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Who should be society’s first “class” of protected people? There are a number of special protected classes in the Iowa Civil Rights code — age, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, physical disability, mental disability…the list actually goes on.

By the way, does anyone else find it odd that we explicitly say sex is a protected class while also protecting gender identity? I mean, protections are offered based on sex (male or female) but then at the same time we protect “gender identity.” Those are competing and cannot co-exist. For instance, in Pella, we aren’t protecting people based on their sex because biological females are allowed to use the male facilities. So, we’re protecting that one person’s gender identity while scoffing at the others who are to be protected based on sex.


But, whatever.

Nonetheless, I return to the question at hand — who should society have a role in protecting first? I do not believe this is a difficult question. I think the answer is obvious. We must protect those who cannot protect themselves: Children.

But that is not what the Des Moines Y Camp at Boone is doing. The Des Moines Y Camp has, for the first time ever, hired an 18-year-old biological male who is “transitioning” to female to be an in-cabin, overnight counselor for young girls.

And that information is not being voluntarily provided to moms and dads.

Would every parent want to know that information? Probably not. But would most? Definitely.

However, Alex Kretzinger (executive director of the camp), told The Iowa Standard that the organization cannot give somebody’s private information like that out to every parent.

“We have to protect the privacy of the individual as well,” he said. “So we are not informing parents of anyone’s identity or gender identity.”

Really? You have moms and dads trusting you with their most valuable asset — their son or their daughter — and they don’t deserve to know the individual who will be staying with their little girl overnight as a counselor is actually a biological male?


The employee is 18 years old. That’s an adult. They’ve made an adult decision to transition into the opposite gender. When adult decisions are made, adult consequences follow. Moms and dads have the right to know this information, and any decent organization that respects the basic family unit would provide this information to moms and dads.

We cannot sacrifice protecting our sons and daughters over protecting someone else’s “information.” Parents have a right to know who will be overseeing their kids, especially in an overnight, in-cabin setting.

Even if a parent asks if someone transgendered is on staff, they will not be told which individual it is.

What a violation of the family unit. What a violation of trust.

Children are the most vulnerable among us. We must protect them first. We must provide moms and dads with as much information as possible when it comes to making decisions on whether or not to attend an overnight event.

Let’s return to where we started…if an overnight, in-cabin counselor for little girls was going to be a male, would the Y Camp let the parents know? After all, sex — just like gender identity — is a “protected class” according to the Civil Rights code.

We all know the answer to that.

Not volunteering this information to parents who are trusting the Y Camp with their children is shameful. And it suggests those who make these policy decisions at Y Camp are not looking out for children first.

Author: Jacob Hall


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