Because others know what is best for us.
The priests, who function as experts in the rules of the imaginary being in the sky tell us, “God does not make mistakes.” Even though all sorts of obvious birth defects sort of refute that one. Of course if one holds to that particular belief then there is always the possibility of god as malevolent being.
But let’s take a look at the claims of expertise on the part of the god interfacers. With them there tends to be reliance on books of mythology dating back 1500 or more years that have scientific mistakes and impossibilities like earth centric solar systems etc. Not exactly confidence providing in the scientific arena these “holy” books tend to also be rampantly misogynistic and homophobic.
Mostly the god interface folks seem to be experts at enriching themselves by extortion and begging. They tend to use people born with transsexualism as modern witches, scapegoats for the short comings of their “flocks”. According to these enlightened fools, transsexualism is caused by either Satan, failure to pray enough (give enough money to the god interface people), Obama, or feminism. Because god doesn’t make mistakes it can not possibly be caused by natural genetic variation or environmentally induced genetic mutation.
Then you have the psychiatric establishment with their sciency sounding jargon. Stoller and others attributed the same sorts of psychiatric “cause” for transsexualism that they had previously used for homosexuality. Nice try but as they say about the expertise of people with transsexualism anecdotal evidence is not science.
Then you have the doctors who operate on intersex infants, because perish the though an intersex person should wait until they can verbalize a desire for surgery that would move their bodies in one direction rather than the other or for that matter to remain with the body they have. So the experts roll the dice and make the decisoion for them based on their status as experts. The result is that there are a fair number of pissed off people born intersex who wish the doctors had waited until they had input on what was done to their body.
Now transsexualism started out as a home grown product of people with transsexualism piecing together information. a snippet of Magnus Hirschfeld here and a story there, an article regarding sex hormones and a doctor or two willing to help desperate people.
By the late 1960s people with transsexualism were the experts, we had perhaps a half dozen or so books that told us what we had to know about hormone dosages and the nature of the operation. We knew our own narratives , which were the sanest and most reasonable that I have seen. We described ourselves as feeling trapped in the wrong bodies. Not a whole lot of babble about gender. A lot of us looked like teenage girls except for lack of secondary sex characteristics and having boyparts between our legs. A lot of us show signs of not being all that receptive to male hormones or as the case may be to have too much male hormones. In short when we presented ourselves to the doctors we already seemed to be on the road to becoming.
But natural or environmentally induced variations of intersex would have been too simple for experts who all too often overlook the obvious that both men and women are from Earth and neither are from Mars or Venus. Besides the experts were having to deal with uppity women rebelling against oppressive sex roles that reduce them to lesser people of a lesser and oppressed class. From Lucy Parsons to John and Yoko the truth that women were the slaves of slaves and nigger of the world was being openly stated.
The experts responded by developing “gender” because simply being male or female with a wide range of traits and interests that can be shared by members of both sexes was unacceptable in that it undermined the idea of both opposite sexes and the idea that both were mutually exclusive and immutable.
Because transsexuals, transgenders and other intersex people fell somewhere between or saw the potential in achieving greater oneness of self by moving from an assigned and ascribed as immutable status to a different defined as immutable status the experts viewed us as mind fucks, the fly in the ointment. We ruin wonderful Ph.D. theses and deeply thought out theories as well as works of literature and art based on “never the twain shall meet.”
The very idea that one might decide based on one’s own thoughts, one’s own core of inner being to actively seize the agency to determine for oneself which ascribed class one belonged to was and is anathema to those who set themselves as “experts”. And when it comes to intersex, transsexual or transgender people exercising their freedom to control concerns which determine their own destinies there is an abundant range of “objective” experts.
We have the “religious authorities” who cite ancient texts of mythology to determine the proper course of action for those who are born in-between. Not surprisingly these experts tend to mutter platitudes regarding the infallibility of the sky being and how it is either “his” will (god is always a male in the misogynistic panoply of religions and the invisible man is invariably a male supremacist) or how one must accept the unchangeable. Unchangeable even though surgery is available which does change the primary insignia of sex assignment. Experts of this nature are often the generators of fine points of minutia as to why sex reassignment surgery doesn’t really change one’s sex.
All too often we cave to these experts and cravenly put forth other names for what the surgery does, names like gender reassignment surgery.
Then there are the conservative experts whose thinking runs along the lines of: If men and women are so similar as to share common traits and interest that people can actually be born who are in-between and capable of self-determination as to which class they belong then the constraints that hold civilized society together will be destroyed. Women will think they are the equals of men and the very patriarchy upon which the different sex classes of society depends will come unhinged.
We have the legal experts. Their swords cut both ways and yet for thousands of years men have written the laws that defined women as lesser. Driven by the Taliban Christers they now write defense of heteronormative marriage that can be construed to deny people with a history of transsexualism or intersex people the right to marry at all. Their microscopic examination and tight parsing to define who is man and who is woman leaves little space for people who are in-between even when it comes to matters such as rape and laws that define it as a crime only against “females” with the rape of male or people in-between seen as sexual assault instead.
We have the academic experts with their queer studies and gender studies. Some of the worst of the worst oppressors generate something called “queer theory” which defines us as gender transgressive, what ever that means. Especially when women born transsexual often show the same mix of culturally defined as feminine or masculine behaviors as assigned at birth females. Again the “experts” further their careers in their field by oppressing the ‘non-experts” by othering us and denying us the validity of our life experiences.
WBTs and MBTs as well as other intersex people have our narratives discounted as non-objective since they serve to promote our legitimacy over that of religious, academic, psychiatric and legalistic dogma. Yet we are the only ones capable of speaking with authority regarding our own lives, telling our own stories.
We raise the question of the legitimacy of the experts who pathologize us not because we are pathological but rather due to the misogyny and agenda driven thinking of those experts promoting their own careers and causes based on our oppression.