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BABETTE FRANCIS, October 29, 2011


An 11-year-old boy in California has begun the process of gender reassignment surgery. Thomas Lobel, who says he prefers to be called Tammy, is undergoing hormone-blocking treatment that will stop him from experiencing puberty.

Tammy, who was adopted when he was two, has two mothers — he is being raised by a lesbian couple, Debra Lobel and Pauline Moreno, who were “married” in a commitment ceremony by a rabbi in 1990. Tammy has no father, no adult masculine role-model in the home, no male mentor to bring him up as a man. His two mothers are deeply involved in homosexual pride events. “We live in the Bay area [of San Francisco] where lots of alternative lifestyles are in place,” Ms Moreno has told reporters. She and her “wife” claim they have no idea why their “daughter” is so confused. It does not seem to have occurred to them that their lifestyle might have had something to do with his distorted perceptions.

The boy’s lesbian mothers say that they have not forced their son to become a girl. They said that one of the first things Thomas allegedly told them, when because of a speech impediment he learned sign language at age three, was “I am a girl”.

So on the basis of this utterance by a three-year-old, his mothers assumed he was “transgendered”. (Maybe he had been reading stories of princes and princesses and actually said, “I am an earl”…).

At age seven, after he had threatened genital mutilation on himself, psychiatrists diagnosed Thomas with gender identity disorder. By the age of eight, he began “transitioning” — he started taking hormone-blocking drugs which will stop him from experiencing puberty. The hormone-suppressant implanted in his upper left arm will postpone the development of broad shoulders, deep voice and facial hair.

American bioethicist Wesley J. Smith says that “stopping the normal onset of puberty in boys … is a form of human experimentation” (First Things, September 30, 2011).

I myself have written before, in an article, “The deconstruction of gender” (Population Research Institute’s PRI Preview, May/June 2002), about the sad case of David Reimer, who was born a male, but, after a tragic accident that occurred during circumcision, his parents were persuaded by psychologist John Money to raise him as a girl. Dr Money claimed that this gender reassignment was a huge success and that it proved “gender fluidity”, i.e., that there was no biological basis for gender differences, that gender was an aspect of identity that could be chosen, like hair colour. Money’s theories were enthusiastically supported by the feminist and homosexual lobbies in support of their unisex/androgynous worldviews. The reality is that David Reimer tried to reclaim his masculine identity enduring painful genital reconstructions, but after a failed marriage and severe depression he killed himself.

Meanwhile Thomas/Tammy Lobel will remain a pre-pubescent boy until his mothers decide whether he should transition to be an adult female. To do that, he will have to take female hormones which will raise his voice and enable him to grow breasts. Then he — or his two mothers — will have to decide about sex-change surgery. There is no way he can be given a uterus or ovaries, but he could undergo genital mutilation and castration.

Thomas/Tammy’s two mothers say they have faced intense criticism from their family and friends who have said, “How can you be doing this?”

What they should be facing is a trial by judge and jury for child abuse. What if the hapless Thomas had said in the sign language of a three-year-old “I am a cat” or “I am an aeroplane” and ran around with his arms extended making whirring noises as many small boys do?

Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.



Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN