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OPINION

Minors Are Being Seduced by Transgenderism on Reddit. Those Who Oppose Get Banned.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Tali Arbel

Reddit as a social media platform has existed for almost two decades but continues to grow in popularity as younger generations discover it. The platform features countless online forums that allow users to form close-knit communities, known as “subreddits,” based on their favorite topics. Unfortunately, Reddit is currently permitting dangerous subreddits to target mentally unstable children with radical gender ideology. 

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As a platform, Reddit garners an average 73.1 million users every day. Approximately 48% of Reddit users are in the United States. Of the platform’s American users, 21% range from ages 10 to 19. Subreddits such as “r/TransSupport,” “r/asktransgender,” and “r/cisparenttranskid” openly have minors using them, with “r/transteens” existing specifically for teenagers. 

These forums involve Gen Zers plotting to bypass their parents to become transgender, discussing possible suicide, and seducing confused peers into dangerous and even illegal practices. In one post on “r/transteens,” a 14-year-old biological male discussed asking his mother if he could shave his legs. She apparently told him no. He is now concerned that she will never accept him as a female and that he doesn’t think there is a “point of living.” 

Another post appears to be from a minor who is a biological male keeping from his parents that he identifies as transgender. His stepmother found his “stick on bra,” and now he needs to deal with his father. He states that he could potentially lie to his father and that it needs “to be a very good lie.” Someone responded that he “could play it off as something less trans and more hormonal teenager.” 

In an especially concerning post, a 13-year-old biological boy inquires about using hormone replacement therapy before he hits puberty too hard. He asks if he should try using the treatment now or wait. The problem is that he has not “even come out to [his] parents, the only people that know are close friends.” A user responds that regardless of parental support or state law, the minor could try using estrogen if puberty blockers are not an option. 

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The subreddit “r/TransSupport” is even more disturbing. Most of the posts are by people who identify as transgender discussing and considering suicide. One post titled “Castration Methods” has a user stating that he wants “to stop being poisoned by testosterone” and asking for “methods” on how to achieve “self-castration.” A similar post has someone considering using a “rope” to achieve the same goal. 

Additional alarming posts include users stating, “I really want to kill myself,” “I don’t feel like being alive anymore,” and “I really just wish I had a gun so I could shoot myself.” Reddit and the site’s moderators appear to have no problem allowing these posts to remain up despite the danger these individuals pose to themselves (and others they may inspire). 

Instead, Reddit has banned subreddits that merely question gender ideology or voice any disagreements with minors transitioning for “violating Reddit’s rule against promoting hate.” Subreddits questioning gender transitions that were banned include “r/terfisaslur,” “r/LGBDropTheT,” “r/GenderCriticalTheory,” and “r/ActualWomen.” 

Reddit moderators using vague notions of “hate” as an excuse to erase content that conflicts with progressive orthodoxy is hardly surprising or new. 

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In 2020, Reddit banned “r/The_Donald,” which served as a forum for then-President Donald Trump’s supporters and had 790,000 active users. Reddit also banned approximately 2,000 other subreddits around the same time for so-called, undefined “hate.” About a year later, the platform banned “r/SuperStraight,” which served as a forum for people who were simply not interested in romantic relationships with transgender individuals.  

Reddit provides a link to a list of its rules when subreddits are banned. Reddit has no rule specifically referencing transgender issues but tells us, “Communities and users that incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned.” However, another rule states that “any predatory or inappropriate behavior involving a minor is also strictly prohibited.” The transgender subreddits openly break this rule yet are allowed to operate. 

As a platform to millions of users, Reddit seemingly has no problem providing unstable children with guidance for hiding secrets from their parents and potentially killing themselves. The company endorses gender ideology by allowing these disturbing conversations to continue while banning communities of people who merely disagree.

If Reddit’s leadership genuinely cared about the safety of the platform’s users, then their rules would be enforced equally. As the situation stands, Reddit shamefully remains an online haven where a substantial number of minors who don’t know any better are falling prey to a dangerous ideology that can lead to irreversible consequences. 

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Casey Ryan is a writer and investigative reporter at Parents Defending Education. 

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