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Politics of the Trans Cult

top surgeryUntil about the turn of the century, ‘transsexualism’ – male individuals identifying as and wanting to become females and female individuals identifying as and wanting to become males – was a rare disorder. Its treatment was entrusted to physicians and psychiatrists, who sought to avoid, or at least delay and minimize, resort to drugs -- puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones -- and surgery, for several good reasons: 

because some 85% of patients who do not take drugs or undergo surgery eventually lose the desire to change sex – a resolution facilitated by psychoanalysis that seeks to expose the underlying sources of dysphoria (discomfort with one’s body);

because although drugs and surgery give immediate relief from dysphoria surveys show that they do not lead to long-term improvement in overall psychological wellbeing;  

because drugs and surgery have very serious side effects, including infertility, lifelong sexual dysfunction, and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and embolism (blood clots).[1]

Now and for the foreseeable future, medical science is unable to change a male body into a female one or vice versa. All that hormones and surgery do is take a healthy body and mutilate and deform it, resulting in a body that is still of the same sex but gives a superficial impression of belonging to the other sex. 

It is helpful to compare ‘transgender’ surgery with another lucrative line of pseudo-medical activity – cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgeons also mutilate and deform healthy bodies to satisfy false psychological needs rooted in sex stereotypes. The difference, of course, is that ‘transgender’ surgery tries to make the body conform more closely to the stereotype of the opposite sex, while cosmetic surgery tries to make the body conform more closely to the stereotype of the same sex.   

Over the last twenty and especially the last ten years, the issue of transsexualism has been politicized. There has arisen a militant movement of ‘transactivists’ who hold that a person’s sex is determined not by objective body type but by an unverifiable inner feeling. On the sole basis of this feeling they insist that they are – and always have been – of the opposite sex to their body type with the right to be fully recognized and treated as such. Any denial or even limitation of this right, any statement at variance with their dogma is denounced as ‘transphobia’ – a form of bigotry every bit as reprehensible as homophobia or racism. Those who express ‘transphobic’ ideas are guilty of hate speech that is hurtful to transsexual people and must be silenced, vilified, fired, and ostracized.

At the same time, the population of self-identified transsexuals has greatly increased and its sex-age composition has shifted. In particular, recent years have seen an explosive growth in the number of teenage girls claiming to be boys. The spread of ‘trans’ identification within friendship clusters suggests that this is a social contagion. ‘Coming out as trans’ is now an easy way for a youngster of either sex to obtain attention, admiration, and kudos. Many of the girls and boys who think they are ‘trans’ have autistic tendencies. 

Transactivist dogma has become so dominant that even prominent physicians and psychiatrists challenge it at their peril. Only a handful of them have had the courage and integrity to stand firm in defense of the previous cautious approach to the care of transsexuals. The mainstream practice is now ‘affirmative therapy,’ which validates their delusions and encourages them to proceed further along the path to mutilation.  

In the last year or two, however, there have been signs that the tide may soon start to turn, with a proliferation of critical media.[2] 

Transsexualism and feminism

In the political sphere, most of the public opponents of transsexualism have been feminists. That is not to say that a majority of feminists take such a stance; on the contrary, many toe the transactivist line in the name of ‘intersectionality’ (mutual support of oppressed groups). Nevertheless, what political criticism there is does seem to come from feminists.  

Feminist opposition to transsexualism stems, firstly, from reluctance to recognize ‘transwomen’ as women. Critics point out that these individuals do not share the life experience of women. They tend to be taller and stronger than almost all women, which makes it unfair to allow them to compete in women’s sports. They also tend to retain aggressive qualities of the masculine stereotype, so when they are granted access to women’s ‘safe spaces’ those spaces cease to be safe. I would add that many of the men who seek to acquire a feminine appearance do so for reasons that have nothing to do with any sense of affinity with women. Some, for instance, are sexually aroused by feminized images of themselves (a form of narcissism known as autogynephilia); others are attracted to other men but do not want to acknowledge that they may be gay.     

A second area of concern for feminists is the epidemic of teenage girls wanting to be ‘transmen.’ Indeed, the message that transactivists send to girls uneasy with the feminine stereotype is closer to the message that traditionalists used to have for such girls than it is to the message conveyed to them by feminists.

Traditionalist message: ‘It doesn’t matter if you are a tomboy when you are young, but now you are maturing you should behave like a girl is supposed to behave.’

 Feminist message: ‘You are a girl, but there are many different ways of being a girl or woman, all equally valid. You don’t need to conform to a stereotype.’

Transactivist message: ‘If you behave like a boy, perhaps that’s because you really are a boy.’   

But why should girls be susceptible to such a silly counterfactual suggestion? It might have been expected that the much wider educational and occupational opportunities now available to girls and women would have strengthened their self-confidence sufficiently to protect them against the narrow sex-role ideology of transactivists and traditionalists. Evidently that has not occurred. 

It may be pertinent that while feminist goals in the spheres of education and employment have largely been achieved this cannot be said of the sphere of mass culture, which for most teenage girls is more important than career prospects. In particular, the sexual objectification of women remains intact; perhaps it has even intensified. This is surely connected with the fact that significant progress in this area would jeopardize powerful commercial interests (cosmetics, fashion, the movies, porn, and entertainment industries, etc.).

At its best the women's liberation movement has sought to liberate both women and men from the tyranny of sex stereotypes. In this sense it has also been a men's liberation movement. If you are a girl and dislike the attitudes that many people still have toward women, how women are treated and what is expected of them -- or if you are a boy and dislike the attitudes that many people still have toward men, how men are treated and what is expected of them -- then you fight to change those attitudes and expectations! For the trans cult, however, the problem faced by such individuals is that they do not 'really' belong to the sex/gender that has been assigned to them. Far from being encouraged to challenge unfair and restrictive stereotypes, they are explicitly or implicitly urged to accept and adapt to them. This is very close to the traditionalist stance. The difference lies only in the recommended strategy of adaptation -- to squeeze yourself into the gender role that society assigns to your sex or to deny your sex and claim recognition as a member of the other sex.      

Transsexualism and freedom of speech and inquiry

It is remarkable that a pressure group claiming to represent such a marginal section of society should have succeeded in establishing its dogma as an almost universally accepted orthodoxy. It shows that freedom of thought, expression, and inquiry has quite shallow roots in our society and is threatened from what claims to be the left as well as from the right. 

It would be well worth exploring in depth and detail how this remarkable situation has come about. Here I merely offer a few preliminary observations.

It is clear that few people are willing to take risks or make sacrifices for the sake of intellectual freedom. True, most of us need to earn a living, but even those not subject to this constraint usually care more about avoiding trouble, and ruthless dogmatists of all varieties are very good at making trouble. 

However, there are also many people who accept dogmas like transsexualism because they sincerely find them plausible. Only if and when they investigate matters in greater depth do they start to have doubts. I myself have gone through this process. 

It is easy for a compassionate person to be unduly influenced by the claim that opposition to transactivist doctrine hurts the feelings of transsexual people. Similar claims are made by quite a few political movements. For example, Zionist Jews often say that harsh criticism of the State of Israel hurts their feelings. Might the claim to hurt feelings not be a cynical resort to emotional blackmail? However, let us give all these people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are sincere. Let us also admit that other things being equal it is better not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Nevertheless, often other things are not equal. Hurting someone’s feelings may be justified by more important goals. If an adolescent plans a course of action that will cause her serious and irreversible harm in the long term, arguing with her may hurt her feelings but it may also persuade her to reconsider her plan.  

Moreover, if feelings are to count, why take into consideration only the feelings of those whose beliefs are being challenged? Being silenced also hurts. And by being too careful to avoid saying things that may hurt the feelings of one group of people we may inadvertently hurt the feelings of another group of people who will be upset if those things are not said. Palestinians, for instance. Or ‘detransitioners’ – people who have come to regret hormone treatments and surgery that they have undergone and are trying to reverse their effects (to the limited extent that this is possible).  

Each political movement that silences its opponents makes it easier for other movements to do the same. There is irony in feminists complaining about transactivists silencing their critics, inasmuch as self-styled feminists have engaged in similar intolerant behavior. 

Vested interests

The promotion of transactivist ideas and practices has been fueled by generous funding on the part of a small number of supportive billionaires, some of whom are themselves transsexuals. In the February and July 2018 issues of The Federalist, Jennifer Bilek traces the money that has facilitated the successful lobbying of the transsexual movement, with special emphasis on the roles played by various members of the Pritzker family and also by pharmaceutical and high tech corporations. 

In the past ‘transgender’ surgery was so rare that there was no need for special facilities devoted to it. Now, however, ‘gender clinics’ are proliferating and new hospitals and hospital wings are being built solely for prospective victims of the new cult, such as the Transgender Surgery Institute of Southern California, Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago), the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (New York), and the Gender Management Services wing of the Boston Children’s Hospital.  

Given the similarity between ‘transgender’ and cosmetic surgery, it is not surprising to learn that it is increasingly common for medical businesses to offer both kinds of surgery – for example, Rumer Cosmetic Surgery (Ardmore, Pennsylvania), Phuket International Aesthetic Center, and the Chettawut Plastic Surgery Center (both in Thailand).  

It is estimated that the ‘transgender’ surgery industry is growing at a rate of 20—25% per year and that the value of the global market will surpass $1.5 billion by 2026.[3] A huge amount of money has already been invested in the industry. In addition, a rapidly expanding phalanx of surgeons, therapists, and medical researchers are making their careers in this field. In the face of all these vested interests it will be no easy matter to slow down and reverse the process. 

The connection with ‘transhumanism’

Jennifer Bilek also draws attention to a connection between transsexualism and the philosophical movement known as ‘transhumanism.’ The connection is explained in a book by Martine Rothblatt, a billionaire promoter of the transsexual movement and himself a ‘transwoman.’

Transhumanists retain a naïve faith in the potential for human improvement inherent in technological progress, which they do not place in any explicit social context – meaning in practice that they assume that capitalism will continue indefinitely. Rothblatt argues that in the course of technological development human beings will gradually acquire ‘freedom of form’ – that is, they will be able to choose the material form in which they exist. In the future, for example, they will be able to ‘upload’ their minds from their bodies into software and thereby survive bodily death out in cyberspace while retaining their legal rights. Being able to choose the sexual form of one’s body is a step toward being able to live in anymaterial form of one’s choice – as a pterodactyl, perhaps, or a nebula, or a coronavirus (why not? – it might be fun, you know!). 

Thus the title of the book – From Transgender to Transhuman, i.e., first we reach beyond gender and then move on to a new ‘creative’ species beyond humanity. ‘We step from a history of biological limits up to a future of cultural choice.’ What is this but the complete denial of nature -- the real material basis of all life, including ours? It is an alienation from nature so total that it is hard not to regard it as pathological. For while the Rothblatts of this world reach out in their imagination for some glorious ethereal destiny, in reality they are making a wretched mess of the nature within whose limits they too live – of our planet’s biosphere and of their own mutilated bodies.  


 [1] See, for instance, the report issued in 1998 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the overview based on the medical literature and prepared by the endocrinologist William J. Malone, MD, posted in 2019 at

 [2] For books see Brunskell-Evans, Joyce, Shrier, and Stock. Websites include, and




Bilek, Jennifer. ‘Who Are the Rich, White Men Institutionalizing Transgender Ideology?’ The Federalist, February 2018 

---- ‘Transgenderism Is Just Big Business Dressed Up In Pretend Civil Rights Clothes,’ The Federalist, July 2018

Brunskell-Evans, Heather. Body Politics. Spinifex Press, 2020                                

Joyce, Helen. Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality. OneWorld, 2021

Malone, William J. Gender Dysphoria Resource for Providers, 3d ed.  

Rothblatt, Martine. From Transgender to Transhuman: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Form. 2011

Royal College of Psychiatrists. Council Report CR63. Gender identity disorders in children and adolescents: Guidance for management. London, January 1998  

Shrier, Abigail. Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Regnery Publishing, 2020

Stock, Kathleen. Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism. Fleet, 2021

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