CMDA's The Point

The New Subjective Reality of Transgenderism

July 30, 2020

by Jeffrey Barrows, DO, MA (Bioethics)

Is reality subjective or objective?

A new hermeneutic of reality is arising: converting objective physical reality into subjective reality.

The rapid rise of the transgender movement and the denunciation of physical reality inherent in that movement has stunned countless conservatives and especially evangelical Christians. Transgender ideologues are not interested in prioritizing one aspect of physical reality over another. Instead, they want to subvert objective reality to a new subjective reality defined by the individual and the movement.

This subversion of reality is occurring on two different levels.

First is the denunciation of the reality of physical sex. Instead of basing a person’s sex on their chromosomes and body morphology, transgender activists have invented the new subjective reality of “gender identity.” Gender identity does not correlate with physical reality and therefore has no relationship with objective reality. Gender identity can change daily or hourly and may even be considered “fluid” by those within the transgender movement. Unfortunately, even the US. Supreme Court has helped advance this new subjective reality in their redefinition of sex discrimination in the recent Bostock v. Clayton County decision.

This radical conversion of objective reality into a subjective realm by transgender activists would cause a significant cultural shift even if limited to those suffering from gender dysphoria. But the transgender movement has decided to impose their new subjective reality onto the entirety of society, through pronoun mandates.

Increasingly, the person addressing a transgender individual must participate in the active denial of physical reality by using the “preferred pronoun.” Transgender activists care nothing about the dissonance within the person addressing the transgender individual; only the dissonance of the transgender individual matters.

Second, the transformation of objective reality now has extended into the interpretation of medical science—especially regarding the treatment of gender dysphoria. Medical science is not driving the transgender movement’s ideology; instead, transgender ideology is driving medical science.

One recent example is YouTube’s censorship of a former transgender person, Walt Heyer. Walt suffered from gender dysphoria as a child and underwent sex reassignment surgery as an adult. He presented as a woman for eight years before deciding to transition back to living as a man. Speaking out of his personal experience and extensive study of gender dysphoria, Walt recently participated in a panel at The Heritage Foundation on the sexualization of children. YouTube censored six of his words as “hate speech:” “This is a childhood developmental disorder.” Walt was not spewing hate speech but simply stating a medical reality.

Medical studies have confirmed that between 75 and 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria spontaneously resolve as they go through puberty. These objective facts make the case against medical interventions to transition children to the opposite sex. Dr. Paul McHugh, a noted expert on transgender medicine, published an excellent review of the medical literature in The New Atlantis.

McHugh concluded, “The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body” — is not supported by scientific evidence.

But such scientific evidence is an objective reality that the subjective transgender ideologues will not countenance.

Whenever an individual or group abandons objective reality, dialogue becomes nearly impossible. Their subjective reality becomes their truth.

Nevertheless, as faithful followers of Jesus, as we compassionately and sensitively share with transgender individuals the objective reality of God’s design, we can open the door for the power of the Holy Spirit to penetrate their subjective reality with the objective truth of the good news of God’s love. May He equip us to do so.

Jeffrey Barrows, DO, MA (Bioethics)

About Jeffrey Barrows, DO, MA (Bioethics)

Jeffrey J. Barrows, DO, MA (Ethics), serves as Senior Vice President of Bioethics and Public Policy for Christian Medical & Dental Associations. Dr. Barrows is an obstetrician/gynecologist, author, educator, medical ethicist and speaker. He completed his medical degree at the Des Moines College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in 1978 and his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.


  1. Avatar David Burandt on August 4, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Well stated. The saddest aspect of this situation is that the highest court in the land has bought into this absurdity.

    • Avatar Vormaen on November 2, 2022 at 9:45 am

      Respectfully most of us are not going to take the definition of objective truth from those with religious fervor, a holy subjective reality. When a subjective belief intends to subjugate the whole forcefully, that’s subjective reality is open to rejection. Belief in God is Not objective, and scientific findings on the physiological nature of transgenderism argues against the religious. You can debate transgenders in sporting events, but you do not get to dictate what is objective to the whole. Must I remind you that christians, who demand that they’re subjective reality be respected, are enmasse demanding this country reject another person’s reality, which in itself is a hypocritical stance.

  2. Avatar Jerry Wittingen on August 5, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Dr. Barrows

    I heartily agree with your comments. The Deceiver has polluted and deluded the minds of so many in our increasingly Godless society. It is vital that Christians understand both God’s word and the world we live in. Thank you for succinctly stating truth.

    Jerry Wittingen,MD

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