NY Times column argues kids should be able to transition genders because they need ‘freedom to make mistakes’


A recent New York Times column argued that barring children from undergoing gender transitions is misguided because it blocks children from embracing their freedom to take risks in life.

The column, authored by Times opinion columnist Lydia Polgreen on Friday, also dismissed the concern that children may forever regret their decision to endure these procedures. She insisted that all people risk making decisions that they’ll regret in life.

The author likened a kid's decision to take puberty blockers, hormones or undergo a full sex change operation to the decision she made to quit the middle school swim team, pointing out that each of these are similarly big decisions that change the course of one’s life.

Additionally, Polgreen asserted that medical operations to alter gender are no different than other forms of plastic surgery that make one feel more comfortable with themselves.

The framing of the column – titled "There Is No Way to Live a Life Without Regret" – was laid out in a subheader, which stated, "The panic over transgender children is driven by the fear that they’ll regret transitioning. But freedom to make mistakes is core to being human."

Polgreen began the piece by talking about the decision to quit swimming. "Had I stuck with it, my life might have turned out pretty different. I might have been a popular jock rather than a lonely weirdo. I might have become a varsity athlete who won admission to a top college rather than a barely graduated teenager who had to take remedial math at a community college to scrape my way into a not-very-competitive school."

The columnist continued, "We allow children to make irreversible decisions about their lives all the time, ideally with the guidance and support of the communities that care for them. Sometimes they regret those decisions. The stakes vary, but they are real. So what are we saying, really, when we worry that a child will regret this particular decision, the decision to transition?"

Driving the comparison home, Polgreen asked, "And how is it different, really, from the decision I made to quit competitive swimming?"

However, she conceded, "To many people — I am guessing most — this question is absurd. How could you possibly compare something as fundamental and consequential to one’s life as gender to something that seems comparatively trivial, competitive sport?"... (Read more)

Submitted 90 days ago

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