There is an evil here which needs to be addressed. O, some will hurl ‘transphobe’, others ‘bigot’, and still others ‘homophobe’ or ‘hater’, but it still needs to be addressed, otherwise we insulate a cause of harm from critical interrogation; we cease to be able to assess the sociology and psychology or weigh the scientific data. And we are talking about children, for whom Jesus has a special place, so the matter must be addressed without fear of reprisal.
A seven-year-old boy felt he was living in the wrong body. Or should that be a seven-year-old girl felt she was living in the wrong body? Apologies for misgendering: please forgive the micro-aggression. Gender dysphoria – the conflict between a person’s biological sex (“assigned gender”) and the sex/gender with which they identify – can be profoundly distressing. ‘Intersex’ is not restricted to organs. This is acknowledged. God made them male and female, but that biological binary is as subject to the murky and muddled consequences of the fall as the rest of creation: hormones and psyches may be as ‘disabled’ as limbs and minds.
This seven-year-old boy was confused, lonely…
What are we doing giving puberty blockers to an 11-year-old child? They don’t merely delay the onset of puberty; they cause permanent developmental damage. By all means let gender-dysphoric adults take such a seismic life-changing decision: their bodily autonomy is unquestionable; they are their own special creation. But a child goes through all manner of hormonal, emotional and psychological traumas, and it can be very difficult to discern between sexual experimentation and sexual orientation: if a boy want to dress as a girl for a while, are they trans or just play acting?
Puberty blockers have irreversible effects: they not only inhibit the rise of sex hormones; they prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics. If you remove testosterone or oestrogen, the body stops changing. This 18-year-old now feels he is an inferior male: his psychological self will never apprehend his full manhood and masculinity. To ‘detrans’ fully is actually impossible because the trans process has permanently affected bodily morphology, psychology and biology. They will, of course, affect different children in different ways: not all will have stunted growth; not all will feel less worried about growing up in the wrong body.
The assumption seems to be that all children who undergo puberty suppression go on to full transition: cross-sex hormone treatment and surgical ‘correction’ to permit them to live fully as the man or woman they always felt they were. But clearly ‘detrans’ is also a thing: 18-year-olds can change their minds, for they have put away their seven-year-old selves and now know and understand more fully.
And yet the gender transitioning of children is available on the NHS. If a child cannot consent to sex, how can they consent to sexual-hormonal intervention? If they are not old enough to drink or smoke, what is the ethical framework which permits them to ingest puberty blockers with permanent consequences? Where is the qualitative data to allow investigation and reflection on the potential harms? What are the implications for mental health? Do puberty blockers increase suicidality? Is it ‘transphobic’ even to enquire?
And why does the Church of England sanction this by collaborating with ‘Mermaids’? Shouldn’t the little children be left to play in the kingdom of heaven?