The American College of Pediatricians released a statement today urging educators and legislators to “reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.” In the statement, they argued that “facts – not ideology – determine reality” and that “conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse” because “human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder.”
This statement stands in staunch opposition to today’s narrative, where transgenderism is not only accepted but seems to be endorsed by schools, the mental health community and even parents alike, with children as young as three years old being encouraged to “decide” on their gender for themselves. This is very disturbing. Children cannot even decide what they want to eat for breakfast. Encouraging them to “choose their own gender” is irresponsible and absurd. True transgenderism exists, but it is rare. Certainly it does not exist in society in the numbers we see now. Encouraging rather than treating a mental disorder can only be disastrous, and actually endorsing it in children will be catastrophic.
The reasons cited for this absurdity are usually behaviors that “don’t fit” the child’s biological sex, or expressing an interest in being – or a belief that they are – the opposite gender. The problem with this is that children experiment with many different things when they are growing up. It’s how they learn and discover who they are. To label these behaviors as trans-anything is patently ridiculous and will create so many problems with self-image and identity. Encouraging a child to dismiss their actual identity in favor of something else creates displaced, unhappy and even suicidal people who don’t know who they are.
More than anything else, one must wonder… what is the point of eschewing the labels you believe society insists upon saddling your child with if all you are doing is slapping a different one on in it’s place? “Oh, you’re not a boy/girl! You’re a girl/boy! You’re transgender! You have no gender!” Today Little Johnny wants to be a girl. Tomorrow he wants to be a duck. Why not just let him be Little Johnny – whoever that actually is – and keep your own labels, agendas, insecurities and ideologies out of it?
There is a spotlight on trans issues lately, but there is something about it that concerns me. Now, I believe in transgenderism as “a thing,” unlike some people. In other words, I believe it does exist and that there really are people who feel their body is incorrect. I believe in their pain. I cannot imagine going through life feeling that way. I really can’t. That’s not the problem I have.
The problem I have is if we simply accept without question everyone who claims to be transgender, we are going to end up doing a disservice to some people. Because while I believe that there definitely are transgendered folks out there, I also know for a fact that there is a subset of folks in the transgender category who are simply unhappy with who they are and want to change that. In other words, they’re not truly transgender in the sense that they believe that they were born the wrong gender. They may think they are transgender (or trans-something) but in actuality, they’re simply unhappy with who they are and want to be someone else – anyone else. This is not the same thing as being truly transgender and I really think a distinction needs to made here but too often, it isn’t.
This is very important, because helping people in that category to become someone else rather than try to accept who they are and like the person they are could end up being extremely damaging. What happens if they actually transition and find out that – surprise! – they’re still themselves, just with a different body? They’re still going to be unhappy, and this time it will be worse because the thing that they thought was going to fix them didn’t: “I’m a different gender now, but I am still a loser/unpopular/depressed/suicidal/don’t fit in/etc.” Now what? This could push people over the edge, and I’m sure in some tragic cases, that has happened.
I am aware that there are very strict medical protocols to determine whether someone is a good candidate for sex reassignment surgery and that these protocols are designed to try to weed out exactly the kind of people I am talking about. I’m speaking more on societal level; how we as a society react. When we offer blanket acceptance, we are effectively validating everybody, and for people who are having an identity crisis or serious self-image issues but are not truly transgender, this could be very, very damaging. People seeking change who are not truly transgender need help to accept who they are and to find things to like about themselves, not validation that being someone else is the answer to their problems, because it isn’t. It’s just adding another serious problem to an already-existing serious problem.
For example: if someone wants to become a woman because they think they would achieve more acceptance, self-confidence, etc. as a woman, then they need to figure out why they don’t feel they can achieve that as a man. They don’t need to become a woman. (And this does happen; I know someone with this exact problem.) Encouraging the change in this situation only further reinforces this person’s idea that who they actually are is not good enough. That is so damaging to someone’s self-image and identity. They need help discovering who they really are and liking it. They don’t need to be told that how they are feeling is normal or OK, because to dislike yourself so much that you literally want to transform into someone else is not OK.
It’s also not transgender.
The spotlight on trans issues of all kinds has brought to light the other very serious issues that people have with accepting themselves and who they are. People who are not truly trans are gravitating toward trans identification because they are desperately unhappy with who they are. It’s time to stop ignoring them.
I have been seeing articles everywhere telling me how to think, feel and act regarding Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner. First of all, I didn’t care about Bruce Jenner. I don’t care about Caitlyn Jenner. I don’t care about anyone’s sex reassignment surgery. That’s their business. It doesn’t offend me, it doesn’t validate me. It has no affect on me whatsoever. If he wanted to be a woman, that’s his business – now her business. Do what you do and be happy while you do it. That’s my opinion. What I don’t like is being told how I should think, feel or act about something. That is my business.
Basic manners should apply here and they should not have to be explained. Since when do you have to explain to people how to not be an asshole? There’s no reason to be rude about someone’s lifestyle or choices. However, if you are going to come out publicly about something like this, you have to know that some people are going to say things about it – and you. They might express confusion, puzzlement or even disgust. That’s the way the world is. People who are nasty and rude should be addressed for being nasty and rude. Period. There are way to express a dissenting opinion without being a jerk. Not everybody thinks this kind of thing is all right, though and they don’t have to. That’s their business, just like this is Jenner’s. Trying to force people to feel and think the way you’d like them to regarding something they do not agree with goes beyond just tolerance. It crosses the line into attempting to browbeat people into approving of something that they don’t approve of. This is not OK.
It doesn’t matter whether you think it’s “the right thing” or “the right way to be.” You don’t get to decide that for other people. No bigoted asshole has attempted to stop Jenner from doing this. I’m sure there were some nasty comments or personal trials faced but no one has tried to kill or imprison Jenner just for being different than most others. So as long as a person can do what they want to do, why don’t you just leave it at that? He wanted to be a woman and now he is – and a stunning one, really. Why isn’t that good enough? It can’t just be one way. You cannot say, “You can’t force trans people to feel how you want them to feel!” while at the same time trying to force non-trans people to feel how you want them to feel. It’s the same with everything. It’s hypocritical and unfair. Everybody has the right to their own feelings, thoughts and opinions, whether you agree with them or not.
I hate to break it to everybody, but nobody is universally accepted by everyone. Not men, not women, not whites, not blacks, not gays, not straights, not trans folks, not the rich, not the poor… nobody. So get over it. We’ve all got our crosses to bear. You don’t get to create rules for how people have to think, feel, speak and react to entire sects of humanity. Basic manners covers it. Taking it any farther than that crosses the line into opinion policing.
There I was, minding my own business and scrolling through my facebook newsfeed when all of a sudden, the screen blanks out and the “log in to continue” prompt appears. Upon attempting to do so, I see that facebook has decided my stage name is no longer acceptable, despite the fact that I have used the same one for years. There is no way around it. I am simply offered a box to change my name and refused entry into my account until I do so. I have looked for email addresses to contact. No dice. All emails come back with the message “You have reached us at a channel we no longer support.” I attempted to use the form to report that an account has been disabled by mistake because of various reasons, one being the name. It took me 2 DAYS to find this form. I filled it out and attached myriad proof that I am known by the name on the account as a musician and artist. When I pressed “send”, I received an error saying that the account is not technically disabled and therefore I could not send the form. There is no working phone number to call. There is no one to appeal to. I either have to use my real name and attach proof of ID or my professional presence on facebook has effectively been terminated. They claim a person can use a stage persona but there is no way to get in touch with them to fix it! This is an intentional loophole they’ve provided themselves to force users to either provide their state ID or provide their real names.
Facebook has created an unsafe, hostile and dangerous environment for women and other at risk groups. It is no longer a place where people can interact freely as they choose. Many will simply choose to abandon the website and everything they have put into it rather than face the danger. I cannot say I blame them. Simply holding all someone’s content hostage until they provide a photo ID is absolutely despicable. What is to stop them from doing this to everybody? After all, how do they know you are who you say you are? They don’t until you show them your ID. This is akin to harassment and it has to stop. Facebook needs to start caring about women and it’s at risk community.