A leading New Zealand transgender advocate is dismissing a report purporting to offer expertise on gender identity, which anti-lgbti lobby group Family First has commissioned to âwarn parents and schoolsâ.
Itâs an organisation Human Rights Campaign says continues âto promote many dangerous ideas, practices and programmes that cause real harm to LGBT people and their familiesâ and âcontinues to endorse junk science rejected by every major medical and mental health organization to this dayâ.
The reportâs tone is set with an opening quote from a French feminist saying âevery individual who is not man is woman. There is no third possibility.â
It reads âwelcome to the brave new world of gender redefinition, confusion and politics âŚ it is run by a growing and influential group working hard to overcome the âevilsâ of what its proponents call the âbinary assumptionsâ - the belief that everyone is either male or female and are necessarily what their physical genitalia indicate.â
Among its many assertions are that âit is neither enlightened or loving parenting to pretend we can just let our children decide which gender they want to be. It is nothing less than ideological and can be harmful.â
It refers to transgender people by incorrect pronouns, including describing an Auckland trans woman who entered a beauty pageant as a âyoung manâ and a nine-year-old trans boy as a girl and âgender confusedâ. A young trans girl in the UK is dismissed as âclearly a deeply troubled childâ.
Among its many claims are that there are no more than two genders, and there is a clear and universal male and female nature, explained by examples such as âwomen tend to smile more than men doâ.
It says sexuality and gender are not different things, human sexuality is a dichotomy, not a continuum and that gender-neutral bathrooms are not an issue of human justice, they are rather âthe practical advancement of a dubious theoryâ.
The report claims most trans children who experience gender dysphoria grow out of it by the time they reach puberty, and it is not inborn, raising children in gender neutral settings is likely to create confusion and/or stunted healthy development and that surgical changes for adults are falling out of fashion in much of the mainstream medical community.
There are also questions such as âif there is a rainbow of different genders, why do transgenders [sic] transition from male to female or vice versa? They never trans to one of the other multiple genders that supposedly exist.â
It also uses figures from the Youth â12 study by Auckland University researchers to insinuate suicide attempts by transgender youth are not necessarily related to their gender identity.
The report finishes with a section on âhow to protect your childrenâ and also includes an essay from âa former transsexualâ who warns that âparents who play around with a gender change for their child are engaged in a dangerous, high-stakes gameâ, and that âa child with gender identity issues needs psychiatric or psychological help, not a change of wardrobe or hairstyleâ.
Family Firstâs National Director Bob McCoskrie says it will be sent to every school and politician in New Zealand. He claims our children are being âindoctrinated with the message âgender refers to how you identify, someone can identify as male, female, in between, both, or neither.ââ
He says schools are being âbullied by government and advocacy groupsâ in to adopting policies around uniforms, toilets, changing rooms, and sports teams ârather than heeding the warnings and research of leading scholars and cliniciansâ.
Its call comes as Family First is trying to keep its tax-free charitable status â itâs locked in a court battle with the Charities Commission, which says the groupâs main purpose is political, not charitable.
This brand of hate not welcome in NZ
âWe've got enough religious nuts, without importing hate speech from the USA. I guess with marriage equality having swept the land, haters are starting to turn their attention on us,â Ellis says.
"No one wants to know what Bob McCoskrie thinks about this," she continues, nor from the reportâs author who she says wants to spread his special brand of hate in New Zealand.
âThis hater, who is unwelcome in most parts of America, has been adopted by Family First to spread his ugly messages. Listed in his credentials, Glenn Stanton claims that his appearances on Dr Phil somehow add to the credibility of his views.
"Specifically, this nutbar would have us turn back the clock on marriage equality, stop trans health care and force trans people to use bathrooms that don't reflect their gender.
"This kind of nonsense has found no traction in his native America and if he thinks itâs going to fly here, he's as deluded as McCoskrie. Perhaps they've been wearing the same tinfoil hats as McCoskrie's mate Colin Craig.â
Ellis says none of the views in the 80 page report will find favour here and represent âa death throe from the disgraced religious rightâ.
She says McCoskrie seems to have had an undue fascination with the trans community for some time. âRather than standing outside in the cold protesting too much, it's time we welcomed him in. I just want to say 'Bob, we're a broad church. We can help youâ."