In recognition of LGBT “Pride” Month, sports apparel brand Nike is reportedly planning to host an event featuring Dr. Blair Peters, a practitioner involved in adolescent and young adult gender transitions. The email voiced Nike’s support for the “LGBTQIA+ community” in their “fight to be themselves” and equality, revealing plans for a series of events throughout June, with a key highlight being a panel discussion led by Dr. Peters to deliberate on policies impacting the transgender community.
Additional participants in the event include the LGBT advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Kaig Lightner, a left-wing activist and founder of the Portland Community Football Club. Dr. Peters, a self-identified “queer” physician, has publicly praised his work in performing “gender affirming mastectomies,” the surgical removal of healthy breasts to appear more masculine, on adolescents and young adults.
The endorsement of gender transitions for young people, however, has raised concerns. Critics argue that supporting a child’s gender confusion may have harmful repercussions, particularly when it involves irreversible modifications to a child’s body before they can fully grasp the implications. They emphasize that the decision is often influenced by medical professionals, who can sway both children and parents.
Research suggests that over 80% of children dealing with gender dysphoria overcome it by late adolescence. Moreover, data shows that undergoing full “reassignment” surgery often doesn’t alleviate gender-confused individuals’ tendencies towards self-harm and suicide, and might even exacerbate them by reinforcing their confusion and overlooking the actual causes of their mental distress. This issue is poignantly highlighted by the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old who committed suicide after transitioning to male for three years in an attempt to combat depression.
Nike’s “Pride” Month initiative is part of a broader trend of major corporations endorsing left-leaning social causes under the influence of media, activist pressures, and corporate trends such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG). Yet these activities have sparked both public and private backlash, with consumer boycotts causing financial losses for companies like Disney, Target, and Anheuser-Busch. Nineteen US states have banded together to counter these standards in various ways, including prohibiting their use in state pension-fund investment decisions and banking and lending practices.