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.
Readers know that I view sex changes as a sort of cosmetic thing, an extreme version of nose jobs and tummy tucks. I have no problems with such things if people want to pay for them. Some people want to be taller and find a surgeon to lengthen their legs, and I have seen people who truly benefitted from breast reduction. Don't laugh, because huge breasts can be a sort of handicap.
So I do not hate cosmetic surgery. It makes plenty of doctors very wealthy, but it is not me. When it comes to elective sexual mutilation, though, I have to draw some sort of a line. In fact, I can't imagine a physician who would be willing to do it.
I agree with calling it cosmetic surgery, because it attracts the same kinds of people -- those who are unsuccessful in dating, but convince themselves that with the right remodeling, their life will miraculously improve!
The more reputable doctors who do either cosmetic surgery or sex changes always insist on psychologically screening their patients first, to try to weed out the ones who expect miracles, because those are the ones most likely to regret a procedure afterwards (even if nothing goes wrong) and to sue for malpractice. I think the best thing the law can do here is to refrain from bailing out or immunizing the docs from this type of lawsuit. Let the insufficiently cautious ones go bankrupt, and the fad will peter out.
You said, "In fact, I can't imagine a physician who would be willing to do it." And yet, nearly every children's hospital in the country performs those kinds of surgeries. Clearly, you are giving physicians as a whole, too much credit.
It's only idiotic bigots who put words like that in peoples' mouths.
Gender dysphoria is very real, and surgery can alleviate a lot of that, enabling the sufferers to lead a reasonably normal life afterwards (in combination with other treatment, like HRT and psychological counseling).
Sadly however the issue has (as so many things) been utterly politicised by both the far right and far left to the point that civilised discourse has become next to impossible. And as usual it's the far right denying something exists for the sake of wanting to disagree with the rest of the world.
I don't know if anyone who opposes transition surgery because of a denial of the existence of gender dysphoria. The opposition arises from the idea of treating children as though they are capable of making life altering decisions in a time of what may be a social contagion. First, do no harm.
I've encountered a lot of people who claim gender dysphoria doesn't exist, that being transgender is a sexual orientation and lifestyle CHOICE rather than a medical condition.
They usually go on to claim that all transgender people are wannabe pedophiles and rapists who should be locked up or killed.
And saying that gender reassignment surgery is "just cosmetic surgery" just like a boob job effectively does the same. It denies that the procedure has any positive or essential effects on the patient, which is simply not true.
I do agree we have to be very careful, especially with children, which is why no sane clinic will prescribe HRT and puberty blockers to them, or perform surgery on minors at all.
Sadly laws are being changed by trans ideologues (most of them not trans themselves) to change that, and some doctors are either such ideologues themselves or simply see dollar signs.
As a trans person myself I'm disgusted by that, and by those in the trans community who support such moves or at best deny there is a problem here.
We're not the monsters we're made out to be by even the people who claim to speak for us (and sadly are too often believed to represent us).