An Open Letter To President Obama On His Advice To Schools On Transgender Students

To President Obama,

I heard the news as I was out doing some errands on Friday about your sending advice to schools on how to handle the transgender issue. Seeing as this is an interest of mine, I headed home and looked for your letter. It didn’t take too long to find it.

There is no doubt that there is a desire to help people who identify as transgender, but I am of the opinion that what you have done is not just unhelpful to them, but in the long run harmful. It is also not only harmful to them. It is harmful to the well-being of the American people that you are supposed to defend.

I know what it’s like for people to have a need to fit in. My wife and I are both on the autism spectrum with Aspergers. Now while I appreciate the benefits I have from it, I know that it can be difficult. I know that social situations can be a total mystery to us at times and there are times you want to speak in polite conversation but can’t seem to find the words to do so.

Still, while it is hard for us, we have to learn to overcome. We do not want society to pull down to our level. We want to be able to function as is. Now this is of course on an issue that is not heavily involved with morality, but what about something that is involved? What about especially if it involves something many of us take as a sacred aspect of ourselves, our sexuality?

There are several several people out there in this world who are hurting and they are hurting because of sexual trauma. They are hurting because someone touched them or acted otherwise sexually to them in an inappropriate way. We live in a culture of divorce being rampant and children consistently being born out of wedlock because sex has been put on the level of a game you just play with someone, no commitment required. Let’s face it. Sex is a big issue in our culture today, as it is in every culture.

When I look at your proposal, I see it opening the doors wide to much more trouble. It looks like you have what is believed to be a problem and have given a solution that is worse than the problem itself. Now as I speak on this, I want to be certain of some points.

I do not think that the large majority if not the entirety of transgender people are perverts. I do not think they want to get into the bathroom with someone of the opposite sex and do whatever they want with them. I also think they honestly believe that they were born the wrong sex and I honestly think that that is a problem that we must deal with. I think the mistake you’re making is that you’re wanting to change reality around them instead of changing the thinking within them. It’s forcing every single one of us to go along with it as well.

At start, I wonder what makes you think you can make a statement like this to schools without working with Congress? Shouldn’t this be put forward also for the American people to decide on? Do we not have that right also? You see, these are public schools. They’re not just your schools. They’re our schools. They are the schools of we the people. They are the ones that our children go to and we have a right to speak on what is going on in them.

When our children go to school, we want them to learn subjects like the three r’s. We do not want them to┬álearn that which is a highly debatable position. We want the schools to be able to reinforce the moral guidance that is found in the home and to uphold the right of parents to educate their children on moral issues and not have it be state vs. parents.

Unfortunately, your statement is already a line drawn in the sand and I wonder what will happen when the American people really see what is in it. Now to be sure, I have read it. I believe in being a thorough researcher in that regards and I was greatly troubled by what I read in it.

You start with terminology and this is a good idea. I appreciate that you defined your terms right at the outset, but even here I see a problem. For instance, in gender identity, you refer to a student’s internal sense of gender. You say it may be different from the sex assigned at birth.

I’d like you to think about that saying. “Sex assigned at birth.” Do you really think that’s what happens? Do you think that a child is born and the doctor has to really think hard on the decision of if to call the child a male or a female? Do you think they just flip a coin and decide? No. It’s really easy to tell if a child is a male or a female 99.99999% of the time. You just take a look at what’s between the legs. Most of the time we don’t even need that. Due to our advanced science, we can see the genetic makeup of a child so we can tell what disabilities a child can have beforehand as well and know the sex without ever seeing, but if someone didn’t see, there would still be no difficulty. You do not assign a sex when a child is born. You discover what sex they are.

That should be what tells you what sex a child is, but instead, you want to look at what’s going on inside of them internally. Here’s the problem with that. A lot of us can feel things about ourselves that are dead wrong. Have you ever talked to someone who is suicidal? They have a strong internal feeling that life is not worth living and that they are a burden on society and there is no hope for them at all. Of course, there are a 1001 ways you can change that statement for suicidal people to describe their moods, but they really believe it. They believe it so much they seek death to escape it. Are you going to tell me that that feeling should be given authority?

There are a host of other beliefs out there that we do not need to do tests to see that they are false. Consider Cotard’s Delusion as my favorite example. In this case, the person believes that they are dead or that they don’t exist. Now can you imagine a situation where a person goes into a psychiatrist’s office and tells them “I really believe that I am dead” and the psychiatrist saying “Well let’s do some evaluations and look at the data and see if you really are or not?” He might say it in the sense of playing along, but he won’t say it in the sense of “That’s a really good question. Let’s see if the objective truth is that you’re dead.” No. As soon as the person walks into his office, the psychiatrist knows that the person is not dead.

The feeling is in this case, pardon the pun, dead wrong. Many of us know that feelings can be awfully flighty in school. Look. We don’t trust students to bring cough drops onto school grounds without a doctor’s position. Many students have a major decision trying to figure out what they’re going to wear in the morning. Despite that, we’re supposed to trust their internal feelings that tell them they’re really one sex when all the empirical evidence shows that they are another?

Why is it that feelings should be given that kind of level of infallibility? Furthermore, are you going to tell me that everyone who is born a male but feels like they’re a female is right? How can this be? What tests would you take to determine if the person is truly male or female and not just having a delusion? How could you at the end of the day say “Well, I realize you have a male body and male DNA but yeah, it looks like you’re really a female.” What are we teaching our children? Do you really want to teach them that their feelings have that much authority?

Now you speak also about Title IX. The problem is I’ve looked at Title IX. You can search all through there and you will search in vain for something that speaks about gender or gender identity. It’s just not there. This means that something has been added to the law afterwards and now is being the basis of a new statement. It’s being made up as we go along.

It gets worse. You say that “under Title IX, there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite for being treated consistent with their gender identity. In fact, you say requiring them to obtain such could be a violation of Title IX. In other words, students can get to say they have this and they do not need to provide any evidence whatsoever for it. A teacher won’t believe a dog ate the student’s homework without some evidence and won’t give a student basic medication without evidence from a doctor, but something as complicated as sexuality is to be handled without any evidence save the student’s say so?

Are you serious?

You also speak of a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. Unfortunately, this is one where students, staff, and parents do not go along with someone’s claim to have a different gender identity. Is that not discrimination in itself? I am someone who says that that is a false belief. Are you telling me that I must go along with a belief that I consider entirely to be false? How is that not discriminating against me?

Furthermore, if we talk about safety, a lot of women live in fear of something happening to them. Again, this does not necessarily mean they live in fear of transgenders. They live in fear of any man. If there’s a place a woman should feel safe, it is in the bathroom or a place like a locker room.

Look President Obama. You have daughters. You have a wife. You should know this. A woman’s body is a sacred and beautiful thing. Would you like to have your wife or daughters have to shower next to another man in a locker room because that man identifies as a woman? As soon as they object, they can be accused of discrimination. I understand your daughters are in a private school. Would you be willing to put them in a public school where they could have the potential of having to shower next to a man in the locker room? If you’re convinced this is a good policy, I’d like to see if you’d be willing to do that.

I do have a wife as well and her body is sacred and I don’t want anyone else of the opposite sex seeing her body like that. I don’t care if they identify as a female or not. My wife’s body is something sacred to me and I should be the only man who gets to look at her body. (Barring some medical emergency which I hope never happens.) You talk about the feeling of safety of transgender people. What about the feelings of safety of the far more numerous people who are not and who feel particularly vulnerable? Do they not matter?

If parents think this is an exaggeration, it is not. When you talk about sex-segregated activities and facilities, you say these must be altered for transgender students. Keep them open, but allow transgenders to participate. How many people know how far this goes?

You start with restrooms and locker rooms. Now let’s be sure of something. There are many people, particularly boys, who would like to take advantage of this kind of law. Knowing they don’t have to provide any evidence makes it far easier since they could sue at any time if they don’t get their way. I’m sure you know as well as I do that men really like to see naked women and if you’re a young man, that’s a whole new world that you’re eager to explore.

So picture this scenario and it’s not too hard to do. A group of guys get together and challenge one of them with a dare to identify as a female and go into the women’s locker room and shower with them. In fact, many times bullies will get a naive young man to do something like this at the threat of him not being including in the group. This is how bullies get good boys to do something illegal even. So what’s this boy going to do to get included? He’s going to do just that. Many young boys will do this without any prodding from the group. They’re in a strong mood to see naked women that day and it’s worth it.

Do I need to remind you also that this is the age of the internet? A picture can be taken quite easily and before too long, it goes all over. After all, this young man wants to prove that he made it. How will he do it? Easy. He’ll send pictures. These pictures can go all over the internet and the victim can be entirely innocent. That can affect them later in their life with their college education and their marriage. Sometimes, this can even lead to suicide.

Are you aware you are opening the doors up for this?

I realize that some aspects can be set up for the privacy of students, but it won’t last. That can easily be seen as discrimination. Why not? You’ve opened the door wide for it. You do have stipulations in here about fraternities and sororities and overnight housing, but how long can it last? You’ve already opened up Pandora’s Box.

I want to be clear on something else. I say all of this as a follower of Christ in the Christian faith, but I don’t need to be a Christian to back this. This doesn’t require the Bible. This just requires common sense. At the same time, you have claimed to be a Christian many times. I would like you to really ask if you would stand before God someday and be able to say that you did this and you think this is a decision that He would honor.

You see, you have been given a great responsibility. Few people in history get to essentially be the leader of the free world. What have you done with that? Will the world be a better place because of what you did or will it be a worse place? Are our people growing in virtue and character or not? I contend that when we see the results of your actions here and see the fruit that sprouts from these seeds, we will realize what a drastic mistake it was.

Now you can say that this letter is just advice, but that’s like saying all the IRS is doing is giving us advice on how to spend our money. All the police do is give us advice on how we should behave in society. When stipulations are tied to the advice not being followed, it is not just advice. It is something else. The question is is it a right something else or not. In this case, it is not. This is something individual states should get to decide and something that parents should definitely get to have a say-so in first. This isn’t about your children since they don’t attend these schools. This is about our children since it is them who attend these schools.

At this point, my honest “advice” to parents would be to clear out. If this is what you want public schools to be, then parents should have no part of it. If they cannot afford private school, let them homeschool. In fact, if you want a social experiment, let’s have a real one. Let’s have students raised under your system and let’s have students raised by parents. Let’s see who does better in life overall. Who has more students completing college and succeeding in the workforce and having successful and happy marriages and lives overall? I’m quite confident it will be the side of the homeschoolers.

I love this country, but I do not love what it has become and what it is becoming. It looks more and more like we are becoming a “Look at me” and “anything goes” society and calling it progress. The ultimate form of progress is not how much knowledge we really have, even though it isn’t, but about the character of our nation. People come to this city on a hill looking for freedom and to pursue the American dream. The more control that is had over them, the less likely they are to be able to have those. Already, this is taking away some of our freedom. How much more will be taken away?

If you really want to help people who identify as transgender, and I think you should, the best way is not to go along with the belief but actually question the belief. Why do you feel this way? When did it start? How is life for you with this? Enabling is never a helpful path to go and not only are you doing that, you are forcing all of the rest of us to do it.

I want a society where all of us can be free to excel and do our best and the more we hold beliefs that are false, the less likely we are to be able to do that. There are some beliefs no doubt we can debate on as these are serious issues that have been debated, but there are some that we really do not debate. The identity of someone as male or female is one of those and has been obvious from the moment of birth. You are instead placing the full authority in the ideas instead of in the reality.

When you go against reality, reality will push back hard. There will come a breaking point and the consequences with that pushback are severe. I only hope that we wake up before we get to that point and stop the downward slide we are on as a society. I fear there is a painful crash waiting at the end.

For now, it’s in the hands of the American people. Again, my advice is they not take part in this dangerous game. You want to say how our children will be raised? We have more say so there and it’s time we acted on it. If every American who views this as I do, no matter their religious persuasion or lack thereof, would pull their students from the public school system, I wonder how different that would be.

I hope you’d really consider and think about what this could mean for our nation. These are the lives of our children that we’re dealing with. Unfortunately, I have no hope that you will. The one who said “I won” is not likely to listen to a contrary opinion.

A concerned American,
Nick Peters

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