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Transgender Ideology:
The Left’s Cardboard Castle

[1]2,052 words

Ryan T. Anderson
When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment
New York: Encounter Books, 2018

“At the heart of the transgender moment are radical ideas about the human person – in particular, that people are what they claim to be, regardless of contrary evidence.” — Ryan T. Anderson[1] [2]

There is no aspect of Leftist ideology quite as far from reality as that of the transgenderists. Transgender (or more accurately transsexual; I will deliberately use the terms interchangeably in this review) is the “T” in the ever-fashionable LGBTQ package that has been shoved down my throat, or so it seems, by every female Sunday school teacher and secular schoolmarm I’ve run into since at least the early 1990s – not to mention every TV program. Transgender people are those who imagine they are trapped in the body of the opposite sex. According to transgender activists, a person’s sex, or “gender,” is “assigned” at birth. As children grow up, some come to believe they are not actually of the “gender” they were “assigned.” This is called gender dysphoria, and this illness is believed, by the current political and medical establishment, to be best treated through transgender therapy – for now. Interestingly enough, the first transsexual was an eccentric Danish man who transitioned in the 1930s.[2] [3]

When Harry Became Sally is written by an activist at the cuckservative Heritage Foundation, Ryan T. Anderson. Previously, Anderson was the last sentinel opposing the gay marriage movement during Obama’s second term. As such, he should be considered incredibly brave, despite being linked to a craven and flaccid group like the Heritage Foundation. One can see his defense of monogamous, one man-one woman marriage here [4] and here [5]. Anderson has done considerable research for this book, but I will add some things from the perspective of the Dissident Right.

According to transgender ideology, a person who “identifies” as a sex opposite to their “assigned gender” should be unquestioningly treated as though they really are of that other sex. Thus, there is a confusing and constantly evolving array of terms for transsexuals of every type. To explain the most basic transsexual shibboleth in frank and truthful terms: A trans woman is a man who is pretending to be a woman. A trans boy or man is a female pretending to be a male. The name corresponding to a transsexual’s “assigned” sex is called a “deadname.” To call a trans person by their “deadname” is considered an insult.

This complex array of terms and taboos is but one of the “three realities” that Anderson identifies in transgender activists, which are:

  1. They are always changing their creed and expanding their demands – yesterday’s mandatory vocabulary become tomorrow’s epithets.
  2. Even as their own position shifts, transgenderists are unwilling to consider contrary evidence, and they refuse to take competing interests of privacy or safety into account.
  3. The transgender movement is inclined toward coercion.

To put it in philosophical terms: transsexual ideology has a flawed ontology – its conception of the nature of being. Transgender activists suppose that if one thinks they are a particular thing, then they are that thing. Transsexualists demand that one accepts something that is obviously untrue. Likewise, they have the concept of “gender fluidity” – meaning that a person can be a boy on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and a girl on the other days.


I won’t mince words here – the trans woman in the picture above looks dangerous. The trans movement would have us ignore this person’s obvious red flags as well as any genuine concerns for privacy or safety.

Transsexual therapy ranges from puberty-blocking drugs for children to gender reassignment surgery in which a person’s genitalia is removed and replaced with a cosmetic facsimile of the opposite sex’s. There is even a lingo to describe the various surgical procedures; for example, female to male transition surgery is called “bottom surgery,” and in male to female surgery, castration is called “orchiectomy.” The addition of a cosmetic vagina is a “vaginoplasty.”

There are also transgender people who don’t go for hormones or surgery at all, and instead merely dress like the opposite sex. Many transsexuals are simply men living out a fetish. Lesbian get-togethers often draw horny men dressed as women claiming to be lesbians. In fact, it is this group of ultra-competitive, otherwise straight white men with this fetish who lead the movement. Anderson doesn’t name or examine this bunch; I’ve discovered this through other sources. He does, however, mention the Orwellian-sounding group, the Human Rights Campaign [7], as the organization that is most effective in pushing transsexual ideology.

Anderson points out what transgender activists deliberately ignore: namely, those who detransition from their trans state back to their “assigned” sex. One can see detransitioning YouTube videos here [8] and here [9]. Those seeking to transition usually have some sort of mental or self-esteem problem that is misdiagnosed as gender dysphoria, but the cultural domination currently enjoyed by transgender activists is causing people with unmet psychological or spiritual needs to misapply a sexual fetish as the solution to their problems. Detransitioners claim that they got little in the way of serious counseling. Instead, they get hormone treatments which don’t solve their problems. It’s a “take the testosterone gel first and ask questions later” type of cure. This includes treatment for still-developing teenagers with very poor judgement. Those who transition have a much higher suicide rate than the average.

Anderson devotes an entire chapter to natural biological sex differences; I assume most readers have already had a biology class, so I won’t discuss it here. Suffice to say that we are indeed in a culture gone mad when transgender ideology is not exposed as a pseudoscience, and actual science is suppressed.


Transgender ideology is transmitted to children using this nonsense. This graphic, which tellingly makes use of a mythical unicorn, is a catechism of pseudoscience and is an indicator of transgender ideology dominating society.

Critical thinking from the Right

Transsexual ideology would never have developed without the “civil rights” movement coming before. (Anderson doesn’t mention this.) The “civil rights” movement is the Big Lie at the center of modern American society. If one believes that “civil rights” was a success, that blacks took their place alongside whites after 1964 to the betterment of America, and that “content of character” and race have no correlation, then one misreads the data. Believing in the Big Lie also undermines the legitimacy of resistance to any social movement, no matter how obviously untruthful or destructive, as long as that movement assumes the language and form of “civil rights.”

The second-wave feminism of the 1960s and ‘70s is an ideological daughter of the African rebellion called “civil rights.” In turn, second-wave feminism created the transgender movement. Anderson writes:

The deconstruction of gender started with a denial of the biological basis for sex differences, and this is where some seemingly contradictory ideas have a common root. That denial is also the historical link between the transgender movement and radical feminism. While these two movements don’t have the same objectives and are sometimes at odds, they have drawn inspiration from each other in problematizing gender and detaching it from biology.[3] [11]

Anderson critiques second-wave feminism in detail in the rest of Chapter 7.

Unlike Marxism, second-wave feminism, neoconservativism, and other Leftist pathologies, transsexual ideology did not originate as a subversive Jewish social movement in the purest sense. If there is a JQ angle to the transsexual movement, it is probably one of funding and promoting an obviously damaging social pathology among the gentiles – but this is beyond the scope of this article. The man who developed the transsexual ideology and tested his theories on patients was a psychologist from New Zealand named John Money (1921-2006), who was of English and Welsh descent. This ideology was fine-tuned and spread in the 1960s alongside “civil rights” and second-wave feminism.

Support for transsexuals as a manifestation of Obama’s weak character

In Chapter 8, Anderson discusses how transsexual ideology increasingly dominated the Obama administration’s policies as his second term limped along. Through various means, such as “dear colleague” letters, they pushed the idea that trans women can use the same locker rooms, restrooms, and safe spaces as “assigned” women, despite the fact that actual women are endangered by it. Anderson shows a series of instances where trans women have used their access to private ladies’ rooms and such to take photographs or otherwise exercise lewd behavior. Such policies were self-evidently risky, but Obama went along with them anyway.

Examining Obama’s transsexual policies in hindsight can illuminate much regarding Obama’s character and inner presidential compass. The fact of Obama’s support for a tiny but vocal minority pursuing an unsound philosophy without regard for the consequences makes the failures of his second term easier to understand. It is thus clear that Obama had no ideas of his own and possesses a weak character. He was easily dominated by well-organized pressure groups on the Left.

Like the transgender movement itself, the election of a weak President such as Obama was the result of the metapolitical victory of “civil rights.” Obama’s rise was fueled by the proverbial “civil rights”-believing white liberal’s desire for a black leader who acted like a perfect gentleman. Once in office, however, Obama’s weak character led his administration to maintain the full-blown “civil rights” façade despite the fact that they could have supported continuing desegregation without enabling black pathologies. Instead, they reinforced black pathologies and inadvertently ceded moral authority to a local beat cop when Obama commented on a minor police scuffle in 2009, leading to the “beer summit [12].” He doubled down on his error when he hyped the Trayvon Martin case during the 2012 campaign, although it is clear he didn’t need to exacerbate racial tensions to win. Likewise, in the lead-up to the 2014 midterms, he pushed the Michael Brown fiasco, which led to months of race riots and other problems.

In short, support for the patently foolish agenda of transgenderism was yet another manifestation of poor judgement and weak character in Obama, as well as more bitter fruit from the “civil rights” religion that got him elected in the first place.

Transgender ideology is a cardboard castle

Anderson writes:

Transgender ideology may appear to be establishing a firm place in our culture, yet there are signs of defensiveness among its advocates, as if they realize that their claims are contrary to basic, self-evident truths. The transgender moment may turn out to be fleeting, but that doesn’t mean we should expect it to fade away on its own. We need to insist on telling the truth, and on preventing lives from being irreparably damaged.[4] [13]

I’d like to take this idea further using a military metaphor: transsexualism is a castle whose walls and keep are made of cardboard. This cardboard castle is also situated on indefensible terrain. To attack this ideology is to attack the Left’s weakest point, using the strengths of the Right. To enumerate:


[1] [16] When Harry Became Sally, p. 40.

[2] [17] It is likely that the 1930s was the time when Leftist power was at its zenith. The mainstream American media claimed that the USSR was a paradise. Furthermore, the first “civil rights” gains occurred in the United States at that time, and there was no white resistance.

[3] [18] When Harry Became Sally, p. 157.

[4] [19] When Harry Became Sally, p. 18.