Conservatives conserve nothing. Not even something so fundamental as biological sex:
I doubt that many Americans would disagree that the country’s conversation about gay rights is far more mature and considered than it was two decades ago. Today, there exists broad understanding that homosexual people are unavoidable and common, present in all corners and demographics of American life. Through education, and especially exposure, homosexuality is no longer regarded as bizarre, threatening, or mysterious. Even if we remain unsure about what makes a minority of men and women gay, only the tiniest fringe still consider the orientation something worth trying to “fix.” When states attempt to ban homosexual “conversion therapy,” as California is trying to do at the moment, it feels like anachronistic performance. Disinterest in judging homosexuality is not an attitude government has coerced Americans into, it is the product of a free people’s informed knowledge.
If we concede that transgenderism is not going away, and is not something anyone intends to exert effort toward ending, then Americans, especially conservative ones, should reflect on our culture’s honest and fair attitude toward homosexuality and acknowledge that the most sensible path out of the present acrimony will probably require similar compromise. Some degree of cultural ceasefire and consensus seems the only path for both sides to maintain a degree of pride while avoiding a more radical, disruptive societal transformation….
Part one of the compromise will be borne by cultural conservatives and traditionalists. It asks for broad tolerance for the reality that transgender men and women exist, and are entitled to basic human dignity, just like everyone else. This does not mean having to morally endorse behavior many may believe runs contrary to God’s plan for a just and healthy society, but it does imply that acts like ostentatiously calling people by pronouns they don’t want, or belittling their personal struggle, are boorish and petty. It means acknowledging that arbitrary discrimination against transgender people is a cruel bigotry like any other.
But part two of the compromise requires sacrifice on the part of progressives, who are currently overplaying their hand in an effort to strong-arm sweeping social change as a flex of their power. There must be a halt in the use of state authority to impose accommodation of transgenderism in a fashion far more totalitarian than is rationally justified. Transgender people constitute a tiny minority of Americans who, in the vast majority of cases, are explicitly eager to opt into the broad two-gender social order our civilization is based around. Tolerance does not necessitate a purge of any and all public manifestations of the gender binary in the name of extreme exceptions to the rule.
Accepting transgenderism as an inescapable human phenomenon does not mean that there is nothing left to learn about it or that cautious or even skeptical attitudes toward purported manifestations of it are never legitimate.
If the social order requires compromise on such issues, then the social order is not worth preserving. The transformation of the cultural war into civil war is only a matter of time now. Sanity cannot compromise with madness.