In what is considered a first in American history, a judge in Multnomah County, Oregon, has ruled that a transgender person may legally change his or her sex to “non-binary,” replacing the designation of male or female, based on biology. This is the latest step in the transgender movement, but what is its ultimate goal?
Judge Amy Homes Hehn made the ruling for Jamie Shupe, a retired sergeant first class. Born a male, Shupe began his “transition” to a female in 2013, but has now decided that he is a mixture of both male and female. “I consider myself a third sex,” Shupe said.
Shupe and his lawyer, Lake Perriguey, filed a petition in April to legally change Shupe’s sex. Under Oregon law, a court can change a person’s legal sex designation if the judge finds that the person has undergone surgical, hormonal, or other treatment related to gender transition.
“The sexual reassignment has been completed,” Judge Hehn wrote in her ruling. When she told Shupe’s lawyer that the petition was “pushing the envelope,” Perriguey replied, “We’re not really. The envelope just needs to get bigger.”
There is little doubt that this is the intention of the transgender movement — but just how big do they want the envelope to get, and to what ultimate purpose?
Nancy Haque, a co-executive director for Basic Rights Oregon, called the ruling a “momentous day for genderqueer Oregonians,” because the courts have now recognized that “gender is a spectrum,” and, “Some people don’t identify as male or female.”
But Haque is not yet satisfied. She laments that Oregonians cannot list “non-binary” on a driver’s license or state-issued identification card. “It’s a huge barrier to being able to live your life, to have a driver’s license, to employment, to having records about your life, transcripts, all of those things.”
It is easy to dismiss all this as involving only a small fraction of the population — individuals to be pitied, for sure, but not a movement to be feared. When the great Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner announced that he was now Caitlyn Jenner, a transgendered "woman," there were the predictable jokes (such as some posting on the Internet pictures of a dog as Bruce Jenner’s “cat”) and even expressions of sympathy and regret that he was clearly a person with a mental disorder.
The mainstream media, however, has just accepted without question this latest liberal cause as perfectly legitimate. Jenner even received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award last year, because “she [sic] has shown the courage to embrace the truth that had been hidden for years,” and will “help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces.”
Comfort in thinking he is a woman is the last thing that Jenner needs, according to Johns Hopkins psychiatrist-in-chief Dr. Paul McHugh, who argues that transgenderism is a “mental disorder,” and that sex change is “biologically impossible.” Those who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder, he charges. He contends that this disorder is extremely serious, because, citing a new study, the suicide rate among those who have had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender individuals. Surgery is not the solution for those who suffer this “disorder of assumption,” he says — the notion that a person’s maleness or femaleness is different from how he or she was born.
McHugh said those who persist in promoting transgenderism as normal “are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending, rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment, and prevention.” McHugh, who has authored six books and over 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, compared the delusion to a person who is suffering from anorexia, but sees himself or herself as overweight.
The American College of Pediatricians released a statement in March that “Gender Ideology Harms Children.” They urged schools and legislators to “reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.”
Clearly, this mental illness is a tragedy for the unfortunate individuals suffering from it. But, their problem now becomes ours due to the agenda of the advocates of those who are always looking for a way to expand the power, size, and scope of government.
Take that bastion of liberalism, New York City. Under left-wing mayor Bill de Blasio, the city even decided to issue new “guidelines” in late December of last year, intended to force its citizens to accept this transgender dogma. Or else.
“Today’s guidance makes it abundantly clear what the city considers to be discrimination,” announced Carmelyn Malalis, head of the Human Rights Commission, as she revealed that failure to follow the “guidance” could result in fines of up to $250,000.
Higher quality restaurants often have dress codes for their customers, with the clear intention of maintaining the atmosphere of a superior establishment that their business plans call for. Typically, these restaurants require ties for men and skirts or dresses for women. But such stipulations will now violate the guidelines announced by Malalis by discriminating against men who identify as women, and women who identify as men.
In other words, where this is all headed, you will eventually be made to care.
If an employer even refers to a male employee who considers himself a woman by a male pronoun, this would be a violation. Barring a person from using the opposite sex’s restroom would be yet another violation. The new guidelines also apply to businesses in their dealings with customers, and landlords in their dealings with tenants.
The very term “transgender” did not even exist until it was created by Columbia University psychiatrist John Oliven in 1965 to describe a person who wanted to live cross-gender, but did not wish to undergo an actual "sex-change" operation. One physician who does perform what are called “sex-change” surgeries admits, “I don’t change men into women. I transform male genitals into genitals that have a female aspect. All the rest is in the patient’s mind.”
It should be stressed that trangender “dysphoria” is not the same as hermaphroditism, for in the latter, the sex anatomy is ambiguous or clearly conflicts with chromosomal make-up. This condition occurs in less than two of every 10,000 live births, and is not the issue here.
Besides employment and business discrimination laws, another avenue for the advance of the transgender agenda is through the public schools. In the state of Washington, for example, public schools have approved health education “learning standards” that include the teaching of gender expression. The standards (the way curriculum is imposed upon local school districts) will include teaching “Self-Identity” — which includes educating students on numerous ways to express gender — to students in kindergarten. According to the state’s health education glossary, gender is defined as “a social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex.”
At the completion of high school, students will have also learned how to “distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”
In Virginia, Fairfax County public school officials have even directed the schools to teach students that there are no 100-percent boys or girls.
Another path to force the acceptance of this ideologically driven agenda is through accreditation standards for colleges and universities. The average person probably thinks that accreditation agencies are for the purpose of making sure that a college or university maintains high academic standards and is not just a “degree mill.” The reality is that much of the left-wing agenda is imposed through accreditation. For example, an accreditation agency could refuse to accredit a Christian college simply because it has not accepted transgender dysphoria as legitimate in the assignment of dorm space and extracurricular activities.
“Discrimination is never okay,” asserted Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, a group which promotes LGBT-inclusive campuses. “For these [Christian] schools to espouse that their religious sanctions allow discrimination against any young person is careless and life-threatening.”
This gives us a strong hint of where all this is leading. Clearly, biblical Christianity is considered a serious barrier against the liberal social agenda, including transgenderism. As can be seen in each of these examples, the ultimate solution always offered is more government control over personal lives. At its core, the transgender movement is a totalitarian movement.
Operating on the excuse of protecting “rights,” the transgender movement can be used to consolidate and centralize power in government, particularly at the federal level. Furthermore, religion, especially biblical Christianity, is seen as an adversary of this movement.
It should be quite clear that the very concept of the family is also in the crosshairs of this movement. Same-sex “marriage” certainly undermines the very definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. If gender distinctions can be blurred, or even erased by law, then the very concept of marriage comes into question as a legal institution. And marriage and family are institutions that stand in opposition to the growth of the state as a substitute for the family.
This bullying of those who refuse to accept changes in the very definition of words leads logically to a change in the way we think. As George Orwell’s character Syme said in his classic dystopian novel 1984, “It is a beautiful thing, the destruction of words,” by which he meant it was an important method used to enhance the power of the totalitarian government of “Big Brother.”
For a judge in Oregon to accept the concept of a sexual identity other than male and female means we have taken yet another step downward in the direction of this anti-Christian, anti-family, and anti-individual liberty reality.
Steve Byas is a professor of history at Randall University in Moore, Oklahoma. His book History’s Greatest Libels is a challenge to the distortions of history told to denigrate the reputations of such persons as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Joseph McCarthy.