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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

August 11, 2017

Transgenderism: Another Take

Patricia A. Kelly

Transgenderism is a present focus of social change, both part of the assertion of special rights by the LGBTQ community, and a demonstration of political correctness by so many others, even in the medical community.


The number of Americans reported to be transgender ranges from 0.3 to 0.6 percent of the population. The “other kids” in school can use the nurse’s bathroom.


There appears to be very little scientific data, or evidence of brain differences among transgender people, to yet support a biological cause for transgenderism, known now as gender dysphoria. This recently adopted name, dysphoria, deletes the word “Disorder,” and reflects the newly changed view noted in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, that gender dysphoria is not a mental illness. If a man thinks he’s a tree, he is ill. If he thinks he’s a woman, he’s a “heroine.”


I’m all for everyone in our society being accepted and protected. Personal freedom is the hallmark of our society, and, as long as the rights of everyone are protected, free expression for all, not to mention living as one’s true self, should not only be tolerated but encouraged.


Whatever color, gender, religion, or sexual preference (other than illegal predation) one embraces, it’s okay with me. You can work in my company, serve in my military, even wear your pussy hat to work, if the dress code allows, if you are an adult, and if you meet the physical requirements of the job.


The current pressure from certain segments of our society, liberal leaders, Hollywood stars, college students, professors and more, to create division, aggrieved classes, racial disharmony, disrespect for authority, and demonization of those who disagree with their ideas, is destructive and terrible.  Willingness to endanger or hurt our children in this process is sickening.


Full brain maturation is now thought to occur at age 25. Yes, I know people drive, drink, fight and vote before that age, but it doesn’t mean their brains are fully developed. Even if you accept the age of adulthood as 18, that is plenty young enough to permanently alter your body from one sex to another, and give up your ability to have children.


Worse yet, not only are young girls allowed to have their breasts removed at age 16, children are being given puberty blockers, followed by hormones to make them into the gender they choose, while they are still children, and still developing as people.


If one could know, for sure, that a child would be mentally more comfortable for life in the body of the gender opposite their birth gender, the risk might be worth it, but it is not possible. These drugs have dangerous side effects, and some effects of the hormones are permanent. How can we promote gender transition, in terms of DNA an impossibility, with all its’ risks, at such an early age? How can we justify what amounts to medical experimentation in the name of a social agenda?


This is child abuse.


The rate of suicide attempts among transgender people is about 40%, very possibly partially due to isolation and discrimination. After sex reassignment surgery, it remains around 20%, and 20% of those who have the surgery, even as adults, regret it.


Johns Hopkins Hospital, which pioneered gender reassignment surgery, stopped performing such surgery in the 70s, because they felt it didn’t really help those who received it. Problems with identity, engagement with others, socialization, and success in employment, comfort with one’s identity, did not improve after gender reassignment. Dr. Paul R. McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief for Hopkins has stated unequivocally that gender dysphoria is indeed a mental health issue, and should be treated as such.


He, and many others, bemoan the push to make psychological treatment illegal, the only socially acceptable treatment now being gender reassignment, even though 70 to 90 percent of children with gender dysphoria come to accept their birth gender in time.


I once knew a small child who wore the same superhero pajamas, day and night, every day, for years. His parents, except for an occasional quick wash, allowed it. He doesn’t do it anymore. He went to college in regular clothing. Children with gender dysphoria need support, acceptance, counseling, and the chance to experiment with what they wear and how they play. They don’t need to be transformed by invasive therapy before they really figure out who they are. Loving moms and dads, along with truly objective health care professionals, can help them do that, not secret permission to use a different name and gender at school.


Current treatment for gender dysphoria, and the movement to make psychological therapy illegal, is both inadequately proven, and dangerous. Instead of equating gender dysphoria with human rights abuses, treatment for gender dysphoria should have a scientific, instead of political basis. No other physical or psychological condition is treated with less objectivity and less caution.


It’s time for a call for common sense and compassion in dealing with gender dysphoria in our society.


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