USA Today’s Male “Woman Of The Year” Encouraged Minors To “Limit Contact” With Parents
A trans-identified male who drafted a bill declaring Minnesota a “refuge state” for the medical transitioning of minors has been awarded the title of Woman of the Year by USA Today. Leigh Finke, 41, was chosen as an honoree on the basis that he is “the first transgender legislator in the state’s House of Representatives, fighting to build a better future for trans youth.”
Finke was elected as a representative to Minnesota House District 66A last year after campaigning on a platform which largely consisted of guaranteeing medical interventions for gender non-conforming minors, which he describes as “trans youth.”
Among the 50 honorees chosen by the publication from each state were notable female figures such as former first lady Michelle Obama and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme court.
While campaigning for public office, Finke discussed a variety of social issues, including climate change and police brutality, but as the November 2022 election neared, he began to place a particular focus on the medical transitioning of children.
Finke held several rallies for “trans kids” in the months leading up to the voting date, and the first bill that he authored as an elected official, the Trans Refuge Bill, or H.F. 146, would allow minors from outside the state to receive puberty blockers and hormones within Minnesota.
Speaking at the Minnesota Capitol building on March 8 in support of the Trans Refuge bill, Finke said: “The lives of trans and gender-expansive people in this nation are under attack. There is a full-scale movement in this nation against trans, non-binary, two-spirit, and gender-expansive adults and children that seeks to make our community disappear.”
In an interview with MPR News, Finke stated that “the law would make it so that people who live in states who have banned or restricted gender-affirming care can come to Minnesota to access that care and be protected from the laws that govern their home states.”
Finke was also involved in the production of two books intended as a resource for teens and parents on the topic of gender identity. Published in 2020, Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens tells readers that parents who do not accept a child as “queer” are not considering the child’s best interest.
“If your parents do not accept you and your queerness, then they do not know what’s best for you… Just because they love you does not mean they know what is best for you,” the passage states.
In a Facebook post just after the book’s publication, Finke shared a photo of the excerpt, emphasizing that “this chapter from my book is the most important thing I’ve ever written… Trans and non-binary and queer and gay and lesbian and bi young people: Don’t listen to your parents!”
Another passage, labeled “Adults Can Be (And Often Are) Wrong,” asserts that minors should “limit contact with any adult” who does not affirm their “queerness.”
When discussing the age at which children may begin to identify as the opposite sex, Finke cites research on same-sex attraction which found that participants, on average, said they first realized their orientation at eleven years old. “Transgender and gender non-conforming people often feel a disconnect between their self and their body even earlier in life,” it is stated, “but age doesn’t really matter.”
A follow-up book, Welcoming and Affirming, is presented as a resource for adults on supporting “LGBTQ+ youth,” encourages teachers and counselors to withhold information from parents about their children. Finke advises adults to “establish expectations of confidentiality” regarding “gender identity.”
“You can talk with your queer student about how they want to tell others, but unless they specifically tell you otherwise, this is not your information to share,” the book suggests.
Disturbingly, both publications by Finke made references to eunuchs in relation to childhood gender identity.
In Queerfully and Wonderfully Made, Finke writes, “Did you know there were queer people in Bible times? In Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples, ‘For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.’”
Finke again referenced eunuchs during a speech he gave at Hamline Methodist church last year, and also cited the Bible verse about eunuchs in Welcoming and Affirming. The references to castration as a form of identity mirror those made by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which last fall published guidelines that include the concept of a eunuch identity.
To support this proposal, WPATH cited an online forum dedicated to hosting and producing graphic written sexual abuse fantasies that involve the explicit castration of children, both chemical and surgical. Critics of the administration of puberty-halting drugs being given to children have pointed out that the medications are a form of chemical castration. The forum, called the Eunuch Archive, has been operating for over two decades and organizes annual meet-ups in Minnesota state.
In addition to campaigning for childhood medical interventions, Finke has defended the participation of men who claim a female identity in women’s sports. In March 2022, he posted in defense of controversial male athlete Lia Thomas, previously known as William, despite Thomas’ female teammates having come forward just months prior to say that they were uncomfortable with him exposing his genitals next to them in the locker room.
“We should be eager to celebrate trans excellence,” Finke wrote. “Lia Thomas won a national championship. Congratulations Lia. That is all you should have to say.”
Finke has created politically-themed experimental videos in the past under the moniker Totally Gay Productions. One video, posted to his Facebook page in March 2021, is titled “Why TERFs are bad,” and attempts to portray disagreement with the view that men can be women as discrimination. ‘TERF’ is an acronym which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist and is often directed towards women who question the belief that a man can identify as a woman.
In the video, Finke states that “trans women and girls are ‘real’ women and girls,” before adding: “Woman is not a concept easily restricted or oppressed. ‘Woman’ is internal and strong, infinitely variable and enduringly powerful… Powerful enough to lovingly embrace trans women and girls. Don’t be a TERF, love everyone,” Finke admonishes.
Last March, while campaigning for the position of state representative, Finke encouraged supporters to “elect women” by voting for him. “Happy Women’s History Month. Let’s make some,” read an image he posted.
In May of 2020, Finke lamented the death of pederast sympathizer Larry Kramer. Kramer, a gay men’s rights activist and the founder of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACTUP), is prominently featured on the website of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
Finke has also made statements in support of rioting and posted an image to his Facebook profile suggesting that it is necessary to “arm trans people.” He mentioned the potential for violence during his speech at Hamline Methodist in reference to a “torrent of anti-trans legislation” which seeks to restrict medical interventions for minors. Finke stated it was necessary to “protect trans kids”, and asserted that in the near future, “there will be more riots.”
Minnesota bill H.F. 146, the Trans Refuge bill, is the second of its kind in the United States. At the start of the year, a similar legislation went into effect in California despite enormous pushback from concerned citizens across the political spectrum and opposition from detransitioners.
Both states have been leading historical hotbeds for transsexual surgeries and gender identity ideology. The first gender clinics in the nation could be found within university hospitals in California and Minnesota. In 1966, the University of Minnesota performed sex-reassignment surgeries on men as part of an experiment called the Transsexual Research Project. The university currently houses an Institute for Sexual and Gender Health which offers services for “gender creative children and adolescents.” Doctors in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry established the first gender identity clinic in the United States in 1962, and prominent academics associated with theorizing around gender identity also have ties to universities in both states.
Additionally, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which dropped all objective age restrictions for medical transitioning in their latest Standards of Care (SOC 8), was previously based in Minnesota for a time, and a number of the organization’s recent directors have affiliations with the University of Minnesota.