Transgender and You: A guide to interacting the the trans public

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Helmholtz Watson:

Proto Taco:
In the situation of HRT, treatment of gender dysphoria becomes no different than any other problem you might address with your common care physician; an unhealthy condition exists the physician is able to prescribe medication to treat it.

I repeat, you seem to want to only focus on solutions that target the body, and completely ignore solutions that target the brain because "it's to hard to understand the brain!"-which is only the case as long as you refuse to do research that would alter the hormones that the brain "bathes" in.

Oh, they've done that sort of research several times. At it's most basic they shoot up the test subjects with more of the
hormones from their birth sex... Doesn't work and more often than not exacerbates the problem... and most research in that area has been halted because of the ethical issues this causes. Barring some revolutionary breakthroughs in biochemistry and neurochemistry, not much more research is possible.

So far the only treatment that has an acceptable success rate is Hormone Replacement Therapy (for the gender they identify as not for their birth sex).

RhombusHatesYou:

Helmholtz Watson:

Proto Taco:
In the situation of HRT, treatment of gender dysphoria becomes no different than any other problem you might address with your common care physician; an unhealthy condition exists the physician is able to prescribe medication to treat it.

I repeat, you seem to want to only focus on solutions that target the body, and completely ignore solutions that target the brain because "it's to hard to understand the brain!"-which is only the case as long as you refuse to do research that would alter the hormones that the brain "bathes" in.

Oh, they've done that sort of research several times. At it's most basic they shoot up the test subjects with more of the
hormones from their birth sex... Doesn't work and more often than not exacerbates the problem... and most research in that area has been halted because of the ethical issues this causes. Barring some revolutionary breakthroughs in biochemistry and neurochemistry, not much more research is possible.

So far the only treatment that has an acceptable success rate is Hormone Replacement Therapy (for the gender they identify as not for their birth sex).

I realize that it isn't easy to come up with an alternative and I'm not suggesting that HRT should be banned, just that research should continue to be done to provide the steps a possible "cure" in the future that solves the issue at its core, ie the brain.

The Lyre:
Do you feel gender dysphoria should be classified as a genuine medical disorder? If so, what kind of disorder do you think it should be categorised as? A mental disorder, or perhaps a neurological disorder, or something else altogether?

Does this differ from what you believe gender dysphoria actually is - say, do you believe it might be psychological, but would prefer it be categorised as something else?

I would like to state my opinion on this as someone who has had to deal with it for much of my life. Gender dysphoria, first of all, conflates a number of different things. There is discomfort about one's gender expression, expected gender identity, and one's physicality. Many trans people distinguish between "social dysphoria" and "body dysphoria". I think that if sex and gender are two different things (biological vs. social), then there could be dysphoria about one's sex and also dysphoria about one's gender. Similarly, I see "gender identity" as conflating social identity with sexed embodiment (how the body is perceived mentally by a subject). This is an important distinction because some non-trans people think that "gender identity" is only about socially imposed roles. Social dysphoria is certainly environmental and shaped by society's arbitrary gender roles and policing of gender boundaries, which has real psychological effects. A society that lacks a polarized distinction between feminine and masculine would certainly be easier for a gender variant person to live in. Body dysphoria, on the other hand, I suspect has a strong neurological component. Underlying the dysphoria is an almost instinctive dissonance, as if the mind is wired to expect the body to be different than what it actually is physically. I think this unfolds developmentally and essentially amounts to a dysfunction in somatic self-perception. For me this experience of embodiment goes back as far as I can remember, and when secondary characteristics appeared at puberty, body dysphoria was definitely something I felt acutely every single day of my life until I was able to do something about it (and it far exceeded in magnitude than any social dysphoria I had). It was always there, even if I wasn't thinking about it, but I was aware that it was there. It could be ignored, but only for so long. I could adopt coping mechanisms, but they would work only so long. But if there is a neurological component (which is unproven but plausible), there is also surely a psychological one, since society shoves gender everywhere it can by making so much ride on one's anatomy, essentially pouring salt into the wound.

Neurodevelopmental disorders overlap with mental disorders. Autism for instance is in the DSM survey of mental disorders but is generally recognized as a neurodevelopmental disorder; interestingly it used to be considered a psychosis (a thought disorder) back in the 1960s but now is recognized as having a neurological etiology. At least some researchers approach transsexualism from a neurodevelopmental perspective (see http://www.shb-info.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/2_gooren_et_al.pdf, for instance), and this does NOT necessitate a "brain sex" theory of gender (which I find deeply problematic). It just means that sexed embodiment (how the sexual nature of a person's body is subjectively experienced) has neural correlates that can be disordered in early brain development, producing the kind of gendered "wrong body" sense that is a quintessential part of body dysphoria and transsexualism. But research on this is in its infancy and so there isn't yet a strong scientific basis for actually classing trassexualism as a neurodevelopmental disorder, so it is classified as a mental disorder, particularly on account of the distress that a person with it experiences. But I think with further research, it will eventually be recognized as neurodevelopmental. One reason why I suspect this is that gender dysphoria (particularly body dysphoria) is alleviated through physical intervention and not through psychological interventions like talk therapy. This is because it is a fixed condition, the brain being wired the way it is, just as autism is a fixed condition and no amount of talk therapy would make an autistic child stop being autistic (though various cognitive and medical therapies, including changes in diet, may help ease some of the distress and improve functioning). Sexual orientation is also fixed neurodevelopmentally for many if not most people (hence the feeling by many that they were born with their orientation, just as transsexual people often feel they were "born that way" as well). And BIID, with which body dysphoria has been sometimes compared to, is also increasingly being recognized as a neurological disorder.

The main social problem with the mental disorder label is stigma, as well as the false assumption that dysphoria can be resolved via talk therapy. The common attitude is that trans people are crazy, delusional, and analogous to a mental ward patient claiming to be Napoleon. This is usually supported by the fact that transsexualism is classed as a mental disorder, despite the fact that MOST mental disorders are not thought disorders like schizophrenia. Depression is a mental disorder. Anxiety is a mental disorder. An eating disorder is a mental disorder. Adjustment disorders are mental disorders. None of these involve delusions. It is the trans person's claim of identifying as the other gender, or feeling like they were born the wrong sex, that is mischaracterized as a delusion. What would be delusional is if a boy (AMAB) actually thought he were physically female. This is different. This is a matter of sensing a problem in how the brain registers the body, which is accurately perceived subconsciously and above the threshold of consciousness. This is a matter of feeling that one should have been born the other sex on account of the dissonance/mismatch/discomfort experienced in one's own sexed embodiment. This is more Oliver Sacks territory than Freud, in my opinion. I am reminded of another neurological condition called synaesthesia. This is not a disorder per se because it does not cause distress. An uninformed person might say that a person with synaesthesia is delusional, because they perceive colors in sounds or tastes in shapes, which don't really exist. But such a person does not have a thought disorder, they know that a letter doesn't really have a color but they perceive it that way regardless. But its not merely their imagination; they are accurately sensing something in their neural processing, as can now be confirmed experimentally. I think its something like that. Rather than perceiving something outwardly, this is perceiving something inwardly about oneself. Maybe one day this can be directly studied, where one can locate in the brain what is going on when a trans person experiences that feeling of being in the "wrong body". But the success of transition to bring the body into alignment with what the mind expects it to be is noteworthy. It shows that the "wrong body" feeling is not just a crazy notion but can be successfully treated medically. The other part of the equation is that everything occurs in a social context. The brain continues developing in early childhood and social experiences (such as gender socialization and identity formation) play a crucial role as well. These internal feelings become interpreted socially by the subject and thus have large ramifications in how the person sees herself or himself as a member of society.

First a word to this bloody thread: the number of posts that basically amount to,

"I'm not racist, but...[insert racist comment here]"

...is staggering. Really what the OP propositioned amounted to "treat them like human beings" - and still people disagree and argue by virtue of some naturalistic fallacy "Hey they can't ever be real men/women so I won't treat them like that!", completely ignoring the question why that should actually matter or if intentionally insulting people by it isn't really something to consider. But hey, go ahead and say whatever you want - I just hope you guys get punched in the face from time to time then. After all, if you choose to be a dick you better deal with the consequences that go along with it.

OpalEssence:
-snip-

Very good post that also confirms what I knew up until now - this also once more highlights how very interesting this condition is from a scientific perspective and what a very complicated issue this actually is. It forces one to carefully separate the impact of societal role expectations from a yet unknown neurological component which is what plays the major part here. Especially the connection between BIID and other disorders would also be a very interesting field to do research in - personally I wouldn't be surprised if those and some other more obscure mental disorders couldn't be reduced to a certain different and more error-prone neurological framework.

Chromatic Aberration:
First a word to this bloody thread: the number of posts that basically amount to,

"I'm not racist, but...[insert racist comment here]"

...is staggering. Really what the OP propositioned amounted to "treat them like human beings" - and still people disagree and argue by virtue of some naturalistic fallacy "Hey they can't ever be real men/women so I won't treat them like that!", completely ignoring the question why that should actually matter or if intentionally insulting people by it isn't really something to consider. But hey, go ahead and say whatever you want - I just hope you guys get punched in the face from time to time then. After all, if you choose to be a dick you better deal with the consequences that go along with it.

This. A hundred times this.

On the subject of Gender dysphoria as a "mental disorder", I can see why that label doesn't quite apply; the term "mental disorder" implies that the mental side is what needs to change. With gender dysphorics, as I understand it, that's not the case: when the body does not match the mind, the body can be adapted.

For example, the mindset of a transwoman is no more "disorderly" (dis...disorderly? Disordered? Disordersome?) than that of a cis woman. The body just isn't fit for purpose.

Chromatic Aberration:
First a word to this bloody thread: the number of posts that basically amount to,

"I'm not racist, but...[insert racist comment here]"

...is staggering. Really what the OP propositioned amounted to "treat them like human beings" - and still people disagree and argue by virtue of some naturalistic fallacy "Hey they can't ever be real men/women so I won't treat them like that!", completely ignoring the question why that should actually matter or if intentionally insulting people by it isn't really something to consider. But hey, go ahead and say whatever you want - I just hope you guys get punched in the face from time to time then. After all, if you choose to be a dick you better deal with the consequences that go along with it.

The attitude that one's sex at birth is the only thing that counts, and overrides one's actual social experiences, is the #1 reason why I am private about my trans history. No one, other than my hubby and doctor, need to know.

Very good post that also confirms what I knew up until now - this also once more highlights how very interesting this condition is from a scientific perspective and what a very complicated issue this actually is. It forces one to carefully separate the impact of societal role expectations from a yet unknown neurological component which is what plays the major part here. Especially the connection between BIID and other disorders would also be a very interesting field to do research in - personally I wouldn't be surprised if those and some other more obscure mental disorders couldn't be reduced to a certain different and more error-prone neurological framework.

It was kind of weird writing that from an analytical standpoint, having experienced it harrowingly firsthand, but I am glad I was able to convey some of the complexity involved. I think a lot of problems arise when things are simplified and important things are left out in the process.

Abomination:
Explain how it's hypocritical. I am not attempting to deny either party any rights. I am not stating that transsexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry, adopt, become transsexual, have their sexual treatments, insist they call themselves the gender that is counter to what I believe their sex to be, have the ability to attend the restroom they identify as... I'm just stating that according to ME they are the sexuality they are born as and therefore I do not have the capability to be romantically attracted to them.

And THAT offends you?

Think about the characteristics you use to define someone's gender. While we can use appearance to decide what gender to call the individuals, humans come in all shapes and sizes. It is completely possible that you could confuse a woman with a man and vice versa. And if that woman corrected you when you called them a man it would only be polite to refer to them in the way they believe is correct.

Humans do not strictly use biology to determine gender in day to day interaction. I don't take someone's DNA and process it through a machine to determine their DNA and genetic makeup before I'm convinced that they're the gender they claim they are. By a strict definition a MtF trans might be considered male. But we humans only use very simple ways to identify gender anyways. To put it simply, if I call someone a women I am not identifying them by their breasts, vagina or DNA. I'm identifying them like that because I used a very basic guideline to determine which gender to assume because I do not know everything about them. My assumptions could be wrong and they could correct me.

Some people get really pigheaded and stubborn when their expectations aren't met and their assumptions are corrected. Really, what rights and liberties are you sacrificing if someone who to you appeared to be a man asked you to use 'she' and 'her' instead of 'he' and 'him' anyways? I do not see the difference between this and the example used in the first paragraph. In both cases if you insisted that the individual who said they were a woman was a man they wouldn't be happy about it and in both cases I would believe you to be inconsiderate of their feelings.

No amount of backtracking and attempts to use science to try to explain would hide the fact you knew you were being rude to in both cases. In both of those examples you would still have chosen to be rude for whatever reason it might be, whether it be due to being ignorant, being stubborn, or being malicious.

Abomination:
I'm just stating that according to ME they are the sexuality they are born as and therefore I do not have the capability to be romantically attracted to them.

This conversation has nothing to do with sexual attraction and you can be attracted to someone for whatever reasons you like . In daily language referring to someone as female isn't expressing your desire to stick your penis in them. It is used to identify them. This point is the kind of point someone would use to create a strawman.

Helmholtz Watson:
I realize that it isn't easy to come up with an alternative and I'm not suggesting that HRT should be banned, just that research should continue to be done to provide the steps a possible "cure" in the future that solves the issue at its core, ie the brain.

There are three key issues on that approach.

First, everytime some new breakthrough in medicine, neuroscience or psychology that could be helpful comes out, it inevitably gets tried. So far research into potential treatments that try to 'fix' the brain or mind are dismal failures that run into the ethical issue of causing further harm. That's a big no-no when it comes to human research.

Second, given limited resources, it only makes sense to primarily pursue avenues of research based on treatments that have already proven effective. Even more so when you consider the first issue.

Third, and most importantly, is that your proposed avenue of research isn't the type of treatment sought by the majority of the trans community. Unless you're proposing to have transpeople treated by force, you're creating a treatment that most would take extreme measures, if necessary, to avoid. Not to mention that, were such a treatment to appear, public pressure would be to make it the only form of treatment available. Re-read this thread again if you don't believe that.

Okay, here's what I'm going to do. If I see somebody that looks male, I'm going to proceed on the assumption that they are male. Ditto for looks and treated as female. If that person says 'hey mate, I actually identify as x as opposed to y, in the future could please you treat me as x' then yeah, I'm probably gonna go along with that. If they come out with 'you transphopic arse, I am not an X, I am a Y!' Then I won't treat them as anything because I am going to tell them to piss off and walk away.

It is all about not being an arse and so often I see people coming out with demands that the world change around them to fit themselves. I remember someone demanding that there be a gender neutral third person singular pronoun (because 'they' apparently does not exist) and shit like that is a non-starter.

Also, If somebody is, as I remember reading a few pages ago, going to self-harm after being referred to by a gender that they do not Identify as that person is not mentally robust enough to be on their own in public No blame attaches, but blaming people who used the 'wrong' pronoun to describe them is like putting an icecube outside and blaming the sun for it melting.

Finally, not so much here, but in the last few months I have seen an upsurge in people trying to turn Transexuality into their own little fiefdom, and the same thing happens in every group that has a dichotomy between the 'in' and the 'out'. Non-transexuals being told what they are and are not 'allowed to do' is not really okay as it stifles discussion and really tries to bypass an equitable state and move straight into a new 'privileged' group. The same thing has been happening around the issue of feminism, and racism and religion where people outside of the new privilege are being told what they can and cannot do by people on the inside. This has nothing to do with Transsexual people, gender, ethnicity or religion and everything to do with the sort of people who, the second they have 'one-up'- on anybody else, will immediately abuse that. 99% of the people in these groups are not like that, but they are doing immense amounts of damage to the progress of those groups and I would really like to see the practice stop.

GeneralFungi:
This conversation has nothing to do with sexual attraction and you can be attracted to someone for whatever reasons you like . In daily language referring to someone as female isn't expressing your desire to stick your penis in them. It is used to identify them. This point is the kind of point someone would use to create a strawman.

It has everything to do with sex and sexual attraction. That's why it's called "sex".

I am not sexually attracted to the male sex. A transgender can not change their sex - they can only disguise it.

I don't care how much someone "looks" and "acts" like a female - it doesn't make them one.

To expect the world to conform to that delusional idea that chemicals, surgery, makeup and clothing can transform an individual into a different sex is both arrogant and absurd. If I had all the procedures required to transform me into a trans-woman against my will I WOULD STILL BE A GUY... and if that is the case then just being willing about it doesn't make them female either.

Some people might believe that sex is subjective, and all power to them. If it's subjective then sex, subjectively to me, is determined before birth and calling me a bigot for thinking that is ridiculous and dismissive to actual REAL bigotry.

Abomination:
If I had all the procedures required to transform me into a trans-woman against my will I WOULD STILL BE A GUY...

So, you mean that you'd be physically one sex, but mentally, a different gender... and we should judge you by what's inside, rather than by what parts you have?

That's exactly what people have been trying to tell you.

Abomination:

Some people might believe that sex is subjective, and all power to them.

Nobody's claiming that physical sex is subjective (though a case could be made for that, if we go and bring seahorses into it). What I'm saying is that gender is subjective, and that sex has been made mutable.

Abomination:
If it's subjective then sex, subjectively to me, is determined before birth and calling me a bigot for thinking that is ridiculous and dismissive to actual REAL bigotry.

That's "REAL bigotry", is it? All those people who live in fear and self-loathing because of their opinion that sex is determined before birth... all of those people harassed in the street, those suicides, those murders.

Oh, wait.

Abomination:

GeneralFungi:
This conversation has nothing to do with sexual attraction and you can be attracted to someone for whatever reasons you like . In daily language referring to someone as female isn't expressing your desire to stick your penis in them. It is used to identify them. This point is the kind of point someone would use to create a strawman.

It has everything to do with sex and sexual attraction. That's why it's called "sex".

I prefer the word "Gender". It is more specific and doesn't cause as much confusion. But you're just arguing semantics that have nothing to do with the point I made.

If I called someone 'attractive', 'sexy', 'gorgeous' etc. then I'm expressing a desire to pursue a relationship with them, or are at least admiring them. If I described someone as a man or a woman, it does not necessarily mean that I have any interest in them at all. Do you see what I'm trying to say? The fact that you're arguing this point with me almost makes you sound paranoid.

There isn't a gang of trans people trying to lure you into a trap. Why are you debating this one point so fiercely when you, like always, have complete control over who you date? It isn't right for someone to try and guilt you into being a part of a relationship that you are uncomfortable with no matter what those reasons are. I don't understand what it is you are arguing for in this instance.

Abomination:
I am not sexually attracted to the male sex. A transgender can not change their sex - they can only disguise it.

I don't care how much someone "looks" and "acts" like a female - it doesn't make them one.

Except 'looking' and 'acting' like a female is how your brain identifies something as female. Like I said before, you do not take a DNA test every single time you want to confirm someone's gender. The only part of your brain that cares whether or not it was born resembling a female is the part of your brain that's stubborn and doesn't want to accept that biology isn't black and white, nor is it very consistent.

Abomination:

To expect the world to conform to that delusional idea that chemicals, surgery, makeup and clothing can transform an individual into a different sex is both arrogant and absurd. If I had all the procedures required to transform me into a trans-woman against my will I WOULD STILL BE A GUY... and if that is the case then just being willing about it doesn't make them female either.

If you went through transwomen therapy what would keep you being male, though? What part of you would remain male through and through. What part of your would remain the same? Your mind. Your mind would be the mind of a male. While people of both genders are equal and their brains are the same in every way that matters for human intelligence, there are small differences that affect people's psychology in surprising ways. And since your mind would be pretty much fully developed before you became a transwoman so it would remain identical to the way it was. It would be your body that's changed. Your mind would still believe it is male, but your body wouldn't be in every other way.

Is it really so hard to believe that someone's mind could develop to resemble the brain structure of one gender yet have the body develop in a different direction? Imagine what you would feel if you were forced into being a transwoman. Perhaps it would be the only comparable thing to being a trans-gendered individual that other people would be able to experience? Not that I would expect anyone to if they didn't want to.

Abomination:
Some people might believe that sex is subjective, and all power to them. If it's subjective then sex, subjectively to me, is determined before birth and calling me a bigot for thinking that is ridiculous and dismissive to actual REAL bigotry.

Is it absurd for the world to have respect for people's feelings and to make small adjustments in order to make the individual feel better about themselves? Even if the world doesn't agree with them or what they believe, it would show a measure or kindness to respect their wishes and treat them how they wish to be treated.

Even if you think Trans people are delusional it would at least demonstrate you care for their feelings despite the fact you don't care for their cause. You aren't being supportive by sticking your thumbs in your ears and ignoring them. You're trying to empower them by saying that they can identify as whatever gender they please. But then you're immediately taking away their power and your support by claiming that you won't do the same, even if it's just to make them feel content.

You can't be supportive and be dismissive to the same group. I'm afraid it doesn't work like that. That would be like if you said that it's okay to be gay, but then you turn around and tell them you won't believe that they are in a relationship and that if there were two same sexed people in a relationship and sharing a household you would only ever refer to them as roommates. Technically you aren't speaking against them or even really discriminating, but in practice you are demonstrating that you oppose them at every step of the way while trying not to look bad.

Silvanus:

Abomination:
If I had all the procedures required to transform me into a trans-woman against my will I WOULD STILL BE A GUY...

So, you mean that you'd be physically one sex, but mentally, a different gender... and we should judge you by what's inside, rather than by what parts you have?

That's exactly what people have been trying to tell you.

No, people have been trying to tell me I'm a bigot for treating them exactly how they want to be treated but still considering them their birth sex.

Silvanus:

Abomination:

Some people might believe that sex is subjective, and all power to them.

Nobody's claiming that physical sex is subjective (though a case could be made for that, if we go and bring seahorses into it). What I'm saying is that gender is subjective, and that sex has been made mutable.

When did I ever say someone's gender is determined by their physical makeup?

Silvanus:

Abomination:
If it's subjective then sex, subjectively to me, is determined before birth and calling me a bigot for thinking that is ridiculous and dismissive to actual REAL bigotry.

That's "REAL bigotry", is it? All those people who live in fear and self-loathing because of their opinion that sex is determined before birth... all of those people harassed in the street, those suicides, those murders.

Oh, wait.

What are you on about? Read what I said. I said calling someone a bigot for only considering someone's sex (NOT GENDER, I NEVER SAID GENDER) to be determined before birth is dismissive. As in it makes bigotry not look like such a bad thing at all if that's all that is required to be a bigot - having a different opinion, not actually acting on it.

Not sure how many times I have to explain this - I do not mistreat transgender people. I do not discriminate, I do not insult, I do not mock or harass them. I simply consider their SEX to be determined before birth and something that can not be changed.

GeneralFungi:
I prefer the word "Gender". It is more specific and doesn't cause as much confusion. But you're just arguing semantics that have nothing to do with the point I made.

I can't believe you can't recognize that I know the difference between sex and gender.

I know the difference between sex and gender.

I'm talking about sex, not gender here. Just their sex, not their gender.

I'm not going to tell someone what their gender is as their gender is defined by their actions, not their birth.

When I say "sex" I mean "sex", I don't mean "sex and/or gender". If I was going to talk about gender I would say "gender".

Abomination:
When did I ever say someone's gender is determined by their physical makeup?

The relevant part of my post came after that, where I said that, "sex has been made mutable".

Abomination:
What are you on about? Read what I said. I said calling someone a bigot for only considering someone's sex (NOT GENDER, I NEVER SAID GENDER) to be determined before birth is dismissive. As in it makes bigotry not look like such a bad thing at all if that's all that is required to be a bigot - having a different opinion, not actually acting on it.

Ah, I realise now that I misread your post. My bad here.

Abomination:
Not sure how many times I have to explain this - I do not mistreat transgender people. I do not discriminate, I do not insult, I do not mock or harass them. I simply consider their SEX to be determined before birth and something that can not be changed.

You don't need to explain that. I never thought you did. I'm simply trying to correct (what I see as) a misconception that you have.

Abomination:

GeneralFungi:
I prefer the word "Gender". It is more specific and doesn't cause as much confusion. But you're just arguing semantics that have nothing to do with the point I made.

I can't believe you can't recognize that I know the difference between sex and gender.

I know the difference between sex and gender.

I'm talking about sex, not gender here. Just their sex, not their gender.

I'm not going to tell someone what their gender is as their gender is defined by their actions, not their birth.

When I say "sex" I mean "sex", I don't mean "sex and/or gender". If I was going to talk about gender I would say "gender".

I understand the difference, but from reading the post I didn't realize you did entirely, my own mistake.

If I'm using he or she to define someone am I describing their sex or their gender? You're describing both obviously. I got the impression you were using the word sex over gender just because it being literally called 'sex' made it easier for you to debate that gender had everything to do with physical appearance and what they 'carried' so to speak. Not that you were really speaking about how they were born. For making that mistake I apologize.

But it's still true that the X and Y genes are only in effect while the child is developing in the fetus. Then afterward it's only purpose is to allow for reproduction. The idea that a person could be born with a brain resembling more closely to one gender but without a body that matches is an interesting one. The mind once it develops remains the exact same, while the body could change for any number of reasons that don't necessarily relate to gender.

I guess it could raise the question of what defines a person's sex and what defines their gender. But I suppose in the long run the definition of the word doesn't matter so much as you're respectful to people and how they choose to identify themselves.

Also, If somebody is, as I remember reading a few pages ago, going to self-harm after being referred to by a gender that they do not Identify as that person is not mentally robust enough to be on their own in public No blame attaches, but blaming people who used the 'wrong' pronoun to describe them is like putting an icecube outside and blaming the sun for it melting.

Yea your right in that its to be expected somewhat, but i mean is there any alternative really? The sun is responsible for an ice cube melting, and if the ice cube in this case is a trans person, they will melt if they go outside, but the anaolgy kind of ends here, since people kind of have to go outside ya know? They cant just stay inside forever and try to transition, or even after they are done, live a life of a recluse. Being forced into a world that isnt very accepting towards you is just what i wanted to highlight. And ya, i guess as far as your treatment of them, id say you were very accommodating and respectful. I just wanted to respond, since it was me who made that claim of a trans person probably committed suicide. And feel free not to respond back, im getting kind of tired of this thread.

GeneralFungi:
Except 'looking' and 'acting' like a female is how your brain identifies something as female. Like I said before, you do not take a DNA test every single time you want to confirm someone's gender.

If I'm using he or she to define someone am I describing their sex or their gender? You're describing both obviously.

Ideologically sex overrides gender in our culture, but in actual practice gender takes precedence. Primary identifiers of sex like DNA and genitals are socially invisible; one's sexed status is instead inferred from more ambiguous and maleable secondary sexed characteristics and gendered traits that are visible. In practice it is gender, not sex, that governs the selection of pronouns "he" or "she", terms of address "Sir" or "Ma'am", and everything else in our culture that signifies one's status as male or female. And that is codified in our legal system. Under DOMA, for instance, I would have not been able to marry another woman if I had wanted to.

BTW, while Abomination is mistaken about many things on this issue, he is perfectly entitled to his opinion and sexual preferences. He has already said that he will irl "call them by whatever societal norm they wish to be called" (i.e. proper pronouns without misgendering), and not mistreat or discriminate against them. I don't have a problem with that.

Rosiv:

Also, If somebody is, as I remember reading a few pages ago, going to self-harm after being referred to by a gender that they do not Identify as that person is not mentally robust enough to be on their own in public No blame attaches, but blaming people who used the 'wrong' pronoun to describe them is like putting an icecube outside and blaming the sun for it melting.

Yea your right in that its to be expected somewhat, but i mean is there any alternative really? The sun is responsible for an ice cube melting, and if the ice cube in this case is a trans person, they will melt if they go outside, but the anaolgy kind of ends here, since people kind of have to go outside ya know? They cant just stay inside forever and try to transition, or even after they are done, live a life of a recluse. Being forced into a world that isnt very accepting towards you is just what i wanted to highlight. And ya, i guess as far as your treatment of them, id say you were very accommodating and respectful. I just wanted to respond, since it was me who made that claim of a trans person probably committed suicide. And feel free not to respond back, im getting kind of tired of this thread.

Someone who is that mentally fragile needs to be in therapy or sequestered away from events that could lead to them self harming. Trying to put the responsibility for their mental health on the avoidence of everyday acts by others is, to put if frankly, ludicrous. To give an example from my life I have issues with large dogs due to having been mauled as a child. It would be unreasonable for me to walk up to someone in the street and demand that they not discuss or display large dogs to spare my feelings, and it would be insane for anyone to hold them responsible if I self-harmed because I saw the dog.

And another trans thread that's devolved into quote nitpicking and inflamed opinions...

xmbts:
And another trans thread that's devolved into quote nitpicking and inflamed opinions...

Such is the way of anything when we take ourselves too seriously. So here's fucking pichachu to calm everybody down.

image

My services have been forfilled.

I have an impossible time understating the whole sex/gender thing.

If sex(physical) and gender(mental/social) are completely different then where do all the problems come from? Why do "females" want to remove their penises and use the Women's restroom if none of that is linked to gender anyway. If one bathroom or set of genitals is no more linked to your gender than the other, then why do they so desire one over the other?

Also, if gender is a social construct, then how is that even a thing. Would a gender dysphoric male suddenly be perfectly fine if he washed up on an island of amazons where the women hunt and gather while the men stay home to cook meals and take care of the children.

These aren't meant to be criticisms but things I truly don't understand.

Helmholtz Watson:
I realize that it isn't easy to come up with an alternative and I'm not suggesting that HRT should be banned, just that research should continue to be done to provide the steps a possible "cure" in the future that solves the issue at its core, ie the brain.

I think a lot of trans people would cringe at the thought of a mental "cure", in a similar sense that many autistic people push back on the talk on curing autism. Gender identity is at an instinctual, subconscious level, fundamental to selfhood and how one perceives oneself as an individual. It is not simply a matter of cognitive functioning or processing; it would alter one's sense of self and identity....one would not want to feel that they would lose oneself and become someone else. In fact, for those who have had to deal with this, the ever-present desire is to STOP being perceived wrongly and to finally embrace one's identity. It would feel like brainwashing to change such a crucial part of oneself.

cthulhuspawn82:
I have an impossible time understating the whole sex/gender thing.

If sex(physical) and gender(mental/social) are completely different then where do all the problems come from? Why do "females" want to remove their penises and use the Women's restroom if none of that is linked to gender anyway. If one bathroom or set of genitals is no more linked to your gender than the other, then why do they so desire one over the other?

Also, if gender is a social construct, then how is that even a thing. Would a gender dysphoric male suddenly be perfectly fine if he washed up on an island of amazons where the women hunt and gather while the men stay home to cook meals and take care of the children.

These aren't meant to be criticisms but things I truly don't understand.

My take on this is that sex and gender are distinct (i.e. they must not be conflated as the same thing, one must not erase gender from the picture) BUT they are absolutely linked. That is crucial. A child who feels they are in the wrong body and identifies with the other sex may indeed desire to blend in socially as a member of that sex. We aren't just bodies but subjects living in society, and a society that bases a great many things upon what sex one has. It is important to recognize that social constructs are very real. We live in a constructed world, it is called civilization. Money is a social construct but we treat it as if it were a real thing with value. Meaning does not exist outside of social constructs. A gender dysphoric person does not live in a nonexistent society (with amazons or otherwise), but must find their place in the one that exists. And being transgender isn't necessarily about gender roles or being masculine or feminine. It goes deeper than that. Even if gender roles did not exist, there would still be the distinction between male and female that is socially ratified. So to take up your example, if I were born on that amazon island, I would want to go hunt and gather with all the other women. Because I would see myself as a girl. It isn't gender roles that drive the identification (I'm a girl because I do X and Y), it's the other way around. It is the desire to belong socially with the group you feel you were supposed to belong to. It is the alienation and resentment that is felt when society tries to push you to socially identify with people whom you regard as your opposite.

I don't know if this helps at all, I'd be happy to elaborate further.

OpalEssence:
The attitude that one's sex at birth is the only thing that counts, and overrides one's actual social experiences, is the #1 reason why I am private about my trans history. No one, other than my hubby and doctor, need to know.

Makes sense, I can relate. Out of interest, though: how many people actually did insult you intentionally? I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of the people in this thread who advocated that stuff won't actually do it in RL - it's just the Internet, they are anonymous and want to be "edgy" and all that shit. I can already see them trying their best to awkwardly ignore a person in transition
on the train or in class...

It was kind of weird writing that from an analytical standpoint, having experienced it harrowingly firsthand, but I am glad I was able to convey some of the complexity involved. I think a lot of problems arise when things are simplified and important things are left out in the process.

You'll find that the latter is actually a general problem of any discussion - if people don't know they resort to the simplest explanation and get fed up if whatever happens can't be explained by, so to speak, neatly drawing a simple line through the data points. But given that nature isn't so kind to always be described by simple lines....you get the idea...

OpalEssence:
I think a lot of trans people would cringe at the thought of a mental "cure", in a similar sense that many autistic people push back on the talk on curing autism. Gender identity is at an instinctual, subconscious level, fundamental to selfhood and how one perceives oneself as an individual. It is not simply a matter of cognitive functioning or processing; it would alter one's sense of self and identity....one would not want to feel that they would lose oneself and become someone else. In fact, for those who have had to deal with this, the ever-present desire is to STOP being perceived wrongly and to finally embrace one's identity. It would feel like brainwashing to change such a crucial part of oneself.

I think this is actually the most interesting part about this discussion: how much does this condition shape ones identity and how much does it have to play a part in making oneself? I mean a person is always more than the sum of its parts - one doesn't have to make oneself be solely about ones medical condition. Of course, the more severe such a condition is, the more it makes daily things difficult the more one is forced to accept it, deal with it and incorporate it into ones conception of self. Naturally Transgenderism is a very extreme example for that. Still, I keep coming back to an example I read about some time ago: some specific groups of deaf people sharing a specific birth-defect objected to their kids actually getting a Cochlear implant which would get rid of their condition from the get-go. Why? Well because their condition forged them into a group with shared rituals and an identity that became important to them. As such, the question of how much conditions like this define oneself is not a trivial question or without pitfalls.

OpalEssence:

Helmholtz Watson:
I realize that it isn't easy to come up with an alternative and I'm not suggesting that HRT should be banned, just that research should continue to be done to provide the steps a possible "cure" in the future that solves the issue at its core, ie the brain.

Gender identity is at an instinctual, subconscious level, fundamental to selfhood and how one perceives oneself as an individual. It is not simply a matter of cognitive functioning or processing; it would alter one's sense of self and identity.

The other issue is that identity doesn't 'self-repair'. If something is removed from a person's self-identity (which is bloody hard to do) it doesn't automatically get a replacement. Even if you could, theoretically, stop someone from identifying as the 'wrong' gender that doesn't mean they'll start identifying as the 'right' gender. Far more likely is that you'll just eliminate that person's gender identity entirely... which opens a whole shitcan of potential problems.

It would feel like brainwashing to change such a crucial part of oneself.

Funny thing about brainwashing is that it's a high maintenance deal. It requires constant reinforcement and keeping the subject in a suggestable state. Eliminate either factor and the brainwashing doesn't last long.

It would be unreasonable for me to walk up to someone in the street and demand that they not discuss or display large dogs to spare my feelings,

Thats the thing though, i dont consider it unreasonable, quite the opposite in fact.

As to the dogs analogy, they should be walked frequently to get them exercise yes, that by itself is necessary? So people having dogs outside should be expect. And therefore, if you say that if someone that doesn't like dogs due to past trauma, and encounters one, that they should have the right to demand the dogs removal, i agree that they shouldn't, cause there isn't an easier alternative.

But with the transgender example, its just a word really, there are a lot of alternatives that can be used as the very nature of words, i mean if you see someone you think is a "tranny" for lack of a better word, then wouldn't the best protocol be to use whatever gender they are trying to pass as? And as for gender queers i guess you would just use ambiguous monikers until they specify themselves. I know it may seem like a lot at first, but given that inter sexed and trans people make up less than 1% of most populations around the world, the chances you will be put in this scenario are a bit low, no?

I guess in closing, IMO, its easier to moderate what you say, then how someone would walk a dog, to stick to the analogy.
I mean no disrespect by that btw, i never liked dogs either much.

the clockmaker:
To give an example from my life I have issues with large dogs due to having been mauled as a child. It would be unreasonable for me to walk up to someone in the street and demand that they not discuss or display large dogs to spare my feelings, and it would be insane for anyone to hold them responsible if I self-harmed because I saw the dog.

Your analogy is failed. So lets fix it:
This person also hides their dog all the time, except when you are around. And when you are around they specifically go out of their way to get their dog in your face.
Now if the situation is like this, does it sound unreasonable for you to request that they don't shove their dog in your face?

Think about it. For every other person in the world, people have no problem addressing them with the name and pronouns they prefer, but when a trans person comes in this courtesy is inexplicably changed.

Chromatic Aberration:

Makes sense, I can relate. Out of interest, though: how many people actually did insult you intentionally? I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of the people in this thread who advocated that stuff won't actually do it in RL - it's just the Internet, they are anonymous and want to be "edgy" and all that shit. I can already see them trying their best to awkwardly ignore a person in transition on the train or in class...

When I was in transition, I had a number of negative experiences, one particularly scary incident, but overall things went very smoothly. But that was so long ago, the last time someone in public misgendered me (or worse), the President was getting impeached about lying about getting a blow job. I still know from personal experience (both with friends and when I was dating) that the way someone views me can change on a dime once they discover certain things about my history. I am still othered, and that bothers me, and that information once out cannot be easily put back in the bottle. My reaction to this also is informed by my experiences in my youth of being bullied and made to feel like a "freak". Some of these attitudes tap into some rather raw experiences. But its rather academic at this point, because I do not experience any transphobia in my life (and I realize I am fortunate and privileged in that respect). But I still have a deep fear of losing my privilege and "going back" to the kinds of experiences I had to deal with years ago.

Chromatic Aberration:

I think this is actually the most interesting part about this discussion: how much does this condition shape ones identity and how much does it have to play a part in making oneself? I mean a person is always more than the sum of its parts - one doesn't have to make oneself be solely about ones medical condition. Of course, the more severe such a condition is, the more it makes daily things difficult the more one is forced to accept it, deal with it and incorporate it into ones conception of self. Naturally Transgenderism is a very extreme example for that. Still, I keep coming back to an example I read about some time ago: some specific groups of deaf people sharing a specific birth-defect objected to their kids actually getting a Cochlear implant which would get rid of their condition from the get-go. Why? Well because their condition forged them into a group with shared rituals and an identity that became important to them. As such, the question of how much conditions like this define oneself is not a trivial question or without pitfalls.

Wow, I love your example of the cochlear implant, because it actually pertains to a rather personal experience of mine. I have a friend who got a cochlear implant, or rather a friend of a friend. The first time I met her, we were going to go shopping for the afternoon, and then I went to her house and we talked for hours and hours about our experiences (though I did not talk about being trans, which is not something I share with people generally). She was born with hearing, but she lost it at a rather young age, and she went through some rather traumatic experiences on account of it, feeling othered, feeling so alone and she had to struggle against a world that assumes a person has hearing by default. Then when she was adult, she got her first cochlear implant, and everything instantly changed for her. She is such a happy person, and her happiness is very infectious. And that life story resonated so deeply with me. Years later, I decided to come out to a close friend of mine as trans. She had hinted that she suspected I was trans and conveyed that she would be understanding. After I finally addressed it with her, and it was very difficult because I had not come out as trans in over a decade, I asked her...how did you know? (This was such a rare opportunity to learn about how someone perceives me) She said that it was two things. One, she knew what my birth name was. She did not know I was born with another name originally, but she eventually learned this inadvertently, and she thought, well, it was an odd name to have, but not impossible. But what confirmed it for her was when I told her the story about my friend with the cochlear implant. She could tell that I related deeply with her experience, and my friend thought to herself, "Something was wrong with your body too, and you had it fixed," and it just made sense.

OpalEssence:

I think a lot of trans people would cringe at the thought of a mental "cure", in a similar sense that many autistic people push back on the talk on curing autism. Gender identity is at an instinctual, subconscious level, fundamental to selfhood and how one perceives oneself as an individual. It is not simply a matter of cognitive functioning or processing; it would alter one's sense of self and identity....one would not want to feel that they would lose oneself and become someone else.

So because somebody who is ill feels like its part of their identity, they should have final say on what kind of research is to be conducted? That makes about as much sense as asking a guy who's drunk if hes ok to drive and, while slurring his words, he assures you that he is fine and that your making a big thing out of nothing.

Now before anybody gets upset with my comparison with the drunk driver, let it be known that all I am merely trying to do is bring up the issues that occur with the Egocentric Predicament and how a person that is under a certain influence would have difficulty making an objective observation and assessment of their own situation. Apologies if anybody is offended by my comment.

OpalEssence:
In fact, for those who have had to deal with this, the ever-present desire is to STOP being perceived wrongly and to finally embrace one's identity.

Again, I wouldn't let a drunk guy tell me whether hes ok to drive, so why should I have someone who has only lived their life as a transsexual tell me what research I should be allowed to conduct?

OpalEssence:
It would feel like brainwashing to change such a crucial part of oneself.

There was a Escapist user on here a little while back who, I assume, had some mental issues and they also felt it was wrong for them to be medicated, but just because they felt that way doesn't mean that they were right. The same goes here, I don't doubt that some transsexuals would also feel this way. That said, I would not force everybody who was a transsexual to get a mental "hormonal bathing".

Helmholtz Watson:
So because somebody who is ill feels like its part of their identity

Somebody who you believe is mentally ill. The fifth DSM doesn't count it as a disorder; this is aaaaall you.

Silvanus:

Helmholtz Watson:
So because somebody who is ill feels like its part of their identity

Somebody who you believe is mentally ill. The fifth DSM doesn't count it as a disorder; this is aaaaall you.

First off, the last ones sure did conclude that it was a mental disorder, and its not like science has ever been pressured to change their stance on something because its politically incorrect, right? Second off, the DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association, so there is nothing to say that the global community agrees with everything that American Psychiatrist have concluded. Third, and most importantly, I wasn't talking about it as a mental disorder but as something that is physically wrong with the brain, hence why I was talking about "rebathing" the brain in the correct hormones.

I forgot to address this other interesting point:

Chromatic Aberration:

I think this is actually the most interesting part about this discussion: how much does this condition shape ones identity and how much does it have to play a part in making oneself? I mean a person is always more than the sum of its parts - one doesn't have to make oneself be solely about ones medical condition.

Of course identity is multifaceted and draws on multiple intersections between different social roles and activities. What makes gender different is that it is one of the earliest identities acquired and pretty much colors one's social experiences across all other roles and identities. But wrt the condition itself, I think its varies from person to person how much it defines one's identity. Some trans people are very public about it and wish to integrate their transness in their social persona. I don't. It is not something I want to define me.

Helmholtz Watson:
Second off, the DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association, so there is nothing to say that the global community agrees with everything that American Psychiatrist have concluded.

Well, I'd say that the DSM being one of the two most widely used and highly regarded profesisonal diagnostic manuals in the fields of psychology and psychiatry says that the global community does agree with the APA... especially as the WHO's own ICD is the other manual and it looks like transgender/gender dysphoria is being removed from the ICD's mental health chapter in the next revision (that'd be ICD 11).

So, yeah, the global community, insofar as the fields of psychiatry and psychology are concerned, do agree with the APA.

Helmholtz Watson:
So because somebody who is ill feels like its part of their identity, they should have final say on what kind of research is to be conducted? ...

Again, I wouldn't let a drunk guy tell me whether hes ok to drive, so why should I have someone who has only lived their life as a transsexual tell me what research I should be allowed to conduct?

I think you misunderstand what I wrote. I didn't say anything about preventing scientific research. I was describing how many trans people would react to a "cure" that aims to disrupt if not obliterate a big part of their sense of self. Now again I think it is worth distinguishing between body dysphoria and social dysphoria. If the only thing involved was sexed embodiment, I could potentially see positive benefit from a treatment that allows the mind to recognize one's sex characteristics as appropriate rather than incongruous. For example, a late-transitioning heavily masculinized person may not necessarily receive relief from body dysphoria from HRT alone, and may fear the social reprecussions of being such a socially visible trans person. Having an alternative could potentially help save lives. But dysphoria usually isn't just about one's body schema. It is also about identity. It is about selfhood at its most primitive level; the formation of the ego is informed directly by bodily self-perception (at least that is my understanding from child psychology). I doubt resolving the body dysphoria in the direction of one's birth sex would address the social dysphoria, and changing one's identity to address the social dysphoria would be surrendering who one is as a person, at a time when such people MOST want to be themselves and have their identity recognized. But again I don't think gender identity is something that can just be cancelled or flipped chemically. It is a complex social construct that draws on many years of experiences that define a person's sense of who they are in the world.

BTW, this discussion reminds me a lot of the ST:TNG episode "The Outcast"; the result of the treatment in the story is presented very much like brainwashing, as a very important part of the character's personality (her gender identity) is obliterated. Spoilers from Wikipedia:

Since you construe this "cure" as an alternative, as something that wouldn't be forced on every transsexual person, I do find it doubtful that a treatment that strips away a person's deepest sense of self would be viewed as more preferable to the time-tested standard form of treatment to date; what kind of psychological harm could result from "identity conversion"? All a trans person wants to do is be themselves, whereas such a treatment would aim to erase that.

Helmholtz Watson:
Third, and most importantly, I wasn't talking about it as a mental disorder but as something that is physically wrong with the brain, hence why I was talking about "rebathing" the brain in the correct hormones....I would not force everybody who was a transsexual to get a mental "hormonal bathing".

Again the problem is that a person who develops a gender identity does not merely have something potentially physically atypical with their brain; they also have a sense of self that is going to build from the purely physical to something that is richly intertwined with social and psychological experiences, and feelings, and drives, and hopes, and dreams. Also the mode of your hypothesized alternative therapy, hormonal "rebathing", is especially improbable. The MTF brain stews in testosterone particularly following puberty, and increasing testosterone levels does not resolve dysphoria but makes it worse. So I have no idea how "rebathing" would be any different than the normal exposure to androgens the brain receives (see for instance http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/how-testosterone-may-alter-the-brain-after-exercise). Hormonal bathing is a suspected condition in neurodevelopment; gender identity is fixed in early childhood and it is incomplete hormonal bathing in utero that may play a role in producing a brain that mismatches with male sexual anatomy. So to have any effect, we would be talking about in utero treatment, not something offered as an alternative to adults. And one can imagine the ethical problems in such prenatal treatment of a problem of gender dysphoria that would not even manifest itself for quite some time afterward.

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