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.
I have never treated a patient with a "transsexual" diagnosis (now known as Gender Identity Disorder), and I know little about it.
The case in Germany described in Clayton Cramer's piece, in which a 12 year-old boy is undergoing hormonal treatment in preparation for surgical transformation into a "female," raises the issue. The German Child Endocrinologist says this:
"They are not freaks, nor do they suffer mental illness. They are simply trapped in the wrong bodies. That is why it is best to help them as early as possible and reduce the trauma for them and their families."
Freud made it clear, and he was right, that everyone is psychologically a bit male, a bit female, and, on some level, bisexual. Psychiatrists, and especially psychoanalysts, tend to look for the inner motives for things in general, and to view desires for external change as "externalizations." Just the phrase "trapped in the wrong body" is based on a strange premise. Furthermore, who has the body they really think they want? I was a tomboy myself, refused to wear dresses, and liked guns and sports. However, sometimes things do go awry during early development - before birth - which affect the development of the brain and thus the personality.
I guess all I can say about this is that I'd like to imagine that there could be some "therapy" for a kid like this that would fall short of dreadful physical mutilation. I'd be willing to give it a try.
And, by the way, I do not believe you could do this thing they are doing in Germany in the US: I doubt any physician would be willing to do it at that age. Primum non nocere.
Operation has been done in this country . Most famous case on a set of twins who were 16. John Hopkins I think but not sure however it was featured on 60 minutes some years back. Perhaps the parents of these kids should be in therapy first?
"I guess all I can say about this is that I'd like to imagine that there could be some "therapy" for a kid like this that would fall short of dreadful physical mutilation. I'd be willing to give it a try."
Thanks for your thoughtful consideration of this issue. I'd like to humbly suggest that the family perhaps tried many "therapies" to address the situation. We don't know that, but perhaps they did. In some cases, my own included, our minds/spirits cannot fly free until the external is aligned with the internal. A non-trans person cannot possibly understand this. All I ever ask is that people simply allow and trust me to do what is in my own highest interest. I've had 5 cumulative years of "traditional" therapy, by the way, in which my final psychotherapist helped me accept this aspect of myself that society so cruelly ridicules, questions and pathologizes. My new perspective: That's society's problem, not mine. I fly free now and am happier than I've ever been. Could there be people that would be better served by not transitioning? Sure. That generalization should not be used against an entire (loosely-defined) group, though.
"Mutilation" is in the eye of the beholder. My body is a temporary object that houses my spirit. I needed to align it more closely with my innate identity in order to be free. This child, by the way, in stark contrast to what is being blown out of proportion on the internet, is simply taking testosterone-blocking pharmaceuticals. The surgery will not take place until s/he is 18, or close to it, so she will have plenty of time to see if it is right for her (using her preferred pronouns out of deep respect for each person to construct his or her own identity...and no, this doesn't mean I can call myself a frog, for anyone thinking of that inadequate, simple-minded comeback.) Thanks again for being willing to hear a different perspective. A mature adult, as you clearly are, is able to recognize and value other perspectives, especially when they differ from one's own life experiences. We're all just trying to get along in this crazy, crazy world. People should focus more on helping others who are asking for help than disparaging and judging those who are not. The world would be a much happier place. I am an optimist, yet a realist.
I have often thought of having my hair done in a different way. But now that I'm at the age where I spend a good deal of time plucking old tranny chin hairs while watching live cams of San Fransisco so who cares?
I do think that Nancy Pelosi would make a good partner and John Kerry is so so hunky. I just quiver.
I've read a number of posts about trans-sexuals on the Internet, and in all commentary, there is the ubiquitous put-down about the parents. I've seen some shows on Discovery Health, as well, and in all cases, it seemed to me the parents suffered as deeply as the trans-gendered child/young adult. I can understand a dad wanting his little girl to fish, and play ball and that kind of innocent thing, but it seems to me this business goes so much deeper than any possible parental 'abuse', or cause, for that matter.
Personally, I would really like to have a penis. I would probably play with it a lot, but mostly I'd like to experience what it's like to think with two heads. I wouldn't want to keep it or anything.
While Gender Identity is is still a valid diagnosis in the United States it has changed in many other countries from Transsexualism to Harry Benjamin Syndrome. It is no longer a psycho pathological condition and is now considered a physiological condition http://harrybenjaminsyndrome-info.org/
Well, down here in da hol'rs of wet virginya I don't hab no wurries like sum folks.
The ladies just ask, where's Plum Biggin today?.
one thang iz tho sum of da kids iz start'n ta have eyes like that thar banjo picker in dat Deliverence movie.