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TRENDING

A Different Perspective- “Transgenderism” is Not a Threat

Picture Credit: Ted Eytan

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.

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About TJ Sweeney (6 Articles)
TJ is a current junior in college, and is one who briefly attempted to become a "social justice warrior". After learning the folly of his ways, he has since taken to ranting and raving about the negative influence of such a mindset.

13 Comments on A Different Perspective- “Transgenderism” is Not a Threat

  1. Tj,

    Thanks for the piece and for using my photo. I’m scratching my head a little as it’s in a publication that includes articles with the most uninformed and uncientific data about transgender people (the one about transgender children, and I am a doctor and that writer is 100% wrong – had my photo been used to adorn that one license to use it would be revoked).

    I wonder if the toxic elements of the social justice movement cited are really that prevelant. I think they aren’t and I agree that these extremes of views are part of the diversity of the human race and should not be misappropriated to hurt a broad swath of the LGBTQ community. After all, diversity is what allows the human species survive and in my world, there are many many many nurses and doctors who are caring for the transgender community using science and compassion so that people can live the most fulfilling, authentic tic lives. Who doesn’t want that?

    All the best and if I can help with your colleagues’ misinformation don’t hesitate to get in touch. This century is really a great place and the more people who join us in it, the better!

    -Ted Eytan, MD
    Washington, DC USA

    Like

    • Dr. Eytan,

      I acknowledge your arguments, but I have to respectfully disagree as someone whom intends to go into the healthcare field in the future and cares a great deal about such issues.

      There have been a number of studies promoting, as well as numerous physicians in support of, the depatholization of gender nonconformity and transgenderism. I urge you to look into WPATH, a body of physicians across the globe devoted to research on and the care of transgender-identified persons. Their standards of care (http://www.wpath.org/site_page.cfm?pk_association_webpage_menu=1351&pk_association_webpage=3926) adheres to much of what I spoke to in my article. The studies I chose also are largely in line with the WPATH standards of care. There have also been a number of organizations that have a less transgender-centric focus than WPATH and yet also support providing transgender individuals with adequate healthcare (http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/publications/downloads/ll_trans_professional_statements.rtf_.pdf AND http://annals.org/aim/article/2292051/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-health-disparities-executive-summary-policy-position). On your argument in regards to transgender children, I do concede that there is a lack of research on the topic. However, the current research, which encompasses the link I included, holds that children whom exhibit gender non-conformity and continue to express such feelings into adolescence can be and often benefit from being maintained on puberty blockers as a treatment.

      As for the toxic side of the social justice movement, I do believe that such ideas are becoming more and more prevalent. Though a great deal of it is limited to people’s personal blogs at the moment, I have seen evidence of such ideas leaking into the wider world. For example, in the most recent issue of National Geographic magazine, I was pleasantly surprised to see the transgender community receive a feature article. However, I was disappointed to find that much of the content concerned solely the defiance of gender roles, rather than the role of medicine in curbing gender dysphoria.

      Though I do feel there are a good number of people in healthcare whom treat transgender people with respect, I do still have concerns. The 2015 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (http://www.transequality.org/sites/default/files/docs/USTS-Full-Report-FINAL.PDF) found that 33% of transgender people reported a negative experience with a healthcare provider, and 23% were fearful of seeing a doctor out of concern they would be discriminated against. Compassion and science are important, as you said, and I think more people in healthcare need to either educate themselves or seek out education on the community to be able to make proper referrals and give the best treatments.

      Thank you for the response,

      TJ

      Like

      • TJ,

        Massive miscommunication.

        I understand WPATH quite well and felt the other piece on this blog was transphobic. So I am responding to being in AGREEMENT with you but puzzled why this piece is adjacent to ones that are transphobic.

        Hope that makes sense.

        Best,

        Ted

        Like

    • Additionally, I would recommend looking into visiting the Whitman-Walker Health Clinic in DC, which specializes in the care of transgender patients and could probably explain a lot of these things in a better manner than I ever could.

      Like

  2. Tj,

    So, again, I know the Whitman Walker team well and understand these issues.

    My concern is the OTHER piece on this blog that I perceive as transphobic. I don’t like my artistic work being associated with prose that doesn’t support the trans community and the other piece I found definitely does not support the trans community.

    Does that help?

    Best,

    Ted

    Like

    • Michael Jones // December 29, 2016 at 5:33 pm // Reply

      I understand what you’re saying sir and thank you for being it up. You agree with TJ but don’t understand how a polar opposite post can be on this site as well. I’m not the author of the other post but would like to comment on this.

      In my opinion, this is what The Rabble-Rouser is all about and what sets it apart from other publications. Even though TJ and the other author may not fully agree, they are both allowed to share their opinion. Everyone here is allowed to express their beliefs without being censored, as some of us have been at other sites.

      In my opinion, this is what separates The Rabble-Rouse from other places. There is a large diversity of opinion and those in charge allow everyone to openly share their views.

      Thanks,
      Michael Jones

      Like

      • Michael,

        What if the opinion is based on a person’s made-up idea of the science. Is there a disclaimer about that somewhere? I can’t find it….

        At least at the end of one of these pieces indicate that the writer doesn’t know anything about the topic from a medical perspective and they should get correct information from an actual health professional :).

        Ted

        Like

    • Dr. Eytan,

      Ah, my apologies.

      This piece was, in part, a rebuttal to the other pieces you mentioned. As Michael said, the others are allowed to express their opinions on this site. I don’t agree with much of what was written in those other pieces, and I have had discussions with the authors as to the validity of the studies they used to back their arguments as well. I will leave it up to readers to assess what they feel are sound arguments though.

      Again, my apologies for misinterpreting your comment.

      Thank you for commenting,

      TJ

      Like

      • TJ,

        I am happy to support you in discussions with the other authors, who have written posts that are factually incorrect.

        I actually choose not to leave it up to readers; either what is written is factual or it isn’t. If what is written isn’t based on facts, it should not be published.

        I wrote about this issue on my blog recently: https://www.tedeytan.com/2016/04/21/19845 – feel free to take a look and let me know your thoughts.

        Thank you for the opportunity to work to be a better ally,

        Best,

        Ted

        Like

  3. Transgenderism is a LIE a man cannot be a woman because a female has fallopian tubes breast and a uterus. a MALE DOES NOT! If a man dresses as a woman he is just masquerading as the other sex. Masquerading means to dress as someone you are NOT! Science says a man cannot be a woman human anatomy is science and has known this FACT for years. It is complete LIES and fallacy to say trans genders are real! It IS 100% EVIL to say a man can be a woman! If you want TRUTH in science this is a GREAT place to start

    Like

    • Martin,

      As a transgender person and someone whom has extensively studied the sciences, I am going to have to respectfully disagree.

      To address your first point, a woman, regardless of whether or not they are transgender, can have all or none of those things. A woman can lose her breasts, uterus, and Fallopian tubes to cancer, or can be otherwise born without them, but we do not consider her less of a woman.

      Like

      • A transgender woman can have breasts and many of the parts commonly associated with womanhood as well.

        Science says that there is such a thing as gender dysphoria, and studies have shown that the brains of those whom are transgender and identify as women have similar brain structures to people considered women at birth. I encourage you to do more research on this topic. WPATH is a great start (http://www.wpath.org/).

        Best,

        TJ

        Like

      • TJ,

        Agreed with you.

        While people may have opinions about what they think gender dysphoria is, the medical profession is aligned with scientists who understand that gender dysphoria is real, and supervised medical treatment is effective. This is what the science shows, and every human being deserves to be healthy.

        I have found this image to be helpful in understanding that trans women are women, trans men are men: https://www.flickr.com/photos/taedc/17006830861- it’s courtesy of physicians and scientist colleagues in Canada – this understanding crosses borders and is internationally respected (WPATH, as you mentioned, is an international organization).

        To your good health,

        Ted

        Like

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