Bright Blessings family! I wanted to share this letter with you that I wrote to the Dean of Instruction at the college I am attending for my continuing education classes for my work:
We just finished the unit on Mental Disorders in our Human Diseases class. I am very disturbed that gender identity issues are included as a disorder. Someone's gender identity is NOT a mental disorder. It is a complicated and integral part of the person's identity, and the stereotype of transgendered people as being mentally disordered can not be tolerated. I'm curious if this is the opinion of the author, the position of (the college) or the position of (the accrediting body)? In any scenario, this must be challenged. This is no different then when homosexuality used to be included on the APA's list of mental illnesses. Please advise so I will know how to direct my response. Thank you.
Unfortunately brother and sisters the fight is not over. The basic mental health of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered issue is still under attack in this country. Please send your energy as you feel appropriate for a successful resolution of this issue. Love ya (mean it!).
I see where you're coming from - but I referred to them as I did because I felt it made it a bit easier with the written word~
Homosexuality has always been something arround the 10%, it's just that reciently people have stopped being morons and gays can come out of the closet. It's no longer something abnormal, just something uncommon. That is why it's no longer a mental disorder. Normal isn't a strict value, it's more of a range in within what's acceptable and what's not acceptable. The fact that it also causes a dificulty in the person's life is also important, it's not a disease if it does not cause harm. In the past being gay supposedly created several problems, but now we realize it's not homosexuality, rather homophobia causing the problems. It simply can't be clasified as a disorder anymore.
Now, there IS something wrong with a woman being trapped in a man's body. A woman should be in a woman's body, and when it isn'tn that way there is an issue: the person suffers because of it, and it shouldn't be. I'm not saying being transgender is a bad thing, on the contrary, that might as well be considered the cure of the disease/disorder that having such gender identity problem poses.
Thank you for everything you wrote. If anything has the illness, it's society, not us who are living our lives as we are instead of as society (that big nebulous blob) wants us to be.
Yes. A disease is a disease because society says so, it's not an objetcive value.
This is per definition, at least in the mental health area.
In esence nothing is really "right" or "wrong". Society labels something as "disease" because it results disfunctional to it. Social introyects take us to belive something "diseased" is something bad/wrong/evil, but diseased only means disfunctional in the enviorment.
Tristan i did mention before, i think it's on page 1, a "disease" should not even be adressed if it does not cause a problem to the person. As an example i said that we all clasify as schizotypical people, but since it causes no problems any psychologist that adresses it is an idiot. In the same way, if you have no probled derived from your condition it should not be adressed.
I'm a humanist (developing) psychologist, my particular branch, intrapersonal gestalt, considers it is the client (pacient) who decides what is wrong and what is to be done about it, but this can only apply in an individual basis.
Sociologicaly speaking (and diseases must be seen through the sociology lenses) it does cause problems on most of who suffers of the conditinon, that is why it's clasified as a disorder: it's not normal and it causes suffering. (in general)
I'm sorry, but your logic isn't making any sense to me. Homosexuality is no longer a mental disorder because people fought for it not to be. That's just the history. It's not because society suddenly had an epiphany and said, 'Oh, well, those homosexuals, they aren't that weird'.
'A woman should be in a woman's body...'
I know you don't realize this, but what you just wrote is coming from a place of cisexual normativity and privilege where a woman must have a vagina. That's not true. A woman can have a penis and still be a woman. She can even be a happy woman! Some women in traditionally-male bodies are not happy that way, and so they take steps to change that. Same goes for men in non-traditionally male bodies. Plenty of people are coming out as gender queer or genderless. We don't need a cure. If society could broaden its narrow mind they would look at me, breasts and womb and compact, petite body and see me for the man I am. I don't have to have a penis to be a man; in fact, I don't plan on ever having such surgery. I plan on taking hormones to create a more androgynous body because that will better reflect how I feel my body should look. Some gender variant people will take hormones and undergo surgery, but the gender spectrum is wide and plenty of men will be content in traditionally-female bodies and vice versa. We don't need body parts to make us who we are. We are already there, it is society that must see us as we are.
There is also a diference between gender and sexual preference. It used to be a person was not actually considered transgendered if they preferred the opposite of their genetic gender (for example you could not be male-to-female and a lesbian). This is, however not the case in the real world. Now, psychologists tend to look at gender and sexual preference as to completely separate things.
I don't take away the credit from gay activists. Thanks to them society realized homosexuality wasn't a disease, but that takes no turth away from what i said.
I've been checking arround, and i am pretty sure for a woman to be a woman, she needs to have a vagina (or had), since a woman is a human of female sex, and the sex (wich differs from gender) refers to the phyisical characteristics. Without such characteristics the person's sex is not female and thus it's not a woman.
This is semantcs, of cource. But this is the "official" definition of what a woman is. So yes, for a woman to be a woman she needs to have a vagina. Else we're talking about a human with the superficial aperance of a woman.
Now, if a man wants to act like a woman (and i am against it personally, wich is why i support sex-change operations so much, since sociologically-wise modifying the traditional roles appears to have negative concecuences on society) he's still a man. He might dress, speak, be gay and feel like a woman, but as long as there's a penis between his legs, he's a man.
Wow. You're cisexual privilege and arrogance is disgusting on so many levels.
I may have misunderstood, but are you implying i feel superior because my gender and my sex correspond with each other?
If so you are mistaken.
I was arguing semantics. Per definition a woman has a vagina.
But if that's now what you meant, please explain.
What we're discussing is identity and gender identity and fluidity, so claiming semantics doesn't take away from how offensive, ignorant, and cisexually-privileged what you wrote is. If you can't figure out what cisexual privilege is - look it up. Last time I checked Google was still around. Seeing as how I am not a cisexual, I'm in a good position to call such privilege and prejudice out when I see it - so I called you out. Maybe instead of saying I am mistaken you should reflect on yourself.
Until you become more sensitive and educated on transexual and gender variant matters, explaining to you how you are wrong will be a lost cause. And I suggest going to actual transexuals and gender variant people, not your teachers, because - guess what? Those people have lived it, your teachers haven't. Try to stop dehumanizing us (which is what giving us the label of 'diseased' does) and actually interact with us as human beings.
Finally, to your last (and most offensive paragraph) in the previous post: "Now, if a man wants to act like a woman (and i am against it personally, wich is why i support sex-change operations so much, since sociologically-wise modifying the traditional roles appears to have negative concecuences on society) he's still a man. He might dress, speak, be gay and feel like a woman, but as long as there's a penis between his legs, he's a man."
Ignoring that you clearly can't accept or don't even realize there are gender variant people that don't fall into the strict man/woman dynamic (funny too, because you're dialoging with two such people) who could and do identity as man or woman or neither and never have any sort of hormone therapy or genital surgery - let's just focus on the women (transwomen, though that term carries its own baggage) that want sex changes to become who they truly are. It's more than likely these women are disenfranchised, poor, if they are out (which they would have to be eligible for hormones and surgery) likely lost their job when they came out, probably their family as well, are continually sexualized by the media as well as threatened with violence because they aren't 'normal'. So they aren't going to have the money to receive such an operation. Insurance probably (99% of the time) won't pay for it, if they're lucky enough to have insurance. So tell me...are you going to shell out the cash for these women? Because if you aren't, what you wrote is the equivalent to telling a starving child, 'Let them eat cake'. Ain't so damn easy when you don't have the resources to even get rice. You're saying, 'Oh, society continually invalidates your existences and threatens your life? Society wants to label you as 'diseased' so it's even harder to get a job? Well, all you have to do is pay for a $50,000+ surgery and everything will be hunky dory!"
Except it won't, because - as anyone knowledgeable in gender issues would tell you - transwomen who have transitioned don't have an easier time. They're not suddenly tapped with the magic wand of surgery and poof! they look like any woman. They're usually taller, they have to alter their voices (and if they don't want to do that with practice have to shell out more cash for another surgery), and they usually still have the angular bone structure of a 'man'. It's probable you don't know this, but society doesn't take to kindly to anyone that doesn't look normal.
Actually, I have one last thing to add (most of the above has been from a gender variant perspective, this one is from a Pagan perspective): "since sociologically-wise modifying the traditional roles appears to have negative concecuences on society"
Every Pagan culture has had 'modified gender roles'. Their societies didn't collapse because of them. As a Pagan I can't believe one of my fellows in the faith is a) ignorant on the gender variant practices of our ancestors and our rich history of goddesses with penises and gods with vaginas and b) afraid of the 'negative' impacts on society when we, as Pagans, are often thought to have those same negative impacts.