Warring over Teens and the “T”

Miriam Ben-Shalom, a lesbian Army Reserve veteran who was the first person the Pentagon reinstated for being discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” sharply criticized those who encourage trans children and adolescents to transition before they are adults, the Washington Blade recently reported.

“As a teacher I care about my students and I believe it’s abuse,” said Ben-Shalom. “In this culture you cannot vote until you’re 18. You can’t drink until you’re 21. You can’t have a credit card of your very own that you applied for until you’re after 18 years of age. How the hell is it that you’re going to allow kids in kindergarten and 11-year-olds take all kinds of chemicals?”

There’s some merit in this, as studies show that some children who identify as transgender stop doing so once through puberty, when they may start to see themselves as gay young men or lesbian young women instead (as referenced in an earlier post).

Somewhat more problematically, the story continues:

“I don’t care if a biological male wants to wear a dress and put on a wig and put on make up,” she said. “That’s his choice and as long as whatever he does doesn’t hurt another human being and whatever else he does is with a consenting adult human being, I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t care.”

“I do have a problem with their insisting that they’re something that they are not,” added Ben-Shalom.

The Blade notes that organizers of the Milwaukee Pride Parade last year invited Ben-Shalom to serve as their grand marshal. They rescinded the invitation after they discovered “anti-trans” comments that she had posted to her Facebook page (Ben-Shalom denies she is transphobic).

In Texas, controversy is swirling around high school wrestler Mack Beggs, born female but who identifies as male and is taking testosterone that has increased his muscle bulk. Under Texas policy, he must compete in women’s wrestling, where’s he’s winning handily, and some say posing a physical threat to the girls he’s going up against (performance-enhancing drugs don’t bar one from Texas high school competition if they have been prescribed by a physician). According to press reports:

In an interview with ESPN this weekend, the 17-year-old junior discussed being forced to wrestle girls when he would rather wrestle boys, how it felt to win a state title, and what he thought of those who felt he shouldn’t be allowed to compete in high school sports at all. The prep governing body, the University Interscholastic League, passed a rule in 2016 that uses a student’s birth certificate to determine student athlete participation in sports.

“It’s not like I’m doing this because I want to, like, call myself a boy and just dominate all these girls,” Beggs told ESPN. “What do I get out of that? I don’t get anything out of that. I was put in this position. Change the laws and then watch me wrestle boys.”

This week, Beggs won the girls regional championship after a female opponent forfeited the match.

Virginia high school student Gavin Grimm, born female but who now identifies as male, is suing to use the boys restroom and locker room. The school district offered him a private restroom and changing area, which he rejected. The Supreme Court has remanded the case to be reheard by a lower court after President Trump rescinded Obama’s order that students nationwide be able to use public school facilities based on how they gender identify.

I can’t find the cite, but I recall reading about another high school transgender teen boy, born female, who was requesting to use the boys restroom, except that he was more comfortable using the girls restroom when he was menstruating.

The left’s response, to let anyone use any restroom and locker room based on how they self-identify, isn’t going to work. The right’s response, to limit intimate facilities to birth certificate gender, isn’t going to work. This is a social issue that will have to be played out over time and through the courts. While I hope reasonableness prevails, the history of the culture wars doesn’t particularly lead to optimism.

25 Comments for “Warring over Teens and the “T””

  1. posted by TJ on

    Fact-based education about gender identity might help deal with people who confuse being transgender, versus having masucline or feminine traits or interests.

    I won’t pretend to confuse ignorance with malice. I also wont pretend that I’m an expert.

    But, why deal in facts? Trying to toss transgender people under the policy bus (while making them hold their pee) has been trendy.

    Reply
    • posted by Dave Ekstrum on

      Because as the right wing culture warriors have switched from gay-bashing to trans-bashing, the homocons are going right along with them. That’s what’s happening here and it’s revolting.

      Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Going a little far into the medical column in the “medical condition vs. gender” argument there.

      Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    You know, I’m beginning to think this “massive resistance” by the right to LGBT legal gains that Tom Scharbach talks about every so often is mirrored in scope and subtlety by a leftist thing as well–a massive push to advance and consolidate. The media doesn’t actually have to report on anything trans. The fact that it does probably won’t change any decision now, but it will influence many things later.

    The hormone therapy thing? I don’t know.

    There is no question in my mind that medication works. Hmm, medication? Yeah: I see no difference between giving kids “hormone therapy” and giving kids “medication” to treat mental illness. Child psychiatry has its own problems with both overmedication and with adults getting overly freaked out over medication. Either way, you’re changing chemicals in a body while that body is developing (mental health medication with a developing brain!).

    Heck, how about giving kids chemotherapy? You’re literally poisoning a body while it’s growing–that sounds pretty freaky, too, you know. Then there’s the vomiting, infections, etc, all while you’re trying to teach kids about spirituality and higher moral callings. In theory you could stop the medication carefully and the body just changes back to normal. In practice you have already made a permanent impression.

    What’s this? Poisoning children and attacking their development saves lives and improves their well-being? Well I think that settles it. Being alive and happy today is important, even if it means a chance of long-term damage. Parents have a right to information and choice when it comes to medical care for their children. Adolescents, too in this day and age.

    …The Supreme Court has remanded the case to be reheard by a lower court after President Trump rescinded Obama’s order that students nationwide be able to use public school facilities based on how they gender identify.

    I did say choice, didn’t I?

    Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      If young people are getting these drugs simply by asking, I can see that to be a problem.

      However, I suspect that its more complicated. The transgender people I know, transitioned decades ago, so my knowledge may be outdated.

      Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The left’s response, to let anyone use any restroom and locker room based on how they self-identify, isn’t going to work.

    I don’t know why not. It seems to work well enough now in states where transgenders use “appearance appropriate” bathrooms without anyone raising an uproar about it.

    The right’s response, to limit intimate facilities to birth certificate gender, isn’t going to work.

    Of course not, because you can’t fix stupid, but it might give conservative Christian women a cheap thrill or two when bearded transgender men are forced to start using women’s bathrooms on a regular basis. Cheap thrills aren’t much, but better than no thrills, which is what most are probably getting at home from the morons dumb enough to think policing bathrooms is a solution.

    This is a social issue that will have to be played out over time and through the courts. While I hope reasonableness prevails, the history of the culture wars doesn’t particularly lead to optimism.

    So long as politicians driven by the conservative Christian base continue to use the issue as a wedge issue against gays and lesbians (Houston, North Carolina and so on) no reason for optimism exists on that score. And so long as homocons let them get away with it, as they did when politicians driven by the conservative Christian base used gays and lesbians more directly as a wedge, it isn’t likely to get any better.

    Reply
    • posted by Josh on

      Because women (and girls) don’t want to see penises when they undress and shower in a public facility. And because men (and boys) don’t want to see vaginas when they undress and shower. But hey, let’s just social engineer those feelings away.

      Reply
      • posted by Jim Michaud on

        Okay, I’ll bite. What do you support as an alternative? These “bathroom laws” are as useful as tits on a bull. Chicago has gun control laws up the yingyang, yet how many murders have there been in the Windy City? These laws are the same thing. Feel good legislation (stuff that the right wing used to foam at the mouth about) that is unenforceable and doesn’t do squat to prevent a pervert from getting his jollies. Tell me, oh wizard of wonder.

        Reply
        • posted by Jorge on

          I think his point is that it’s not just Christian conservatives using this as a wedge issue, but that they are in a firm majority on this one.

          Reply
      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        I think his point is that it’s not just Christian conservatives using this as a wedge issue, but that they are in a firm majority on this one.

        If that is his point, he would be wrong.

        Reply
      • posted by JohnInCA on

        I don’t know about you, but when I use locker rooms I don’t treat it like window shopping. I mind my own business and don’t worry about what other guys are packing (or not packing). For that matter, anyone that really wants privacy can change in a friggin’ stall.

        Are there some locker room showers out there that don’t have stalls? TV tells me so, but I haven’t seen one since the 90s.

        I mean really, who goes around the locker room peeking in on everyone else? Incidental nudity is one thing, but you’re there to clean and change, not to lovingly admire a bouquet of penises.

        Reply
      • posted by JohnInCA on

        Thought #2:
        ” But hey, let’s just social engineer those feelings away.”
        Why not? They were social engineered in to begin with. Little kids are pretty notorious for shirking their clothing and running about starkers, and have to be taught to avoid public nudity. For that matter, a parent brining an opposite-sex kid into a bathroom or locker room, below a certain age, is 100% acceptable pretty much everywhere.

        The whole “oh no, what if a girl/boy sees me!” is nurture, not nature.

        So if you want to argue it’s “wrong” to “social engineer those feelings away”, then you need explain why it was “right” to “social engineer those feelings in” to start with.

        Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Because women (and girls) don’t want to see penises when they undress and shower in a public facility. And because men (and boys) don’t want to see vaginas when they undress and shower.

      Uh huh. And I suppose that you think that won’t happen when transgenders are forced to use facilities based on birth certificate gender assignment?

      Reply
      • posted by Tj on

        Tom;

        Don’t try to use reason. When someone writes that they hope that reasonableness will prevail on an issue, it does not mean that you can actually base arguments on reason or logic or facts.

        Reply
  4. posted by JohnInCA on

    “The left’s response, to let anyone use any restroom and locker room based on how they self-identify, isn’t going to work.”
    Except that, as we’ve seen in every single place that’s done it, it does work.

    Reply
    • posted by Josh on

      Except when it doesn’t

      Lawsuit: Girls exposed to transgender twerking & grinding in locker room
      http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/09/07/lawsuit-girls-exposed-to-transgender-twerking-grinding-in-locker-room.html

      5 Times ‘Transgender’ Men Abused Women And Children In Bathrooms
      http://www.dailywire.com/news/5190/5-times-transgender-men-abused-women-and-children-amanda-prestigiacomo#exit-modal

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        “Predictably, the left has vehemently denied that such a thing would ever happen—or worse, that this is a price we must pay for “inclusivity” and “equality.””

        First things first. One, the majority of those are not transgender, or even “transgender” men exploiting a loophole in law or accommodation. It’s people using stealth.

        Second, I don’t think anyone with a brain really thinks the choice is between crime and equality.

        Reply
      • posted by JohnInCA on

        Snarky response: And my sisters both getting into car crashes and totalling their vehicles, while the only vehicle I’ve ever lost was deemed an Act of Nature†, shows that there’s a problem with women drivers.

        Serious response: First-up, of the six cases you just cited only one would have been “acceptable” if it had been a cis-woman. And he was explicitly doing it as a political stunt.

        So before you even get out of the gate, the problem isn’t with trans* anything, it’s with people misbehaving, and their behavior would be as bad regardless of what’s between their legs or what locker room/bathroom they were in.

        That is to say… if it’s illegal for me to punch a random person‡, then a law that says I can be in a certain place offers no defense when I punch a random person. So saying “well, what if you punch a random person if you’re in a certain place” is a moronic defense.
        ________
        †Literally. By a state decree. Everyone in something like a five mile radius had their cars totaled. In the first couple of days after, people were driving around without windshields and the cops didn’t car, because they were driving without windshields too.
        ‡Assault or battery, I can never remember which.

        Reply
  5. posted by Kosh III on

    Can we talk about something more relevant than Miller’s repeated attempts to bash folks for not goosestepping along with the latest obscure cause?

    How about all the gas-bashing legislation coming from GOP controlled Legislatures? E.g. Here we have legislation to nullify the SC decision on marriage equality.

    A Senator here is pushing to allow counselors etc to deny help for gays and anyone else they don’t like. BUT this senator has been married 4 times, has been boinking a COUSIN who also happens to work for him AND he’s was supplying her with way too much opiod prescriptions.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      How about all the gas-bashing legislation coming from GOP controlled Legislatures? E.g. Here we have legislation to nullify the SC decision on marriage equality.

      That only boomerangs back to how stupid the Supreme Court decision was and how the gay left is forcing people to goosestep with their obscure campaign to force everyone to like it.

      A Senator here is pushing to allow counselors etc to deny help for gays and anyone else they don’t like.

      And that goes back to states that have passed laws ostensibly designed to ban ex-gay therapy, but that overreach in prohibiting counselors from adopting an approach that starts with the patient’s priorities. Another forced goosestep by the gay left.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      How about all the gas-bashing legislation coming from GOP controlled Legislatures?

      The ACLU keeps a running list of the legislation, both pro-equality and anti-equality.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      … and how the gay left is forcing people to goosestep …

      Ah, Jorge plays the GayNazi card, but does so with delicacy.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      You have a gutter-snipe’s sense of humor, Tom.

      Your patrician predilections are peeking out from under your skirt, Jorge.

      So what were you referring to when you described the “gay left” as “forcing people to goose step”, if not the Nazis? The Peruvians, perhaps?

      Reply

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