To the Editor: Response to “A Controversial Trend on Israel’s Doorstep”
This letter is in reference to “A Controversial Trend on Israel’s Doorstep: Ms. Abigail Shrier Brings the Transgender Debate to Tel Aviv“, an article published on DailyClout on June 5th, 2023.
As I read Ms. Hecht’s article, I thought a lot about how many people have lost the art of listening to each other and have ended up talking past each other. I don’t believe in censoring speech except when violence against our fellow human beings is advocated. I don’t believe in shouting down and trying to silence speakers who I disagree with, even when they might be saying terrible things about people like me (anti-vaxer, science denier, grandma killer, mentally ill, deranged, dangerous tranny, etc.) I don’t have very much knowledge about the issue of “The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” of Ms. Shrier’s book, which I have not read as of yet. But I will still speak to the issues this topic evokes in my view.
Ms. Hecht, I am two generations removed from the young people of today and the world being described in your article is totally foreign to me (societal pressure in my generation was entirely on the side of it being forbidden and horrible for a child or an adult to express that they were not what they were supposed to be either according to gender identity or eventually, as you grow older – sexual identity.) A world where there is peer pressure to be “trans” is not something I know anything about – my friends have “trans” backgrounds and I knew from a very young age that we were not in the right place in the world, some of us even openly expressing that we were girls from well before puberty. With us this is not some ephemeral idea of who we are; this is who we are at the very core of our being and it does not change over our lives. This was decades ago.
I wanted to express to you and to Ms. Schreir that the danger in addressing such issues cuts both ways: In denying that it is possible for a child to have a sense of their gender other than what it appears to be from birth there’s also the harm that can be done to them. The message is sent that they should be deeply ashamed that they are a girl who thinks they are a boy or a boy who thinks they are a girl. In my generation, our inner sense of identity arose entirely without any social pressure to do so (quite the contrary in fact). Knowing that my and other’s identities are real (and biologically based by the way, the subject of another article) I can say with some authority that to completely deny the ability to talk openly about our identities from childhood onward can be harmful. Knowing that we are real makes me also sensitive to the opposite danger that seems to be arising in today’s very strange world: pressuring someone, even from early childhood to question their gender identity. As a “trans” person I can understand, from my life experience what a source of extreme stress and anxiety it would likely be to be a “cis” child and to be pressured to deny who I was and to be told that it is better to live as the opposite gender. On the one hand, the reward is great to be able to transition to live seamlessly as one’s true gender for me and others, it is all worth the arduous process to unmask one’s true identity in all of life. On the other hand, to superimpose gender transition on a young person who is not trans would be horrific.
We need to somehow learn again the art of speaking slowly and listening carefully to each other. I hope others can accept the real-life experience of myself and others I know with a “trans” background: A “trans” person often has a strong sense of their true gender from an early age and this persists throughout life. But this does not mean that it is wise to superficially multiply our numbers by manipulating the majority of children who are not “trans” to question who they are: They too, already innately know their gender identity. When a person is really “trans” it is wonderful and easy to live as one’s true gender, in this case, and only in this case, the transition process is easily more than worth it.
We need to learn how to let every child live authentically according to their identity and to avoid pressuring them to be something they are not. There are mistakes being made on all sides right now with our children caught in the middle in so many ways. This is making the world an incredibly hard one for our children. I have a dream of a new reality, where we are all working together for a world where each and every individual is valued and loved just as they are, most especially including our precious, beautiful children.
One of our country’s most important freedoms is that of free speech.
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