How to talk to your kids about transgender issues

Conference seeks to empower parents with facts about the gender movement

Aaron Lambert

Emily Zinos may not be a scholar or a doctor, but as a concerned mom who sees the danger of the transgender trend, she brings a unique perspective to the conversation and articulates it better than most.

The St. Paul, Minn., mother of seven (with an eighth on the way) could no longer remain silent on the issue when during the 12th year of her kids attending a local public charter school, the gender issue “landed on my doorstep.”

“We had a kindergartner in school and the parents said that [he] the five-year-old boy was gender-nonconforming,” Zinos told the Denver Catholic. “I really hadn’t heard of the phenomenon of kids identifying as trans or gender-nonconforming until that happened. But when it did, I had really no choice but to speak up.”

Since then, Zinos has equipped herself to dialogue effectively on the transgender issue and wants to give other parents the tools to do the same. Zinos will be a featured speaker at the Made This Way conference Sept. 10 at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial, hosted by Denver’s Respect Life Office. Joining her will be Alabama-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon Deacon Patrick Lappert, MD, who will explain the medical and psychological consequences resulting from cross-sex hormones and surgeries.

Zinos is the author of the National Parent Resource Guide, an adopted version of the Minnesota Parent Resource Guide, which she also wrote. The guide seeks to clarify confusing terminology, describe the health consequences of the transgender trend, debunk myths and provide parents with the tools to advocate for a “genuinely inclusive environment” in their kids’ own schools.

“Most everything people are reading or hearing about transgender-identified kids is going from advocacy groups who have an interest in people coming to a very particular conclusion,” Zinos said. “Unfortunately, that [means] that thousands of kids across the country are losing their fertility and losing their heathy body parts. I really think that needs to stop.”

The guide was vetted by experts in law, medicine and education, Zinos said, and it is also co-branded by five different organizations that “come from across the political spectrum.”

Zinos’ efforts do not come from a place of hate or bigotry, as some critics might be quick to accuse her of. Rather, she is simply a mom who is trying to lovingly communicate the truth about the human person as created by God and present the dangers of this trend as it becomes more accepted. However, it must be done charitably, she stressed.

“The way we communicate in public, the way we maintain relationships with people in our lives [who] identify as trans have to be infused with charity,” Zinos said. “And charity doesn’t exist outside of truth.”

Made This Way
Tuesday, Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m., $10
St. Thomas More, McCallin Hall
8035 S. Quebec St., Englewood, CO 80112
Register at respectlifedenver.org

To request a link to the National Parent Resource Guide once it’s released in September, send an email to askmefirstmn@gmail.com.

 

COMING UP: Local artists choose life in pro-life art show

Sign up for a digital subscription to Denver Catholic!

For someone who’s always been in love with art, it’s not surprising that Brett Lempe first encountered God through beauty. Lempe, a 25-year-old Colorado native, used his talent for art and new-found love of God to create a specifically pro-life art show after a planned show was cancelled because of Lempe’s pro-life views.

Lempe was “dried out with earthly things,” he said. “I was desperately craving God.”

Three years ago, while living in St. Louis, Mo., Lempe google searched for a church to visit and ended up at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

“I was captivated by the beauty of the 40 million mosaic tiles,” he said.

Lempe is not exaggerating. This Cathedral is home to 41.5 million tiles that make up different mosaics around the sanctuary. Witnessing the beauty of this church is what sparked his conversion, he said, and was his first major attraction towards Catholicism.

Lempe continued on to become Catholic, then quit his job several months after joining the Church to dedicate himself completely to art. Most of his work post-conversion is religious art.

Lempe planned to display a non-religious body of artwork at a venue for a month when his contact at the venue saw some of Lempe’s pro-life posts on Facebook. Although none of the artwork Lempe planned to display was explicitly pro-life or religious, the venue cancelled the show.

“I was a little bit shocked at first,” he said. “Something like me being against abortion or being pro-life would get a whole art show cancelled.”

Lempe decided to counter with his own art show, one that would be explicitly pro-life.

On Sept. 7, seven Catholic artists displayed work that gave life at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Denver.

“Catholicism lends itself to being life-giving,” Lempe said.

The show included a variety of work from traditional sacred art, icons, landscapes, to even dresses.

Students for Life co-hosted the event, and 10 percent of proceeds benefited the cause. Lauren Castillo, Development director and faith-based program director at Students for Life America gave the keynote presentation.

Castillo spoke about the need to be the one pro-life person in each circle of influence, with coworkers, neighbors, family, or friends. The reality of how many post-abortive women are already in our circles is big, she said.

“Your friend circle will get smaller,” Castillo said. “If one life is saved, it’s worth it.”

Pro-Life Across Mediums

Brett Lempe’s Luke 1:35

“This painting is the first half at an attempt of displaying the intensity and mystical elements of Luke 1:35,” Lempe said. “This work is influenced somewhat by Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’ painting as I try to capture the moment when the “New Adam” is conceived by Our Blessed Mother.”

Claire Woodbury’s icon of Christ Pantokrator

“I was having a difficult time making that icon,” she said. “I was thinking it would become a disaster.”

She felt Jesus saying to her, “This is your way of comforting me. Is that not important?”

“Icons are very important to me,” she said. “I guess they’re important to Him too.”

Katherine Muser’s “Goodnight Kisses”

“Kids naturally recognize the beauty of a baby and they just cherish it,” Muser said of her drawing of her and her sister as children.

Brie Shulze’s Annunciation

“There is so much to unpack in the Annunciation,” Schulze said. “I wanted to unpack that life-giving yes that our Blessed Mother made on behalf of all humanity.”

“Her yes to uncertainty, to sacrifice, to isolation, to public shame and to every other suffering that she would endure is what allowed us to inherit eternal life.”

“Her fiat was not made in full knowledge of all that would happen, but in love and total surrender to the will of God.”

All photos by Makena Clawson