The New Frontier

As if “transgenderism” wasn’t enough to make the collective head spin, the public is now being introduced to another reality-defying ideology: “transracialism.”

The debate picked up in the media earlier this year, when British social media star Oli London “came out” as a nonbinary Korean, and even as a specific Korean—Jimin, the star of Korean pop band BTS. (For any confused, Oli London is pronouncedly white, male, and British. He seems to have no Korean heritage or blood whatsoever.) London (who, according to his Twitter profile, goes by the “pronouns” of “They/them, Kor/Ean) claims to have fallen in love with the country and culture of Korea as a child, even spending time in Korea teaching English in 2013. Since then, he has forked over more than $140,000 on at least 18 plastic surgeries to “look” Korean. Some of these procedures include having his eyes done (and redone), his cheekbone reduced, and his chin cut off and reattached.  His nose has been operated on five times. London has told Dr. Phil that he can’t feel most of his face due to the tremendous amount of surgery, and that smiling is uncomfortable. Immediately after his most recent surgery, London announced:

“Now finally . . . I identify with the Korean community. Maybe they will accept me more now because I have the look. Maybe people will think I'm actually Korean, which would make me really happy. They can see how much I love their culture because this is the extreme length I've gone to, because I love Korea so much. . . . I just want to make Jimin proud as well, because Jimin is my ultimate idol. I want him to be proud, I'm sure he'll be proud that I look exactly like him now.”

The media is not quite sure what to make of this one. Some have defended him. But other responses indicate that although transgenderism is to be praised, transracialism is decidedly not. A recent headline called transracialism “racial and transphobic”; another preaches “No, you can’t identify as ‘transracial’. But you can affirm your gender.” Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro praised London on social media, telling him to “live his truth,” and with tongue firmly in cheek tweeting “This bigotry during Pride Month of all times is a disturbing reminder of just what Trans Koreans face. . . ” (“Well said,” responded London. “The hypocrisy of the WOKE is out of control!”)

London is one of a handful of people who have identified as “transracial” in recent years. Others include Rachel Dolezal, who faked being black and even became the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP; and academic Jessica Krug, another white woman who identified as black and has since resigned from George Washington University in the aftermath of media blowback. In the Netherlands recently, a 69-year-old “positivity guru” has started a legal battle to change his biological age to match the age at which he identifies—49. “When I’m 69,” Emile Ratelband told the court, “I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. . . . I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”

What no one is talking about here is the hurt experienced by those who “identify” as someone they biologically are not, and the hurt they will cause to others. Oli London is a clearly deranged and mentally ill person. He has “married” a  cardboard cutout of his pop idol, Jimin, and has been open about how miserable he was before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars cutting himself up. No one in the media talks about the poor guy London is impersonating, either. Shouldn’t the real Jimin be able to sue for having his identify stolen and profited from? Some have objected to the harm done to actual Koreans and actual African-Americans, if people born white can simply coopt those identities for the sake of political or material advancement.

And yet, biological women aren’t supposed to be upset about the fact that their athletics have been taken over by biological males? We’re not supposed to mind when men use the restroom or locker room with us? It’s bigoted for biological mothers to resent the hideous terms “birthing people” and “chest-feeding”? The media objects to the concept of stealing racial identity, but chastises women who dare to protest the coopting of their biological identity.

Liberal ideology has no answer to the question of why transgenderism is OK, but transracialism (or trans-agism) isn’t. Liberal ideology cannot handle the very real hurts that occur when confused and hurting individuals can steal identities from others. And in fact, liberal ideology can do nothing else than to eat itself alive when one of its darlings contradicts another.

is the managing editor of The Natural Family, the quarterly publication of the International Organization for the Family.

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