In Omaha, Nebraska, a child’s parents and therapist have determined — after years of struggle, extensive counseling, and careful consideration of their unique circumstances — that it is best, at least for the time being, to allow their child to live as the opposite gender.
WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., has an in-depth story and video about the child’s background and struggle.
According to KTIV-TV,
[Therapist] Ellie Hites says the brain is sometimes wired differently than the body is.
She says many of her transgender clients have suffered from nervous breakdowns, suicide attempts and deep depression because they’ve been forced to hide their true identity.
Hites tells KETV-TV in Omaha, “I wish that society was open and loving enough to let that child be who that child perceives himself to be.”
But the activists of Focus on the Family and the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha will hear nothing of it. It is still considered politically correct for members of conservative political institutions to ridicule sissies and tomboys and to dismiss any child development issue as something that can be cured with a good spanking and strict conformity. Focus’ Jeff Johnston — who has no professional mental-health credentials — ignorantly diagnoses that the child must have “gender identity disorder” and further declares, “Many boys who are troubled with gender-identity disorder grow out of it,” he said. “Good parental, pastoral and therapeutic support can help.”
In other words, Focus on the Family declares that its political activists — not a child’s parents or therapist — know what’s best for all children. And it deems itself qualified to blame parents and therapists for the failure of some children to conform to the dictates of Colorado Springs evangelicals. Meanwhile, the Catholic archdiocese in Omaha has been just as smug, ignorant, conformist, and superficial: It has thrown the child out of Catholic school.
According to WJXT,
The mother, a life-long Catholic, thought making the transition in their parish would be the best place for their child to continue friendships, with a support system that included other parents and children.
“The child is welcomed to come, but it would not be acceptable to change the child’ gender and present as a girl,” said Omaha Archdiocese’s Chancellor, the Rev. Joseph Taphorn.
Instead of utilizing this moment to teach its school children about gender, tolerance, and respect, the conservative archdiocese politely told the family to get out. This is the sort of sweetly worded ostracism that conservative Catholics and Focus on the Family try to market as “love” these days.
Focus on the Family and its religious-right therapeutic mentor, NARTH, have a long history of advocating ridicule and harassment of children as a means of imposing traditional gender roles and identities by force. This latest situation suggests that Focus has not yet learned how to approach issues of youth and gender with sensitivity, grace, patience, and respect for parents’ authority and first-hand knowledge.
It’s much easier for a conservative organization to humiliate a family and to dictate comforting, self-satisfied, and politically partisan stereotypes, than to support Christian families with intelligence and compassion in unique and difficult circumstances.