The Christian right just hates the idea of transgender children. Their specific target this time is a camp for transgender girls.
The camp, known as “You Are You”, is in its third year. It’s a place where trans kids and their families can gather to network with others in a similar situation. You can see for yourself just how obscene that can be as documented by photographer Lindsay Morris. Or, you know, you could choose to see kids being happy.
The camp offers itself as…
…a temporary safe haven where gender-variant boys can freely express their interpretations of femininity alongside their parents and siblings.
But there is a different view from those so-called “activists”.
There is a risk of locking children into a life course, which, if they had been left to develop naturally, they would have outgrown.
–Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council
Sprigg believes that transgender kids are just in a phase and need to be discouraged, not encouraged.
You’ll have children who are going through natural periods of confusion and experimentation with their sexuality and all of a sudden you have adults telling them, this means you’re gay, you were born gay, you will never change.
To people like Sprigg, there is no difference between transgender and gay.
In order to be hip and cool and trendy to facilitate this gender confusion and then to even prepare this baby for hormone abuse, to try to stall the onset of puberty, and to pump testosterone into this child, is nothing short of child abuse.
—Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel Action
That would be as opposed to the “good parenting” of forcing transgender children to live as their birth sex, even though that will cause them lifelong pain and suffering.
Sprigg turns to Proverbs 22:6 for his parental blueprint.
Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Of course people like Sprigg and Barber think they should be the arbiters of what “the way they should go” is.
If parents insist that a boy’s stated desire to “be a girl” means they must treat him like a girl, they run the risk of putting them on a path, and locking them in a transgender identity when that may not have been the natural course of their life at all.
Not satisfied with spouting his opinions on raising transkids, Sprigg also felt the need to express his opinion on the whole idea of transgender:
[T]hat’s part of how God creates us, male and female. I think it’s an assault upon nature, regardless of your religion, to deny the reality of our biological sex.
[I]t should be considered a violation of medical ethics to change their biological sex…because you are essentially damaging or destroying or amputating healthy body parts.
Also not satisfied with attacking the idea transpeople, the need to attack the parents of transkids is something I find detestable.
Parents are imposing this on children.
–Monica Cole, One Million Moms
I suppose that would be as opposed to my own father, who forced me to play baseball one summer when I was invited to attend a summer program in art at Reed College.
Cole alleged that the camp “puts a positive light” on gender confusion, instead of enabling parents to teach their kids about right and wrong. She insisted that Christian parents have a duty to raise their children morally. Encouraging the confusion, however, “could lead to a homosexual lifestyle,” she suggested, citing Romans 1:26 and 27, where the Bible condemns homosexuality.
Cole complains that it is the parents who hear about the camp, pay for it and take their children to it. This is apparently somehow different than Christian parents taking their children to Christian Bible camp.
I think kids should be proud of the sex they were born with instead of trying to be someone that they’re not.
[The kids] don’t have to look over their shoulders, and they can let down their guard. Those are four days when none of that matters, and they are surrounded by family members who support them.
Some practice for the talent show all year, and others create their own gowns with their mothers or friends of the family. The focus and enthusiasm is really pretty incredible. Also, it can be very emotional for the parents, especially the families who are new to camp and are experiencing this kind of group acceptance for the very first time.
Morris is hoping to publish a book of her photos and to travel the country to raise money to start a foundation to underwrite the cost of children unable to attend.
They get enough questioning in their daily lives, so it’s a great place for them to express themselves as they feel. … I feel we hear so many of the sad stories and how LGBT kids are disproportionately affected by bullying, depression, and suicide, and it hangs a heavy cloud over them and kind of dooms them from the beginning. I’m saying this is a new story. This is not a tragedy.
I would really love to follow the kids into adulthood and see what kind of relationships they develop. I want to witness the evolution, knowing from where they started and see how life is going to play out for them-hopefully happily-and I think they’re going to have a better transition into adulthood than the generation proceeding them.
They will have to transition into adulthood in the face of people like Sprigg, Barber and Cole.
The [LGBT] chain is only as strong as the weakest link and this transgender notion is absolute absurdity. It’s a weak chain to begin with, but it’s the weakest link in this LGBT alphabet soup of nonsense.
And the weakest part of the weakest link, in Barber’s view, are the transgender children…so they are where the attacks should be made.