We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The question came up at dinner with friends Saturday night. Lots of the wives were Smithies (in their 60s+, dare I say?) and they were talking about how their Alma Mater had become a haven for the sexually confused and deviant. They were nostalgic for the old Smith days of weekend trips to Yale and Dartmouth for a wholesome romp and some drinks and hopefully a husband. By skillful application of their charms, they all married very well indeed, and relatively happily too, if appearances are any measure (which they aren't).
I had to admit that I had heard of transgender, but didn't understand it at all. So I tried to read up on it, and I still do not quite get it, but I can see that it all stems from this idea of "gender," a recent concept, sort of a wierd one, introduced by Dr. John Money, a shrink and a famous sex researcher at Hopkins. The notion is that one's anatomy and one's psychology are not always in sync. But I can reach back to medical school and psychiatry classes and, as I recall, Freud said that humans are all mixed up and perverted, psychologically anyway - whether it's conscious or unconscious, so I do not find the fact that many or even most people fail to fit a male or female stereotype particularly interesting - I never met anyone who did, unless they were either putting their best foot forward, or play-acting. We are all made differently. And when it comes to sex change operations, I would no sooner get near one of those than to an abortion. For me, such things are not medicine - they are barbarism and not any part of the Hippocratic Oath I took - which I take to forbid abortion by physicians, in addition to the famous forbidding of cutting "those laboring under the stone". (That was for lowly surgeons, not physicians.)
So as not to look stupid, among the things I read was this piece by Carl Bushong, which I found to be basically happy horse s-, basically true things about people but drawing drastic conclusions from superficial psychology. And this "true self" stuff sounds a little too pop-psychology for me, a little too self-involved. (I guess everyone is kinda transgendered, but who worries about it? Well, I guess adolescents and young folks do a lot of navel-gazing, especially where it's in fashion. Still, if youth wants to navel-gaze, I'd suggest that they worry more about their character and about how they plan to make a living than about their "sexual identity" - if such a thing even exists. The kids today are spoiled, self-indulgent brats: didn't Socrates say that? And, in Socrates' day, seems like all the young folk were transgendering themselves silly in the gymnasium - the fellas, anyway.) But, at this point, I am out of my league and will ask Dr. Bliss to take this one on for me.