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Right-wing blog, GOP politicians up in arms over UVA Transgender Youth Health program

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The right-wing blogosphere and a host of Republican politicians are bringing the heat to the UVA Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Youth Health program, apparently out of lack of much else worthwhile to do.

A report last week in the Daily Caller gemmed up the latest faux controversy, playing up the usual far-right tropes on the transgender front, painting a picture of free-for-all puberty blockers for little kids and double mastectomies for teens being marketed like pizza, beer and trucks on your Sunday NFL game of the week.

The truth, not surprisingly, is not that.

Entry into the UVA Children’s Hospital program requires a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, defined by the Mayo Clinic as “the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics.”

According to a report released in June by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, an estimated 300,000 U.S. teens, about 1.4 percent of the teen population, identify as transgender.

Anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation are unfortunately common among transgender youth and adults, for reasons that you can totally get if you have even basic comprehension of how mean people can be toward anybody who’s even the slightest bit different.

You won’t read about any of that in the Daily Caller, which solicited the usual hateful comments from Republican politicians who, not surprisingly, can’t be bothered to try to understand the world they live in.

“The governor is disappointed in the services being provided to children by the UVA Health System and the egregious marketing of those,” said Macaulay Porter, a spokesperson for Gov. Glenn Youngkin, which last month released rewritten “model policies” for the treatment of transgender students that would roll back equal protections enacted under former Gov. Ralph Northam last year.

“Egregious marketing,” seriously.

It’s being so “egregiously” marketed that a video cited in the Daily Caller story as being particularly outrageous dates to 2014, and it’s just now getting attention.

“Encouraging and providing irreversible medical procedures for minors raises serious concerns that demand immediate action to protect children across the Commonwealth,” said Sixth District Congressman Ben Cline, who seems to think gender dysphoria is reversible.

“The science confirms that God created only two sexes, and He does not make any mistakes. When children express confusion about their sex or gender, they need adults to speak truth and help them realize that they were perfectly created,” Fifth District Republican Congressman Bob Good said.

It’s just as easily argued that the science now confirms that there aren’t “only” two sexes, and that this “God” doesn’t make mistakes – and that those of us who think he created “only” two sexes are the ones who need to have the truth spoken to them.

“These reports are deeply troubling. I believe performing irreversible procedures of this sort on minors crosses the line. As an institution associated with the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Commonwealth ought to investigate these practices,” Ninth District Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith said.

“I have serious and grave concerns about reports of these procedures being performed on children as young 11 years old; which would call for immediate oversight to protect young people and families across Virginia,” First District Republican Rob Wittman said.

Both of these guys in one: consult a medical journal.

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].