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Part 3 of a KBI Series.

It came in jokes about “pronoun jackassery.”  It came from a medical doctor. It came from the daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump. 

Contempt for the trans community marked Gen. Michael Flynn’s ReAwaken America Tour that landed in Miami over the weekend.

There was plenty to behold at the uber-MAGA conference. Jan. 6 rioters were defended. A speaker claimed Hollywood elites were drinking the blood of children. Proud Boy sympathizer Roger Stone said he found Jesus.

But numerous speeches at the conference referenced the trans community in some way.

“If they dug your bones 100 years from now, they’re going to tell whether you were a guy or a girl,” Flynn said to laughter and applause.

They’re just gonna know, right?” Flynn said. “It’s how God created us.”

Attendees at the ReAwaken America conference cheer Gen.Michael Flynn’s appearance in Doral, Fla., May 13, 2023. VIP seats cost $500. (KBI Photo/Tony Winton)

One doctor who spoke compared gender-affirming surgeries to prefrontal lobotomies that need to be outlawed. 

“Gender change results in higher rates of psychiatric disease, in the burden of care, and higher cost,” Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist, said.  “It doesn’t treat gender dysphoria, it makes it worse. It results in higher risk of suicide, homicide, and death from all causes.”

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All major major U.S. medical organizations have policies supporting evidenced-based treatment, with multiple studies finding trans kids who receive transition-related health care show decreased dysphoria, anxiety, depression and suicidal behavior. 

The trans attacks weren’t surprising. There were 79 bills passed in 49 state legislatures this year that target the trans community

In Florida, there are bills banning bathroom use and hormone therapy for minors, addressing preferred pronoun use in schools, and another allowing authorities to take a child from his or her parents if they suspect such gender-affirming therapies are being used. 

And finally, lawmakers passed a bill allowing  doctors to refuse care of patients based on religious or moral objections.

LGBTQ advocates say Republicans are capitalizing on shifting attitudes on gender identity issues. A Washington Post poll this month found most Americans reject the notion a person can be a gender opposite from the one assigned at birth.  

Inside the MAGA Roadshow

Part 1 – Lara and Eric Trump preview the Republican attack for 2024 at Flynn event

Part 3 – Anti-trans speech goes to extremes on Flynn’s tour

Part 2 – ReAwakening attendees want to mend the American divide, even as the conference wallows in hucksterism, conspiracy theories and an impressive Christian-themed alt-media machine

The survey found the public becoming more conservative on many trans issues, with growing support for bans on puberty blockers, drugs or surgery for minors. Majorities supported counseling youth, however. 

But the same survey also found that a majority of Americans favored laws banning discrimination against trans people.

Julie Seaver, CEO of Compass LGBTQ Community Center in Palm Beach County, said while only a small population is transgender, the new laws will wind up hurting a wider group.

“Opting out of caring for individuals based on their moral or religious beliefs will put all of us, including those we love, at risk at some point in our lives.”

Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, framed trans rights advocacy as an attack on biological women. 

“We have people on the left who are telling you if you are a woman you have to compete against a man in a sports arena,” she said.

The trans community has been sounding the alarm on social media for months, saying Christian nationalists portray them as mentally unstable, sexual deviants and pedophiles.

“In the end, the goal of the GOP is to eradicate any trans people from being visible in public life in any way,” tweeted Brynn Tannehill, a writer and trans rights advocate.

McCullough, once kicked off  Twitter for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 treatments and mRNA vaccines, compared gender-affirming surgery to frontal lobotomies, calling trans medical care, “a plague of immorality.”

“It took courageous doctors to speak out against federal law and end it,” he said. “We need strong doctors and nurses– and strong patients – to see an end to this dark chapter in humanity.”

Cindy Costanzo of North Palm Beach who attended the ReAwaken conference said she is fine with trans people living their lives but “you don’t need to spit in my face. I don’t need to accept your pronouns.”

When asked if anyone had asked her to use different pronouns, she said, “I have not.”

JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.