Beit Gamaliel

The confluence of knowledge and faith

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This week another celebrity has announced their revelation of Transgenderism. Female born actress Ellen Page has declared tot eh wold that HE is Elliot Page. Wikipedia states it so eloquently: “Early life. Page was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was assigned female at birth and went by his birth name of Ellen until 2020.” Apparently, someone assigned the wrong gender at birth.

I have a nephew that was assigned male at birth. He was always an awkward little guy. But he was smart. And like most boys born in the last 25 years, he is a digital native. And like most boys born in the previous 25 years, his parents wanted him to play outside more. So they enlisted him in a local soccer club. We went to a few games. It didn’t take long to realize that his game was a little off. I am not sure that he fully understood the game of soccer, but it didn’t matter. It was his running style that caught everyone’s attention. He would lunge forward with both arms fully extended straight backward with his fists clenched. It looked painful. Nearly impossible. But no one said a word. And I am not 100% sure, but I think he made a ‘zooming’ noise with his mouth.

Like most boys, my nephew daydreamed about being a hero. Most children aspire to be a hero that they read or learn about, see on TV, or engage with in some way. No child wants to be an astronaut until someone explains what an astronaut is and does. My nephew wanted to be Sonic the Hedgehog from the video game of the same name. Yup! That is why he ran that way. In his mind, he NAILED it! He envisioned himself running so fast that he was a blur to the human eye. Sadly, we all had second-hand embarrassment for his ridiculous running style.

This generation of young people sees Transgenderism as heroic. I read today on Twitter that Elliot Page has shown more courage and bravery than any one of the soldiers on Ewo Jima” (yes, “Iwo” was misspelled. It IS Twitter…). Not only does Ellen see herself as a hero, but others now see her as more heroic than the men who, in the heat of a battle, posted a flag atop Mount Suribachi to reclaim what had been lost in the Second World War.

Anorexia Nervosa is a horrible mental illness that causes individuals to have a distorted perception of their own bodies. In anorexia and bulimia, the individual is obsessive about weight and take drastic measure to control their weight. We are told by psychologists that when a person with this mental illness looks in the mirror, they do not see an individual of 100 lbs. They see themselves as obese and need to lose more weight. Sadly, some individuals afflicted with anorexia even die from the condition (see Karen Carpenter of the pop group The Carpenters). It is also reported by psychologists that only 21% make a full recovery of the disease. The disease has the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders. As many as 20 percent of the people who suffer from anorexia will eventually die from it. And the longer a person suffers from anorexia, the greater their risk of dying becomes.

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia belong to a group of mental disorders called Body Dysmorphia. Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which an individual can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others. But they may feel so embarrassed, ashamed, and anxious. Up to 2019, Transgenderism was treated by psychologists as body dysmorphia. And if Transgenderism had a mortality rate, it would still be treated as such.

My nephew grew out of believing he was Sonic the Hedgehog. He stopped running around like a weirdo, and, as he matured, settled into the role that God gave him: a smart, kind, and a thoughtful young man (correctly assigned at birth). Now we look back and laugh at the stupid things all our kids did. As they are now adulting and maturing, they can look back and see the immaturity of their flawed self-perceptions. But many of our younger generations still see themselves as something they are not. And they take these delusional thoughts into adulthood. Maturity is the acceptance of oneself as we are, with our frailty, limitations, and beautiful diversity. And for most of them, I have second-hand embarrassment.

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