When public school counselors meet with parents to discuss cases of gender identity confusion, they often warn that a transgender child is better than a dead child. This is not just a weaponization of kindness and sympathy. It is extortion.
When Kobe was 13, for example, adults online reportedly told him to “play the suicide card” to get chemical trans interventions. He explains, “I started using, like, ‘the suicide tactics,’ because that’s what they are. That’s what they tell us all to do. … I don’t want to use the word ‘groom,’ but we are, like, taught.”
Kobe followed the instructions of his handlers, and it worked. His tragic journey resulted in castration and a heart full of regret. Like many other detransitioners, Kobe cautions against wrongly named “gender-affirming” care for children: “I was expecting it to help me, help my mental health, and it didn’t do anything. I just wasted so much time, and all I did really was become a medical patient for life.”
Kobe’s story shines a light on the pervasive problem of the so-called “transgender rights” movement. Activists are using children to weaponize the kindness of well-meaning parents and adults.
Many experts disagree with the premise of this emotional extortion. For example, 21 clinicians and researchers from nine countries published a letter in The Wall Street Journal on July 13, arguing that transgender medical interventions do not increase well-being and reduce suicide, contrary to the claim of Stephen Hammes, president of the Endocrine Society. The medical experts write:
Dr. Hammes’s claim that gender transition reduces suicides is contradicted by every systematic review, including the review published by the Endocrine Society, which states, ‘We could not draw any conclusions about death by suicide.’ There is no reliable evidence to suggest that hormonal transition is an effective suicide-prevention measure.
American public school officials would do better to look away from the lucrative medical establishment preying on children in the United States and focus instead on this international expertise.
All the “do-good” public school administrators and teachers might do better to consider that many young teens are uncomfortable in their bodies and do not adhere to gender stereotypes. After several years had passed and he underwent castration, Kobe, in hindsight, realized he was having issues with his sexuality and had insecurities about being an effeminate boy. Instead, the pro-trans advocates in our children’s public schools too often make that first leap to mislabel students’ sex on paper, mandate pronouns in the code of conduct, and sound the suicide alarm.
Extreme School Policies
If parents do not follow public school officials’ lead, then we are sometimes left out of the process entirely. In many districts, including Fairfax County, Virginia, teachers are forced to undergo training to keep children’s so-called gender identities secret from their parents.
The more extreme activists in the policy realm are skipping the pretenses of kindness and parental inclusion. Some states, including Virginia and California, have tried to pass legislation in which not “affirming” a child’s chosen gender identity would constitute “child abuse.” The blunt weapon that trans activists rely on to make these proposed changes is almost always the threat of suicide. They say, “Silence = Death in the fight to save Queer lives.” There are clear policy motives for encouraging more transgender children to “play the suicide card.”
At a school board meeting in Fairfax County on July 14, 2022, several students who identified themselves as members of the Pride Liberation Project delivered speeches eerily similar to one another in favor of the district’s proposed changes to the sex education curriculum. These changes include teaching children as young as 9 years old about transitioning, making sex education co-ed beginning in the fourth grade to make transgender students more comfortable, and changing the words “male/female” to “assigned male/female at birth.”
The student speakers at the school board meeting argued the proposed changes are needed to make them feel seen, heard, and affirmed. They also claimed the majority of trans youth are depressed and that they have — or know someone who has — contemplated suicide. While suicide and depression are not matters to be taken lightly, I found it confusing that these depressed students could resolve their suicidal tendencies if only fourth graders would learn how to “transition.”
The similarities in their speeches likely were not a coincidence. On Sept. 25-26, 2022, Aaryan Rawal, then an adult studying at Harvard, sent minors from the Pride Liberation Project several messages containing detailed talking points and media training. Rawal encouraged students to say that Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed changes to the Model Policies guiding public schools would “hurt Queer students,” “erase [their] existence,” and cause depression and potentially suicide.
In Fairfax County, extortion works on our 12 Democratic-endorsed school board members. In July 2023, after the Youngkin administration released its Model Policies, in which parental rights are emphasized and bathroom use is based on sex rather than so-called gender, Fairfax County school board members were quick to disparage it and allude to the district’s unwillingness to follow the guidance.
Well-Meaning but Misguided
Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Reid also has made it explicitly clear that her agenda is more pressing than the state’s guidance or parental feedback. With regard to community criticism of the proposed changes to the sex education curricula, in which survey data revealed that 84 percent of respondents were in opposition, Reid said, “Honestly, the majority doesn’t always dictate, right?”
Among the radical transgender activists, there are two groups — the sheep and the wolves. And Reid represents the sheep. Against all odds — given our opposing viewpoints on pretty much everything in K-12 education, aside from algebra as a baseline for eighth-grade math and the value of high school debate teams — I personally like her. I find her to be a hard-working, seemingly warm person guided by what she believes to be right and wrong. She is a likable person with pernicious ideas. For the sake of her principles, she speaks of inclusion but only hears certain voices. Her priorities seem like they are not equal opportunity, civil liberties, or female safety in bathrooms, but the well-being of targeted groups of students, sometimes at the expense of other groups.
Like Reid, the rest of the sheep are well-meaning, misguided people whose kindness has been completely weaponized. They are dangerous when they have power but are not generally nefarious.
And then there are the wolves. The wolves are the puppeteers of the movement harming innocent, confused children for their own gain. The wolves are the predators online encouraging 13-year-old kids like Kobe to “play the suicide card.” The wolves are the profiteers of the medical industry mutilating children to the tune of $5 billion. The wolves encourage children of parents who do not “affirm” their identities to run away and even offer them incentives to do so. The wolves are the ones who are sexually gratified by the idea of children in pubescent limbo, encouraging confused minors to take hormone blockers.
Our challenge in communities is to get school district leaders like Reid to stop putting in predatory policies that help the wolves and, rather, get them instead to protect youth like Kobe from the wolves.