Anyone who's followed the latest culture wars understands that there's not a lot of consensus between the two sides, especially on the LGBT front. So the idea that anyone -- least of all Joe Biden's second-in-command at HHS -- would suddenly declare that there's absolute agreement on the Democrats' unpopular agenda to transgender children is unbelievable, even from this administration. It's also news to medical experts across the disciplines, who didn't waste any time setting the record straight.
"There is no argument among medical professionals," the man who identifies as Rachel Levine insisted, "about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care." "Pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists," Levine told NPR, they all agree "about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care."
Turns out, they don't all agree -- including some of the pioneering doctors of the transgender movement. Just two weeks before Levine's absurd lie, Dr. Erica Anderson, who underwent a radical operation himself, openly told reporters he was horrified at the rush to push children down this path. "I have these private thoughts: 'This has gone too far. It's going to get worse. I don't want any part of it,'" he said. Despite being "on the forefront of transgender care" and undergoing surgery in his late 50s, he strongly believes the pendulum has swung "to an extreme."
"A fair number of kids are getting into it because it's trendy," Anderson told the Washington Post. "I think in our haste to be supportive, we're missing that element..." Anderson thinks kids are leaning into gender treatments, hoping it helps with other psychological problems -- and then struggle to dig out of the depression when it doesn't. "I have a dictum: When in doubt, doubt," she told the LA paper. "Questioning is a good thing. How are you going to find out if you are lockstep with whatever conclusion you come to first?"
Levine ignored that advice, repeating the absurdity on Saturday at Texas Christian University. "The positive value of gender-affirming care is not in serious scientific or medical dispute." The president of the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), Quentin Van Meter, told FRC President Tony Perkins he "would beg to differ." On "Washington Watch" Monday, he explained that ACP has "spent a great deal of time and effort... in large numbers against the mandate to affirm -- socially, medically, and surgically -- children with gender dysphoria. Because of the known demonstrated harms of this particular set of treatments, even something as simple as social affirmation has been clearly shown to have detriment to the child."
Van Meter debunked a number of politically-motivated studies taken from "convenient samples" of "activist groups." Actual clinical science from Sweden, "which is the only the only place that's published true population studies... have found that there is absolutely no long-term benefit for medical and surgical and social affirmation. So there is the science."
His organization, which represents 66,000 doctors, has openly criticized these treatments as "child abuse" and points to other groups like the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine (SEGM), whose apolitical conclusions are similar to the ACP's. "They have condemned [this transgender] affirmation in minors with very good background and literature that supports their theory. So this concept that there's no opinion against this in the medical community or among pediatricians is absolutely an untruth."
Look, Van Meter said, when there's an explosion of transgenderism -- 250 to 500 times greater than the past norm -- it proves there's no genetic basis for this.
"For every one of these children, there's no question [that] there is suffering going on... But it is extremely important to [encourage whatever pastors, parents, and counselors] are working with them to tell them, 'Hang in there. You are deeply upset about something in your life.' And [we need to] work on those deep issues that are beneath the surface instead of putting the band-aid of transgender affirmation over the top of a volcano, and then watching it erupt later on. So the real compassionate treatment is to... not make it something that clearly has no biologic basis whatsoever, is a mental health issue completely and utterly, despite the fact that people don't like to say that -- that's where the truth is."
As Perkins pointed out, the spiritual nature of this debate makes it especially complicated. "Satan seeks whom he can destroy. And so, parents, don't second-guess yourself. Lovingly guide your children to the truth." Don't give into the Leftist bullying, where the false choice for parents is that they can either have a transgender child or a dead one.
You don't have to be a conservative, FRC's Meg Kilgannon argues, to see how adults who advocate these kind of ideological positions are dangerous. That's why it's important for parents to respond and engage as they are all across the country. "Even if you're a homeschooling family or your kids are out of the house, what happens in your public school matters for the entire community. And you need Christians to be involved."
Perkins put a fine point on that, harkening back to when the Bible and prayer were removed from public schools because the kids were too "impressionable." "Now we're putting in the Bible's place this indoctrination that tells children they can create their own reality by defining their own gender. I thought they were impressionable? They are. And that's why the Left has seized upon this. And this is why, parents, you have to take responsibility over the education of your children."