By The Rev. Tom Eckstein | Jamestown

I am responding to the article which appeared in the Nov. 19 Jamestown Sun which dealt with the high suicide rate among those who have gender dysphoria. I want to stress that we should do all we can to help people who struggle with gender dysphoria, but affirming their psychological delusion is not the way to help them, especially when one considers the fact that many who have sex reassignment surgery continue to struggle with suicidal thoughts.

For example, in his book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., writes that “the medical evidence suggests that sex reassignment does not adequately address the psychosocial difficulties faced by people who identify as transgender. Even when the procedures are successful technically and cosmetically, and even in cultures that are relatively ‘trans-friendly,’ transitioners still face poor outcomes.”

In addition, Dr. Paul McHugh of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has stated, “Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they ‘identify.’ In that lies their problematic future.”

According to an article in the JAMA Psychiatry medical journal, the suicide rate among alcoholics is at least 60 times higher than the general population. In addition, an article by Kathleen Smith, Ph.D., states that up to 20% of those with anorexia attempt suicide. But no one argues that we should help them by affirming their destructive behavior. Instead, we get them help to overcome their condition.

The sad fact is that prepubescent children are being subjected to drugs that prevent puberty and then later are encouraged to have parts of their body surgically amputated and altered simply because they have psychological confusion about their gender versus their biological sex. The simple fact is that a biological man does not become a “woman” simply because he thinks he is, and encouraging him in this delusion does not help him.

I could write more about how nonsensical thinking regarding the transgender issue is affecting the rights of many other people. I could give examples of young girls who are forced to share a locker room with a biological male simply because he thinks he’s a woman or female athletes who are forced to compete against and lose to biological males simply because those biological males think they are women. However, the point of this letter is that we should not allow those who want to be politically correct keep us from giving people with gender dysphoria the love and help that they truly need.

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