Massachusetts Eliminates Gender Distinctions in Public Schools

The Story: Parents across Massachusetts are concerned about new public school rules that would not only allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms of their choice but would also punish students who refuse to affirm or support their transgender classmates.

The Background: In 2011 the Massachusetts legislature amended several state statutes to include prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity.” Last week the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued guidance for how the law would be implemented in public schools.

According to the guidelines, “A transgender boy, for example, is a youth who was assigned the sex of female at birth but has a clear and persistent identity as male. A transgender girl is a youth who was assigned the sex of male at birth but has a clear and persistent identity as female. Gender nonconforming youth range in the ways in which they identify as male, female, some combination of both, or neither.”

Additionally, the statue says, “The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student or, in the case of young students not yet able to advocate for themselves, with the parent.”

The guidance states that “determining a student’s gender identity is simple” and that the student should be treated and regarded by whatever gender they choose. However, the statute does not require “consistent and uniform assertion of gender identity.” So a student can assert various identities or switch from one identity assertion to another as long as there is “other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of [the] person’s core identity.” The school can also not discuss the student’s gender with the parents without talking to the student first. Students are therefore allowed to “express” one gender at home and another one at school without the parents being apprised of the situation.

The students are to be referred to by whatever name or pronoun they prefer (for example, a student whose student record identified him as a male named John was referred to as “Jane” and “she.”). All school personnel are required to use “the student’s chosen name and pronouns appropriate to a student’s gender identity, regardless of the student’s assigned birth sex.”

The students are also allowed to “access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.” If transgender students are uncomfortable with using a “sex-segregated restroom” then a “a single ‘unisex restroom or the nurse’s restroom” must be made available to them. However, the concerns of other students are dismissed since “discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.”

Why It Matters: In their rush to embrace LGBQTO political correctness and trying to create gender-neutral schools, the Massachusetts Department of Education is creating an environment ripe for sexual harassment and abuse. Any teen boy can claim, with a wink to his peers and a straight face to his educators, that he has decided to identify as a female and will then have unlimited access to the girls’s restroom and locker rooms. As Adam J. MacLeod and Andrew Beckwith note, “While we doubt that teenage boys will take much interest in the provenance of gender personality, it’s not a stretch to suppose that they will welcome its implications for co-ed activities.” Indeed, anyone who has spent time around adolescent boys can foresee the inevitable abuses that will be occurring because of this policy.

Last week, in an article on pornography, I claimed that rather than sliding down a slope we are merely waiting for the diffusion of an idea to spread from a group of individuals to the larger population. The situation with gender identity is exactly the same. As MacLeod and Beckwith point out,

Massachusetts lawmakers have for many years been eradicating sexual distinctions from the law. This result seems to us the logical consequence of those efforts.

Redefining marriage to eliminate sexual complementarity as an essential characteristic doesn’t automatically commit a state to forcing girls to share locker rooms with boys. But there is a logical connection. One of the premises justifying the redefinition of marriage also grounds these new regulations, that is, the view that sexual difference is irrelevant to the practice of marriage.

But if sexual difference is irrelevant to marriage, then how can it be relevant to any practices? Once the state has determined that sexual difference is no longer a legitimate reason to extend special recognition to man-woman monogamy, there is no reason in principle to maintain sexual distinctions in less intimate practices. If one’s anatomical reality isn’t relevant to one’s marriage, it’s even less obvious why it should be relevant to one’s bathroom choice.

The idea that sexual distinctions are relevant to public life has lost almost all support in the medical and legal communities as well as in academia and many mainline Christian churches. The issue now is not whether other states will adopt Massachusetts laws against gender identity discrimination but when they will be adopted.

  • Wesley

    This whole trend saddens and worries me as the father of two young girls – as a parent at all really – but certainly as a Christian too. One key issue is the way the rights of one individual or group are said to trump the rights of the overwhelming majority. If you even take one school as a micro-cosm, if you look at the ratio of transgender/gender-confused students as compared to those who “identify” with the sex God created them as (what a concept!), even at a political level, this destroy the illusion of democratic society. We’re not talking about a nut allergy here!

  • Jonathan

    Shows just how far humanity can go in rebellion against God. Romans 1 is exactly what this story reminds me of.

  • Mark B.

    This is so sad. It is sad for the people claiming to have a different gender identity as well as for the people who don’t claim that. They are embracing harmful behavior all the while discriminating against the majority of the students.

    This type of policy is asking for trouble.

  • JVC

    Maybe this will be a wake-up call for Christians to pull their children out of the public school system in MA (and everywhere)

    • Dawn

      See, i dont think that pulling kids out of the public system is the right thing in all cases. You learn to defend what you believe being around people who dont believe it.

      • Greg

        Dawn, I think you are wrong. You’re treating school kids as if they are adults. You move them out of the public school system and teach them elsewhere, so when they get to college they can handle the demented college professors.

        The way you’re thinking is I’m going to fight the teacher’s views who my kid is around 30 hours per week.

        You need to learn to take care of your kid.

        • Melody

          My pastor goes to his children’s school several times a week to read to the children. He said that for some of those children he is the only godly man they will come in contact with all week.
          How many home schooling parents bother to step into a public school and serve the least of these?

          • Greg

            Melody, most schools do not allow parents into their schools unless they have a child in that class. I knew this before I pulled my son out of public school, but my reasons for pulling my son out was due to SB48.

            You asking homeschooling parents to split more of their time up between homeschooling and work doesn’t make any sense at all. What are you doing to serve?

          • Autumn

            A Christian parents first duty is to care for their own children….. “To train them up…”…… Many of us feel that homeschooling is the best way to do that…. Instead of investing time and energy into an already failing system……

        • Dawn

          I went to a private Christian school, and almost ended up not being a Christian because of it. Once my brother went to public shool in year 11, and thrived. Maybe its different in Australia,i dont think the schools are quite as bad as the states.

          i know many people who have been through public school and are still strong Christians. Not all parents can homeschool.

          • Scott

            Please know I am not trying to be a jerk here, I am just genuinely confused by your statement “I went to a private Christian school, and almost ended up not being a Christian because of it.” Have you thought about the soteriological implications of that remark?

            • Dawn

              The example i had of Christianity there was a poor one. Very legalistic, no grace. I knew noting of grace while i was there, just punishment and judgement. I didnt understand the gospel, it was never said to me that i was saved by grace, i was always told that if i messed up there was no hope of forgiveness. I lived in fear.

  • yankeegospelgirl

    Reason 1,930,437 not to send your kids to public school.

    • Greg


  • Andrew

    Muggeridge said it well when he state that we have “..educated ourselves into imbecility…”. Wow.

  • Zac

    Postmodernism cannot live forever. It’s one of those things that sound good in a classroom, but doesn’t work in real life. We, as a postmodern society, are like a wagon rolling down a hill with no direction. I think one day soon we will hit the bottom; I see this as the wheels beginning to come off. I don’t mean to sound apocalyptic or come off as a “God is judging America for such and such” kind of guy, but my point is that society cannot stand and be committed to postmodernism.

    • Mark

      This is honestly some great insight, Zac, and I appreciate having read it for the thoughts it caused me to ponder over. It’s one reason I enjoy coming to the discussions on TGC. Thanks brother.

  • Dena

    How should a Christian respond in love when our friends who are in or supporters of the LGBT community ask about this?

    • Joe Carter

      Good question. I would tell them that we believe what Jesus affirmed: “from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6) and that loving our neighbor means seeking their good. We therefore should not encourage people to live a lie about themselves. God did not make men who are really women or women who are really men. What is needed is help in overcoming the confusion that they feel in order that their lives may flourish.

  • Sam

    “Any teen boy can claim, with a wink to his peers and a straight face to his educators, that he has decided to identify as a female and will then have unlimited access to the girls’s restroom and locker rooms.”

    Having read that document, that is not a true assertion. The boy winking at his friends would have to be identified as a girl on his records and correspondence. They also state multiple times that foul play can be used as a reason to deny trans-gender status or rights. Finally there needs to be some evidence to support the claim.

    “However, the concerns of other students are dismissed since “discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.”” The same could be said of a student with SSA in change rooms. We had gay boys in my high school change rooms. My comfort was not to be put over the other persons right to be there.

    I assume if a student with SSA or a transgender student was said to be “sexually harassing” another student in a change room, then appropriate action could be taken by the school.

    This being said:
    I wonder if they would ever start allowing boys who identify as girls to run in womens athletic competitions. (It is simply a fact that the best male 100m sprint times are a second faster then womens.) So would they really let a male-female transgender student run in a inter-high-school athletics competition? Or would it only be ok, if she wasn’t the fastest?

    What should be done:
    Is the appropriate response to people who are transgender to tell them they should pretend they are or not? Should we not take these measures in the schools? What should be done instead?

    • Joe Carter

      Having read that document, that is not a true assertion. The boy winking at his friends would have to be identified as a girl on his records and correspondence.

      Not according to the document. See footnote #9: “See 603 CMR §§23.01 and 23.07. If a student is from 14 through 17 years of age or has entered ninth grade, both the parent and the student may make decisions concerning the student record, or either the student or the parent acting alone may decide.”

      A teen boy could say that he wants to live as a girl at school but doesn’t want that reflected on his school records or have his parents know about it.

      They also state multiple times that foul play can be used as a reason to deny trans-gender status or rights.

      Can you point out where it says that? I don’t see anywhere in the document where it says transgender status or rights can be denied.

      I wonder if they would ever start allowing boys who identify as girls to run in womens athletic competitions

      According to the new guidelines, they have to as long as the boy identifies as a girl: “Where there are sex-segregated classes or athletic activities, including intramural and interscholastic athletics, all students must be allowed to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity. With respect to interscholastic athletics, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association will rely on the gender determination made by the student’s district; it will not make separate gender identity determinations.”

      What should be done instead?

      What should be done is that they should receive the proper counseling for gender-identity confusion.

      • Spencer

        On foul play: “…provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.” -2nd to last paragraph on Page 3.

        Dismissing the “any other evidence” in the Definitions section as something so trivial is an insult to qualified teachers and administrators throughout the state. Do you really think an administrator wouldn’t be able to see through a horny young male who just wants to peek in the girl’s bathroom one day? Especially given the statements about gender inflexibility on Page 4:

        “One’s gender identity is an innate, largely inflexible characteristic of each individual’s personality that is generally established by age four, although the age at which individuals come to understand and express their gender identity may vary based on each person’s social and familial social development.”

        Try to imagine the commitment it would take for some boy to be allowed to enter the girl’s bathroom. Do you not find it more likely that a boy wanting to do this would simply break the rules, rather than insisting he is trans* and must use the girls’ bathroom? Regardless, sexual activities are not permitted in any public school bathrooms anywhere. These activities are not more likely to happen just because a person you’d call a “boy” is allowed in the girls’ bathroom.

        • Joe Carter

          I’ve been out of high school 26 years, but even then I knew at least a half dozen guys who would have said they were transgender in order to pull an elaborate months long prank. I suspect kids are even bolder today. That is why I think the policy will be abused more often than it will be used for its intended purpose.

          And yes, I think most educators would rather face the embarrassment of letting some kid pretend he’s transgender than face firing and lawsuit over discrimination.

          Regardless, sexual activities are not permitted in any public school bathrooms anywhere.

          With all due respect, I think you are assuming that every school is a well-run and has tight discipline. The reality is that there have been instances where kids in elementary school were engaging in sexual activity (even rape) in a classroom with the teacher present. Putting boys and girls in situations where they are authorized to be sans clothes is a recipe for disaster.

          • Sam

            I think what Spencer and I are saying is that all policies can be abused and school law isn’t perfectly enforced but that dosn’t make a policy wrong.

            And I am sorry to be trying to argue a point here, obviously I want all within the LGBT spectrum to know Christs love as much as you do.

            However I think this is an extremely tricky subject to work through. The article felt like it was a silly policy idea without stating a better one. Would transgender counseling work within public schools? How do we meet this sad situation with grace?

        • Grant


          When I was in high school (in a small town in Kansas) we had a situation where junior high students were suspended from school for being caught performing sex acts in the bathrooms during the school day. And in the investigation it was uncovered that this had been going on for awhile. Both of the students caught were professing Christians. So even though it is against school policy it still happens.

        • Brian Karlik

          I believe it is illegal and against school policy fire a weapon on public school property as well.

  • Nancy

    I become heartsick when I hear my 7 year old granddaughter say she wants to be a mommy someday. If she makes it to this blessed position without being totally misled by this perverse world, it will be a true miracle of God. And if she does have children, she will have an even greater share of this heartache – and the depravity will be even worse by then! Lord Jesus come quickly!

    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20

    Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

  • dan

    Perhaps rather than this being a reason to take our kids out of public schools, this is exactly the reason why public schools need more Christian students and parents involved. The same logic would argue that we should all move out of wicked cities to avoid wickedness. Rather, lets double down our investment, and bring the light of Jesus into the darkness.

    • Scott

      Dan, Quite honestly this is one of the worst arguments people make for sending kids to the public schools. You are attempting to pass off the responsibility of Christians onto our children. My 6, 8, and 10 year old children have all expressed their desires to love Christ, yet they are hardly equipped as of yet to be “light” to the world. God has not called us to send our children into the lions den and hope that they will somehow survive and possibly make a difference.

    • Autumn

      It is time for Christians to abandon the public school system completely… let it fall. It certainly is not the time to send our precious children out to be deluged with evil for 8 hours a day. We are to train up our children in the way they should go and when they are OLD they will not depart from it. Please show me the scriptural justification for sending a young child to a den of moral depravity to be indoctrinated in it day in and day out, in the hopes that they can be a light in the darkness?? A place that denies the very existence of our Creator and mocks Him daily with stories like this?
      I HONESTLY can not understand the logic that allows so many christian parents to still embrace the Public school system…. truly I don’t. I know I find it very disheartening!

      • Kisaiah

        This anti-public school talk is absurd and honestly sounds pretty dark. Public school is not a “den of moral depravity”…public schools are just places in this fallen world, not unlike the rest of the places in the fallen world. Some of the rhetoric is anti-Christian, but with good parenting, that can be redeemed by teaching kids to apply their Christian understanding to the real world. The beauty of the message of Jesus Christ is that he preached a gospel FOR real life, for this fallen world. I agree Christian parents should fully invest in public school and all of the people there that need to hear the good news and are so deeply hungry for a message of and contact with love and redemption. If you isolate your children and give them the gospel in an airtight isolation of false and judgmental “holiness”, you’re just asking for them to embrace a legalistic understanding of the world, not Christ himself. Did Jesus refuse to dine with the tax collectors, or refuse his disciples contact with them, for some fear that they would be “polluted”? Please show me the scriptural justification for isolating your children and teaching them to condemn the world? In the worlds of MLK (a Christian and supporter of public schools) Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

        • Katie

          There is plenty of Scripture in Paul’s letters that warn Christians about becoming “of the World”. And also guidelines for how we should live in a fallen world. I would say to you that young children are not Jesus. They do not have the mental ability or emotional maturity to counteract the depravity that is going on in some public schools. Adults, yes, children, no. They are still developing their morals, values and attitudes and they spend more time in school than they do with their parents, so who is going to have the bigger influence? And why do you assume that someone who chooses not to attend public school is condemning the world and being judgmental? Can you not go to a private school and still teach your children to love others? A parent has a huge responsibility to “train up a child” and part of that responsibility requires protecting children from harm, physical AND spiritual. Yes, Jesus did eat with tax collectors and hung out with sinners, but I don’t recall him taking any children with Him. (For the record, my kids and grandkids all went to public schools and if I had it to do over again,they would not.)

        • Autumn

          I responded to this comment … but for some reason it did not post? yes… Little children are NOT Jesus…..Not at all a just comparison…..
          Please don’t label those of us who homeschool as “isolationist”…. that is simply not the case…. My children are far more “in the real world” than any child who spends their days in a classroom full of peers only!
          I am not condemning the world in any way…. I am condemning of the public school system and it’s many failures….. Are we not allowed to look at something and say this is NOT working…..???

          • Kisaiah

            Even condemning a piece of the world counts as condemning the world. @Autumns wording here was certainly condemnatory of everyone involved in the public school system (possibly a local one?). Yes, I emphatically agree that children are NOT Jesus. @dan who began this thread rightly put a plurality of the focus on the redeeming work of parents in the schools. Yes, you’re entitled to homeschool your kids, or send them to private school and feel good about it. In a lot of ways you’re probably doing great things for your kids. But if you give your reasoning for doing so to your children as “public schools are a ‘hotbed of moral depravity'”, it’s still condemnation and there will still be consequences for the kids. I believe engaged and christlike parenting can overcome and redeem the ills found in a typical fallen public school environment. So, sorry for the possibly overzealous language. My family is deeply invested in public schools, and to condemn them as evil and to fully and uncompromisingly “pull out” means, for us, rejecting God’s sovereign, redeeming work in all places.

            • Stephen

              Rewrite your comment but insert something like “strip club” everywhere you say public school.

              Yes, yes, I know, my request is ludicrous because nobody is equating public schools and strip clubs, but my point is that there are certainly places “in the world” that Christians can and should uncompromisingly refuse to allow their children to attend, even participate. Some just disagree which side of the line public schools are. Increasingly, I fear public schools are on the wrong side of the line.

            • Autumn

              Obviously my wording was meant in a general sense…. I cannot discern the heart or intent of every educator in the public school system! But what do you suppose would happens to a dedicated, Christian teacher/counselor who decided to stand and oppose this policy? Would they stil have their job? What about the Christian teacher that dares to bring God into a classroom discussion?
              The problem is with the institution ….

  • Spenser Smith

    I think the church needs to approach gender identity issues with more grace. I’m not affirming homosexuality, transgender transitions, this law/policy, or sin, but there are people who are born intersex. There are people who fight in a holy struggle for purity despite temptations and pain and stigmatization in their identity and sexual urges. There are people who are born with ambiguous genitalia who are assigned a sex at birth. Others are somewhat older and go through surgeries without knowing or even having the capability of knowing if they want it (see Just because someone is transgendered pre- or post-operatively doesn’t mean they stop being our neighbor or even a Christian, necessarily. I see God calling all Christians to understand transsexual/transgendered culture (i.e. people) and to approach it with love, grace, and truth. I do strongly believe in gender roles and Complementarianism but this does not mean we should ostracize our neighbors, Christian and non-Christian, with dismissal because they don’t fit into a binary, even though that binary is not as universal as one may think, just even biologically speaking.

    Again, I want to emphasize that I don’t support transgender surgery or homosexuality as right. It’s just a fact however, that our society has real people, with souls and who are loved by God, that struggle with this sin, and if we retreat to homeschooling only, cover our eyes because we’re grossed out, or say hurtful ostracizing speech, then we lose grasp of the Great Commission and God’s greatest commandments.

    • yankeegospelgirl

      We’re “retreating to homeschooling only” for the simple reason that we love our children, and we have no intention of allowing them to have their innocence shattered and their souls corrupted by an establishment bent on indoctrinating the young with their own personal, perverse agenda.

      Also, I am not willing to concede that a person who is unashamedly living a lie about his gender can legitimately be considered a Christian. I feel compassion for trans-gender children who have been manipulated and turned into symbols for the left. However, there are not enough mill-stones to go around for the adults, including and especially the trans-gender adults, who “mentor” them in this obscenity.

    • Karen Butler

      “but there are people who are born intersex.”
      Not according to the latest research.
      “A University of Rome study proves transsexuals have normal Y chromosomes. The SRY is the main sex-determining gene. AZF a, b and C are genes for male infertility. Transsexuals do not even have a smidgeon of abnormality there.

      The DAX1 and androgen receptor genes were theorized to cause transsexualism since they can lead to intersex and can turn a person with a normal Y chromosome into a XY woman. Yet there is no alteration in these genes in any of the transsexuals.”

      You can cull more accurate information about this form of body dysmorphia from this very interesting website,, which is run by a Christian man who greatly regrets his surgery.

      Scroll down from that scientific article to read about UK’s youngest transgender patient, Ria Cooper, widely heralded by trans activists as proof of the wisdom of pediatric gender treatment,who has announced his intention to seek reverse sex-change treatment. A compassionate response is not pandering to delusions.

  • Mark

    MY big concern is where this ends. If there is no reason to men cannot marry each other, it also seems logical to say that someone can “legally marry multiple partners”. After all, why not? Why can’t a woman be married to another woman AND another man? Then comes age. Why do you need to be a certain age to marry? Why can’t we allow children to marry each other? Why limit marriage to humans, even? If a man chooses to be united in wedded bliss to his pet dog, who are we to say he can’t? In Japan men have already been legally married to pillows, cartoon characters, and sex dolls. In another 30 years America may be there too.

    • Katie

      I agree Mark. And the next sexual orientation issue coming is pedophilia. I heard that The NIMH has recently removed pedophilia from their list of mental illness. (Just as they did with homosexuality)And most counselors will tell you that they cannot be cured. They are that way forever. It may be illegal now to have sex with underage children. Most people today would think it is disgusting. But sodomy used to be illegal( no more) and there’s not too many people left who will say homosexuality is disgusting. I predict in a few short years we will all be embracing pedophiles and feeling sorry for them and changing laws, etc. etc. There is already an organization that promotes this-NAMBLA. “North American Man Boy Love Association.” They’ve been around since the 80’s or earlier and their motto is “8 is too late”. This is what’s coming if people don’t stand up to all this.

      • Mark

        That is the sad truth. There was a book published 2 or 3 years ago by a popular psychologist trying to push for acceptance and adult/child sexual interaction, however it may be too soon, as bookstores across the country refused to carry her book because of its controversial nature. It may not be long before it finds an acceptable market though.

  • Kevin Halloran

    Romans 1:21-22

    “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”

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  • lisa rickert

    i know im going to get flack for this but as the mother of a transgend – female to male – human being, i am glad to see this. my poor child at this point in his life has considered killing himself rather than to live forcibly as a female. i do agree that there will be abusers of this policy as there are will all policies. and honestly, i do not believe that this is an affront to Christianity. a transgender person does not consider themselves to be gay. my child considers himself to be a straight male even though he has female body parts. if i am correct – every human being deserves love and god doesnt make mistake – right?

    • yankeegospelgirl

      God doesn’t make mistakes, but thanks to the fall and the fact that Satan has consequently had a role in twisting God’s originally perfect creation, people are sometimes born broken in various ways. Sometimes the disability and physical and sometimes mental. It may well be that your child is suffering from a mental illness. But you are not doing her any favors by allowing her to continue in her delusion, much as it may pain you not to cooperate.

      • yankeegospelgirl

        *Sometimes the disability is physical and sometimes mental…

    • Kenton

      But the assumption is that the genetics are wrong, rather than the mind. Could it not be more likely that the identity is wrong, rather than the sex? We know from Romans 1 that humanity rejected God, and as a result He gave them up to (in this order) 1) sinful hearts, 2) sinful desires, 3) sinful minds. So the heart, the body, and then the mind, are all tainted by sinfulness and corruption. Paul describes this as: darkened hearts, unclean bodies, vile affections, and reprobate minds. To the average American, this would sound “hateful and bigoted”. But the point is that we are all tainted by sin. We all are under a curse, and this plays out in out physiology and psychology. Genetic deformities, genetic anomalies, etc. All are a result of sin. God does not make mistakes, but that doesn’t make the above okay. Yes, we should definitely not respond in discrimination and hatred, but there are two ways of dealing with things. One is to say that there isn’t a problem (or that the problem lies outside of us). The other is to acknowledge that there’s something wrong with us, and then try to solve it. But I get it, we live in a culture that is very loath to admit that there is something wrong with us (including gender perception).

    • Karen Butler


      This site run by a Christian transexual man who regretted his surgery and returned to his god-given gender might be helpful to you Sadly, a companion blog, Trading My Sorrows, that featured his testimony, appears to have been hacked.

      Surgery is not going to change the suicidal ideation of your son — for transsexuals, the high rate of suicide has been underreported. An article in Metabolism says that the suicide rate among transsexuals was five times greater than was expected when compared to a similar group.

      “The number of deaths and morbidity cases in 425 transsexual patients treated with cross-gender hormones were evaluated retrospectively and compared with the expected number in a similar reference group of the population. The number of deaths in male-to-female transsexuals was five times the number expected, due to increased numbers of suicide and death of unknown cause.” Surgery and hormones rarely solves the underlying emotional problems.

      • lisa rickert

        i do live in fear of this every day of my life and hope that my young adult child will never go as far as to have surgery. i do agree that i’m not sure about the mental issues though since i knew in my heart since my child was 4, that she was at the very least going to be gay. i did have warning signs in early teenage-hood about the transgender issue. hopefully time will enable my child to make the best decision possible, thanks for the website.

  • Steve Cornell


    Thank you bringing attention to this. I would add one thing. When you say,

    “I claimed that rather than sliding down a slope we are merely waiting for the diffusion of an idea to spread from a group of individuals to the larger population. The situation with gender identity is exactly the same.”

    Perhaps you meant to imply it but I would say, spread from a “very small” group of individuals….” This in no way reflects the will of the people.

    Thanks again.

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  • Tara

    This really shouldn’t turn into an argument of public vs. private vs. homeschool.

    There are still a lot of great things about public school including:
    -opportunities to form relationships with people who did not grow up in a Christian home/learning to share the Gospel

    -training your mind to challenge what authority figures say before you believe it

    Those are two things I personally gained from attending public school K-college. I know our public education is getting worse, but after working as a tutor for homeschooled kids- I see it as far from perfect. Before you pull your kids out, don’t forget YOUR tax dollars make the rules. Be a voice and make an impact!

    • Caleb W

      Thank you for saying this. We don’t need another retreat into more intellectual inbreeding.

    • Autumn

      See here’s the thing…. I don’t see, “opportunities to form relationships with people who did not grow up in a Christian home” as a good thing at all! Especially for my young, impressionable children. I would argue that Christian parents have bought into this line of thought for far too long and where has it gotten us?
      Scripture does tell us that ‘light shall have no fellowship with darkness”…. Does that mean we should hole up, hide away and not associate with unbelievers? Absolutely not! Does it mean that we should be extremely cautious developing close relationships with those who are not in Christ? Or avoid putting our covenant children under their authority and guidance? Absolutely YES!

      • Caleb W

        Public schools are not the dens of iniquity waiting to prey on ‘covenant children’ that too many Christians think they are. You’re just fostering misunderstanding and making the culture war worse by retreating. You can’t shelter children forever – eventually they will grow up and they will have to deal with the world. I’ve seen far too many homeschooled children who either go crazy once they are out of the purview of their parents or they crumple or can’t deal with the pressure of the real world.

        As a universituy educator, I can tell you that home and private schooled children are not any better prepared than public school kids. If anythig, they are more entitled and not used to serious intellectual work.

        • Autumn
          • Caleb W

            I’m in Canada. So we’re talking about different systems, for one. Some universities here actually put notices on private school applications because we know that a 90 from a prviate school would not be a 90 elsewhere. There is a conflict of interest in the way private schools function.

            Also, there are certain economic factors at play when we compare the 100,000 homeschool graduates each year and the millions of children from a variety of socio-economic circumstances that graduate from public schools. I am willing to bet that a greater percentage of homeschooled children come from stable family/economic backgrounds. And we know that has a profound influence on education.

            A few studies publicized by homeschool advocate websites doesn’t do much to change my mind, nor my experience. I noticed that at least one of those studies admitted that there isn’t much good data on how homeschoolers do in college/university, which is the context that I am talking about.

            I would also want data on subject matter. I don’t doubt that some parents (SOME) can do a fine job teaching basic literacy and math skills to their kids. Perhaps some of those kids then go on to do fine in business, accounting, or engineering. I wonder what the data is for advanced science education, or in the humanities and social sciences?

          • Caleb W

            After looking a little further, I have to say – have you looked into the sample size and location of that Cogan study? I would not call that conclusive.

  • Katie

    This is ridiculous! The number of students who might actually suffer from Gender-Identity disorder is miniscule. By allowing children to self-identify and be given special treatment, it will only create even more gender identity confusion for those who might not have had it in the first place. If a boy likes pink, is he going to wonder if he has the disorder? (I must be a girl today. No wait, now I like blue, I think I’ll be a boy today!) Or if a girl likes trucks, is she going to start doubting her identity? And how can it be O.K. to ignore the discomfort of kids who don’t have gender issues, but may be uncomfortable being in close personal space, i.e. locker rooms and bathrooms, with someone who is (to them) of the opposite sex? Why does one group’s discomfort trump the discomfort of everyone else. THIS IS INSANITY! People better wake up and see this for what it is. A full-fledged attack by Satan to destroy what God created. While everyone is feeling sorry for these people, Satan is using them to destroy the very fabric and foundation of our society. I’ve been reading in my Bible about Israel and Judah and how they were eventually completely destroyed because they chose to adopt and give in to living sinful ways. America is on the exact same path as Israel and Judah and it is just a matter of time before we are destroyed. Lord Jesus, please come soon.

    • zilch

      While I agree these are complex issues, and any solutions are likely to require difficult decisions, claiming that everyone is either a male or a female or part of Satan’s plan is medieval and cruel. Does Satan give, say, the sufferers of Klinefelter’s Syndrome an extra X chromosome as part of his plans to take over the world? Should intersex people simply not go to public schools?

      Wake up, people. The world is a lot more complex than you think.

      • Katie

        My point was that the number of people who truly suffer from a genetic disorder as you referenced are minute. It is NOT a large enough segment of the population to warrant these drastic kinds of changes to our social structure. The Bible is VERY clear about God’s intentions for His creation and human sexuality and marriage. Anything that intentionally deviates from God’s design sets “itself” up against God.
        My comments about Satan were directed toward society as a whole, not individuals. You may think my reference to Satan is medieval, but Satan is real (Ephesians 6:12 NLT “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”) Satan’s goal is to destroy what God creates and loves and to draw people away from Him. He is a liar and a deceiver and is active in our world today. He is manipulating our culture and yes, even Christians, into believing that this is all O.K. This is happening as a result of God’s people turning away from Him and following their own ways. The parallels between our country today and what happened to Israel and Judah is uncanny. Corrupt leaders as well as God’s people adopting the evil ways of their society at the time led to the complete destruction of Israel/Judah.
        You asked what individuals who truly suffer from a disorder should do. They should adapt to the environment as best they can and trust God to help them. I don’t believe that an entire society should be required to change to accommodate a few. Especially when the accommodation could cause harm to the rest of society. I have all kinds of issues that I have to struggle with. Most people do. For me, some are probably genetic,(Depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks) some are the result of my own choices. These circumstances should draw us TO God, to a relationship where we depend on Him and we allow Him to change us from within.
        I apologize if my remarks were cruel to you. This is an issue that I am deeply and passionately concerned about. I know that God is in control and that ultimately these things may have to come to pass. That is why I am looking forward to Jesus’ return, when Satan will be defeated forever and every knee will bow in Heaven, and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

        • zilch

          Katie- thanks for the thoughtful reply. You needn’t apologize to me. And as I said, these are difficult issues. I don’t have any simple answers for the bathroom question, for instance. It might be, unfortunately for those with gender issues, simply necessary for them to bite the bullet and go in the bathroom that matches their genitalia. The questions become harder with those kids with intersex conditions.

          By the way, the intersex condition I mentioned, Klinefelter’s Syndrome or XXY, is not all that rare, occurring in between 1/500 and 1/1000 of male births. That makes for quite a few public school kids who are likely to have problems with gender identity. How can they be accommodated?

          But in any case, I don’t see how accommodating Klinefelter’s kids and all the other LGBT children requires the “entire society” to change. All the “entire society” has to do is accept them for who they are and not marginalize them. Same as for anyone else.

  • Lori

    It would be shocking to the world, I think, if Christians saw this as an opportunity to love, rather than to rant.

    I don’t remember Jesus telling us to get very worked up over court cases, but he did tell us to love people. And, the story behind this case is one of real people, and a real family. The child who is at the center of the case is a 6-year-old triplet, one of five children. The oldest child has autism, and of the other two triplets, one also has autism and the other suffers from very severe brain damage and functions at the level of a 1-2 month-old child.

    I don’t agree with this family’s way of handling their child’s confusion. If it were my child, I’d tell him that God made him to be just the kind of boy he was, and it was okay to be a boy who likes the color pink and playing with dolls. I’d want to help him embrace being the unique individual God made him, in the body God gave him.

    But, I’m not about to sound the bell for the downfall of Western civilization based on a case of a hurting family trying to do what they felt was best for their child. It seems like responding to this child and this family, which seems to have so many needs and so many struggles, in love, would be the most Christ-like response, rather than condemning from a distance.

    • Greg

      Lori, I don’t remember Jesus telling us to ignore the laws God laid out for us to live by.

      Why should one family be allowed to destroy thousands of other students. Why should a 7 year old girl be subjected to sharing bathroom facilities with a 13 year old boy?

      God did not tell us to open the door for every deviant that comes through.

      • Lori

        No, Jesus isn’t telling us to ignore the laws God laid out for *us* to live by, but he never insisted that we force others to live by them, as well. And, most certainly we ARE supposed to open the door for every deviant that comes through, because that’s what God does, that’s what church is. It’s the place where the door is open for all of the deviants, including me and you.

        If people want to oppose the law because a transgender child is not the gender they identify as, but the gender they were born as, I see no problem with that. I agree.

        But, the kind of fear-mongering happening here is neither necessary nor true. The idea that teen boys will go through the trouble of getting a diagnosis of gender-identity disorder and then go through the enormous stigma of living as a female (and transgender people faced enormous stigma in nearly all communities in this country, yes, even those in MA), just so that they can have easy access to young girls in the school bathroom is nonsense.

        For one, any kind of sexual misconduct in bathrooms is not allowed, regardless of the gender of those involved. It’s not like a boy who identifies as transgender and gets to use the girls’ bathroom can just stand there leering at girls with no consequences; a girl who did that in the girls’ bathroom would also face severe consequences.

        For another, school bathrooms aren’t secured by armed guards. If a boy were that interested in getting into the girls’ room in order to molest female students, it would be far, far easier for him to sneak into the bathroom than to go through the enormous trouble of trying to prove he is transgender.

        Finally, if a boy wants to molest girls that badly, he will find a way. Some young men, unfortunately, have been sexually harassing and abusing young women and girls for as long as there have been young men (Dinah, any one?). This policy will neither invent sexual abuse nor make it easier.

        If you want to oppose the law, oppose it on the basis of God’s good and right design of each of us. Point out the liberal hypocrisy of it: why is it wrong for a gay person to have to change because God made them that way, as their argument goes, but not wrong for a transgender person to change the way God made them? Why would people who would, I assume, be outraged at the idea of helping an African-American child “pass” as white because they really, truly feel God made a mistake in making them black applaud helping a child identify as the other gender? Why would people who believe (and on this point I agree) that there are many ways of being a boy and being a girl insist that gender is essential enough that one would need to identify as the other gender? If you want to oppose the law, argue that the loving, healthy thing to do is to help a person accept who they are and learn to make peace with the body God gave them. But don’t invent implausible scenarios designed to scare people or paint transgender youths as enemies, as dangerous sexual predators. That is not loving, Christian, or fair.

    • Karen Butler


      I appreciate so much your compassionate response, and that your goal is to love this hurting family. I share that desire. But I think that the evidence is clear that any child’s mother– who claims to identify ‘girl traits’ in her five month old baby boy — is disturbed, and certainly needs some counseling. Other than what she is getting! And much, much less media attention.

      Where is your compassionate response to the confusion of young girls reaching puberty, some who even may even have been molested by boys — what of the conflicted feelings they may have about a boy invading their private spaces, their showers and locker rooms, all this at at a very vulnerable time in their development? These young girls must submit to counseling for their very natural resistance. Are these girls to be given a psych label because they are uncomfortable about this invasion of their private space?

      And Lori, some predators do hide behind these laws to act out on their deviant behaviors. Walt Heyer, the Christian transwoman who returned to his gender, notes on his blog this case of a man exposing himself at a college in Washington, while wearing a dress. Note that the school has done nothing as yet to protect his women victims. Exhibitionist behavior starts young. The encyclopedia of mental disorders writes about exhibitionism that, “The disorder appears to have its onset before age 18. Like most paraphilias, exhibitionism is rarely found in men over 50 years of age.”

  • paul Cummings

    This whole discourse is wearisome.
    Down here in the south i don’t think this type of legislation would be as easily passed and there is less catering to the vocal disgruntled minority (I mean that in the best way possible). Our schools for the most part are very supportive of Christian clubs, prayer groups, FCA, Young Life etc etc…
    so it saddens me to see the back and forth of “home schooling holy people” vs “pagan public schoolers”.
    Can’t that be a decision that a family makes on their own, based on their schools and community and not something legislated by the newest scare in our culture?

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  • Nathan Brown

    Is the restroom sign pictured above an actual sign or an artistic rendering to illustrate the story?

  • Gretchen Eula del Socorro

    Hopefully, all states will follow the foot steps of Massachusetts. We must promote equality as we have already affirmed to every individual being unique. We must set aside our differences because we are all children of God.

    • Dawn

      Actually only Christians are children of God. we are all in God’s imange, but only Christians are children of God. The bibe, espeically Paul’s letters talk about adoption, and that those who are in Christ, are God’s adopted children.

      • Lori

        But God so loves the world. And that includes all the people he’s created.

        The idea that we can write some of them off as “deviants” or dangers, and look at everything through us vs. them lenses, is not Christian. “And such were some of you,” Paul wrote. And such were all of us, I think, if we’re honest.

        We’re talking, in this case, about children. Whether or not you believe they are God’s children, they are children created and beloved by God. And these children should be shown that love by Christians. No wonder the world has such a low view of Christians, when people here are far more interested in vilifying those who don’t agree with them and crying persecution when the laws don’t all go their way, than they are in surrounding the hurting, confused children and teens–image-bearers of God–with the love that God himself has for them. It doesn’t matter what bathroom anybody uses, in the scheme of things; it does matter what people think about God, and the way many Christians are responding to this is not bringing glory to God or demonstrating God’s love to the world.

        • Mark

          Lori, do not twist Paul’s words. He was not saying that we should accept sexual immorality because “such were some of us”. Quite the opposite, he was declaring God’s condemnation of immoral mankind. Look at the verse in context:

          “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

          Paul is noting the stark contrast between those who have been sanctified by Christ’s blood and those who still walk in sin.

          • Lori

            How did the people Paul was speaking of change? They got nice and cleaned up and then were welcomed into the early Christian communities? They were sternly lectured by the early Christians, and then decided they so wanted to join up with their lecturers that they gave up their immoral ways and then were ready to meet Jesus? I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. We’re talking, again, about children and teens here, some as young as 6 or 7. I’m not really comfortable writing off a child who is confused about gender as a sexually-immoral deviant. I’m not sure any of us should be. Perhaps we can ask ourselves why, as is the case in one case currently going on in Colorado, a boy who loves dressing up and playing with dolls is convinced that he must really be a girl. Maybe our rigid ideas about gender are part of what drives people who do not fit those norms to think that God made a mistake, that they can’t be a boy (or a girl) because they don’t feel and act like a “real” boy (or a “real” girl), rather than being able to accept and live as the unique individual God made them.

            Let’s not find sin where there is no sin, as well. Bathrooms are not a sin issue. There is no biblical prohibition against men and women using the same bathroom; mixed-gender bathrooms are not sinful. Sure, sinful things can happen in a mixed-gender bathroom, but they can and do happen in single-gender bathrooms, as well. So let’s not pretend that our cultural norm of single-gender bathrooms is a biblical requirement.

            • Lily J

              “Maybe our rigid ideas about gender are part of what drives people who do not fit those norms to think that God made a mistake, that they can’t be a boy (or a girl) because they don’t feel and act like a “real” boy (or a “real” girl), rather than being able to accept and live as the unique individual God made them.”

              Of course. Transgender cannot exist without strict gender constraints. It is an inevitability when you construct gender along lines that have nothing to do with the innate. Scripture aside, how “boy” and “girl” are defined in this society has little to do with anything biological which is why it is impossible that every person born “male” would identify within the category. Then there is intersex and those born with ambiguous genitalia. For those of you who are complementarians. How do you deal with the fact that some people are not born male or female on a biological level? I’m not even talking gender of the mind but actual physical sex. All I hear is “God made us male and female.” That is literally not true…You ignore the existence of thousands.

        • Karen Butler

          “surrounding the hurting, confused children and teens–image-bearers of God–with the love that God himself has for them”

          Yes, I agree! Let’s surround them with both love and God’s truth that doesn’t enable destructive behaviors. Because 40% of trans still attempt suicide after surgery, and one out of three succeed. After transition, the body dysphoria may be ameliorated, but the underlying emotional and spiritual anguish remain.

          • Lori

            I completely agree. There is a deep anguish and pain and confusion for people who suffer from gender identity disorder, and the currently-popular secular solution–identifying as the other gender and then gender-reassignment surgery–is not adequate.

            But that should be the focus: the people, not a law that is going to apply to very, very few people and that in all reality will have little to no impact on people’s lives. But if the church’s response to transgendered people is to write them off and see them as the enemy, why would we expect them to listen to anything we might have to say about the love God has for them and the peace they can find in who God made them to be?

            • Greg

              Why do you think Christians should bend over backwards to accomodate people who live outside of Christian beliefs. What in your mind tells you Christians are wrong and everyone else is right. You need to take another look at your watered down version of Christianity. Do you go to Muslims and dictate to them how they should worship? No you don’t, but you are content to destroy Christian beliefs and morality.

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