Clayton Crouch

The most recent trenches in the culture wars have centered around medical gender transitions of minors. Our progressive counterparts call this “gender affirming care” and in some cases accuse those who oppose providing these medical procedures to children of being guilty of “transgender genocide.”

The Senate in the Colorado legislature just submitted SB23-188, Protections For Accessing Reproductive Health Care. Don’t let the name fool you, the bill applies to “gender affirming care” procedures in addition to abortion procedures. Provisions in this bill would require insurance companies to pay for child sex reassignment surgeries as well as make Colorado a safe haven for an out-of-state parent who wants to obtain one of these procedures for their child against the will of the other parent.

Let’s get one thing straight, no pun intended: We do not reject folks from the transgender experience. We also do not care what medical decisions adults make regarding their gender affirmation. We, more than anyone, can empathize with someone who grows up with the gnawing feeling that there is something that sets them apart from the majority of other children. What we cannot do is sit idly by as progressives force upon society the idea that children are inherently “transgendered.”

Childhood is a confusing time for all of us, especially those of us who are different. Children are not capable of making permanent life-altering decisions with the repercussions of a gender-reassignment surgery. We don’t let children consent to sex, get tattoos or enter into a marriage contract; these decisions all have lifelong consequences — like a medical transition.

Little boys who play with dolls and little girls who play with snakes might just be homosexual, if anything. Consider the cases of Chloe Cole and Layla Jane.  These biological girls were given puberty blockers at 12 years old and underwent mastectomies at the respective ages of 15 and 13. Both girls are suing the doctors who counseled them to transition and are members of the growing chorus of voices called “detransitioners.” Detransitioners are folks who underwent medical gender-transition procedures who later determined that gender reassignment did not provide the affirmation they desired in life. These procedures often render the child sterile. Hormone therapy can lead to higher rates of cancer. Google “phalloplasty” and ask yourself how “natural” this procedure is? Will SB23-188 absolve Colorado medical professionals of liability if the children they transition later regret undergoing these procedures?

There is very little evidence medical gender transition reduces a patient’s risk of suicide. What is the harm in waiting for the patient to reach adulthood before making such a drastic decision? Why must our political counterparts accuse us of “genocide” for opposing these procedures for children? This rhetoric is dishonest, and harmful to the goal of establishing a dialogue with the common purpose of providing needed support to these troubled children.

Patients of gender transition will likely pay in excess of $1 million for medical procedures and hormone therapy in their lifetime. Given the financial windfall of transition for the medical industry, it should be no surprise that between 2009 and 2019 the United Kingdom saw a 1,000% increase in transitions for patients born male and a 4,400% increase in transitions for patients born female. At the end of 2022 the British NHS reissued guidance to enormously scale back recommendations that children experience medical transitions.

At some point common sense will overcome the growing trend of medically transitioning children. But how many children will be scarred for life before our society learns the lessons from those who have already been harmed? In Washington state a bill was just passed to cover these procedures without parental consent. How far will Colorado follow the Left Coast?

SB23-188 has passed the Colorado state House and is now in the Senate.

We appeal to Gov. Jared Polis to veto this legislation if it makes it to his desk in this legislative session. Don’t trans away the gay. Let kids be kids.

Clayton Crouch is interim treasurer and fundraising chair for the Log Cabin Republicans of Colorado. Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s original and largest organization representing LGBT conservatives.

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