such MMA brutality is not uncommon, but unique details of this fight make it a different story. Burton, a biological male, was fighting Tamikka Brents, a biological female.
Years earlier, Burton had undergone sex-change surgery. (Research indicates this was Burton’s last fight.)
To assure inclusivity and tolerance, a man stepping into a cage and pummeling a woman was accepted, sanctioned, and compensated. Unfortunately, since 2014, the transgender movement has escalated with alarming speed.
Rachel McKinnon is real. In October 2019, transgender cyclist McKinnon, a biological male (birth name not found), competed in the Women’s Sprint World Championship. He performed so well he set a new world best qualifying time for women and proceeded to take first place in the sprint for the second year in a row. Ironically, female “world’s best” wouldn’t even have allowed him to compete in the men’s division. A culture that teaches our children not to cheat, now openly allows it in the name of inclusion and tolerance.
Dr. Anne Georgulas is real. Last fall, a jury denied Texan Jeffrey Younger the right to protect his seven-year-old son from gender transition initiated by Georgulas, Younger’s ex-wife and the boy’s mother. Georgulas was OK’d to move forward with hormones and puberty blockers, which can cause chemical castration. Fortunately, Judge Kim Cooks overturned the jury, thus granting Younger equal input into his son’s future medical care.*
A culture rightfully penalizes child abuse, but then openly endorses it in a court of law in the name of inclusion and tolerance.
Burton, McKinnon, and Georgulas are startling illustrations of the sexual chaos that corrupts our culture today.
Isaiah 5:20 speaks of a time like this: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”
Call to sanity, morality
Although many view the aggressive LGBTQ agenda as a move in the wrong direction, only in secret will they voice their concerns. For many, a public stand is too risky, potentially having a negative impact on, or ending their careers altogether.
However, some are brave enough to weather the storms of ridicule and criticism and continue to speak the truth. For example, just recently, a U.K. doctor and a U.S. school teacher both lost their jobs for refusing to call transgender patients and students by their preferred pronouns. Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, is another one of those few.
Anderson recently collaborated with American Family Studios (AFS) for the upcoming documentary In His Image. He discussed his research and his latest book, When Harry Became Sally, which deals specifically with what has been dubbed the “transgender moment.”
He explained that the “transgender moment” is not a phrase he coined, but he likes what it suggests.
“This isn’t necessarily something that’s going to be here forever,” he said. “[T]his moment might pass if people like you and me and our viewers play our part, if we fulfill our part in pushing back on bad ideas.”
As to how this moment has arrived, Anderson believes numerous things are factors. But three major reasons worth noting are the sexual revolution, power politics, and technology.
“When you overlap these three,” he said, “the ideology coming out of the sexual revolution, some of the power politics and the activism that’s been taking place, some of the new technologies, you put those on top of each other, and you can see kind of a complete picture of how we got here.”
In regards to pushing back, the “response can’t just focus on the most recent consequences,” Anderson said. “It needs to go back to the root cause, and it needs to be holistic.” The focus should be not only on the redefinition of marriage or transgender identities, but also on “the entirety of the hook-up culture, the normalization of premarital sex, the rapid rise of nonmarital child bearing, the normalization of cohabitation, the introduction of no-fault divorce laws, the more than doubling in our rates of divorce.”
Anderson asserts that those problems didn’t arise only because of gay marriage or transgender issues. In fact, he believes much of the debate today concerning gender and sexuality is a result of “50 years of straight people not taking seriously certain truths about human sexuality and of the human body and of the human family.”
He said it can come across as hypocritical if the church and the culture ignore the sexual issues and sins straight people face and focus only on those LGBTQ people experience.
Cautions about gender dysphoria
Many who do care about the gender debate are ill-informed and/or don’t know how to speak out. Anderson points to helpful statistics.
“To my mind,” he said, “one of the most important statistics is that somewhere between 80% and 95% of young people who experience gender dysphoria or go through a stage where they don’t feel readily identified with their body, … will naturally grow out of that stage and will reconcile with their body, provided you don’t do something to prevent that reconciliation – [puberty blockers or opposite sex hormones].”
In addition, “41% of all people who identify as transgender attempt suicide at some point in their lives.” And a study from Sweden, a very transgender friendly culture, showed that “people who had sex reassignment surgery were 19 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population.”
“They’re not faking it,” Anderson said. “They’re clearly distressed in their own flesh, … [and] no one should be happy with a 19 times greater likelihood of death by suicide.”
The reason may be up for debate, but Anderson said, “Regardless of the underlying cause, we should all agree that this is an unacceptable outcome, that we need to find better therapeutic responses to people who are suffering with gender dysphoria.”
Carroll’s fictional Alice awakened to find she had only been dreaming. Once back in the real world, she knew truth would correct fantasy and ultimately prevail.
But we’re not dreaming. Too many are trapped in a nightmare of their own “transgender moment.” The nightmare will likely continue until Christ followers help them find the way to Truth.
*In August 2020 Judge Mary Brown reversed Cook’s ruling and awarded Georgulas sole authority over her son.
More from Dr. Ryan Anderson
Can a man really become a woman? Is sex really “assigned” to us at birth, and if so, have we advanced so far in medicine that sex can be “reassigned?” These are tough, but relevant questions.
Dr. Ryan T. Anderson tackles these, and many more topics, in his book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.
By shedding light on the physical and psychological effects of gender dysphoria, Anderson exposes the truth concerning what has been dubbed the “transgender moment.”
With real stories from those who have detransitioned, as well as scientific studies, the book proves beneficial for those in professional fields such as counseling, education, and various medical practices. It is also filled with practical information useful to pastors, parents,
Caution: Some of the detransitioning stories are from non-Christians, and some profanity occurs. Also, discussion of such a sensitive topic often employs strong medical terminology.
Available at tinyurl.com/RTAamazon. Learn more about Anderson’s work at heritage.org or call 202.546.4400.