Comment of the Day: “From The Law vs. Ethics File: The Discriminatory Charlotte Pride Parade”

How to construct public policy regarding trans individuals is an increasingly varied and controversial ethics controversy (with another Ethics Alarms post on the topic in progress). This another whiplash ethics area where events and attitudes are moving and evolving too fast for some reasonable people to process. I remember as a child reading a vintage Readers Digest article about Christine Jorgensen and having my father answer my questions about her by saying, “He’s a freak.” The dialogue on the related issues here at Ethics Alarms is always  enlightening, in part because we have the benefit of some very well-informed authorities on the topic.

Pennagain added this impressive post to the latest round in the debate, in response to another commenter’s opinion. Here is Pennagain’s Comment of the Day on the post, “From The Law vs. Ethics File: The Discriminatory Charlotte Pride Parade”:

As far as I could find, the conclusion of Scientific American’s January 2016 article, “Is There Something Unique About the Transgender Brain,” speaks to the results of the all the legitimate studies that have been done to date: . . . given the variety of transgender people and the variation in the brains of men and women generally, it will be a long time, if ever, before a doctor can do a brain scan on a child and say, “Yes, this child is trans.”

So far,  so good. Nothing is proven either way as far as brain differentiation is concerned. But your personal observations are not at that level of science; they are your unsupported (and insupportable) opinions. The problem with that kind of observation is that it can easily be turned on its head, as with “Direct observations by my family, from many teachers and administrators: kids who want attention (for various reasons) tend to come out as trans.”

It’s rather: “Kids who are trans or gay tend to stand out and naturally attract attention.” What’s more, those who observe with knowledge can tell the difference easily.

What’s happening here is a common confusion between sexual orientation and gender identity. As simply as I can put it:

“Gay,” “Lesbian” and “Bisexual” refer to sexual orientation, in other words – who you are attracted to, namely, people of the same gender.

“Transgender” is a gender Identity: how you identify yourself in terms of maleness or femaleness. For a transgender person, the gender identity is one that is different from your biological sex. It can, in fact, have nothing whatsoever to do with whom you are attracted to.

Part of the confusion is that being queer (the word being back in vogue, stuck onto the LGBT as Q) designates one whose gender is known as fluid. In other words, the “stand outs” on the playground and even throughout their lives are those whose behavior is often that of the “opposite” gender. This occurs for two reasons: one is to be born with characteristics of another norm, the other is acquired as a copycat of society in general. What you don’t see,are those boys and girls, men and women, who are identical — naturally, biologically — with “straight” males or females… who can and do “pass”, as it were. Whether they look to you to be butch or femme, they are at home with their penis or vagina.

To get back to the question ‘What is the Difference between Gay and Transgender?’ – one has to do with sexual orientation (who you are attracted to sexually) and the other has to do with gender identity (who you feel yourself to be). Got it?

You are correct in thinking that transgender people, especially when in the (often difficult and painful) process of what is called coming out, used to identify as “gay,” because it was as close as they could come. But they had and have that one differentiation: the conviction and discomfort of being in the wrong gendered body. When a transgender person completes transition, he or she may turn out to have a straight orientation. Or not.

As far as your after finding that society no longer views them as special, have settled back into traditional sexuality goes, you display once again a conventional imagination in an attempt to dismiss both the reality of sexual orientation or gender identity and the complexity and difficulty of coming out against a society — a society that includes your own loved and needed ones — that hates, despises and rejects you. If you really believe this is an attention-getting pose, you are … ill-informed and unable to identify much less re-form your prejudices.

In short ‘What is the Difference between Gay and Transgender?”: One has to do with sexual orientation (who you are attracted to sexually) and the other has to do with gender identity (who you feel yourself to be).

An LBGT or Q person has rarely been “settled” in “traditional society.” They just learned, like you, to follow its customs, to date, even to marry and to raise children per standard. Throughout history, this has been a norm — to hide, to live a lie. (People sacrifice essential parts of themselves to live like this for many reasons when fitting in is deemed desirable or necessary enough.) Very often they are comfortable as Bi individuals in unconventional households. There are more than you know; they live a second life, usually undercover.

Speaking of personal observations, I recently met three people who came out in their 70s, retired, grandparents several times over. Two gay men, one lesbian. They have found a large support group of similar folks online who had felt obligated to be what their parents and/or church wanted.

And there are indeed some “exes,” a small minority. And among them are the rare but tragic cases who were exposed to unethical forms of persuasion that went against their natures. There are also those transgender folks who, in spite of their earnest desires, were incapable of going through the process of transition, particularly male to female. The hormone therapy alone can be torturous (it will be lifelong)… and to spare you the details, just know that the rest of it takes many years of many surgeries and and (again, often lifelong) psychological help. Many will spend a lifetime paying, literally, for it all.

By the way, “a surprising chunk of this demographic,” — LBG and T — have sired or borne children in a variety of ways, including the Traditional Way, and they have been raising “normal” families since long before their marriages became legal.

In short, to deviate from a majority is not to be a “deviant.” Being transgender or any other variation of “queer” is not part of your invented and exceedingly stale stereotype. You present a simplistic, demeaning, and (to be polite) unknowing view of a population that is dispersed widely within what your think is Your World. No one is forcing you to or even asking you to accept it; just recognize its existence and leave it be unless, Heavens to Betsy, it tries to jump your bones.

 

42 Comments

Filed under Bioethics, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement

42 responses to “Comment of the Day: “From The Law vs. Ethics File: The Discriminatory Charlotte Pride Parade”

  1. Very informative post Pennagain.

    Honest questions for anyone with real knowledge on this subject…

    How young do you think a person would be before they really knew that they were having gender identity issues; Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade School, Middle School/ Junior High, High School, College, etc.?

    If your child was having gender identity issues at a really young age, say prior to grade school, what do you think would be an appropriate action to take, if any?

    • Sue Dunim

      How young do you think a person would be before they really knew that they were having gender identity issues; Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade School, Middle School/ Junior High, High School, College, etc.?”

      In extreme cases, age 2, but that’s unusual to say the least. Usually around age 5. Sometimes as late as age 10, but that too is unusual.

      Cases later than that happen, but are real outliers, and gender identity may never fully crystallise.

      If your child was having gender identity issues at a really young age, say prior to grade school, what do you think would be an appropriate action to take, if any?

      First, educate yourself. There’s an 80% chance that what many would think is a “gender identity issue” is nothing of the sort. It’s gender nonconformance. A gender nonconformant boy is a boy, even if it’s much more likely he’ll be gay after puberty than for most boys. A gender nonconformant girl is merely a “tomboy”, and while the odds of her being lesbian are higher than for most, not that much higher.

      If you as a parent still think it may go beyond that, see a reputable, knowledgeable specialist. Neither an ignorant but well meaning misguided “progressive” who sees a tomboy as a trans boy, nor a transphobic “progressive” who sees a trans boy as just a baby lesbian, and for Ghu’s sake never a Christian Counsellor. They leave a trail of corpses behind.

      Then, as a general rule, do whatever is advised, backtracking if need be. For example, if the child expresses suicidal ideation, it’s a medical emergency needing expert specialist advice. Listen to your child, they may be young and uninformed, completely clueless, but they will always know more about their gender than you will.

      A *little* pressure to conform is Ok, but really, if they’re trans, they’re trans. If they’re not, they’re not. There are degrees though. If the issue appears really early, it’s likely to be severe, and not allowing the child to express their gender identity will, not may, but will, damage them. Rarely, kill them.

      Be prepared to change tack if whatever you’re doing isn’t working. Educate yourself.

      • Pennagain

        Zoltar, many thanks for your compliment and for asking a very thoughtful question. And my gratitude to Sue Dunim for answering it with expertise. While I do live in San Francisco, a city where I know and know of transgender adults in all walks of life, I haven’t been a teacher for decades; my acquaintance with LGBTQ kids is via the work I do … with grown-ups, at the other end of the spectrum, trying to unburden them from the lasting damage that was done to them when they were children.

        I have listened to hundreds of men and women who figured out they were gay or lesbian starting from the age of five up to 81, but every transgender person I ever heard from brought that identity out of his or her deepest memory. Those who survive to transition are stronger than just about any people I know, but they are the most wounded as well, most of those emotional injuries stemming from being forced to conform or punished one way or another when they didn’t, from early childhood on.

        According to the suicide prevention stats that are culled from national records every year, in 2016, 4.6 percent of the overall U.S. population has self-reported a suicide attempt, with that number climbing to between 10 and 20 percent for lesbian, gay or bisexual respondents. By comparison, 41 percent of trans or gender non-conforming people surveyed have attempted suicide.

        Those are just the self-reported attempts … not the “successes.”

  2. “given the variety of transgender people and the variation in the brains of men and women generally, it will be a long time, if ever, before a doctor can do a brain scan on a child and say, “Yes, this child is trans.””

    What annoys me most about the LGBTUVWXYZ reaction to anything regarding transgendered people is that they tend to lump them all in a group and treat them as a monolith. I mean, a whole lot of other people do the same thing, but you’d assume that the ‘science and inclusion’ brigade might actually care about science and inclusion.

    “Trans” as a descriptor is flawed at best, take for instance three of the most obviously disparate demographics of trans people: People with a physical condition, like Klinefelter or Turner’s Syndromes People with a physical condition, which have a multitude of labels on their own, but loosely fall along the same markers as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and People sexually attracted to the idea of being the gender other than what they are, for example, autogynephilia.

    In one group you have people who have physical deformities, or abnormal chemistry… Something that can be measured on a material scale, in the second you have people who believe very deeply that they are not the sex to which they by every measurable physical marker appear to be, and in the third group you have people who are fully functioning men (usually), who don’t believe they are women but are sexually aroused by the idea of being women, and take measures to make their sexual desires manifest.

    This list is obviously incomplete… And I’m not sure a full list is even possible due to the contentions around definitions. Are trans people who have successfully transitioned still trans? Are drag queens trans? Are transvestites? I forsee the average social justice opinion to be: Whatever they say they are. Because they’re naturally averse to actually defining things consistently.

    Regardless, you’d think the prescription for the three prognoses I laid out would be different… At the very least you would think that their issues would be wildly different and the path to wellness for each of them would start at a different place, and take a separate journey. On an individual level I’m sure that happens, but using the language of the LGBTUVWXYZ community, I don’t think you’d ever know it.

    And that’s not good. Something like three tenths of a percent of humanity is transgendered, It is not inconceivable, it wouldn’t even be that difficult to not ever actually meet a trans person and have a face and story to put context into the rhetoric. So this misinformation, this lack of differentiation is seeping into our culture and morphing into bad public policy. No one wins, and I think that they of all people should know better.

    • Isaac

      In just my own small family/friends circle there are two homosexuals (a male and a female) who have admitted privately to me that they are gay as a direct result of sexual abuse (one by father and one by brother.) Another friend dabbled in increasingly weird porn until eventually experimenting with gay porn, as a teen, which led to visiting gay chat rooms and being propositioned by (and having sex with) much older men. A friend in high school was groomed by an older man into having gay sex for the first time.

      Sexual proclivities and gender issues are as varied as the human imagination, as your point illustrates. There are hermaphrodites and sufferers of various physical disorders who are unsure of their gender identity as a result (all of whom have my unreserved sympathy.) And on the other end there are people who are just into weird and kinky stuff.

      And there are a great many more “ex-trans” people than Penn insinuates; the research into this has become highly politicized, but reassignment surgery is clearly not the answer for many thousands of people, even if your only bar to clear is “the person doesn’t regret it to the point of severe depression and possible suicide.” There are whole communities of ex-everythings out there, including those like a close relative of mine who became Christian and dropped drugs, homosexuality, suicidal depression, and promiscuity all at the same time and went on to life full and well-adjusted lives. It shouldn’t be a problem to anyone that such people exist.

      Unfortunately, letting people be unique individuals, and letting them deal with their own issues however they see fit, doesn’t allow the political Left to herd everyone with a shared surface trait into a reliable voting bloc.

      • Pennagain

        Thanks for your thoughts, Isaac. There is usually one person that holds the confidences of his family members and it sounds like you’re the one in your family. Sorry to hear about those who have been abused. It’s to be hoped that the spotlight (including the movie of that name) on those intimate situations — that used to be strictly “don’t talk to strange men!” or “it can’t happen in my family, church, school, etc.” — will be able to prevent more of it in future.

        there are a great many more “ex-trans” people than Penn insinuates; the research into this has become highly politicized, but reassignment surgery is clearly not the answer for many thousands of people says that we agree more than you realize. It’s a matter of interpreting “ex,” I think, something I didn’t go into at length (having already gone off on enough tangents!). I have heard of very few people who have rejected their trans identity entirely, as in “no, this isn’t what I wanted in the first place”; it is, as I said, usually extremely deep rooted, but the it takes several years, steady psychiatric work, and great expense just to get to the medical (final) part of transitioning, and not everyone, especially transwomen, the majority of transgenders, can tolerate (physically or emotionally) the necessary hormonal changes or the idea of living with unaccustomed, uncontrollable mood shifts for the rest of their lives. We humans are rather surprisingly adaptable (when we’re not being political, that is), and if there is an acceptable fall-back position, many will be able to accede to supportive gay or straight relationships in which they can still take a nurturing role, including that of fatherhood.

        As longer and broader studies in the area of sexuality and gender are starting to show, both are seen to be less rigid and having a wider range than “Me Man! You Woman” or the reverse. To a large extent, we have had the answers for 60 years, since Alfred Kinsey said in his even-handed way, “the heterosexuality or homosexuality of many individuals is not an all-or-none proposition.”

    • Chris

      What annoys me most about the LGBTUVWXYZ reaction

      LGBT works perfectly fine, and no one here is going to call you non-inclusive for using it, so why do this? Just to signify contempt? I don’t find this much better than using terms like “conservatard” or “Dimocrat”–the only purpose is to show you don’t respect a group enough to call them what they’re called.

      to anything regarding transgendered people is that they tend to lump them all in a group and treat them as a monolith.

      Do you have any examples of this? I don’t see any in your post.

      “Trans” as a descriptor is flawed at best, take for instance three of the most obviously disparate demographics of trans people: People with a physical condition, like Klinefelter or Turner’s Syndromes People with a physical condition, which have a multitude of labels on their own, but loosely fall along the same markers as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and People sexually attracted to the idea of being the gender other than what they are, for example, autogynephilia.

      I’ve literally never seen anyone lump people in these groups together as “trans.”

      In one group you have people who have physical deformities, or abnormal chemistry…Something that can be measured on a material scale, in the second you have people who believe very deeply that they are not the sex to which they by every measurable physical marker appear to be, and in the third group you have people who are fully functioning men (usually), who don’t believe they are women but are sexually aroused by the idea of being women, and take measures to make their sexual desires manifest.

      In my experience, I’ve only seen progressives refer to people of the second group as transgender. People in that third group, I believe, are referred to as transvestites. I’ve even conservatives or liberals who aren’t informed on trans issues mix these two up. But you seem to criticizing the LGBT community here, and they make a pretty easy distinction there.

      Are trans people who have successfully transitioned still trans?

      Yes.

      Are drag queens trans?

      Some are, some aren’t.

      Are transvestites?

      My understanding is that that’s a completely different thing, but I could be wrong. But it seems like you’re presenting these as questions that are, if not unanswerable, then unanswered by the left or the LBGT community in general? Which is weird to me, because they clearly aren’t. These issues have been discussed and hashed out. I’m not saying I have all the answers, or that anyone does…but you’re doing that thing where you’re acting like NO ONE is considering the implications of something new and different to you…which is just another way of saying “Get off my lawn, kids.”

      Regardless, you’d think the prescription for the three prognoses I laid out would be different… At the very least you would think that their issues would be wildly different and the path to wellness for each of them would start at a different place, and take a separate journey. On an individual level I’m sure that happens, but using the language of the LGBTUVWXYZ community, I don’t think you’d ever know it…So this misinformation, this lack of differentiation is seeping into our culture and morphing into bad public policy.

      Yeah, I’m really gonna have to see some examples.

      • Pennagain

        Thanks for doing a lot of work for me, Chris. I’m not sure Humble’s sarcastic lumping deserved it.

        To answer the leftover question: Are transvestites trans? Let’s put it this way, HT: If you liked to play dress-up in your mom’s clothes when you were a kid, maybe you were just playing dress-up; if you put on her make up and found out what it felt like to be pretty, maybe you wanted to be an actor. But if you feel compelled to dress in woman’s clothes today and find that to be your preferred apparel, but you still consider yourself and your sexual behavior to be like that of other men … then you are a tranVESTite. Warning: if you feel your transvestism is out of control, too bad, you still have to use the men’s room.

        • There’s a lot packed in to that comment that I think says more about you than it does me.

          I just want to quote the original context of my post, because your comment reads like a non sequitur to it.

          “This list is obviously incomplete… And I’m not sure a full list is even possible due to the contentions around definitions. Are trans people who have successfully transitioned still trans? Are drag queens trans? Are transvestites? I forsee the average social justice opinion to be: Whatever they say they are.”

          I’m not actually asking the question, I have my own opinions, and I don’t think that transvestites are actually transgender, my point was that there are people who, when asked that question, WOULD refer to transvestite people as transgender. My opinion is that they’re wrong, but it means that before you get into a conversation about the nature of transgender individuals, you need to have common definitions or you’ll end up talking past eachother.

      • “LGBT works perfectly fine, and no one here is going to call you non-inclusive for using it, so why do this? Just to signify contempt? I don’t find this much better than using terms like “conservatard” or “Dimocrat”–the only purpose is to show you don’t respect a group enough to call them what they’re called.”

        Perhaps. In my mind the difference between something like “Dimocrat” and “LGBTUVWXYZ” or even “SJW” is a measure of absurdity and a matter of self identification. If LGBT works perfectly fine, you explain to me why “LGBTTQQIAAP” even exists. Because I promise you that term isn’t based in conservative mockery. For the sake of inclusivity, it seemed like every season gay organizations were tacking on a new letter until someone got the bright idea that because the acronym was getting ridiculous, they’d just add a plus sign to the end of it, but instead of just saying “LGBT+”, you’ll still see people write out “LGBTTQQIAAP+”. Google it. Unlike “Democrat”, the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirit, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Ally, Pansexual, Plus anything else you can think of” description is, in my opinion, worthy of mockery in and of itself. People say “Dimocrat” to mock Democrats, I say “Alphabet Soup” to mock the label.

        “Do you have any examples of this? I don’t see any in your post.”

        I don’t have patience for stupid people Chris. Not even ones only pretending to be. Do I have examples of people lumping physically, mentally, and sexually based trans people together? How about this: Hit CTRL-F, search this page for “trans”, and then try to figure out whether the trans person being talked about is an example of physical, mental or sexual transgenderism.

        Have you ever seen anyone make those distinctions? I’m sure you can find examples, but you have to admit they’ll be outliers, the fact is that those three groups don’t have differentiation in common parlance. There are no commonly used words to describe them.

        “I’ve literally never seen anyone lump people in these groups together as “trans.””

        How the hell would you know?

        “Are trans people who have successfully transitioned still trans?”

        “Yes.”

        You realize that in some of the circles you operate in, that would make you a pariah, right? Not that I don’t agree, but I’m kind of surprised your answer was so definitive.

        “But it seems like you’re presenting these as questions that are, if not unanswerable, then unanswered by the left or the LBGT community in general? Which is weird to me, because they clearly aren’t.”

        Don’t be ridiculous. Everyone has an opinion, everyone thinks they know the answer, but not everyone’s answer is the same. The idea that these questions have one universally agreed upon answer is… Either naive, or ignorant.

        I think the whole “Are trans women ‘real’ women” argument is a great example. Part of the problem in criticizing feminism is that it’s such a giant circus tent, any criticism of a certain type of feminist is invariably met with “Not all”, the problem with “Not all” is that it presupposes “But some” because if there weren’t “Some” then the denial would be absolute. A significant chunk of TERFs are lesbians, they identify as part of the L in LGBTTQQIAAP+, but I promise you they’ll disagree with you on a whole lot of things.

        • Chris

          Humble, I’ll take your word for it that you’ve seen progressives lump transgenders and transvestites in together. I hope you’ll take my word for it that I haven’t. However, if you want me to accept that this is true for the majority of progressives when discussing trans issues, I am not just going to take your word on it; I need evidence and examples.

  3. Mrs. Q

    2017 is the year the gays rights movement in America died. From Pride celebrations (which btw no one asked any of us if Pride was really the word of our choice) not allowing police officers to wear their uniforms, to gays for Trump being shut out, to lesbians being told they couldn’t participate in a dyke march if they didn’t believe transwomen to be dykes, to a Dyke March where 2 straight women & one gay man carried a sign that said “I (heart) d*ck” to my absolute favorite:

    A “transdyke” wearing a white tee made to look bloody that said “I PUNCH TERFS”

    (For those who don’t know, TERF is a disparaging term for feminist lesbians who believe in supporting biological women)

    So tolerant, so loving and so free…right?

    The threat to biologically female lesbians by transwomen is particularly dangerous these days. Need proof? How about trans”women” who tell other transwomen that the only way to deal lesbians who won’t want to sleep with them is to commit violence against them? How about workshops put on by Planned Parenthood to help transwomen “break through” cotton ceilings? How about the intense focus on the part of some of transwomen to constantly sexualize lesbians in online spaces yet threaten and shut down lesbian spaces because of “discrimination?”

    -Lesbians can’t have lesbian bars because it offends trans people.
    -LGBT folks can’t be conservative or their shunned
    -Gays are considered “anti-trans” if they don’t want to have sex with them because of cissexism

    This is not the gay rights movement I was a part of in the 90’s. The point then was to be yourself & not hide your love & not to be disallowed the same rights as our heterosexual counterparts.

    Now the movement is geared solely to trans issues while ignoring the many LGB folks who are getting killed around the world (mostly in Muslim dominated countries). The current movement asks for allegiance to corporate and Super PAC masters, rather than promoting affirmation of personhood & personal choice regarding politics, ideology, and attitudes.

    You can officially count me out of the ever increasing alphabet army of the LGBTQIA movement. It’s time for those of us affiliated with the cause to grow up, get our own lives, and tend to what really matters rather than waste our efforts to make sure some straight woman who identifies her gender (and this is for reals) as Emoji Pizza Unicorn “gets recognition.”

    There are even those in the trans movement who believe gays are just confused & are really trans. Consider what a dangerous thing that is to say. That if you’re gay you should take health altering hormones that permanently damage the body, be medically enslaved to Big Pharma for the rest of your life, mutilate your body, and (of course) be sterilized. Hmm. That’s the kind of justice I’ll pass on thankyouverymuch!

    Anyone who wants to take a gander at what’s coming next, because after transgender there has to be another downtrodden group, should read Martine Rothblatt’s from Transgender to Tranhumanism. Next it won’t be enough to change gender. Soon whites can identify as Black, humans can identify as cats, and men will fall in love with robots.

    ¡Oh wait! That’s already happening.

    • Chris

      A LOT going on in that comment, but two things jump out at me:

      “(For those who don’t know, TERF is a disparaging term for feminist lesbians who believe in supporting biological women)”

      For those who don’t know, TERF is actually a term for radical feminists who don’t believe transwomen exist, and consider all transwomen mentally ill. The term “TERF” stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” I’ll leave it to the reader to decide which is more disparaging: the descriptive term “TERF,” or the actual beliefs of TERFS.

      “There are even those in the trans movement who believe gays are just confused & are really trans. Consider what a dangerous thing that is to say.”

      I’d put trans people telling gay people they aren’t really gay on about the same level of “danger” as a gay person saying trans people aren’t really trans.

      • Mrs. Q

        Chris you’re correct & I should have been more thorough about the definition. I was explaining from my own experiences as a person who could potentially get punched for “trans exclusion” or simply, not wanting to have sexual relations with someone who identifies as female but has a surgically altered or more likely not surgically altered penis. Thanks for correcting.

        I notice though you don’t have anything to say about how lesbians are being threatened by certain transwomen. Why not? Why not address the cotton ceiling workshops & threats of violent behavior towards biological female lesbians? Why can’t lesbians have their own space? Why can’t someone be both gay and conservative? And what about the Super PAC’s that are all for LGBT’s when it’s convenient & gone when it’s not (equalitymatters.org for example).

        Your silence gives you away more than your words sometimes Chris.

        And yes trans folks deal with danger too, and no one ever deserves to be hurt or threatened.

    • COTD. You’re on a roll.

    • Pennagain

      Mrs. Q,

      I generally enjoy your comments. They come from a fresh perspective and a position of consideration. In this case, I don’t know if you are exercising an especially fevered imagination, or if you are a particularly credulous listener to people who do, but you are massively uninformed on this subject. No part of it has any relation to reality.

  4. I keep thinking there will be an end to all the little tweaks that take people to the next extreme. I’m sure it isn’t going to be a popular statement, but it really seems like it’s just attention getting or attempts to scam. If it really is attempting to deal with difficult and painful realities going so negative so publicly seems counterproductive. Like throwing a tantrum, you might eventually get what you want but the repercussions aren’t worth it.

  5. Trans is the gay movement after that lost its prime issue, gay marriage. When trans get whatever they want, (or progressives have used the excuse to further harm our society) there will be something else to crusade about: there always is with progressives.

    I am betting on an attack on the child statutory rape laws. This has been hinted at, but will need more time to weed out those who would protest, to destroy their lives and livelihoods so that no one will dare speak out against anything progressives want to do. They already have crossed the line on protecting girls from men competing in women’s sports, and have shown little care about the very real risks to children when bathrooms can be legally invaded by predators.

    I will take a side bet on an attack on beastiality laws instead: either could come first.

    • Chris

      slickwilly, consent is a major issue to progressives. The idea that supporting rights for trans people naturally leads to support for raping children and animals is, frankly, disgusting.

      “They already have crossed the line on protecting girls from men competing in women’s sports, and have shown little care about the very real risks to children when bathrooms can be legally invaded by predators.”

      Bathrooms can be invaded by predators now. No anti-trans law can possibly stop that, and the “predators”argument is a pretext to justify discrimination against trans people. How do I know this? Most acts of molestation are committed by adult men against little boys. And yet no one has ever, as far as I’m aware, proposed laws separating male children’s restrooms from adult men’s restrooms.

      • Source, Chris? Most molestation is man on boy? The problem we are trying to address is man on girl, so you move the goalposts. Nice diversion.

        Chris, I have proven this to you over and over. The predators now have standing to be in the restroom, if you get your way. Go back to the post where you admitted this was true, after I gave you link after link to stories about males taking advantage of trans liberties to predate on females.

        Trans got along fine for all of history, and suddenly this is an emergency where we will ignore the safety of millions to cater to a few thousands. Progressives need something to attack to bring about utopia, and trans is the next thing to be faux outraged about, since gay marriage is won. Take your pick on the next item props will attack: I have given my opinion based on observation of liberal thinking my entire life. I could be wrong: I sure hope so.

        And bull on the consent thing. Progressives only care about consent if you are a protected group or progressive. Conservatives, Christians, and the poor are coerced all the time by progressives, in all aspects of life.

        I respect your point of view, Chris, and get frustrated when we reach an understanding, then you dig back in as if it never happened. It is dishonest, it is a disgusting progressive tactic, it is cheating in debate, and it is beneath you.

        • Chris

          Source, Chris? Most molestation is man on boy? The problem we are trying to address is man on girl, so you move the goalposts. Nice diversion.

          I’m not moving the goalposts. I’m pointing out the fact that conservatives seem very concerned with keeping transwomen out of women’s restrooms on the basis that allowing them opens the door to allowing predators to target little girls, when absolutely no one has ever suggested crafting bathroom laws so as to protect little boys from potential adult male predators.

          Chris, I have proven this to you over and over. The predators now have standing to be in the restroom, if you get your way.

          I don’t recall where you proved this.

          Go back to the post where you admitted this was true, after I gave you link after link to stories about males taking advantage of trans liberties to predate on females.

          I admitted it was true that some men have creeped in women’s bathrooms. I don’t recall ever admitting that trans-inclusive bathroom policies made this any more likely, common, or legal, as you never produced evidence that they did (to my knowledge).

          Trans got along fine for all of history,

          Well…no, they’ve been oppressed and marginalized for most of Western history. They have been using bathrooms for a long time, if that’s what you mean; and until conservatives started passing laws requiring trans people to use the bathroom matching the sex ontheir birth certificate–meaning Laverne Cox would have to use the men’s room and Buck Angel would have to use the ladies’–this wasn’t a big issue.

          “And bull on the consent thing. Progressives only care about consent if you are a protected group or progressive. Conservatives, Christians, and the poor are coerced all the time by progressives, in all aspects of life.”

          We were clearly talking about sexual consent. Please give me an example of prominent progressives suggesting policies that are antithetical to the concept of sexual consent. If you can’t do that, then you should realize that your fearmongering about progressives eventually favoring child rape and animal rape is ridiculous, and based on a particularly shallow iteration of the slippery slope fallacy.

          • Forced teaching of sex education in schools, Chris, in sexual and was not consented to by the child’ legal guardian. That is a sexual case of non consent forced by progressive policy. That is MY job to teach my children, not society’s or progressive teachers.

            Why, do you think, progressives are coercive? They know better? ‘Science?’ Arrogance.

            Take a look back on June 14, the original thread this comment of the day was from, for the examples.

            So let me get this straight: men can already predate on boys, so let’s open women’s restrooms too?

            How about the destruction of women’s sports, which you sidestepped?

            Trans are .003% of the population and progressives want to cater to them. This is about societal destruction, not empathy for a minority.

            • Chris

              Forced teaching of sex education in schools, Chris, in sexual and was not consented to by the child’ legal guardian. That is a sexual case of non consent forced by progressive policy. That is MY job to teach my children, not society’s or progressive teachers.

              Sex education is not sex, slick, so this is a very poor attempt to answer my question. I’ll take it you cannot come up with any actual areas where progressives are antithetical to the concept of sexual consent; therefore, your assertion that acceptance of trans people will naturally lead to acceptance of the rape of children and animals was idiotic and unsupportable.

              And parents can opt their children out of sex ed in every state in the union.

      • wyogranny

        “slickwilly, consent is a major issue to progressives. The idea that supporting rights for trans people naturally leads to support for raping children and animals is, frankly, disgusting.”

        Taking huge leaps from one statement to it’s ridiculous extreme is not good or honest arguing.

        Your example is disgusting, but it does happen in whatever small percentage of cases. It’s only common sense to know that not every male who is going to use a girls bathroom is honest. It’s bad enough that we can’t reasonably prevent men (who are fully capable of cynically using political correctness to their own ends) from abusing little boys they can access in public restrooms, now we have to afford such criminals the opportunity to abuse little girls as well?

        The idea of separating rest rooms by sex is a defensible reasonable one. It takes a significant twisting of reasonableness to advocate for universal access for any person to any restroom their sensibilities decide they need to use on any given day for what ever reason they can come up with.

  6. I originally rebutted this COTD, and Jack wanted me to move it here, to further the discussion. Or he just wants to stir it up 😏

    Go back to June 14th if this reply to a reply is confusing, and read my original comment.

    Disclosure: I have edited this for clarity from the original.

    “But your personal observations are not at that level of science; they are your unsupported (and insupportable) opinions. ”

    So what? My personal observations are something I can comment on. And your precious ‘science’ is agenda driven drivel, 999 time out of 1000. Are eggs good or bad for you? Scientists have produced studies going both ways. Does a fetus feel pain and react to avoid it? “Cities will be under water by 2013, and Hurricanes will devastate the East coast.” The food pyramid will make you healthy (my favorite) by loading up on carbs (note the obesity and diabetes explosion, and the quiet retraction by the Obama Admin). All of these things were ‘settled science,’ most created by progressive agenda driven studies that turned out to not be true. Spare me your appeals to authority that ain’t.

    “What’s happening here is a common confusion between sexual orientation and gender identity.”

    I am not confused, but you are. I never conflated these. Either you are avoiding my point in order to preach, or you really need to improve your reading skills. My observation was about a probable reason many chose to come out, and it had nothing to do with gender OR orientation. It was about a need for attention, wishing to feel special.

    “To get back to the question ‘What is the Difference between Gay and Transgender?’ ”

    I never asked the question, so this a straw man. I am quite informed, thanks anyway.

    “…you display once again a conventional imagination in an attempt to dismiss both the reality of sexual orientation… hates, despises and rejects you.”

    Conventional imagination, a.k.a. ‘common sense,’ is what applies to the human condition, which has not changed since Adam. Your little snide comment translates to “you are just to ignorant and unable to understand your betters.” This has been the progressive arrogance about modern art my entire life, that the masses are too ‘ignorant and unenlightened’ to understand what a cross in a jar of piss means. Really, your comments reek of arrogance and self righteousness.

    “In short, to deviate from a majority is not to be a “deviant.”

    Straw man: I never used that progressive code word, used by progressives to smear their opponents. I never even suggested that attitude. But feel free to think you are somehow more enlightened and superior by lecturing me.

    “No one is forcing you to or even asking you to accept it…”

    Utter Bull Shit. Progressives don’t want to simply be left alone, or for others to live and let live: they want EVERYONE to actively endorse their positions, in this area especially. Simply disagreeing with the ‘Gay Mafia’ can get you fired in some places. You are lying at best, and gas lighting at worst.

    This post was not about my biases, whatever they may be: it was an observation and a hypothesis. You made it into a political dog whistle and virtue signalling on your part. You think you are moving society along to some utopia (the ‘stale stereotype’ and ‘simplistic, demeaning’ insults) while ignoring that human nature does not change. This is a typical progressive and socialist fallacy. Progressives are moving the goalposts continually, and then jeering when their opponents fall for it. Progressives cannot win on substance, so take other unethical routes.

    Full disclosure: Pennagain responded to this rebuttal, and asserted that this was not intended to be condescending. I take him or her at their word for that.

    • Pennagain

      slickwilly,

      I can’t force you to believe in science, though I trust you’re not as far gone as the Flat-Earthers. A “conventional imagination” is one that cannot imagine anything it has not thought of before. Of course you expressed your opinion, based on you and your family’s observation: in turn, I expressed mine based on professional experience and knowledge. Oh, and science. The use of the word “deviant” and the answers to the “question” of definitions were neither political nor strawmen: they were an attempt to get you to look at the implications of what you were saying and to inform you that it was inaccurate. If it seemed like a lecture, I can’t offer an apology: that mode of expression seemed appropriate to counter your opinions. I hope I didn’t leave anything out. We shall meet again.

      p.s. To you, I’m progressive; to everyone who knows me, I am either barking mad or an unconfessed Republican. chacun ses goûts

  7. Pennagain

    Hi Jack — Here I am at the bottom, first chance I had to thank you for the privilege of COTD.

    Embarrassingly, once again my self-proofing went wonky and I repeated the same paragraph twice. Copy/paste is a very insidious tool. That said, now I shall go back to the top and see what my fellow commenters have to say.

  8. I have teamed up with Barren Blauschwartz to deliver as authoritative a take on this issue as I can manage. Disclaimer: I have several transgender friends, some of them close friends, although that doesn’t factor into my conclusion in any meaningful way.

    1. Gender dysphoria is, technically, a mental illness or disorder (not sure if there’s a difference), in a way that homosexuality isn’t. Any sort of body dysphoria is technically a mental illness, because it means that your body, though it may be physically functioning perfectly, is causing severe psychological distress. The same goes for distress caused by conforming behaviorally to a particular gender. Personally, I might feel a bit uncomfortable if I had to dress and act as a woman, at least at first, but I would not suffer a nervous breakdown or psychological damage simply because of that (assuming I was treated well). Likewise, I could cope and adapt to being turned into a woman, should that somehow happen. I have my own flaws, but I am resilient. (Then again, I’m not representative of humans in matters of the mind.) Admittedly, I have yet to develop the patience to master background mindset (which, among many other things, covers fashion and makeup), so if I were to “dress as a woman” it probably wouldn’t be all that different from me dressing as a man.

    But I digress. If anyone asserts that gender dysphoria is not a disorder, I would respond that it had better be a disorder, or else I would object to my insurance premiums paying for treatment. (if I recall correctly, I actually brought this reasoning up to one or two of my transgender friends, and they didn’t think it was unreasonable.)

    2. Mental illnesses do not diminish the respect a person deserves. (If anything, coping with a mental illness would rather increase the respect I would accord someone.) They do, however, affect how it is best to show a person respect. Granted, everyone already has individual personality traits, which makes effectively showing respect a matter of getting to know them better. However, it’s possible to create generalized paradigms for effectively showing respect to different demographics (e.g. age, gender, disability, occupation, cultural background, or miscellaneous minority status). This is called “etiquette”, and it’s another concept that background mindset covers. The more forms of etiquette you learn, the better you can show respect to different types of people and put them at ease.

    A mental illness may sometimes make it more difficult to interact with a person, but there’s no reason to hold the illness itself against them. However, humans have a bad history of when it comes to treating other humans as people, whether they’re actually different, or only seem different, or are virtually identical but projecting their own flaws onto each other. Even when mental illness isn’t part of the picture, people have trouble understanding the nuances of other people’s thinking, which is why I’m working to promote a nuanced vocabulary for describing people’s thought patterns (e.g. “background mindset”). That said, in more or less all contexts except medical, sexual, identity politics, or just talking about how they feel being trans, transgender men and women are simply no different from cisgender men and women. I don’t see why it would be so difficult to treat them as such.

    3. It appears most of the opposition to transgender recognition comes from the inability to grasp the idea of body dysphoria as a phenomenon that a person cannot simply deal with unassisted. I can understand that lack of understanding, but if transitioning to and behaving as a certain gender is what people need to feel comfortable, I can’t see why anyone should be allowed to decree that they can’t do that.

    “But ExCeph, you admitted it’s a mental disorder, so shouldn’t it be treated?”, a hypothetical person points out. Yes, and the treatment is transitioning. It just so happens that in these cases when the mind and body clash, changing the body is easier than changing the mind. If you can avoid directly altering a person’s mind, that’s usually the better option. Personally, I think it would be safer if people were somehow able to accept their bodies without radically modifying them (see also body integrity identity disorder, for a real ethics dilemma), but then again, it would be ideal if we could choose to change our forms whenever we felt like it, and were comfortable taking any form we needed for the current situation. If modern medical technology allows people to take a small step in that direction, and it alleviates their dysphoria, the only possible objection I could raise comes back to the insurance premiums, and as we have looked at before, we have bigger problems in that area.

    4. Call me superficial, but I am not sexually attracted to male-gendered humans, or humans with male genitalia regardless of what gender they are. I am entitled to not be sexually attracted to people, and anyone who thinks they are entitled to have sex with me is creepy on that basis alone. Transitioning to female does not entitle you to have sex with any given lesbian any more than it entitles you to have sex with any given gynosexual male. The entire gender, sexual, and romantic minority rights movement is founded on the basis that you can’t choose who you’re attracted to or what gender you feel like, so it’s incredibly hypocritical to fault someone for their lack of attraction and try to shame them into developing some.

    Does that sound fair to everyone? I think that addresses most points, but if there are any objections or anything I missed, let me know.

    • Chris

      Wonderful comment, EC.

    • Pennagain

      Thanks, E.C. – You elucidated the area I admit I was avoiding, though I did try to get across, if not strongly enough, that transitioning required psychological therapy. I stayed off it because of the stigma, even greater than homophobia, of the phrase “mental illness.” It’s one of the greater problems that a transperson — the one suffering from gender dysphoria — has to deal with … has to hide, with the very hiding of it exacerbating the illness itself. It is so well hidden and seems such a (depressing) part of the transperson’s personality that it is a massive revelation to meet the “new” identity, calmer, more self-assured, ready to step out and take his or her place in a solid relationship, in society, and as I pointed out somewhere else, way being stronger than the average bear. The transition IS, as you said, the cure.

      I always appreciate hearing your voice, o alien mollusk. This is not the first post of yours that I will excerpt for friends who need to see it and will pass it on.

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