I received a few comments on my Tumblr blog from people who are surprised that young women who are “transitioning” would choose—and readily receive from surgeons—complete hysterectomies. Making a permanent decision to have or not have children at such a young age seems…hasty. We’re talking 18-25-year-olds here.
While I had previously viewed 10 or so YouTubes from FTMs reporting on their sterilization, I never actually googled “FTM hysterectomy,” but did so today. Guess how many videos came up in the search?
Most of the video titles have the words “recovery” or “post-op” in them as well.
But, as one FTM said in a post-op video, “it’s all just stagnant down there” when you’re taking “T.” Might as well drain the swamp?
Another teenager who identified as transgender committed suicide yesterday. Blake Brockington, the first trans homecoming king in the nation, jumped off a bridge in Charlotte, NC and died immediately.
Teen suicide is the most horrible thing imaginable, and we all need to do whatever we can to prevent it. Gender dysphoria—the pain resulting from a sense of dissociation from one’s own body and biological sex—is a very real phenomenon, as anyone who has experienced it will tell you. After one of these tragedies, the dominant message is that suicidal ideation in people who are “gender non-conforming” is solely the result of transphobia and the lack of (usually) parental support for “transition.” Parents, family members, and anyone else who was not fully on-board with the young person’s desire or efforts to change his or her gender are vilified, often to the point of death threats and stalking.
But maybe, just maybe, some of these young people want to die because 21st century society has given them the message that they cannot live their lives legitimately and happily in the bodies they were born in if they do not conform to gender stereotypes. That if they don’t like “girly” things or are “sissy boys,” or if they identify with and enjoy pursuits and body ornamentation traditionally associated with the opposite sex, they and their families must push for a medical diagnosis that will commit them to a chronic, expensive health condition involving lifelong drug treatment and repeated plastic surgeries; that they will have to live like Type 1 diabetics, requiring treatment for the rest of their lives. How can all of this pressure to conform not contribute to a sense of hopelessness and despair?
When a young person takes his or her own life, we must absolutely ask “why.” But a teen suicide should not shut down an open-minded discussion about root causes and conditions. Blake was out as trans. While Blake faced a lack of family support for “transition,” things seemed to be improving. The high school was open-minded enough to allow Blake to be their homecoming king. Blake was an activist with a purpose, well respected by many, with a long life to look forward to. Is the reason for Blake’s suicide simply that society or family weren’t supportive enough of the dominant transgender paradigm, or could there be a more complex explanation? Is gender therapy the only answer for a gender non-conforming person in pain?
I write this not to trigger hate or anger against any person, no matter how he or she identifies. I write as the parent of a gender non-conforming child whom I love more than anything on earth. Reading about another teen taking their own life is awful. But Blake’s suicide does not make me question gender politics less: it makes me question more.
“Could I be MtF?” asks a 14 year old male in the middle of puberty: He’s not unhappy with his male body, in fact he explicitly says he’s happy with it.
This is how fast it can happen. In days. How does a teen go from “I’m happy in my body” to “I NEED black market hormones to transition” in a week?
…because that’s how teen brains work: instant gratification. Lack of insight. Planning, judgment, the ability to consider future consequences, and self monitoring are simply not mapped into the neurons yet.
Then why is it—WHY—that the cutting edge in trans thinking and activism now is that “gatekeeping” is awful; that people shouldn’t have to wait at all for treatment; that “informed consent” is enough, and we need to let people start hormones and initiate surgery even younger? ACCESS is the magic word now.
When will the medical and psychological professions wake up?
The linked website, “Transgender Reality: What trans people are really saying online”, is an important resource that I hope will gain a lot more followers. There is an actual process of indoctrination going on on the Internet, and most liberal parents are simply unaware of its power and reach.
Notice from the Thought Police:
The verb “to be” will no longer be included in post-modern dictionaries. It has been replaced by the much more malleable “to identify as,” e.g., “I identify as a pickle.” See, you never used to be able to say, “I AM a pickle.” People might think you needed psychological help. Isn’t this a vast improvement? So liberating. So be all you can be! Um, no, I mean, identify as all you can identify as. Or something.
I posted this query on my Tumblr blog and the response has been incredible. Girls and women of all ages and orientations have written eloquently about their experiences in this Brave New World where the coolest thing **ever** is to transition from female to male. The pressure is real.
I thought about bringing the whole discussion over here from Tumblr, but it’s still very active and some posters may not want to be reblogged on a different platform. If you want to see everything, consider registering there, if you haven’t already. You don’t have to actually do more than set up a username and password for an account. In the meantime, here is the link to the thread.
Tumblr question: Have you seen studies that show that trans brains are different from other people’s brains and are more similar to the gender that they identify as? I’ve seen some (only in regard to male/female genders) and am curious of your opinion on them.
I have seen some of those studies. There are also studies showing just the opposite (that there is no such thing as a male/female brain). There have ALWAYS been women (and men) who embody characteristics traditionally considered to belong to the opposite sex, and in my view we should celebrate those outliers rather than pathologizing them. But let’s assume there is some validity to the studies you mention. For me, the existential question is this: Which is the more compassionate, less risky, and more inclusive response: (1.) to DEconstruct gender (as we Second Wave feminists started to do) and encourage people to express themselves in (more conventionally understood) “masculine” or “feminine” ways as they choose, while accepting the bodies they actually are, or (2.) to leap to the conclusion that the one and only solution to the problem of “feeling” like the opposite sex is to attack it with a surgeon’s scalpel and steroids, which can cause serious health problems that must be monitored and managed? Just because the medical profession CAN create a facsimile of a male from a female body, should it? For me, the choice is clear (except in a few rare cases, primarily intersex people).
I fully understand WHY a person feels they need to change their body to match their mind, but the very idea that there is such a thing as a male or female brain is really just that—an idea. If a female dog behaves more like a male dog, does the female dog think about acquiring a penis? We can’t know, and of course, we aren’t dogs, but we ARE animals, exquisite products of evolution. I resonate with the poet Mary Oliver’s advice: “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”