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.
It would seem to be logical that: A man thinking he was a man or a woman thinking she was a woman is normal and all other variations are abnormal. The abnormality probably is from a mental disorder but could be a concious choice. It seems that what those who suffer from these abnormalties wish to do is to legally and morally equate all the abnormal gender catagories as equal to the normal gender conditions. I think I can understand why they might wish to do this but their desire to make it so doesn't "make it so".
There was a nice passage in Catch 22, a book I read exactly once but read permanently
"(Nurse Duckett's) own body was such a familiar and unremarkable thing to her that she was puzzled by the convulsive ecstasy men could take from it, by the
intense and amusing need they had merely to touch it, to reach out urgently and press it, squeeze it, pinch it, rub it. She did not understand Yossarian's lust; but she was willing to take his word for it."
You're wired for that attraction, it being easier to evolve the wiring than something abstractly attractive; and wiring can be wrong sometimes for various usual reasons, and those would be various minorities.
I don't know that it's a mental illness so much as a mistake, but you evolve a form of life with it that fits in somehow.
The modern mistake is removing the necessity to fit in, and weird and counterproductive stable forms of life result.
The psychological help then would be try to fit in and ignore the crap.
Catholics describe homosexuality and similar aberrations as "disordered desires." Although not a Catholic, this makes more sense to me than other efforts to explain them. It seems to me that if you feel sexual desire for someone of the same sex, it is a delusion of sorts. The "born that way" meme is easily debunked by the twin studies, in which less than half of identical twins in which one is homosexual, is the other. Many mental disorders have a genetic component and these disorders may fall into that category.
While I think allowing people of the same sex to "marry" is ludicrous, I by no means think homosexuals should be persecuted and I don't see why we can't fashion laws that prevent that but also prevent their activist branch from forcing religious people to bake cakes for their weddings or whatever.
The best article I've seen about transgenderism or whatever it is correctly called, is by Paul McHugh, who began the sexual reassignment program at Johns Hopkins and then dismantled it because such surgery did not improve the mental health the people involved: www.firstthings.com/article/2004/11/surgical-sex
or for a shorter version: http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120?KEYWORDS=paul+mchugh