Ian Kruger, Exploring Transgenderism and Sexual Exploitation

In this podcast episode, we engage with Pastor Ian Kruger, a compassionate advocate and researcher from Common Ground, as we delve into the intricate link between transgenderism and sexual exploitation. 

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Intro: Welcome, everyone, to another enlightening episode of the Free to Fly podcast!  If you’re just tuning in for the first time, let me give you a warm welcome to our incredible community. Free to Fly isn’t just a podcast; we are a counter child trafficking organization located in South Africa. Today, we’re diving deep into a topic that demands our attention and understanding. We’ll explore the intricate relationship between transgenderism and sexual exploitation, shedding light on an issue that needs compassionate conversation and informed insights. Our guest today is someone who brings a wealth of knowledge and compassion to this crucial discussion. Ian Kruger, a dedicated pastor at Common Ground, has devoted extensive time to researching this very topic. His insights will help us navigate the complexities surrounding transgenderism and its connection to sexual exploitation. So, dear listeners, get ready to broaden your horizons, open your hearts, and join us on this journey of exploration and understanding. We’re here to educate, inspire, and, most importantly, make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Let´s begin. Welcome to the Free To Fly podcast


Interviewee:           Ian Kruger, Pastor Common Ground Rondebosch 

Interviewer:           Amanda Mdhluli

List of Acronyms: AM: Amanda Mdhluli

                                         IK: Ian Kruger 


AM:  Hello, welcome again to our Free to Fly podcast.   Today I have with me Ian.  He is a pastor and is very well researched on the topic of trans-genderism and will provide us with valuable insights as we dive deep into this topic.  Ian, please give us a brief introduction of yourself, what it is you do and how you came to be involved in this topic of transgenderism.


IK:  Hello, – My name is Ian, I am married with two kids and I am a pastor at Common Ground Church.  Why am I involved with transgenderism?   Last year we realised that the topic of sexuality and gender was, in general, something that is big in our society and culture and our people were asking big questions around what has God got to say about sexuality in general.  We did a sexuality series, predominantly speaking to our people – speaking to Christ followers.  What would God have to say about these things and how would God direct us to speak about these things. Obviously, transgenderism is a big topic in our culture at the moment, so that formed part of our sexuality series.  So, I had to do a deep dive and really look into what people are saying, what culture is saying, what other Christians are saying and what doctors and biologists are saying. So there was a lot of research that went into it to just really try to serve and help our people to try and understand, to grapple with this topic of transgenderism.  It was largely just a thing of a pastor wanting to speak to his people about these things and try to help us answer the question of what God has to say on these things.


AM:  Just to make it clear to our listeners that we are coming from a Christian world view. Is that what you are saying?


IK:  Yes, and I think that’s where the whole conversation on these things starts – how do you view the world, and where do you start.  A picture I like to use, is one of a puzzle box or puzzles pieces and every single human – life throws these experiences at us and those experiences are like puzzle pieces that we hold on to and we try to make sense of the puzzle pieces that we have in our hands which are the different experiences we have in life.  But actually, I think the reason we ‘fight’ so much, or argue, or why these conversations, or these topics become so controversial is because we’re all looking at the puzzle pieces we hold and trying to make sense of our lives and instead of asking the right question, which is not how do I put my puzzle pieces together, but rather where’s the puzzle box – what picture am I going to use to show me where my puzzle pieces fit, and for me, that’s world view.  The puzzle box you choose to make sense of your life, to make sense of your experiences in life is your world view.  And world view is just answering 3 big questions:  Is there a God, who is He and what does He want.  And how you answer those questions will make a big difference in how you have these conversations or where you land in them.  So, I come from a Christian world view, and I would say that for my puzzle box, the picture I go to to make sense of life is the person of Jesus.  So if that’s where you start, you’re going to answer some of these questions differently to someone who says there is no God – then things are a bit more random.  So you find yourself answering questions around transgenderism, sexuality and all these different things, in different ways, depending on where you start, and what picture you’re using to make sense of them.  So, I come from a Christian world view and the puzzle box I’d hold up all my questions to is the person of Jesus.  


AM:  There seems to be a blur between what a man is and what a woman is and what the truth is.  Can you tell us what this truth looks like from God’s point of view.


IK:  That is really the big part of the conversation:  what is truth, what is a man and a woman and I think that is part of the question as you try to answer the question – what is a man, what is a woman.  Well, you’re going to go, what do I believe to be true about the world.  We answer that question from the starting point of, God has created man and woman, and, from a Christian world view, He has a plan and a purpose in the way that He created men and women.  Where it gets blurry, is that as a society, we leant into overly strict stereotypes of what a man and a woman should be, and then people say – I don’t fit into that strict stereotype, so then, does that mean that I’m not a woman, or I’m not a man.  And it can get blurry there.  I think that that is society creating overly strict stereotypes.  I think in God’s plan and purposes, He’d be quite clear that He created us male and female and He has purposes for us in that.


AM:  I would like you to go into different terminologies and what they mean.  What is gender identity and gender expression and also what does it mean when someone says they are gender-fluid.


IK:  Great question.  I think, in this question around transgenderism, there are a whole lot of terms that people use.  And, they are not all necessarily accepted by everyone or agreed upon.  But there are some general terms:  Gender identity is used to speak of a person’s personal sense of their own gender – what do I know, or feel, my gender to be?  Its that kind of internal thoughts – what I think I am.  Then, gender expression – which some people would separate from gender identity – would say, well, how do I want to express my gender.  These things are separated out in this conversation, so you would have people who would say, I identify as, say, a man, but I want to express myself,  – my gender expression is more feminine. And so that’s why these things get separated out.  One term I’d add is biological sex, which is related to your objective, measurable organs or chromosomes.  So people would separate these 3 things out – that’s your biological sex, that’s your gender expression and that’s your gender identity.   And gender-fluidity is simply a spectrum between male and female – saying, you might identify as a woman, you might identify as a man, and you might identify as something else between those two ‘poles’ of the spectrum.


AM:  Transgenderism is a very big and controversial topic. Why is it important for us to have these discussions? 


IK:  Yes, it is a very big and controversial question, and you can see that at times it can get quite explosive or nasty when people speak about these things.  I think, before I answer the question, we’ve got to realise that we’re always dealing, in these kinds of conversations, with people and ideas.  And we must never forget that in the sense of these conversations, there are people who are grappling with real pain, real hurts, real confusion, and stuff that’s really going on in their hearts, and their minds, and their bodies that they’re trying to make sense of.  They’ve been given puzzles pieces that they’re trying to make sense of and figure out where do they make sense of it.  So, first and foremost, we’re talking about people, and people matter to God, and God wants people to experience His message – what He’s done through Jesus.  He wants them to experience His grace and kindness towards them.  And so, when we speak to people, we speak with compassion and gentleness and the grace of God, and deal with people as people.  But in this conversation, we’re also dealing with ideas, and ideas have a real impact on people.  And so, in speaking about this, ideas do matter, because the ideas we have about the world and how it works.  The ideas we have affect the way we view our bodies and our gender and our sexuality.  Ideas really inform the way we have these conversations.  Ideals inform how we treat people.  So ideas really matter, because what we think to be true and to be real and right in the world, will actually affect the way we deal with people.  When those ideas are disconnected from what is true, they ultimately will end up hurting people.  So we’ve got to look at transgenderism and realise that it’s an idea; it’s a world view; it’s an ideology; it’s a way of thinking.   We actually have to ask the question, is it true? Is it the right way to view the world?  Is it the correct way?  Because, if it’s not, it’s going to end up hurting people.  Ideas either bring life to people or hurt people.  I think speaking about these things really matters – we must always make sure that when we deal with people, we deal with people and when we deal with ideas, we speak to ideas and its helpful to separate those things out.


AM:  What do you think could be some of the challenges that the ideas of transgenderism pose for those trying to fight against exploitation.


IK:  I think the idea of transgenderism, when you look into it, and start to scrutinise it and ask where do these ideas come from, where did they take root.  I think, generally, in society, especially western society, what’s happened is that over time, we moved away from ideas of truth and we’ve gone ‘truth is subjective’; truth is up to the individual to find, so you’ll hear phrases like, ‘live your truth’, ‘find out what is true for you’.  These ideas are actually birthed out of society moving away from believing that there’s an objective truth, that there’s something real and true – like God – that you can go to, and everything that He says is good and true, and I’m going to make sense of things from that.  We’ve moved away from that, and we’ve gone largely to ‘no – whatever you experience is true’.  But at the same time our society has leant into science, and I don’t think there’s a tension between faith and science.  I think they are answering people’s questions, but society is saying science is what is true, science is real. So we find ourselves in our minds – in our thinking, split between what people call the

‘the fact divide’.  So theology and morality is private and subjective, whereas science is public objective and valid for everyone. So we find ourselves split – I can have this eternal thought that what I think my gender is separated from my biology, and that doesn’t have to line up to what is scientifically true or real.  What that then leads to is what we call person-hood theory: I am free to decide what is real for me and change the world to suit that.  What person-hood theory says is that the physical body is separate from what I believe to be true.  Then your body almost becomes a raw material that doesn’t have any intrinsic identity or purpose or worth, so your body almost becomes plastic and needs to be changed to meet what you think yourself to be.  And so, to answer your question – that’s massive, because if the body doesn’t matter, then why do we look after it and care for it?  What you do with it doesn’t matter; what other people do with it doesn’t matter.  Also, it means that what I believe to be true is what is ultimately true and I can impose that on other people, and I can impose that on the world. So, if that’s the way we think, and that’s where thinking is heading, you can see that it will become increasingly hard to fight against things like sexual exploitation, because what’s happening is that people are saying well, that body doesn’t matter that much, and what people believe to be true is true.  So, I’m going to live out my truth even if it hurts your body. 


AM:  As you said, there is a truth divide, so how do we come together and find common ground as a society on what the actual truth is.


IK:  That’s a difficult question:  I think it goes back to world view and how you view the world – I think that is why we need to keep pushing this conversation up there because we can have the conversation around sexual orientation.  We can have the conversation about whether biology matters or not.  We can have all those conversations, and we’ll just talk around in circles.  I think the divide starts much higher up than how we view the body.  I think the divides starts with how we view who God is.  Again, if you believe that there is a creator God and that He created the world   with a purpose and a meaning, and that He created men and women for a reason, then you’re going to answer the question about the body.  You’re going to say, the body matters, the body has purpose and being female or male matters – it has meaning.  There is a creator God who created it that way and therefore He put meaning into His creation.  But, if you believe that there is no God, and that we are the product of atheistic evolution – that random set of events created the body, that random set of events created our society, then the body is random, and then gender is random and then male and female is random because it all just happened – by mistake, through processes that lead here.  So you can see that whether you believe there is a God, or not, makes a big difference in how you’re going to answer these questions, and where you’re going to land.  So I think that society, as people, need to keep having this conversation at the highest level around is there a God; who is He and what does He want for us. What I believe to be true about Jesus and our creator God, is that He is good, and that He had good intent and purposes for our body.  He brings real meaning, so when we live in His intention, when we align the way we treat our body, and align the way we treat other people to the ways of God, that brings life and flourishing.  But if you don’t have that as the standard, and the truth, then it really is, everyone must live their truth and fight for what they believe in, which then actually leads to greater pain in the world.


AM:  Free to Fly is a Christian faith-based organisation – how do you think we, as believers of the word of God, should engage with ideas like transgenderism.


IK:  I think we should be people who are incredibly compassionate and kind and when we are face to face with people who are struggling with gender dysphoria, we shouldn’t treat them as ideas – we should treat them as people and we should engage with them in love.  We should be interested in their stories and to serve and love and help where we can as they try to make sense of their grapples.  I think that’s very important.  What makes this conversation so difficult is, is that people are scared to have it.  As Christ followers, I think that because we believe in a creator God who is full of truth and light, we don’t need to be scared.  We can actually move toward the hurting, we can move towards confusion with gentleness and love and have these conversations from a place of confidence and rest.  We don’t need to be angry, we don’t need to be defensive.  We need to realise that when we’re moving towards people who are struggling with gender dysphoria – or rapid onset gender dysphoria – you’re dealing with identity: this isn’t just something they think about, this is something they really believe that they are, so we need to be so compassionate and gentle, but at the same time bring the hope and truth of who Jesus is, and what He would say to their story.  So we must be both compassionate and loving but also full of conviction that the ways of God bring life, and we point people to Jesus.


AM:  The heart of Free to Fly is to fight against the trafficking of young girls and young children.  How do you think we should support a male child who feels like they are a girl.  Should we support the belief of the child or do we ignore it.  What is the proper way that we should approach a child that has just come out of a situation of exploitation and they believe that ‘I am no longer a girl, I’m a boy’, or, ‘I am no longer a boy, I’m a girl’.  


IK:  I know that you guys specifically want to rescue girls from sex trafficking – that’s part of what you feel called to do, so the question is, what happens if there is a boy who identifies as a transgender girl.  It’s a really tough question because if they are coming out of sex trafficking, they’ve been hurt, and abused and you want to care for them and love them and find a safe space for them.  But at the same time, you are dealing with young girls who have also been abused at the hands of men.  So how do we care for both the girls and the transgender girl.  This is where ideas meet people, and you see where ideas are true or real or helpful or not.  What I’ve realised in this conversation is – this idea that you can separate identity out from biology works in the realm of idea, but it starts to fall apart when you bring it into the real world.  Especially when you bring it into the world of injustice.  And, where people are trying to fight injustice, it falls apart.  In my research there was this woman called Mary Lou Singleton and she’s been fighting for the rights of women – she’s not a Christian – and she just says this: as we dismantle

what are the differences between a man and a woman, as we say that, that there is no such thing as a woman, you are writing out of the law, protection that so many women fought for for women and girls.  She has a great quote – she says ‘My entire life’s work is fighting for the class of people who are oppressed on the basis of their biological sex, including atrocities like forced child marriage, infanticide and baby girls and female genital mutilation, which occurs across the world.  But because of the gender identity movement, it is now deemed ‘transphobic’ to label these people women and girls.  What we are seeing is the legal erasure of the material reality of sex.  Protections based on sex are now being erased from the law’.  What she’s saying is, that when we question whether there is such a thing as biological male or female, we make it incredibly hard for people who are trying to protect the most vulnerable namely, women and girls throughout society in all kinds of cultures in the world – she has spent her whole life fighting for these things.  As soon as you say there is no such thing as a girl, you write that very protection out of the laws that protect girls and women who are often the most vulnerable in society.  So, to answer your question, I think it’s important that we root our movements towards injustice in biological reality.  And that the reality is that women and girls in society, across cultures, are often the most vulnerable and the most abused.  So it’s important that we put a stake in the ground and say – we are standing to protect girls; we are standing to protect biological girls.  And the reality is that these biological girls have ben abused and exploited by men, which means that part of their healing is to be protected from boys and men.  I think it is important that you continue to serve and love the people that God has called you to serve and love.  And I would hope that there would be organisations that would rise up to protect people who are struggling with gender dysphoria who have also been (abused).  I would hate to see your organisation feeling like they would have to step back from protecting biological girls because of an idea. But if I’m looking at a transgender girl, – a boy who identifies as a girl, who’s been sex-trafficked, then my heart breaks and I would love to see them served and loved.  But how we do that, I don’t know, but at the ‘person’ level, I want to see that person loved and cared for and brought to wholeness in God. But at an ideas level, I think it’s important that we root our movements towards justice and biological male and female.


AM: Do you think that because of the experiences they went through with human trafficking and the sexual abuse that these boys or young girls go through, do you think that also might be the reason why they identify as being trans-gender.


IK: I can’t answer that question, but I thinks it’s important to separate two things out:  there is something called gender dysphoria, where there is a kind of persistent and insistent feeling that a person is in the wrong body and people diagnosed with this throughout time have been less than 1% of our population and so often these feelings persist or peak as they get closer to puberty and almost all who pass through puberty start to identify their biological born sex.  So, there is something called gender dysphoria, but it is a very small percentage of our society.  It’s more often in young boys

than in young girls and it is something that largely ends by puberty and for a very small percentage persists for their whole life.  So we have to acknowledge that there are people who struggle with gender dysphoria but it’s a very, very small percentage of people – and then you have something called rapid-onset gender dysphoria.  Lisa Littman did a whole study and found that suddenly, where this used to be young boys of around the ages of 2 to 4 struggling with this thing, it has suddenly become massive in teenage girls.  And that’s new.  She was a Doctor, and she said it would be like a radiologist who is used to scanning women for breast cancer, and 80% of their patients being women, then suddenly, 80% were males.  That would be strange, because it would be a new phenomena.  So she studied it and looked into it, and in her research she saw that these adolescent women who suddenly identified, had things in common: so, 60% of them had mental health disorders, anxiety or autism and that many of them had a history of self-harm or trauma and many of them were suffering from borderline personality disorders.  She researched a lot of these adolescents through their parents, and 40 – 50% of these girls started to identify transgender at the exact same time as 40 – 50% of their friendship group, and this led to 70 times higher rate of girls identifying in adult populations than ever before.   What she saw was this sudden increase in rise in teenage girls and that a lot of these girls had spent a lot of time researching these ideas on online forums and communities.  So there seems to be this idea, or ideology, as some of these girls with anxiety, some of them with autism, many of them having experienced self-harm or trauma in their past, looking for guidance and help, to make sense of it, and finding that help on online communities.  She talked about it as a social contagion – this sudden rapid onset of people identifying.  So, what she said is that trauma, anxiety, mental health disorder, was being ‘soothed’ or ‘helped’ through these online communities by pushing people onto this idea of gender identity and gender fluidity.  And so, could someone who has experienced trauma – could trauma and sexual abuse be something?  Yes.  Especially if they are seeking help online through these communities.  Is it the reason?  I don’t know.  I think you would have to look case by case.  I think for me, the bigger thing is, – this person has experienced sexual exploitation that is devastating, so how do we bring about healing to this person -physical, emotional and spiritual healing.  And at the same time – they’re also dealing with gender dysphoria.  Is this genuine gender dysphoria or is this a rapid onset dysphoria because of their trauma.  You would have to do that case by case, person by person and figure it out like that.


AM: How much do you think that young children who come out as transgender is also an issue of belonging, – because my friend is doing it, or the people around me are doing it so I will come out as transgender because its what is being socially accepted.


IK: If you listen to Lisa Littman’s research and what she has to say, I think the majority of people who start speak of being transgender and/or gender-fluid in their teens are probably responding to ideas and these online communities and it’s becoming popular within our schools and schooling systems and within the demographic of teenagers and adolescents.  So, I would say that if people have never struggled with gender dysphoria before puberty and are suddenly are struggling with it after puberty, then it’s probably more a response to what is the cultural pressure – the idea of transgenderism vs actual gender dysphoria.


AM: How do think the media plays a role in how society perceives and understands transgenderism.  Do you think that the masses are being properly informed about this topic.


IK: I think the media in general is a massive way in which we see the world.  There is a sociologist who speaks about ‘social imagining’ :  what we start to believe is true in  the world is actually largely formed by the stories we tell of any society.  So in a society, if you are holding up transgender people as heroes, if you are telling stories around transgenderism, that will start to inform what we believe to be true in the world, just because it’s the water we swim in, it’s the air we breathe.  And stories have a massive power.  I think of Netflix and Disney and Hollywood in general, and western media where this gender fluidity is a massive idea – it’s an ideology.  It’s how a large part of the people who are making media believe the world to work.  It’s part of this person-hood theory, and queer theory and all these ideas – and that forms the stories we tell.  That forms who we hold up as heroes.  Adolescents, teenagers, are massively influenced – all of us are – by stories and social media and media, and I think our social imaginary at the moment, the stories we tell, are biased toward gender fluidity; towards this idea that there’s no such thing as male and female; towards the autonomous self in terms of what’s true for you is true.  It has a massive role.  Our teenagers, our adolescents – our society in general is massively informed by these ideas.  We’ve got to ask the question – this story is telling me to believe something, and I don’t actually believe in what this story is telling me.  The problem is, once the story has your empathy, empathy is so powerful, it makes you want to believe it’s true. So you have to questions things which are not rooted in reality.  Does this align to my world view?


AM:  Do you think that people are being correctly informed and can you give us an example of when the media was incorrectly informing people about other people in our society that are transgender.


IK: I think stories of de-transition help us here, because what we saw were these massive pushes towards transitioning people medically, into what they felt gender was.  What you’re seeing coming out more and more are these stories of people going – man, I can’t believe I was told by my medical professional, or by society, that I would be happier if I transitioned to the gender I felt.  You see places like the sex-transition clinic of the NHS being shut down as more and more people are saying, ‘I felt like a guinea pig, because, as a teenager, media was telling me I’d be happier if I changed, and my medical professionals were telling me I’d be happier if I changed, but actually, the reality is, I’m not happier.  I’m actually quite broken and it was quite painful’.  These stories of people who believed the narrative of society, and who are now going it was wrong – I wasn’t happier – are quite helpful in these things.  Kiera Bell, was actually one of these women, she was 23, she went to a clinic in the UK and she actually has sued the clinic – and she won – saying that children under 16 with gender dysphoria shouldn’t be transitioned and she says this: ‘I was prescribed puberty blockers after 3 1-hour appointments and experienced little resistance.  At 16 I don’t have the ability to decide’.  You also hear of other people, like Scott Newgent, who says we are butchering a generation of children because we are not willing to talk about anything.  And his whole argument is that the conversation keeps getting shut down: we keep talking about how people can be helped if they transition but actually, he wasn’t helped – he was hurt through this whole process.  Those stories that are now coming out, people need to start listening to.


AM: I think that what you’re saying is let’s look at both sides of the spectrum.  Let’s not only look at the people who are transitioning but we also need to look at their life afterwards, not just assume that they are happy.  We need to constantly check up on them because there are stories of people who have transitioned and who have said that this didn’t actually make my life any better.


IK: Yes, there is only one part of the story being told and this is what makes me angry:  I went to a talk on transgenderism at a school last year and the person said, – and again, you’re also hearing this in your schools, it’s not just media, it’s not just what’s popular at the moment, but there are actually people going into schools and encouraging these things, – he said that if someone is struggling with dysphoria and you don’t transition them, they’ll commit suicide.  And that’s one that you hear often – it’s almost like a bullying tactic towards parents – like a scare tactic – and if you don’t transition your kid, they are going to be unhappy and commit suicide.  The doctors from John Hopkins who pioneered the transition surgery did a long study on people after the transition surgery and they found suicide rates don’t actually change whether you transition or not.  There is something going on – an internal battle that needs to be dealt with that surgery don’t actually seem to help.  And then you also have a guy named Buck Angel who says he was transitioned 23 years ago who says he was a guinea pig – he had a lot of things happen to him, one of the most dangerous being atrophy.  So one side of the narrative is saying people will commit suicide if you don’t transition them, and if they go they the other side they’ll be happy, but then you also have these stories of people saying, No, it almost killed me.  He (Buck Angel) goes on to say that he can’t urinate without pain.  So you need both sides of the story.  Unfortunately, when it comes to transgenderism, there are a lot of ‘activists’ who are trying to fight for ideas and then sometimes people get hurt.  That’s why we must always listen to the stories of people, not just the media or social media or things like Netflix.  You have to know what are the stories of actual people, and what were their experiences.


AM: I think what you are also saying is that although something might look great on people as an idea, how it actually applies in real life and how it affects people needs to be spoken for.  Which brings me to my next and last question:  How would you advise a listener who has a son or a daughter who wants to transition, or is in the process of being transitioned, how would you advise them to best walk their journey, because human trafficking is not a problem we have only here in South Africa – it’s a problem that a lot of people are facing.  How would you advise someone who has a child who has just come out of the situation of sexual exploitation, to deal with their daughter or their son who now identifies as the opposite gender.


IK: When talking of someone who has been sexually exploited, that is different from someone who struggles with gender dysphoria and there might be a link between those two, one might have led to the other, but to answer, I’m going to separate those two things out.  First of all, as a parent, when you’re dealing with your child who is expressing a sense of gender dysphoria, then, I think, the first thing is to love them.  To be there for them.  There is a book by Doctor Mark Yarhouse about this.  He is a Christ-follower, he is also a doctor and done a lot of research into this and is respected in this area.  He is probably the most helpful resource to go to and read.  His whole thing is that the most important thing is that your child feels that you love them, that you’re for them and that you care about them.  That has to be the foundation.  It can’t be – hey, you don’t fit to the strict stereotype of what I think a man or a woman should be.  You are going to lose your child if you take that approach.  It has to be one of I love you, I’m for you, and I want to see you flourish.  Also, don’t just listen to one side of the story because it’s rooted in an ideology which is fighting a whole bunch of battles and the ideology of the LGBT +, or the queer theory, is an idea – you need to go quite wide, which is why I think Doctor Mark Yarhouse and Lisa Littman are so helpful, because their voices are on the other side saying, let’s just slow down and think about this.  I would say to really understand that there are different options than just medical transition, because so often, that is the only option put forward, and actually, it’s not the only option.  It’s not necessarily an option that’s working and is being increasingly shown to not help and actually cause quite a lot of damage and pain.  For parents to realise there are certain scare tactics out there and to not to make decisions based out of fear, but to really listen to both sides of the conversation and to really understand what’s going on.  There are stories of people who didn’t medical transition, who went other routes.  When we’re dealing with gender dysphoria in terms of a young child, particularly a boy, most of the time that internal battle ends by puberty, and almost most after puberty.  So, go slow, encourage them, love them, remind them who God created them to be, re their biological sex, but don’t be into overly strict stereotypes.  So that would be my encouragement.  See what happens post puberty, and if you’re dealing with a teenager who suddenly wants to transition or suddenly identifies as transgender,  I would say that that’s probably rapid onset dysphoria and to really look into what is influencing them – where are they getting these ideas from, and introduce them to new ideas and other sides of the story.


AM:  Thank Ian, for today’s interview.  It was very informative, very eye-opening.  We are glad to have hosted you here today as Free to Fly.  Thank you very much



Dear friends and key stakeholders, thank you for joining us on today’s podcast. Our aim and heart for these podcasts are to bring awareness on human trafficking. To highlight the atrocity this crime is to humanity. A reminder that human trafficking is a multi- billion Dollar industry, which is sadly the fastest growing worldwide and second biggest crime after drugs. It is far more organized than many care to believe.

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