Imagining way too many possibilities

Sarah Phillimore on grooming in the schools:

On 16 December 2021 I saw a very distressing video of a mother, Jessica Konen, speaking at a school board meeting in Salinas, California, objecting to the school going behind her back to counsel her suicidal 12-year-old daughter about her claimed “transgender status”. The anger, pain and misery in her voice was evident.

Local press reported that two teachers at the Buena Vista Middle School in Salinas were recorded coaching other teachers how to conceal the nature of LGTBQ clubs from parents.

The teachers led a workshop about how to run a “Gay-Straight Alliance” club in “conservative communities” at a California Teachers Association conference held in October, called “Beyond the Binary: Identity & Imagining Possibilities”. The teachers described the obstacles they faced as “activist teachers” to conceal the activities of GSA clubs from parents. These teachers were later suspended pending an independent third-party investigation.

There’s helping kids who are lesbian or gay, and then there’s coaching kids to think they’re “trans gender.”

I suppose there’s potential for overlap in both, because schools might want to make sure kids know it’s fine to be lesbian or gay and they don’t need to feel shy or awkward or scared about coming out – so that could veer into persuading kids they’re lesbian or gay. The same could apply to kids who think they have an interesting gender identity, but that’s complicated by the fact that it’s not at all clear that it’s fine to be trans. There are several reasons for that, but maybe the most relevant one for young teenagers is the drastic reduction in the dating pool.

No one could reasonably object to a school making efforts to ensure that its pupils — regardless of their sexuality or claimed gender identity — are able to learn in an atmosphere free from abuse or intimidation. This incident in Salinas reveals serious concerns that such clubs may go much further than merely supporting children, but cross a line into “affirming” young children with transgender identities and deliberately concealing this information from their parents.

And affirming transgender identities is more drastic than affirming being lesbian or gay. It’s more drastic, more magic-based, more eccentric, more linked with narcissism. The existence of lesbians and gays enriches the human story, in my view, while the claim to be the other sex very much does not.

Given that this path of affirmation appears to lead inexorably to medical and possibly surgical “transition”, and given what we know of the sparse evidence base for the efficacy of such treatments, most parents would be extremely concerned to think these matters were being discussed in secret by medically unqualified teachers with their 12-year-old children.

That, but also – what does it even mean? Does anyone know? Do these teachers know? Lots of people have a lot to say about it as if they do know, but what they say is less than convincing. The trans ideology comes across as more like an obsession with UFOs or Satanic Panic than like a dot on the map of human sexual variety. It’s creepy if schools are coaxing children to join a cultish new Gender Circus based on the kind of nonsense talked by trans activists.

Activists need to be aware of the distinction between a sexuality and a “gender identity”. The first does not require either medication or surgery to maintain it and a child is unlikely to “grow out” of feelings of sexual attraction. By contrast, the majority of children with “gender identity” issues left to undergo a normal puberty desist from any further desire to “change sex”.

In other words people are mistaking the shock of puberty for gender dysphoria, and acting accordingly – and schools are joining in the fun. It’s a recipe for absolute disaster.

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