It’s no secret that Reade Brower’s MaineToday Media empire – five daily newspapers and 25 weeklies across the state – doesn’t engage in journalism so much as celebrating every left-wing lunatic cause that oozes out of the swamp in Augusta and beyond. And what cause could be more left-wing and more lunatic than the transgender cult?
So I wasn’t too surprised when the Portland Press Herald published a nasty and dishonest “opinion column” opinion column last month falsely accusing my non-profit Maine First Project of spreading “…fear and hatred which will result in the erasure of transgender lives.” The author alluded to the imminent “threat of annihilation” of transgender people, and concluded with a recitation of the transgender creed: “Trans men are men. Trans women are women.”
I submitted an op-ed column to editorial page editor Siobhan Brett, rebutting the libelous attack on Maine First Project and exposing the irrationality of transgender ideology. After a week-long back-and-forth via email, Brett declined to publish the op-ed, instead offering to publish an abbreviated letter to the editor consisting of a simple denial that Maine First Project spreads hatred and supports genocide.
I politely declined her offer. In response, she said the quiet part out loud: “I’m not prepared to publish anything that suggests transgender people are mentally ill.”
My email exchange with Ms. Brett confirmed what I already knew: the Portland Press Herald is OK with giving a platform to an insane left-wing cat lady to smear a dissenter from the transgender cult….but the PPH is not OK with allowing the target of the smear to defend himself.
To suggest that my organization wants to “wipe out” or “erase” any human being is a grotesque, malicious falsehood. The author offered no credible evidence for her scurrilous accusation, only a link to other libelous quotes posted on a left-wing extremist website.
The smear campaign was triggered by the escalating controversy over transgender ideology being pushed on young kids in Maine’s K-12 government-run schools. In this instance, the author of the “Maine Voices” hit piece railed against a legislative proposal (LD 123) to ban obscene material from school libraries – a bill that Maine First Project has neither endorsed nor opposed.
While we’re withholding judgment on that particular bill, we have been quite outspoken in the battle over the so-called “Gender Identity” policies that have been adopted by dozens of school districts across the state. In fact, Maine First Project spearheaded a successful recall of two school board members in the Oxford Hills School District who voted to adopt a radical transgender policy on its first reading last October. That policy would require — not allow, but require — school employees to withhold information from parents about their children’s mental health.
Members of the school board got the message loud and clear just as soon as the recall petition – signed by more than 700 voters – qualified for the ballot. On December 5th of last year the board reversed itself and voted unanimously to indefinitely postpone consideration of the proposed policy.
The board’s reversal was the first time any school board in the state has had sober second thoughts about these dangerous and demented policy proposals.
That decision came in the aftermath of a public forum at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School on November 1st, when 300 parents and taxpayers showed up to hear the arguments for and against a policy proposal that would have allowed students from kindergarten to twelfth grade who identify as members of the opposite sex to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice. The proposed rules would have also required school officials to coach students on how to keep details of gender identity changes secret from their parents.
Opposing the policy at the public forum were scores of Mainers from all walks of life — blue collar, white collar, no collar, teachers, retirees, a medical doctor, young mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles — and they offered fact-based, heartfelt testimony.
I was particularly impressed with the presentation by Dr. Alan Bean of Harrison, a 1970 graduate of Oxford Hills High School. As a practicing MD, Dr. Bean offered compelling testimony that bears quoting at some length here:
“Since the beginning of human history, both medical science and simple common sense have recognized the most basic of truths: you are either male or you are female. None of us need to do DNA testing to determine that…. One’s birth gender is about as objective as objective can be.
“Until the AMA [American Medical Association] recently abandoned science in favor of political correctness, medical science has always known that gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder is clearly just that: a psychological disorder. To label it as “normal” or a legitimate “choice” is either misinformed, societal brainwashing or an outright lie.
“I have seen multiple young people in my medical practice who suffer from gender identity issues and every single one has had underlying, pre-existing, psychological diagnoses, most typically untreated severe anxiety disorder and/or depression…. Gender identity confusion is an illness that deserves compassion, but NOT normalization.“
It was so refreshing to hear an MD push back against the medical establishment’s support of policies that facilitate the transitioning of minor children, both socially and surgically. After all, the medical “experts” aren’t infallible. In fact, they’ve been horribly wrong in the not-too-distant past, leaving a bloody trail of suffering and disability in their wake.
Remember when the lobotomy was considered a medical breakthrough in the treatment of depression?
Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz won the Nobel Prize in 1949 for inventing the procedure that severs the frontal lobes of the brain. By 1951, nearly 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States, most of them on women. Some patients were left severely brain damaged, others died as a result of the operation, and others later committed suicide.
I believe that one day in the near future we will regard surgical and hormonal interventions on young people suffering gender dysphoria or gender confusion in much the same way we now regard lobotomies. Already, attitudes toward such interventions are changing in European countries.
In the meantime, Maine First Project will continue to oppose the transgender cult’s campaign to mutilate and irreversibly damage children’s bodies in the name of “gender affirming” healthcare.
In this regard, Maine First Project’s views are squarely in line with what the majority of Maine voters want from Maine schools and policymakers.
In Maine Wire / Co/Efficient polling conducted last month, a majority of both Republicans and Democrats said they do not want schools keeping secrets about student mental health and exposing children to age-inappropriate material.
If anyone is extreme when it comes to “gender identity” policies, it’s the Portland Press Herald and the people they publish in “Maine Voices.”