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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
1 Jul 2023

NextImg:IN-DEPTH: After Targeting Children, the Transgender Movement Loses Ground

According to the results of a growing number of studies and surveys, a new truth is emerging. For its persistent effort to target children, the transgender movement is losing ground—on several fronts.

It began with drag queen story hour. It evolved into “family-friendly” drag shows. Now we have naked men peddling bikes in front of children at Seattle pride parades while LGBT activists in New York City dance naked in public fountains and march through the streets boldly admitting: “We’re here. We’re queer. We’re coming for your children.”

However, a growing number of polls and studies are confirming that the transgender movement is rapidly losing ground. The mounting pushback and results of boycotts show it’s happening fast.

The Pushback

While the general public seemed to tolerate and even participate in LGBTQ+ causes and events, there is a growing effort to get rid of them.

Nineteen states have passed legislation restricting access to gender-affirming care for children and teenagers.

In a show of support for a Florida mother who’s fighting to protect children from transgender indoctrination in schools, 21 states and 37 parent rights organizations have joined forces.

Because of the growing number of hockey players who refused to wear pride jerseys, the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors has decided to stop participating in such events.

Due to increasing backlash, drag queen story hour events are being canceled from Florida to New York and West Hollywood to North Carolina.

Drag shows have been canceled in places like Texas, Indiana, Georgia, and across Florida. The US Defense Secretary has issued a department-wide prohibition of drag shows on military bases.

Paramount canceled its Queen of the Universe TV series.

The Boycotts

In response to companies that choose to promote transgender ideology, boycotts are inflicting major financial damage on powerhouse corporations.

The decision by Bud Light’s former Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid to use Dylan Mulvaney as a means to update the company’s “fratty” culture chopped 23 percent of its stock value. Analysts say the damage is “permanent.” Target’s choice to partner with a transgender satanist to design a pride collection for children cost the company a fifth of its value in just two weeks.

After introducing LGBT onesies for infants during pride month, Kohl’s stock fell 5 percent. For their decision to involve themselves in the pride parade, Starbucks, Walmart, and Levi Strauss are now feeling the heat. Let’s not forget how Gillette’s war on “toxic masculinity” cost Proctor & Gamble $8 billion.

Activists who are pushing transgender treatments for children, even chemical castration and the amputation of healthy body parts, frequently cite the endorsements by proponents such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. They insist that when it comes to the lifesaving nature of gender-affirming care, “doctors agree.”

But, in Europe, doctors do not agree.

The Studies

As noted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Sept. 19, 2022, “It has been a quarter of a century since Dutch clinicians proposed puberty suppression as an intervention for ‘juvenile transsexuals,’ which became the international standard for treating gender dysphoria.”

The Dutch protocol was first proposed in the mid-1990s. After being given medical and mental-health assessments, children on the Dutch protocol are started off with puberty blockers. When they’re older, they’re given cross-sex hormones. Ultimately, they are transitioned through surgery.

While surgeries were initially not performed before the age of 18, the recommended minimum ages got younger over time and were removed altogether in the latest iteration of the WPATH guidelines.

However, scientists and public-health officials in Finland, Sweden, France, Norway, and the U.K. are now warning that the lauded Dutch-protocol-based approach actually lacks sufficient evidence of validity and that these irreversible interventions may do more harm than good.

While the intervention “was justified by claims that it was reversible and that it was a tool for diagnosis,” the NIH determined that “these claims are increasingly implausible.”

Earlier this year, an investigative report in the prestigious British Medical Journal concluded that although pediatric gender medicine in the U.S. is “consensus-based,” it is not “evidence-based.” Gordon Guyatt, distinguished professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University, recently called American guidelines for managing youth gender dysphoria “untrustworthy.”

A study out of the Netherlands, released in January, shows that “internalized transphobia” induced mental health issues in transgender patients leading to dissatisfaction with their new bodies after sex-change procedures.

Now the results of a study published June 26 confirm what opponents of the exploding trans movement have been saying all along. It’s a “trend,” especially among young females.

The Surveys

recent survey conducted by, in partnership with McLaughlin and Associates, shows that 61 percent of likely voters believe that “introducing young children to ideas like transgenderism, drag shows, and LGBT themes hurts their emotional and psychological development.”

A June 2023 nationwide issues survey (pdf), conducted by Trafalgar Group in partnership with Convention of States, shows that 40.8 percent of respondents said they have “boycotted a company for taking progressive or woke stances.”

Only 24.5 percent said the same for companies taking a “conservative or MAGA” public stance.

Ground is even being lost in the public’s acceptance of gay marriage.

In June of 2021, Gallup reported that a record number of Americans supported same-sex marriage, 70 percent.

On June 16, 2023, Gallup revealed that the biggest decline in Americans’ opinions on moral issues is related to gay and lesbian relationships. While 71 percent of Americans found gay or lesbian relationships to be morally acceptable in 2022, only 64 percent felt the same way in 2023.

A poll (pdf) conducted by NORC and The Wall Street Journal shows a majority of Americans, 56 percent, do not want transgender athletes participating in sporting events inconsistent with their biological sex.

The results of a study (pdf) released in June 2022 show that the psychological mismatch between biological sex and gender, known as “gender dysphoria,” is increasingly affecting younger people.

Moreover, they found that the estimated number of those with gender dysphoria rose sharply between 2017 and 2021, with a “significantly” faster surge among young females, starting around the age of 11 and hitting a high point between ages 17 and 19.

Parents have said the trans-indoctrination of their children began on social media, particularly TikTok.

Data compiled by Statista shows the majority of TikTok users are between the ages of 18 and 24.

Even in Canada, after more than five decades of blazing ahead of the curve on gay and trans rights issues, a new survey reveals that Canadians may have finally encountered an LGBT issue that even they consider a bridge too far—the secret indoctrination of children in schools.

While the pushback and the boycotts are evident, and the surveys and studies are enlightening, what actually caused the tide to start turning against the transgender movement?

‘The Data Actually Wasn’t There’

Wesley Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute of Human Exceptionalism.

Asked where he thinks the pushback began, Smith says it started when the data began to leak out, proving the advocates have been wrong all along.

“What happened is there was this moral panic to immediately transition children and affirm when they believe they are a different sex than when they were born,” Smith told The Epoch Times. “Then they started looking at the actual data that we were told indicated that it’s absolutely necessary and the only approach, and they found out that the data actually wasn’t there.”

“So when you have these counties, countries that are not the ‘Bible Belt/socially conservative countries, hitting the breaks on gender-affirming care for children based on data and finding that this belief is transitory, that gave people in the United States permission to look at this and say maybe we need to look at this more carefully,” Smith suggested.

Whether or not the rising tide against the movement is strong enough to survive the “LGBTQ juggernaut and the Biden administration” remains to be seen, Smith said.

“But they can no longer say the science is settled,” Smith asserted. “Because the Western European countries have said, ‘No, the science is not settled.’ That means, if you’re going to practice science properly, you need to have deep discussions, deep debates, and deep exchanges of ideas rather than basing it on ideology.”

‘Going for the Kids’

As recently reported by The Epoch Times, Convention of States president and co-founder Mark Meckler says, “Going for the kids has caused a turning point.”

Mark Meckler in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 21, 2019. (Brendon Fallon/The Epoch Times)

In a separate interview, Meckler says everything about the radical transgender movement “fits every definition of a social contagion.” He also said “social contagions are well studied” and that “psychologists who are promoting this stuff just choose to disregard it.”

“Anybody who would design an experiment based on this kind of stuff and design the protocols for such an experiment could likely be called Hiltarian,” Meckler told The Epoch Times. “The idea that we’re experimenting on young children by cutting off body parts and trying to create body parts by doing Frankenstein surgeries and depriving them of their fertility without any knowledge of what will happen in the long run is something a [repressive] regime would do. No doctor could design a long-term study like that and have it accepted anywhere, and that’s why there never has been any long-term study.”

Julie Quist, board chair of the Child Protection League, agrees, saying the “communication breakthrough” came when Target took aim at children.

Asked why the physical mutilation of children wasn’t enough to inspire public backlash, Quist said it was because advocates of the movement had control of the narrative.

“The narrative is coming through major structures in our society, through government agencies, the education system, and through established, liberal media outlets,” Quist explained to The Epoch Times. “They’re all in on the lie.”

Quist also said, “It’s a huge leap for the average person to make” that people would actually want to harm children that way, and because the mainstream media reported only what activists wanted the public to hear, most were unaware it was happening. Those who did become aware heard only that it was a lifesaving event.

“But Americans woke up with the ‘tuck friendly’ Target line and the transgender Khol’s onesies,” she said. “Suddenly, that was the communication that broke through. So, they did us a favor.”

Quist suggests the radical transgender element has inflicted the same kind of damage to the gay rights movement as Black Lives Matter has wrought upon race relations. People in the gay community agree.

Michael Costa, co-founder of Gays Against Groomers, says the gender movement is the most anti-gay movement he ever witnessed in his lifetime.

Michael Costa, co-founder and editor and chief of Gays Against Groomers. (Courtesy of Michael Costa)

“Unfortunately, people see this long initialism of LGBTQIAOMGLOL+, and they [think] we’re all part of the same movement,” Costa told The Epoch Times. “The insidious part is that all the letters after LGB are completely antithetical to the three that come before them. The decline in acceptance comes 100 percent from the transgender movement. They’ve ruined everything.”

Costa noted that the gay rights movement was less intrusive and far less violent than the transgender movement. He asserted that while the gay rights movement simply wanted equal rights and the ability to live their lives in peace as everyone else, the transgender movement interferes with everyone else’s rights, and if you question them, you’re called a bigot.

Costa also says trans activists have “used the progress gay people have created as an excuse for their bad behavior” and that “deranged heterosexuals” have “infested and colonized” the trans movement in order to express their own “deviant behavior.”

“Humans are male and female,” Costa said. “Everything else is socially constructed and doesn’t exist.

Costa said gay parents are even starting to homeschool their children because of the indoctrination efforts in schools. “They’re telling children that men can get pregnant and they can change their sex at will. It’s nonsense.”

“We want the gender ideology gone,” Costa insisted. “Get the pornography out of classrooms. Stop the child sexual mutilation and stop telling children they can change their sex at an age where they still believe in the tooth fairy.”

According to Brandon Straka, the former liberal turned conservative activist who started the “Walk Away” movement, “When you talk about divorcing the ‘TQIA+ from the ‘LGB,” he’s not as ready as others in the gay community to entirely separate from the ‘T.’

Brandon Straka, the founder of the “Walk Away” movement. (Brandon Straka)

“What I have an issue with are the people who have hijacked this movement who are calling themselves ‘T’ or ‘Trans,’ who are not trans,” Straka told The Epoch Times.

He is, however, completely agreeable with divorcing himself from the “Q,” and “anything else that comes after that.”

“Most importantly, the ‘Q, because he believes that’s where most of the radical agenda begins,” he said.

“That’s not what we’re calling ‘transgender’ now,” he explained, adding that it’s only been within the past five years that people began saying “there is no gender binary and that they are gender fluid.”

“They’re both genders depending on what time of the day you ask them and that they fall on a spectrum somewhere between male and female, and that spectrum may be more than 80 genders or to some degree infinite,” Straka explicated. “It’s like a religion that’s being pushed on society. It’s in schools, libraries, the workplace, and corporate advertising. It’s an ideology that’s insane.”

Lucas Miles, pastor, podcaster, speaker and author of “Woke Jesus,” says the surge in resistance is due to the unity among Americans in watching how the radical transgender movement is destroying the American way of life.

Lucas Miles, pastor, podcaster, speaker and author of “Woke Jesus.” (With permission from Lucas Miles)

“What we’re seeing now with the majority of America expressing concern and frustration with this radical LGBT constituency, especially during pride month, was triggered the moment they started feeling like the trans movement was directing attention toward children,” Miles told The Epoch Times.

While the massive concerns about that drag queen story hour in public and school libraries ignited a response from parents, Miles says the response you’re seeing from the general public now was triggered by what those parents have been exposing at school board meetings.

“It’s ignited a whole base of concerned constituents, and it’s not just conservatives,” Miles said, adding that people of different backgrounds are expressing concern about this “radical” pride movement.

“It’s not the same pride movement from years back that was pushing for same-sex marriage and civil rights,” Miles posited. “This is a movement with a Marxist substructure attached to it, and it’s driving for the purpose of transforming society, and they’ve completely lost their way. When you see naked men riding bicycles down mainstreet this is something people have a right to be concerned about. None of us thought it was going to get this bad. Yet here we are, and it feels like a downward spiral into a [pagan] culture where they’re rebuilding Sodom and Gamora brick-by-brick.”