Twenty-eight years ago, the release of “When Harry Met Sally” highlighted one big debate: whether men and women could really be just friends.
That question may still be up in the air, but now we are being forced to confront a more fundamental debate: whether men can really become women.
America is in the midst of what has been called a “transgender moment.” In the space of a year, transgender issues went from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights.
But can a boy truly be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine really “reassign” sex? Is sex something “assigned” in the first place? What’s the loving response to a friend or child experiencing a gender identity conflict? What should our law say on these issues?
These shouldn’t be difficult questions.
Just a few years before “When Harry Met Sally” hit theaters, Dr. Paul McHugh thought he had convinced the vast majority of medical professionals not to go along with bold claims about sex and gender being proffered by some of his colleagues. And as chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, McHugh put a stop to sex-reassignment surgery at Hopkins.
Once the elite Johns Hopkins did this, many medical centers across the nation followed suit.
But in recent years we have seen a resurgence of these drastic procedures—not in light of new scientific evidence, mind you, but as a result of a growing ideological movement. Such is our transgender moment.
>>> For more on how to understand transgender issues, get a copy of Ryan Anderson’s new book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”
The people increasingly in the spotlight of this moment are children.
In the past 10 years, dozens of pediatric gender clinics have sprung up throughout the United States. In 2007, Boston Children’s Hospital “became the first major program in the United States to focus on transgender children and adolescents,” as its own website brags.