Carl Trueman has some trenchant observations about the shortcomings of modern understandings of gender identity. The public response to the recent and tragic suicide of Josh “Leelah” Alcorn is a case in point. It seems that anyone who refused to acknowledge and affirm Alcorn’s transgender identity is being blamed for the suicide—which is why so much vitriol has been aimed at Alcorn’s Christian parents. Trueman writes:
That dominant narrative is arbitrarily selective and highly unstable. Indeed, its own logic gives no reason why we should single out gender identity as special. There are many people convinced that they are somebody or something which their bodies are not. There was the extreme case of Cat Man. For him, his humanity was something to be overcome by surgery. That society found him weird and egregious no doubt contributed to his sense of alienation, despair, and eventual suicide. Then there are people who have xenomelia and want perfectly healthy limbs amputated. Are parents who impose on their offspring the normativity of the species assigned to them at birth to be dismissed as unsupportive, unloving, and cruel? Are those who deny a child with xenomelia the right to have his arm amputated unfit to be parents? If my neighbor sincerely believes he is Napoleon trapped in the wrong body, does kindness and love mean that I have to affirm him in this belief? And if not, why not? And if bodies are out of bounds as evidence, what else can I use to make my case? I think these are legitimate questions to ask of the advocates pressing the transgender issue.
I highly recommend that you read the rest of Trueman’s piece. He goes on to point-out that activists often appeal to “objective scientific fact” in order to endorse transgender identities. He rightly exposes the fallacy of deriving “oughts” from what “is.”
An enormous case-in-point is the example at hand: What are parents supposed to do when a child reports transgender feelings? According to the gender revisionists, the only proper response is to affirm those feelings. Otherwise, parents risk driving their children into a suicidal depression. Some argue that affirmation might include delaying puberty through hormone therapy or even surgically refashioning the child’s body to match his gender preference.
But we have to ask the obvious question: Why is it permissible to surgically alter a child’s body to match his perceived gender but it is considered hateful (or perhaps even bigoted) to try and change his perceived gender to match his body? If it is wrong to attempt to change a child’s gender identity (because it is fixed and meddling with it is harmful), then why is it morally acceptable to alter something as fixed as a biological body of a minor child?  It is not self-evident why attempting to change the one is okay but attempts to change the other are not. The double standard here is obvious. It reveals that we are dealing with an ideology, not a cold hard look at “objective scientific fact.”
But I would add one more problem with activists who cite “objective scientific fact.” The very authorities that they cite often do not support their case. In other words, before they ever get into the “is ought” fallacy, they often mischaracterize the “is” part of the equation. To insist that parents affirm transgender feelings in their children ignores the fact that the vast majority of children who report such feelings grow out of them. This fact is clearly reported in the “bible” of psychiatry—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  A recent study in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry summarizes the consensus on this point:
The prospective literature on gender dysphoric children shows that gender dysphoria in childhood does not irrevocably result in gender dysphoria or GID in adolescence or adulthood… The results unequivocally showed that the gender dysphoria remitted after puberty in the vast majority of children. 
To be sure, there are children who persist in these feeling into adulthood. But the “vast majority” do not. Depending on which study you look at, 73% to 98% of children who report such feelings grow out of them.
If this is what the scientific authorities are saying, why are the activists saying that change is harmful? Most of these children change with no intervention. Why are attempts to help them resolve these issues early necessarily harmful? More importantly, why would anyone physically alter a child’s body through surgery or hormones when their gender-confused feelings are usually temporary? Some argue that parents might suppress puberty until the child is old enough to make their own decision. But even this is not without problems. Mark Yarhouse and Erica Tan observe, “Criticisms of puberty suppression range from concerns about the effects on bone-mass development to brain development, to… comorbid mental health issues not being resolved.” 
Again, there are obviously some children who persist with transgender feelings into adulthood. No one disputes that. And certainly we need a compassionate and loving response to those children who do persist with such feelings. I’m simply questioning whether “objective scientific fact” supports the narrative that activists are advancing with respect to children.
Christian parents would do well to keep all of this in mind and to remember that their assignment as parents includes raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). It means teaching their children to embrace the identity God has given them—that God created them in His own image as male or female (Gen. 1:26-27). Parents must love their children unconditionally and be willing to walk with them if they experience a sense of alienation from them their own bodies. This can be a painful, difficult road to travel. But that pain is only intensified when false gender ideologies enter into the mix.
 James M. Kushiner, “Why Is Reparative Therapy Illegal for Boys but Gender Surgery for Girls Not?,” Mere Comments, August 30, 2013, http://touchstonemag.com/merecomments/2013/08/reparative-therapy-illegal-boys-gender-surgery-girls/.
 American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5 (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013), 455.
 Thomas D. Steensma et al., “Desisting and Persisting Gender Dysphoria after Childhood: A Qualitative Follow-up Study,” Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 16, no. 4 (2010), 2.
 Mark A. Yarhouse and Erica S. N. Tan, Sexuality and Sex Therapy: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2014), 331.