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In April 2015 Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner announced in a TV interview, "For all intents and purposes, I'm a woman." He explained that he had undergone gender reassignment surgery, that his new name was Caitlyn, and that he had changed his pronouns to "she" and "her." A few weeks later Caitlyn appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair dressed in a woman's one-piece bathing suit, instantly becoming the world's most famous transgender person.
A lot has happened since then. Research shows that gender confusion among teenagers has increased 1,000% in the last 10 years — and it has risen 4,000% in Great Britain. And for some unexplained reason, a growing number of teenage girls are being caught up in the transgender craze. In 2016, 46% of the sex reassignment surgeries in the United States were girls "transitioning" to boys; today, that number has grown to 70%.
The alarming trend caught the attention of Abigail Shrier, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, who decided to explore the underlying causes. Her excellent book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters was published in 2020. Shrier was immediately labeled a "transphobe" by the transgender community because she raised questions about the physical and mental health of people who change their gender.
Shrier isn't a Christian (she's Jewish), but I'm grateful that she had the courage to tackle this issue at a time when anyone with Judeo-Christian morals is being canceled. Christians should read her book to be better equipped to address a dangerous trend that is already affecting young people who need the salvation and healing of Jesus.
When talking about Satan, the apostle Paul warned us not to be "ignorant of his schemes" (2 Cor. 2:11, NASB). If you are a parent, grandparent, pastor or youth pastor, or if you are in any way involved in discipling teenagers in your church, you can't afford to ignore this blatant attack on the next generation. In Irreversible Damage, Shrier exposes several lies transgender activists use to promote their agenda. Here are a few of them:
Lie No. 1: If you have ever questioned your gender, you are trans. Can you imagine what goes on in the mind of a 12-year-old girl who is beginning puberty? She is already scared of starting her menstrual cycle and insecure about her changing body. Transgender "influencers" on YouTube, TikTok and other internet platforms are ready to tell impressionable teen girls that they are really boys trapped in the wrong bodies. And these days a growing number of public school teachers are eager to reinforce these ideas by asking students to "pick their pronouns" or advising them to use the restrooms of their "preferred" gender.
Lie No. 2: Hormones will fix all your problems. Transgender activists tell teens that drugs are the answer to their emotional struggles. Girls who take testosterone shots can grow body hair and boost muscle growth, making them "feel" more masculine. (Never mind the fact that many teens who begin these treatments immediately start having doubts about their decisions.)
Lie No. 3: Surgery is a great option. In the past few years there has been a surge in the number of "top surgeries" for girls who want to have their breasts removed. And some politicians want to pass laws to make it easier for both underage males and females to have sex-change operations without parental consent. (Reminder: It's still illegal in most states for anyone under age 18 to get a tattoo or body piercing without parental consent. Yet we are going to allow a 14-year-old girl to have her breasts removed because a trans celebrity on the internet suggested it?)
Lie No. 4: If your parents aren't fully supportive, you should leave them. Transgender activists talk a lot about "unconditional love." But what they mean is If your mom or dad doesn't want you to cut off your genitals, or remove your breasts, they don't love you. Shrier points out that some transgender stars on the internet encourage teens to sever all contact with their parents and instead find affirmation and love from their "glitter family" or "queer family" — references to the trans community.
Lie No. 5: If people don't support a person's decision to become transgender, they will commit suicide. The transgender community uses a lot of fear of self-harm to manipulate public policy. It is certainly true that young people who struggle with gender confusion have higher rates of suicide. But what we aren't told is that people who have had gender reassignment surgery also commit suicide at higher rates. In other words, the depression and self-rejection that accompanies gender dysphoria doesn't go away after sex-change surgery.
It should be obvious that the transgender movement is like a cult and its leaders are involved in a blatant attempt to do irreparable harm to the minds and bodies of the most vulnerable. We can't allow this vocal minority to control the argument. We need to expose the lies and protect our kids before it's too late.
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J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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