Now, what about the contents of the aforementioned “conservatives pounce” Times update on the activities of the Religious Right? The basic idea is that conservatives sought out issues linked to “parental rights,” privacy issues for women and the rights of DNA women in sports — as opposed to responding to a cultural tsunami they had nothing to do with.
At the heart of the story is the point of view of a conservative organization that, frankly, I had not heard about until reading this story. Then again, I don’t spend a lot of time hanging out with the Religious Right. There is no previous mention of this group in nearly 20 years of GetReligion material.
This is the heart of the “pounce” angle:
“We knew we needed to find an issue that the candidates were comfortable talking about,” said Terry Schilling, the president of American Principles Project, a social conservative advocacy group. “And we threw everything at the wall.”
What has stuck, somewhat unexpectedly, is the issue of transgender identity, particularly among young people. Today, the effort to restrict transgender rights has supplanted same-sex marriage as an animating issue for social conservatives at a pace that has stunned political leaders across the spectrum. It has reinvigorated a network of conservative groups, increased fund-raising and set the agenda in school boards and state legislatures.
This is a valid point of view. That political angle is part of the story.
The key, however, is whether this activism is what is driving the wider national debates surrounding the surge in rapid-onset gender dysphoria.
I kept looking for references to voices on these issues who have literally nothing to do with Religious Right politics — people like Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan, J.K. Rowling, Abigail Shrier, Martina Navratilova and the parents behind the must-follow 4thWaveNow Twitter feed. And I expected to read about this legal and scientific earthquake in Great Britain, back in 2022:
The National Health Service in England announced … that it was shutting down the country’s only youth gender clinic in favor of a more distributed and comprehensive network of medical care for adolescents seeking hormones and other gender treatments.
The closure followed an external review of the Tavistock clinic in London, which has served thousands of transgender patients since the 1990s. The review, which is ongoing, has raised several concerns, including about long wait times, insufficient mental health support and the surging number of young people seeking gender treatments.
The overhaul of services for transgender young people in England is part of a notable shift in medical practice across some European countries with nationalized health care systems. Some doctors there are concerned about the increase in numbers as well as the dearth of data on long-term safety and outcomes of medical transitions.
In the United States, doctors specializing in gender care for adolescents have mixed feelings about the reforms in Europe. Although many agree that more comprehensive health care for transgender youth is badly needed, as are more studies of the treatments, they worry that the changes will fuel the growing political movement in some states to ban such care entirely.
That’s from a New York Times report, as well. Interesting.
To be blunt, I kept waiting for these words to appear in the “conservatives pounce” report, linked to the rising tide of detransition testimonies (yes, a trend that needs serious study by activists on both sides). Those words — Class. Action. Lawsuits.
Near the end of the “conservatives pounce” story is a tiny hint of divisions on the cultural left — a tiny window that immediately vanishes:
Though some on the left are still uncertain about how to best navigate the fraught politics of transgender issues, there’s an emerging consensus on the right.
Now, why is there uncertainty on the left?
Stay tuned. The Times may — at some point — have the courage to listen to important voices on both sides on this trans-trend story.
FIRST IMAGE: Uncredited feature art at Trans Guys website feature, “TESTOSTERONE SHORTAGES: WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU?”