In a day and age when libraries are holding drag queen story hours and pro-transgender children’s books like “I Am Jazz” are being pushed on kids, pro-family content is needed more than ever.
“‘She is she’ apparently is a controversial thing to say,” says Ryan Bomberger, author of the new book “She Is She.” Bomberger and his wife, Bethany, decided to write a children’s book that explores and celebrates what it means to be female after they saw controversy over biological reality in their community of Loudoun County, Virginia.
“With this book, we want to celebrate undeniable, biological, beautiful her,” Bomberger says. “We want to celebrate femininity. We want to celebrate motherhood.”
“The Democrat Party is the party that denied people of my complexion our personhood,” Bomberger says, adding, “and today, it’s now the party that denies females their womanhood.”
Bomberger joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to share the inspiration for the new book and to discuss the importance of protecting the identity of our kids within today’s culture.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Virginia Allen: We are joined today by Ryan Bomberger. He is the co-founder of the Radiance Foundation and co-author with his wife, Bethany, of the new book, “She Is She.” Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan Bomberger: I’m so glad to be here. I’m actually so sorry that Bethany cannot be here, but she’s the one in charge of the Radiance Foundation, and she has some other projects that she needed to be involved in, so she is definitely the better half.
Allen: I love that. Well, we are going to talk, in a few moments, a little bit more about the Radiance Foundation and what you all do and what your mission is there, but I want to jump in first by talking about your brand new book, “She is She.” Tell us where the inspiration for this book came from.
Bomberger: Well, I just so happened to have the book here with me right here. “She is she” apparently is a controversial thing to say. It’s so insane. And my wife says, “If we had written this 10 years ago, people would’ve been like, ‘What? That’s ridiculous.’” But it’s necessary. And the motivation behind it is actually … Well, it’s kind of a multifaceted sort of thing.
We live in Loudoun County, Virginia. People have probably heard about Loudoun County, Virginia, ground zero for school boards going wild. And actually, I think it actually started with a friend of mine, Tanner Cross, who is a physical education teacher, who at a school board meeting, said, “I love my students too much to call a boy a girl and a girl a boy.” And I remember when I saw that, I thought, first of all, why is it that a teacher is considered “brave” for saying something that’s so true, yet he’s one of the handful of teachers who actually stood up against these transgender policies? And that really just stuck with me.
And so my wife and I got involved in these school board meetings and meeting with parents and talking about how to frame these issues. And so, we thought, this is really ridiculous because what the school is doing is saying, “Hey, parents, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Hey, parents, we’re the ones who are more reliable. Total strangers to your children, the consultants that they bring into the school actually have better advice for your children than you do.”
And so, of course we reject that nonsense. And so, we’re sitting around the table and talking about all the ridiculousness of pronouns. And Bethany said, “Why don’t we just write a book about pronouns and why don’t we just … ‘She is She.’” I’m like, “Yeah, She is She. She is not he. She is not we. She is She.” And that’s how that was born, our heart for kids. We have four kids, two girls, two boys. So, that’s pretty much the origin of “She Is She.”
Allen: I love it. And you have a beautiful book. The illustrations are lovely.
Bomberger: With this book, we want to celebrate undeniable, biological, beautiful her. We want to celebrate femininity. We want to celebrate motherhood. None of us would be here without our mothers. And of course, fathers obviously play a vital role in that, too.
But in a day and age where there are all these books and the ideology that is confusing children about their core identity, we wanted to introduce something that is meant for children two to eight, but maybe even older, that just says, “Wait a minute, you’re beautiful. You’re who you were meant to be.”
Allen: The book has already received some really glowing reviews and comments. Eric Metaxas, he endorsed the book and he wrote of it, “Ryan and Bethany Bomberger’s book, ‘She Is She,’ is an unmitigated delight. Not only does it bravely state the bold truth about gender when so many shrink from doing so, but it does this beautifully with wit and style and joy.”
So, in a time when we need more really good content for kids, and we’re really seeing kids targeted in so many ways with a very specific political agenda, how are you all promoting this book? Are you all planning on maybe doing any public readings in public libraries or in schools?
Bomberger: Yes, we’re getting ready to begin that initiative, and it’s interesting already, where we get different explanations as to how a library will bring a book into their collection. Most people don’t realize you can donate a book to a collection in a library. Typically, we’ll put it on the shelf, or they’ll use it in book sales. But we found already with our first book, “Pro-Life Kids,” that there was all kinds of resistance to putting this book. But they’re perfectly fine putting books that possess all kinds of pornography and quite honestly, pedophilia. That’s fine for the American Library Association.
So, we’re excited about the storybook hour that we will be doing. And I will not be dressed in drag. My wife will be the woman who will be reading the book. But this is so vital for kids, because they’re inundated with such a toxic ideology that when we can’t even understand our core identity, then what can be true? What can we know to be true?
And that’s the whole point of this. It’s not just about the erasure of girls and women, it’s about the erasure of objective truths.
Allen: Ryan, why do you think we have seen such a targeted assault really on kids, specifically from the transgender movement?
Bomberger: Well, I’m not going to blame just the LGBTQ+++ activists, because it really is a lost mentality. As a Christian, I understand that there is division between the lost and the saved, those who actually believe in biblical truths, which are reinforced by science and those who don’t. The targeting young kids is so intentional, and it’s intentional in every form of activism, because they want to generate activists. They want to say, and this is a very Marxist approach, “Hey, parents don’t know what they’re talking about. Parents are the enemy.” And we’ve seen this in communist nations.
And in fact, one of my friends became friends from the whole involvement with school board meetings. She’s from communist China. She grew up in this. She knows all the same language, all the same vernacular that’s being used, but they understand that kids are an easy target.
And when you talk about public schools, they spend the majority of their time in public schools, more so than in one-on-one contact, a lot of times, with their own parents and their own family. And so, here you have it, you’ve got fertile ground here. And unfortunately, children are being used as testing subjects for people’s emotional and sexual affirmation, and that should never, ever be happening.
Allen: Well, and of course, within this conversation, over the past several years, we’ve seen a lot of controversy over the issue of women’s sports. And I know you addresses this in the book, “She Is She.” You have a picture of a young girl jumping over a hurdle in track. And so there was some new news just out recently that World Athletics is not going to allow boys who have gone through puberty to compete against female athletes.
What are your thoughts on this, and do you see this as maybe a little bit of a tipping point, where some of these large athletic associations are starting to realize, ‘Hey, this actually isn’t fair to let men who “identify” as women compete against women?
Bomberger: Right, and that’s the whole point. It’s supposed to be fair. That’s why we have Title IX. Title IX, that ensured girls and women were able to have sports, many times not established in schools. And so, here you have a level playing field all of a sudden being steamrolled over by LGBTQ activists, all for the sake of a pseudoscientific approach. I love the fact that World Athletics made this ruling because what they’re acknowledging, and they’re saying someone who’s already gone through puberty, because we understand, prior to that, there aren’t massive differences, but there are significant differences once somebody goes through puberty.
And it doesn’t matter what the level of their testosterone is, it doesn’t matter what drug-induced change in their body, it doesn’t change their DNA, it doesn’t change them from male to female, but they understand that the body’s already different. Lung capacity’s greater, muscular structure, there is greater strength, upper-body and lower-body strength. There are significant differences. Longer arms if you’re a swimmer.
These already exist because someone’s gone through puberty, because our DNA instructs our bodies to develop differently. So, this is a great win for women, especially as we’re seeing the Biden administration in this radical overtaking of Title IX—that’s supposed to protect women—but now it’s protecting guys who somehow “identify” falsely as women. I love it. I have two girls. I don’t want them to be displaced or replaced by a guy. It’s not fair.
Allen: And I know that this is an issue that for you is something that both you and your wife have been tackling for a long time, and really overarching embodies this value for the family and protecting family values. Talk a little bit about your own story, if you would, and how your own story got you into really working around the issue of family values and led you and your wife to start the Radiance Foundation.
Bomberger: Yes. Well, I’m one of the exceptions, cases when it comes to abortions, especially now in a post-Roe America, where the exceptions are abused even more. I’m the 1% that’s used 100% of the time to justify abortion. I had a courageous birth mom who I’m forever grateful to, that even though she experienced the horror and the violence of rape, she did not make me a victim of the violence of abortion.
And so, I grew up in an incredible family. I was adopted and loved. I was the first one adopted in my family. Out of 13 kids, 10 of us were adopted. And so every year, there was a new flavor added to the family.
And you grow up in a situation like that, and you understand this whole myth of the “unwanted” child is just not true. My parents, Henry and Andrea, the Bombergers shredded that myth. They loved us. They loved us into our destiny. They love the Lord. And when you love the Lord, the natural outflow of that is loving people. They didn’t just love us. They loved everyone they came in contact with. And that changed our lives. It changed the way that we see others. And so when people talk about the marginalized, I was one of the most marginalized among the marginalized.
So, that’s why my wife, Bethany and I, when we started the Radiance Foundation, that’s why our focus is on protecting the most vulnerable, being that voice for the voiceless, and we love doing [it]. We have four kiddos, two of whom were adopted, as I mentioned. I have two girls and I have two boys. And our whole approach to family, our whole approach to why an intact family with a married mother and father are the best for a child to flourish is backed up by science, by study after study after study.
And so the pro-life movement and the pro-life worldview is reinforced by science. We know that we all begin at the point of fertilization. And so, it’s a very natural thing to talk about our core identity when it comes to gender. And there are only two, male and female. That’s reinforced by science as well. Are there defects? Just like some of my siblings who have physical disabilities, doesn’t make them worth less. It doesn’t make me worth more.
We all have equal and irrevocable worth, but it really informs the way that we address these core issues, our faith, science, and just common sense. I mean, it really is. A lot of it’s just basic common sense.
Allen: And when we look at our culture today, it’s hard to deny that family values are under attack, that they’re facing opposition. Could you talk just for a moment about the moment in history that we find ourselves in and how we can really go about restoring family values back to a central place?
Bomberger: The attack on the family is just from every side. I mean, the battle has increased exponentially since I was a kid. I can’t even believe we’re fighting some of these battles. In fact, recently, the House Republicans passed the parental rights bill.
And of course, it was opposed by every Democrat. And why is that? Why do they actually stand on the side of activists and strangers and people who aren’t the ones responsible for that precious life of that child, of that student? And it blows my mind, but when you look at the ideology, I mean, you’ve got radically different ideologies, the Republican Party and the Democrat Party.
Let me just put it this way: The Democrat Party is the party that denied people of my complexion our personhood. And today, it’s now the party that denies females their womanhood. And their anti-family policies, it’s not shocking because they just don’t have the same basis.
And I’m talking about the leadership. I have many friends who are Democrats, but the Democratic leadership is out of control. They don’t see family as the strength of every community. And this is part of the problem. That’s why so many of their policies undermine family. They want to redefine family.
Look at the Black Lives Matter movement. They want to deconstruct and dismantle the Western concept of family. It’s not a Western concept. It’s a biblical concept of a married mother and father caring for their children. And that’s never going to change. I don’t care how much culture shifts and how much people try to re-engineer things. A mother and a father, married mother and father always matter.
This is not putting down people who are single parents. I have friends who are single parents, I have sisters who were single parents, and they did all they could do, but they were never meant to play the role of both parents. And so, we see this attack that’s coming, not just from public school, not just from news media, but from Hollywood. And actually, sometimes it’s coming from Bible-evading churches.
Allen: I love the fact that you are looking at this moment in history, you’re looking at what’s going on, and you’ve asked the question, “What can we do?” And you and Bethany have taken action. And of course, one of the ways you’ve taken action is through these books. Your first book was “Pro-Life Kids”; now “She is She.”
There’s another book coming out this summer, “He is He.” Can you give us a little bit of a preview?
Bomberger: Yes. Well, I wouldn’t use the phrase “coming out,” because people might be confused, so I’m just going to say it’s going to be released or it will be available this summer. But we believe in gender equality. And so “He is He” really celebrates what it means to be a boy. I mean, we hear all the time the phrase “toxic masculinity.” And what they really mean is that masculinity is toxic. And I hate that.
I hate that boys are constantly derided and demeaned. I mean, you look at programs. My kids went to a charter school for a while, and all the programs seem to be geared toward girls. And girls are wonderful, and they’re awesome, but so are boys. And so we really want to celebrate what it means to be a boy. And the fact that boys are a little different doesn’t mean that girls can’t play sports and girls can’t climb trees. That’s a nonsense sort of position.
But we really want to just come alongside parents who want to embrace and celebrate their boys and what it means to be a boy, what it means to be a man, what it means to be a father, a protector, a provider. Yes, a woman can be a provider, too, and many households have two providers, but there is something that is different from a psychological standpoint, from an emotional standpoint, from a spiritual standpoint. That’s why women and men complement each other.
And in this book, we really just want to celebrate boys and what it means to be a man, what it means to be a father. And so we can’t wait for that. I wish they could have been released at the same time, but an incredible illustrator, I have to throw out his name, Ed Koehler, we love him, he was not able to do both books at the same time. He’s a very busy man. But honestly, he captures our heart in all the books that we’ve done. And we can’t wait to do even more through our publishing company, Bara Publishing.
“He is He” will be available late this summer.
Allen: And for those who want to get copies of the book and who want to get more information on the Radiance Foundation and even get involved, how can they do that?
Bomberger: Well, they can get “She is She” right here at sheisshe.com. That’s the easiest way to get it. You can also pre-order “He is He” as well. But you can also see all the content that we create that’s fearless, factual, and freeing at radiance.life.
Allen: Awesome. Ryan Bomberger, thank you so much for your time today. We really appreciate it. And again, for anyone interested in getting the book, She is She, you can just visit the She is She website, sheisshe.com. Ryan, thank you for your time today. We truly appreciate it.
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