The sizzle and the substance to kick off the conversation came courtesy of Brittany Aldean, wife of country music star Jason Aldean, who got branded “transphobic” last month for an Instagram observation about her childhood.
“I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase,” Aldean wrote in a video caption. “I love this girly life.”
The comment, which Aldean later said was taken out of context, underscored a serious issue affecting American adolescents. While Owens, Newgent, and Perez all three agreed that gender-confused minors need counseling and support long before medical intervention, Hilton the longtime chronicler of Hollywood scandals, said the decision should be up to parents. But when he repeated the familiar argument that letting trans kids follow through medically can keep them from killing themselves, Owens and Newgent disagreed.
“Trans youth have an incredibly high suicide rate,” Perez said. “And as a parent, I want to do whatever I can to help my kid. I would go down the therapy route first, and if we’re a few years into that and my child is now 15 or 16 and telling me they’re suicidal, then I would consider, explore, or move forward with hormone blockers because the guilt would eat me alive.”
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The facts about trans kids and suicides don’t back up the argument, Owens said.
“Suicide rates often go up after transition, which is not something that’s being told publicly,” she said.
Newgent, who was featured on Matt Walsh’s explosive documentary “What Is a Woman?” and warns about the long-term effects of cross-sex hormones and surgery through the group TreVoices, agreed with Perez’s sentiment, but said the studies he was likely citing are all flawed.
“When you say something like that, about suicide, I understand, and I felt the same way,” Newgent said. “Here’s the reality: There’s seven studies that say that medically transitioning children helps eliminate suicidal ideation. Helps children. Every single one of those studies has been retracted, or modified.”
Hilton wondered what the parent of a trans child could do if he or she as well as the child all agreed on medical intervention.
“What do you propose?” Hilton asked. “Are you saying that there should be laws enacted that tell parents how they should parent?”
Hormone treatments and surgery should not be an option for children, according to Owens.
“What I’m actually proposing is that no child should be able to make a decision to mutilate their body – and to me, it’s child abuse,” Owens said. “They do not have the ability to understand what is going to happen to them long term. You are relying on your parents to direct you in a way that is not going to harm you.”
Puberty blockers are not reversible, despite the mainstream media’s position, Owens said. Saying otherwise risks promoting procedures that cause long-term damage for children, she said.
Owens said she empathizes with people, especially kids, suffering from gender dysphoria and would rather they were helped in ways that weren’t permanently disfiguring.
“I still hold [gender dysphoria] as a mental illness,” she said. “But I do not want people who are mentally ill to be harmed. I think that is what gets lost when they see conservatives fighting this. It’s like, ‘oh, you’re transphobic, you hate’ – no. I want to help. I don’t hate them. I want to help.”