Thursday, September 20, 2018

Family Research Council, Breitbart exploit hysteria to warp legitimate study about transgender children

One of the reasons why I began this blog and my work calling out anti-LGBTQ propaganda was because of how groups like the Family Research Council would cherry-pick legitimate science or cite junk science to create a false and negative narrative about the LGBTQ community.

Today, FRC, with the help of extreme right-wing crap sheet Breitbart, is taking a different path. The group is calling out legitimate science:

For progressive activists, nothing can stand in the way of their agenda -- not even the health and well-being of children. 
In a disturbing report from Breitbart, it was revealed that liberal activists embedded within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently carrying out a taxpayer-funded study to the tune of $5.7 million that is designed to result in a pre-determined conclusion: that children with gender dysphoria should be "affirmed" in their chosen gender identity through the use of puberty-blocking drugs and sterilizations. 
A source with detailed knowledge of the as yet unreleased study which began in the Obama era said that it is: 
...affirming gender change with family and environmental support in children as young as five years, and using puberty blockers and cross sex hormone treatment in children at the initial onset of puberty which could be as young age 8-9 years, and then following them for only five years. 
In a blatantly obvious example of conflict of interest, the four researchers who are conducting the NIH study each run their own private practices that encourage "affirmation therapy" for children who are experiencing gender dysphoria. What's more, the children who are participating in the study are the same ones who are receiving "therapy" from the four researchers! 
The dangers of undergoing a "gender transition" have already been well documented by FRC and many other organizations. For children in particular, the physical effects of hormone blockers are heartbreaking, as confirmed by doctors at Johns Hopkins University.

Neither Breitbart nor the Family Research Council have a reputation for honesty and accuracy, particularly when it comes to both science and the LGBTQ community. Neither employs anyone with an iota of expertise in this issue they are screeching about. And this lack of credibility shows. The supposed documentation by FRC is nothing more than ridiculous talking points from staff members.

The Breitbart article cited by FRC makes the insane claim that the purpose of the study is to sterilize children. In addition, its main source, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, isn't even connected with the study. However - and this is something Breitbart omitted in its article - Van Meter has a bias, not only against the transgender community, but also the LGBT community. According to a 2016 Southern Poverty Law Center article, Van Meter  was vice president of the American College of Pediatricians, a small group of medical professionals who splintered from a larger medical association, the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2002. They did this because AAP's gay-inclusive stance conflicted with their religious beliefs. 

In addition, SPLC calls the American College of Pediatricians a hate group because it hides a homophobic ideology behind science. SPLC also pointed out that in 2014, Van Meter resigned from AAP because he felt that its more inclusive stance on the LGBTQ community conflicted with his religious beliefs.

But  notice how FRC and Breitbart zeroed in on one point - puberty blockers - and stretched it to the point of hysteria. Via this link, you can see that the study itself is more complex than the use of  puberty blockers. But how FRC and Breitbart reduced the study to the fear of puberty blockers is no different than how like-minded groups reduce the issue of transgender safety and equality to spooky images of sordid men sneaking into women's restrooms.

Or how they have in the past reduced the issue of LGBTQ equality in general to children being supposedly trapped in classrooms being taught by half-dressed drag queens. Or how they reduced the issue of marriage equality and the fairness which gay couples should receive in all avenues of public life to false anecdotes about '"Christian" bakers and florists being driven into bankruptcy.

It's all a game, and it's a rather skillful game FRC and Breitbart play. The LGBTQ community can only win this game by first being hip to it.

No comments: