National Geographic Puts a 9-Year-Old Transgender Girl on the Cover
National Geographic magazine announced last week that it will feature its first transgender model on the cover in January, a 9-year-old "girl."
"She has lived as an openly transgender girl since age 5, and she captured the complexity of the conversation around gender," wrote National Geographic editor Susan Goldberg in a letter announcing the issue. "Today, we're not only talking about gender roles for boys and girls — we're talking about our evolving understanding of people on the gender spectrum."
Avery Jackson, the 9-year-old transgender from Kansas City, Kansas, will appear on the cover wearing hot pink cheetah-print pants. Confident, laid back, and poised with pink-dyed stripes through shoulder-length hair, she does indeed look like a girl, but is 9 — or 5! for that matter — an old enough age to determine one's own gender? Especially if it is opposite her biological sex?
The magazine's issue focuses on the "Gender Revolution," pointing out 80 different 9-year-olds in eight different countries. It hits shelves on December 27, and is guaranteed to stir up controversy.
Indeed, shortly after the announcement, a Twitter user named Mark Romano declared, "I used to love National Geographic. Unfortunately, it has become nothing but a cesspool of Left-wing insanity."
Beneath Avery Jackson's picture stands the single quote, "The best thing about being a girl is, now I don't have to pretend to be a boy."
"The portraits of all the children are beautiful," Goldberg wrote. "We especially loved the portrait of Avery — strong and proud. We thought that, in a glance, she summed up the concept of 'Gender Revolution.'"
Indeed, the transgender movement could be considered a "revolution." It represents a fundamental rejection of the traditional — some would say scientific — understanding of the relationship between gender and biological sex.
Some have criticized the movement as "neo-Gnosticism," as it elevates a personal feeling about gender over the genetic makeup of a person's body. Denial of the concrete facts of biological sex does not make them any less true.
In August, researchers at Johns Hopkins reported that people are not "born" homosexual or transgender. There are a number of factors that contribute to such identities later in life, and transgender surgery can do more harm than good.