It’s June 2 and that means it’s officially Pride Month, where we will be subjected to nonstop celebrations of a group – gays and lesbians – that’s had equal rights and political power in the United States for quite some time now. Okay.
As author and gay rights activist, Bruce Bawer writes in Thursday’s New York Post: “We’ve won equality. Why should gays continue to be singled out, even for the purpose of being celebrated… Being gay is an attribute, not an accomplishment.” Nonetheless, American corporations must show the citizenry how progressive they are, so taste the rainbow!
We also have a month of this kind of imagery coming our way, boldly celebrating the ‘TQ’ portion of the ‘LGBTQ’ crowd. Look at this:
A pregnant woman purporting to call herself a man, complete with facial hair, on the cover of Glamour UK. She says giving birth made her “very dysphoric” – that will happen when you’re calling yourself a man while giving birth to a baby – to the point where she demanded a C-section.
I, for one, will not be celebrating this dishonesty. In fact, I’m in a very different place when it comes to this entire issue. And that is the subject of today’s talking points. Why I’m done with preferred pronouns.
I was an early proponent of using preferred pronouns as far back as the early 2000s, of saying ‘she’ when I knew the truth was ‘he.’ It seemed harmless, and I had no wish to cause offense. Trans people were tortured enough, it seemed to me, by nature of their dysphoria and society’s disdain for them in general. So, I complied. I went along with it. I didn’t see the harm.
By 2016, we were debating bills to stop trans access to certain bathrooms, which I covered from the news desk, siding with the trans community. How does it affect our lives as women if here or there a trans person uses a stall in our bathroom? These people aren’t bothering anyone. Why wouldn’t we accommodate them?
I didn’t see the harm.
In 2018, while at NBC, I hosted shows on trans people, one of which had a segment on ‘trans kids.’ I led the audience in cheering for them, encouraging them to own who they are. I used approved terms like ‘gender affirming care’ for medicinal gender manipulations, ‘cis’ to refer to natural born women and men, ‘assigned male at birth’ instead of ‘born male.’ I smiled and listened politely as a guest told me “gender is just a social construct.” I wanted to be supportive of those who were suffering. I would use this more evolved language.
I didn’t see the harm.
By the time we began The Megyn Kelly Show podcast in September 2020, the warning signs were everywhere. Abigail Shrier had written her beautiful and immensely important book, Irreversible Damage, documenting the social contagion sweeping teenage and adolescent girls – a group that, traditionally, had very few members claiming gender dysphoria but was quickly on its way to having more than any other.
Teenage girls in Connecticut were losing on the track to males – runners who had raced as boys the year before, then simply declared themselves female and dominated their new competitors. I had the female runners on the show, along with a trans medical physicist who was also a former athlete to explain the advantages to trans athletes, especially post-puberty. When I slipped and said the trans girls were “biological males,” this person told me that was offensive. I explained that it was an attempt at clarity but began to re-think the language policing. Why did I have to deny reality in order to be polite? What I said was true and not offered to offend. But I wanted to be respectful.
Was there any harm?
The Connecticut girls sued and went on to lose their case; it’s now on appeal.
Girl after girl across this country soon faced the same problem. Competing against boys who claimed they were trans was dejecting and often near-impossible. They were too strong, too big, too fast, too agile. From wingspan to femur length to lung capacity, heart size, and musculature, they had serious advantages – even with testosterone adjustment – which few competitions required in the first place.
American schools, including our own in New York, began pushing the idea on children that gender is as malleable as a dinner menu order. Our son and his third grade classmates were regularly asked if they were “sure they were still boys.” Later this and other schools moved away from the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ altogether – now parents pick up their “students” at day’s end, not their sons or daughters.
Kids telling teachers they were uncomfortable in their bodies were immediately ‘affirmed as trans’ – despite the fact that upwards of 90 percent of kids will grow out of these feelings if only they are allowed to do so. Schools worked to facilitate children’s ‘transition’ in the classroom, complete with name and wardrobe changes, while implementing policies to keep it secret from the parents. The children had to be ‘protected’ from those who loved them most.
We pulled our children out, fleeing the woke ideology on gender and race that seemed closer to abuse than academics. We moved to Connecticut in 2021 and that was the year the floodgates really opened. Hardly a day went by over the next two years without another story in the news of the trans madness sweeping the nation.
- Female inmates being raped by male sex offenders who had conveniently declared themselves trans right before heading to prison.
- Female cyclists losing titles to grown men who declared themselves trans and absconded with the prize money.
- Professional psychiatric associations adopting ‘gender confirming care’ as the only acceptable option for children suffering any hint of gender confusion.
- A boy in a dress sexually assaulting a girl in a Virginia school bathroom while administrators covered it up.
- A teenage volleyball player severely injured by a trans player who spiked the ball so hard the girl suffered permanent damage.
- Hospitals bragging about how much cash they were making on cross-gender procedures including on teenagers.
- Pictures online of young women’s gutted forearms where flesh was harvested to build a grotesque phony phallus that no one would ever mistake for an actual male sex organ.
- High schoolers celebrating ‘top surgery’ in which their breasts were amputated before their sixteenth birthday, forever eliminating their ability to breastfeed.
- Kids pumped full of puberty blockers and then cross-sex hormones, rendered sterile and incapable of ever reaching sexual climax – all while their parents and doctors maintained this was all by ‘informed’ consent.
One by one, we met the detransitioners – those brave enough to admit their gender changes had been a mistake. Kids who were just unhappy, anxious, or perhaps on the autism spectrum had been rushed to transition by a system that seemed more about a political agenda than about addressing the patient’s mental health. These voices were promptly ignored or shamed by the very same community that had love-bombed them to begin with, earlier touting surgery, hormones, and the trans lifestyle as a kind of panacea.
And then came Lia Thomas – an obvious male towering over his female competitors, crushing them in the pool by several body lengths. The spectacle of this swimmer, ranked in the mid-five hundreds as a male, annihilating women in race after race, heading to the NCAA finals where he emerged a champion was, for many of us, the last straw.
The University of Pennsylvania female teammates who quietly objected were told they should seek therapy. Forced to share a locker room with an intact male whose social media posts, according to The Daily Wire, suggest he becomes sexually aroused by dressing like a woman – a common fetish among male-to-female trans people – the female swimmers were told to deal with it.
Every instinctual alarm that went off about the dangers of sharing this vulnerable space with a man was stifled and rejected as bigoted by administrators who would never have to face these circumstances themselves. A few of the co-eds spoke anonymously in the press, revealing their distress over these events but saying they feared losing future employment if they failed to keep their mouths shut.
Riley Gaines stayed silent too, at first. Gaines, who, like all female swimmers, had a lifetime of training as a girl – the swims when your breasts are developing and changing the way your arms and torso move, your hips are expanding and affecting your balance and speed, your first period is coming but you don’t know when and you worry about an embarrassing moment in the pool; the moments when you’re so bloated you look and feel 10 pounds heavier in your lower abdomen and dealing with menstrual cramps that no medication can assuage… but you dive in anyway and give it a go.
Gaines undoubtedly had all those moments, while the 6-foot-1-inch Lia Thomas – who one year earlier was swimming as Will – had none, having lived his 20 years as a man. Now that man was a women’s team champion, regularly in the press bragging about how much it meant to him to crush his female competitors.
When Gaines tied Thomas for fifth place at the NCAA championships, she said nothing publicly. When officials wanted Thomas, not Gaines, to hold the trophy for the picture, Gaines smiled for the cameras. But something was shifting under the pool that afternoon because Riley Gaines would not stay silent for long.
A few weeks later, she found her voice, speaking out respectfully about the unfairness of it all. And when she did, she was attacked – physically assaulted by a trans activist on a college campus, threatened and shouted down, mocked for her tears and forced by an angry mob into a back room after speaking to students, security too intimidated by the vicious mob to stand up to them.
And she was not the only one.
Kellie Jay Keen – a 5-foot-1-inch English mother of four and devoted advocate for women’s rights who came on my show recently (episode 529) and spoke truth so plainly it moved me profoundly – has been repeatedly targeted.
In March, she was doused in tomato juice as a mob moved in yelling “F-you, c–t,” prepared to cause her physical harm rather than let her speak in New Zealand. Had she not been rushed out by police, she clearly would have been brutalized.
And there I was, along with millions of others, watching and learning and finally seeing it: There is the harm.
It is beyond time to stand up…
- To the trans lobby that means to deprive women of their spaces and rights
- To the men who pose as trans women to gain access to places like sorority houses only to exploit the women strong-armed into welcoming them
- To the men who grow their hair long, throw on a dress, pop on their TikTok filter and then threaten to kill us if we object to them coming into our private spaces
- To the mutilation of our children by money-driven doctors, and the rape of our imprisoned sisters, and the theft of our medals and opportunities to win
How can we stand up to any of this if we are complicit? How can we fight for facts if we participate in this fiction that a man can become a woman, that ‘transitioning’ is possible and then we try to say, “No, ‘she’ cannot come into our locker rooms or bathrooms or swimming lanes or sororities”? We try to say, “No, Target, ‘she’ can buy ‘her’ bathing suit with the extra fabric to hide ‘her penis’ somewhere else”?
It doesn’t make sense because it isn’t true. And we know it’s not true. And to pretend that it is true is to foster a lie that’s hurting too many people – almost all of them women and girls.
They say pronouns are a gateway drug. They open the door to these lies that lead to real harm to real females. They’re a clever rhetorical trick that forces you to cede the argument about women’s spaces before you’ve even spoken one word of substance. People with genuine gender dysphoria can lobby to create their own spaces – I will support them; to create open categories in sport – I will support them.
The answer, in the interim, is not: Women lose. Girls get hurt. Females learn to turn off their innate sense of danger, of fairness, of the joy of spending time with only women.
Kids, too, can grow to adulthood and do what they want with their bodies. I will have empathy for them. I would never bully them. But children should not be subjected to these dangerous interventions in school or at the hands of so-called medical professionals. The facilities that allow it must be stopped or shut down.
For these reasons, I have resolved to base my conversations around gender on the same tenets that already govern my life: Truth and reality. I will not use preferred pronouns – a decision motivated by a growing alarm over women’s rights and the safety of children.
I will speak to a trans person kindly and with empathy. In their presence, I will likely try to avoid pronouns altogether, as I have no wish to intentionally provoke or upset anyone. But I will not take this gateway drug anymore – because I have a daughter; because I am a woman, an adult human female; because for far too long I failed to see the harm and, therefore, helped cause it.
To the women and men who helped open my eyes, thank you. I will single out one in particular: Ireland’s Brandubh, who, at 14 years old, wrote the poem “I Am Not a Dress,” which perfectly captures what so many of us are feeling:
I am not a dress to be worn on a whim.
A man in a dress is nonetheless a him.
Women are not simply what we wear.
If this offends you, I do not care.
I am not an idea in any man’s mind.
And my purpose in life is not to be kind.
So while my rights are trampled every day of the week,
I will not stand by being docile and meek.
We are women, we are warriors of steel.
Woman is something no man will ever feel.
Woman is not a skill that any man can hone.
Woman is our word and it is ours, alone.