At this year’s Values Voter Summit, the exhibition hall booth for the anti-LGBTQ group MassResistance sold a children’s book called “I Don’t Have to Choose.” The word “transgender” doesn’t appear in the book, but the message is clear: God created boys to be boys and girls to be girls and that’s that.
The picture book features two cheerful characters, a boy named Alex (short for Alexander) and a girl named Alex (short for Alexis). Much of the book delivers positive messages about the fact that boys and girls can love doing the same things, like stomping in mud and climbing trees. Alex and Alex are both good at math. They both knit.
A little over halfway through the book we start to see differentiation. Both kids play-act at being a teacher or builder or fire chief—though Alexander only plays dress-up with daddy’s old clothes, and Alexis with mommy’s.
And then, suddenly, the little Alexes start talking about genes and chromosomes:
“I’m a boy because God put XY in my genes. Hurrah, I don’t have to choose!”
“I’m a girl because God put XX in my genes. Hurrah, I don’t have to choose!”
Both celebrate that they can be kind, strong, gentle and tough: “Fact is, God made me Me. And that is enough!”
The book ends with two pages of text giving an elementary lesson on genes and chromosomes, the point of which is, “Being a girl or a boy is coded in every single part of your body, from your elbow to your eye.”
For the scientific sticklers out there, the book includes this note: “To be strictly scientifically correct, we should say that gender is determined by the XX or XY chromosome in every cell. Each chromosome has many genes.”
“I Don’t Have to Choose,” by Ellie Klipp, is published by WestBow Press, a Christian self-publishing operation used by Harper Collins to “discover emerging new voices” for its Christian publishing divisions Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.