Editorial: Conservative’s TG Fear is Unfounded

| Jul 3, 2017

Angela Gardner

It’s beginning to really get on my nerves. While I search for articles to fill out the TWIT column and supplement what our TWIT assembler, Cecilia Barzyk provides, I come across many articles in the conservative press that attack the very idea of trans. Publications like The Federalist, The Daily Caller, and Brietbart constantly feature reports on transgender issues. All filled with incorrect, false, just plain wrong information.

One line of attack seen in The Federalist just yesterday was the idea that teaching children about transgender issues and passing laws protecting the rights of trans kids is somehow going to “push” children into saying they are trans. In my years of experience with the trans community (since before it was a community) I have never known anyone who was “pushed” toward identifying as trans when they were children. People who say they are trans are not being “trendy” or doing so because their parents indoctrinated them with the idea. They’re identifying as trans because that’s what they are. If someone is making a child fit into the wrong gender that is wrong. But that’s what these publications are “pushing.”

Somewhere around four or five years of age I knew that I liked girly things. I loved to take a curtain hold back or a towel and hold it around my body as a skirt or dress. I had visions of being pretty and wearing cute dresses and high heeled shoes. I also knew instinctively that my parents would not be happy if they knew of my secret desires. 

Keeping secrets is bad for you. For years and years I never did anything about my desires but kept them bottled up inside, and after secretly exploring my mother’s clothing around the age of 12-14 I didn’t do any further exploration of these feelings till I was 30. Today children are having the chance to talk to their parents about what they feel. Feelings that are valid at the age of 4 or 5. Parents are more informed about trans issues and many more are willing to listen to their child and take that child to a knowledgeable gender clinic for informed professional advice. 

The conservative media characterizes rational treatment for trans kids as “child abuse.” They say, wrongly, that hormone blockers given to stop puberty will cause damage that will be irreversible. They claim that these transgender tendencies are only a phase and the children will “grow out of it.” In my case, and the case of all other trans people, there’s no “growing out if it.”

Trans identities exist on a spectrum and it is true that people move around on that spectrum but if a child exhibits a strong identification with one gender or the other that is most likely where they belong. Suppressing their natural gender identity is the real child abuse. Forcing the trans boy to wear a dress or the trans girl to have short hair and wear pants is what causes permanent psychological damage. That’s another attack leveled by the conservatives; that trans people have mental problems. Not because they are trans. Because society kept them living in the closet till they developed mental issues due to keeping their true selves a secret.

I suspect that the inclusion of these anti-trans articles, and others with themes about the danger of letting trans people use public restrooms of their preference, are all aimed at getting the right wing riled up about the dangerous liberals promotion of what they see as disgusting LGBTQ lifestyles. They want to cast liberals and progressives as being hand in hand with “evil.” Letting trans kids be themselves, and letting trans people pee where they want is far from evil. It’s the right thing to do. If you come across an article condemning trans inclusion and trans rights be sure to make a statement against the ignorance by making a trans positive comment.

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Category: Opinion

Angela Gardner

About Angela Gardner: Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

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