The video below is one of the sadder short clips I’ve seen. In it, a teenage boy who calls himself Claire dons a bikini top, adopts exaggerated feminine mannerism, and hits the beach with friends to show the challenges of transgender dating. He apparently fools two straight guys into believing he’s a girl and he gets their phone number. Later, he laments that they lose interest when they find out he’s male. Watch:
The video is a promo for a BBC Three documentary called “Young, Trans, and Looking for Love” that aired in Britain late last year. It’s designed to highlight the struggle of transgender dating. Instead, the clip highlights the tragedy and contradictions inherent in the transgender movement itself.
But observe the lamentation in the video: A transgender boy wants other boys to change, to reject the “born this way” of their own sexuality for the open-mindedness of “getting physical” with a girl with a penis. Claire is desperate for their psychology to change, for their minds to open, and for their sexual identity to change in response to Claire’s allegedly unchangeable desires.
Wax notes that the declaration of this new reality — with the expectation that spouses comply and conform — “destabilizes some of the foundational elements of LGBT theory on homosexuality.” Well, yes. But the true “foundational element” of LGBT theory isn’t so much “born this way” as it is “I do what I want.”
Regardless of the source of the desire — nature, nurture, choice, or some combination thereof — the sexual minority sets the agenda, and everyone else must comply. And so, with reports emerging that Caitlyn Jenner is considering rediscovering her inner Bruce, we’re facing the dizzying reality that he could be a “she” on Wednesday and a “he” on Thursday, and you’re a hateful bigot if you believe otherwise.
But we can’t let a discussion of intellectual contradictions mask the human tragedy. A deeply confused teenager is on the verge of mutilating himself — of literally opening a wound that his body will consistently attempt to close — for the sake of hoping to find love with straight men. The level of psychological confusion and pain is difficult to grasp, but rather than speak the truth to that young man and work diligently to counsel and mentor him, an entire class of people believe that he should irrevocably harm his own body, and the rest of us should believe a lie — that he’s “really” a girl.
The evidence of transgender despair is overwhelming. A Swedish study found that trans people were 19 times more likely to die from suicide. An American study found that a horrifying 41 percent of transgender and “gender non-conforming” people had attempted suicide, compared with a national rate of 1.6 percent. In Canada, a study found that each year one in nine transgender people try to commit suicide, compared with the national rate of one out of 167.Against this backdrop, the Left is remarkably callous. Large numbers of young people who experience gender dysphoria eventually desist. Yet social-justice warriors browbeat parents and mental-health professionals into believing that gender dysphoria is fixed and immutable; even though this creed often results in harmful medical treatments that can culminate in mutilating surgery. Is it any wonder that transgender men and women are often so wracked with anguish?
An ideology based largely on desire fails utterly. As thousands of years of human experience have taught us, if one’s desires are disordered, then achieving them often means heartache. A vagina is the last thing a boy like “Claire” needs.
— David French is a staff writer for National Review and an attorney.