Columnists, Featured, Free Speech, Jon Caldara, Uncategorized

Caldara: Free speech trumps gender dysphoria

If you think it’s difficult to talk about racial issues without being called a racist, try talking about the transexual movement.

I got fired as a weekly columnist (their most read columnist, I was often told) from the Denver Post for writing there are only two sexes (not even two genders).

I learned later that saying such things was seen on par with writing during the civil rights movement that blacks are inferior to whites. What respectable newspaper would pay a bigot like that to write hate and ignorance?

The shame is that we can’t have an open discussion about this wildly different, divisive and relatively uncharted trans issue.

I have known several parents of kids going through gender dysphoria and the story is sadly similar. Their child is in real pain and serious depression. Inflicting self-harm, usually in the form of cutting, follows. Bouts of suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts come next.

In every case that I’ve been close to, once the parents accepted and assisted their teenaged kid in identifying as the opposite gender, things got a lot better. I’m happy to support these families by going along with their transition, though it is a challenge for me to knowingly use wrong pronouns.

If your child is going to end his life and accepting that he is a “she” would save him, you’d do it in a heartbeat. I’d do it. Hell, to save my kid I’d change my own gender. The point being this is a real issue putting children in danger, no matter if it’s been caused by genetics or social indoctrination (which I suspect more likely).

My anger is over the demand that others be coerced to change who they are to accommodate who a transgender person thinks he is.

Yes, on one level it is a little thing to call someone by the wrong pronoun as an accommodation.

But not playing along with the trans language police doesn’t make one transphobic. In fact, forcing them to use trans terms against their will is hateful and should be called out.

If a man is gay, we can all agree he is gay. By him saying he is gay he is telling the truth from his point of view. We are telling the truth from our point of view by saying the same.

We can argue if being homosexual is his choice, if it’s biological, if gay marriage should be legal, but the terms we use are agreed upon. No one feels like they’re lying.

It’s not the same with the trans issue. We don’t all agree. A man may be telling his truth when he says he is a woman, that’s how he identifies. The person next to him may be telling his truth when he says that same person is a man.

Neither should be punished for speaking his truth.

Forcing people to lie belongs in North Korea not America. The trans community would be wise to understand that they are demanding others, from their point of view, to lie, to do so publicly, to lie in front of their own children. Not surprisingly these folks have a real problem with it.

What an awful dichotomy! Lie, and call someone who is obviously male a woman, or tell the truth and have the world call you a bigot and cancel you.

The cancel culture surrounding the trans world is dangerous, as all coercion is. And perhaps those who refuse, from their point of view, to tell falsehoods deserve some protection too.

People may refuse to play along for valid reasons, not hateful ones. If the trans community was as accepting as they claim to be, they would support, rather than cancel, those who call most people with XY chromosomes “he”, and those with XX “she”.

There is also something wrong, and frankly tiresome, that the cure for some other person’s dysphoria is that YOU must change your behavior. That person’s gender identity is his issue. But somehow, it’s now become yours.

It’s like if you don’t have cancer but to help cancer patients, you’re forced to take the chemotherapy yourself.

It leaves people wondering why YOUR gender dysphoria trumps MY right to free speech.

I personally identify as someone who knows “they” is plural. Celebrate me!

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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