Informed Consent: The Right to Make Your Own Decisions and Mistakes Regarding Your Life

The main reason, I have been calling bullshit on the regreters, who think they should have the right to sue the doctors over medical treatment they sought out and either jumped through Health Insurance Program’s hoops to fund or personally paid for, is simple.

I believe TS/TG people are ordinary people first and foremost, average and normal in every way except for being TS/TG and therefore members of a minority, that generally speaking meets Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall of being despised and dispossessed.

One of the main problems with being a member of such a class is that authorities spend a lot of time and effort denying us personal agency.

I post a great deal of material about how the right wing religious fanatics try to deny women access to birth control and abortion.  The principle is the same the one at work when TS/TG people are denied the agency to make their own informed decisions regarding their own bodies.

Either way the denial of agency is dehumanizing and infantilizing.

If I had come out in the 1980s or later rather than in 1969 and the early 1970s I would have been driven to revolutionary levels of rage by the  imposition of of all the new gate keeping rules that seem meant to enrich the Psychiatric Industrial Complex.

The instituting of the GID diagnosis effectively disenfranchised TS/TG people, denied us the agency to decide on our own what we considered right for us to do with our bodies.

I came out at a point and time when women and gay and lesbian people were clamoring for their rights and freedom, at a time when African American people had destroyed  major parts of cities in acts of rebellion against America’s racist oppression of black people.

All I had to do was walk into the office of a public health clinic in San Francisco and state I was a transsexual, that I wanted to take female hormones and get a sex change operation. I went to more psychiatrists as part of an effort by social workers in the Berkeley Welfare Department to obtain public funding for SRS.

Think about that for a moment.  In 1969 social workers in Berkeley were waging a campaign to obtain public funding for SRS.  Further they weren’t alone social workers in other parts of the country were doing the same thing.

We were being treated as ordinary sane people with an issue that required medical care.

We had agency and weren’t treated as though we were mentally ill children in need of professionals to make our medical decisions for us.

Yes we did have to be on hormones and living full time for at least a year prior to SRS.  I tend to consider that an important part of the process of transition, perhaps along with the hormones the most important part, because it tests one’s ability to cope as a member of the sex/gender one is transitioning to live the rest of one’s life as.

Beyond that some psychiatric testing and a psychiatric interview by the surgery provider should be sufficient to insure that a patient is intelligent enough and sane enough to both understand the extensive medical releases one is obliged to sign and realize the full implications of the step one is embarking upon.

While one should still retain the right to sue due to medical malpractice and surgery complications one should not have the right to sue based on the idea that some how the doctor failed to protect the patient from making a mistake regarding his/her desire for this course of treatment.

The one who sought out this course of treatment has the existential responsibility for that decision.  Doctors are human beings, not mind readers and there is no fool proof biological marker, no little purple gene waving a sign saying, “I’m the gene that makes people transsexual/transgender.

When I came out being transsexual was self-diagnosed and in most cases to day being TS/TG is still based on self-diagnosis.  Much of what the Psychiatric Industrial Complex does is extract a toll ranging between hundreds and thousands of dollars from each person making the transition journey.  In the process they dehumanize, pathologize and infantilize.

Demanding the agency to make our own decisions regarding medical treatment requires accepting responsibility for our decisions, including our mistakes.  But shouldering that responsibility is the price we pay to be fully human adults with the agency to make our own decisions on these matters that are of vital interest to us.

How They See Us: Unmasking The Religious Right War on Gay America

For the last month, Alvin McEwen, of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters has been working on a booklet showing the connections of those individuals who make up the organized anti-LGBT hate groups.  Along with linking these individuals, he exposes some of the filthy lying propaganda they use.

Alvin has made this pamphlet into a PDF which may be downloaded and printed out.  Please read it, discuss it and disseminate this pamphlet widely.

Hate flourishes when good people fail to denounce it.

From Holly Bullies and Headless Monsters:

By Alvin McEwen
Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Reposted with permission

How They See Us: Unmasking The Religious Right War on Gay America

Due to the importance of this post, it will be the only one I write today.

I have said all that there needs to say and the only thing left now is the posting of How They See Us.

This booklet is free to anyone who wants to read, download, or link it to their blog. By all means, please do so. And above all, please “like ” it on Facebook, twitter, and other forms of social media. In spite of the claims of the religious right, our goal is not to silence them, but to demand an answer from them regarding their tactics. Lies told in the name of God are still lies: HowThey See Us

For PDF Click Here

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TS/TG Regreters and the Cowgirl up/Cowboy up Approach to Life and Personal Responsability

The most important point to remember in all this is that people who claim they are TS/TG and seek out hormones and surgery to change their sex characteristics do so voluntarily.  No one forces them to seek out this treatment.  If anything the process along with violence and discrimination against TS/TG people should discourage anyone from doing this on a whim.

Before TS/TG Regreters who cut corners, doctor shopped, and lied to therapist who were screening them go and sue doctors for providing them treatment they sought out; they need to do some serious self assessment.

Damned few people people in the vast on line world of actual TS/TG people who live the life really make it sound like some sort of paradise behind the pink or blue door.

If that is what you are finding get the hell off the TV/DC fantasy lists and read what activists are writing about anti-violence and anti-discrimination struggles.

Look in the mirror and see the person responsible for making the decisions regarding transition.

Deciding to transition is like deciding to sky dive, get a major not covered by normal work clothing tattoo, or joining the military decision.  It could turn out badly.  Cowgirl up/cowboy up: Accept the risks and take responsibility for your own choices.

Don’t fucking cry about how you made a mistake and the doctors or someone else didn’t stop you.  That isn’t all that acceptable for some one who plays football and winds up brain damaged, or joins the military and winds up a multiple amputee and it isn’t really acceptable from someone who decides they want sex characteristic altering hormones and surgery.

Sympathy yes, payouts or making getting these procedures harder for everyone else seeking these treatments without your hangups no fucking way.

Further if you later find religion or radical feminism and decide you made a mistake, go into therapy and lose the religion or radical feminism.

Where in hell do you get off with your selfish cry baby behavior.  You chose to do this.  You fucking own it.  It is your fault, not the fault of the doctor.  Cowgirl up/cowboy up and take some responsibility for your own decisions.

You aren’t a victim of anyone except yourself.

Further your actions are harming the lives and access to medical care of hundreds of thousands of TS/TG people who do not regret the medical treatments we receive.

A commenter to a previous post named Toni summed it up quite accurately:

Not really… Regret is a self-fulfilling prophecy under the Standards of Care and/or any regime, because SEEDS OF REGRET FLOURISH IN SOIL OF “I didn’t do it the ‘right way’ and ‘they’ failed to protect me.”

Argentina does it right: Need counseling? Get counseling. Need HRT? Get HRT. Need surgery? Get surgery. Need legal name and gender change? Get legal name and gender change. Everything is on you, because you are responsible for every step of transition taken or not taken, and responsibility cuts regret off at the pass.

Basically: no gatekeepers, no one to blame, no problem, no regret.

Doctor probed over trans patient complaints

From Gay Star News:

Investigation into doctor who treats gender reassignment patients accused of being a ‘witch hunt’ by NHS

By Matthew Jenkin
07 January 2013

A doctor who treated trans men and women seeking gender reassignment is being investigated after several patients complained about his practices.

One of the most serious complaints which prompted Britain’s General Medical Council to investigate Dr Richard Curtis was filed by a patient who had a double mastectomy and hormone therapy but later regretted the decision.

Other allegations against the London-based General Practitioner include that he prescribed gender reassignment drugs to a patient under 18, without the specialist knowledge and skills to do so, and gave hormone treatment without referring the patient for a second opinion or before they had undergone counseling.

Dr Curtis is also accused of breaching restrictions placed on his practice in Marylebone by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), which were first imposed in November 2011.

The conditions, which include a ban on prescribing hormone treatment for trans patients before they have undergone a mental health or psychological assessment, were extended until May 2013, reported The Guardian.

They will remain in place until the GMC publishes the results of its investigation. If the complaints are upheld, the case will return to the MPTS for a further hearing.

Continue reading at:

UK: Transgender doctor under investigation by the General Medical Council

From Pink News UK:

7 January 2013

Britain’s first post-operative transgender doctor is under investigation following complaints that he provided inappropriate treatment to patients wishing to change gender.

Dr Richard Curtis is being investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC), after at least three separate complaints.

The London-based GP is accused of prescribing hormone therapy to several patients – when it was not suitable to do so – and also ignoring restrictions placed on his practice.

The Telegraph states in one case reportedly under investigation by the GMC a woman complained she regretted undergoing treatment, which included having a double mastectomy and taking hormones.

In another case, it was alleged Dr Curtis prescribed drugs to patients under 18, without the specialist knowledge or the skills to do so.

Dr Curtis is also accused of failing to follow acceptable levels of care and breached conditions placed on his practice by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), the GMC’s arm’s-length disciplinary body.

Continue reading at:

Jeanne Manford, PFLAG Founder And Pioneering Gay Rights Ally, Dead At 92

From Huffington Post:

Posted: 01/08/2013

Jeanne Manford, the founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and an all-around pioneering straight ally in the LGBT rights movement, has died at 92.

Manford died at her Daly City, Calif. home and had been in declining health for some time, daughter Suzanne Swan confirmed.

“She is known to thousands of people as the mother of the straight ally movement, but to me –- she was my mother,” Ms. Swan said in an email statement. “She was someone who would always do the right thing, the good thing. She supported all people, and that meant so much to us growing up.”

Born Jeanne Sobelson on Dec. 4, 1920 in Queens, N.Y., Manford became active on behalf of LGBT rights in 1972 after her son Morty was beaten during a Gay Activists Alliance demonstration. After Morty’s attack, Manford penned a letter to the editor of The New York Post, declaring “I have a homosexual son and I love him.”

She subsequently joined her son in the 1972 Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade (predecessor to NYC’s LGBT Pride Parade), carrying a placard stating “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support Of Our Children.” The first meeting of PFLAG (which was then known as “Parents of Gays” or “POG”) was held in New York’s Metropolitan Community Church the following year.

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Marriage Equality is Not Enough: The Perfect Storm Part 4

From Truth Wins Out:

January 08, 2013

As marriage equality becomes a reality as each day goes by, I would like to make a bold statement:

Marriage equality is not enough!

That is easy for me to say, as someone enjoying heterosexual privilege? I have been married to the person I love for over a decade and there was no traveling to a different state then our home state to have our marriage legal. So my saying marriage equality is not enough, could be taken as an ill advised statement from a heterosexual male who is blinded by his own heterosexual privilege.

My words are influenced by those who do not have the protection of heterosexual privilege, they are influenced by those who reminded daily that they are black and same gender loving.

On Saturday May 5th  2012, a group of us (majority were LGBT/SGL) from diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities met to discuss the issues impacting the black LGBTA/SGL community of Kansas City. On this day, our first task was to identify the top five challenges (we came up with eight) that face the Black LGBT/SGL community of Kansas City.

They were:

  1. Church Based Homophobia/Heterosexism
  2. Racism
  4. Homelessness
  5. Apathy and Self Loathing
  6. Lack of spaces of support
  7. Hypermasculinity
  8. Lack of community involvement

No one spoke on marriage equality.

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