. by Susan Jarvis Bryant This is a word of encouragement to all those poets out there who use their art to get a grave point on current issues across. Never let those who criticize you shut you down. Never self-censor. To use a quote from Andrew Breitbart: . Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too. . Recently I came across this scathing criticism from Michael Burch of Hypertexts on a poem I wrote on transgenderism being pushed on children. The stanza is slyly taken out of context. The ad hominem attack is brutal: . "The Society of Classical Poets: The Keystone Scops" (thehypertexts.com) . Mr. Burch can insult me all he likes---his spiteful denials will never detract from the fact that children are being abused in the name of healthcare. The victims of this barbaric experimentation are speaking out. Perhaps Mr. Burch should move beyond the mockingbird media to listen to them. The UK’s National Institute of Health has decided to shut down its only gender identity clinic (Tavistock Centre) for children on the grounds that “Using children as guinea pigs to promote a radical transgender agenda is physically and psychologically damaging to them, not only immediately, but also in the long term.” They are in the process of paying damages to all those irreversibly harmed by these procedures. I hope America follows Britain’s lead. I will not stop speaking the truth and I am grateful to Mr. Burch for getting my words to a wider audience. . A Rebuttal to Michael Burch “We know thanks to brain science that some babies are born with female brains in male bodies and vice versa.” ---Michael Burch "When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?" ---Mary Shelley Burch whines I’ve got it wrong, so very wrong--- The “Science” says the evidence is strong. At birth the brain contains the gender key--- Chromosomes won’t solve this mystery. To mention DNA is now taboo. A baby’s brain reveals the vital clue. For every tomboy skinning knees in trees, For every lad who twirls in heels with ease, Crack a pack of magic hormone blockers--- Snub the flat-earth-flak from mindless mockers. Let’s revive the dated stereotype And laud the hyped-up, pigeonholing tripe. Bring on the breast and genitalia slicing, The skin-peeled-limb-and-phalloplasty icing On toxic chunks of force-fed, half-baked cake Dished out by villains hired for virtue’s sake. A boy can be a girl, a girl a boy. Hey presto! Boom! Shazam! Hurray! What joy! This bloke of mega-wit who’s ultra-woke Declares my take a knuckle-headed joke. To set my feeble female mind at rest His patriarchal spark spits out its best--- When children’s brains don’t match their body parts, The snip-and-stitch-up crew cheer cheerless hearts. I think Burch had a wink from Frankenstein Who told him playing God turns out just fine. . . Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.