Change Your World-NOT your Body

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A History of Homophobia and the Transition Cure-A Parents Answer to their Worst Fear

Toward the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th there was a move by leading sexologists to view/treat homosexuality as a birth defect from which the male/female homosexual had no agency. He or she was simply born that way, like a mentally or physically retarded person for example. So while homosexuality continued to be pathologized as abnormal/deviant, by viewing homosexuality as not the fault/choice of the sufferer, homosexuality could be something pitied/sympathized with rather than something the sufferer was arrested/confined to a mental asylum or tortured for.

Sexologist Havelock Ellis believed homosexuality was the inverse of male personality/female sex or female personality/male sex, which he named inversion. According to Ellis the female invert was considered "masculine in her habits from her earliest years." This sympathetic approach to inverts was employed by the lesbian writer Radclyff Hall in her notorious novel The Well of Loneliness based on her own lesbianism and Havelock Ellis's cases studies. But despite this early progress, homosexuality remained a birth defect in need of a cure.

Between 1948 (male homosexuals) and 1953 (female homosexuals) Alfred Kinsey's famous Kinsey report reveled a chilling number of homosexuals in the United States. Not so coincidentally the American Psychiatric Association published "the first official manual of mental disorders" under the DSM IDiagnostic and Statistical Manual: Mental Disorders) in 1952. Homosexuality remained a mental disorder within the DSM through several incarnations and wasnt removed until gay and lesbian political rights groups demanded and received its removal from the DSM II in 1973. BUT keep in mind, homosexuality was removed due to political pressure, NOT because psychiatry suddenly believed it was no longer abnormal/pathological or a threat to heterosexual norms. Immediately after the removal of homosexuality from DSM II, work began on the DSM III published 7 years later and where homosexuality had been removed, Gender Identity Disorder was put in its place. Where it remained through the DSM IV and continues in its current embodiment today in the DSM5 as Gender Dysphoria. 

Long before Psychiatry was born, homosexuality was pathologized and punished, including biblically by God himself. Some methods of modern psychology employed to treat/cure homosexuality are: psychoanalysis, psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy, a multitude of behavioral therapies (cognitive/reparative/aversion), rational psychotherapy, exaggeration therapy, fixed-role therapy, and many other group psychotherapy approaches-all have failed to cure homosexuals of their being homosexual.

American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its mental health bible in 1973, mental health professionals continued to view homosexuality as abnormal and continued trying to find a treatment or cure for it. This unwavering societal/social/religious/medical belief that homosexuality equals wrong/abnormal/abominable continues today just as promises from psychologists/therapists exist today in trying to cure it, despite gay and lesbian human rights progresses. The simple fact is in 2014, NO parent truly wants or wishes to have a gay or lesbian child. The reasons for this vary, from fear for their child to fear of what would family/friends even neighbors think, to outright pure evil hatred.

Early sexologists such as Magnus Hirschfeld, Havelock Ellis, Harry Benjamin (all three today are associated with transgenderism) and all those influenced by them (past/present/future) associated homosexuality with inversion. The only homosexuals they believed who were truly gay or lesbian were the sissy fag and the mannish dyke. More than the same sex attraction factor was dress and behaviour. The sissy fag may have a swish in his walk, he may like things/clothes/objects society deems to be strictly girl/woman, he may even become a female impersonator. The mannish dyke may refuse to conform to the gender strict rules society has outlined for females. She may be rough and tumble in her play, she may prefer pants to dresses, she may even prefer the company of boys/men to girls/women. Male/Female homosexuals who do not easily/visually fit (or slide) into these out dated ignorant notions of who is gay/lesbian, were and continue to have their sexuality questioned and/or shock those they come out to. As a result society/psychiatry has and continues to focus its (negative) attention on those they feel can be identified as gay or lesbian visually/behaviourally (behaviour again having nothing to do with same sex attraction).


Given this historical, persistent threat of seemingly recognizable homosexuals, psychiatry was up in arms when forced to remove homosexuality from its subjective bible of mental illness. In its collective psychiatric mind it had for decades been experimenting on changing the sex of mostly men believed to be homosexual through narrow behavioural qualifiers rather than actual homosexual attraction. With homosexuality no longer a mental disorder the APA created a new diagnostic loophole based on sexologist/pro pedophile John Money's theory of Gender Identity, later Gender Identity Disorder.

Decades before GID was dreamed up and added to the DSM, psychiatry was treating male inverts (sissy fags), straight male cross dressers and the odd female invert (dykes/Butches) with a kinda of opposite sex transition. This involved high doses of synthetic male/female hormones and various (brutal) surgeries to physically force the patient to visually/behaviourally reflect current social/societal male/female norms. Transition, from a most cursory glance seemed to be the ONLY way to change the homosexual invert or cross dresser. Think of a child's puzzle game where the child learns to put a round wood peg through a round whole and the square peg through the square hole. Psychiatry, with the help of medical doctors shaved down the square till they could shove it through the round hole.

Psychiatry had for centuries tried changing the homosexual square peg into the heterosexual round peg without success. Through transition, it appeared by modifying the external with drugs/surgeries the homosexual could then appear heterosexual. But more importantly than the homosexual component was for example, the sissy fag who loved pink toys and playing house as a boy or any other stereotype befitting most girls/women, by altering his appearance to that of a woman in some sense, his behaviours suddenly fell in line like pearls on a dangling necklace.

It it from between the legs of homophobia and strict social gender norms that transgenderism as we know it today, was born.

No matter the person seeking transition and no matter the reason why they seek it, because GID/GD are intimately linked to homosexuality via psychiatry/society, there is a strong assumption that every transsexual is homosexual at worst, bisexual at least. This grave homophobia in both society and psychiatry opened the door for the APA to include a special addition in the DSM5 published last May. The addition is for children who do not conform to current consumer driven sex stereotypes to be diagnosed as Gender Dysphoria, despite dysphoria having no known occurrence in per-pubescent humans. In other words, children who would be suspect of growing up into healthy adult gay or lesbians.

The Gender Dysphoria label is a license for parents who have more fear/hatred at having a homosexual child/adult than they fear/hate having a child they can tell themselves and others has a birth defect that can be corrected with drugs/surgeries like any other dis/ease. Gender Dysphoria/Gender Incongruence is the ultimate Get-Out-Having-a-Gay-child free card. One doctor said: "I see between one and five new trans kids a week," said Dr. Olson. "So the growth is tremendous. We've had something like a 330 percent increase over the year of 2013. It's just phenomenal."

From centuries before psychiatry's mental illness bible to the three decades homosexuality lay between its pages in the DSM, all attempts/treatments to stop or cure homosexuality were unsuccessful. Mannish dykes and nancy boy fags persisted like a slap in the face of psychiatry and a challenge to gender norms for societies everywhere. But eradicating their blatant homosexual presence in childhood has become a triumph for modern psychiatry/medicine and a valid excuse for homophobic parents seeking a gay/lesbian cure before it gets out of hand or their child gets beyond the playground.

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24 comments:

  1. It was my understanding that the desire to identify with the opposite gender came from the child, not the parents. It think most parents strongly resist this knowledge in their children. These children are not claiming to be gay. They are claiming that they are the opposite gender from the one they were identified at birth. I fail to see how parents are using this as a "get out of having a gay child" card. It seems to me that these young children do not identify as GAY, they identify as a different gender. And it does not seem to me that their parents are originating these thoughts.

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  2. A child can make a rational decision? Give them the right to vote then.

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  3. So I am still confused. You really think that transition originates from the parents? EVERY example (admittedly a very small sample) I have read or watched in a video shows the determination of gender change coming ONLY from the child.
    "I am really a boy!"
    "I am really a girl!"

    Parents are saying this? I think not.
    It is the child.

    I cannot imagine a parent deciding to alter the gender of their child.

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    1. It takes a parent to take things normal little kids do, and pathologist them by giving the kid the language of trans. No kid comes up with trans by themselves, they parrot what they hear.

      All little kids "cross gender lines", because they aren't real. But if this gender difference persists past the usual time when social pressure delineates gender, parents may think their kid is gay. Or rather, they used to think their kid was gay (often correctly), but now they think they are trans, for multiple reasons.

      I think this post is spot on, and that homophobia and gender non conformity are real threats to some people and parents.

      However, I want to add a second class of parents that call their kids trans: liberals that are ultra accepting. I know one of these, and she wouldn't care if her daughter was gay one bit. But she bought the gender queer trans nonsense, so when her daughter wanted to dress like a boy, she presumed she was trans. What little girl doesn't hate the restrictions feminity puts on them, at least for a little while? Of course a girl wants the freedom and power of males. This doesn't make her trans.

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  4. If we could only do away with gender altogether this would not even be an issue, right? We can wish for such a society. We can work for such a society. Maybe someday we can HAVE such a society

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  5. So I am still confused. You really think that transition originates from the parents? EVERY example (admittedly a very small sample) I have read or watched in a video shows the determination of gender change coming ONLY from the child.
    "I am really a boy!"
    "I am really a girl!"
    I cannot imagine a parent deciding to alter the gender of their child.


    Children as young as 5 and 6 years old have been labelled "gender dysphoric", GID, trans etc. When we are talking about 5 and 6 year old children, it definitely is COMING FROM THE PARENTS. In young children, the parents are just projecting their view of what society says is proper "femininity" and
    "masculinity" onto their children.

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  6. People aren't allowed to look at the family dynamics at all. What are the parent's motives, values, etc. Studies show that many children outgrow it.

    “Treatment of extremely gender variant children will continue to remain controversial since some underlying assumptions of the clinicians are a matter of opinion rather than of empirical data and empirical studies (e.g., clinical trials with random treatment assignment) are neither feasible nor ethical. I wish to conclude by raising some points for the clinicians treating these children to consider:

    (1.) There is no empirical evidence (i.e., controlled study) demonstrating that discouraging childhood cross-gender interests reduces the frequency of persistence into adolescence and adulthood.

    (2.) Since no clinician can accurately predict the future gender identity of any particular child, efforts to discourage cross-gender identifications may be experienced as hurtful and possibly even traumatic by children who do persist into adolescence and adulthood.

    (3.) There is no empirical evidence demonstrating that a prepubescent child who is permitted to transition gender role but then desists can simply and harmlessly transition back to the natal gender.”

    (4.) Since no clinician can accurately predict the future gender identity of any particular child, efforts to encourage public early childhood cross-gender roles may be experienced as hurtful and possibly even traumatic by children who do not persist into adolescence and adulthood.”

    http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/lgbt.2013.1500

    Does this sound confusing? Who can we make heads or tails of it? Persisters, or children who don’t outgrow gender dysphoria, might experience hurtful feelings and trauma if people try to change cross-gender behaviors. On the other hand, desisters, or children who outgrow their gender dysphoria, might be traumatized by efforts to encourage public early childhood cross-gender roles. That is, a male child who was referred to as “she” for years is now confused and hurt once he goes back to identifying as a boy. Moreover, there is no empirical evidence that says that transitioning back to the sex one is born into is easy and doesn’t come with its own challenges. How will the ten year old boy who identifies as a girl feel when he is eighteen? No one knows for sure.


    According to, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18981931

    “Most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty. Children with persistent GID are characterized by more extreme gender dysphoria in childhood than children with desisting gender dysphoria. With regard to sexual orientation, the most likely outcome of childhood GID is homosexuality or bisexuality.”

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  7. "I fail to see how parents are using this as a "get out of having a gay child" card.

    First of all, this is exactly what is going on in Iran whereby gay men and lesbians are coerced into sex reassignment surgery. The government of Iran will pay for sex reassignment surgery, yet executes homosexuals. So, it would be accurate to state that "transitioning" has historically been used as a means of gay and lesbian eugenics. Below is an article about a lesbian in Iran.

    "I was fired the same day. When I left work, two men came out of a car and politely asked, ‘May we talk to you for a moment?’ ‘Sure,’ I said. They led me to the car, in which were sitting two more men. They blindfolded me, and I was driven in the car for 45 minutes. They took me to an old building, leading me by taking my sleeves (because they shouldn’t touch my body), then they took me to a room and took off the blindfold. I opened my eyes—now I could see the two men, who were aged 40 to 50.

    I must know who you are!’ I said. But instead of answering, they cursed me and spat in my face and said, ‘You’re a filthy, disgraced, shameless pagan.’ Through the door, I could hear men screaming who were under torture.

    “One of the men burned my legs with a cigarette. I screamed, and they cursed me. I spent four days in this prison in a dark room with a single bed and cockroaches. They took me to the bathroom only once a day and did not allow me to call my mother. During the four days they tried to ‘treat’ my ‘sickness’ with verses of the Koran. I was hopeless and in despair. I was only 19. After four days they forced me to confess: They dictated to me a statement saying I’d committed a blasphemy and wouldn’t do it anymore. I was so afraid, I signed it. Then I was released but remained under police supervision….

    “They took my file to the health branch of the University of Shahid Beheshti and assigned me to two women psychologists who ‘treated’ me for six months. They tried to convince me that I was falsely inculcating myself with the notion that my attraction is only to females. At the end of this ‘treatment,’ they offered to change my sexuality through surgery, and later ordered me to have it. ‘No,’ I said. ‘I’m Maryam, a girl, and I do not want to be a man!’ The female doctor told me, ‘If you don’t change your sexuality and you continue unlawful acts, your future will be a death sentence.’

    http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2006/08/iran_a_lesbian_.html

    Second, homophobia is deeply entrenched in most cultures. Third, we know from history that there have been some rather brutal ways in which gay men and lesbians have been medically experimented on in attempts to cure them.

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  8. @Smith
    as a trans child i would say, ALL parents assigned ALL children a birth sex, whether or not they are trans, on their birth certificate, according to physical characteristics, and assign them lives, privileges and oppressions according to that assignment and the way that the child engages and conceptualizes it. This is the way it works for all people in dominant culture, trans or no. Patriarchy targets the bodies and lives of nonconforming children and employs them in their own oppression and erasures and the erasures of others early on, and because parents (in the modern world) are quick to adopt clinical models to address the needs of their children, they quickly follow oppressive processes without question, particularly in conventional families. People like the ones who participate in this blog who would blame the children or the parents are not looking high enough to the origins of where the oppression starts. Plus they're really mean and they don't think nearly enough about what they say :)

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  9. Dear trans child: what you've tried to say,and the points you are attempting to make, completely allude me. Of course it starts with the gender straight jacket. But then,WTF are you talking about?

    It reads like the usual trans triple speak...meaning nothing.

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  10. just because you dont speak trans doesnt mean our lives and experiences, constructed or no, mean nothing.

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  11. did you read the part where i called you mean? did you understand that?

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  12. So it's mean to ask for clarity?

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  13. Hmm. I am not blaming anyone, parent or child. I am only stating as clearly as I can, that in ALL videos I have seen, and all the reports I have read, it is the CHILD who is insisting that they are the other gender. Concurrently, the parents are worried and upset at their child's determination to be the gender they believe they are.
    Were we to assign blame (and I am not sure we should), perhaps it should be directed at the psychiatric and medical community.
    I will say again, however, were we able to live without gender entirely, this would not be an issue at all.

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  14. @Smith from transchild

    I think patriarchy is to blame, but you're right, the medical industrial complex is a key player, kids who express differently are never to blame and neither are the people who care for them.

    @anon 9:46 no its mean to create a condition where children and adults alike feel blamed for victimizations they've suffered, both in their lives and in their bodies, and I think contributors to this blog do a good job of that. I'm sure you disagree but I don't care because I'm someone who suffers a great deal from it and I wish you'd hear me.

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  15. Anon 10:50 I do hear you. And I have compassion for individuals who indeed suffer from gender diaspora. But there is movement gladly pushed by some of the medical industry complex along with radical trans to legitimize transitioning children who may not be truly expressing GID.

    This blog serves to educate ppl like me,a long time radical feminist. I've lived within the patriarchy long enough to see the deadly aspects of the trans movement,and make no apologies for my distrust or disregard, while appreciating individual suffering.

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  16. I'm actually not talking about the pain of gender dysphoria, I'm talking about the pain of being considered less woman by members of my own lesbian community because of a process I was put through as a child by patriarchy. I'm talking about the pain of never knowing safe spaces despite my woman's experience, I'm talking about how my partner and I never are allowed to consider ourselves lesbians or participate in lesbian spaces together because of arguments like the ones that are made here that create a false condition around my body that allow people to paint me as a man because I have had testosterone in my body. I'm not of a woman than you for having gone through a painful process, or less of a radical. And I don't feel the need to justify either just because you associate "manhood" with my body. Lots of people who have been labled trans would say the same, and it is this blog that adhears to a really strict, clinical definition of what it means to be "trans." Its forced on a lot of people.

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  17. what you dont acknowledge is a future in which many women will exist in this diaspora, what radicalism should they adopt? what safe space should they occupy? should they accept their role as men? unending victimization with no relief in their lifetime? should they just die? You offer no solution, you just bitch about the current condition and cite it as problematic. But you have to acknowledge, the process is taking place.

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  18. by the way can i just say i think its total hypocritical bullshit that the presence of butch women (who regularly are mistaken as men in dominant society) who have never had testosterone imposed upon them are more welcome in womens spaces than butch women who have and who also are mistaken for men. Thats BULLSHIT.

    YOUR NOT MORE OF A WOMAN FOR HAVING GONE THROUGH LESS SHIT.

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  19. RE: what you dont acknowledge is a future in which many women will exist in this diaspora, what radicalism should they adopt?

    My hope is that the so-called gender disporia, the need for females to trans to males will be stopped thru education, primarily, education enhanced by feminism. Many are already reversing the decision to transition, and more will continue to do so.

    I believe this is an unfortunate trend that will see it's end within the next 4 years.

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  20. "what you dont acknowledge is a future in which many women will exist in this diaspora"

    ie: Many women have and WILL transition. you're prediction that the forces of patriarchy will release in 4 years are not sufficient to not have an answer for this dire need for radicalism for so many women who have transitioned: what radicalism should THEY adopt?

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  21. Anon 9:47: to be honest, it's not my problem.

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  22. well. I won't worry about you either then. You will die with your violence. I'm sad for us both.

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  23. What a lot of anger on all sides.

    My Mom, when asked how many children she had, would sometimes reply: "I have three children, one of each."

    Though you might quarrel with her manner of expressing it, I always took this to be a quite proud recognition of the fact that she had one gay, as well as two heterosexual children.

    Figurative and imaginative cross-gendering (drag, "wrong" pronouns and all the rest) has always been an important part of lesbian and gay male experience. What is so objectionable is the attempt to translate that into some kind of crude, fundamentalist pseudo-reality, especially when carried out by the parents of gender-rebellious children (tranny-moms).

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