The New York Times brings us the “next frontier in fertility treatment.” It’s about dissolving the prejudice against transgender people having children. “Andy Inkster, a transgender man, had always wanted biological children. So when he embarked on the transition from female to male at age 18 — changing his name, taking testosterone, and eventually undergoing surgery to remove his breasts — he left his female reproductive organs intact. In his mid-20s, he decided it was time. He stopped taking testosterone and started trying to get pregnant.”
Baystate Reproductive Medicine turned Inkster away, explaining that it didn’t have enough experience with transgender people to provide the hormones and donor sperm required. Mr. Inkster eventually found another clinic that helped him conceive via in vitro fertilization and donor sperm, and in October 2010, he gave birth to a daughter, Elise. A month later, he sued Baystate for sexual discrimination. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination agrees with Inkster.
I never thought I’d see the words “he gave birth to a daughter” outside of science fiction, and at the risk of seeming insensitive, I think Baystate fertility clinic was right. But it’s not surprising that the civil-rights commission of Massachusetts has taken up this cause. It occupies the juncture of two appalling trends. The first is an obsession with sexuality as identity, and the second is a undermining of the best interests of children in favor of the self-expression of adults.
There are limitless identities that students could be encouraged to cultivate as they mature. A handful that leap immediately to mind: American, humorist, musician, athlete, debater, nature-lover. Instead, our universities fall all over themselves to encourage unusual sexual identities, from homosexuality and lesbianism to transgender, bisexual, transsexual, and other. It’s all done in the name of “inclusion” and non-discrimination, but, let’s face it, there’s an element of fashion in it. Non-traditional sexual behavior is “in.” There are academic courses on offer at major universities concerning “queer theory,” pornography, and “lesbian gardening.” (Truly.) How can any serious academic treat pornography as a fit subject for college study? It’s more than a devaluation of the life of the mind; it’s an assault on human dignity.
We have elevated sexual appetites — especially unusual sexual tastes — to an exalted status, worthy of study, defining our natures and experiences, and outranking other traits in importance. In many states, there are moves to outlaw psychotherapy that purports to change a person’s sexual orientation. Without excusing or approving abusive efforts to brainwash gay people straight — and there are some hair-raising stories out there of people subjected to “aversion therapy” and so forth — it is interesting that we are being asked to deny people the opportunity to change in only one direction. No one is suggesting that if a straight person wants to become gay and consults a therapist who wishes to help him make that transition, that he should be prevented from doing so.
Yet children as young as four are being permitted to style their hair, wear the clothing, and use the bathrooms of the other sex when they express the urge. This kind of change is one that liberal states approve. The state of California requires that students from kindergarten through grade 12 be permitted to choose which “gender” to be associated with (Connecticut and Massachusetts have similar rules). If a biological girl decides at the age of 12 that she wants to be addressed as a boy, play boys’ sports, and use the boys’ bathroom, state law requires that she be able to do so.
There are physicians who prescribe hormone-suppressing drugs to prevent preteens from going through puberty the better to prepare them for “gender reassignment” surgery.
This is child abuse. Children pass through phases. Nothing permanent should to be done to any child that is not medically necessary. Suppose a child decided that he wanted to be an amputee or a one-eyed pirate? We’ve lost all common sense in the face of this mania for sexual mutability.
As for Mr. Inkster and people similarly situated, the first thing a fertility clinic should say is that a child is not an adult entitlement. The best interests of the child should be paramount. Each child needs and, where possible, should have a mother and a father — and not in the same body.
— Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2014 Creators Syndicate, Inc.