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Reporting on the Transgender Movement: a report from the front

transcript of Brandon Showalter's presentation
Survivors' Summit, Ruth Institute's annual conference, Lake Charles, Louisiana


 

Good afternoon, everyone. I'm honored to be here today and as Dr. Morse said, I'm Brandon Showalter and I've been a journalist at The Christian Post in Washington, DC since the summer of 2016, and I've been invited here to share what it's been like reporting from the front lines on the topic of transgenderism.

I fell down the gender identity rabbit hole, as I like to call it, soon after I started as a full-time reporter. I wasn't so familiar with these issues except that I'd heard a few things about bathrooms in 2015 and I knew about transvestites at Mardi Gras in New Orleans and that a few folks had undergone these body-altering surgeries. But that was about the extent of it.

Yet in early 2017, when I found out about the marked shift toward all things trans within contemporary LGBT politics and the experimental medicalization of gender that was being pushed on minors, specifically what puberty blockers were, I was a changed man. Life was never the same after that. When I was confronted with the reality that doctors in America were actually trying to chemically suppress the normal pubertal processes as though they were a diseases to cured, under the guise of alleviating gender confusion, a psychological condition, something inside me just sort of snapped. Incidentally, this issue quickly became one of my "beats" as we have in the news business.

I subsequently learned that since 2007 dozens of gender clinics have sprung up around the country with breakneck speed and the ideology that undergirds these sordid outfits has basically taken over every realm of culture, especially law, medicine and education. This has been brewing for decades, in fact, but it has exploded in the past 5-10 years. And many Planned Parenthood offices are essentially gender clinics of a sort as they are now a leading provider of cross-sex hormones for people who identify as transgender or non-binary.

The most important thing to understand about this neo-Gnostic transgender ideology, aside from it's grotesque misogyny, is that is none of it is based in material reality, none of it's rooted in objective truth. Thus, there are many, many victims. And the harms of this pathological creed are truly horrifying.

In short, we are destroying an entire generation of young people and wrecking our society in service to utterly insane ideas that prioritize the physically impossible goals of a few personality-disordered individuals who are under the ferocious delusion that by their say-so they somehow are the opposite sex.

Before I get too deep in let me just say two things from the outset. 1) Human beings cannot change sex, they never have been able to, they never will be. 2) Men, women, and children who have psychiatric problems where gender confusion and distress is an issue, deserve nothing less than our sincerest compassion.

But that is an entirely different issue than the radical ideology that is presently rampaging across our communities.

Sometimes I get asked why I care so much about this. I can say it no better than Colin Wright has said it. Colin Wright is an evolutionary biologist, certainly not a Christian, who has spoken out about the nature of biological sex and the dangerous denial of it in prominent forums like the Wall Street Journal. In early March, he posted on Twitter that he considers this subject "reality's last stand. If this undeniable fact can be denied en masse, then we become hostages to chaos. We simply cannot afford to lose our collective tether to reality."

He's not overstating it. In the course of covering on this topic, I could share with you many examples of how transgenderism turns everything it touches to ash.

I could tell you about how girls and women's sports are being eroded. Because boys can now self-identify as female despite retaining all the physiological advantages that male puberty confers, they can participate and compete in female athletics, take their titles, break their records, steal scholarship opportunities, and ruin everything Title IX has enabled women and girls to achieve since 1972.

I could tell you about how transgenderism is sowing chaos and confusion in the area of vital statistics and public record keeping because, in most states and cities now, altering ones sex marker on important legal records like birth certificates, drivers licenses and other identity documents is allowed. As a result, crime statistics are being skewed, and violent crimes mostly committed by males are being falsely reported as though women are the perpetrators.

And that segues into the astounding corruption of my profession, journalism. Official guidelines from the Associated Press now urge reporters and editors to lie and use wrong sex pronouns in news coverage. The mainstream media is nearly 100% in the tank for this nonsense. Pronouns have always denoted the sex of the body. But today we're told to prioritize the nebulous, materially meaningless concept of gender identity over and above everything else. I'm proud to say The Christian Post is not abiding by that.

Dr. Cretella did a fine job talking about the medical harms, and I have to say that the most devastating thing to see as a reporter has been the gender surgeries that are done on teenagers, at increasingly younger ages.

Indeed, there are no words to describe to what I felt when I stumbled upon the Instagram accounts of a young people who had undergone these procedures, like the woman in California who had a phalloplasty, a surgery where doctors strip skin and tissue from her forearm and leg in order to construct a fake penis. Because there was nothing wrong with her body the surgery didn't fix anything, and she had to have dozens of follow-up surgeries to repair was done. At one point in the process her nether regions were so badly mangled she had to have ileostomy bag and was forced to urinate through her anus.

Or there are the other Instagram accounts of young high school and college-age girls who show off their chest scars after the have had bilateral mastectomies. I've seen pictures where the nipples appear to be completely cut off. And some of the gender surgeons are brazen. I'll never forget seeing a Canadian gender doctor advertising his services on social media while sporting a medical mask and a Santa Claus hat, holding up two medical waste buckets labeled "breast tissue."

But if you haven't been following the news on this subject, maybe you've seen Jazz Jennings on TLC. This is a young man who has been told he was a girl since he was very young. An image I wish I could unsee was his face contorted in excruciating pain after surgeons cut off his testicles, and inverted his penis to make a fake vagina using part of his bowels. But when they created that fake vagina there wasn't much penile tissue to work with because, even as an 18-year-old, Jazz had the penis, developmentally speaking, of a 9-year-old due to all the puberty blockers he'd taken, which stunted his sexual development. Puberty blockers also take calcium out the bones that cannot be reintroduced later, and he very well may have serious skeletal issues or possibly osteoporosis by the time he reaches his 30s.

What they didn't show you in the series is how after his genitals were amputated what he essentially had was a crotch-wound, and not long after the initial surgery was complete that crotch-wound split open, and had to be rushed back into the operating room.

Jazz continues to deal with severe mental health challenges and he recently went under the knife for the fourth time for another 'corrective' operation and viewers are watching his ongoing and prolonged suffering as his physical and mental torment is shown on camera. This is voyeuristic, cruel, and abuse of the highest order but it's framed as entertainment.

I might also tell you about feminist anthropology professor Kathleen Lowrey from Alberta, Canada who was ousted from her associate department chair position earlier this year because she believes in the importance of biological sex, that a woman's body actually means something profound in feminism. Her views were deemed "unsafe" by the powers-that-be on campus. It was in a phone interview with her where I learned about the case of Nina Louise Courtpatte, a 13-year-old girl who was brutally murdered in 2005 on an Edmonton-area golf course. The man who killed her, Michael Williams, raped, strangled, stabbed, and bludgeoned her to death with a hammer and then set her body on fire.

Williams was subsequently convicted and jailed. But unfortunately, Canada, claiming to be progressive, has recently updated it public policies — most famously Bill C-16 which added gender identity as protected grounds in its national human rights charter and in the criminal code — to accommodate the demands of LGBT activists. So now Williams, this psychopath, despite being a fully-intact male, identifies as female. He takes hormones sporadically enough so he can still can maintain an erection. You probably know what's coming. He's now housed in a women's prison on the basis of his self-declared gender identity. I hope to high heaven the prison guards are keeping him away from the women inmates who are, in all likelihood, living every day in abject terror. And he is not the only sadistic criminal locked up with vulnerable women throughout the Western world.

And then there are the detransitioners, who are growing in number and are starting to make more noise despite a mass media blackout. These are men and women who once identified as transgender, who took these untested drugs, who underwent these drastic surgeries and have come to regret their transitions. As it turns out, these experimental measures did not improve their mental health issues like they were promised it would. And their bodies have been irreparably damaged.

I reviewed the medical documents and relevant court filings of one such male detransitioner and in February published an approximately 6000-word feature story wherein I recounted his harrowing ordeal. In 2011, this poor man was manipulated into an orchiectomy, the surgical removal of his testicles. He explained to me how gender clinicians never used sex-specific terms for the body during his appointments, always preferring genderist euphemisms instead. After years of wear and tear on his endocrine system from cross-sex hormone use, they persisted in pressuring him to consider surgery, telling him it wouldn't affect how he looked, felt, of functioned. Because they wouldn't relent he finally caved, and because of the transgender lingo they employed, he thought he was only getting a tiny piece of his testicles removed. Imagine his shock and dismay when he took the bandages off and he realized he'd been castrated.

This detransitioner told me: "I didn't hate my genitals, but now they looked strange, weird. My scrotum looked like a deflated balloon, like the weird thing that hangs off a chicken's neck. It's lifeless, an empty sac."

He knew something was really wrong about a year later when he started ejaculating blood. He now realizes that transgenderism is one humongous lie.

Along the way, I've met a few brave souls willing to push back against all this. And it's mostly women who do so and they are bearing the brunt of transgender activists' wrath. They are regularly threatened, doxxed, harassed, spit on, told to go die in a fire, get raped with cracked glass, sent violent pornography featuring demons sexually assaulting Jesus Christ, among other things. And the worst part? When they tell people about this vicious abuse, they aren't believed.

But if you'd like to read about all of this you can check out my byline at The Christian Post. I'd also recommend the work of Madeleine Kearns at National Review, whose reporting on this topic is second-to-none. And you're interested in tracing the money behind all of this, the best resource is, hands-down, Jennifer Bilek, who has published on a variety of platforms, and blogs at the 11th Hour blog. Her work is indispensable.

Yet today, I know that the goal of this summit is to give a voice to the victims and survivors of these toxic, top-down ideologies. So, in keeping with that aim, I'd like to focus the rest of my remarks on the mothers with whom I've conversed over the years. These are moms who have either lost or are losing their children, moms whose kids are being devoured by the bestial institutions in this most predatory gender industry.

But before I get to that I want say very quickly that if you are here today or are watching online and you're a follower of Jesus, I submit that I don't think we are going to be able to locate the necessary moral and spiritual resources to resist this scourge unless we're able to exhibit compassion in its truest sense. The word compassion literally means "with suffering." So as I read what I'm about to, please taste and feel this in the depths of your being and let it stir you. Don't just let this be another speech you hear and forget about later.

The following are stories from mothers who have corresponded with me. I have removed or redacted names and identifying details in order to protect their anonymity as there are often legal repercussions if they are outed. Please know that I have vetted these accounts, and have official documents and pictures in some cases. These are their stories in their own words.


mom 1

When your child is diagnosed with a disability, processing that information is much like passing through the stages of grief. It feels like your child has died, because the idea you held about who your child is does die.

When your child is diagnosed with a disability, processing that information is much like passing through the stages of grief. It feels like your child has died, because the idea you held about who your child is does die.

My daughter was diagnosed with high-functioning autism when she was seven, in second grade. The pieces of behaviors we’d labeled “quirky” now fell into place. When the psychologist gave us her diagnosis I realized that my daughter would never grow up to be who I’d imagined she might. She would probably never like to hug or be hugged. She would never be a popular kid, a charming girl, a social butterfly. She would never link arms with me and whisper a secret or confide in me about her inner thoughts and dreams.

I had to grieve those things, that imagined future young woman. The daughter that I thought I knew died that day. I had to start discovering who my daughter really is, and watch as she unfolded into the reality of who she would become. I learned to love her for who she is, rather than who I imagined she was.

Then, just a month shy of her thirteenth birthday, she announced to her father and me that she’s transgender—non-binary specifically, but leaning toward male.

Nothing could have shocked me more, because she’d never exhibited any desire to be other than a girl, and until just the previous few weeks she’d always presented as a girl: dresses, long hair, jewelry, and attempts to get me to let her wear makeup and high heels. This bizarre announcement was the craziest thing I’d ever heard. And she dug into it with both feet and both hands.

As the enormity of my daughter’s horrific decision sank into me, everything inside me screamed, “No! No! I already dealt with her death once, and now she’s trying to kill this girl I’ve come to know and love. She is my daughter, and she is part of me, and I can’t let her kill herself.”

I’d never suffered from anxiety, but during those first few weeks I learned what anxiety is. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I’d go to bed physically and emotionally drained, but the moment I dropped off to sleep my brain would hurl me back awake again, as if screaming, “This is an emergency! We’re under attack! You can’t sleep! Get up and do something! Save her!”

Terror and fatigue led to waking nightmares and the inability to concentrate or think clearly, which led to more insomnia, and worsening psychological and mental stability. The fight-or-flight instinct wouldn’t let me rest until this disaster had passed.

But this is a disaster that goes on for years. You’re living in a war zone now, and the bombs just keep screaming to the ground around you, exploding, day and night. Transgender activists teach your child to yell demonic obscenities at you, and to make up lies about things that never happened. They tell your child to threaten suicide or to cut herself to get her way.

One day, early on, my daughter lay in bed, covers over her head, refusing to go to school. She yelled, “I hate myself! I wish I were dead! I want to kill myself!”

I asked her, “Are you thinking about hurting yourself?” No answer. “Are you thinking about hurting yourself?” I asked again. She just snuffled at me. “I’m going to ask you again, and if I don’t get an answer I’m going to understand that as a “yes” and I’m going to take you to the emergency room right now. Are you thinking seriously about hurting yourself?” She screamed, “No! Just go away and leave me alone!”

I’d called her out, and I’d “won”.

But if I knew then what I know now I never would’ve done what needed to be done that day, what I did, in calling her out. Today I know that if I’d taken her to the emergency room she’d almost certainly have been affirmed in her desire to transition. And if I didn’t agree to it they very well might have taken her away from me, as has been done to other parents who didn’t agree to let their children medically transition.

I’m scared to take her to doctors now.

After her announcement I began to research rapid-onset gender dysphoria, and what I learned sickened me. Teenage girls were having their healthy breasts amputated. They were being given puberty blockers that halt not only their endocrine systems but their brain development. Doctors were giving them massive doses of hormones like testosterone that caused them to grow beards and lose their feminine voices and curves.

The beautiful, brilliant, perfect daughter that my body conceived, incubated, and birthed! They wanted to physically mutilate her, and she wanted to let them do it.

I thank God every day that my daughter was only thirteen when this started, because we still had control over her life and choices. We pulled her out of public school, where the GSA club had recruited and indoctrinated her, and where teachers and staff used her trans name and pronouns behind our backs. We took away her Internet where social media influencers had preyed upon her naivete and adolescent fears. While we affirmed her pain and struggles as real and valid, we refused to agree with anything about the transgender narrative.

It’s been two years. The militancy she exhibited in the early weeks died off pretty quickly after we severed the transgender influences from her life. She’s coming back to herself now, slowly. I believe we’ll get her back again.

But I’m angry because of the years I’ve lost with her. I’m angry at the stilted, deformed way her maturation has been derailed by this hideous lie. And I’m terrified to send her or any of my children off to college, where transgender activism operates as the de facto law of the land.

I’ve never been so scared in my life.


mom 2

I recall that night vividly. The phone call from our daughter telling us that our beloved son had declared himself transgender.

Our son is a cherished member of our family. He was a delight to raise and was doted on by his two older sisters. I remember how scared he was to be on his own, coupled with the excitement of so much responsibility he was going to find it an adjustment. But this night that turned into a literal nightmare for our family took place only a few months after he moved into his first apartment. I found out that after he moved in, a TRA needed a place to live (after her family couldn't tolerate her) and moved in with our young adult son.

We were concerned that something was going on his life as he wouldn't allow family in his apartment and he became extremely emotional anytime we tried to talk to him. Our loving son became secretive and antisocial. The first thing we did after our sons declaration that he was trans was contact the trans clinic in Vancouver to speak with the Doctor treating him. It turned out to be a woman who declares herself as Queer and actively participates in Campaigns to further trans rights.

We asked the Physician, who turns out is a General MD to speak with our family Physician and get our sons medical history. She refused, saying she knew our son better in a half hour visit than any of us could in a lifetime. She refused to request his medical history or request a psyche assessment. We explained to her that our sons declaration was sudden, he never had signs of gender confusion previously, but she did not care.

She put our son on cross-sex hormones on the very first visit and encouraged SRS surgery as soon as possible.

I was so distraught knowing that I could raise a person for 19 years, sacrifice my very own life for them and then be told that I know nothing, that I'm transphobic for not wanting my child to be chemically and surgically mutilated. Our family sought every avenue to help him, but we were blocked at every turn. TRA'S answered his phone, blocking us from all contact with him. At one point our son allowed his sisters and myself to visit him as long as the TRA who lives with him could be present at the apartment.

That night I believe I truly looked evil directly in the face. The TRA living with him was a young woman who declared herself as a man. She intercepted us every time we talked to our family member, getting angry and gnashing her teeth when we expressed concern. My sons room mate called the police on us and declared us trespassers, and had us removed from the building. My son throughout the entire ordeal said nothing just acquiesced to everything his roommate demanded. A room mate who paid no rent, just sponged off my child.

Everyday, it's been five years, is shrouded in grief. Our son no longer associates with family. None of us are capable of living his lie or supporting his delusions. He was rushed into trans'ing by an aggressive TRA and further rushed into SRS surgery by an aggressive Physician. We lost an important part of our family, every celebration, every family dinner is marked by his absence. The trans movement is akin to a cult, you are required to abandon the people who love you most and break sacred bonds in order to adhere to a perverse ideology.

I remember curling up under a desk in a hotel room. I couldn't allow my daughters or my husband to see my anguish. I booked a room for a couple of nights to process my feelings uninterrupted. I remember walking the streets after midnight, standing in front of a skytrain platform thinking stepping in front of a train would be less painful than what I was experiencing. I ground my teeth so badly while I was sleeping that I cracked every molar and needed prosthetics. My husband spent an entire year on sedatives because he was constantly tormented by nightmares. The first couple of years we were constantly attacked by TRA'S threatening to take our home, sue us for not accepting our son as a woman. They are parasites looking for a host. 


mom 3

My daughter, Emily, was just 14 years old when she decided that she was actually a boy. She was just 16 years old when a Pediatric Endocrinologist taught her to shoot up Testosterone (aka, anabolic steroids). I think most people are familiar with "roid rage." At age 17, Emily's testosterone level was over 20 times the normal level for a girl that age. Perhaps anabolic steroids helped fuel her decision to undergo a double mastectomy and radical hysterectomy, both done without my knowledge. The doctors who operated on her were aware that she had multiple mental health diagnoses. They were aware that she was in and out of homelessness after running away at 16 and living in extreme poverty. They simply did not care and why would they care when the United States government is funding cross-sex hormones and sterilization of mentally ill young people?

Like so many other gender-confused children, my daughter has been victimized by the very people who should have helped her: teachers, school counselors, therapists, social workers, doctors, courts, and lawmakers. Why was she allowed to change her name and gender in court, at age 17, without my knowledge? Like so many other gender-confused children, Emily came from a loving home. Like so many other gender-confused children, Emily is likely on the autism spectrum. Like so many other gender-confused children, Emily was not confused about gender identity until she got sucked into the Gay-Straight Alliance at school by a teacher. Like so many other gender-confused children, Emily was a happy, healthy, vibrant, strong, beautiful girl. Like so many other gender-confused children, Emily experienced some trauma and needed help. And like so many other parents, I am heartbroken, enraged, and living in a state of constant grief, with every memory of my daughter's childhood now bittersweet.

Emily is 20 years old now. She's still recovering from the radial forearm phalloplasty she had last year, followed by another associated surgery. Since I knew about the phalloplasty beforehand, I desperately tried to stop it. I contacted Emily's surgeon, the head of the plastic surgery department, the head of the hospital, patient advocates, the state medical board, senators, the governor's office, and numerous law firms. I flew to go see Emily twice in 6 weeks. When I realized I couldn't stop the phalloplasty, I begged for doctors to skin my arm instead of hers. My efforts were futile. The day before her phalloplasty, I took her to Build-A-Bear, where she picked out a stuffed animal she would later use for comfort during her long recovery. The night before her surgery, I sobbed uncontrollably, alone in a motel room, nearly losing my mind, as I paced around the room hugging a pillow, pretending that it was her as a baby, while I sang, "You are my sunshine." The next day, I waited helplessly during the 13-hour surgery with a rage so fierce, I contemplated what life in prison might be like.

Emily uses a wheelchair now, as she is in near-constant pain and on multiple medications, including testosterone. She has had seizures, panic attacks, and a host of "unexplained" illnesses. Her once porcelain complexion is blanketed with a thick beard and her soulful liquid brown eyes are now void of expression or emotion. She has few friends, is angry and unhappy most of the time, has problems obtaining and maintaining employment, and reports often feeling suicidal and not knowing why. She lives alone in a small house, thanks to a temporary government grant. The LGBTQ organizations that were so eager to help her on the path to destruction are now nowhere to be found.

No child should be put in a position to make life-altering decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. No government should ever allow, much less fund, the sterilization of mentally ill children. No teacher or therapist should affirm a child's false self-identity. No doctor should ever amputate healthy organs from children. If a sadistic rapist kidnapped my daughter and did to her what doctors have done to her, the horrific details would be headline news and there would be a public cry for justice. Yet a group of adults conspired to drug my daughter, cut off her breasts, cut out her entire reproductive system, and skin her arm and leg to create a fake penis and society celebrates. Does it matter if that group of sadists who sliced up my daughter have the letters M.D. scribbled after their names?


I think about these mothers every. single. day. Their exhausted, anguished countenances are seared in my memory. Their gut-wrenching, heaving cries of agony will forever stay with me.

For all of you listening, my question for you is this: How many is too many? How many children and young adults have to be sterilized, maimed, and mutilated before you'll rise up and say that's enough?

Maybe you're thinking, this is so overwhelming, what can we do? I'm not going to tell you what to do specifically, but I do implore you, seek God's face. Ask Him what you're supposed to do and then do whatever He tells you. But please speak up in some way and show some courage because as you do it will inspire courage in others. You'll find that a lot of people agree with you.

And if there is a silver lining to any of these horrors that I've just described, it is that I now semi-regularly correspond with people who do not share my faith or my views on many things but they are now reading The Christian Post because they know that we do not and will not kowtow to the notion that some penises can be female.

I hear from infuriated feminists who are angry about how this ideology destroys women's hard-won sex-based rights, I hear from horrified bewildered lesbians and gay men who are outraged at how same-sex attracted youth are being pushed toward gender-transition, and I've heard from a few atheists who are appalled at how basic science is being denied and overwritten in favor of this irrationality. And you know what they all tell me? "Please don't stop reporting, Brandon. Please keep going."

And speaking of courage, there's a woman in particular who has become a friend of mine who has lot of it. Her name is Miriam Ben-Shalom. To say we have some profound worldview differences is putting it mildly. I'm a philosophically conservative-leaning, small-o orthodox Christian who's very much a believer in our faith's historic teaching on marriage and sexual ethics. She's a politically left-leaning Jewish radical feminist lesbian. And she's taken a lot of guff for associating herself with someone like me. But I have such immense respect and admiration for her.

Despite her iconic status within the gay rights world due to how she was instrumental in the ending of Don't Ask Don't Tell, a few years ago she was disallowed from being the grand marshal for the Milwaukee pride parade because of some comments on her social media page that was critical of transgenderism. Ever since she's been a brave and outspoken advocate for women and girls but for everyone really against transgender activism in all its forms. And I asked her if she could share what she would say to a group of mostly Catholic, Christian, ecumenical religious crowd, about this particular fight. She graciously supplied the following, and I'm honored to read it now on her behalf. This is from Miriam:


Miriam Ben-Shalom:

I am a Jew. I am a Lesbian. I am a woman.

I turn and turn, look around me. I see bodies mutilated. Breasts cut off. Testicles and penises removed. I hear the guffaws of Big Pharma and Big Medicine, but what I see are the sons of Joseph Mengele. I see the experiments in Auschwitz, harvested tissue samples, the cutting of children's bodies to try and replicate twins, the sewing together of children's bodies, experiments in changing eye color, experiments with noma, a type of gangrene.

Silence is no option for me: I have 6 million people looking at me who say, “We had no voice and the world was silent—will you also be silent?” Jews call what happened in WWII ‘shoah’: which means annihilation. What I fight for—and what you must fight against is shoah: the annihilation of our future, the annihilation of a generation and more castrated, and the erasure of a class of humans known as ‘women.’ The institution known as the family is being shattered. Science and fact have become meaningless and the truth twisted beyond means. Transgenderism is as vicious a contagion as Covid-19, as vicious as any tyrant. I, a Jew and a woman am too familiar with this sort of thing. That is not hyperbole.

I look at so-called ‘sex-change’ operations where body parts are removed, artificial body parts installed. Children poisoned with chemicals. All in an effort to create something that simply cannot exist, just as Mengele tried to create Aryans. Shall I try to tell you how, in my rage, I shake my fist at a god and cry for these poor souls who have been tricked into thinking they were somehow “born wrong”? Shall I tell you how all I can do is hold and rock a woman detransitioner as she cries for the loss of body and self, and say to her, “Welcome home, sister. I was waiting for you. Glad it took no longer. You are not lost. Welcome home.” Shall I try to tell you of the grief I feel for these young lives carved, lost, gone? I, a Jew and a lesbian, am too familiar with this sort of thing. That is not hyperbole.

I see 10-year-old boys in drag prancing around on a stage with near-naked men while others throw dollars at the child. I see children being told they are — yes!—born in the wrong body because they like toys and colors most think of as being sex-assigned. I see 12, 13, 14-year-old children being told they can start puberty blockers. I see schools telling children they can lie to their parents and “be transgender” at school. I see male ‘teachers’ tout their ‘sex change’ at school and fight to use girls’ bathrooms. I see young Lesbians being told they are really men and being subjected to intense pressure to transition. I see sex manuals for young children—what 8-year-old thinks about masturbation? Think transgenderism is not interested in hijacking children? Think this is not abuse, grooming, or pedophilic? Think again. This is not hyperbole.

Were I here with you Lake Charles today I would reach out my hand and ask you to fight with me. We have so much more in common than we have in difference. This is not about Jew or Christian, Lesbian or heterosexual. This is about existence. This is about stopping modern-day Josef Mengele's, stopping the perversion of unfettered decadence. This is not hyperbole.

In the name of all you value and keep holy, take my hand and let us work together to stop this social contagion. Time for us to focus on what is at hand and to set aside differences. Time for all of us to fight for our children and our children’s children. Time for us to rip Joseph Mengele out from our society and humanity. This is not hyperbole.


And all I have to say to that is, my hand is out to you too, Miriam.

Thank you all so much.


Abused and rejected

I am a different victim of rejection from society due to being fired in 1986 after I was married and then assaulted in a women's restroom in the building I worked. I was fired again after I gave birth to my first child upon returning from maternity leave. I was assaulted again by my mentally disturbed brother right in front of my elderly mother and have struggled with mental illness since the assault in 1986. I've received medical help and understanding from my five homeschooled kids and my husband who has come a long way in understanding my fears.


It hasn't been a bed of roses during our 33 years of marriage even though our kids are devoted to the faith and are academically and socially successful. There have been 10 or more hospital stays of which my main fears have been experiencing further "psychological" (partly imaginary) rejection from normal daily activities and even my husband. There are police reports and trial records from the assaults and records from psychiatrists (some who've made minor mistakes) and a Catholic therapist (not enough of them) who I finally found to be of great help about 12 years ago.

I believe I was fired in 1987 because I was trying to get locks on the bathroom doors. I believe I was fired in 1991, after my first son was born, because I spoke up when things were astray at work, and they conveniently made my transition to another position when I returned from maternity leave.

These situations of rejection have psychologically distorted my every day experiences at times. I've been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and later even psychosis. I've been on medicine my whole married life to help curtail my fears. I temped for a couple years until I realized my whole salary was going to pay for the daycare of my two younger sons. Afterwards, we happily homeschooled the kids during their elementary and middle school years. As a white married woman, I've been rejected by society in a big way.

Submitted by EM.

 



That was the “life” I knew.

Sexual abuse by a pornography-addicted family member, mistrust in men, toxic homosexual relationships filled with every form of abuse to the point of almost dying, promiscuity, codependency, drugs and alcohol use to numb the pain, depression, anxiety, suicide attempts to escape the empty existence I was trapped in. These catastrophic chain of events rippled on and left me lost, broken, hopeless, hating myself, hating the so called “God” for all that I had endured.

That was the “life” I knew.

Until one night, a vehicle crash left my truck filling with water at the bottom of a lake. Unable to escape, I cried out to the God I no longer believed in. There He met me, in the middle of my pain and brokenness. Face to face with my Savior. Filled with peace and feeling His love in that moment. He broke me free from the death I was staring at. That began the journey to truth, healing, and deliverance from decades of damage to my body, heart, and soul. And despite my hesitancy to relinquish complete control of my life to Him, from that night on, He pursued me patiently but persistently. Revealing to me slowly all the areas He wanted to heal with His love.


After that night, I let Him in but refused to change everything about my life or myself. Still not trusting men, I continued to hide in relationships with women but women who believed in God and went to church. Little did I know, He would never stop pursuing me and would use every person, circumstance, and even bad choice to continue to bring me to Him.

My second to last girlfriend, He used to bring me to the Catholic church where I would experience the peace and love I’d first felt a few years before at the bottom of that lake. My last girlfriend He used to reveal a heterosexual attraction. Every step of the way He removed another layer of brokenness and replaced it with healing, love, and truth.

Counseling, prayers, active involvement in the Sacraments continued to bring clarity and healing. Then one day a desire for marriage and family as God intended it, entered my soul. All the while, falling madly in love with my Creator who pursued me fervently and revealed His love for me. As He revealed His refusal to let go of me, I began to realize that I am not my past, my bad decisions, what happened to me, or what anyone else sees me as. I am His child, His daughter. I am a woman created by Him for a purpose, His purpose. I am loved, valued and have never felt more whole and complete as I do now in Him.

I am a survivor of the Sexual Revolution for many reasons, but am no longer a victim of Satan’s plan to destroy the world one person at a time by sexual sins. And now, I will be an advocate. What happened to me that started a downward spiral of self demise was not my fault, but I now make it my responsibility.

I want to spend the rest of my life fighting against the evil of the Sexual Revolution by sharing what happened to me and letting others know that healing and redemption is possible. The love, mercy, and goodness of the Lord brought healing and gave me a new, adventurous, joy filled life! I will advocate by sharing God’s goodness, encouraging chastity and purity in knowing your worth as a child of God, fighting for marriage between man and woman as God intended, for holy families who will go on to wage war against the evil in this broken world, fighting for the protection of children from sexual abuse, and spreading hope to those who are in the depths of despair. The cycle of pain and brokenness will continue and will worsen unless we do something! The evil one’s quiet whispers have been wreaking havoc long enough. Now is the time we as survivors must shout out and expose the lies, and lead others to see the truth.

Submitted by C.

 


"Why I March"--I regret my abortion.

 

 

I had a saline abortion in 1975. This is my witness in front of the Supreme Court.

This is the truth. Abortion is a terrible option to offer someone in a crisis pregnancy. I have lived it first hand.

 

Submitted by Susan.



A Lesson On Judging

I was praying and sidewalk counseling outside of Planned Parenthood. A couple pulled into the parking lot and stayed in their car. We prayed they’d leave. They got out and started loudly arguing. I made all kinds of judgments on the man. He had long dreadlocks, a macramé cap, baggy, drooping pants, and tattoos. All I could think was, "What a thug this guy is for pushing her to kill their child." I was happy she was yelling . . . until she angrily strode over and slammed into the building. Imagine my surprise when he came over and asked me if I would pray for him and their child.

Dwayne told me he'd been trying to talk his girlfriend out of killing their baby for weeks but her mother said she had to kill the child. He said he'd agreed to drive, hoping he could still change her mind on the way. He said he'd succeeded, until her mother called and told her he was never going to be able to support a child and she needed to "get rid of it." He asked me, tears streaming down his cheeks, "How do they know I won't ever be able to support a child? They don't know that. I could be rich someday. I could own my own business. How do they know I won't be able to take care of my own baby?"


It was heartbreaking and the  opposite of what I’d thought. We held hands, bowed our heads and prayed. Then he agreed to try one more time. He said he’d tell her he loved her and would take care of them. We hugged and said we'd cover him in prayer. He went in, then came out, alone, looked over, shook his head too choked up to speak, tears falling again. He looked down, walked to his car, got in and waited. I told him we loved him, were so sorry and were praying for them.

I worried about what he’d do later that night and was angry with the mother, grandmother and others. They not only didn’t believe in him but weren't giving him a chance. The low expectations and verbal abuse could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I thought, “I bet that same grandmother blames society for holding young black men down.”

I thought of my own son, around the same age. He’d left college and was working while trying to find a new path. When people asked me about him, I'd say, "He's not sure what he’s going to do but he's a great guy, smart and a hard worker. We know whatever he decides to do he'll be successful at." Juxtapose those two. One being told he was worthless and would never be able to support a child and one being told whatever he did, his family knew he'd do well and succeed.

I thought, “If this happened to my son or his friends, they’d be expected to step up.” People thrive when challenged especially when it's for their children, not just themselves. It's sad to see young men raised around people who don't believe in them. How hard that must be to be told you’re not good enough. I made the decision to never again judge like I did Dwayne or assume fathers were driving the killing.

It's wrong to demonize men at abortion clinics. Yes, some do drive the decision to abort, but many feel, and are often told, they have no say. The mothers and others expect them to not stay around or have lasting relationships as husbands and fathers.

Many people hope I'll say the mother changed her mind but she didn't that day. Thankfully, there are ones who do walk out. Three saved baby girls turned a year this year. The parents are so happy. Those moments of joy make the hard moments like this tolerable.

Since that day, many of my saves have been through fathers. You talk and pray, and they find out they have a say. They want their child and the opportunity to step up. Often, it’s as simple as the father telling the mother he loves her and will support her. The families I’ve kept in touch with are thriving and thankful for their living children.

Lost fatherhood needs more discussion. Many are not expected or allowed to take roles in families. The disrespect and disregard for men, of all colors, has hit a crisis point.

Couples who marry and have families make more money and are happier. Why is our society pushing them to kill their children, destroy their relationships and live as childless singles? What can we do to get the message out that they will be better if they trust their hearts and do not listen to those who set limits on them, hold them down and keep them from thriving?

Submitted by JH.


It never occurred to me that making porn was bad.

This post contains mature content. Read with caution.

I looked up and saw a man watching me. We made eye contact. He hurried away, as I frantically searched for my shirt and underwear. I was naked in the mountains, far from any trails. I was shaking so hard, I struggled to put my socks on. I grabbed my cell phone. It was still video recording. I stuffed it into my pocket and ran down the mountain, berating myself for being so stupid, but I knew when I uploaded the video, the man who requested it would love it.

I felt a thrill the first time I pressed the box that confirmed I was over eighteen. Small pictures of various sex acts filled the page. I left the site after a few seconds, worried I might get a computer virus.

The next day it was all I could think about.


As soon as I had time alone, I typed Pornhub into the search bar of my computer, my heart pounding. I’ve heard of people becoming alcoholics after one drink, or addicted to opioids after one oxycodone. The effect porn had on me was similar.

A few days after I visited Pornhub for the first time, I uploaded a video, partly out of curiosity, partly out of a sense of wanting to be a contributing member, part of the community. Within hours someone sent me a message telling me they liked it. By the end of the week, I’d gotten a number of messages thanking me for the video and asking me if I could make another. These messages filled an emptiness that gnawed inside me. I felt wanted. I felt loved.

Almost every video I made was inspired by a request. Slapping or hitting myself in specific places were common requests, as were hot candle wax and needles. They liked to see how much pain I would inflict upon myself. When I was making videos, I didn’t feel pain. Only afterwards would I realize how much I hurt. I tore myself many times trying to force something into my body that was too big in order to fulfill a request. The requesters would respond with effusive praise. I began to feel like I wasn’t a loser.

Most of those who sent me messages were in sexually unsatisfying marriages and felt rejected by their wife. They didn’t want to have an affair or hire a prostitute; they were just looking for connection or sexual release. Sometimes they were men who had an unusual sexual fantasy or fetish. Occasionally I’d get a creepy message that bothered me, but, for the most part, I developed a number of “friends” with whom I exchanged messages regularly. One sent a link showing that I’d been named one of Pornhub’s top twenty amateur performers. Within a few months, I had over a million views. Then two million, then five million. Making porn, I discovered what it feels like to be really good at something. For the first time in my life, I felt talented.

I told my therapist that porn gave me purpose in life, describing how I enjoyed going to thrift shops and garage sales looking for props. I’d get giddy as I planned out a video. He seemed happy that I’d found something that I was good at. We talked about how I was performing a community service of sorts, acting out fantasies for lonely guys. We talked about how “some people” don’t approve of porn, but he wasn’t one of them.He said there were all kinds of sexual fetishes that are not socially acceptable, but, as a therapist, he doesn’t judge.

It never occurred to me that making porn was bad. It gave people pleasure. It was far safer than prostitution. But then I noticed the requests I was getting were becoming more extreme. I started doing things I never thought I’d do, things that could cause permanent damage to my body. In my hunger for approval, I pushed past lines I’d promised myself I would not cross. For instance, after fulfilling a request to insert a mascara brush into my urethra, it burned to urinate; there was blood on the toilet paper. To have a bowel movement, I have to put on a glove and manually remove stool.

Yet, I convinced myself that Pornhub was liberating for women. There were women of all body types, skin colors, hairy or shaved, even women with amputations. I found it empowering that women like me, not considered attractive by mainstream culture, were validated. I was told I was beautiful, a goddess, the sexiest woman alive, the hottest babe on Pornhub. This, I thought, is a place where all women are beautiful.

There wasn’t one “ah ha” moment when I realized that I needed to stop making videos. It was just a sick feeling that wouldn’t go away. These men didn’t like me, they liked what I did for them, just like men who paid me to have sex when I was in high school. I no longer felt special and valued. I felt used. I felt scared. I felt ashamed. And most of all, I felt replaceable.

I finally came to realize that all my life I'd been searching for the love I missed so much from my father after my parents were divorced. My mother moved me away from him, and within a year, I was sexually assaulted. It seems like I have spent my life trying to heal from these two events.

Eventually I realized that God is there for me and have found great comfort learning that He can forgive me and love me despite all my mistakes. He is my Heavenly Father and will give me all the love I need and more. I knew that if I followed his guidance, my life would be healthier and happier.

I spent a tearful morning deleting all the 400+ videos I’d posted as I reflected on the dangerous things I’d done, all in an attempt to find what was missing in my life. I then uploaded one last video about how porn is like trying to fill a strainer with sand. No matter how many times it is filled, the sand pours out. I told them that God’s love can fill them to overflowing, but to feel that love, they need to open their hearts to Him. . . and stop watching porn.

A lot of people think that those who watch porn are bad, but I think most of them are just lost like I was. They are looking for acceptance and love and don't realize God will give them everything they need. All they have to do is ask.

Submitted by E. H.

 


I Chose Career over Children

When I reached adulthood in the Sixties with a college degree, I was determined to pursue my career and didn’t really desire to have children. Although I hoped someday to marry, my priorities involved other pursuits, in particular, travel and continued education. A husband might, and children definitely, would interfere with my goals, take up my free time, clutter up my lovely home, and damage the beautiful objects in it.

Today in retirement, I’m sitting alone with my material treasures and my memories while my siblings and many of my friends are busy with their children and grandchildren. I worry about my failing health and wonder who will be here for me when I can no longer take care of myself. What will I do with all my “stuff” if I have to move to assisted living? Who will visit me there? Even making a will is a dilemma. I have no relationships close enough to designate as my executor if my husband dies before I do.

 


I never anticipated the loneliness in my senior years when I opted out of having a family. So what am I doing to alleviate it? For a number of years I taught adult classes in my church and participated in musical groups there. I’ve joined a few women’s philanthropic groups. Now that my physical activities are limited, I keep in contact with friends by phone and email. I make a point of reaching out to others who are alone as I am. I’ve even written a couple of books to share my memories and my insights into the Christian life.

As my contemporaries pass on, my circle of friendships grows smaller. I accept that this consequence was my self-centered choice. But if some young woman can learn from my experience and take stock of the long-term results of her choice between singleness, marriage, and/or family, sharing this is worth it. Looking back, it seems that God’s plan is really for us to grow up in loving families and then to create new ones for the next generation.

Submitted by A. D.

 


I had an abortion but told my boyfriend that I miscarried.​

Yesterday my boyfriend said to me, "I wish I had a chance to just hold my child as he cried."

And he made it worse by saying, "Before you miscarried when I slept I always heard a baby cry. My child was trying to tell me something, maybe we could have done something to save his life."
Oh God I think my child was crying for help to his/her father!
How do I face him crying and continue lying knowing I didn't have a miscarriage?
How do I let him pray for me to find comfort?
How do I listen to him telling me that I will be ok?
How do I spend time with him when I couldn't give his child a chance to feel the love of his father?
How do I watch him hurting?
When he said let's pray together, I couldn't as he said may my precious baby's soul rest in peace as tears rolled down.
What kind of a Monster am I?
I took my baby's life for my own selfish reasons.
I can't cope.
I feel I don't deserve to live.
I cry every night thinking about my baby.
I can't pray.
How do I ask for forgiveness?
Oh God it hurts.
Its hurts so much. I wouldn't even wish someone I hate to experience this hurt.
It's too much.
Planning it is easy.
But after you have done it! Oh God the pain is too much!

 


Abuse victim: "Most nights, I have at least stressful, if not outright terrifying dreams."

1. Have you ever had flashbacks? PTSD symptoms?

Definitely; in fact, I have been diagnosed with PTSD. The most constant symptoms are hypervigilance and self-hate. I also have internalized panic attacks sometimes, especially triggered by my social anxiety. On my worst days, I attribute the worst motives to people or imagine that others dislike or even hate me because I see myself as essentially unlovable. I have also struggled with suicidal ideation in the past. I cannot sit with my back to a door or large window without extreme discomfort. I am intensely afraid of the dark, even to the point of not going out at night if not absolutely necessary, keeping bright night lights in every room throughout the house, sleeping with the lights on in my bedroom, and asking my husband to turn on the light in a room so that I might not have to touch the darkness. Anything that reminds me of my abuser, the location of the abuse, or that time period in my life can trigger panic attacks or nightmares for days or weeks after. If I hear a song from the 90s or walk into a spider-infested outdoor structure like a barn or storage shed or even hear certain names in conversation, I often will have nightmares afterward. These nightmares can usually be categorized as either memories of the abuse reworked in my imagination (dream flashbacks?), images of demons or demonic activity, or a recurrent nightmare in which I float on top of dark, murky, deep water with the strong sensation that something unspeakably horrific is beneath me, but I cannot move. I would venture to say that most nights, I have at least stressful, if not outright terrifying dreams.


2. How does the public discussion of clergy sex abuse affect you emotionally?

I mostly try to distance myself emotionally from it and not expose myself to anything too incendiary. When I do allow myself to become too emotionally involved or accidentally read something disturbing, I almost always have PTSD nightmares after and have had some periods of depression triggered by reading some articles that were too detailed in their descriptions of the abuse.

3. How does the cover-up of clergy sex abuse affect you emotionally?

Again, I mostly distance myself emotionally, but my main reaction to cover-up is disbelief that someone could be capable of such a thing. Maybe I have too much faith left in humanity!

4. Do you have anything specific you would like to say to Cardinal Mahony, or the LAREC organizers?

I know it is a little late to address the LAREC crowd, but I would simply encourage complicit clergy to take a moment and honestly think about what they have done or not done. Are you comfortable with having caused the loss of peace, sense of dignity and self-worth, and even the salvation of an eternal soul (in cases where the victim commits suicide or turns to some addiction that involves habitual mortal sin like drugs, alcohol, or masturbation, all of which are very common)? If your answer is yes, how can you be called a father or a shepherd to those souls? To use a popular turn of phrase, how is that pastoral accompaniment?

5. Any of this information that you are willing to share, would give people the context that would help them understand:

5a. Your age when the abuse took place,

My earliest memories are trauma memories, and it ended when I was 12.

5b. Were you abused by someone you knew and trusted? Clergy? Coach? Relative?

My eldest brother

5c. whether people believed you,

My parents, eldest sister, and other brother did, but my two other sisters did not.

5d. how long it took for you to reveal what happened

I told my eldest sister in very generic terms sometime in high school, but besides that I couldn’t speak of it until I started therapy the summer after undergrad.

5e. whether the Church treated you appropriately (if relevant to your story)

Yes, though I will add that I often have the sensation that people (priests, spiritual directors, even my therapist, who was a Vatican II nun) don’t know what to do with me. I’ve grown used to my spiritual mentors commenting that some issue (with forgiveness, distrust, or self-hate, for example) is out of their realm, which leaves me rather on my own. Catholic literature on the subject is also lacking; I’ve never read a Catholic book on the subjects of abuse or healing that was helpful, as they almost as a whole pander to the more dubious aspects of modern psychology (i.e. I’ve yet to meet one that does not accept the faulty anthropology of modern psychology indiscriminately).

Submitted by "Claire."


I still carry the emotional scars

1. Have you ever had flash backs?

Yes. Had the same nightmare for many years until I met my hubby. Suddenly they stopped. However, occasionally my husband will touch me or ask me to touch him as my grandfather told me to. I have to fight the vision and it was 40 years ago.

2. How does the public discussion of clergy sex abuse and the cover up affect you emotionally?

It makes me very angry because my mother knew of the four family members who hurt me and she did nothing. When I complained to her sister that her husband grabbed me, she said if I wrestled with him I should expect it. I will carry the emotional scars the rest of my life.


3. Do you have anything specific to say to Mahony or the organizers?

Do you have any idea the damage you have done to victims by not reporting abusers?

4. This happened ages 2-10 by my paternal grandfather…around 10 by my uncle by marriage, 12 by my maternal Uncle, 10 or 11 by my brother.

My maternal uncle was the hardest one to tell my mom because I loved him so much. But when I did she blew it off. It was about 10 years afterwards when I was married. He had come into the Catholic Church and in going to confession, realized what he did and apologized. It was easy to forgive him. My mom caught my brother the first time but he continued. I never spoke to her again about it. I told her about my paternal grandfather when I was 16. Again she blew it off. As an adult I told my dad, but I don’t think he believed me because he allowed my half sister to spend summer breaks with my grandfather..

My parents divorced when I was 8. Mom brought many boyfriends home and was open with her sexuality. I grew up thinking sex wasn’t a big deal. I was very promiscuous. Thankfully I never got pregnant. God has been very good to me. I am disappointed in the Church and how it has let society influence it.

I am a Catholic Convert who works for my local parish. I have seen a lot on how things are run. Abuse is everywhere. Abuse doesn’t have to be sexual and the perp can be a volunteer, lay employee or clergy. People have taken their eyes off Christ and are looking into themselves for their own joy and fulfillment.

Submitted by Katerina.