Change Your World-NOT your Body

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Crossing Dressing-The Sexing of Clothing and Transition

From transsexualism's earliest beginnings to the most recent changes being made to the DSM5 due out in 2013 regarding both children and adults, the sexing of clothing plays a HUGE role in deciphering whether or not one is truly trans. This alone should be a big clue to those seeking or especially supporting transition that the male medical machine doesnt know its ass from a hole in the ground regarding this issue.

What other disorder uses which clothing one prefers wearing as criteria for having a disorder? And what kind of sick medical professionals would use such nonsense in part to diagnose a disorder?

How much do you think the sexing of clothing influences both the trans disorder as well as the medical community's diagnoses of it?

dirt
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34 comments:

  1. Fundamentally, I feel clothing, as well as most everything else strongly gendered in society that transsexual people indulge in, are merely (inadequate) coping mechanisms to deal with one's transsexualism, which is the core problem.
    Cross-dressing can be a large component of transsexualism because society codes certain types of clothing so strongly with the sexes.
    As such, cross-dressing is a possible symptom, but absolutely not the sole or foundational criterion at all.
    The fundamental issue is one of body, and everything else is just a side effect of patriarchal deception (for those that so firmly hold to patriarchal ideas about sex and gender throughout transition) or coping mechanisms.

    I would like to correct one falsehood though, in that the DSM 5 makes no mention whatsoever of attire for adolescents and adults. None.
    The matter is different for children, of course, since they are much more trusting and receptive to social conditioning. It has been emphasized, however, that merely gender non-conforming children not be accidentally diagnosed under these criteria, and this is why the diagnosis has been constructed as it is.

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  2. DSM IV certainly did though.

    Talking about DSM V, I found this quote from the APA:

    "an incongruence between, on the one hand, what identity one experiences and/or expresses and, on the other hand, how one is expected to live based on one’s assigned gender (usually at birth)"

    How one is EXPECTED to live -- says it all really, its all based on congruence or otherwise with SOCIALLY constructed norms.

    "because society codes certain types of clothing so strongly with the sexes." Not JUST clothes, manner of speech, hobbies, careers, hairstyles etc etc.

    "experienced/expressed gender" as compared to assigned gender (which, aside from the same bloody weird mixing up and muddling of sex and gender.....

    HOW do you express gender apart from through such constructs?

    Oh, then a doozy:
    "a strong desire to be treated as the other gender" Yeah, I'D rather be treated like a man, because then we'd be better paid......

    Except AGAIN only makes sense within the context of our society that DOES treat males and females differently.

    Ditto 6:
    "a strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender "

    Which ONLY makes sense if you believe that feelings and reactions according to sex, AND doesn't necessarily mean that what a man may think of as typically female behaviour has anything bloody thing at all to do with how females actually behave, just how males think females SHOULD behave.

    God, this is SUPPOSED to be diagnostic? It's a farce.

    Although the trans lot don't seem to like it either because it isn't the 'brain sex/body sex' incongruity that they seem to want.

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  3. Official diagnostic criteria aside, we KNOW what is happening -- girl wants to do boy stuff and wear boy clothes rather than horrid pink sparkly little princess dresses (who wouldn't!) She is told repeatedly that she can't/shouldn't want to do that, that only boys do those things. No wonder if she then insists on being a boy, if that is the only way she can get to do what she wants without everyone making a fuss.

    I think CLOTHING though does have an enormous effect, in that for kids at least, if you wear boys stuff and don't have boobs yet, people will think you're a boy. Easy. SO, no wonder that you'll resent it when things start to change, they notice you're NOT a boy after all. Any surprise that that little girl is going to resent the loss of her freedom, and insist that she HATES her breasts..........

    So, starts with simple stuff like activities abnd clothes, and then shame at the developing female body comes later.

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  4. BadDyke, you are putting the cart before the horse.
    Transsexualism precedes gender. That is to say, transsexualism does not derive from gender, but that when gender is invoked by it, it is often as a coping mechanism, or a natural byproduct of imitative social learning when one is psychologically identified with the other sex. It falls back on gender codification of sex differences because that is what the world they live in tells them about the sexes. (the inaccurate and oppressive nature of these differences notwithstanding)

    Further, no single criterion is adequate for a diagnosis; multiple have to be fulfilled. This is in addition to the fact that such a treatment necessitates enthusiastic participation from the patient. In fact, no psychiatrist would even aim to diagnose for GID except at the proactive prompting of the patient.

    Also, historically, the diagnosis for GID/GD/whatever has had an exclusionary clause for people who desire to transition for social or cultural benefits (percieved or substantive), such as you say about being treated as a man to get better pay. This would certainly be a red flag for any doctor considering a diagnosis.

    "Not JUST clothes, manner of speech, hobbies, careers, hairstyles etc etc."
    Very true. I just focused on clothes because that is specifically what dirt was talking about in the topic.
    Again, other-gendered behaviours adopted by transsexuals are typically a product of coping mechanism, or natural social learning.

    In a post-gender world, transsexualism would still exist, but people would have a clearer idea if they were or not.

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  5. I agree with anon 12:11 pm that preferring men's clothing may be a symptom of GID, but not the only or fundamental criterion for diagnosis. After all, it's one of the easier ways to change your appearance so that it's closer to what you believe it should be.

    As I'd looked at DSM5 in the past, I'd read something about Body Integrity Disorder, where in essence people believe they have a body part they shouldn't. If I recall correctly, the explanation was neural paths in the brain. I don't know if this disorder will make it into DSM5, but if it's real and can be diagnosed, why is GID so hard to believe as a real disorder and not simply patriarchal pressure and what not? Not that I believe that all women (or girls, really) coming out as trans really have GID, but simply because many might not, I don't believe we should be rejecting every single case.

    I realize simple is better where spreading dogma is concerned, but not everything in the world can be explained by feminist theories of patriarchal opression.

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  6. Correction to above:

    (the inaccurate and oppressive nature of these codified differences notwithstanding)

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  7. While I agree that gender expectations are pretty pointless, most of you are focusing on ONE SENTENCE in the dx criteria for CHILDREN, not adolescents and adults. You are focusing on one aspect of the diagnostic criteria for your own agenda/purposes; might as well call this a religious post. Dirt, your post is misleading.

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  8. "Transsexualism precedes gender."

    And the evidence for that is?

    " This would certainly be a red flag for any doctor considering a diagnosis."

    I was being sarcastic, because the whole concept of being treated as a man would be meaningless if we were all just treated as human beings.


    "In a post-gender world, transsexualism would still exist, but people would have a clearer idea if they were or not." First is a statement of belief, but the second does at least admit the possibility that some people may convince themselves they are trans when they are not a 'real' trans. Except given the diagnostic criteria, I doubt that the medics concerned would necessarily detect this (or care).

    "I realize simple is better where spreading dogma is concerned.." Sorry, who here is doing that? I thought we were talking about how best to alleviate the suffering of women who think they are trans, or think they are a boy. Plus the male brain in a female body line is pretty simple...........

    You don't have to believe feminist theories of patriarchal oppression, you just have to have a healthy amount of doubt, given historical evidence, about how great an influence social conditioning has on the ways that we treat girls and boys, and the way boys and girls think about themselves, and about the way that they see that women and men are treated in society.

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  9. "And the evidence for that is?"
    Our word, honestly.

    "First is a statement of belief, but the second does at least admit the possibility that some people may convince themselves they are trans when they are not a 'real' trans. Except given the diagnostic criteria, I doubt that the medics concerned would necessarily detect this (or care)."

    Yes, I suppose it would be a bit of a statement of belief. I am humble enough to recognize I cannot know the future with absolute certainty. But it is not entirely unlike the belief of anti-trans radical feminists that in a post-patriarchal world, transsexualism would not exist. The only difference is that we are the people under scrutiny, the ones being theorized and speculated about. As such, I think we are in a better place to judge whether you're right or wrong about our motivations.

    And yes, it is a mainly self-reported matter, but so is sexual attraction. Dudes can say until they're blue in the face that you cannot like females because you were born female, and are just living a life of self-deception because females must only be attracted to males, and vise versa, and that's how nature intended it; and then make up all sorts of wild Jungian speculations on why you would do such a "perverse" thing. (not that I dare endorse such ridiculous claims) It is essentially their word against yours on who you are attracted to, but you are the better judge of what is true in this matter, because you are the one being spoken about. You have more authority to speak for yourself than some dude.

    As for your second point, yes, it might be the case that some people might think they are trans who are not. This is, however, not for you to decide, but the person in question. All we can do is disseminate fair and accurate information. Assuming that this is true, however, do you propose that the whole concept of transsexuality is false because some people falsely believe themselves as such? This is tossing the baby out with the bathwater. The same reasoning is used to say that all of social welfare is broken because some people game the system deceptively; or that fibromyalgia is not real because of hypochondriacs.
    (The issue of fibromyalgia has another interesting parallel with transsexualism in that it is also wholly self-reported.)

    Such an argument cuts both ways though, since it might also be the fact that many people who are indeed trans are coerced by oppressive social forces to repress this aspect of themselves and conform to the life assigned to them. Patriarchy is all-pervasive, and the principal social force in this world. It seems more reasonable to believe that more transsexuals are repressed by anti-trans patriarchal forces, than are influenced into falsely thinking they are by trans-positive forces.

    Of course this is all assuming transsexualism exists, which I guess is still a matter up for debate around here.

    As to your final point, I think the hippocratic oath has something to say about that.

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  10. "All we can do is disseminate fair and accurate information."

    In line with this statement, I fully endorse such information to include a feminist critique of gender!

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  11. Except you can't really prove who's a "real" transperson. I say let people do what they are comfortable with as far as their bodies go. It seems to me as though you all are the only ones suffering in all this. Why? WHAT is being lost and WHO is losing it? Until you can show me quantifiable data here about what these transmen will not get to experience that they would have as women (and you can't project here based on your own experience of being a woman), I'd say the jury is still way, way out...

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  12. Well, if they are right that too many people are getting incorrectly diagnosed as trans, then these people are undergoing needless medical procedures, and that will cause distress in their lives when these people potentially detransition; not to mention needlessly contributing to the ballooning costs of health coverage.
    This is a serious problem to consider, but one vastly overblown; just like the bogeyman of the welfare queen.

    Of course that is not really their thesis. They put forward that transsexuality does not objectively exist at all and is merely a byproduct of a sick society, and everything in relation to it is abuse and mutilation.

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  13. "This is, however, not for you to decide, but the person in question."

    Yes, but what we DO about that is a question for the rest of us, because unlike lesbianism, you can't 'transition' on your own, it requires surgeons and hormones etc.

    " do you propose that the whole concept of transsexuality is false because some people falsely believe themselves as such?" Yes, I would have thought that was obvious!

    But let's be pragmatic -- if I'm right, we have people who aren't really trans being given (because they asked for it and because they have managed to convince clinicians) irreversible surgery that sterilizes and mutilates a previously healthy body. And I think the ethics of that is a question that should concern us all.

    "This is a serious problem to consider, but one vastly overblown" NOT when you see it happening to a friend of yours. And it's also a problem for the rest of us when we see the beliefs about gender and 'naturalness' that are being advocated in order to justify this practise. Beliefs that I think are harmful to men and to women.

    "The issue of fibromyalgia has another interesting parallel with transsexualism in that it is also wholly self-reported" Except not all medics consider it a disease, but then as far as I know, none of the suggested treatments include mutilating surgery and sterilization.........

    "Until you can show me quantifiable data.." Right, so is that like the quantifiable data that shows the clinical effectiveness of SRS as a 'treatment'? Ooops, I forgot, the sheffield meta-analysis admits that there isn't good long-term data.

    I suppose that is the unique thing about trans -- not that it's self-reported etc, but that the rationale for treatment includes an official acceptance, or at least the appearance thereof, of some pretty objectionable ideas as regards the nature of human beings and the nature of men and women. Since that then effects ALL of us, male or female, I think that we're perfectly justified in criticising those ideas. Even if by doing so we attack the rationale behind treatments -- or at least the narrative that many trans people construct to explain their condition and what THEY want in order to alleviate their distress.

    "They put forward that transsexuality does not objectively exist at all " The condition does, just not for the reasons that trans narratives suggest.

    " I say let people do what they are comfortable with as far as their bodies go. " Except as regards surgery and hormones, they CAN'T do it on their own, it requires the intervention of clinicians, and it then becomes a matter of interest for ALL of us as to what we consider the proper ethical and professional behaviour in that situation.

    " many people who are indeed trans are coerced by oppressive social forces to repress this aspect of themselves" Except it is that same patriarchy that created SRS! Hence one way fo viewing it would be -- we'd rather you shut up and just got on with behaving as you are supposed to, but if you DON'T, here's what we have created as the proper treatment for your condition. So they get trans people coming and going!

    " You have more authority to speak for yourself than some dude." False analogy. But the limits on these posts don't give me enough room to answer this here.

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  14. BadDyke, you spend alot of time here. Maybe that's because your friend decided he is wanting to transition. I feel bad for you because it's obviously been hideously painful and disorienting for you. Besides that, what's your stake in this? You believe you will save young "women" from transitioning? I don't think I've seen much here to help women at all. Are you really that focused on helping women at all?

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  15. Absolutely agree with Anon 9:45pm.

    Aside from the offensive and presumptuous subject-matter of this blog, it is hard to even take it remotely seriously because BadDyke is so dogmatic and overly outspoken. Constantly.

    This is a joke.

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  16. BAD DYKE IS DA BOMB! LOL they can't even respond to you.

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  17. "BadDyke is so dogmatic and overly outspoken. Constantly."

    Here we go again, rather than answering or debating or discussing, we get the same ole attempts at insults.

    "I feel bad for you because it's obviously been hideously painful and disorienting for you. "

    Why would you think that? It's not hideously painful, nor disorientating, I just think she is being seriously misled.

    "BadDyke, you spend a lot of time here." Not really -- some of us just type faster than others!

    "offensive and presumptuous subject-matter" And again, thou shalt not speak of it. Plus if you do, you'd better not be dogmatic or outspoken.

    "I don't think I've seen much here to help women at all. Are you really that focused on helping women at all?" Well, I can't see that the trans crowd is. Help? Well, just finding this blog might show some women (thinking of transitioning or not) that there IS another point of view to the trans cant.

    But to take the longer view, the debate has to be opened up, because the matter isn't as solid as some in the trans crowd would like to claim, or as some in psychology/psychiatry claim either.

    Except what do we see -- anyone who does try to debate the issues gets jumped on -- like the meeting organised by the
    Royal College of Psychiatrists’
    Gay and Lesbian Special Interest Group
    Friday 20th May, 2011:

    "This will be an extremely stimulating meeting exploring the most recent academic, clinical and contemporary thinking on transgender issues, for all people interested in this field."

    which because they had Julie Bindel as o0ne of the speakers (Ooo, she's one of those NASTY transphobic people!) lead to a trans outcry, and the meeting was cancelled to general trans rejoicing.

    No we weren't talking about some meeting of gun-totting extremists, or some burn-the-koran right-wing religious nutjobs -- we were talking about a one day meeting (lasting about 4 1/2 hours) at the Royal College of Psychiatrists -- hardly renowned as a hot-bed of radicalism. Yet even this short meeting was judged too DANGEROUS by the trans crowd to be allowed to happen!

    If the only way you think you can win is by preventing possible opponents from even talking, then you've already lost, in my book, on moral grounds if nothing else.

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  18. "Yes, but what we DO about that is a question for the rest of us,"

    Orly? Sounds like the conservative attacks on abortion. Except you are even going so far as to plainly state that our bodies are not our own to control. At least there's no patronizing pretense, as there is from conservatives.

    "if I'm right, we have people who aren't really trans being given (because they asked for it and because they have managed to convince clinicians) irreversible surgery that sterilizes and mutilates a previously healthy body. And I think the ethics of that is a question that should concern us all."
    You act as if SRS is rapidly given to anyone who asks for it on a whim. This is really only available for super rich dudes who take advantage of their money and clout to bypass the system's safeguards put in place to ensure such things don't happen, e.g. Charles Kane. Also, no, you're not right. And no, it does not concern us all. It concerns the person in question. Their body is not your property to exert your dominion over.

    "NOT when you see it happening to a friend of yours."
    Your anecdote is not data.

    "as far as I know, none of the suggested treatments include mutilating surgery and sterilization."
    No, just a wide range of mind-altering drugs, including SSRIs and narcotics. Just because the changes are more complex than what you can see with your eye, does not mean they are not real.

    "Except it is that same patriarchy that created SRS!"
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    no.

    The official pioneers of SRS, and the principal investigators of transsexualism were operating completely outside the socially accepted norms of their contemporaries. And in fact, they were no strangers to oppressive social forces, many of them being homosexuals.
    If you actually look at the history of transsexual treatment, you see a small minority of doctors operating completely against the grain of the dominant culture. Only in recent times has transsexualism scraped up some crumbs of sympathy and acceptance.
    Our history is one of constant, painful rebellion from the patriarchy, not collaboration.
    The sooner you realize this obvious fact, the sooner this whole bitter fucking fight just melts away.

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  19. "Except as regards abortion, they CAN'T do it on their own, it requires the intervention of clinicians, and it then becomes a matter of interest for ALL of us as to what we consider the proper ethical and professional behaviour in that situation."

    Can you spot the difference?

    Surely you can understand why its problematic when you say that "ALL of us" must decide what is ethical in regards to a disadvantaged group, especially a minority.

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  20. "we were talking about a one day meeting (lasting about 4 1/2 hours) at the Royal College of Psychiatrists -- hardly renowned as a hot-bed of radicalism."

    Feminists decry that the medical community is completely dominated and informed by patriarchal attitudes and ideas (and that is why SRS is a product of patriarchy), and here you defend it as not being patriarchal.

    lmao what

    Stick to your bullet points please.
    Also, almost everyone who was on the panel has had a history of really offensive attitudes and statements about trans people. Bindel was the most well-known though, so its no wonder she was focused upon.

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  21. "Can you spot the difference?"

    Yes, and I still think that the question of the ethical status of abortion should be open to debate as well.

    A woman's right to choose doesn't just reduce to the simplistic -- I should be able to do whatever the hell I want with my body.

    Anyway, the point is still slightly different in that after a successful abortion, the womans body should be returned to the state it was before the pregnancy occurred. It doesn't render her sterile etc. Hence the CHANGE to her body was the one brought about by pregnancy, and she chooses to not opt for that change.

    The real analogy is not between abortion and SRS, but between 'abortion' by means of hysterectomy, and SRS.

    "Surely you can understand why its problematic when you say that "ALL of us" must decide what is ethical in regards to a disadvantaged group"

    Well, that's society for you! Anyway, the point about the ethics of surgery ISN'T just a question relevant to trans people, but relevant to the whole of surgery. What surgical interventions are ethical, should ANYONE be able to have a go at performing surgery? Most people would say no, that we need a way of ensuring that surgery is only performed by licensed practitioners under proper conditions. It then is logical that since we are already deciding who can and cannot perform surgery, and the conditions they can perform it under, that we should also decide WHAT surgical interventions we will allow.

    You can't slip out of the general question of medical ethics by saying that special groups of oppressed people ought to get special exemptions from the ethical questions that apply to the rest of us.

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  22. "You can't slip out of the general question of medical ethics by saying that special groups of oppressed people ought to get special exemptions from the ethical questions that apply to the rest of us."

    That was never the implication.
    The point was that those who should be involved in a discussion of what is ethical should be those people affected by such a conversation (presuming they are assessed of sound mind), and their medical providers.
    Those not directly affected by such policies (no, lesbian women and gay men are not affected by such policies) have a lesser role in the conversation, not a dominant one.

    Furthermore, you seem to imply that no one should ever opt for sterility, or at least be able to choose whether they want to sacrifice their fertility or not. Thats is pretty damn patronizing.

    I know a gal who passionately desires an oophorectomy. Not because she hates her body (I've known few people so passionate and proud of herself and her body), but because she just doesn't want any goddamn kids, and doesn't want any risk of having any.
    But this same attitude, that one cannot willingly decide to give up their fertility, has caused every doctor she has gone to, to turn her away on patronizing "ethical" grounds.

    If someone wishes to, in completely sound and informed mind, sterilize themselves, who are you to declare that what she desires is unethical?

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  23. As I'd looked at DSM5 in the past, I'd read something about Body Integrity Disorder, where in essence people believe they have a body part they shouldn't. If I recall correctly, the explanation was neural paths in the brain. I don't know if this disorder will make it into DSM5, but if it's real and can be diagnosed, why is GID so hard to believe as a real disorder and not simply patriarchal pressure and what not? Not that I believe that all women (or girls, really) coming out as trans really have GID, but simply because many might not, I don't believe we should be rejecting every single case.

    Neural defects in the brain are, with the exception of transgenderism, commonly understood to be DEFECTS. As in, yes we all know ole Roger thinks he's a frog but hey there's no reason for everybody INCLUDING HIS DOCTOR to accommodate his delusions.

    With trangenderism, all of a sudden a mental illness whose prescribed course of treatment should resemble the exact same method as every other mind/body split (counseling and neural-altering pills) is magically transformed into a normal situation which everyone and their grandma must pretend is real.

    There is no law which says we must pretend Roger is a fucking frog. Gender is the ONLY mind/body delusion where everyone is compelled to play along. We are not required by law to pretend that all the furry fetish folks are really whatever spirit animal which feels most comfortable to them, nor must we give France to the dude who thinks he's Nepolean Bonapart.

    If transgenderism is a mental illness then fucking treat it like one. And if they think they could prove that it's not a mental illness then get it the fuck out of the DSM and say goodbye to all that free financial assistance. Because what they're doing now is admitting -- up to a point -- that it is indeed a neural DEFECT and then two seconds later insist that no it's not. You can't have it both ways.

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  24. If transgenderism is a mental illness then fucking treat it like one. And if they think they could prove that it's not a mental illness then get it the fuck out of the DSM

    Oh. I think the standard reply to that particular criticism is for them try to play the ole switch-aroony by comparing a mental illness to gayness, as a cultural non-conformity could even be the legitimate equivalent of a alien invasion pod snatcher.

    Unless ole Nepolean Bonapart wants to fuck a frog in addition to running france, there's no legitimate comparison. Gay folks don't need surgery and lifetime medical care just to love somebody else. Well, unless they live in Iran and are forced to have a sex change or be stoned to death:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9cmjiE_9X4&feature=player_embedded

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  25. You can think of certain neural mappings as defects. Or you can think of them as alternative possibilities along a continuum.

    But if you believe that GID is a mental disorder to be cured by pills (simply because it ain't what YOU accept as natural), then surely you must hold the same opinion of homosexuality. After all, since a lot more people are heterosexual than homosexual, and since the ultimate goal of nature and evolution is the survival of the species, shouldn't homosexuality be considered a defect, treatable with pills and psychotherapy?

    Anon 2:05, please go back under that 1950s rock you obviously crawled from.

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  26. Ooooh, I see, homosexuality is simply a cultural non-comformity. A way of rebelling, as it were. That's a new one on me.

    You know what's sad? That you're so anxious and eager to make points, you negate other people's entire existence. Even your own if you're actually gay and talking this crap.

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  27. The whole neural mapping hypothesis of GID falls flat when we analyze the practices of transgenderists. 85% of transgenders never seek SRS. There is no "body map" issue for the overwhelming majority of transgenders. There is a desire to be culturally perceived as the other sex, not a desire to modify one's body per se. Transgenders derive satisfaction from manipulating the perceptions of onlookers. Which is why even the small percentage that obtain SRS don't seek removal of their prostate, for example.

    When we look at what we know about neural mapping the hypothesis becomes even less supported because neural mapping is incredibly flexible and changeable. For example the phenomenon of "phantom limb syndrome" experienced by people who lose a limb is a self resolving syndrome that disappears as the neural map rearranges itself to adjust to the missing limb.

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  28. " ..you negate other people's entire existence."

    Disagreeing with your faith-based belief system does not mean we deny your existence. Obviously you exist. Obviously Christianity exists, even if we don't believe in Jesus.

    http://transgendertropes.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/transgender-tropes-4-denying-gender-identity-denies-our-very-existence/

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  29. "If transgenderism is a mental illness then fucking treat it like one. And if they think they could prove that it's not a mental illness then get it the fuck out of the DSM"

    TRANSSEXUALISM is in the DSM(though under the politically confusing term "Gender identity disorder" or "Gender Dysphoria"), but that is partly because of the negative psychological side-effects that are quite often a consequence of it, the intrinsic psychological manifestations of it, and to enable psychiatrists to distinguish between those that are actually transsexual from those who may be exhibiting somewhat similar symptoms but with different underlying causes. For a doctor to know what is NOT transsexualism, they must know what it is.
    The growing body of medical research suggests, however, that transsexualism is more of a congenital or developmental disorder of the brain.

    Transgenderism, on the other hand, is an abstraction, though principally in political contexts. It is a term for a group of people with separate underlying motivations, but generally politically common interests. The common thread amongst all these groups, however, is their shared experience of gender-non-conformity in a patriarchal world.
    This is not to say that they are all innately non-gender-conforming because of some psychological disorder, but merely that they are the target of patriarchal abuse for their non-conformance, regardless of their purposes.

    Unfortunately, the term transsexual has been loaded with a vast range of negative social implications and stereotypes, and so many transsexuals, in a desperate attempt to distance themselves from it, have adopted the term transgender. This confuses the issue, but does not change the terms' functional meanings.

    All that said, so long as transsexualism requires some form of medical intervention, it will remain in the DSM.

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  30. "Disagreeing with your faith-based belief system does not mean we deny your existence. Obviously you exist. Obviously Christianity exists, even if we don't believe in Jesus."
    Lol Gallus. Try reading what you quote more carefully.
    The statement you quoted is talking about the statement that homosexuality is just a form of cultural rebellion.
    That statement takes the gay rights movement back a few decades.

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  31. A LOT.

    I would even go as far as saying it is the very heart of the trans question.

    As soon as we start to get dressed, or, for the lucky ones, as soon as we reach puberty, we start to realise the double standard in clothes. Women are supposed to be wear form fitting, skin bearing, non-athletic clothes. We are supposed to wear skirts, which limits our range of motion, and high heels, which turn walking unnatural, and we simply have to learn to walk again. Our developing curves are thought to be meant to be in full disclosure, and we are supposed to enhance and adorn our natural beauty as much as we can.

    This focus on beauty makes sense for most women. The vast majority of women actually relish in the feminine sartorial and beauty arts and make the pursuit of aesthetic perfection a big part of their lives. Some women seem not to care as much, and a minority is outraged as they perceive this search for beauty as a limitation rather than simply a counterpart for the masculine ideal of strength and virility, and can't be relaxed about it. They end up making this very opposition a huge part of their lives. I believe that's what happens to the transfolk.

    Instead of refusing to make a big deal out of traditional female beauty stereotypes, they turn to the traditional male stereotypes for "freedom". It is rather apparent that freedom is not achieved through a mere change of ideal. True freedom would be to not care too much about ideals.
    Clothing can be limiting to one's motion and comfort, but it is the very mindset of search for perfection that is a threat to personal freedom.

    Think about it.

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  32. "The point was that those who should be involved in a discussion of what is ethical should be those people affected by such a conversation (presuming they are assessed of sound mind), and their medical providers."

    Except as regards medical ethics, it potentially affects us all as to who decides and how it is decided. Hence we ought to have a policy that is applied across all areas, and with as much openess as possible.

    SO, again, just looks like trans people wanting a special exception to the medical ethics policy that applies to the rest of us.......

    "Sounds like the conservative attacks on abortion. Except you are even going so far as to plainly state that our bodies are not our own to control." O STOP the lousy analogies please!

    Your body is your own, but that is NOT the same as saying the same holds when it comes to persuading someone else to perform surgery on that body. And I think it is pretty damn important that surgeons and clinicians in general operate under a clear ethical policy. So, it should protect us as patients, in that when a doctor advises a certain treatment, they are doing that based on the best medical evidence available, and based on best practise elsewhere, and that the effects of that treatment are monitored. Also, it is important that we respect the rights of doctors to refuse a request for a certain treatment, IF they decide that it would be unethical for them to proceed. In fact, I would be VERY worried by any system that proposed otherwise.

    Doctors have the potential to do great harm as well as great good, and we place a lot of trust in them, hence it is only right that we ensure they operate under strict medical and ethical guidelines.

    " that one cannot willingly decide to give up their fertility, has caused every doctor she has gone to, to turn her away on patronizing "ethical" grounds."

    NO! Not patronizing, just they would consider it unethical for then to perform such surgery. Do you REALLY want a situation where someone who is willing to disregard ethical concerns is free to perform surgery? You just have to face up to it, if a surgeon considers your request unethical, they are not (and should not be) forced to perform it. Whining about their refusal seeks to remove from then their own right to make such decisions, seeks to force them into performing acts they consider unethical.

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  33. "But if you believe that GID is a mental disorder to be cured by pills (simply because it ain't what YOU accept as natural), then surely you must hold the same opinion of homosexuality."

    False analogy. Let's pick this one apart. So, GID, let's say, is an experience of disconnection of some sort between the body you do have (i.e., male or female), and the body you feel you should have. If the distress this causes is bad enough, then someone may seek medical or therapeutic help, either to somehow learn to live with it, or to try and get surgery and/or hormones in order to alter their body so that it fits better with what they think they should have.

    So the point ISN'T that this disconnect is labelled as unnatural, but that the person affected seeks help. Part of the reason why that person seeks help may be because they get told that thay are 'unnatural', so being told that many other people feel the same as they do so they're NOT unnatural can obviously help.

    As regards homosexuality, we have a slight analogy in that some people are so appalled by the prospect of being homosexual that they require some sort of therapeutic help -- being told it's NOT unnatural in effect, that lots of homosexual people go on to have happy, fulfilled lives. Hence we have a slight analogy on the learning to live with who you are side of things.

    Except on the trans side, when we have the desire for surgery and/or hormones, we have a situation where the learning to live with it as you are approach has failed. Hence I don't see a parallel with homosexuality here, in that the analogous situation for homosexuals would be hating being homosexual so much that what you sought was a CURE for homosexuality, which nowadays is only offered by the christian right.

    From a pragmatic point of view, the appropriate 'treatment' for gay people who seek it is some sort of counselling so they can get on with their lives and being gay. From a GID point of view, we have a similar situation, where I'm sure many people come to their own accomodation with their issues.

    So, what to do when that FAILS. On the gay side, would it be ethical to take gay people who are unable to feel happy in any way with being gay, and then accede to their requests, say, for hormonal castration or even physical castration, for some medical intervention which prevents them feeling the pangs of desire which they feel unable to deal with? I'd say that in most cases, doctors would consider that unethical, even if requested. Yet with GID, doctors are in effect being asked to surgically alter a body, because the theurapeutic approach has failed.

    If we aren't castrating gay people who can't deal with being gay (let's not forget that the medical profession DID used to take such an approach, as the case of Alan Turing shows), then should we really be taking the SAME approach with GID, even when the patients request it?

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  34. "simply because it ain't what YOU accept as natural"

    Now let's look at homo versus trans again. The point about homosexuality is that it really doesn't matter to me that much WHAT causes it, or even if every gay person you meet has a slightly different reason for being gay -- so, someone might be gay because of 'gay genes', another person might be a combination of pre-natal androgen exposure and upbringing, someone else might be a combination of upbringing, and so on. The REASON behind it doesn't matter, once you can accept that there is nothing morally wrong with being that way, or acting upon those desire if you choose to. In effect, WHAT story I tell myself as to why I feel that desire only matters to me, it doesn't really affect how I act.

    It only matters if what you want is a 'cure' for your homosexuality, or some way to prevent it!

    With trans, the narrative people construct matters to them in the same way as it does to gay people, but then it also matters in a wider context. So, if you believe that you have a male brain in a female body, then that narrative is going to affect things, in that you may then desire surgery to make your body better fit your brain. And then if surgery is on offer, you may feel that you need to have some proof that you really DO have such a male brain, or that such things can happen.

    Whereas for gay people, I think that the only difference it would make is not to gay people themselves, if there was a 'gay gene' or some 'it isn't my fault' explanation -- but as ammunition to try and persuade straight people that there is nothing wrong with being gay. The 'we can't help it' defence of gay rights, which I think is flawed. Heck, even if it WAS a totally free choice, what's wrong with it? Nothing.

    So I think gay people are more able to accept various narratives as to why they are gay.

    But on here, I think we're trying to offer another narrative as to why some people think they have a male brain in a female body -- not that such a thing is some sort of biological fact, but because of social pressures etc. But this alternative is not just being ignored, but actively suppressed! Not because it is a lie, because the facts from biology AREN'T there, but because it disagrees with the trans cant that allows trans people to get the surgery they desire.

    The only analogy I can think of would be gay people seeking to be 'cured' by some sort of hormonal or behavioural intervention, hence accepting causative scenarios that supported the supposed cure being offered, and resisting those who claim its in your genes, hence CAN'T be cured.

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