Transgenderism and the Emperor’s New Clothes
The current transgender movement reminds me of a children’s story you might be familiar with: “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” It’s a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two fraudulent “weavers” who promise a vain Emperor a special new suit of clothes to be worn in a parade. They say the clothes will be invisible to those who are stupid, incompetent, or unfit for their positions. In reality, the weavers make no clothes at all, but instead make everyone believe the clothes are simply invisible to them.
The emperor leads the parade before his subjects in his new “clothes,” which are no clothes at all. No one dares to say they don’t see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as stupid or incompetent. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
Just because someone says or feels that something is true doesn’t mean it is true. Child-like common sense often saves the day.
People who struggle with gender dysphoria often sincerely feel that they were born in the wrong body and need to “transition” to living as the opposite sex, even though we know from science that their X and Y chromosomes are fixed. We should always have compassion for these folks and help them get appropriate treatment.
Some people, however, want to profit from their confusion. Like the weavers in the story, they affirm a lie and call it treatment.
Rhode Island’s Hasbro Children’s Hospital does this. They are dedicated to helping children with gender transitioning with or without parental approval. Their website says…“We give all youth the opportunity to speak to their clinician alone during their visit. Our clinic welcomes parent involvement, but we also try to encourage our patients to speak for themselves… .”
AFA Journal carried a great article about this. It was written by Dr. Michelle Cretella, a licensed pediatrician, wife, mom and Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians and is well worth the read: “Truth Vs. Transgender Insanity.”
There really is absolute truth and it would seem that, like the child in the story, others are beginning to speak out. In 2018, two boys in a Connecticut High School claimed they were girls and ran in the state track meet for girls and took first and second honors. This was unfair to the girls. Boys have certain physiological advantages over girls, such as higher bone density and greater cardiovascular capacity, that make it difficult or impossible for girls to compete. Three Connecticut H.S. track stars, who unjustly lost to the biological boys, have filed a lawsuit against the authorities which allowed this to happen. Christiana Holcomb of Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the CT girls.
More recently, Idaho passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Rep. Barbara Ehardt, herself a former athlete, introduced this bill which keeps biological boys from playing in girls’ sports. Dr. Cretella had a part in the drafting and Blaine Conzatti of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho generated a lot of support to help get it passed. Last week, the ACLU sued the state of Idaho over this bill. You can help this commonsense law stay in place by asking Idaho’s Attorney General to defend the law in court.
As Christians we are called to share the truth in love. While the “weavers” of the world try to profit off the confusion and hurt of those struggling with gender dysphoria, we have an opportunity to be like the child who spoke the truth, and to encourage meaningful help for those who need it.
Featured image: Original illustration by Vilhelm Pedersen from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes (1837).