The increasing visibility of the transgender movement over the past few years has been a much needed step towards acceptance for some and yet some important questions have been brushed aside.
Let’s start by making clear that everyone deserves to receive the same rights and protections under the law in however they chose to express themselves as long as it does not infringe upon the same rights of others. Fair enough.
Transgender is not the norm, it will never be and that’s OK.
Why? Because it doesn’t fit the norm. Some will argue that this is primarily the issue. That the norm is wrong. Still, we are a society, we are a collective, human beings have an incredibly powerful skill for adaption and organization. In Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind those two skills are cited as being instrumental in our evolution as a species.
So if something isn’t in the norm, then there might be a reason for it. The simplest explanation is that the percentage of the human population who identify as “trans” and any other pronoun derivative from that is extremely small. So naturally, they won’t fit into the norm. If someone doesn’t fit into societal norms, or the majority, it is understandable that they might be treated differently.
If you or I were to wear a bizarre costume that was out of context with every day situations, certainly life would be made more difficult. Not because people are inherently mean (though they might be), but because you are not fitting in.
I can go to the grocery store in a costume and still conduct my business but I’d get a few raised eyebrows.
A trans person should be able to access what any other part of normal life should be, but the understanding needs to be there that they are still different.
This rolls right into the promoted narrative that “trans women are the same as biological women”.
They aren’t. They will never be and that’s OK.
Trans men and women are their own thing and that’s OK.
Engaging in the fallacy that a biological male can somehow be a biological female has no basis in science. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to express themselves as they chose but let’s drop the act that there is no difference between a trans woman and a biological woman. In the crudest terms, that difference is a penis.
If a trans woman begins dating a CIS male and does not disclose they are a trans woman but instead buys into the belief that they are every bit the same as a biological woman understandably when the man finds out they may have a stronger reaction.
Yet, the above example has been played out in the media and the man is the one who is wrong and ignorant.
I think this is a bit sensationalized in the media. To their credit, in all the research I did within the trans community, no trans person I spoke to thought not being upfront about their gender history was a good idea.
So why then does the MSM narrative push this ridiculous notion that a trans woman is the exact same as a biological woman? For acceptance?
People would be far more accepting of trans folks if this wasn’t the case.
The sad truth is that most of the people promoting that narrative aren’t even mostly trans themselves, but social justice advocates.
Part of the issue falls into the fact that the narrative seems to be that we all must accept every trans person as the gender they chose to identify with, without question. This is subjective. In no other sphere of society can I simply decide how others must address me. However, in Canada compelled speech, this very issue has become law.
I may think of myself as the emperor of feudal Japan and become enraged when someone doesn’t address me as such, but I am not entitled and have no right to dictate how others perceive or label me.
If a trans person wishes to be addressed by a particular pronoun and you do not oblige them, then you’re just a jerk because it’s simply not that hard to do so and complying will make them happy.
However, that is still a choice and to be compelled to starts to take things in a dangerous direction of forced speech.
Putting lipstick on a pig
When Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn, it almost seemed as though everyone was forced to say “She is beautiful, stunning and brave.” South Park even mocked this, rightly so.
Side bar for some offensive jokes:
- Bruce becomes a woman and immediately becomes a worse driver
- The first time a man competes for woman of the year he wins, proving men are better at being women than women
- Living with the Kardashians made Bruce chop his dick off.
Yet, most people I spoke to had the reaction of “uhhhh what?” Some people, especially of Bruce’s generation were shocked to see the Olympic hero suddenly in a dress, with surgery, etc. Why? Because it is a shock. What’s wrong with this being shocking? Why is it wrong to take a minute to process this?
Most people could care less about how Bruce/Caitlyn chooses to live and if they do care, they probably shouldn’t because it doesn’t affect them.
My interest is in the narrative surrounding this.
Good Naked vs Bad Naked
Part of what everyone faces when looking at the trans community is that there are “good trans” / passable and “bad trans”. Some people just look the part better than others.
People judge on appearance, it happens to literally everyone. So if you are going to look different than your birth gender and it requires a lot of imagination, well that’s unfortunate for you because people will raise an eyebrow.
Yet again, polite society encourages people not to treat these people differently. In the spirit, I agree. As a good human citizen you should treat everyone with the same basic level of respect.
Still, that respect is not a right, you are not entitled to it. No one is. If I wear a goofy hat, I should reasonably expect someone to react.
Yet if you or I were to express ourselves like the person in the above photo and go about our lives we would receive some understandable funny looks.
But that’s part of the problem! Society doesn’t allow people to be themselves!
You are allowed to be yourself, but it’s not always the best strategy for life success. I may want to wear an offensive t-shirt to work, I could but it’s probably not a good idea.
If you look awful in your transition, same difference. It’s not fair, but life isn’t fair and this form of expression is certainly making it harder on you.
The American Psychiatric Association, publisher of the DSM-5, states that “gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.”
Up until recently gender dysphoria was classified as a mental illness and only after pressure from advocacy groups was this changed. Was that a good decision?
The treatment methodology for other types of dysphoria is to bring that person into their reality, accept who they are and what they are.
For example, in species dysphoria, i.e. a person who believes they are a cat. The treatment option is almost universal, therapy to bring that person back to reality or at least help them develop the distinction between their fantasy and reality, so that they can lead a normal life.
Yet, trans seems to be the exception to this. Right or wrong, there are some sad facts to look at.
“41% (or self identified trans individuals) try to kill themselves at some point in their lives, compared with 4.6% of the general public. The numbers come from a study by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute, which analyzed results from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.”
Why is this happening? The main argument is because they are not accepted.
But maybe there is more to the story. Regret after sex reassignment surgery and wanting to transition back to their birth gender is more common than you think.
These points more than anything else indicate that not enough research is being done in terms of the treatment for individuals with gender dysphoria and that the main stream media narrative is a vast over simplification of a very complex and poorly understood medical condition.
Why is more not being done? Because we are not looking at this as a mental condition. Without studying it as such, we cannot develop solutions that help people who experience it.
Millions of people suffer from depression, bipolar, mania, and a whole host of psychological disorders and there are treatment options to help these people be happy in their lives.
No one is saying that transition itself isn’t a solution, it very well may be the perfect solution for some but it may not be for others and the evidence suggests as much.
This is perhaps the greatest tragedy in the trans movement. The fact that those who support it are denying and hiding the holes in their solution / narrative and the ones who are suffering are the trans people themselves.
When you hear about children as young as 6 beginning hormone therapy because they feel they are the wrong gender. I can only think that this is child abuse. A six year old may very well believe they are Spiderman. Does that mean we should take them seriously?
The mind of an adolescent is not capable of making complex life decisions, this is why we have age of consent laws, minimum drinking ages, etc.
It’s criminal to suggest that a six year old is capable of making the profoundly forever life altering decision for hormone therapy and gender reassignment.
Gender is only partly a social construct. You cannot argue with biology. There are two genders and then a host of mutations and this is what so much falls under – a mutation and that’s OK.
While the word mutation may seem harsh, unpleasant pejorative, I don’t know what else to classify outliers in biology.
Yet, our current discourse in society makes it seem like there is an easy one stop solution to this that will solve all the problems facing trans people and yet, we know for a fact there is much more going on.
What is wrong with looking more deeply into the biology of things, the facts surrounding current treatment options and the ethics regarding all of it, all while respecting the individual?
Many do not want to look deeper because the answers may not support their narrative at the expense of potentially helping people live happier lives.
In the end I feel sympathy for those who feel they were born the wrong gender.
No one is choosing that life willingly. The way our society is approaching this issue is often counter productive and willfully ignoring complexities and gray areas at the expense of the community they purport to be helping.
Without an honest, open dialogue of some of the unpleasant realities surrounding the trans community, how are we supposed to successfully integrate and help those individuals lead happy and productive lives?