Parents of transgender-identifying teens held protests outside children's hospitals that house transgender clinics in six cities across the United States and Canada in a joint effort spearheaded by these families and a recently-formed LGB group.
Rallies were held in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Hartford, and Ontario, Canada on Valentine's Day to protest against the use of experimental drugs and cross-sex hormones on youth who are struggling with same-sex attraction, are on the autism spectrum, or suffering from depression or other mental struggles.
Carrie Hathorn, the national organizer for LGB Fight Back, a group that was formed last summer, and two mothers of trans-identified children, both of whom spoke with The Christian Post on condition of anonymity, said it's vital the public take action to resist the heavily financed transgender movement that they say is causing catastrophic harm to young people.
The prescribing of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones followed by cosmetic surgeries that lead to sterility are unethical and abusive to children, they stressed.
"Lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people were the first to be targeted for 'trans' medical experimentation," Hathorn explained. "Big Med and Big Pharma used transgenderism to Trojan Horse the LGB movement. They turned PRIDE into a corporate event, then added the T to LGB. Big Med and Big Pharma see LGB people as a market to exploit for profit," she said.
Due to the shame they often experienced within the broader culture, these industries are providing gays and lesbians a medicalized "way to pretend to be straight by making us into facsimiles of the opposite sex," she said, asserting that this is a billionaire-funded movement that has become corporatized, turning their bodies into marketable commodities to be modified under the guise of "progress."
Among the financial backers pushing gender identity policies in the legal structures of nations worldwide through various philanthropic activities and lobbying efforts are tech titan Tim Gill and John Stryker, who is heir to a $13.6 billion medical corporation and the creator of the Arcus Foundation, according to an earlier report in First Things.
Hathorn said that many of those in her organization have known homosexuals and bisexuals — as both partners and friends — who went through the process of transitioning,and they are devastated by the physical and psychological damage that has been done to them.
"Some of us even went through 'trans' phases ourselves. But now, Big Med and Big Pharma have expanded their profit-driven market to target kids. In so doing, they further reinforce the public narrative that trans identities are innate, lifelong, and unchangeable. LGB Fight Back opposes the medicalization of our community and of children," she said.
Among the signs held at the six-city protests were "Stop transing gay kids" and "Trans is not the new gay."
Kelly (not her real name), a nurse in the Chicago area, took part in a protest at a park near a Planned Parenthood clinic, which is now a leading provider of cross-sex hormones, because she is ready to fight. Her daughter, who's in her 20s, claims a trans identity and has been saying she'll go on hormones soon. Her daughter has decided to go by a different name and wear a breast binder to flatten her breasts.
The mother said she had wanted to take action before last week but was too distraught to engage.
"The parents are paralyzed because they are afraid they'll lose their kid," Kelly explained. "They are ashamed. They don't wanttheir kids to know about this (that they have objections and concerns) even though their kids are telling everybody. They're just hoping that nobody knows. They don't want to lose their job, and nobody has helped them."
"But I am no longer paralyzed. I have about a year before my daughter explodes (emotionally). She still says she's going to do it; she's getting a little bit more headstrong on it," she said.
"So I am now ready to fight ... and I'm grateful for COVID because we can wear a mask and no one knows who we are."
Kelly told CP she would rather lose her job than lose her child to the trans movement.
"This is wrong, this is medically wrong," she declared, "and I want someone to pay for this. I do."
Although transgenderism is framed in much of the media as a right versus left conflict, the parents' group that Kelly is a part of is politically and religiously diverse, and they've bonded over the plight of their kids.
"We were just at a loss for words. Everybody tells you it's your fault, or not that it's even your fault but that you're the crazy one (for not supporting your child's trans identity). It's like you're in the twilight zone," she recalled, speaking of a gathering she had at her home of distressed parents.
Kelly, who's an evangelical Christian, added that she's grateful the LGB group is now helping them organize to fight for their kids' lives.
"I kind of love that everybody's coming together. Isn't this where Jesus would have been?" she posited.
Going forward, she hopes to continue increasing the visibility of the protests to break the media blackout on this issue. Her influential friends in the Chicago area where she lives have started to change their views about transgenderism as well, she added.
Some of her friends, who once thought she wasn't being kind and that she should accept her daughter's belief that she's a boy, have since come to understand the complications and harms linked with medicalized gender-transitioning. What changed some minds among these friends was reading journalist Abigail Shrier's book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.
"The public is not aware of these horror stories. They don't want to hear. And that's wrong," Kelly added, explaining that many don't realize how the ideology has crept into every professional sector.
At a recent four-hour training session that Kelly went to at the hospital where she works, she recalled the presenters telling those in attendance: "'Now remember, when you say pregnant women, you need to say pregnant people, as you could be hurting someone's feelings.'"
In Hartford, Connecticut, another mother who also participated in last week's six-city protests told CP that she's been gathering with other heartbroken parents since 2017.
"The idea for the action (protests) was to have a positive message," said the mother, who is named here as Dawn, to protect her identity.
Placards and signs that participants held outside Connecticut Children's Hospital contained messages such as "Children Cannot Consent to Puberty Blockers," "Children Need Love Not Puberty Blockers," and "Let Kids Develop Naturally," along with other words of love, underscored by the protests being held on Valentine's Day.
"So come at me and tell me I'm a bigot for loving my kid," Dawn said sarcastically.
Dawn has been involved in the issue for approximately six years. Her daughter, who's now a young adult, identifies as the opposite sex and is taking cross-sex hormones.
The network that she's part of, known as Parents of ROGD Kids, has members in 48 states.
"I think a lot of us thought that trans issues were gay [issues] and we figured that it was all part of the alphabet soup and that affirming people as trans was the identical thing as lesbian or gay," she explained, noting how successful the marketing of that message has been over the years.
Yet the proverbial alarm bells started to go off when she learned of the drugs being used to block normal puberty in gender-confused youth.
"We have experience with those drugs in another context and I know that they may have life-giving benefits for some people, but they also make you sick as can be," she said.
"And I thought, 'Oh my goodness, these are being given to young children.'"
"I think people have this vision of people being like [audio cassette] tape decks. You can hit pause and then come back the next day and hit unpause and everything is going to be just like it was. And that didn't make any sense to me."
Transgender advocates and their allies in the medical field have routinely claimed that puberty blockers are a mere "pause button," the effects of which are fully reversible and are given to children in order to buy them more time to decide whether to proceed with the next steps in a gender transition, such as cross-sex hormones and cosmetic surgeries to appear more as the opposite sex.
"I knew that these kids [on puberty blockers] were laying down their bones, laying down their teeth. And I just thought, this just can't be. And then I found out that if you're on blockers and you go on to cross-sex hormones, you wind up sterile," she said.
Speaking to liberals who think supporting trans rights is a good thing, Dawn said she understands where they are coming from, that they do not want to be a bigot, or for others to regard them as bigoted.
"But you're not being a bigot to want to protect kids from being experimented on," she asserted.
"We're talking about children," she stressed. "We're talking about permanent effects. The burden is on you to make sure that that's safe."
Dawn believes that this issue is so hidden that the prevailing assumption is that everyone feels exactly the same way. But to have increasing numbers of people who care and show up to protest is meaningful.
"We're the biggest tent you can imagine," she said of the diversity of the group, noting that half rejoiced over President Joe Biden taking office while the other half was in mourning.
Their group includes Orthodox Jews, Mormons, right-wing Christians, and "regular white bread Episcopalians like me," Dawn said, and plenty of others who are atheists or humanists.
The efforts around the country come on the heels of a protest in late December outside of Children's Hospital-Los Angeles, which houses one of the largest transgender youth clinics in the country.
Prior to the demonstration, concerned parents erected a number of billboards promoting Shrier's Irreversible Damage book alongside such messages as "Puberty Is Not A Medical Condition" and "Why Do So Many Of Our Youth Think They Are Transgender?" due to the lack of media scrutiny of the topic.
The Los Angeles protests were the "spark" that set LGB Fight Back's activism in motion, Hathorn told CP. The group sent out press alerts about the Valentine's Day protest but received no response from reporters.
"It was literally crickets," Hathorn said. "I was hoping that our actions would break the media blackout but I have now realized how bad it is."
She recounted that she used to support transgender rights and admits to being completely indoctrinated with gender identity ideology for approximately 20 years. When she was in college in the early 2000s, such content was being heavily propagated in core studies programs.
"But it was kind of a slow and brutal awakening to come out of that ideology and realize that what was happening inside of my community — that people I knew had gone through this process of being medicalized and wanted it for themselves. And I was one of the people cheerleading and thinking that this is the right thing to do, and that affirming it was saving lives. But that all came crashing down for me when one of my friends committed suicide who had transed," she said.
Hathorn found out about her friend's death in summer 2018 and, as far as she knew, almost everyone in this particular friend's life had been totally supportive of her transition. This friend, a graduate student in her 30s who was heading the LGBT group on campus, had been on hormones for at least seven years, she recalled.
"Transing does not actually save lives. It did not save my friend's life," she said.
"This whole thing is very intense for our community, people who have absolutely been indoctrinated," Hathorn said, when asked if she is seeing more gays and lesbians starting to express discomfort with the medical practices involved in gender-transitioning.
But some are starting to wake up, she said.
"It's slow, it's like deprogramming. The conditioning has been so intense for us, and frankly, the pressure to go along with this. Because if you say or even ask the question 'Do you think fewer people would decide to medicalize if homophobia wasn't such a problem in society?'... just asking that question, you're considered a bigot," Hathorn said.
When she started asking similar questions even in the months before her friend's suicide, friends she had known for 10 to 15 years "unfriended" her and stopped communicating with her.
"I know people who have moved out of their cities because the hate toward them became so intense from people that they've known for a very long time," she said.
"We can relate to what these parents [of gender dysphoric kids] are going through."
Lesbian communities "kind of don't exist anymore," Hathorn added. She noticed increasing numbers of "butch" lesbians started to become trans around the year 2010.
Such women are still around, she said, but when they're partnered they look like heterosexual couples. Now, heterosexual men are claiming to be both female and lesbian. These men have been bullying lesbians, telling them that they are bigoted for not wanting to date so-called transwomen.
Vast sums of money are driving this movement, she reiterated. The trans movement became so gigantic because it funneled the money into all kinds of LGBT groups and other nonprofits.
"That backdrop of having tons and tons of money, the funding going to all these trans issues, it has set the stage for the pharmaceutical industry, the medical establishment, and the psychological establishment to profit off of the misinformation, the lies, and the suffering of children and young adults," Hathorn said.
"Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, you need to understand that this is a medical emergency, a medical crisis of sorts. And the more kids and parents who go down this track, the bigger the issue is going to become, but to the absolute detriment of these people, these kids. It's because of the irreversible damage," she added.