July 18, 2024

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July 18, 2024

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Parents Should Be Leading: Is Knowing Your Child’s Gender ‘A Privilege, Not a Right’?

Parental rights are under attack in Canada—and thankfully some Canadians are standing up and saying, “Enough!” as evidenced by growing support in various provinces for bills that require parental consent for minors to use preferred names or pronouns at school. But not everyone believes that parents have the right to know if their child is transitioning at school.

An opinion piece recently appeared in the online newspaper The Toronto Star, titled, “It’s a privilege, not a right, to know your kid’s gender identity.” In this article, Julie Malbogat, the mother of an 11-year-old girl who identifies as a boy, expressed her horror that parents might be informed of a child’s social gender transition—after all, those parents might not be fully supportive.

I thought LifeSite News provided a helpful “translation” of Malbogat’s headline.

Translation: It is the right of the state to keep fundamental facts about your child–facts that may impact their health and well-being for the rest of their lives–from you.

Yes, Malbogat is arguing that parents only have the privilege of knowing their child’s so-called gender identity if they’ve earned it by being like her—fully supportive, fully affirming, never questioning, because of course a child knows their “true self” (I say that tongue-in-cheek of course!).

A “Nothingburger” Gender Transition?

Malbogat begins her article by sharing her daughter’s story (please note that the article incorrectly refers to the child as a son and uses male pronouns, but the child is actually a girl).

My son, Zack, is transgender. He told us — nonchalantly at bedtime — three years ago. Because he’s only 11, so far his transition has been strictly social: new pronouns, new clothes, new haircut, new name. With few exceptions, it’s been as nothingburger as it sounds.

By the time he has his first appointment at the SickKids gender clinic in August 2024, he’ll be 12 and a half and we’ll have been on the wait-list for 18 months. If, four years into his transition, he chooses gender affirming medication, it will not be an impulsive decision.

What a bland way to describe an identity issue this girl is facing that may very well result in chemical castration, body-mutilating surgeries, and lifelong confusion! It’s worth noting that this parent is freely allowing a child to make life-altering decisions at such a young age. As the article states, “If, four years into [her] transition, [she] chooses gender affirming medication . . .” (emphasis added). But should a (then) twelve-year-old child be making irreversible decisions that impact the rest of her life? I doubt this parent would likewise conclude that a child should be allowed to decide to get a tattoo, pick up smoking, or get married at such an age!

Children lack wisdom, experience, foresight, and the ability to fully consent to such medical decisions, and that’s why God has given them parents to lead them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). Just because a child feels a specific way does not make it correct (we all—including children—have deceitful hearts; Jeremiah 17:9) or make it anything more than a phase that, if not encouraged, will pass (as is the case with many dysphoric children).

Children should not be leading—parents should be!

Full Throttle on the Road of Drugs and Surgery

Parents who even slow down and question a child’s identity are, in Malbogat’s belief system, poor parents who haven’t earned the privilege of knowing their child’s gender identity. And sadly, this writer is not alone—many states here in the US agree with her, such as California, which recently passed a bill that “require[s] courts to consider during custody cases whether a parent has affirmed their child’s self-professed gender identity or gender expression.” In other words, if you are in a custody battle and you don’t affirm your child’s gender identity, you could lose custody!

And yet consider that by “socially transitioning” her daughter, Malbogat is virtually ensuring the child will maintain a transgender identity and eventually go on hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones, which have massive health consequences—including sterility. As I shared in a blog post back in February,

When children “socially transition” and begin puberty blockers, very few turn back. A stunning 98% of children who take puberty blockers will move forward with a gender transition. Compare that to children who do not socially transition or take puberty blockers: “as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.” Puberty blockers and social transitions aren’t a “pause button”—they hit the gas pedal full throttle!

Social transition isn’t a “nothingburger” as Malbogat believes—it puts the child straight on the superhighway of medical transition.

But Who Decides?

Malbogat’s article goes on to state,

But not all kids have the luxury of an LGBTQ+-tolerant home. According to the Trevor Project’s 2022 National (U.S.) Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, fewer than one in three transgender and non-binary youth find their home to be gender-affirming.

And here in Canada, hate crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation rose by 60 per cent in Statistics Canada’s most recent Hate Crimes Report versus its previous one. It’s a hard truth that some kids live with parents who are homophobic and transphobic; in the worst cases, abusively so. No province should be making policies to forcibly out gender nonconforming kids to these parents.

As Christians, we believe that no parent should abuse their children—they are a gift from God, made in his image, and are to be treated with love, kindness, gentleness, and respect. But who defines “abuse”? Is telling your son that Godcreated him as a boy and that he cannot become a girl (a truth from both God’s Word and biology—you can’t change your genetics even if you can modify your external appearance!) “abuse”? Activists like Malbogat would likely say, “Yes, that’s abuse,” or at the very least, “That’s transphobia.” But stating the truth is not abuse—it’s kindness!

What Is a Parent’s Duty?

An article reporting on the recent California legislation I mentioned above shared this statement from an assemblywoman: “Our duty as parents is to affirm our children.”

Is it our duty as parents to affirm our children in whatever they believe about themselves? No! Our duty as parents—as given by God—is to guide, nurture, teach, and protect them, and that may even include protecting them from themselves and the lies they’ve believed! After all, they have sinful hearts, and they can’t trust their feelings. Their behavior and feelings must be judged against God’s Word.

Think of it this way: suppose a 13-year-old girl comes to her parents and shares that she’s become anorexic (starving herself and working out obsessively) because she believes she’s overweight and needs to drop the pounds. Her parents consider the truth of the matter—the girl is painfully thin—but they conclude that their job is to affirm their daughter in what she believes about herself, so they encourage her to eat less, buy her a gym membership, and give her options for weight-loss surgery. Are they simply doing their “duty” as parents by affirming their child, or are they helping their child abuse herself? The answer is obvious!

Parents are not supposed to passively “affirm” their children in everything; rather, they are supposed to lead them in the way they should go, guided by the Word of God (Ephesians 6:4).

We Must Fight for Kids

The attack on parental rights is only going to continue heating up as our enemy tries to separate children from the very people God designed to keep children safe. We must continue to do all we can to fight for parental rights and the protection of children, because those precious children are worth it.

If you want to learn more about protecting your children from gender ideology, I encourage you to read my blog post from earlier this year that gives you practical advice.

Ken Ham is an author, speaker, and the founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis and its two popular attractions: the acclaimed Creation Museum and the internationally known Ark Encounter.

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Parental rights are under attack in Canada—and thankfully some Canadians are standing up and saying, “Enough!” as evidenced by growing support in various provinces for bills that require parental consent for minors to use preferred names or pronouns at school. But not everyone believes that parents have the right to know if their child is transitioning at school.

An opinion piece recently appeared in the