WASHINGTON – In recent years, people who believe they were born in a body of the wrong gender have become more public, and social justice warriors have jumped on the bandwagon, engaging in fierce debates about the condition affecting 0.1 to 0.5 percent of the population.

The name for this phenomenon has been changed from “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria,” in effect de-pathologizing it, in the latest edition of the psychiatrists’ “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,” due to intense pressure from LGBT activists.

One aspect of the new wave of transgender activism that is not often discussed is its effect on children. But it’s easy to imagine the impact on impressionable children who see such people celebrated in the media and given special privileges.

National Geographic magazine put a transgender child on the cover of its January 2017 issue, a feature that includes a section called “Helping Families Talk About Gender” and an article titled “Rethinking Gender.” The message: Some children will be never be happy or healthy unless they are allowed to express their “perceived gender.”

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Others, however, are worried that these children are merely going through a phase and will later regret any drastic steps taken to permanently switch their gender.

One such critic is Walt Heyer, founder of Sex Change Regret, who has first-hand experience with the issue. He cross-dressed starting at age 4 and went through hormone therapy and sex-change surgery. After eight years of living as a woman, he regretted his decision and had a second surgery to return to his birth gender.

Heyer is a frequent columnist for The Federalist. In a January article discussing the National Geographic gender issue, Heyer wrote that “studies have shown that childhood gender dysphoria does not inevitably continue into adulthood.”

“An overwhelming 77 to 94 percent of gender dysphoric children do not become adults with gender dysphoria,” he said.

Heyer blames the increase in the number of children who think they have “gender dysphoria” on magazines like National Geographic.

“A cover photo is visually exciting and can persuade young people that male and female gender models are not fixed, when they are. Photos like the one on the cover of National Geographic can encourage a child to question his or her gender and sex and act out accordingly,” he wrote.

A paper written by three prominent doctors confirms Heyer’s theory. Dr. Paul Hruz of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, along with Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh, both of Johns Hopkins University, published a study showing that cases of children with “gender dysphoria” have risen significantly in recent years.

They cited statistics from the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom, which only treats patients under 18 years old. Referrals of children with “gender dysphoria” jumped from 94 in 2009/2010 to 1,986 in 2016/2017 – an increase of almost 2,000 percent. Referrals at a clinic in Toronto, Canada, jumped from around 20 per year in 2004 to almost 100 per year in 2011.

The three doctors see the rise in such controversial medical intervention as exacerbating young people’s obsession with becoming the opposite gender, when if just left alone, most would naturally grow out of the feelings.

“The medical treatments provided for children with apparent symptoms of gender dysphoria, including affirmation of gender expression from the earliest evidence of cross-gender behaviors, may drive some children to persist in identifying as transgender when they might otherwise have, as they grow older, found their gender to be aligned with their sex,” they said.

“Gender identity for children is elastic (that is, it can change over time) and plastic (that is, it can be shaped by forces like parental approval and social conditions). If the increasing use of gender-affirming care does cause children to persist with their identification as the opposite sex, then many children who would otherwise not need ongoing medical treatment would be exposed to hormonal and surgical interventions.”

Even though statistically most children outgrow transgender feelings as they get older if left alone, the heightened attention given to transsexuals has also led to more parents seeking treatment that solidifies the condition, experts warn.

However, in some countries, it’s not only media coverage and peer pressure that force parents to seek medical affirmation for their gender-questioning child. It’s the law of the land.

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Canada recently passed a shocking law allowing child-protection agents to actually take a child away from his parents if the parents did not acquiesce to the child’s perceived gender identity.

The law could potentially force parents to bring their children to medical clinics where they would be affirmed in their transsexual feelings. In fact, to not seek such “medical help” would be categorized as child abuse, according to Canada’s minister of children and youth services, Michael Coteau.

“I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently,” he said.

Not so long ago, it was widely considered child abuse to encourage a child’s transgender feelings. As recently as 2012, the American Psychiatric Association considered “gender identity disorder” as a mental health problem.

No one would consider it good parenting to promote a mental disorder in a child. But now, 45 percent of Millennials are at least open to the state taking children with “gender dysphoria” from parents who won’t seek treatment.

What has changed?

Heyer believes “social justice” activism is to blame.

“The change came as a direct result of extreme pressure from LGBT [groups] whose funding (some) comes from George Soros – not because it improved medical care for this group,” he said when asked for comment.

Veteran journalist and best-selling author David Kupelian agrees.

“There is a cultural explanation for the radical reversal of values in America – the huge influence of the LGBT lobby as well as sympathetic politicians, judges and journalists,” he told WND.

But he also believes something bigger is at work.

“Simply put, when a society abandons God and His laws, forsakes common sense, and ignores the hard-won lessons of history, and arrogantly decides instead to pursue its own delusional notions of total freedom and moral anarchy, that society goes insane. That’s what has been happening in America.”

This insanity is being promoted in many forms.

Children may be given experimental puberty-blocking drugs, which will stunt their growth and render them entirely infertile. They may be given the full sex-change surgery, although that usually doesn’t happen until adulthood.

Or, they may be merely affirmed in their transsexual behaviors, such as cross-dressing, until their parents allow them to try to make a full transition. Attempts have been made to familiarize children with cross-dressing “drag queens” through initiatives such as Drag Queen Story Hours in public libraries in New York and San Francisco.

Children are presented with role models such as 8-year-old drag queen Lactatia from Ontario, who regularly makes appearances in lewd stage shows and once said, “If you want to be a drag queen and your parents don’t let you, you need new parents.”

Gigi Gorgeous, a transsexual born as Gregory Lazzarato, now has an award-winning feature-length documentary telling the story of his “transition.”

Avery Jackson, who was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine in January, is another.

This kind of national notoriety appeals to naturally attention-seeking children. But is the transsexual life as glamorous as it would appear from these high-profile cases?

The answer is a resounding no, contends Heyer.

“People who have a desire to change gender are suffering from one or more undiagnosed and untreated comorbid emotional, psychological and/or social adjustment disorders. Changing gender is not effective in treating the disordered thinking kids have,” he told WND. “For the young self-identified transgenders the life becomes ‘Long Term Pain,’ but then it is too late.”

Tragically, this “long term pain” all too often ends in suicide. Forty percent of transsexuals have attempted suicide, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey Report. It’s the most convincing evidence that supports transgenderism as a mental illness, since 90 percent of those who attempt suicide have some sort of mental illness, according to

This mental illness often stems from some sort of childhood trauma. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone is born transgender, say experts.

Many transsexuals suffered from sexual abuse as children, often from a parent or a close family member. This could be a cause of their “gender dysphoria,” as Kupelian points out.

“Little children, being so exquisitely impressionable, are powerfully shaped by the environment in which they grow up. Early sexual abuse … can be devastating,” he said.

But instead of treating the underlying cause of the “dysphoria,” the modern world seems more interested in hushing it up and calling it normal, Kupelian contends.

“The most vulnerable members of society are the young, so exposing children to dangerous and confusing cultural delusions, like the idea that transgenderism is perfectly normal, is particularly reckless and dangerous,” he said.

Should decision-makers encourage children in behavior that will lead to attempted suicide for 40 percent of them? Is it really child abuse to tell them that biology doesn’t make mistakes? Can the nation justify running all of these risks so that changeable children can act out a gender identity that most of them would lose naturally as they grow older?

The answer is no for many experts who contend that encouraging transgenderism in children should be described as it was for decades: child abuse.

Get David Kupelian’s culture war blockbusters: “The Marketing of Evil,” “How Evil Works” and his latest, “The Snapping of the American Mind” at the WND Superstore. Also available in e-book and audiobook versions.


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