The Transsexual/Transgender Conundrum

A post with the above title was posted to the Trans-Theory List last night,  well actually a non-inclusive version, “The Transgender Conundrum.”

This got me to thinking about the idea that the existence of transsexual and transgender people is some sort of puzzle, a mystery that needs figuring out so that people like me can be prevented from existing.  Of course psychiatrists and well meaning people aren’t as blunt about it.  Only the right wing ass holes and radfems talk about actually eliminating us with pre-natal interventions or post-natal cures.

Well actually no… Quite a few highly educated psychiatric professionals have engaged in dubious experimentation and abuse  of the sort one might have expected from Dr. Mengele.

When I lived in Hollywood I met a sister who had been lobotomized in an attempt to cure her transsexuality.

I’ve met numerous other sisters and brothers who have been institutionalized in attempts to cure them of being transsexual or transgender.

People who are appalled with reparative therapy on gay and lesbian people are perfectly okay with the same sort of therapy when it is performed by Dr. Green and Dr. Zucker.

Parents who do the right thing and give their transkids a space to be themselves, who allow them to transition as children and have as ordinary a life as it is possible for a transkid to have are looked at as though they are crazy.

After all being a “normal heterosexual man or woman” is the pinnacle of something and all those who aren’t straight men and women are somehow tainted as lesser human beings.

Its a p ity Jan Morristitled her well written 1970s memoir, Conundrum, as that has left too many people thinking transsexualism or transgenderism is some sort of puzzle with a cause that needs searching out.

To me this demonstrates how little humanity has moved beyond the Middle Ages when demons and witches were blamed for all sorts of things.

As recently as the 1940s and 1950s teachers in schools tried to cure left handedness.

You have creationists, who believe the universe is six thousand years old suddenly become “Darwinists” and speak emphatically about how homosexuality, transsexuality and transgenderism can’t be natural since it doesn’t promote species reproduction.

As though these morons think every member of the species must reproduce and multiply.

Why is it so hard for people to accept the idea that things like transsexualism, transgenderism and homosexuality happen simply because it is a natural occurrence and one in X number of people happen to be born that way.

Just as a few people are redheads or left handed.

It is time for the Psychiatric Industrial Complex to give up on the idea that transsexual and transgender people represent a conundrum that needs to be figured out.

Their actions of labeling us as having a psychiatric condition, so that the Psychiatric Industrial Complex can bleed money from TS/TG people who need medical treatment has to end.

The GID Label is harming TS/TG people.  Just as labeling homosexuality a mental illness harmed gay and lesbian people.

We, TS and TG people do not have the answers to gender, nor is our gender a key that unlocks the secrets of some sort of enigma.

We get our gender and our personal interpretation of gender the same way non-TS/TG people do.  It is as much a part of our socialization as theirs.  Gender is like a dance a team sport that requires interaction with others. We learn the steps and rules the same way anyone else does.

There is no conundrum.

Perhaps it is time for the Psychiatric Industrial Complex to move past its role in oppressing women, LGBT/T people and other minority groups for not being straight white men.  Perhaps it is time for the Psychiatric Industrial Complex to start examining the whys of real insanity like religion, racism and war.

Until the Psychiatric Industrial Complex is willing to turn its microscope upon things like greed, racism and misogyny it is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Mother of Transgender Toddler Gets a Lesson in Love

From The Advocate:

When the author’s fourth daughter insisted as a toddler that she was really a boy, it took years to figure out that he was really right.

BY Tracie Stratton
August 16 2012

My child is now ten. He transitioned at the age of five. By eighteen months I knew that this child, my fourth daughter, was different from the first three. In particular, she was very boyish, a characteristic which I had never thought about much before. Until Izzy, there were a lot of things I never thought about.

One of Izzy’s first sentences, even before she was two, was, “Me a boy, Mama.” I thought her confusion was cute. By the age of three, I discussed the issue with our pediatrician. By age five, I was in the doctor’s office again, and consulting a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist, who came with great credentials and was the head of the pediatric psych association here in Oregon, had no clue how to handle the situation. Our final meeting with him concluded with him stating: “For God’s sake, just let her be a lesbian.” Of course by this time I knew that gender and sexual identity were two different things. I was upset that there was so little help for children like mine, nor did I know of any other children like mine.

I then went to an endocrinologist, who drew some blood from Izzy for lab work. When discussing the results, we found that my child had been making both sets of hormones, estrogen and testosterone, in equal parts. We learned that in a child so young, however, hormones can ebb and flow, and that this was not conclusive to anything. So what could we think? The endocrinologist said our child was transgender, but that we should not let a lab test alter our path. In short, we should continue to do what is right for Izzy.

So what was right for Izzy? I had no idea. I consulted the Internet and found a gender therapist, who in turn recommended a child specialist. This specialist, Cat Pivetti, has been and continues to be our lifesaver, helping us navigate life with an intersexed, transgender child. As a result, Izzy feels loved and confident about who he is.

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FRC President Tony Perkins Supported Former KKK Leader David Duke And Louisiana’s White Supremacists

My, My for someone who resents having his organization called a hate group Tony Perkins sleeps with some serious Nazis and KKK fucks.

From Joe My God:

By Joe Jervis
Aug. 17, 2012

I’ve mentioned this many times before, but it’s certainly worth mentioning again this week. From an SPLC article I’ve excerpted herebefore:

In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide their link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, because in 1999 — two years before Perkins’ speech to the CCC — Republican House Speaker Trent Lott had been embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson then urged Republicans to avoid the CCC because of its “racist views.” The Duke incident surfaced again in local press in 2002, when Perkins ran for the Republican nomination for the Senate, dooming his campaign to a fourth-place finish in the primaries.

From the Council Of Conservative Citizen’s statement of principles:

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What the Right Gets Wrong About the FRC Shooting

From Mother Jones:

By Fri Aug. 17, 2012

Floyd Lee Corkins, a 28-year-old sometime gay rights volunteer from Herndon, VA who lives with his parents, walked into the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council on Wednesday with a nine millimeter handgun and a bag with 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. According to the FBI, he told the FRC’s security guard Leonardo Reno Johnson that he didn’t like the organization’s politics before opening fire, wounding Johnson in the arm before the guard could subdue him. Thanks to Johnson’s bravery, there was no loss of life.

On Thursday, Corkins was charged with a firearms violation and assault with intent to kill, but anti-marriage equality activists believe the responsibility for the incident goes beyond one man. Anti-gay rights groups quickly pointed to pro-LGBT rights groups as unindicted co-conspirators. The National Organization for Marriage’s President Brian Brown said Wednesday that “Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” referring to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s categorization of FRC as a “hate group.” Brown noted that the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-LGBT rights group, had “even specified that FRC hosts events in Washington, DC, where today’s attack took place.” To Brown, LGBT rights activists had all but drawn Corkins a map.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told reporters at a press conference yesterday that while “Floyd Corkins was responsible for the wounding of one of our colleagues and friends at the Family Research Council,” the shooter  “was given a license to do that by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and stand for traditional orthodox Christianity.” Harsh criticism, according to Perkins and Brown, had laid the stones on Corkins’ path to violence.

In light of the power Perkins and Brown ascribe to the words of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign, we should examine their own.

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American Christians Cannot Claim Persecution

From Huffington Post:


I’ve been attending City Council meetings recently. At my first meeting, it surprised me when they began with a lengthy, detailed prayer. Not just any prayer, but one that ended with the words, “In Jesus name, Amen.” As I looked around the Council chambers wide-eyed with disbelief, I saw that almost everyone had their head bowed and eyes closed, murmuring or nodding along.

As a Christian, I have no problem with prayer, and definitely no problem with Jesus’ name. But as someone who’s studied both religion and government, I was concerned. Many wise leaders, both secular and religious, have pointed out how dangerous it can be to mix the power of government, with the force of religion. Even a religion like Christianity, led by a man who was firm in His apathy toward the government.

Though many expected him to overthrow the government and become the rightful King, Jesus instructed His followers that they should not concern themselves with “this world.” He told them His kingdom was in “another place.” Instead of taking the seat they thought belonged to Him, He did the opposite. He let Pilate turn him over to the religious rulers of the day who ultimately executed him.

It’s understandable why the Jews who followed Jesus wanted him to takeover the Roman government. They’d been persecuted, enslaved, exiled and killed because of their religion and culture. From Pharaoh’s killing of the first borns to the mistreatment by the Roman government of Jesus day, all that His followers had known was hatred and intolerance. Yet still, Jesus reminded these early Christian converts that the government wasn’t His or their concern. What He told them to focus on instead was loving the Lord, and their neighbors. To focus on the eternal, not the fleeting life they were living.

More than 2,000 years later, some Christians seem to have completely forgotten this essential teaching of Jesus. Even worse, they seem to have forgotten what it really means to be persecuted.

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Weapons for the Weak in the Climate Struggle

From Foreign Policy in Focus:

By Walden Bello
August 16, 2012

This past month was the hottest July in the United States ever recorded. In India, the monsoon rains are long delayed, resulting in the country’s second drought in four years. Triple-digit temperatures in New Delhi and other cities have already provoked the worst power outages in the country’s history and the expected bad harvest is likely to slice at least 5 percent from GDP growth.

In Beijing, which usually suffers from a shortage of water, a storm on July 21 resulted in the worst flooding since recordkeeping began in 1951, according to the Economist. Meanwhile, here in the Philippines, a protracted, weeklong rainstorm plunged Metropolitan Manila into a watery disaster that is probably the worst in recent history.

If there is any doubt that the abnormal is now the norm, remember that this is shaping up to be the second straight year that nonstop rains have wreaked havoc in Southeast Asia. Last year, the monsoon season brought about the worst flooding in Thailand’s history, with waters engulfing Bangkok and affecting over 14 million people, damaging nearly 7,000 square miles of agricultural land, disrupting global supply chains, and bringing about what the World Bank estimated to be the world’s fourth costliest disaster ever.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the unceasing rainstorms is that we Filipinos could do little to prevent them. We could have made them less calamitous by resettling informal settlers away from the floodways to Manila Bay and reforesting the hills and mountains that border the metropolitan area. We could have passed the Reproductive Health Bill much earlier and propagated family planning to reduce the human impact on the upland, rural, and urban environments. We could have, in short, taken measures to adapt to changing climate patterns. But to prevent the fundamental shifts in regional and global climate was something we could not do. This is the dilemma of most countries in the South: we are victims and our weapons are few and limited.

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Raids, Harassment at Occupy Tent Cities Start Broader Conversation About Criminalizing Homelessness

From Truth Out:

By Sarah Page
Friday, 17 August 2012

Xander is always reaching out to people, so it wasn’t surprising to see him talking to police officers outside the Bank of America building on one of the first nights those sidewalks were occupied. In planning for the start of Occupy San Francisco (then known as Occupy Financial District San Francisco), organizers wondered whether the city’s new “sit/lie” ordinance would be used against them and if people would be arrested. The sit/lie ordinance in San Francisco makes it illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalks between 7 AM and 11 PM.

Xander indicated that an officer assured him there would not be any arrests under the ordinance and that sit/lie was only intended to be used against homeless people, not protesters. Occupiers were relieved not to be under threat of arrest, but they did not feel it was right for homelessness to be criminalized.

At its peak size, the Occupy San Francisco camp had 300 full-time campers and its kitchen was serving over 1,200 meals a day to the camp and others in the community. Volunteers helped to provide mental and physical health services. What had begun on September 17, 2011, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and a global rising up of people against oppressive financial conditions was not tolerable for those with a stake in the status quo. Several businesses around the camp complained to the city, and one business, Boston Properties, even threatened a lawsuit. The Justin Herman Plaza camp was raided and disbanded by the city on December 7, 2011, but a small group has been camping again in front of the Federal Reserve since February 28, 2012.

Tent cities are not unique to the Occupy movement. During the Great Depression, “shanty towns” were created in many cities throughout the United States due to unemployment, poverty and a lack of affordable housing. These homeless occupations were called “Hoovervilles” after the president at that time, Herbert Hoover. Later, Franklin Roosevelt helped turn the tide on homelessness with the New Deal, which included jobs programs and funding for affordable housing production, and was followed by years of well-funded housing programs. The New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society programs also included other benefits, such as unemployment insurance and social security benefits, which further alleviated poverty.

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