On Sunday, international Transgender Day of Visibility, Hillary Clinton and at least four 2020 Democrats celebrated transgender identity and opposed anyone who disagrees with the idea that biological men and biological women can change their sex and gender. While Americans should treat everyone with respect, many oppose transgender identity for good reasons, and it seems the Democratic Party is becoming increasingly hostile to dissent on this issue.
“Being yourself takes bravery,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) began her tweet about Transgender Day of Visibility. “Serving your country takes bravery. Demeaning and discriminating against trans Americans—including service members and students—is just cowardice. Trans rights are human rights. We will defend them as such.”
Being yourself takes bravery.
Serving your country takes bravery.
Demeaning and discriminating against trans Americans—including service members and students—is just cowardice.
Trans rights are human rights. We will defend them as such. #TransDayOfVisibility
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) March 31, 2019
Gillibrand’s tweet attacked President Donald Trump’s so-called military transgender ban, a policy that insists men and women in uniform live in accordance with their biological sex during their time in the military. Contrary to popular belief, it does not exclude people who suffer from gender dysphoria (the persistent identification with the gender opposite one’s biological sex) from the military. It does, however, avoid an official government endorsement of transgender identity.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also subtly attacked the Trump policy. When the “ban” was first announced, transgender activists tweeted that they “won’t be erased.” According to them, the Trump administration’s insistence on upholding biological sex over transgender identity involved “erasing” them.
“Transgender people [won’t be erased] by violence, fear, or prejudice. We will fight with you for equality — on [Transgender Day of Visibility] and ever other day,” Warren tweeted.
Transgender people #WontBeErased by violence, fear, or prejudice. We will fight with you for equality – on #TransDayOfVisibility and every other day. pic.twitter.com/DuSALdg4qW
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 31, 2019
Warren and other 2020 Democrats have endorsed the Equality Act, a piece of federal legislation that would require the employers, schools, places of public accommodation, and more to affirm transgender identity over biological sex. The act prohibits “discrimination,” but in practice it would involve stifling dissent on this controversial issue. Every 2020 Democrat in the Senate has co-sponsored the Equality Act.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), another candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, attacked “discrimination and hate,” which on this issue so often includes mere dissent.
“Today we stand with the transgender community—as we must every day—to say discrimination and hate toward trans Americans have no place in our society. Civil rights means equal rights and dignity for all trans people,” Sanders tweeted.
Today we stand with the transgender community—as we must every day—to say discrimination and hate toward trans Americans have no place in our society. Civil rights means equal rights and dignity for all trans people. #TransDayofVisibility
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 31, 2019
“Transgender people deserve to openly live life without fear,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tweeted. “This Transgender Day of Visibility, let’s show dignity and respect to trans friends, family, and the community as a whole.”
Transgender people deserve to openly live life without fear. This Transgender Day of Visibility, let’s show dignity and respect to trans friends, family, and the community as a whole. #TransDayOfVisibility pic.twitter.com/C13SVZYy8o
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 31, 2019
Harris is right — Americans should treat transgender people with “dignity and respect,” but that does not mean all Americans must agree that transgender identity is a person’s true self, as Gillibrand insisted.
There are important biological differences between men and women, down to the level of DNA. Transgender identity does not erase these differences. Biological males who identify as women have an unfair advantage in sports, with a freshman in high school defeating senior girls in Track. Female athletes have begun to speak out about this injustice, only to be met with angry backlash for speaking the truth.
Voyeurs have taken advantage of transgender restroom policies to spy on women. At least one boy reportedly sexually abused a 5-year-old girl in a girl’s bathroom at school, after being admitted on the basis that he was gender non-conforming. People suffering with gender dysphoria are not a threat to women in such spaces, but pro-transgender policies can endanger women and girls.
Despite these and other concerns, activists have demonized dissent on transgender identity. Feminists have been banned by Twitter and kicked out of bars for standing for biology. British police called a 74-year-old woman because she tweeted in favor of biology, asking her to withdraw her statements. In a bone-chilling example, a transgender activist tweeted that he wanted to drink the “bone broth” of people who disagree with transgender identity. He was not banned from Twitter.
In Ohio, parents lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter last year because they disagreed with her identity as a boy.
As for those who embrace a transgender identity, many later change their minds, regretting hormones and surgery that left them permanently scarred. While many critics of transgenderism are socially conservative, many lesbian feminists have also spoken up against this movement.
The Transgender Day of Visibility is the second major transgender day, after the Transgender Day of Remembrance. While the day of remembrance focuses on the transgender people who have been murdered, the day of visibility celebrates the living.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin used the holiday as an opportunity to slam “the discriminatory efforts of anti-equality politicians.” He celebrated the bravery of transgender and non-binary people in sharing their stories.
Openly identifying as a gender opposite one’s birth sex does take bravery, but Americans should reserve the right to disagree with the claim that this is a person’s true identity. Increasingly, it takes a great deal of bravery to disagree with transgenderism.
Yet Democrats seem to have embraced this issue wholeheartedly, acting as though there is no room for dissent. Indeed, last week Democratic offices temporarily replaced POW/MIA flags with transgender pride flags.
“On this Transgender Day of Visibility, let’s affirm that we see, stand by, and celebrate our transgender friends, family, and neighbors,” Hillary Clinton tweeted.
On this #TransDayOfVisibility, let's affirm that we see, stand by, and celebrate our transgender friends, family, and neighbors. pic.twitter.com/NfvXJbcAzw
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 31, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also championed the day.
Whether you are a soldier, activist, teacher, or artist, our message to you is the same:
We see you.
We love you.
We value you.
Thank you for all the joy you bring to the lives of our families, our communities, and our nation. #TransDayOfVisibility pic.twitter.com/7XodPfXNP6
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 31, 2019
As of yet, it does not seem that 2020 Democrats Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), or former Vice President Joe Biden have yet celebrated Transgender Day of Visibility, but each of them has expressed support for the Equality Act.
By doubling down on this issue, Democrats risk losing the support of feminists — especially lesbian feminists — who support many of their policies but cannot stomach the new transgender orthodoxy.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.