My good friend and colleague Dr. Joseph Nicolosi passed away yesterday from an unexpected, swift illness. I am in shock. He is the man who gave men like me courage to name the wounds related to our early gender identity, get on a healing track, and proceed onto all we were created for. As a devout Catholic, he held fast to our fruitfulness and eschewed the false solutions offered by the LGBT community; as an astute clinician, he persevered to ensure that the healing arts and sciences still applied to persons with same-sex attraction who knew that they were stuck and needed to get on with life.
He did it all with panache. He was a force of nature—youthful at 70-years-old, mouthy, colorful, an unflagging provocateur of truth. He never lost focus. The last time I saw him was a year ago at his home in Thousand Oaks home with wife Linda; he exuberantly rehearsed a new paper he was presenting at NARTH, which he co-founded and designed as the only enduring network offering clinical care for persons with unwanted SSA.
The sheer volume of his output in papers, books, and presentations around the globe is staggering and can be summed up in these words: humanity is created to realize its heterosexual potential and homosexual behavior is a symptomatic attempt to repair early wounds that left the boy alienated from that potential–the innate masculinity that he has failed to claim. Sound psychotherapy is thus one means through which we can welcome the confirmation that eluded us in our wounds and recover our dignity as men from the illusion of seeking ‘completion’ in homoeroticism. I would urge you all to secure any of his books or articles. My personal favorite: Shame and Attachment Loss, IVP.
Joe got it right. He never apologized for the light he shone. In 1980, he founded the Thomas Aquinas Counseling Center in Los Angeles the same year Desert Stream began in LA. He provided for me and my colleagues studying psychology a reasonable, clear direction amid irrational forces. Ever exuberant, he seemed to enjoy the challenges he faced. He was born to burn calories caused by his contention that humanity has a direction born of God, a track no activist can alter.
God made Joe fit for the fight and he did so brightly and boldly in the face of adversity. Some did not know what to do with him. We did know. We loved him. His gift freed us to embrace life. Exuberantly.
‘The rights of black people are gay rights and the rights of gay people are black rights.’ Kevin Jennings
Living in a city built on a fault-line of segregation where the majority of African-Americans flounder in poverty and poor schools, I cheer former president Obama for provoking all ethnic minorities to break down barriers and become who they can be for the good of others.
What galls me is how he mistook ‘gender-identity’ variations for ethnicity in his 8-year-pledge to expand human rights. Yesterday, I drove up to a Starbuck’s window and faced a woman employing every hormonal and cosmetic means possible to erase her womanhood; she had entered into the dehumanizing zone of becoming gender-free. Her broad face, reddened with testosterone and a pale beard, was shocking to anyone encountering her and cruel to this woman who needs help to unpack her gender rejection, not a license to destroy herself.
Obama gave her that license. His administration placed gender identity delusions on par with ethnic civil rights. One of his final acts as president was to commute the sentence of transgender prisoner Chelsea Manning. That says first, in contrast to the best clinical evidence available, Obama has done more than any other leader on earth to perpetuate the lie that fragile souls who seek refuge in the fantasy of becoming someone other than who they are should be granted government advocacy to realize their ‘dream.’ In truth, Obama made this part of the American dream, a waking nightmare for all who surround this person’s tragic choice to worsen his or her fate. Through his Abortion and Transgender Services Mandate (ACTS, 2016), Obama made every gender-rejecting figment of the American imagination ground for government-funded sex changes.
Secondly, Obama stumped over and over to ensure that ‘gender identity’ freedom was placed on every list that included racial equality. He lumped a profound identity disorder with persons who have been stripped of every vestige of human dignity due to skin color. Obviously, this further slaps the face of persons who have suffered for centuries under the oppressive hand of the majority. Obama failed to distinguish between the intrinsic dignity God grants those who represent Him in a host of ethnicities, and those tempted to chase illusions in an effort to heal the rift in their gendered selves. For the gender confused, peace comes only from reconciliation to who one is before God as either male or female. While Obama summoned greatness from the ethnically oppressed, he further oppressed the gender fractured by offering dead-end solutions to their suffering.
‘There is an ecology to man. Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he respects his nature, listens to it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true human freedom fulfilled.’ Pope Francis
The Obama administration has just insisted that all US public schools allow students to use whichever bathroom matches their gender identity, that is, whichever identity one is experimenting with at the moment.
Overlooking the facts of one’s biological birth, and the torturous mental health consequences for persons who deny their gender birthright, Obama now leads the world in obliterating the most basic distinction of our humanity.
Your daughter attends school where a boy who likes girl’s play has absolute freedom to insist that he be considered a girl and to follow her into the bathroom. Of course that may change; he may come to his senses and realize that he wants to be who he is. Then your daughter will have to change all over again.
The US government now decrees that your children understand gender as fluid, a state of mind, with no necessary connection to our biological selves. For people of faith, that is idolatry, the creature raising itself above the Creator. For people who value the social sciences, that is psychological nihilism: we harm children by not reinforcing the value of their gender selves.
Secure upon the foundation of our male or femaleness, we can grow into the unique men and women we are, free to exhibit a range of gifts and aptitudes that defy gender stereotyping. But we damage the core of our sons and daughters by letting them tell us whether they are sons or daughters.
Obama and company now consider granting fragile children and their clueless parents that freedom. They consider gender fluidity to be another great step forward for human rights.
Tell that to my friend Daniel who was advised by his high school counselor to embrace his gender fluidity. Identifying as a woman and winning awards in drag pageants, he witnessed among ‘trans’ peers the ravages of implants, estrogen shots, and seductive exaggerated feminine behavior. The fantasy of becoming the other gender was in truth a death wish. And isn’t that the end of all deception, to destroy human dignity?
Deceived by the belief that he is protecting human dignity, Obama obliterates it.
A nation whose head cannot distinguish between ethnicity and sexual identity is in big trouble.
Race is immutable and inspired by God; sexual identity variations (LGBTSQ, etc.) are man-made, elastic constructs designed to either work out inner conflicts or to expand one’s sexual consumerism. To equate skin color and sexual identity is superficial, weak reasoning that proves unjust to oppressed ethnicities and broken people searching for real love and identity.
Yet racial justice is precisely the parallel invoked by the Obama Administration last week when it arbitrarily chose to expand ‘gay marriage’ benefits to all gay couples in the USA in opposition to the 34 states which define marriage as male/female.
Federal District Attorney Eric Holder asserted that Obama was playing forward the legacy of President LBJ and the civil rights movement of the sixties, which began to correct many abuses toward African-Americans. Using words like ‘stamping out discrimination’ and ‘aggressive action toward human rights,’ Holder made clear Obama’s commitment to crafting a legacy as the ‘gay’ president. Such a commitment was reinforced by Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, who claims in his memoir that Obama’s primary passion for the military was making it gay-friendly.
Obama’s hand is now obvious. He is doing everything in his power to ‘queer’ America. His reasoning rests on a fault-line. As the first black president, he is confusing race with the nuances of gender identity.
Not only does such a foolish equation trivialize racial discrimination, it declares the fragile, still evolving ‘self’ of the man or woman who wants to experiment sexually with the same gender as an ironclad identity rather than as a moral decision. That says nothing of the destructive consequences these decisions may have for self and others, especially the children subject to these questionable liberties.
I just sat at table with wounded young men who asked me how to love fathers who had surgically become mothers or fathers who through porn had morphed into homosexual addicts. And as usual, I fielded requests made by friends and family derailed by the ‘gay marriages’ of loved ones.
Bad reasoning bears bad fruit. Ethnicity is not sexuality! America is now reaping the consequences of Obama’s misdirected effort to liberate ‘sexual minorities.’ Injustice for all.
‘Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.’ (IS 59: 14, 15a)
Do not be afraid of them; the Lord Himself will fight for you.’ (Deut. 1:22)
My mother’s tears spoke louder words in response to my ‘coming out’ years ago. ‘I want more for you,’ she then said.
Parents want more for their kids than misbegotten identities and relationships that render them fruitless. Some convey this concern better than others. We as parents must learn to express our concern well. It is an expression of loving authority.
Annette and I are the parents of four adult children; together, we fight for their fruitfulness. How can we not? Through God’s gift of committed sexual love, we created them! It is normal, right, and godly to advocate prayerfully for our children: ‘In Your mercy God, show our children the gift that they are and how to offer that gift fruitfully!’
Times have changed since my coming out 37 years ago. Born Kathlyn, the transgender daughter of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, has rechristened herself Stephen. She recently uploaded a video that celebrates her new male self as ‘a queer and nerd fighter’ with a penchant for ‘any male-identified person wearing thigh highs or garters.’ Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad.
My heart grieves for every parent today whose children leave home as an awkwardly emerging man or woman and returns to announce his/her newly re-created ‘gender’ self. Doubtlessly all young adults tempted to do so have faced profound conflicts of soul. But to resolve those conflicts by forcing one’s genitals into lifeless outlets or butchering them altogether is nothing short of demonic: ‘rebellion like the sin of witchcraft, arrogance like the evil of idolatry.’ (1 S 15:23)
All we as parents can do is weep and cry out for the Mercy that rendered us fruitful. We as co-creators of new life have limits. We cannot make our adult children’s moral decisions for them. But we can nurture a vision of fruitfulness for their lives in spite of any declaration to the contrary.
That child will always be the fruit of our love. So shall we implore the God who made us fruitful to gently woo our children back to Himself—the One who knows them best. He alone has power to grant them the ‘more’ of His splendid design for their lives.
‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.’ (Ex. 14:14)