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“…I would point to DeSantis. We’ve got a lot of people in the Republican primary that are dialing back of lot of these really good policies from President Trump. You’ve got DeSantis pushing a six-week abortion ban, you’ve got Desantis with…crossing the line of under the age of 18 on trans issues and really going after gay people. I will have that debate all day long.
What he did in that video was completely homophobic, terrible, dialing us back. And he lost a lot of suburban women. I will remind our party that when you have a problem with suburban women, suburban women, historically, have been wildly supportive of gay conservatives, their gay friends. Forty percent of the Log Cabin membership are straight women. They want to see if you’re kind. They want to see if you can talk about these issues differently.
Log Cabin has an under 18/over 18 policy when it comes to trans: you’re under the age of 18, protect children. Don’t make children get tattoos, or allow children to get tattoos, or surgeries or blockers for their hormones. But if you’re over the age of 18, and you’re an adult, knock yourself out. The reality is is that we have to have a society where we allow adults to live their lives as long as you’re not hurting somebody else.”
Yesterday, Ric Grennell appeared on The Megyn Kelly Show as a Trump surrogate, or so it seems to me, to tout Trump’s accommodations of the LGBTQ+ community and call Florida Governor Ron DeSantis homophobic. The problem, in Grennell’s assessment, is not only the backwardness of DeSantis’ ideas, but also the harsh political reality that Republicans will lose the precious votes of suburban women. So what if Trump and his political friends are fighting for trans rights? They care about the issues important to people like me! Nothing speaks to suburban women more than the rights of people with gender dysphoria or autogynephilia, or autism-related anxiety that finds a focus on the hatred of one’s own body, to absolutely mutilate themselves, corrupt our language, and destroy all standards of objectivity in society and law.
As a suburban woman, I would like everyone to know that Ric Grennell does not speak for me. I have a feeling that he wouldn’t like it if I had a platform on which I opined about what policies gay men prefer. I acknowledge that my views may not be representative of all or most suburban women, but at the very least, I meet the definition of a person who is both a dweller of the suburbs and a woman. Like a lot of such people, I’m also a mom. Since we’re playing identity politics here, I’m flaunting my group membership to tell Grennell that he is not only wrong, but obviously confused. As a woman and a mom (historically, two of the most sympathetic groups of people), I am somewhat sympathetic to his confusion when it comes to age-based trans policies. They don’t make any sense, so it’s hard to sound sensible when defending them.
I don’t care whether they’re coming from the Log Cabin Republicans or the Trump Administration or 95% of suburban women, policies that allow or promote medical or surgical interventions aimed at changing a person’s sex are harmful even after the patient/guinea pig turns 18. Also, it’s pretty rich to use a group of women to assert the superiority of those policies. For all I can tell, the 40 percent of Log Cabin Republican members who say they are women might be trans. Is that a ridiculous thought, Mr. Grennell? If not, why not? How can we know that the women you are referring to are women in the traditional sense of the word, or a whole bunch of men self-identifying as women? If it’s totally cool to lean into whatever gender you choose after your turn 18, then please tell me who and what you are talking about when you say, “suburban women.”
Thankfully, we can still rely on numerical age as an objective fact, so Mr. Grennell and I both know what he means when he references the age of 18 as the magical moment of maturity when people are completely capable of making great decisions. It’s maybe not old enough to trust a person with alcohol or renting a car, and my 18-year-old still can’t get her own credit card because she has no income.
But 18-year-olds generally, we can agree, make the best decisions for their long-term benefit and for the benefit of all of society. Anyone over 18 years old who decides to get hormone blockers and/or surgeries certainly isn’t hurting anyone else. I seem to recall some information about sex-change medical interventions increasing the possibility of cancer, osteoporosis, ongoing medical care to manage the wounds created in attempts to construct artificial genitals—oh, and speaking of “genitals”—sterility, and various psychological issues. Assuming the parents and loved ones of people undergoing such treatments are involved in their lives, there’s a lot of medical and psychological support needed. From what I have read, often on the medical websites that advertise these services, they are expensive, too. But where’s the harm?
Let’s pretend that all the logical consequences of becoming “trans” that I have described above are not causing anyone any difficulties (after all, playing pretend is what the trans community wants us all to do). I still can’t help thinking about the parents of young people who are forced to endure the loss of a son or daughter without any societal recognition of that loss. If my beautiful, smart, talented daughter goes to college and decides she is really a man trapped in a woman’s body, you better believe I’d be harmed.
I’d be devastated to see her struggle psychologically, to declare war on her own body by introducing an excessive amount of testosterone or having her breasts surgically removed. If she grew a beard and her voice became permanently lower, I would cease to recognize the child that I have raised to be a healthy, independent adult. If she changed her name and pronouns, too, I would be reprimanded for using her “deadname.” And that’s what my daughter would be to me: dead. I hope I never have to experience the death of a child and I don’t wish the experience on anyone else. Why would society encourage people to choose such a destructive path? Also, why wouldn’t society want to ask whether there isn’t some other issue and some other less invasive and physically destructive treatment for what ails people with gender identity confusion?
I find it hard to believe that suburban women are in favor of trans identification, whether for their daughters or their sons. If, like me, they have daughters, they are probably coming around to the idea that having men who self-identify as women joining their daughters’ sports teams and sharing their locker rooms is unfair and unsafe. Maybe they are even starting to realize that a lot of these so-called trans women behave like typically aggressive men when their gender identity or rights are challenged. Granted, I am older than many suburban women, but I grew up at a time when the most notable trans person in popular culture was a psychotic serial killer who kidnapped large women in order to make a suit out of their skin. Now that we have medical professionals to serve the demand for gender transformation, we can avoid grisly DIY attempts.
Finally, I don’t get why “crossing the line” on the under 18/over 18 trans policy is homophobic. The inclusion of transgenderism within the rainbow of sexual identities doesn’t make sense if homosexuals recognize the essential and immutable differences between men and women. If Grennell and many other gay people find solidarity with trans people, it suggests they don’t believe in the immutable differences between men and women. Instead, it seems like they view gender identity as part of a spectrum of sexual identities that are subjective.
Since I am old enough to remember the arguments in favor of gay marriage, that view seems to undermine the assertion that being gay was an immutable fact. They said that being gay was not a choice, so it was a denial of civil rights to exclude gay people from the institution of marriage. Now, however, it sounds like Grennell is making a “lifestyle” argument in favor of trans-identifying people, their behavior, and their preferred medical treatments. And yet, people in favor of gender self-identification will say, “trans women are women.” If you already are a woman, why do you need medical treatments and surgeries? To that question, Grennell can only respond: “knock yourself out.”Published in