A lawsuit filed this week by LGBT legal activists against President Trump’s ban on future military enlistments by transgender Americans states that “gender identity is innate, biologically rooted, and fixed at an early age.” This is their justification for alleging that preventing transgender people from enlisting is discriminatory, because trans people are “born that way.” Is that actually true?
No. As I’ve pointed out before, gender clinics and trans legal aid folks like make to these untrue statements, but what goes on in the real world makes liars out of them. So just like Snopes does I’ll dig up and present examples that will debunk this false claim that gender identity is fixed at an early age.
A number of gender identity theorists and trans activists believe that sexuality and gender identity is not fixed, but “fluid.” That’s become a key claim undergirding growing classroom and public materials. For example, transgender woman and well-known sex-change surgeon Marci Bowers states that gender is “clearly fluid.”
“Gender expression and a broader notion of gender identity has opened my eyes to the fact that there is really no other measure in science or nature where there are only two choices,” Bowers says. “Gender is clearly fluid and broader than male and female.”
As another well-known trans person, I also believe that gender is fluid, not fixed. I also believe that gender is malleable, because many trans people’s first sense of self is to only be able to describe a sense of “feeling different.” Upon discovering the ideology of gender identity, they then latch onto one or more trans identities.
In their confusion, at this point some of them begin to conflate gender and sex. Those that do will begin to claim that they are really a biological sex that’s completely opposite of their actual birth biology. These legal aid organizations wish to make this alternate reality into law.
Gender Is Not Fixed at Birth
It’s not just Bowers discrediting the “factual allegation” that gender identity is fixed at an early age. We can also see similar statements made to the media by transgender military service members. The infamous Chelsea Manning first identified as a gay male. Clearly someone who comes out as a gay male didn’t know he was a girl at a young age: “When she was still in elementary school, she came out as gay to a straight male friend. The friend was understanding; the other kids at school, less so. Manning tried, unsuccessfully, to retract her confession, but the teasing continued.”
Transgender, retired Army corporal Laila Villanueva described themselves as a “gay man” to Fox News. That causes Laila to fail the litmus test for Lambda’s legal action.
Sgt. Kennedy Ochoa came out as a lesbian in their late teens. Clearly Ochoa didn’t know they were a boy at an early age as described in the lawsuit, because that would make Ochoa straight and not a lesbian. The best Ochoa could come up with until then was a feeling of “being different.”
Jonah Minot, 31, a first lieutenant and behavioral health officer assigned to the Ohio Army National Guard, identified as a lesbian until earlier this year. Now Minot identifies as a transgender man. Because of this, Minot would not be able to participate in the lawsuit brought by this legal brigade because the government defendants would simply point out that Minot didn’t actually know he was a boy at an early age, as claimed in the suit.
Transgender military veteran Jaime Deer also didn’t know they were a boy at an early age, and initially came out to family as a lesbian. Next witness, please.
Trans People Think Gender Is Fluid and Developing
“It wasn’t just like one morning I woke up and said, ‘Yup, I’m going to be a male today,’” said [Nevada Guard sergeant] Hunt, who now goes by Sam. “I think it was more of a process. First people come out as being a lesbian. Then they start dressing like a man, then you start figuring out your life … You start thinking that I know I’m not supposed to feel like this and then you realize maybe there is more…then you eventually find a path that is right for you. The process is very different for everyone.”
Clearly Hunt failed the legal test Lambda wants judges to enshrine into law of knowing at an early age that he was really a male. Senior Airman Irene Nelson accepted that they were an effeminate gay man until Nelson saw a YouTube video that convinced them they were really a female. Nelson’s identity was clearly malleable and not fixed as described in the lawsuit.
Transgender Navy Reservist Rae Nelson needed to see a picture of a transgender model to help understand she was really a girl.
‘Inside I felt that there was something more going on, though I hadn’t really discovered words for it yet,’ she says. A turning point came in high school, when she saw a picture of Amiyah Scott, the transgender model and actress. ‘I remember thinking, ‘Oh, wow, a black trans woman,’ but I still didn’t think, ‘That’s me.’
Nelson also fails the test of knowing at an early age.
It saddens me as a non-binary transgender person to have to come against these legal aid organizations, but I won’t stand idly by and watch them make law and harm women based on lies. Gender identity is fluid and malleable, not fixed at an early age, as claimed in a lawsuit that seeks to set precedent for how public institutions treat the sexes and sexuality.