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Trans Substantiation, Part 3
A thought experiment. Picture a city with rival baseball teams. The twist: one team’s partisans are cursed. Literally. The fans of this team, the Mets, let’s say, commit suicide at alarming rates. As in, close to 50%. For unknown reasons, half of Mets fans in this town end up taking their own lives. There is no cover-up, either; precisely the opposite. Awareness campaigns, government actions, and public health measures all publicize this epidemic of fatal fandom. To little avail; the bodies keep piling up.
What would your reaction be, in this hypothetical world, to finding the walls of your child’s school plastered with posters celebrating Mets stars? Worried, perhaps, about these deadly influences on your child, you turn to the medical community, only to find every doctor in town a proud Mets sponsor.
How to make sense of such a world? Being a Mets fan is a coin flip from a death sentence, yet the very people who know the suicide statistics the best are the ones most aggressively handing out Mets season tickets. What, besides a heady brew of delusion and cruelty, could explain the unexplainable? If this hypothetical world were a 1970s film starring Robert Redford, the answer would be sinister corporations and the politicians in their back pocket, making money with every Mets ticket sold, indifferent to the human cost. Were the scene a children’s fantasy novel, the answer would be a conspiracy of malevolent wizards. There are many possibilities, few of them innocent.
We are not in a 70s movie or a fantasy novel, and I’m going to come clean: the above isn’t a hypothetical. It’s our world. Only, we’re not talking baseball, we’re talking trans kids. Many honest researchers question the suicide numbers that awareness groups use, which range from 30 to 50 percent, but I’m not here to present warring studies; let’s take the activists at their word.
They would have us believe the following two statements simultaneously:
1. Trans kids are far, far more likely to kill themselves than non-trans kids are
2. It is a social, cultural, and medical imperative to affirm transitioning
As in the Mets hypothetical above, innocent explanations do not exactly overwhelm the imagination.
Before we jump to blaming Big Pharma billionaires or powers and principalities, we must acknowledge one possible logical explanation, as it is in fact the activists’ own stated justification: trans kids are killing themselves due to lack of trans popularity, which is why we must take positive steps to celebrate transgenderism. Let’s call it the National Lampoon theory of suicidality.
Well, it’s a theory. Certainly not a strong one. Here is a short but thorough, science-packed essay highlighting some of the research debunking the suicide-from-inadequate-affirmation proposition. Yet we needn’t delve too deeply into peer-reviewed literature. Does the affirmation theory even pass the smell test? Let’s take a sniff.
When Kurt Cobain ended his life, was it due to his pitiable lack of adulation? When his death prompted suicide hotlines across the world to go into full public outreach overdrive, and worried parents of teen boys across the nation to lose sleep, was this attributable to Nirvana’s internationally known shortage of success and affirmation?
Maybe – just maybe! – suicide is too complex to be put in a box of insufficient affirmation. Setting Cobain and other successful yet suicidal case studies aside, let’s brainstorm a few alternate explanations for self-harm among the affirmed:
1. A preexisting mental illness, such as depression, which may even be what led them to be miserable in their own body in the first place. There are good treatments for depression out there, from therapy to medication. Breast-binding is not on the list. If a case of depression gets misdiagnosed or even ‘affirmed’ as transgenderism, you can see how all the Drag Queen Story Hours in the world won’t fix the underlying emotional distress.
2. The process of transition itself. Hormones are powerful. We know that teen girls are particularly at risk for developing depression from hormonal contraception. Yes, simply being on the pill can make your daughter more likely to suffer from depression. So what if you start giving the pill to your son? What if you give testosterone to your daughter? The long-term use of hormones, to say nothing of the side-effects from major surgeries, could well be increasing suicide risk.
3. Realizing that transition is a lie. A boy cannot become a girl and a girl cannot become a boy. “Affirming” is a polite form of “lying.” An unhappy boy is told changing his pronouns will make him happy, then changes them and remains unhappy. He is told it’s because he still has the wrong private parts. He has those removed and remains unhappy. Only now, he knows he still isn’t a girl and that no procedure on earth can make him into one, he knows he has been lied to this whole time, and he knows it’s too late to go back. Might that be a reason for suicidal thoughts, and not the theory that he’d finally be happy if even more people lied to him?
These are a few possibilities, I’m sure you can think of others. Yet we needn’t think too hard, for this whole charade is undone by two simple graphs. Behold:
The teen suicide rate in 1950 was under 5. The teen suicide rate today… is not under 5.
Today’s kids are far more likely to identify as transgender than yesterday’s kids. Why? Well, among other factors, largely for the same reason that kids raised these days are more likely to identify as Paw Patrol fans than kids raised in the 1970s. Cultural influences apparently matter. Who knew? I assumed all those little girls chose to dress up like Elsa for Halloween every year by wild coincidence!
To recap the above: back in 1950, when Ozzie and Harriet couldn’t have told you what the word ‘cisgender’ meant if you put a gun to their heads, the teen suicide rate was a small fraction of what it is today, when every school library proudly stocks I Am Jazz. When there was zero affirmation and zero ‘visibility,’ there were almost no suicides. The theory that trans suicides are primarily caused by a lack of affirmation grows less and less convincing by the minute.
Looking at the above charts, with the added knowledge that up to half of transgender kids kill themselves, affirmation seems more likely to be a deadly strategy than a life-saving one. If that is too extreme a claim, we can at least assert that the National Lampoon theory is no sure thing. Are you willing to bet your child’s life on it?
The rise in cultural affirmation of transgenderism is of course not the only reason the teen suicide rate has spiked in recent years. There is, for one, the spread of social media. A lot of loud corporate, medical, and governmental voices have been insisting we must affirm trans kids, no questions asked, or they will kill themselves – have you heard many of those same forces speaking out forcefully against smartphones? If Disney really cares about suicidal teens, are they going to forsake the profits they make off screens and call for banning their use in the under-aged? Then there is that other recent driver of teen mental illness: lockdowns. Even though Covid poses statistically zero risk of death to children (compared to the 50% death rate of transgenderism!), all these cultural, corporate, and medical forces supported depression-inducing lockdowns for the young. Strange, that. It’s almost as if the affirmation movement might not be entirely sincere in their concern.
Final thoughts tomorrow. In the meantime, do not let yourself be emotionally blackmailed on this issue. Look to Ozzie and Harriet, look to Kurt, look to anywhere and anyplace before ten years ago, and stay skeptical. Don’t let anyone paint you as a crazed, right-wing, religious extremist for doing so, either. Logic, history, and common sense are on your side. If anyone tries, refer them to famously Godless leftist Bill Maher (very NSFW, of course).
With the strong approval of the government and the American Academy of Pediatrics, we are recklessly experimenting on our children. With a suicide rate approaching 50%, it’s fair to say the experiment is failing.