I met Rene Jax last week, and I’m lucky I did. Not many people could be full of good humor after a 24-hour cross-country plane/train/bus trip, but Rene was. That’s all the more remarkable considering that she was in town to talk about “gender identity.”

Not from any academic viewpoint, either: Rene is a transsexual, born male, who underwent “reassignment” surgery in 1990 after living as a woman for more than a decade. She has come to regret that decision, and she’s alarmed at how transsexuality has been “weaponized by the left.”

She has a message she’s willing to travel across the country to deliver. “The debate around sex changes is personal, because I am a transsexual. I literally have flesh and blood in this debate.” She has written about her experiences, but now she’s willing to travel to speak out. Why? “I’m here to be an advocate for our children.” When Rene sees puberty blockers being prescribed for kids, and when she sees teenagers seeking surgery to amputate healthy body parts, she can’t be quiet. She’s funny, and she doesn’t bludgeon anyone with words, but she means business.

Her trip to my corner of the country coincides with a bill in my state capital that would create “gender identity” as a protected class under civil rights law. This follows an executive decision, unilaterally imposed by the state’s Commissioner of Health and Human Services, to add “gender reassignment” to the list of covered services for adults and children alike under Medicaid. (The Commish made his decision effective July 1, a month before a public hearing on the change. He’d rather ask forgiveness than permission, and the governor seems to be indulging him.)

During Rene’s few days here – too few, I might add – she spoke to groups large and small. The largest event was a forum where she was on a panel with a therapist and an attorney, each offering stories and expertise about gender identity and its personal, cultural, and legal implications. All the speakers were excellent. Rene’s talk was the linchpin of the whole thing, though, in my humble opinion.

It takes nerve to talk about personal experience and regrets to a room full of strangers. I respect that. Rene broadened my outlook, and I respect that, too.

Here’s her 20-minute presentation from the forum.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. She blogs at ellenkolb.com and Leaven for the Loaf. 

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