National Geographic magazine is facing criticism for its groundbreaking cover, featuring a 9-year-old child who was born a boy but now identifies as a girl on its January 2017 issue.
It's the first time the iconic magazine, which published its first edition in 1888, has featured a transgender person on its cover. The special "Gender Revolution" issue spotlight's 9-year-old Avery Jackson, including a quote from the Kansas City youngster on the cover which reads, "The best thing about being a girl is now I don't have to pretend to be a boy."
Avery's father, Tim Jackson, publicly supports his child's identity as a girl. And Avery's mother, Debi Jackson, who describes herself on Twitter as a "trans rights activist and public speaker" posted a YouTube video of Avery recalling how as a preschooler the little boy felt he was a girl.
"Even though I was a girl, I was afraid to tell my mom and dad because I thought they would not love me anymore and they would throw me out and stop giving me any food or anything," Avery said. "When I started to dress like a girl in preschool my friends were okay with it, but their parents weren't. They thought it was contagious or something, like 'transgender-pox' or something."
While Avery's parents support their child's transgender change, The American College of Pediatricians says gender ideology harms children.
The group is made up of less than 1,000 pediatricians and other healthcare professionals who provide care primarily for infants, children, or adolescents, touting the slogan "Best for Children." It is more conservative than the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has a membership of approximately 60,000 healthcare professionals.
An 8-point ACP position statement declares, "A person's belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind, not the body, and it should be treated as such."
The ACP further states that "as many as 98 percent of gender confused boys and 88 percent of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty."
They warn against cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen), saying they cause dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.
"Rates of suicide are 20 times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ – affirming countries," the group points out.
The ACP harshly criticized those who endorse gender discordance as normal, saying "Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse."
Michelle Cretella, MD, president of the American College of Pediatricians, told LifeSiteNews that National Geographic is "promoting a political agenda over science and the wellbeing of innocent children" by featuring a young transgender child.
"'Affirming so called transgender children means sterilizing them as young as 11 years old," said Dr. Cretella. "Puberty blockers plus cross-sex hormones causes permanent sterility. And biological girls who 'transition' to male by taking testosterone may have a double mastectomy at age 16."
However, not all doctors agree. Pediatric Annals published a resource list of clinical care programs for gender-nonconforming children and adolescents.