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Tony Perkins / June 11, 2020

Stuck Between Two Sexes: The Trans Teen Revolution

Keira Bell can never get her childhood back. And her body, a scarred and mangled reminder, tells her every day. “I am living in a world where I don’t fit in as male or as female. I am stuck between two sexes.” Now 23, she’s dedicated her life to stop teenagers from making the same mistake. And suing the clinic responsible is step number one.

Keira Bell can never get her childhood back. And her body, a scarred and mangled reminder, tells her every day. “I am living in a world where I don’t fit in as male or as female. I am stuck between two sexes.” Now 23, she’s dedicated her life to stop teenagers from making the same mistake. And suing the clinic responsible is step number one.

Keira was just a child when she walked into England’s Tavistock clinic and declared she wanted to be a boy. The staff didn’t blink. Despite just starting her periods and having no other real psychological evaluation or therapy, Tavistock prescribed her the puberty blockers that ultimately ruined her life. “I should have been challenged on the claims that I was making for myself," Keira told the judges. "And I think that would have made a big difference as well. If I was just challenged on the things I was saying.” If an adult had taken her aside, talked to her about her feelings, maybe none of this would have happened.

As soon as she started taking the drugs, Keira said “it was like turning off a tap.” Her development as a young woman just stopped. And nobody warned her. “I had symptoms similar to the menopause when a woman’s hormones drop. I had hot flushes, I found it difficult to sleep, my sex drive disappeared. I was given calcium tablets because my bones weakened. My female hormones had been flushing through my body and, suddenly, a curtain came down on them.” It felt awful she says.

Three years later, after having her breasts removed free of charge (courtesy of the government), she was filled with crushing regret. She stumbled on charities and advocates that help young people reverse the damage. Now that she’s gone public, trying to hold Tavistock accountable, Keira says she’s been contacted by “hundreds of young adults” who wish they’d never walked down this path. “The treatment has not solved their problems.”

Here in the U.S., the battle over puberty blockers and transgender advocacy is just as intense. Eight states are trying to impose age limits on the drugs — which would have spared teens like Keira years of horrible agony. But the reason lawmakers have had to step in, the Wall Street Journal’s Abigail Shrier says, is because “scientists aren’t engaging in honesty.” In a powerful conversation with FRC’s Sarah Perry, she told the listeners of “Washington Watch,” “Look, I’m a journalist. I’m not an activist. My job is not to stop people from using puberty blockers on their children. My job is to tell the truth — and on this issue, not enough people are telling the truth. And the truth is… we have no idea what the long-term effects of these drugs will be.”

In the Left’s rush to medicalize kids and trap them into this lifestyle, there’s been an explosion of these prescriptions without any thought to the permanent consequences. “We’re going to see a lot of lawsuits,” Abigail predicted. “And the reason is — the doctors are being activists rather than being doctors. I’ve interviewed a lot of doctors on this topic, and they’ll tell you that when they go to conferences, [whenever there’s] a new heart medicine or any other kind of medicine, there’s an open discussion of risks and benefits — because all medications have risks and benefits. But when it comes to transgender medicine… one researcher I interviewed said it was like an infomercial for trans. In other words, no discussion of risks were ever assessed.”

That’s a terrifying thought, she says when you consider how profoundly these puberty blockers affect the human body. “They shut down the part of the pituitary that stimulates puberty, so that eight-, nine-, and 10-year-olds will not go through the normal puberty. The sexual organs will remain the size… and the capacity of a small child. They will not have the potential for orgasm, and they may … be permanently infertile.” Not to mention, Abigail goes on, that these hormones flood the brain. “So what’s we’re doing is an experiment that we don’t know the long term effects of. And patients aren’t being advised of that.”

And what if there are underlying mental health issues that no one knows about? When you attack the brain with these cross-sex hormones for a child struggling with conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, even high-functioning autism, which is sometimes the case for these girls, “one can only wonder,” Sarah pointed out, “what that kind of medical intervention does.” And yet no one in the medical community seems to have the nerve to call everyone together and demand scientific research on this — something that would be routine on any other treatment.

Even more worrisome, Abigail says, America has gone from two gender clinics in the last decade to well over 50. But that doesn’t include groups like Planned Parenthood, who, believe it or not, are now one of the biggest dispensers of cross-sex hormones in the country. So along with killing unborn children, they’re also embracing a separate track to make generations completely infertile. All the while keeping parents — as they usually do — in the dark.

Yet, thanks to Obamacare, these pricey drugs and gender transitions are, in some cases, completely free for young people. Or, at the very least, of minimal cost. “So, all of the sudden, these were readily available. You could get these fancy surgeries, and it costs you almost nothing. So, unsurprisingly, you’re seeing a lot greater demand for it.”

But that demand must be met by a different demand from parents, citizens, and doctors: for safety, accountability, and caution. It’s time to stop the radical Left from experimenting on our children before, as Keria found out, it’s too late.

For more, check out FRC’s in-depth paper, “Understanding and Responding to the Transgender Movement.”

Originally published here.

Like a Tweet, Lose a Lease

Most people don’t scroll through their Twitter feed thinking a few simple clicks will change their life. But for Birmingham Pastor Chris Hodges, who’s been a friend of mine for years, a handful of “likes” were all it took to make the biggest church in Alabama homeless.

You can lose your lease a lot of ways — if you fall behind on payments, abuse the property, or follow conservative media. Like most people Chris Hodges probably didn’t think a quick tap of support for posts on Donald Trump or China’s role in the coronavirus would amount to much of anything. Turns out, he was wrong. A local English teacher decided to catalogue Hodges’s “likes” and share them with the press. Little did anyone know, it would be the beginning of the end of the church’s services at two local high schools.

“I do not attend Church of the Highlands,” teacher Jasmine Clisby said openly. And, she insisted, “I can’t see into Pastor Chris Hodges’s heart.” But his support for what she considered “culturally insensitive” views is “troubling.” “I would be upset if it comes off as me judging him,” she said without a hint of irony. “I’m not saying he’s a racist.” But thanks to her smear campaign, the Birmingham Board of Education is.

On Tuesday night, members voted to abruptly terminate the church’s lease — ending a six-year relationship that brought the city almost a million dollars in revenue. Thanks to this ridiculous complaint, Parker and Woodlawn High Schools will no longer be home to a diverse congregation of 60,000. But unfortunately for the needy people of Alabama, that’s just the beginning. Because of this manufactured controversy, the church’s Christ Health Clinic will also be banned from operating, according to the Birmingham Housing Authority, who also decided Monday to ban volunteer workers.

“Commissioners agreed," their statement said, "that Pastor Hodges’s views do not reflect those of [the Housing authority] and its residents… HABD and Campus of Hope staff will continue to work with other faith-based organizations in the community to identify resources that will replace the services that were provided.” Starting immediately, the church is banned from the city’s public housing communities. That means no more free COVID testing, no more free mentoring, health, or social service ministry — all because Pastor Chris dared to do what millions of Americans do every day: engage on social media.

Even more incredibly, both councils went ahead with these mob tactics despite the pastor’s sincere apologies — which, in most people’s opinion, weren’t even necessary! (If supporting Donald Trump is now grounds for eviction, then America is about to have a lot of empty properties on its hands.) And yet, Pastor Hodges did the humble and gracious thing, telling his congregation — and the community — that he was sorry for any hurt he’d caused. He called it a mistake. He said he owned it. He pledged to never mindlessly scroll again and explained how he was trying to use his influence to heal the hurts of these difficult times.

None of that mattered to the mob, who not only ignored Pastor Chris’ work in their neighborhoods but the church’s standing in the minority community. At least a third of the Highlands’ congregations are black and Hispanic. If anything, Hodges was respected for fighting for the disenfranchised, for preaching about healing and reconciliation. As recently as last Sunday, he called the city to mutual understanding, peace, and prayer. But in this “cancel culture,” those 20 years of bridge-building don’t matter to liberals bent on burning down any platform but their own.

And unfortunately for Birmingham, their intolerance doesn’t just affect the Church of the Highlands. It affects thousands of hurting neighborhoods, who leaned on Church of the Highlands for help it couldn’t get anywhere else. These are the same people the Left wants us to believe they care about: the children, minorities, and poor. But in the end, we know — they’ll always care about punishing Christians more. We’ve seen it in the adoption debate, the foster care debate, even the virus outreach. Now, to no one’s surprise, they’re willing to let Birmingham families suffer over a handful of “likes.”

Imagine if we held everyone by that standard. If we combed through these public servants’ accounts, what would we find? Political objectivity or the raging hatred and bitterness that’s led to these baseless attacks? “I would love for you,” Pastor Hodges urged, “to not just look at a microscopic zoom-in but look at the totality of 37 years of ministry and 19 years as a church. If you look at that, it will be abundantly clear that we value every person.” Unfortunately for Birmingham and so many others, the Left cannot say the same.

Originally published here.

America in a Post-Police World…

What does defunding the police have to do with communism? Find out in this astonishing interview with former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova. “People are going to have to stand up. They’re going to have to say they won’t tolerate this.” And soon.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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