Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gender, Lies and Suicide by Walt Heyer

Gender, Lies and Suicide is a book attempts to drive home on almost every page, a 41% attempted suicide rate for transgender individuals, as described in a study of 7,000 transgender people conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released in October 2010. If this study has validity, and I have no reason to doubt that it does, the major reason for this self-destructive behavior is not that "transgenders" - Walt Heyer's seemingly derisive term for gender variant individuals - are misguided, misdiagnosed, compulsive, impulsive, fetishistic, or at the mercy of the money-grubbing medical/psychological establishment. The reason for their angst, in my opinion, is because self-righteous individuals like this author, backed by those of the religious right, have made transgender ideation such a sinful, shameful thing, when in reality, why should anyone really care?

The one good point the author makes is that an individual needs to be extremely careful before making important decisions such as changing sex. Of course, this is true for any major choice. The medical and psychological community has serious guidelines, as described in the Standards of Care. It is very important that all issues be addressed holistically, not just the "should I or shouldn't I transition?" ones. Co-occurring mental disorders and substance abuse are key concerns, but these are more the result of a prejudicial society than anything else. Allow people to express themselves fully from birth and the idea of gender transition would lose its charge.

This author and others like him have placed themselves in the position of moral guardians of society. What they describe as God's word is a biblical interpretation by human beings. There are many religions in the world, and all express themselves and see God's word differently. Who really knows what God wants? Perhaps, be kind to others? If God exists, would he or she want transgender individuals to be oppressed? My suggestion is to permit transgender individuals to live in peace and stick to more meaningful pursuits that help your fellow man such as dealing with overpopulation, world hunger, disease and religious strife.

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