Conservatives, there is a lurking threat in America that must be addressed. This menace comes in the form of a group of people whom unite under a common goal to influence and, eventually, molest our children. They do this by disguising themselves with the opposite sex’s clothing and entering public spaces, in particular, public bathrooms, to target people when they are at their most vulnerable. Their ideas have permeated universities, where such mentally ill degenerates are allowed to shape the curriculum and are protected as they do so.
And the name these people unite under? They call themselves the “Transgenders”. They are clearly a threat to our society as a whole.
Or are they?
I’ll preface the remainder of my article by stating that, as a transgender man, I do have my biases in discussing this topic. At the same time, however, I have spent the time to consider common grievances aired against the transgender community, rather than instantaneously labeling all whom express such grievances as bigots, transphobes, misogynists, etc. I, myself, have been described as abusive and promoting harm to the community with my opinions in the past, and do not wish to perpetuate such acts.
Firstly, whom and what is the “transgender community”? You may know them as “transsexuals”, which Dictionary.com defines as “a person having a strong desire to assume the physical characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex.”. The term “transgender”, though an adjective rather than a noun, has a similar definition, being “noting or relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth”.
Ultimately, transgender people are linked largely by their desire to express themselves and be seen as taking gender roles other than those associated with their birth sex. The drive to do so most often stems from the experience of gender dysphoria, or “discomfort or distress related to incongruence between a person’s gender identity, sex assigned at birth, and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics”, according to the American Psychological Association. Gender dysphoria’s presence in the DSM, used commonly in the diagnosis of mental disorders, is often taken to mean that the experience of being transgender is innately disordered. To this end, the APA has provided the following response:
A psychological state is considered a mental disorder only if it causes significant distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder. For these individuals, the significant problem is finding affordable resources, such as counseling, hormone therapy, medical procedures and the social support necessary to freely express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. Many other obstacles may lead to distress, including a lack of acceptance within society, direct or indirect experiences with discrimination, or assault. These experiences may lead many transgender people to suffer with anxiety, depression or related disorders at higher rates than nontransgender persons.
Gender dysphoria, like any other aversive health condition, can be alleviated via various treatments. This may include solely psychotherapy, though the widely-accepted Merck Manual emphasizes that such treatment should be used to help “patients adapt…rather than trying to dissuade them from their identity”, and that prior attempts at dissuading patients “have not proved effective and are now considered unethical”. For those seeking physical changes to their bodies, the Merck Manual encourages a “combination of psychotherapy, hormonal reassignment, living at least a year in the felt gender, and sex reassignment surgery”, supported by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
In transgender children, in particular, those desiring to avoid the dysphoria-inducing physical changes associated with puberty can take puberty blockers. When properly monitored by a physician, such children can further than transition later in life if so desired and, in the case that such individuals cease to identify as transgender, can cease treatment with few side effects.
In a longitudinal study of mental health among transgender individuals, respondents reported significantly higher levels of life satisfaction following surgical transition and/or hormone replacement therapy. Additionally, high levels of social support for transgender people were associated with a 49% decrease in risk of suicide ideation. Finally, a longitudinal study of 767 transgender people found that only 2.2%, or 15 people, experienced regret following medical transition.
TJ, you may be asking at this point, but what about the movement to completely abolish gender and to make being transgender trendy? Aren’t those people a threat?
Though the concept of transgender people being united under a single flag for the purpose of activism is a relatively new one, the concept of such identities has existed throughout history. A number of Native American tribes recognized a group of people known in the modern day as “two-spirits”, whom often took on gender identities distinct from their gender at birth. A similar concept was seen as early as the 1600s in America, a period during which many of the first American colonies were established by European explorers. People whom would now be considered transgender by modern standards have, throughout history, been found in the military, entertainment, sports, and numerous other walks of life. The concept of being a transgender person, as well as the acceptance of such peoples, is far from a new one.
Recently, however, the toxic side of the social justice movement has co-opted the concept of being transgender to further give the movement’s proponents reason to label themselves as “oppressed”. Ignoring the often horrible experiences of those with dysphoria and such people’s wishes that no one else have to experience such feelings, the social justice movement has expanded the definition of “transgender” to include people whom describe their experiences as “trendy”, a choice, or “cute”. Their identities are commonly based on ideas from defiance of “racist” standards to odd quirks and physical characteristics to nothing at all. That’s not to say that transgender people whom have experienced dysphoria have never supported such ideas, no. However, the aforementioned people commonly have tried to label gender dysphoria as the product of some “gatekeeping” doctors and racists. These same people have started an imaginary Internet “war” between “truscrum” (aka transmedicalists, or those whom think dysphoria of some degree is necessary for the transgender experience) and “tucutes”, whom accept genders such as those listed here. Finally, these same people are the same people whom reduce transgender people’s issues to things like microaggressions and incorrect pronoun usage.
I’m not going to say that these people cannot use the term “transgender” to describe themselves. They can have the term if they want, and can continue to refuse to educate people whom don’t identify as transgender while hoarding the sweet, sweet knowledge to themselves. I only want to implore that, if you’re seeking to associate anyone or any group with the rise of the current messy debate over gender, please, do not point the finger at transgender people. This scapegoating has led to the harassment of both transgender and non-transgender people alike. If you must pick any one group, look to the toxic portion of the social justice movement, the portion dragging the label “transgender” along as the latest means to be unique.