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Lofgren vs. Latino Conservatives: A Clash Over Trans Children’s Gender Rights

SAN JOSE, CA – US Representative Susan Ellen “Zoe” Lofgren is running for reelection in 2024 in the redrawn 18th Congressional District of California. She has been a Congressmember since 1994.

California's newly redrawn 18th Congressional District.
California’s redrawn 18th Congressional District.

The district combines elements of Silicon Valley’s Big Tech with the region’s agricultural sector, with a large segment of Latinos in between.

Lofgren hopes to resonate with Latinos – who comprise about 65 percent of voters in her redrawn district.

Children Know Best?

Among the issues close to Lofgren’s heart, but may be unpopular among Latinos are transgender children’s rights, including their access to hormone therapy at an early age.

Lofgren recognizes that retrogressive, authoritarian parents, particularly those from Catholic Latino communities, try to block their children’s desire to transition based on their own outdated beliefs or fears.

Lofgren stands against the notion that parents know best; children intuitively understand their own gender identity.

Lofgren’s approach towards children is not whimsical. She advocates for adherence to California state laws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol or drugs by individuals under 21. The age of consent for sexual activity in California is 18, a law Lofgren supports, as young people may not have the maturity to make decisions that could potentially lead to life-altering severe consequences like pregnancy.

Children Know Their Gender Identity?

However, Lofgren believes children possess the understanding and wisdom to recognize if their gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Lofgren clearly understands that while parents contribute to their child’s genetic makeup, they do not dictate their child’s identity or soul.

She supports the use of medical interventions, such as puberty blockers, from age 13 to help children transition.

Children Can Decide to Sterilize Themselves?

Critics point out that the long-term effects of hormone treatment and surgeries, including potential impacts on fertility and cognitive development, are not yet fully understood due to a lack of comprehensive research and clinical trials.

Lofgren’s supporters rebut that those opposing hormone treatments cannot definitively state that all children undergoing these procedures will become sterile.

Lofgren realizes that regressive, reactionary, narrow-minded, ignorant, and intolerant Catholic Latinos want their children to wait until they are adults, before changing their bodies to appear as another sex.

Lofgren understands that if puberty blockers aren’t taken pre-puberty or just after puberty, a child born in one gender’s body but identifying as another gender at the soul level may continue to resemble their birth gender, rather than their identified gender physically.

Lofgren prefers to follow the opinions of the experts.

Children Can Decide to Amputate Sex Organs?

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) suggests surgeries, such as the removal of a young woman’s penis (penectomy) and testes (orchiectomy), or the removal of a young man’s breasts (double mastectomy), uterus (hysterectomy) and ovaries (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) should not be performed before the child is 15-17 years old.

Lofgren is up against the ignorance of the Catholic Latinos, and it will take a lot of effort to show them they are wrong.

Their misguided faith in the unprovable theory that their child is a “gift from God” and that God knows best what sex to assign a child at birth has caused many a child to be trapped in the wrong gender.

Oddly too, many Latinos are so brainwashed that when they became adults, they actually thanked their parents for not letting them “mutilate” their bodies when they were “foolish, impressionable children.”

Lofgren has her work cut out for her in reversing these antiquated notions of parents who are “transphobic.”

Call Out Bigotry

But if Lofgren’s performance at a House Judiciary Committee hearing is any indication, she is up to the task of bringing her progressive beliefs to the backwards Latinos who recently found themselves in her district.


Heriot thinks there are two sexes.

In May 2016, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Lofgren sharply responded to Gail Heriot of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, following Heriot’s written testimony.  In her testimony, Heriot said in part:

(The federal official) Transgender Guidance is to show that an anatomical male student who ‘identifies’ as female really is a girl in some relevant sense.  But at that point we are entering an Alice-in-Wonderland world.

… We are teaching young people a terrible lesson.  If I believe that I am a Russian princess, that doesn’t make me a Russian princess, even if my friends and acquaintances are willing to indulge my fantasy.  Nor am I a great horned owl just because—as I have been told—I happen to share some personality traits with those feathered creatures….

… sex is binary; one is either male or female, with precious few exceptions.

Lofgren: Now, but I’ll just say this: you know, I don’t usually call out witnesses, but …  I’ve got to say, I found this rather offensive, and it says to me that the witness really doesn’t know anything and probably has never met a transgender child who is going through, in almost every case, a very difficult experience finding themselves. …. You know, I think it’s very regrettable that that comment was put into the record, and I think it’s highly offensive. Now, I’d like to ask you a question…

Heriot: Well, could I comment on that, please?

Lofgren: No, it’s just my opinion.

Heriot: I think you’ll find that many people find it very offensive that the Department of Education believes that they can tell schools…

Lofgren tells Heriot, “You’re a bigot.”

Lofgren: I think you’re a bigot, lady! I think you’re an ignorant bigot! I think you’re an ignorant bigot and anti-gay…

Chairman Steve King: Gentle lady from California will suspend. You’re out of order.

Lofgren: She’s out of order.

Chairman: We do not call names in this committee, and you’ll not be recognized to do that.

Lofgren: Mr. Chairman. It is my time, and I would just like to say that we allow witnesses to say offensive things, but I cannot allow that kind of bigotry to go into the record unchallenged. Now, I don’t want to get into a debate about it.

Heriot: Does that mean you think I am a Russian princess?

Lofgren: I have no idea.

Final Comments

Many commented on Lofgren’s stand on children’s trans rights. One sympathizer who identified with the gender he was assigned at birth commented on the high rate of sterility for trans people. He added that it was too bad that Lofgren’s mother hadn’t transitioned to a man before she conceived Zoe Lofgren.

Zoe Lofgren thought it ridiculous to compare a person identifying as something they are not biologically and can never be – a great horned owl, to a child encouraged by physicians and therapists to have their genitals removed, so they can identify with something they are not biologically but somehow can be – a different sex.