Way to Go, Mississippi!Thomas Ray
Almost a year ago, I was talking to a friend, and she brought up Harry Potter. she said essentially "I still think Harry Potter is good, but I'm not sure I can enjoy it knowing that the author is transphobic."
I defended J.K. Rowling a bit, saying that according to what I've heard from her and others discussing the controversy, she's not even close to being the cruel, hateful person she's been painted as. I defended Rowling not because I like her, or even care about her personally. I defended her because A) I thought my friend maybe hadn't heard the other side of the story, and B) if Rowling is transphobic, I'm probably more so, which might make for an awkward friendship. (Quick tangent: Orson Scott Card, another author smeared for his personal beliefs, also came up, and despite all my online research and having read over 20 books by him, both fiction and non-fiction, I have found no evidence of him being hateful. Any stance he has against homosexuality-- the main accusation against him-- is far more mild, and far less hateful than the people hating him. Okay, tangent is done, I couldn't help myself. I love Orson Scott Card.)
My friend said essentially "I don't see why you care so much about someone else's opinion on J.K. Rowling." And that's a fair point. Why would I care that some people online hate these authors?
Well, for the most part, I don't. I think it's ridiculous that those authors are even controversial, and silly that we're still discussing this.
What I do care about is my friend. I cared that my friend-- who couldn't even tell me what transphobic things Rowling had said-- was letting other people's opinions on the author affect her enjoyment of a franchise she had loved dearly, and spent hours immersed in. My friend was choosing anger, and it seemed to me that she didn't even know what precisely she was upset about.
Why has that conversation stuck with me? And why am I telling this story?
I'll put it simply: Because that was the first time anything related to the transgender movement affected my personal life.
And ever since then, I have been much more aware of how my consumption of online media affects me. I've distanced myself from voices that fed into my own anger, and as a result my beliefs are now more my own. I now listen to a greater variety of voices, and take regular week-long breaks from social media in order to ground myself in reality.
Managing my social media use has shown me that many things that got me fired up don't actually matter that much. But the transgender issue is one that I've come to care even more about.
I won't dive into all my thoughts on the transgender issue, I'll just say that I believe it is wrong to perform irreversible "gender reassignment" surgeries on children. It is not okay to castrate, sterilize, or mutilate children. It is child abuse, and I believe that even one child being affirmed, affirmed, affirmed... and then coming to regret their surgery, is one child too many.
Mississippi has banned gender reassignment surgery for minors!
As the Mississippi governor signed the ban, Matt Walsh gave an excellent 5 minute speech, which I feel compelled to share. I don't care what you think of Matt Walsh, set that aside for just a minute and judge his words for what they are.
He states that children cannot consent to, or understand the effects of such procedures, and echoes the governor's point that the people who support such surgery are not campaigning to lower the drinking age, or give children access to tobacco or firearms. They aren't demanding that children should be able to get tattoos or open credit card accounts, or take out mortgages.
"In all these cases they recognize that minors have neither the maturity, nor the powers of discernment, nor the psychological nor neurological formation required to make these sorts of choices, and yet these gender ideology advocates want us to believe that the child who can't be trusted with a can of beer or with a credit card, should be trusted to permanently transition into a different gender. It's madness, it is incoherent, and all the more incoherent when you consider that nobody-- nobody!-- actually can transition to a different gender, it's not physically possible, it's not medically possible, the doctors are lying to confused people.
...We simply cannot allow this evil to continue. We simply cannot tolerate it. We who are decent and rational people, we who love our children, we who recognize basic truths.
And one of the most basic truths is that children who are confused about their identity need guidance and love and clarity. They don't need hormone injections and scalpels. They need and deserve to be protected from the child abusing quacks and soulless goblins who wish to exploit their confusion for their own financial gain.
That's why we need this law. Our kids cannot protect themselves. They cannot protect themselves. We need to do it That's our job as adults.
And everybody who has remained silent on this issue is culpable in what is happening to our kids. Many members of the media who have not demonstrated the slightest bit of skepticism, as the medical establishment has just told us over the years that it's lifesaving care to castrate a child... the majority of the media goes along with that... all culpable in this.
That's why we need to protect our kids. We can, and we must. And now Mississippi has."
Matt Walsh and so many others are doing the necessary things to protect their children, and as someone who will likely have children of my own within the next five years, this fight feels all the more personal. I hope this victory is simply one of many to come.
If people are mad at J.K. Rowling for slightly disagreeing with them, I don't even want to imagine how they feel about this. If you disagree with Matt Walsh's words, feel free to share why. As for me, I think he got the nail right on the head. It's about protecting children, and I am so on board.
Way to go, Mississippi!
I recommend you all listen to the full speech. It is excellent.
Author Notes: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cXkchB6L36U
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