To understand gender ideology and its motivations, one must first recognize that this cultural battle is only happening because trans activists have successfully waged a war on our language, hijacking basic concepts and definitions to normalize an ideology that is anything but. This includes things like preferred pronouns but can also be traced to the very words used to describe the movement, such as “transgender” and “gender identity,” both of which presuppose that it is possible to be a gender different than one’s sex.

The problem for gender ideologues, of course, is that it is not possible for a man to become a woman and vice versa. But the point of the new terms and euphemisms they have created and mainstreamed is to confuse everyone so much that we all eventually accept as fact something that is not true.

Such is the case with a particularly egregious euphemism: “gender-affirming care.” This is the phrase gender activists have coined to describe irreversible sex-change treatments and procedures, such as puberty blockers and hormonal injections and double mastectomies and vaginoplasties. In fact, it’s the exact phrase being used by a major U.S. children’s hospital to defend administering these experimental treatments to minors.

A series of videos posted on the Boston Children’s Hospital’s website shows its doctors advocating the medical treatment of gender-confused children. In one viral video, a doctor promotes hysterectomies as a solution for gender-confused girls. The hospital has since claimed it doesn’t perform this procedure on minors, but between 2017 and 2020, the hospital reportedly performed 65 double mastectomies as part of its “affirmation” program.

Another page on the hospital’s website, which has since been deleted, says 17-year-olds are eligible for “affirming” vaginoplasties. Other videos show Boston Children’s Hospital medical experts promoting puberty blockers for young children, encouraging gender-confused boys to “tuck” their penises to make them look more like vaginas, and claiming that children as young as 2 and 3 years old can know they are a gender different than their sex.

And it’s not just the Boston Children’s Hospital. Yale University’s pediatric gender program director has said she’s medically treated children as young as 3 years old on their “gender journey.” A number of other medical professionals have published actual scientific research about performing vaginoplasties on children under 18 years old. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed the medical and chemical treatment of children — to the point where it shut down a resolution from its members asking for a more critical look at “affirmative care” as “transphobic.”

We are barreling toward the point of no return on this issue, even as many countries start to hit the brakes. For example, the United Kingdom just shuttered its state-run Tavistock gender identity clinic, which was the largest pediatric gender clinic in the world, after a report found that its patients were “at considerable risk” due to its “unquestioning affirmative approach.” That’s putting it mildly.

We need to be explicit about what’s happening right now. Trans activists, medical professionals, and ideologues who promote and defend “gender-affirming care” are advocating the chemical castration and physical mutilation of vulnerable persons. They can try to tie it up with a ribbon and make it sound as pretty as they’d like, but that’s what it is.

Another accurate term for it is medical malpractice. In no other part of the medical world is it considered acceptable or even legal to damage the body of a healthy person irreversibly. For example, if a young girl suffering from anorexia walks into a hospital and asks for liposuction, no one in their right mind would grant her request. If a mentally ill man who identifies as an amputee asks a doctor to amputate his perfectly functioning arm to match his identity, every self-respecting surgeon will send him away. And that’s because medical professionals swear an oath to do no harm, to preserve and protect and heal a person’s body as best as they can in spite of any delusions the person may be experiencing.

And yet they violate that oath every time they promote “gender-affirming care” as a solution for what is clearly an unhealthy delusion.

The only way any of this stops is twofold. First, we need to stop going along with the language games gender ideologues want us to play. Stop saying “transgender.” Stop using the term “gender identity.” There are men, women, and men and women who are confused or deluded about which one they are. There are no in-betweens or different identities. There is biological reality, and that’s it.

And there is no such thing as “gender-affirming care.” You cannot affirm something that does not exist, and “gender identity” does not exist. There is only chemical castration and surgical mutilation, both of which should be considered medical malpractice on the part of the doctors who perform them.

Second, we need a way to hold the people pushing the physical consequences of this harmful ideology accountable. One bill by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) would allow patients who underwent physical and medical gender treatments as minors to sue the doctors who performed the treatments. That would be a significant step in the right direction, and conservatives in Congress ought to make it a priority.

This is a battle that we must win — not least because there is an entire generation of young girls and boys being made to believe that irreversibly changing their bodies will fix the social and emotional anxieties they experience. And it’s a battle that we can win — but only if we stop letting them control the terms of the debate.