I have had little concern for who goes to which restroom, and from what I have read most of the public had also been quite indifferent—at least, until bureaucracies began meddling. Each community and individual business should decide for itself what are reasonable limits, and each individual should vote for these rules with his or her dollar. Also, considering how small the trans population actually is, these policies can often be implemented on an individual basis.
Most communities in America do wish to make reasonable accommodations. Nevertheless, I do expect that communities in New Orleans will handle their restrooms differently from small towns in the Midwest, and that a yoga studio may have a little more open interpretation of sex than the Christian bookstore across the road. In the end, common sense, the common good, subsidiarity, and individual autonomy should all be mitigating factors.
I draw the line when schools spoon-feed my children the belief that gender is open to negotiation. Kids understand their environment through a very stark contrast and are not well equipped to digest nuance. A child’s sex is undoubtedly one of the most stable foundations for her to make sense of her surrounding environment.
Bathrooms Are an Open Door for Ideology
Parents know this intimately. As a father of girls who has read my fair share of books colored in various shades of Pepto Bismol, I have relentlessly searched for books with female protagonists who wield swords rather than the usual alternative. Even when I find them, my four-year-old often thwarts my attempts to sell her on these. She loves princesses, tea parties, and the like. My oldest was the same way. They are girls, and they approach the world with that lens. This is why it is of the utmost importance that my wife and I control the conversation about dysphoria.
As pop culture continues to indoctrinate America with the agenda of its elites, more parents will push this trendy and toxic ideology. Thus there will be more children grappling with this unfortunate crisis. As it is, no one should be surprised that in the year of Caitlyn Jenner this debate would rise to the surface. Consider the correlation between baby names and pop icons. America loves its television, and many parents will be quick to adopt its latest heterodoxy.
While bathrooms seem fairly innocuous, schools cannot be forced to open them up to sex-confused children without also spoon-feeding gender theory to psychologically healthy kids. LGBT activists know this. By normalizing this disorder through restroom legislation, they are handing our children the apple from the tree of knowledge and imploring them to bite. Unfortunately, since is a movement not primarily composed of parents, the LGBT activists couldn’t care less what consequences this will have to anyone but themselves.
A Parent’s Legacy Is a Child’s Self-Command
Let’s consider the ramifications for the other 99.7 percent. As a parent, one responsibility I take very seriously is shaping my children into well-functioning adults. Many outside factors beyond their control will affect them. I also know the only tools that will always be at their disposal for navigating the exceedingly troubled waters that come with modern life are within them.
Therefore, I focus heavily on helping them learn to be problem-solvers. These teachings take on many forms, but the one common denominator is inner strength. For instance, it is not easy to patiently wait to see if intervention is required after watching my daughter fall from her bicycle and take a layer of skin from her elbow or stand up after tripping over her feet to see a ghastly rug burn on her knee. My knee-jerk reaction is to swipe her up and promise it will be okay while she cries in my arms, but this instinct would force her to rely too much on me and never learn to self-manage. Thus, realizing that I cannot stop her from falling, I must teach her the next best thing: that she can control how she reacts to such adversity, and ultimately this will define who she is.
This is the greatest legacy I will leave my daughters. Helping them understand that they are in control of their interior experience is key to their success later in life. As our fickle society continues to dive head-first before considering the consequences, I will have already helped my children learn to be observers rather than participants. Considering the outlandishness of our debates today, the worst-case scenario for their generation is far more damaging than an ugly tattoo.
The State Is Conditioning Helplessness
Still, human nature seeks the easiest solution to a problem, and this is where state-sanctioned gender ideology is most devastating to me as a parent. Its lesson, no matter how it is packaged, is we are not the master of ourselves. An idea like this is poison. It may not manifest as dysphoria in every child to whom it is introduced, but it will not come without consequence.
Given a choice between self-control and self-indulgence, it is not difficult to know what a child will pick. This is the whole reason parents take very seriously the ideas people hand their children. A single flawed belief is like radiation. It may take some time for the exposure to become evident, but when it does it is already too late. So when a child is taught that she is actually defined by an impulse, then all opportunity of shaping a strong adult who can manage her environment has already been undermined.
This is why the heavy-handed actions of the federal government demanding the nation’s schools promote an ideology that undermines healthy child development is so infuriating. It is demanding the rights of an incredible minority, whose confusion is typically resolved on its own, at the psychological peril of the vast majority. In the process of validating one child’s confusion, it is opening up a Pandora’s Box for all of the others. We are being ordered to participate in a lie that says our children are impotent to the demands of their body. Worse still, it is being filtered through the people who spend as much time with our children as we do.
To be clear, I am deeply sympathetic to the kids who struggle with this disorder, and I understand the wishes of the parents to move heaven and earth to make life a little easier. Due to my sympathy, I will continue to teach my kids that bullying is wrong and that we all have an inherent dignity no matter what one chooses to wear. I will also refuse to be held captive by the culture war, and will not change any habits regarding my daughters’ autonomy. They will continue to use the bathroom in public without fear of any boogeyman.
Still, re-inventing the gender wheel transports us from making reasonable accommodations into undermining the mental health of an entire generation of children. This will, in effect, deny our offspring the one freedom that matters most: A freedom of the mind tempered through self-control. This is the greatest gift I have to give, an understanding of self that transcends one’s body image. It is the only meaningful refuge we have from an ever-intrusive government and its cultural puppeteers, who seem hell-bent to deny us even this basic freedom.