Berkeley parents claim both of their small children are “transgender” and want to “normalize” transition

By Jonathon Van Maren

Earlier this week, I took a brief look at how the mainstream media is teaming up with celebrities to normalize transgenderism and to make it appear as if things that we would all be stunned by a mere decade ago are not only acceptable, but downright laudable. One of those things, for example, would be parents raising small children as transgender, and embarking on treatments that will have a long-lasting (and probably devastating) effect on them. The media is carefully profiling these new family arrangements (as well as highlighting the fictitious presence of “pregnant men” and other absurdities that the trans activists are demanding that we accept.) Here’s an example from The Sun:

Parents of two transgender children who were aged five and eight when they transitioned insist their kids are happier than ever. James, 11, and his little sister Olivia, 7, live with their supportive parents, Ben and Sara Kaplan, in Berkeley, California, US. The family say they are sharing their story with the hope of normalising the narrative surrounding trans children – in a country where only 0.3 percent of adults are transgender, according to a 2011 study.

That number, by the way, is spiking so fast that in Great Britain the government of the United Kingdom is launching an investigation into why. But notice here that these parents have decided to come to the media, have their family extensively photographed, and then explain modestly that they are doing this because they see themselves as culture warriors hoping to “normalize the narrative surrounding trans children.” I’m sure that’ll cost them some party invitations in Berkeley. More:

Mum Sara said: “The reaction when people hear that we have two trans kids is shock and awe. “A lot of people think that it must be a copycat situation where the younger one is just mimicking the older one.”

James was eight-years-old when he told his parents he wanted to transition from female to male – he was in second grade. Olivia was four when she said she was transgender – but didn’t begin socially transitioning and using female pronouns until she was five and entering kindergarten. In reference to Olivia’s transition, Sara said: “It was less shocking because we had just had a child transition – we had educated ourselves about gender.”

A lot of people think that it must be a copycat situation where the younger one is just mimicking the older one. When James was eight, he began socially transitioning. He had his hair cut shorter, shopped for boy’s clothes and asked his peers to use male pronouns. Last year, he changed his name legally.

“I have always been a boy,” James said. “Before I transitioned, I had a piece missing and it didn’t feel right. I was nervous to tell my parents, but when I did, they said they accepted me. I was happy because I know a lot of trans kids don’t have that, and that’s sad.”

All of that, by the way, is obviously from the parents. Eight-year-olds do not even fully understand gender, and second-graders don’t spit out LGBTQ talking points on demand unless they’ve imbibed that information elsewhere first—I’d be interested to know what sort of “education” their Berkeley school is currently inflicting on them. It should also go without saying that four-year-olds don’t say they are transgender because they have no idea what “transgender,” or any other manifestation of our current cultural confusion surrounding sexuality, actually is. And they certainly don’t say things like this:

Olivia added: “Being trans means you were born in the gender that you don’t feel in your heart – anyone can be whoever they want to be, and it doesn’t matter what your opinion is.” When Olivia told James about her transition, he was very proud of how brave she had been. However, like with most siblings, he admits there was the usual competitiveness.

“I reacted to Olivia transitioning like most older siblings would – even though I’m trans,” James explained. “I was a little confused at first and got a little defensive because I thought it was my thing. But after like a day of that, I saw that Olivia is a girl and she always will be.”

A month ago, James started hormone blockers – an implant which prevents him beginning puberty including his menstruation cycle and breast development. When discussing the decision, James said: “I’m a guy, and if any other guy thought about being a woman, that’s uncomfortable. Being trans means you were born in the gender that you don’t feel in your heart – anyone can be whoever they want to be, and it doesn’t matter what your opinion is” James is now waiting to begin testosterone, which would be the first permanent action he takes towards transitioning as the process would affect his fertility.

However, Olivia is too young to have any medical treatment for her transition yet. Sara explained: “We have lots of time as she’s only seven – the first thing would be a hormone blocker and that’s not until she would hit the tanner stage two of puberty, so for now, we follow her lead. Ben and Sara want to educate those who accuse them of imposing an agenda on their kids.

“The reason that we chose to be public at this point is because having two transgender children is not that unique, but it’s very difficult to advocate for the second child without it looking like there’s a problem in the house,” Sara explained. “It looks like there is an agenda. Like the mother is sick, and that’s not the case here.” Ben added: “It tends to fall on the mother, and I get feedback that I’m just complicit and just sitting here watching, which is untrue – I am a faithful father, and I love my children dearly.”

I don’t actually question whether these parents love their children. We live in times of chaos and confusion. But they are engaging their children in an unproven social experiment that is going to reduce many, many people to human rubble in the years to come. I have interviewed many “de-transitioners” over the past several years—people who believed they were transgender for a wide variety of reasons, attempted to change genders, and inevitably realized that this was not possible. Walt Heyer described the moment he had completed his transition and realized that none of the physical mutilation and changes in appearance could actually help him as one of the most despairing moments of his life, where he sat down and cried until he felt like his chest would explode.

These “human interest” stories are being pumped out with the specific intention of eliminating the public’s ability to be shocked. Soon, it will be normal to read stories about transgender four-year-olds and second-graders on hormone blockers. These parents will be pushed as LGBT pioneers, and those of us who are horrified by the ideology that is being inflicted on children who do not even fully understand what they are a part of will be damned as bigots and pushed further out of the public square. These stories may simply seem like Jerry Springer voyeurism, but they are more than that—and we should recognize how they are attempting to shift the culture, story by sympathetic story.


For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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