April 10, 2021

"[T]he way in which trans ideology doesn’t only seek to protect trans kids, but to abolish the idea of biological sex altogether and to teach kids they have a choice over whether to be a boy or girl..."

"... should be kept out of the classroom. It takes the experience of less than one percent of humanity and tries to make it explain the 99 percent of their peers. It’s nuts; and it will confuse children, particularly gay kids. If I had been told by my parents or teachers that my fear of contact sports or my love of theater as a child suggested I was actually a girl inside, I don’t know how my 8-year-old self would have responded. But it is not unimaginable I would have believed them. My worry is that gay kids in particular could be swept up in this, and mistakenly make irreversible decisions they will later regret, as so many young lesbians have."

Writes Andrew Sullivan, in "A Truce Proposal In The Trans Wars/There is a compromise available. Here's one version" (Substack). 

Read the whole thing. There are other elements to the proposed "truce," and Sullivan concedes that the radicals of the right and left are unlikely to accept his compromise position.

Also very interesting is this essay Sullivan links to: "Keira Bell: My Story/As a teen, she transitioned to male but came to regret it. Here’s how it felt to enter history in the trans debate" Excerpt:

By the time I was 14, I was severely depressed and had given up: I stopped going to school; I stopped going outside. I just stayed in my room, avoiding my mother, playing video games, getting lost in my favorite music, and surfing the internet.

Something else was happening: I became attracted to girls. I had never had a positive association with the term “lesbian” or the idea that two girls could be in a relationship. This made me wonder if there was something inherently wrong with me. Around this time, out of the blue, my mother asked if I wanted to be a boy, something that hadn’t even crossed my mind. I then found some websites about females transitioning to male. Shortly after, I moved in with my father and his then-partner. She asked me the same question my mother had. I told her that I thought I was a boy and that I wanted to become one....

FROM THE EMAIL: A reader in Madison writes:

The description of schools teaching very young children (3rd grade) that when they grow up they get to choose whether they want to be a girl or boy is happening in Madison. It was taught in our daughter's classroom. She came home and told us that "when you turn 18 you get to choose girl or boy." She was clear and matter of fact about this. I thought about this for a bit and said, you know that's not really true. It's just not that simple and you will understand these things as you grow up, but for now you just need to be you. I arranged a meeting with the gender curriculum coordinator before the 4th grade started because I wanted to explain that I did not think the curriculum was age appropriate, especially for an autistic that is developmentally behind her peers. I said I wanted a copy of the teaching materials ahead of time and wanted the option of opting out. Those running this show make parents like me feel like a bigot if you disagree with their approach. Bigotry never entered the equation. But that's not how the schools see it AT ALL.... 

I think the most upsetting part for me was that the curriculum coordinator could not understand that my concerns were from the perspective of a parent of a disabled child. She just put her blinders on, convinced that she was saving Madison's children from the terrible bigoted parents in our neighborhood. And then I start thinking of the kids that do not have supports outside of the school system. The VERY system that is supposed to protect the kids who need the school for support is the system that is harming them. The other thing I will say, and you'll obviously remember this from raising children, is that they are very impressionable. Not every idea a kid dreams up is from the inside. As a society, we are not letting kids be kids. I actually spent a fair amount of time researching this. The curriculum is from the Human Rights campaign -- and there's a Q&A for schools to answer parent concerns. That document says that there is no need to get parental consent because they are not teaching human sexuality, but instead teaching about discrimination. Let that sink in.

Here's the curriculum the reader is referring to. She says: "Madison citizens are not aware of what’s being taught — parents barely are advised."