Honesty surrenders to ideology every time these days when it involves issues of gender identity and sexual expression.
Bruce Jenner was honored at the ESPY Awards, a sports program televised on the ABC and ESPN networks during the all-star break in July. He was presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for embracing his “transgender” status and evolving into “Caitlyn” Jenner.
He asked us to evolve along with him because, as he had said in an earlier interview, he represents “the new normal.”
Jenner called for compassion in how we treat transgenders because of their startling rate of attempted — and successful — suicide. More than 40 percent of transgenders self-report suicide attempts. That compares to about 4.6 percent of the general population.
Fully 1 in 3 transgenders will die from suicide. According to extensive studies, there is virtually no difference in that rate whether one has had “sexual reassignment” surgery or not. Additionally, it is not confined to the young, as Jenner implied. Those catastrophic suicide rates for transgenders hold through to old age.
Transgender is not the “new normal” unless the goal is 1 in 3 Americans killing themselves.
This arose in the past — and is largely undiscussed now — when it came to the suicide rates of gay men, lesbians and bisexuals. It was argued their suicide rate was so much higher than the rest of the population because they were forced to deny who and what they were.
So after years of ideological re-education and “treatment” that centers purely on personal acceptance, what do we have now? An attempted suicide rate among gay men, lesbians and bisexuals that still stands at a heartbreaking 20 percent.
Extensive studies worldwide have shown that transgenders suffer from a wide range of psychological disorders. And the response from the gender and sexual expression ideologues? Accept it. That will solve everything. All that is needed is to collaborate with, rather than combat, a lethal mental disease.
We need to treat with compassion any person afflicted with this disorder. But we wouldn’t treat a person diagnosed with cancer with compassion alone. We attack the disease with the best that modern medicine has to offer.
Don’t those afflicted with this sexual-identity disorder deserve the same? Yes, they need compassion in how they are treated. But they also desperately need compassionate treatment. With 1 in 3 destined to die at their own hands, we have to pull them out of a life-threatening mental illness, rather than surrender to a sexual ideology.
After the Supreme Court ruling on so-called gay marriage, New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that Christians should tone down the “cultural wars” over the “sexual revolution.” We should be nice, serve the poor, show a healthy alternative to a “society plagued by formlessness and radical flux, in which bonds, social structures and commitments are strained and frayed ... to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable.”
Good advice, except for one thing. It is that so-called sexual revolution and the resulting sexual politics that have dominated our collective cultural conversation for decades that have helped to create this lost and disoriented world. It is a world where even mental illness has been politicized to fit the ideological demands of the “sexual revolution.”
Bruce Jenner has an illness. An illness that gives him a 33 percent chance of dying at his own hands. He doesn’t need awards. He doesn’t need gender-identity ideological bravado. He needs kindness and prayer. He needs help.
Robert P. Lockwood writes from Pennsylvania.