LGB Christians responds to The Tablet editorial “Human Dignity And A Warning From History”

An Editorial from The Tablet from 11 April 2024

LGB Christians responded to The Tablet editorial “Human Dignity and a Warning from History” from 12th April 2024 with the following letter.

Dear Sir,

In implying that being ‘transgender’ is like being gay, viz. “a non-pathological minority variant in the human condition” (Editorial – Human Dignity A Warning Form History, 12th April 2024), and thus potentially a candidate for that ‘demedicalising’ and ‘de-moralising’ which applied to homosexuality from the 1970s, the editor presupposes a great deal.

Although attitudes towards homosexuality have liberalised only recently, same-sex attraction has been a stable universal feature across human societies and history. Transgenderism, by contrast is not a homogenous phenomenon, but rather a loose umbrella term to cover a range of phenomena.

There is little, if any, continuity of experience between members of the three main groups that manifest gender incongruence or gender dysphoria. Firstly, there are children who present with gender discomfort early in their lives, the large majority of whom desist through puberty, and go on to become perfectly healthy gay boys and girls. The second group consists of highly anxious, cerebral, mainly white, teenage girls with no prior history of gender incongruence, who tend to present as ‘trans’ in friendship clusters, and whose sources of anxiety probably lie elsewhere. The third group is typically made up of men who seek to transition in middle age and are increasingly seeking social validation for their transsexual preferences. The idea of a ‘transgender community’ is a misleading conceit which needs to be firmly, and repeatedly, challenged.

The diversity of the transgender phenomenon complicates any suggestion that transgenderism might be explained by the idea the someone can have a male brain in a female body, or vice-versa, that could lead to gender dysphoria. The path from research on sex differences to a better understanding of gender and gender identity is far from clear and in the state of current knowledge more likely to be related to sexual orientation. The idea that people have an innate sense of their own ‘gender’ is a metaphysical position without empirical foundation, and therefore very different from the challenge Galileo’s astronomical observations presented to scientific consensus of his age.

The editor’s right concern with the reality of women’s experience is subverted by his apparent obliviousness to the deeply dehumanising homophobic and misogynist instincts animating the gender ideology to which the Vatican is properly attuned and resistant.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Mark Chater
Sarah Mapstone