Minors’ Gender “Transitioning”: Just Askin’

There are a whole host of questions that can be raised to show the inconsistencies of those who advocate for young people to gender "transition."

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One of the attractions of Boston is the Freedom Trail, that glorious walk that connects key sites of Beantown’s Revolutionary War heritage. I once had as a guide a delightful Boston Irishman with a touch of blarney and no end to his satirical observations. But, of course, he never posed those observations as fact. No, as he noted, a true Bostonian would simply pose the question and leave some strategic ambiguity by dropping the phrase, “you know, just askin’.” 

Not unlike Screwtape’s query—“Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1). Just askin’.

In the wake of fights over whether minors should be allowed to “gender transition” (i.e., receive puberty blockers or undergo surgery that temporarily or permanently destroys their fertility), I have a couple of “just askin’” questions.

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Over St. Paddy’s Day weekend, lots of the “water of life” flows. I’m told Powers is a great brand.

Now, nobody under 21 can legally purchase Powers in any state. (Yes, I know, some states carve out exceptions for parental supervision, etc., but the point is: no public establishment will sell hard liquor to somebody born after 2002). At one point, that rule was 18, but New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg led a campaign in 1984 to arm-twist every state to raise its drinking age to 21 or lose part of their federal Highway Trust Fund money. The issue was Jersey kids, whose state’s age was higher than New York’s, drinking in the Empire State and then driving the bridges and tunnels home drunk. Congress approved that change overwhelmingly, and states fell in line. The CDC today has a website extolling the merits of that higher drinking age.

Well, indulge in too much Powers and you’re likely to be temporarily impaired. Indulge in “top surgery” or “bottom surgery” and the impairment—the loss of fertility—is permanent. How is that not a problem? Just askin’.

If you’re drunk, you might do other stupid things, including showing up in a tattoo parlor. Know what? It’s almost universal among states that you cannot obtain a tattoo if you are under the age of 18. Some might allow it when a parent consents—for example, the Code of Virginia says that nobody may tattoo somebody under 18 “except in the presence of the person’s parent or guardian.” My guess is that the parental carve-out is there because that part of the Code covers “tattoos and piercings” and the latter probably covers jewelry. (Virginia also has school districts on record as public policy, in defiance of the Commonwealth, saying they will not inform parents or guardians about made-up names applied to children in school). The tattoo rule is part of “crimes against children.” 

Some states, like Minnesota, blanket proscribe under-18 tattooing.

Well, a tattoo might eventually turn out aesthetically ugly, but let’s be honest, it’s only skin-deep. Why is that a problem but a “piercing” (more like cutting or amputation) of a healthy reproductive system to make it non-functional isn’t? Just askin’.

By the way, California—which as of January 1, 2023, has declared itself a “sanctuary state” for minors seeking to evade their own state’s prohibitions on genital mutilation—still treats tattooing a minor under 18 as a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in the county jail. Better make sure that, in the course of “gender-affirming care,” nobody tattoos “love is love” on hir rear. Just sayin’.

Lastly, because gender ideology has taught us not to commit the simplification of equating “sex” and “gender” (and recognizing the latter trumps the former), one must note: the legal age for consent to engage in intercourse ranges in the states from 16-18. Engaging in sex with someone below 16 in any state (except in states with “Romeo and Juliet” laws, where a 17+ Romeo can sleep with a Juliet not more than three years his junior) is statutory rape.

So, how is it that a 13-year-old girl cannot consent to vaginal intercourse but should be able to consent to the mutilation of her vagina to construct a simulacrum of a penis? Just askin’.

If “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” then our social policy is being driven by big and little Einsteins. The pressure to put kids on pills or under the knife is absolutely inconsistent with all sorts of rules societies have applied to children for generations, even if therapeutic voices want to assure us there’s nothing to see here.

In case you’re in doubt, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan (see here for her full comments, beginning at 3:16) can instruct you: “When our children tell us who they are, it is our job as grownups to listen and to believe them. That’s what it means to be a good parent” [emphasis added]. 

Does it? And whose business is it of Peggy Flanagan to tell me?  

Just askin’.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]


  • John M. Grondelski

    John M. Grondelski (Ph.D., Fordham) is a former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. All views expressed herein are his own.

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