Reinforcing Children’s Sexual Identity: A Review of Ellie Klipp’s I Don’t Have to Choose
August 22, 2019
by Andrè Van Mol, MD
Parents have asked if I could recommend any books to safeguard young children against trans-ideology. Their concern is well founded. Pro-trans indoctrination is ubiquitous, its repetition tireless and rebuttals are punished. The educational system from pre-K right on through, television, print, social media and much of the web broadcast the siren song of gender fluidity and trans identity. Jennifer Bilek traced the impressive transgender funding trail to biomedical firms and philanthropic organizations of a certain tilt. Your public library may have a drag queen story hour where books like I am Jazz are read to children by trans activists eager to groom the next generation of victims. (Endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw’s critique of that book provides a useful antidote.) Feeding your children’s spirits is not to be ignored, as trans-ideology is all but a state-sponsored religion at this point, and a Gnostic one at that. The average parent has little idea how pervasive, invasive and well financed the efforts to trans-evangelize their children really are.
An ideal path is to capitalize on the law of first mention: the message about a subject a child hears first tends to become the standard against which they will judge subsequent views on that subject. For kids already swayed by error on this topic, you can still be the first mention of physical reality in a manner that sticks to their young minds.
Enter Ellie Klipp’s I Don’t Have to Choose, which is available in English and bilingual versions of Spanish and French, with German and Brazilian Portuguese coming soon. Canadian illustrator Mike Motz provides the pages with bright and cheerful colors and images. The children pictured have slightly oversized heads and modestly full bodies, thus making them cute and a plus for positive body images in young readers.
Alexander and Alexis, Alex and Alex for short, are the book’s main characters. The two Alexes engage in the same activities and enthusiastically so. From mud stomping to tree hanging to pretend play, they go at it together. When they read math books, they are both specifically “quite good” at it. That gentle and subtle encouragement toward math is a welcome effort. It’s a good lead in to sharing with young girls about American heroes like Admiral Grace Hopper and NASA’s women in mathematics such as Katherine Johnson featured in the film Hidden Figures.
The Alexes both enjoy toy trucks, star gazing and insects. They imagine themselves as cowpokes, ship captains (enjoyed by my wife and I, both former Navy officers) and doctors caring for a puppy. Alexander and Alexis both sew, as my Italian seamstress mother taught me and the late NFL star Rosie Greer picked up and taught. Dudes can sew.
Details matter. When the Alexes play dress up for the same tasks, Alexander wears his father’s clothing and Alexis wears her mom’s, yet both are wearing shirts and pants. Boys and girls can do the same things and still be boys and girls. What if Alex or Alex were a single-parent child? The role modeling importance of an adult relative of the same sex—or perhaps a trusted and proven friend or neighbor—would grow, and not just for the sake of play clothes.
Alexander and Alexis like playing with dolls and trucks. Both are shown with a nurturing cuddle of the pretend baby. Alexander plays Dad and Alexis plays Mom, thus reinforcing the concept that each sex has a role to play when children are involved. Furthermore, Alexander and Alexis would flourish best being raised by their biological father and mother. Many children lack that luxury.
But where’s the science? The two Alexes will receive no real-life reprieve or time out from the pseudoscience of the trans-ideology lobby. I Don’t Have to Choose commits two pages to its namesake concept. We find Mom and Dad with their female physician of color who is performing a prenatal ultrasound. The doctor points to the screen showing the expectant parents the baby they are having. Here is the prose worth the price of the book: “I’m a girl because God put two XX chromosomes in each of my cells. Hurrah, I don’t have to choose!” A similar affirmation is there for Alexander. And this is rock solid scientific reality for 99.98 percent of children. The 0.02 percent allowance is for children with disorders of sex development (DSD), colloquially called intersex. But DSDs are something one has, not who one is, and are not a third sex. They are medical conditions and not identities. Why do I harp on this? Because the trans lobby uses intersex as a smokescreen. Don’t be fooled and don’t allow your children to be.
So, I have a minor hesitation here. I Don’t Have to Choose says that God-placed sex chromosomes are “in each of my cells,” which is almost the case. Human chromosomes reside in a cell’s nucleus, but not every cell has a nucleus, though the vast majority do. Red blood cells would be one exception. It would have been better to have said “in each of my cells with a nucleus.” Ms. Klipp went for target audience clarity. In any case, the nucleus is where the genetic code makes it abode. (I have dibs on that phrase.)
I Don’t Have to Choose is priced very low on Amazon ($6.49 for paperback and $2.99 for Kindle) because Ellie wants children to read it. She is operating at a loss, but considers the child-protecting message worth it. So what about tweens and teenagers? Ellie is working on a novel for them right now.