Letter to the School Board
This is an edited version of a lengthier email sent to one anonymous reader's district officials and school board. Details specific to the district have been edited. The topic pertains to proposed changes which would grant students access to private facilities and sports based on “gender identity,” keep at-school gender transitions secret from parents, compel teachers to use “preferred pronouns” or risk being fired, and allow trans-identified students and chaperones accommodation on overnight field trips based on gender identity, not sex.
Please enter this email into the record so that it may be subject to discovery in the event of inevitable litigation. Make no mistake, this distict policy will precipitate costly lawsuits, accelerate disenrollment and contribute to significant stress and division beetween students, parents and families. It will make this district—like other districts contending with similar policies and a growing avalanche of suits—unmanageable. When that time comes—every member of this school board and every district official who voted to endorse the policy despite obvious legal land mines will be at risk of being civilly sued.
If nothing else—please let that sink in.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I haven’t even touched on the flagrant unconstitutionality of requiring teachers to use “preferred pronouns” in violation of conscience and religious belief which has already seen a school district forced to settle and a university lose in federal court with another district forced to defend what will almost certainly be another losing position, and yet another case on appeal in the 7th Circuit. Worse, your proposed policy changes include teaching the concept of “Two-Spirit” as a “sexual identity” when in fact it originates as a religious concept among certain tribes of indigenous Native Americans—a flagrant violation of section 51933 (i) of the California Education Code which specifically says “Instruction and materials may not teach or promote religious doctrine.”
You should not take lightly the possibility of scenarios like the following:
When a young woman suffers debilitating premature osteoporosis and/or autoimmune disorders from the use of synthetic hormones and puberty blockers—because you disallowed her parents from knowing about it and possibly helping her get the mental health treatment that would have forestalled it—this district will be sued.
When a "gender non-conforming" young woman is pushed into social transition for being insufficiently feminine, then undergoes a double-mastectomy—only to realize the mistake years later when she has de-transitioned and can no longer breastfeed a child—this district will be sued.
When a young girl is raped or molested by a trans-identified autogynephile who has exploited district policy to be selected as a female chaperone for an overnight field trip—the parents will sue this district.
When a female-identifying boy is permitted to bunk with biological girls on an overnight field trip, and sexually assaults one of the girls—the parents will sue this district.
Let me underline that none of these scenarios are hypotheticals—every single one describes a real incident presently being litigated somewhere in the country. To imagine that this district will be able to preserve the current policy and dodge these scenarios is fantasy. Both here and abroad, the avalanche of litigation is only just beginning.
Let me respectfully request, at a minimum, that you spend a few minutes familiarizing yourselves with resources to which I’m afraid your exposure has been curated in a deeply biased and one-sided fashion. Please reference the following:
Jamie Reed’s whistleblower piece from The Free Press. Reed is a self-described queer woman married to a trans-man, and a former case manager at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
A Daily Telegraph summary of findings from BBC Newsnight reporter Hannah Barnes’ new book “Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children.” Since the infamous NHS clinic was closed in July of last year, the scandal has rocked the UK. Among the findings: 97.5% of children seeking sex changes had autism, depression or other problems; 90% of girls and 80% of boys were same sex-attracted; children referred to the clinic were 10x more likely to have a sex offender for a parent than those in the general population; 42% had lost a parent through death or separation; and as few as 1 in 50 would have continued to express a “transgender identity” if they had not been given hormones and unnecessarily medicalized. According to a whistleblower, all such concerns were ignored by staff who treated the children as "collateral damage" and labeled skeptics “transphobic" to push an ideological agenda.
The recent paper from the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy which debunks the famous “Dutch Studies” on which all previous “gender affirmative” practices have relied—including those which this district has embraced since 2009.
This summary from the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) outlining Sweden’s decision to abandon the “gender affirmative” Dutch model — a decision which has also been adopted by France and Finland, with the UK, Switzerland and others soon likely to follow.
The story of Dr. Robert Wintemute, one of the original 29 signatories to the 2007 Yogyakarta Principles—widely regarded as the first major manifesto calling for the recognition of “transgender rights”—and how he came to renounce his prior positions after seeing their impact on women and children.
This press release outlining a recent study from the American College of Cardiology which found the use of cross-sex hormones dramatically increases risk of cardiac events like stroke, embolism and heart attack.
Jesse Singal’s detailed analysis and rebuttal to claims of “suicidality” as justification for so-called “gender-affirming care.”
This Swedish longitudinal study of suicidal ideation among those who have undergone sex reassignment surgery — the first and only study of its kind — which rebuts and disproves the longstanding claims of groups like The Trevor Project by showing that between 10 and 15 years after surgical reassignment, suicidal ideation among post-operative transsexuals increases by 20%.
This post from an immigrant single mother on the PITT (Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans) Substack describing the devastating harm inflicted on her family by precisely the kinds of policies this district has adopted—and how she restored her family and her daughter’s mental health by pulling away from it.
This recent episode of the “Take Back Our Schools” podcast, which summarizes the story of activist mom Erin Friday and how she also saved her daughter from the very policies this district is pursuing.
This thoughtful and revealing post by desister and detransitioner Steven A. Richards outlining one of the most widespread causes of trans-identification and why it puts the lie to the notion of an “authentic self.”
A detailed presentation from two lesbian activists with the UK’s LGB Alliance documenting the history of the current “trans movement” and how it emerged not as a part of the gay rights movement, but from a dysfunctional community of internet-addicted, socially-alienated youth suffering from a variety of mental health challenges and personality disorders.
The new documentary “Affirmation Generation,” as well as its associated resources and detransitioner testimonies. At a minimum, please read the filmmaker’s statement, which outlines her motives and why this issue must be disconnected from partisan politics.
Everything cited above can be documented, traced and verified, and is backed by evidence-based medicine, data and science. No unsubstantiated opinions, no appeals to emotion, no political or partisan rhetoric. It should give you pause, for the data and the science on this subject has advanced substantially since districts first began adopting policies like this—and all of it weighs against this policy.
If you are still with me at this stage and willing to read further, allow me to explain my motives, challenge you to a critical thinking exercise and, finally, offer you a better path for all families and students.
I do not revel in fighting district officials. I am not animated by any partisan agenda. I have no interest in padding a resume for public office. I care about the rights and health of women and children, especially the autistic, gay and lesbian youths who are bearing the greatest brunt of current policies. But most significantly, I care about the truth and this policy offends the truth.
I, like many and perhaps even most parents in this district, do not share the basic premises of this policy. That’s not just a disagreement on policy minutiae—it’s a disagreement about reality. It is my position that “gender" does not exist, that "gender identity" does not exist, that there is no such thing as a “transgender” person, and that terms like “authentic self” are deliberately meaningless neologisms designed to circumvent debate by substituting subjective self-identification for objective facts. My view is that we are defined by the only characteristic which is objectively meaningful or verifiable: our sex. I subscribe to the view of neuroscientists like Gina Rippon who have conclusively demonstrated that the human brain has no gendered component whatsoever, and that our only gendered experience with the world is through our physical sex. Sex is definitive.
I have no burden to convince any of you that sex is real. It is a demonstrable scientific fact. The burden is on you to convince me of the reality of such concepts as “gender identity.” If you cannot prove the reality of these concepts, then you cannot legally enforce adherence to them. They become little more than secular religious beliefs. As an example of what happens when attempts are made to enforce subjective beliefs on a population, reference the recent demise of Nicola Sturgeon, the former First Minister of Scotland, whose eight-year tenure as one of the most successful and longest-serving politicians in Europe came crashing down just weeks ago after she bet her career on the failed policy of “gender self-identification.”
If it could bring down Nicola Sturgeon—it can bring down this district and everyone in it.
As a parent who is invested in public education as our single greatest tool for social unification, for elevating every child’s chance for personal success and happiness, for teaching the critical thinking skills necessary to recognize and discern truth—I do not want to see the demise of our schools. I want our schools to thrive as incubators of truth so that our children can thrive as seekers of truth. By sacrificing truth on an altar of ideology and deferring to political ideologues—you are putting the schools and, by extension, our children at risk.
By attempting to quickly sneak this through in a non-transparent fashion, you’ve made matters worse—damaging trust, inflaming opposition, exacerbating conflict and putting the very students whom you hope to protect at risk of being thrust into the public eye where they will become lightning rods for controversy.
A CRITICAL THINKING EXERCISE:
Indulge me for a moment and ask yourselves this simple question:
What if I’m wrong?
What if you’re wrong? What if those of my ilk are right? What if there is no “gender identity” and, by extension, no such thing as a “transgender” youth? What if there is no such thing as an “authentic self”? What if we are simply what we all outwardly appear to be—men and women, with varying degrees of characteristics traditionally understood as more or less masculine and feminine? How then to explain the growing incidence of youths expressing cross-sex identification?
The answer is found in the resources I cited at top. In the absence of unprovable explanations like “gender identity,” you are left only with evidence-based explanations which would break down into a variety of classes:
Social contagion; internalized misogyny; internalized homophobia; autism spectrum disorders; PTSD; sexual abuse; personality disorders; trauma; ROGD; autogynephilia, autoandrophilia and some small percentage of actual, diagnosable gender dysphoria—which, according to the DSM (imperfect as it is) is not an “identity” but a psychiatric mental disorder belonging to a subset of broader dysphorias like anorexia and BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder).
If you are wrong - and I am right—then you are affirming and depathologizing actual pathologies and mental illnesses—and at least two fetishistic paraphilias (autogynephilia and autoandrophilia)—which risks putting these youths on a path to irreversible transition and lifelong medicalization, including sterilization, the surgical removal of healthy organs and lifelong dependency on artificial hormones, the devastating long-term consequences of which are only beginning to come to light.
If you are wrong - and I am right - then this policy will not make these students’ lives better. It will ruin them. Spend any amount of time on the detransition subreddit and you will weep for what has been wrought on innocent children and unsuspecting adults in the name of ideology. These are the testimonies of people who were robbed of their health, hopes and dreams in the name of an ideology which furnished the false promise of an “authentic self.”
You’ve indicated that much of this policy relies on what teenagers had told you about themselves. Do any of you have teenagers? Do you remember being a teenager? Is there any more emotionally unstable or unreliable cohort in the world than a teenager? The human brain doesn’t fully develop until 26. Emotional maturity through life experience is typically achieved much later. I will not argue that the feelings of teenagers don’t matter—they do. But they are not determinative. A key part of being an adult, of being a parent, is being there to guide teenagers through their emotional ups and downs—not to be guided by them.
Some have noted a growing number of students “identifying” as “non-binary” without an actual breakdown by sex. I can tell you right now that I don’t need one. I’ll wager that at least 80% and likely as many as 100% of those students are female. How do I know that? Because the vast majority of those doing so worldwide are women, sometimes by a factor as high as seven, a phenomenon associated with the rise in young girls identifying as transgender and experiencing ROGD (rapid-onset gender dysphoria). If you have not read Abigail Shrier’s extensively sourced book on the subject, “Irreversible Damage,” I advise you to do so. Could the concurrent mental health crisis impacting young girls also play a part? Or the disproportionate number of young women identifying out of girlhood and womanhood in just the past few years? Or the fact that social media adversely impacts girls more than boys, largely because of issues related to body image? To pretend that the confluence of all of these things at a profoundly stressful and misogynistic moment in time is merely coincidental requires a superhuman level of deniability. For daring to point out the obvious—that this is all deeply rooted in misogyny—the author of this piece was fired. Imagine that.
As to the male side of non-binary identification, it’s worth reading the testimony of the man who claims to have started the trend—which he now says was all a sham.
If I’m right - and if you’re wrong—then maybe the dramatic increase in young girls identifying out of womanhood is because we’re teaching them to hate themselves, because we’re allowing male fetishists (autogynephiles) to appropriate their personhood, rob them of their athletic achievements and invade their private spaces in what they see as exploitation and mockery. People can declare that “trans women are women” all they want, but based on an analysis of UK statistics, the majority of natal females incarcerated at women’s prisons are disproportionately victims of sexual violence whereas a disproportionate majority of trans-identifying males are perpetrators of sexual violence. So prevalent is this trend throughout the world, we would do well to ask whether the compulsion to rape and kill women and children is also a component of their “authentic selves."
All of which begs the question: who would want to be a woman in the midst of a global assault like this?
Here’s how journalist Genevieve Gluck sees it:
No man is entitled to women’s bodies or personhood. The belief that suffering constitutes an earned ‘right’ to women’s bodies and identity—via surgery or hormones—is underpinned by entitlement, and is a view that sustains all facets of the sex industry, including the prostitution and pornography industries, but also the surrogacy and the transsexual / transgender industries.
When women’s personhood is considered a purchasable commodity, we lose everything. We lose our right to self-determination and autonomy, but worse still, we become reconceptualized as less than human, as resources to be exploited.
If I’m right—and you’re wrong—then a policy to keep transitions secret from parents becomes a threat—not just to parental rights but to the health of the children in question. If I’m right—and you’re wrong—then you should first be considering the prevalence of depression, anxiety, autism, eating disorders and other comorbidities as instigating factors and not immediately jumping to an increasingly discredited ideological “affirmation” model with no grounding whatsoever in science or medicine.
In the face of a growing body of evidence that pediatric cross-sex identification actually masks deeper, more severe conditions and mental health concerns—in the face of a swelling population of desisters and detransitioners - in the face of an unprecedented mental health crisis among young women—how confident are you that you’re not wrong?
If you have even a shred of doubt - and you should—then it is no longer even a question that educators have no further role to play in these matters. District officials don’t have to deal with the long-term consequences of such decisions. Families do. These are family matters and family decisions and your policy should be one of ideological neutrality and unerring deferral to parental rights.
Under normal conditions, the prospect of interfering with the parent-child relationship by keeping such sensitive information from parents, as you are proposing, would be unconscionable. Under current conditions, it’s immoral.
A BETTER PATH:
We can all agree that no student experiencing gender dysphoria or expressing a cross-sex identity should be treated with anything but compassion and respect. Unfortunately, policies like this favor certain groups with more compassion and respect than others, deferring to an ideological orthodoxy many find not just alien, but hostile. A truly inclusive policy would be welcoming to all, hostile toward none.
At a minimum, we should be able to at least agree to declare the schools neutral territory from political battles and culture wars. Even with a topic this divisive, there must be found a middle road where everyone can “agree to disagree."
Any path to compromise must begin with a key concession on your part:
Compassion does not require affirmation.
Everyone appears to agree there should be no tolerance for bullying and a full effort to furnish all students the best possible environment in which to learn and thrive. Disagreements emerge only where policies are deemed to infringe on the rights and expectations of others, and which compel affirmation of non-evidentiary beliefs with which they disagree.
This should not be a stumbling block. If we can treat all students compassionately, respect the sanctity of belief and conscience, and ensure privacy where expected and fairness where warranted, while protecting opportunities for all to excel and reach for their hopes and dreams, than we can craft a policy acceptable to everyone. This already works where religious belief is concerned—we do not, for instance, need to affirm Judaism to fight antisemitism. The same principle should apply where secular beliefs like “gender identity” are concerned. Unless it is your contention that belief in “gender identity" is a more substantial matter than religious belief—a preposterous position by any metric—this should be an incontestable compromise. To accept the need for compromise, however, you need to first appreciate there are multiple sides to this issue. Exercising compassion does not risk treading on the rights and expectations of others. Affirmation does. Allow me to illustrate a few examples.
According to firsthand accounts, numerous district children presently take poor grades in PE because they refuse to dress out of fear that members of the opposite sex will intrude on them in the locker room. For observant Muslims, orthodox Jews and conservative Christians this constitutes more than a reasonable expectation of privacy—modesty with respect to the opposite sex is a key tenet of their faiths. Disfavoring communities of faith in the interest of advancing perceived social justice for others furnishes justice and safety to no one. It simply enables teenage mischief which, if left unchecked, escalates to teenage criminality.
As for women’s sports and locker rooms we need to first address the false equivalency between race and sex which is a dishonest dodge at best. Neither sex nor race are “identity” issues. Both are genetic. But whereas race concerns cosmetic physical characteristics specific to our species (pigmentation, hair color and texture, skeletal proportions, musculature etc.) sex is concerned with reproduction and is immutably binary not just for our species but for the entire animal kingdom. This has been true for hundreds of millions of years, without exception. There is no third gamete—not among humans, birds, insects or dinosaurs. Further, the “inclusion” argument is not whether we should separate male and female but on what basis—biological sex or “gender identity.” To pretend that segregating based on “identity” rather than biology in an activity which only exists in segregated form because of immutable, binary differences between the sexes is the very definition of dishonest and unfair. This is further underlined by the fact that politicians continue to try and contort the letter and the intent of Title IX—which was written specifically to address sex—to incorporate “gender identity” because they know precisely how difficult it would be to ask Congress to revisit and rewrite the law. But make no mistake—Title IX addresses sex, and only sex. Any infringement on the athletic opportunities of biological women is a de facto violation of Title IX.
To put a finer point on it, it has always been deemed lawful and acceptable to discriminate where the class in question is justifiably benefitted and excluded classes are not unjustifiably harmed. This is why heavyweight boxers are not permitted to fight flyweights and why college students do not enjoy senior discounts. Women’s sex-based rights in athletics and elsewhere, along with associated expectations of privacy, have been upheld by Congress and the courts because women represent a historically marginalized, discrete biological class. Women’s athletics is a physiological competition the existence of which is defined by the unique characteristics of this class. It is justifiable and reasonable to exclude males, no matter their self-identification. You can find more on the topic from swimmer Riley Gaines and at She Won.
Finally, on the matter of overnight field trips, your policy argues that students should be assigned accommodations “in a manner consistent with their gender identity.” But what about those asked to share those accommodations? Who don’t believe in gender identity? Have you given no thought to how objectionable and violative this policy is, especially to people of faith or those who entrust the district with safeguarding the innocence and modesty of children? Furnishing suitable accommodations to students and chaperones with cross-sex identities is compassionate—until you attempt to enforce affirmation by compelling others to share those accommodations.
Once again, this is a distinction which has allowed the United States and most of the civilized western world to achieve unparalleled religious pluralism after many centuries of bloody sectarian warfare. If it’s good enough to make peace between people of contrary religious beliefs, it’s good enough to make peace between people who differ on their beliefs regarding sex and gender.
The trickier component is how to implement such a compromise. Parents on opposing sides of this issue need an open forum in which to dialogue, hash out their disagreements, reach common ground and then bring their recommendation to the board. In the absence of any such dialogue, this policy will be rendered ineffectual.
And before you argue that your hands are tied by state law, it should be noted that state laws and educational code guidance in this area are notoriously vague, contradictory and, on the whole, legally unenforceable. As previously noted, theoretical, non-evidentiary concepts like “gender” and “gender identity” have no legal standing. You cannot prosecute or discipline someone for refusing to accept a belief for which there is no evidence. Districts also have tremendous latitude to disregard any guidance which is deemed unenforceable at the district level. You can and should exercise that discretion here, as have countless other districts.
Please return to the drawing board and revisit this subject in a transparent, community-inclusive process.
SEGM — the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine
PITT - Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans
Reduxx Feminist News
Reality’s Last Stand - Colin Wright
Bayswater Support Group
GETA - Gender Exploratory Therapy Association
Gender: A Wider Lens podcast
gender:hacked by Eliza Mondegreen