When Transgender Children Are Harmed by the People Who Intended to Help Them

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 09/28/2017

Here’s a heartbreaking story out of Australia about a boy and his mother who circumvented the law (with the “help” of doctors) in order to start his transitioning process at age 12. He has since decided he wants to be a boy after all, but now he has to have surgery to reverse results of the hormone treatments.

Our culture assumes that love demands we affirm and enable people’s choices no matter what, but that’s not what love is. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and sometimes, dying for the sake of others means accepting their anger and abuse when, for their good, you don’t give them what they’re asking for. The doctors who should have been looking out for this boy’s best interests ended up tragically harming him. And there will be many more like him because 70%–80% of children who report transgender feelings spontaneously lose those feelings after puberty, without any medical treatment.

People on both sides of this debate want to help the children involved; the question is merely how to best help them. If you find yourself in a debate with friends on this topic, I’ve recommended clarifying this distinction for them with a question like this one:

I really appreciate your desire to be gracious and help people. That’s a great motivation, and I share that with you. Since we both want to help transgender people, here’s my question for you: Hypothetically, if it were the case that people are actually harmed by denying their biological gender, would you still encourage them to do so?

And then perhaps share this video with them.