Putting the “T” in Perspective

Andrew Sullivan blogs (second item):

Children and adolescents are subject to a myriad competing impulses — hormonal, social, familial, psychological — and some early identities wax or wane away as maturity arrives. And so the movement to assign a trans identity to children who exhibit gender dysphoria has some great benefits, in relieving acute psychic pressure, but also inevitably, has some drawbacks. If a gay or a straight kid happens to show signs of behaving as or identifying with the other gender, they can be prematurely defined as trans, and start on a track that will not work for them. …

We should be attentive to gender dysphoria, and watch for signs of a kid being genuinely trans, and care for him or her. That’s been a big and hugely welcome change from the gruesome past. But to automatically equate non-stereotypical gender behavior with being trans is a dangerous overreach. Gender dysphoria affects countless young gay boys as well as lesbian girls, along with straight boys and girls who don’t fit gender stereotypes but are nowhere near being trans or gay. Keeping that in mind is also essential. And that, to my mind, requires an abundance of caution and patience, which is why I favor a ban on irreversible sex reassignment surgery and hormone blockers until the age of 18. I’m all for supporting trans youth in their identity and dignity. But if you’re not regarded as mature enough to vote, you should not be regarded as mature enough to alter your body and your gender irreversibly.

The danger in the alternative is that gay boys and girls can actually be mis-defined as trans by well-meaning parents or therapists. Which, it seems to me, is as homophobic as defining us as straight.

More. Sullivan makes this point as well:

There’s also the reactionary element in prematurely defining gay people as trans. There’s a reason why one of the countries with the most sex reassignment surgeries is Iran. For the mullahs, it is homosexuality or ambiguous sexuality that is the problem. Surgically reassigning gender is the solution. Of course there’s a world of difference between forced sex reassignment surgery in Iran and voluntary transitioning in the West. But for some reactionaries, trans people who adhere to gender roles are preferable to gay people who don’t.

37 Comments for “Putting the “T” in Perspective”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Treating gender dysphoria in children and adolescents presents extraordinarily diffcult questions.

    With puberty come broad and irreversible physical changes, and that hard fact pushes a decision based on imperfect, ellusive facts. If medical intervention is withheld, then puberty proceeds normally according to birth-gender, and transition by transgender adults is made more complicated and less successful. But if medical intervention occurs, then children and adolescents may be misdiagnosed and face the consequences of having failed to go through a normal puberty at a normal time.

    Compounding the problem is that many children and adolescents who are or may be gender dysphoric may not get adequate medical care. In high-quality clinics treating gender dysphoria, the affected children and adolescents, along with their parents, undergo an exhaustive dianostic process before a course of treatment is decided upon. However, there is a shortage of high-quality clinics even in the most populated areas of the country, and the diagnosis/treatment options for children and adolescents in rural areas can be both inadequate and inconsistent.

    So it is a tough problem.

    It seems to me that the worst of all possible solutions is to make the government, rather than the doctors, the children/adolescents and their parents, the final arbiter of the difficult decisions involved, imposing, as Sullivan suggests, a “one size fits all” government-mandated rule determining treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents.

    I have never understood (and probably never will understand) conservative eagerness to expand the power of government into decisions best left to individuals. We see it in reproductive decisions, abortion decisions, end-of-life decisions, and now gender dysphoria decisions.

    How can conservatives, who otherwise seem hell bent to using up every electron on the planet preaching the gospel of individual freedom free of government interference, go along with making the government the final arbiter of decisions clearly best left to individuals?

    However difficult the issues, gender dysphoria is not an arena in which we should turn decision-making power over the government.

    I think that what we are seeing is a conservative panic, much like the panic over Terry Shiavo a few years ago. And I will say one thing with certainty: If the government is granted the power to make decisions in this difficult area, it is not going to end well.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      That’s BS. The state can and should intervene to protect gay and lesbian bodies from being destroyed by heterosexuals.

      Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      Are truly malicious or do you just like to hear yourself speak? There is no such thing as jenn-durr, and your refusal to even so much as question the very foundation for this glorified ex-gay therapy makes you complicit in the destruction of gay and lesbian bodies.

      The Regressive Left is all about putting controls on people’s lives, but when it comes to something that really should be against the law, they say hands off project their own bigotry onto radical feminists and those who support their views, even gay men.

      It really is sickening that you have to be 21 to smoke a joint but you can get your genitals destroyed at a much younger age.

      Reply
      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        Are [you] truly malicious …

        Yes.

        Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        It really is sickening that you have to be 21 to smoke a joint

        Probably the only part of that post I agree with you on. Lock them all up!

        Reply
        • posted by Matthew on

          “Probably the only part of that post I agree with you on. Lock them all up!”

          And now you out yourself as a narc in addition to being a supporter of gay and lesbian erasure. If you tolerate transcultism in any way, shape, or form, you are anti-gay, plain and simple.

          Reply
        • posted by david Bauler on

          The war on drugs has not worked, especially with regards to mary jane.

          Reply
        • posted by JohnInCA on

          That’s a lot of chastity belts.

          Or were we not talking about STDs?

          Alternate snark: What’s with the anti-Semitism all of a sudden? It’s a religious practice!

          Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      “However difficult the issues, gender dysphoria is not an arena in which we should turn decision-making power over the government.”

      Noble words, and not always possible. The government is already involved, either because people can’t pay for medicine without the government’s say so, or because the it is standing in for the parent.

      Thus there becomes a conflict: is the government’s job to stand in the way of individual choice the least, or is its job to stand for what is socially right? And it’s rather ironic that it’s the former that makes government grow the most.

      I think the least we can do is make the decision a fair one. Conservatives want to make sure it is the right one. And being that the cost of being wrong even once is high, it is important to make sure one thinks through the issues carefully each and every single time.

      Conservatives may like small government, but the very existence of both conservatives and liberals hurts their cause.

      Reply
      • posted by Matthew on

        Who CARES about the size of government when the future of gay and lesbian lives are hanging in the balance?

        Reply
        • posted by Jorge on

          It seems to me that the way gay and lesbian lives are balanced today, few things can affect that balance besides the size of government. That’s a good thing.

          Anyway, one must have a means to solve a problem, Matthew. Which you select depends on your understanding of it.

          Reply
          • posted by Matthew on

            If it is necessary, I will support any and all use of government power to put a stop to gay and lesbian erasure. Transcultism is ex-gay therapy. No one has ever been able to prove that it is not, and deniers are liars. If it isn’t, then explain Buck Angel and Chastity Bono. If transcultism isn’t a war on gay people, explain why “Dana” Rivers murdered two black lesbians and their son. If this isn’t a war on gay people, then explain why Jewish lesbians were thrown out of the Chicago Dyke March by antisemitic heterosexual men with a fetish for lesbianism and open support for Palestinazi terrorism.

      • posted by JohnInCA on

        Conservatives want to make sure it is the right one.

        No they don’t. They want the decision to be “no” every time regardless of any details.

        Reply
        • posted by Matthew on

          Someone has to say no to the destruction of gay and lesbian bodies. Someone has to say no to the medicalization and intellectualization of homophobia. If conservatism is what it takes to put a stop to that, then so be it.

          Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    Andrew Sullivan blogs (second item):

    What’s the first item?

    “If We Want to End the Border Crisis, It’s Time to Give Trump His Wall”

    LOL!……………………..

    No.

    She was also informed that only a trans person should be allowed to write about trans issues. How’s that for liberal democracy!

    We can turn LGBT into LGBS anytime you like.

    De-transitioning occurs. Of course it does. We are fallible in understanding ourselves, and this is particularly true when we are young or adolescent.

    “Ex-gay occurs. Of course it does. We are fallible in understanding ourselves, and this is particularly true when we are young or adolescent.”

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/sites/default/files/uploads/2013/04/de-blasio.jpg

    Only Andrew Sullivan could make me sympathetic to liberal bigots.

    And that, to my mind, requires an abundance of caution and patience, which is why I favor a ban on irreversible sex reassignment surgery and hormone blockers until the age of 18. I’m all for supporting trans youth in their identity and dignity. But if you’re not regarded as mature enough to vote, you should not be regarded as mature enough to alter your body and your gender irreversibly.

    We lost that one in New York State when they allowed children the right to get a hysterectomy without parental consent. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well mind that you don’t publicize the implications of allowing girls to have abortions, and you might get your wish under the table. Speak up about it, and you’ll be taking on the reproductive rights movement.

    I think it’s important to repeat a distinction that I heard made about 5 years ago: Transgender is a social term. Gender dysphoria is a medical term. However much overlap they have, not every transgender person has gender dysphoria, and not every person with gender dysphoria is transgender.

    “He could be gay!” He could be straight! Muddy little questions like this is one of the reasons gay activism adopted the “Q”, to capture young people who had not yet formed their identity but were rejected by mainstream society for their very ambiguity. (Capture in a linguistic sense, not in the sense of gay conversion.)

    Reading Sullivan’s article, it appears at first as if this option has become more difficult in the face of increasing transgender awareness. But then I remember the cascade of conservative ridicule (and I place myself in that wave) against the LGBTSHBLIBLIBLA, the 31 different genders New York City recognizes–and don’t forget the asterisk. That comes from culturally aware progressives.

    I work for an agency that makes legal decisions on medical care for transgender youth in foster care. The policy is thick enough to be used as a weapon–that’s a good thing.

    There may be many social benefits to stopping progressive excesses in their tracks. One of the problems is that the Q is going to fall through the cracks as less socially aware people say kids need to “pick one.”

    Let the progressives do their job.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      “We can turn LGBT into LGBS anytime you like.”

      Or we could just drop the T and just say gay. Lesbians, gays, and bisexuals belong together. Everything else is nothing but interlopers.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Why on earth would we want to drop the S? Straight people can have many of the same issues bisexual people do, and they certainly have important access. Perhaps LGBA for Allied would suit you better?

        Reply
        • posted by Matthew on

          Because I am tired of transcultists and heterosexuals imposing themselves on everything. Can’t gay people have ANYTHING that’s just for us and nobody else?

          Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      “Let the progressives do their job.”

      Pushing age-old lies about homophobic, misogynistic sexual stereotypes as being rooted in scientific fact is the antithesis of progress. By definition, something that DOES NOT EXIST cannot be dysphoric.

      Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The Court acted on Arlene’s Flowers this morning. The Court granted cert, vacated the Washington Supreme Court decision, and remanded the case back to the Supreme Court of Washington “for further consideration in light of” Masterpiece.

    What that means in practical terms is that the case will probably return to the Court in the future, but will not return until after the Washington Supreme Court has heard and redecided the case, making it unlikely that the case will be on the next Term’s docket.

    Because the Masterpiece decision was narrowly confined to anti-religious animus and a “tainted forum”, the Washington Supreme Court is being asked, in a nutshell, to decide whether or not the initial hearing in Arlene’s Flowers was similarly tainted by anti-religious animus. The case has essentially been put on “hold” pending that decision and a return to the Court in a year or two.

    As Amy Howe, who writes for SCOTUSblog put it during the live blog session this morning: “A cynical person would say that they are delaying the inevitable.” A punt, in other words.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      More proof that the el-jibbityfication of gay activism has changed nothing.

      Reply
  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Amy Howe posted a simple, plain-English explanation of today’s action in Arlene’s Flowers on SCOTUSblog:

    Three weeks ago, the justices threw out a ruling against a Colorado baker who had refused on religious grounds to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. By a vote of 7-2, the justices ruled that proceedings before the Colorado administrative agency that considered the baker’s case were unfairly tainted by hostility to religion.

    Shortly after issuing their decision in the Colorado case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the justices considered the case of Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington state florist who, like the Colorado baker, declined to provide her services – this time, original flower arrangements – to a same-sex couple for their wedding. After the state courts rejected her argument that requiring her to design floral arrangements for same-sex weddings would violate her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of her religion, Stutzman went to the Supreme Court, asking them to review that ruling. The justices put Stutzman’s appeal on hold until they ruled on the Masterpiece decision, and today they sent her case back to the lower courts so that (as in Masterpiece) they can consider Stutzman’s assertion that she too was the victim of religious hostility. The order means that Stutzman will have another chance to fight the lower court’s ruling, which levied fees and penalties on Stutzman and ordered her to provide the same services to same-sex couples that she provides to opposite-sex couples.

    The justices will almost certainly have to tackle the question presented by Stutzman’s case soon, but they apparently do not intend to do it next fall.

    As yet undetermined is what the Court will do with Sweetcakes when the cert petition for that case comes before the Court next fall. Given the Court’s apparent reluctance to decide the issue now, it may well GVR (grant, vacate, remand) that case as well. We will just have to see what happens.

    Reply
  5. posted by David Bauler on

    Censoring my posts, are we?

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      David, probably not. IGF is not moderated, so nobody’s censoring anything as far as I know.

      However, there is robot that sends any comment with more than one link into moderation, and (because IGF is not moderated) that effectively means that the comment never shows up.

      I get caught in that trap everyone once in a while.

      Reply
  6. posted by MR Bill on

    My posts on the US Navy’s Pride celebration have not been posted..q

    Reply
  7. posted by MR Bill on

    So, I just attempted to post a Jooe.My.God piece on Navy Pride (where they have no problem with trans folks if they are in good military order..) would not post..let’s see if the official Navy one will: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=105799

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      Those babykillers refused to support anything gay unless they could also support gay erasure in the form of the transcult. Like I said, allies say gay, bigots say el-jibbity.

      Drop the T.

      Reply
  8. posted by David Bauler on

    –Those babykillers refused to support anything gay

    I cannot think of a transgender person — among those that I have known — who wants to kill babies (assuming you are not talking about abortion or veganism)

    I cannot think of notable transgender people who do not support gay rights, except maybe C. Jenner (who is conservative and, initially, opposed gay marriage)

    None of the transgender people that I know want to erase or eradicate LGB people from the world.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      How many gay babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade?

      Reply
  9. posted by David Bauler on

    Andrew Sullivan has about zero professional training or education in transgender issues. Not to say that he is right or wrong (or a bit of both), but why not hear more from people with advanced medical training in the field?

    Matthew; I do know folks on the regressive right who do want to see LGBT erased from public life, if not life in general. I do not know if you are just the latest IGF troll, but if you are not a troll then you need to take a good, long, hard look at yourself in the mirror.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      “Appeal to authority” is a logical fallacy, and so is psychological projection. I’ve been at this site ever since it was still called Independent GAY Forum, which is a lot longer than you have. The troll is you, not me. Leftism is a form of trolling. Leftists are trolls on every site on the internet. You have worn out your welcome. In fact, you wore it out the day anti-gay anti-Jewish heterosexual Muslim terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, and eight years each of Bush and Obama did not endear the Left to me, nor did it make me think that gays had any business supporting it. Gay conservatism is here to stay, whether you like it or not, and our numbers are only going to get bigger and bigger.

      “Matthew; I do know folks on the regressive right who do want to see LGBT erased from public life, if not life in general.”

      That is exactly what the transcult wants to do: erase homosexuality by forcing gays to be surgically altered into a pale imitation of the opposite of the sex we are attracted to. And there you go again with that “regressive right” crap. It’s the left and the left alone that is regressive. Believing that sexist, homophobic stereotypes require medical intervention is regressive, not progressive.

      Reply
  10. posted by David Bauler on

    Matthew: Can’t gay people have ANYTHING that’s just for us and nobody else?

    Well, have you heard of ‘gay camp’, or show tunes, or gay history?

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      “Well, have you heard of ‘gay camp’, or show tunes, or gay history?”

      Yes, yes, and yes. It is ours, and not something interlopers have any right to appropriate from us while erasing our contribution to it.

      Reply
  11. posted by David Bauler on

    — Transcultism is ex-gay therapy.

    So transsexual people do not exist in your particular reality?

    –“Dana” Rivers murdered two black lesbians and their son.

    I hate to break it to you, but crazy, stupid people do crazy and stupid stuff all the time. The fact that someone is a transsexual or a black lesbian or a white lesbian does not make someone a criminal.

    –If this isn’t a war on gay people, then explain why Jewish lesbians

    Again, stupid people will do crazy and stupid stuff without having to be part of some larger conspiracy.

    That particular case has more to do with the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli nightmare, then anything else. So much misery and violence has come from that nightmare that it spills into people who are not Palestinian or Israeli.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      Using the hater’s name of Occupied Israel is a form of antisemitism and makes you no better than a supporter of the Nazis or the Confederacy. Israel is still the only country in the Middle East that is pro-gay in any measurable way.

      “So transsexual people do not exist in your particular reality?”

      Trans “women” are men and always will be. Trans “men” are women and always will be. Trans is a choice. Gay isn’t. Radical feminists and gay conservatives who support this point are both correct. Reality is reality, and “My particular reality” IS reality. Do you ever get tired of projecting your delusions and trollhood onto others? And you seem to be awfully invested in protecting the feelings of those who push what is in fact a form of pseudoscientific ex-gay therapy in theory and in practice, and one that wouldn’t exist if it were not for the research of Dr. Josef Mengele.

      Reply

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