Friday, December 30, 2011

In conclusion

This blog was always intended to be a "limited edition." It's not a transition blog. It's not even really a blog. The blog format provided an easy way to write and publish chunks of information. The date stamps don't mean much. The "table of contents" is arranged from oldest to newest. And if I kept going, I would simply be writing the same things I've already written. It's not really that big a subject.

The principal intent of this blog was to cut through the bullshit surrounding the congenital disorder called transsexualism. Even though the "why" has not yet been determined, the "what" is fairly clear. People who suffer from transsexualism are born with a brain that tells them they are one sex and a body that says they are another. And it matters. We are not neuter creatures. Sex is fundamental to who we are. Even if the gender binary were completely obliterated and gender were deconstructed out of existence, it would still be important whether you were born with a female body or a male body—and with a brain that did or did not match.

The focus of this writing was on transsexualism as a curable medical condition. The condition does not respond to psychotherapy or psychopharmaceuticals. It does not respond to prayer. For those actually suffering from transsexualism, medical treatment, mainly hormones and surgery, is remarkably effective. After recovery from surgery, the disorder is gone. The brain and body are congruent.

In confusion
Forces that work against clarity come from all sides. It is not only from those who insist, against all evidence, that transsexualism is a mental or moral aberration. It is those who confuse a medical need to change one's body with dissatisfaction with societal gender roles or a desire to express onself according to the societal gender conventions of the other sex. It is those who ignore the importance of sex and make the issue all about gender identity and expression. It is those who go far beyond acknowledging shades of gray into claims that black and white do not exist.

There seem to be conditions that are alleviated by the person dressing in clothes typical of the opposite sex. There seem to be conditions that are alleviated by the person living as if they were a member of the opposite sex. There even seem to be conditions alleviated by the person taking cross-sex hormones. These get mashed together with the need to change one's body so that it matches the sex of the brain. That last one is a congenital medical condition that requires serious medical attention. No one seems to know what those others really are.

The advice used to be straightforward. If you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you were born transsexual and need to change sex, then change sex—all the way. If you're not absolutely sure (and the older you are, the harder it is to be sure), come back if and when you are sure. That might be hard-nosed, but it seems to be sound advice for something with such far-reaching effects. Now, nothing is straightforward. It used to be that only a relatively few transvestites would use black market hormones. Now it doesn't take much effort to get hormones legally, regardless of medical need. Health care providers are encouraging or at least not discouraging all kinds of "transitions."

It's the free market of ideas. Proper help and good information are much more available than they were only a few decades ago. Unfortunately, so are misinformation and quackery. Personal freedom is great—for those able to handle it. For some, it might simply be a rope with which to hang themselves.

In search of clarity
There are also a lot of people with agendas. Those people have not been the subject of this writing. There is no need to go into just what their agendas are. Such people are easy to find on the web. Anyone in search of clarity will find from them only obfuscation, ambiguity, and the above-mentioned bullshit.

The only agenda of this blog is to distinguish the transsexualism congenital disorder from other conditions and to advocate for people who are born with transsexualism to be able to have their condition treated properly and early in life. The difficulty is that there is as yet no test, nor is there an obvious deformity. It's "your word against theirs." Most people would prefer that you simply go away and be "normal." Of course, you want to be normal too, but that's not possible until the birth defect is fixed.

There need to be two realizations: that transsexualism is rare and that transsexualism does occur. Because of the rarity, because other conditions sometimes mimic transsexualism, and because some people are just plain confused, there needs to be caution in the approach to treatment. But when there is clarity, then treatment should be available—and paid for. We should be past the point where someone can't afford to get their clubfoot corrected and so must live with a crippling birth defect. And when it comes to fixing a congenital disorder, the earlier the better. No one should live with it longer than they have to.

Everyone should strive for clarity of thought and of feelings, clarity that persists and indeed becomes stronger over time. Such striving is perhaps more important for someone born transexual, whose decision will be life-altering in a way that nothing else is. It would be a mistake to proceed when in doubt. People can sometimes convince themselves that they need something that they really only want very badly—something that might not be good for them. But it would surely be a missed opportunity not to proceed when one has achieved clarity.

Whatever your path, may you have peace, love, congruity, and the fullness of life.

(Maybe the last post, but not necessarily.)

2 comments:

Deena said...

Interesting.

Anne said...

short and sweet

well said