To Matt Walsh

Dear Matt~

A few years ago, a conservative Christian friend of mine recommended a column on your blog. I am a conservative Christian—indeed, I am a recently-retired Missouri Synod Lutheran minister—so I read it. I found myself agreeing with what I read, you educated me on the topic, and I thought you reasoned things out well. I made your blog a regular stop on my daily Internet route.

It wasn’t too long before you wrote about transgender people. Ouch! Not only did you find transgender folks mentally ill, you belittled them. Wait, not “them.” “Us.” I am a transgender person, a genetic male who is transitioning to be as female as possible so that I have relief from as dreadful a condition as there is on earth, gender dysphoria.

Despite your offending me with your wisecracking ways, I kept reading your blog. On many issues, we are in agreement. On some, we are not. Because you are so widely followed, I find your blog one I need to read in my ongoing effort to be an informed person, across the board.

We arrive at your piece which was published on April 6, entitled, “No, Gays and ‘Transgenders’ Are Not Being Bullied. They Are The Bullies.” I have extracted several quotes, with my reactions to them.

You wrote “For the most part, these people are free to do what they want and be who they are—or, in the case of “transgenders,” (sic, here and in each usage) who they aren’t.”

You regularly use rude comments—“who they aren’t”—to show where you are in sharp disagreement with others, needlessly causing offense. You make yourself look bad both as a writer and a Christian. You put up walls which hinder peaceful, productive discussion, unless you are happy preaching to the choir, saying things which will get your core readers calling out, “Yeah, Matt! You tell them!” and ensuring the tens of thousands of shares on Facebook that I know if my blog posts were that popular surely would stroke my ego.

When you say that we “transgenders” live as who we are not, you make me curious whether you know what intersex conditions are. There are people born with malformed-, ambiguous-, and both male and female genitals. Even the very traditional church body in which I was a pastor recognizes these as folks who may choose in which gender they will find comfort living.

Then there are chromosomal intersex conditions. To use but one as an example, there is an androgen insensitivity syndrome in which females have male chromosomes. Well, no, I suppose you would say, they must be males. But, wait. They have the anatomy of a female. So, they are females, right? Yes, they are. But, truly, they are intersex. They didn’t choose to be this way. It happened to them in the womb.

Androgen is a hormone. Part of the endocrine system. It’s real stuff. The way blood is real stuff. And flesh.

You need hormones to be a living, breathing human. When, in the mid ‘50s, my mom was pregnant with me, doctors prescribed an artificial estrogen, diethylstilbestrol, to women who were prone to miscarry, and my mom had two miscarriages right before carrying me. Let me ask you, Matt: Does it make sense that, to introduce extra estrogen into the system of a woman who was pregnant with a male, that his endocrine system might be affected? In fact, I have several signs in my body that I’m not mentally ill, but have a real, physical intersex condition, such as how long it took me to finally go through puberty and that I never developed an Adam’s apple. I’m even left handed, and studies are finding that lefthandedness is caused by, you guessed it, disruption to the endocrine system as the fetus is forming (which helps understand why only 10% of people are left handed and not closer to a 50/50 split).

By being on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), I no longer feel wrong about myself. You know, Matt, it’s as if I actually have a physical malady. That I’m not crazy. Not confused. HRT has worked as medicine in me, as aspirin does for a person with a body ache or depression medication for one who is bipolar. (Perhaps, I shouldn’t use bipolar as an example. You might reject that as a real thing, as you showed that time in your column on ADHD, which you ridiculed on a par with us “transgenders.”)

Back to you: “Whether they like it or not, many women are not comfortable unchanging or using the toilet in the same room as penis-bearing males.”

Let’s keep locker rooms and bathrooms separate. I have written about both, and you can read on my blog that I am sensitive to locker room situations. But, in bathrooms, unless there is some highly unusual situation, no one in a women’s restroom removes clothes outside of the stall. I used men’s restrooms the first fifty-seven years of my life and never once saw a penis. Maybe I just wasn’t trying. Or, maybe, it’s because people don’t expose their genitals in restrooms.

I now use women’s restrooms. Without incidence. I behave in the restroom, as do all of my trans friends.

Matt, how about if we not be guilty of setting up straw men which we can easily knock down? Write about real concerns. Don’t incite the masses with stuff that never happens in bathrooms.

Let’s hear from you again: “The ‘transgenders’ are being told merely to respect the privacy of females who only feel comfortable changing and using the bathroom around other females, and males who only feel comfortable using the facilities in a room set aside specifically for males.”

Hey, Matt, check out my profile picture. Can you imagine me using the men’s room? How comfortable would males be with me in their bathrooms? And are you going to defend me when I do and I get the snot beat out of me for being in the wrong bathroom?

Back to you: “Yes, it might make a ‘transgender’ uncomfortable to use the bathroom around other members of his sex, just as it makes him uncomfortable to be in his own skin and in possession of his own organs. But either gays and ‘transgenders’—a small minority of people who share a common sexual proclivity, fetish, or mental illness—must be made slightly uncomfortable for a few moments, or a vast majority of their fellow citizens must be deprived of something that is theirs, has been theirs, and should reasonably continue to be theirs.”

By writing “sexual proclivity, fetish, or mental illness,” you demonstrate that you have no idea what you are talking about. Since you are so widely read, and thousands share your essays across the Internet, should you not be responsible and learn the subjects on which you write?

More thoughts from you: “No matter where you stand on homosexuality or ‘transgenderism’ it’s entirely clear which group should be told to suck it up, buttercup, and go along with the program. Indeed, it demonstrates the fantastic selfishness rampant in this community that they think the majority ought to be forced to bend and contort and submit and bow and sacrifice their First Amendment rights just so that they, the homosexuals and ‘transgenders,’ might avoid a minor inconvenience.”

The Americans With Disabilities Act impacted virtually every American. Business owners had to put in special bathroom stalls, ramps, and the like. Towns and businesses had to alter sidewalks and change parking lots and add signs. Drivers had to concede the best parking spots. What a bunch of selfish people those “handicaps” are! They are a small minority, yet they make us, the majority, bow to their “needs.” Bunchajerks.

Of course, I do not feel that way. Folks with disabilities need appropriate help and protection. Lots of people do, when they are in situations which many find burdensome. You know, like being transgender through no fault of your own.

One final thought from you: “[C]onsidering how Christians and conservatives are constantly lectured for their alleged lack of ‘compassion’ and ‘tolerance’ and so on, I think it must be noted that these laws would not be needed if compassion and tolerance, along with humility and prudence, were traits commonly found in the ‘LGBT community.’ It is the seemingly total lack of kindness, magnanimity, and rationality displayed by many in their camp that necessitates this sort of legislation.”

I agree, Matt, that we LGBT folks sometimes make things worse by the way in which we go about things; the very way we do not like people acting out and speaking against us, we are guilty of doing.

I have grown to understand it and have sympathy for it, even as I do not agree with it. When people are not recognized or respected, when they are put down and oppressed, if they do not get vocal they will not be heard. And, because when they get vocal they get shouted down, they shout louder in order to be heard. It happens in friendships. It happens in marriages. It happens in the civil rights arena.

Because all of the LGBT+ are legal ways to live, each deserves the same protections as any American, regardless of creed, culture, or color. I get it—there are growing pains involved, just as we experienced in the 1960s and the civil rights of African Americans. That should be our teacher: This challenging thing can be accomplished, and done properly, when people speak peacefully and respectfully, and strive together for the good of the entire USA.

Matt, when I read your pieces in which you crack wise and disrespect people (I noticed that “transgenders” was always in quotes, signaling that you believe we are not “real”), I recall 1 Peter 3:15: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” You have shown me, on many occasions, that you know how to “give the reason for the hope that you have.” Now, how about if you remember this equally important exhortation from the Lord: “But do this with gentleness and respect.”

How about if you humble yourself, my brother in Christ. Work to win people over, instead of running them over. Learn about the topics which you excoriate. Treat people the way you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

We have to do better, to shine the light of Christ in the world. Please, Matt, shed light, don’t light fires. No unbeliever will ever desire Christ by your beating him or her over the head with your Bible, and isn’t that our ultimate goal, to work with the Holy Spirit that people might know Christ by faith and enjoy the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation, and not to condemn them to hell?

Please, tell me it is. Please, Matthew, fight the good fight of the faith in a manner befitting a child of God.

The Lord be with you.
Gina Eilers

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10 thoughts on “To Matt Walsh

    1. I posted it, with a comment, on his blog. I’m looking for the way to email it. I truly want him to read it, though I am not too hopeful. His column has about 300 comments, virtually every one of them in agreement with what he wrote. Perhaps, he has assistants who read the comments and submit the better ones to him. I’m not holding my breath.

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  1. I definitely agree that Matt can go overboard with the harsh tone and sarcasm at times. I don’t always agree with it. However, I must agree with his defining transgenderism as a mental problem. Please kindly explain to me how it is that when a man thinks he’s a tiger, we lock him in a mental ward, but when he thinks he’s a woman, that’s any different?
    Let me start off by saying this: I understand there may be instances of these medical conditions where someone’s anatomy and chromosomes are of ambiguous gender. I’m not here to talk about those, because I am relatively certain they are few and very, very far between. At least, I have never once in my lifetime known anyone who has had this condition. Definitely that is NOT the case in every transgender there is, and from what I read here, I doubt it’s the case with you as well.
    I am quite certain you and others seriously BELIEVE they are the opposite gender, but someone can just as truly BELIEVE they are another species entirely, or some dead President reincarnated. We have to go back to what is truth, what is established fact. If your anatomy and chromosomes are those of a male, then sorry, you are a male, no matter how gender-confused you may be. Just like we would tell a man who thinks he’s a tiger that he is actually a human (if we ever want him to get better). Pandering and catering to people’s fantasies is like letting children go into adulthood still believing their imaginary friends are real — at some point, the fantasy and pretend have to stop, and people must realize what is true, or they are in for a troubled life.
    I would submit that THAT’s the actual reason that the transgender life is always described as such a “journey” or “struggle” — it is a struggle to cling to your fantasies in the face of cold, hard facts. It is the disillusionment of realizing that not all of your dreams may come true. It is the discouragement of slowly learning that just because you imagine things to be a certain way, doesn’t mean the facts line up with your fantasy.
    Certainly, as a Christian, you would understand that God has always emphasized truth over what man “feels like” or “believes” or “thinks”. So why, in your instance, are you so reluctant to let the anatomical, genetic truth of your masculinity out? Why do you keep trying to suppress the truth with your fantasy?
    Again, I am not always a fan of Matt’s style. However, in defining transgenderism as a “mental illness”, I’m sorry, but he’s spot on. It is simply a case of thinking a fantasy, which has no basis in scientific fact, is real.

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    1. Did you read my piece, friend? I described that my endocrine system was disrupted by the female hormone given to my mother when she was pregnant with me. It was as real and physical a disruption as to a fetus whose mother abuses alcohol. I know a man who has fetal alcohol syndrome. No one would ever say that a mental illness causes him to have trouble concentrating, or for his acting out. Why the hard leap to grasping that my endocrine disruption is just as real, and just as real as intersex conditions to the genitals and chromosomes?

      To compare a person like me to one who wants to be a tiger simply is not a fair comparison. Clearly, a human is not another species of being, but all humans have the hormones of both sexes. When those hormones are disrupted, the disruption can result in one’s hormone system mapping so that a male feels female, or vice versa, because that is how the person’s hormones are informing the person. And, the fact that hormone replacement therapy has set my mind at ease for the first time in my life informs me that it is physically acting on a physical malady.

      I tried and tried to remain male. I went to two therapists and begged both to give me coping skills. They tried to help me. I won’t exhaust you with how I exhausted them with my ongoing plea to try this and then try that. I wanted to remain a minister. I did not want to freak out my family and church and friends. I always strive to honor the Lord Jesus, whom I love with all my heart.

      I do not take this transitioning lightly. That’s why I started writing about it. It is a horrible thing to have to transition. Just last night, I once again told my wife that I hate being transgender. I finally feel comfortable as a human, on HRT and living as a female, but I hate that I am not just a plain old male or plain old woman. Just as my friend with fetal alcohol syndrome will always have to deal with that, I have to deal with this.

      I would like to know how much study you have done, to be able to declare my gender dysphoria only a mental illness.

      I wish you well, but, please, if you are going to comment on things, please do so from an informed position. Thanks.

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    2. I encourage you to read “Brain Sex” by Moir and Jessel for a worthwhile summary of research on the subject of male and female minds and how they are different, as well as how various events during pregnancy can cause changes to brain formation.

      If gender dysphoria were purely a mental issue, there would be successful counseling or pharmaceutical treatment options. Sadly, there aren’t.

      Perhaps you will be willing to share your opinions after doing some research on the subject.

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      1. First paragraph: Oh, that this person, and all who think they know everything about which they know nothing, would take up your encouragement as a challenge to themselves to be informed.

        Second paragraph: Bingo!

        Final paragraph: I will be happy to seriously consider the opinions of anyone who studies the subject.

        Thank you, Ken.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As a nurse who works in a practice serving several transgender adolescents, your blog post was a blessing. It very succinctly outlines what our clients are dealing with, physically. I’m sharing it with my co-workers, as we all struggle to “get it” and serve that community with compassion and dignity. Admittedly, we often stumble along! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how wonderful, Elise! Thank you! I would LOVE to work with trans youth. God bless you in all you do with them, and with all people whom I am confident you serve with great compassion.

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  3. Ms. Eilers,

    This is a great piece. As a former Roman Catholic non-believer, I find Matt’s blog every bit to your description. As I don’t want to be rude, I will leave it at that. I stumbled across your blog from Facebook as a “Related Articles” suggestion from a post by the Friendly Atheist. I have not read any other pieces, but plan to. I saw all that, to talk about the last few paragraphs about being Christ-like and winning people over.

    I mean no disrespect when I say this, but with an ultimate goal of winning people over for Christ, it seems a little disrespectful, even if it is gentle. It’s manipulation, which today’s society identifies as a form of violence. I will never try to convince a believer that their belief is wrong, unless it inhibits the rights of others, if they need that to life their life, so be it. I will not act a different way to appeal to a person’s sensibilities and reason, in hopes that they will “come to the Dark Side.” They either will find that a majority of non-believers are moral with out religion, or they won’t. I say majority, because I don’t know every non-believer, just like a majority of believers are moral, even though the media is filled with “Family values advocates” guilty of immoral acts and breaking commandments.

    The abrasiveness you speak of in the LBGT+ community, has the same vein in non-believers, so I can 100% emapthize with you on this. I am sure you have read articles where you go “Why, why did you say that, it sounds so wrong”, only to realize there is truth to it, it’s just that you wish it was wrapped in a nicer package.

    I admit, it took meeting my brother(we grew up with different moms) and having a gay son, to fully appreciate the LBGT+ community. I’m sorry for that. I strive to be a better person each day, because of it. Thank you for your article. Not that I didn’t sympathize with transgender people before I read this, but because you have educated me even more on the issue. I hope to pass this knowledge on and help inform others who lack the knowledge I did.

    I look forward to reading your other pieces.

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    1. Troy, thanks for reading and for commenting! I am pleased that my articled appeared as a “Related Articles” as I desire wider exposure. Surprised I am that it was Friendly Atheist, but that’s cool!

      I also try not to convince another person that his or her belief is wrong, but speak of my beliefs in ways that hopefully will have others desire to learn more about them and accept them for themselves. I learned this before I became a pastor, when I was in sales. The goal was never to sell my product by besmirching the character of another company or bemoaning their product, but to explain the features and benefits of our products and the good service our company provided.

      Abrasiveness. Ugh. LGBT folks, atheists and Christians, Republicans and Democrats, and more, are so guilty. It drives me batty.

      Regarding your final thought, it takes almost all of us to experience things firsthand before we can become comfortable, familiar, and drop prejudices. I grew up in white, white, white Michigan and worked in Iowa. I could count on one hand the number of African Americans I ever knew. Two years ago, we moved to Indianapolis. It took a year to get comfortable with so many blacks around. Now, I have a bunch of African American friends, and even shop at a Kroger in which I hardly see any whites. I am so glad to finally be over my skiddishness which was born of the prejudices which I grew up with.

      I hope I have other pieces on my blog which interest you, even one of my videos where you can see how I speak and act. “I’m Still Me” is my favorite for that.

      I am pleased to be getting to know you, Troy.

      Peace,
      Gina

      Liked by 1 person

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