Originally Posted by L'Incandescent
If anyone has gotten to the point where they are calling themselves transgendered and asking for people to treat them as members of the gender they identify with (pronoun use, etc.), they have gotten there after a very long struggle. If you are biologically male but cannot experience yourself that way, you'd typically want very, very badly to keep that a secret. (Obviously, that is because you will stand a very good chance of being rejected by all the people who love you, and by most other people too.) And so if a person gets to that point, it's because they can't
keep it a secret anymore. These people's lives are filled with real, serious hardships; I don't understand the need to mock them or to trivialize their experiences.
The medical ethical questions regarding sex reassignment surgery are another kettle of fish.
It's not them we're mocking, or at least that's not who I'm mocking.
My point is that I find it ridiculous that we have carved out a niche for "transgender" and are now expected to condone behaviors that are considered pathological in every other context. The post I made above was intended to illustrate that point. If I go to my doctor and tell her that I've never felt like my fingers matched on the outside what I feel they should be on the inside and, thus, want them surgically removed (or turned into a best-we-can-do version of some other body part), she's going to send me to a psychiatrist, not a surgeon. However, if I go in and say the same thing about my penis, the trans community would tell her she should send me to the surgeon (or the surgeon and the psychiatrist).
I don't mean to trivialize the struggles experienced by people whose psychology doesn't match their physiology. They are very real. My problem is with the way it is treated.
Now, I like to think I'm a reasonable person who tends to be progressive, or at least pragmatic enough to be progressive-ish. However, I've never been given a satisfactory explanation as to why transgender is treated the way it is from a medical perspective. I'll be happy to shift my position as soon as that explanation is provided, but, frankly, the cynic in me believes there isn't a satisfactory explanation, largely because I suspect the move to trans acceptance is much more political than medical.