Maclean’s preview: Boys will be girls

This week’s cover story: Inside the world of gender fluidity


Since the summer of 2012, Olie Pullen has kept in her bedroom closet a Wonder Woman costume, which she loves, but has struggled to actually wear. The plan had been to don it on Halloween two years ago, but when that day came, Olie, now 11, chose to be a vampire instead. Dressing up in the red and blue costume would have exposed her at school and around her Montreal neigh- bourhood in a way that didn’t feel right yet: Olie was, after all, born a boy. Oliver.

When he was a toddler, at his own insistence and to the surprise of his parents, Oliver began playing with princess dresses and dolls. He wore skirts, first at home and then out, along with glittery shirts and skinny jeans, and eventually grew his blond hair long. Recently, Oliver started wearing a padded bra and taking hormone blockers to suppress male puberty. He had his name legally changed to Olie, and only responds to female pronouns. Oliver the boy is now Olie the girl. And for the first time ever, she’s comfortable. “The best part is that I feel I’m in the right body,” says Olie. “I feel like, well, I feel good.”

This week’s Maclean’s cover story looks at a small but growing number of Canadian children who are transitioning from their gender at birth based on their sexual anatomy to something else—boys to girls, girls to boys, or to a more ambiguous identity—in the way they dress and behave.

While gender fluidity, as this phenomenon is known, is gaining acceptance among families, researchers, educators and doctors, who used to see this as a psychiatric problem, the real-life experience of these children do not always reflect these significant institutional improvements. Children with gender fluidity have among the highest rates of isolation, depression, self-mutilation and suicide of any population.

In this riveting account of personal discovery and the quest for affirmation, Canadian children and their parents share how they’ve navigated the challenges of gender fluidity so far, and imagine what the future holds.

Look for the full story on newsstands now, or buy the digital edition.

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Maclean’s preview: Boys will be girls

  1. Your ecstatic and say whatever.

  2. Human sexuality has always been fluid. That’s why the PTB decided to make tiny things into huge ones….to deliberately separate, to publically identify, to do far more than just encourage…..and to punish anyone that crossed those lines.

    Because we must….at all costs….have more babies.

    • I agree with your first sentence, but your explanation of why there is intolerance of difference is odd. Of course, there have been laws made at various times and places with regards to things like gender identity, sexuality, etc., but the idea that there are powers with organized and clear agendas who control public attitudes vastly oversimplifies how opinions are formed.

      This particular issue is much more closely connected to scientific conceptions of the human body that come out of the popularization of statistics and measurements to create the idea of “normal” bodies, with everything outside of those constraints being treated as “deviant” or “pathological”. Hence the “correction” of gender at birth that was common practice until quite recently, and so forth.

      I’m sure that there are other dimensions to this issue, but unfortunately, scientists and doctors have played a major role in this, not because of an ideology about making babies, but because of their application of particular (and, I think, very flawed) scientific methods to the human body.

      There’s lots of scholarly literature of the subject. One good example is Alice Domurat Dreger’s “Jarring Bodies: Thoughts on the Display of Unusual Anatomies”.

      • I’m not talking about bodies. I’m talking about culture and attitude.

        And of course there are powers with agendas…..the church is one.

        • =”And of course there are powers with agendas…..the church is one.”=

          Progressives have the most intrusive agenda(s) of all. No one tries to control and re-engineer society like progressives do. That’s why we must continually fight to limit and reduce the power of government.

          • Society is a power with an agenda….whether it’s a progressive or a regressive one.

            Cons have been trying to socially engineer everyone since the first pope….and later the prottys.

            Others are tossing religion out of govt….which is a good thing.

          • Everyone’s political ideology is intrusive. You feel progressives are intrusive because you don’t identify with their agenda. But guess what? They feel the same way about yours for the very same reason.

            The basis of progressive and conservative ideologies are both partly absurd: The former assumes a teleological version of history (which a bizarre and imperialistic way to read history – see post-colonial theory, e.g. Chakrabarty), and the later assumes perennial values that are being undermined by the former’s new ideology, even though a cursory study of history shows that values and norms vary dramatically over time and from place to place.

        • I know. That’s what I’m talking about, too. Where do you think many of our modern ideas of the body, sex, and gender have come from? Of course, there’s a connection to religious ideas.

          But scientists have played a powerful role in naturalizing and preserving the culturally specific ideas that came out of European culture (which includes Christianity, as well as many other influences), as well as those surrounding gender roles (See Emily Martin’s “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science has Constructed a Romance based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles”).

          For an example of how science has done that, you need look no further than the Halifax guy who posted below, where he argued that sex=chromosomes. Of course, this information is out of date now, but it’s a good example of how scientists have (likely unintentionally) projected cultural norms onto nature, and then read their projections as being “natural”. Is it any surprise that a science that came out of European culture ended up reinforcing so many preexisting beliefs and ideas that they were enculturated to believe?

          Obviously some people, including scientists, have been able to begin to move past these enculturated presumptions, but it’s a slow process because assumptions are often difficult to recognize. We should be thankful for people who don’t fit our norms for undermining our sense of their naturalness.

          (To preempt anyone who might misread that last statement, I mean those who are different in ways that do not harm others, not pedophiles, murderers, and the like. I’m sure that some people feel threatened by people who are differently sexed or or don’t conform to gender norms, but surely reasonable people can agree that those aspects of people don’t cause any actual harm. Their discomfort is typically wholly self-inflicted.)

          • Don’t blame science for what religion has done. Science doesn’t affect religion….religion affects science all the time

          • Those aren’t wild accusations, they’re the result of careful research by well respected scholars. It’s not about blame, it’s about understanding. Scientists have been responsible for all sorts of bad stuff, as well as lots of good stuff, too.

            And the idea that science doesn’t affect religion is absurd. How many religions still believe in a geocentric model of the universe? That’s just one example. The exchange between religion and science has not always been one of confrontation, and there is plenty of back and forth.

            But if you want to be a blind partisan of science, that’s your choice. I don’t identify as part of either camp, personally.

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          • Did scientists create the atomic bomb? How about every bomb we have? What about biological and chemical weapons? Guided missiles? The combustion engine (at least that has mixed results)?

            Of course, we have lots of wonderful things as the result of science, such as antibiotics and the like. But pretending that science is some sort of benevolent and hermetically sealed discipline is ridiculous.

            Regardless of what you think, there is a back and forth. Always has been, likely always will be. That religions don’t agree with everything that might be scientific consensus doesn’t mean that there isn’t dialogue and that science doesn’t affect religion, it just means that the influence isn’t absolute.

            If you’re actually interested in reading the scholarship on the subject, my other posts have some references that are a good starting point. And I’m not citing myself, so it’s not just my opinion. It’s also the opinion of many highly respected scholars.

            I recommend reading some books on the history of science and medicine. They’re fascinating subjects and help contextualize/historicize these sorts of issues.

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          • Is this comment meant to be taken seriously?

            Whether you’re serious or trolling, it doesn’t warrant a serious reply. I really hope it’s just trolling and that you don’t seriously believe anything in your post.

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          • “Religion is the cause of all conflicts” is an infantile idea that is not worth replying to. If you seriously believe that, then you are clearly incapable of intelligent discussion on any topic that involves religion.

            You seem to think that holding such an opinion makes you smart and is a sign of your education. In reality, it is a ridiculously ill-informed and rabidly partisan position that would get you laughed out of every serious history and religious studies department on the planet.

            But fundamentalists of all stripes are notoriously impervious to facts and arguments that challenge their worldviews, as you’ve clearly demonstrated here and in numerous other posts on this site. Maybe you should spend less time posting nonsense like this on Macleans’ site and instead work on developing some self-reflective capacity.

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          • Says the guy who explicitly said he is neither religious nor a scientist. The only thing I’ve said that I am is an historian. Learn to read.

            Objectivity is a fairytale people like you made up in an attempt to give yourselves the same infallibility as the Pope.

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          • I specifically said that I’m not religious. You really don’t have basic reading comprehension, do you?

            I say “says the guy who explicitly said he is neither religious nor a scientist” and you read it as “says the guy who explicitly said he’s religious”. That’s the exact opposite of what I said. My only curiosity now is whether that’s an intentional misreading or whether you are incapable of understanding a fairly simple English sentence.

            And of course the Pope’s not infallible, at least not as far as I’m concerned. I’m not Catholic, nor have I ever been. I’ve never even been a Christian, for that matter. The insult wouldn’t work as well if I did think he was infallible. I’ll try to keep it simpler for you next time.

            Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t share your rabid hatred for religion that marks me as religious to you. Believe it or not, there are plenty of non-religious people who do not harbour pathological hatred toward religion nor the religious in general. Sure, there are religious groups that I find very objectionable and plenty that I disagree with, but sensible people have the capacity to understand that painting wide swaths of peoples, beliefs, and practices with such broad and hateful brushstrokes is bigotry, not a virtue.

            You can deny that I’m an historian all you like. As long as the people who employ me as an historian, my colleagues, and my students continue to think that I am, I’ll be alright. The opinion of a random troll on the internet with the reading comprehension of a gnat doesn’t concern me.

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          • While I do not claim omniscience of all history, I know more than enough to recognize your ignorance and bigotry for what it is.

            With regard to your assertions about my profession, see my previous post. Maybe if you work on it for a while, you’ll actually understand a sentence or two. But I won’t hold my breath for that.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Generally, the term is reserved for people with graduate degrees and who publish and/or teach history. I have two graduate degrees (MA and PhD, both in history), am published, and teach history.

            There are some people with MA’s but not a PhD who are perfectly good historians, though they generally focus more on teaching than their more research-focused colleagues. I see nothing wrong with that, as they’re often better at teaching undergrads than we are, in my opinion. I have no issue with calling then historians.

            What degrees do you have that make you such an expert on religion and history? Remember, ones you bought online don’t count.

          • Demand your money back, because your knowledge of history is abysmal.

            PS Most unis are online now. Bums-in-seats is long outdated….and not very good considering your knowledge.

          • JOeC….
            What you write clearly demonstrates you are about 2 years out of your gender studies class.
            you’re trying too hard.

          • I’ve never taken a gender studies class. I study the history of medicine, and though my research doesn’t directly involve gender/sex, the fact that I am up to date on more recent research does not mean I’m trying to hard, it’s part of my profession.

            You, however, could certainly stand to put more effort into informing yourself and into writing your posts. Insulting people for putting more than 3 seconds of thought into what they post and for having actually put some effort into staying informed about the subject they’re posting about is not flattering.

          • JoeC…..
            based upon your postings…….even three seconds seems too generous an assumption.
            i will give you credit for one thing though……You own high opinion of yourself surpasses that of EmilyOne….and that takes some doing.

    • gender and sexuality are different, however.

      • LOL I don’t know that it matters anymore

        • Or perhaps you’re just confused.

          • You know what the topic is here?

    • True, sexuality has been fluid, but your sex at birth is firmly in stone for the most part.
      If you have an XY…you’re a boy….
      XX….you’re a girl.
      Someitmes you get a mixture that is truly transgender, but I’m sorry….taking hormones, wearing dresses, or having multiple surgeries doesn’t change your actualy sex….it just provides a scar.
      Transgender…is NOT a gender. It’s a psychological issue.
      Anyone who actually knows, or has spoken to a “transgender person” at length knows this. These folks spend about 90% of their time thinking about what sex they are……it’s an obsession.

      • Actually, that’s outdated science. More recent research has shown that gender is much more complex than that, and is not decided purely by chromosomes. It also seems to have a lot to do with the bath of hormones in the womb (and likely other factors), all of which has led researchers to largely abandon the idea of a gender binary.

        Beyond this recent research, the idea that there are inherent genders that we can objectively know is hogwash. Gender and sex have been constructed very differently throughout time and all over the world. There are plenty of other cultures that have had other categories of gender/sex. The idea that we (and we alone) can objectively identify some preexisting system of sex is parochial and indefensible.

        • JoeC…
          There is nothing outdated by the science. If we are talking about the physical reality of sex….then XX is female, and XY is male. There is no disputing that, and it is NOT complex.
          You are talking about the identification of gender as it pertains to an individuals “feelings”
          The other genders “throughout the world” are also a part of this reality. If you are a person with an XX chromosome set, then you will be the one having babies…..if you are an XY, then you are the one who will be doing the impregnation.
          The only “Hogwash” is the idea that we can simple make a decision one day to switch genders.
          In fact, there are quite a few folks in the past who believed they were in fact, NAPOLEON…….does this mean we issue them a French Generals uniform from 1810 and call them, Monsieur?
          As for the system of preexisting systems of sex…….we don’t need them. They have existed since we crawled out of the primordial ooze.
          (excluding asexuals of course)
          Transgender folks are born men or women….and that is what they remain. It doesn’t matter how you try to couch it in the policially correct dogma of the day……..and dressing it up in heels and a little black dress won’t change it.
          (You shouldn’t regurgitate the garbage you heard in your “gender studies” class)

          • “then XX is female, and XY is male. ”

            Your ignorance is showing, if that is what you base your opinion on you have a lot left to learn.

          • rehanb_bl

          • Learn to read before you respond. I’m not talking about people’s feelings, I’m talking about current scientific thinking on the subject. If you’d bothered to read my post carefully, you’d have seen that (really, I thought it was pretty clear).

            The biology is much more complex than earlier scientists thought. It seems as though the hormones fetuses are exposed to in the womb have a lot to do with the formation of the sexual organs, and that sexual organs (not all of which are on the outside of the body), and thus sex, fall on a spectrum, not a binary.

            Again, this doesn’t come out of a gender studies class, it’s the result of scientific research.

            Regardless, you’ve clearly got a huge chip on your shoulder toward gender studies classes. It’s really weird. I’ve never taken one myself, but your animosity toward them is pathological.

          • No, JoeC is correct. You are quoting outdated science and apparently hold an antiquated psychiatric belief as well.

            You are also ignoring the fact that intersexed people, such as myself, exist. I am 47XXY – in other words – I was born with an extra female chromosome. Apparently. people like me don’t exist in your little binary gender world.

            Transgender people are not mentally ill and we never have been, The APA de-pathologized Gender Identity Disorder in 2012, just as they did for homosexual men and women almost 30 years ago.

            But then, you probably still believe that being Gay or Lesbian is a mental disease.

            *You* shouldn’t regurgitate the garbage you heard on Fox.

          • Toni,
            go back and re-read it. I specifically included references to folks with your DNA.
            I am not referring to TRUE transgender citizens…..I’m referring to the people who think of NOTHING but their sexual identity 90% fo the time, and their insistence upon telling me about it whenever they show up.
            YOu are an extemely rare case…..but I’m referring to the dudes with five o’clock shadow who insist upon sharing the change room with my wife….complete with their wedding tackle.
            for the record….I don’t watch FOX.

          • just to clear up a few shaky assumptions. first, you speak of the intersex conditions as rare – indeed they are! So, likewise, are transsexuals. Even if one broadly includes all manifestations of transgenderism, which can indeed cloud the issue, it’s statistically rare but when you define it as the people who actually feel a clash between their brain sex and their gonadal sex, you are speaking of something like .3% of the population if not less – so rarity is not a distinction between transsexual and intersex.

            Second, it is only the “true” transsexual who is so obsessed with their bodily sex and that occurs specifically because they can never escape, short of full surgery, the fully present reminder of their dysphoria.

            Thirdly, not every “true” transsexual is in a position to do anything about the “tackle” no matter how much they might prefer to. Expense, and other health issues are just two of the major roadblocks. if indeed you are understanding about the concerns of those who are legitimately trans, please try to get past defining people based on their plumbing.

      • Excessively simplistic, grade two level understanding of chromosomes.

      • You are saying that gender is determined by genitals and this is not true. While most people’s biological sex and gender match, for a small percentage of the population they do not and for an even smaller percentage of the population some do not identify as either gender and some identify as both.

        I am a cisgendered person who knows and has spoken to a lot of transgendered people and it’s simply not true that they spend 90% of their time thinking about what GENDER they are. A lot of the trans people I know have transitioned and have moved onto personal and professional pursuits. While it is true that there can be psychological issues for a transgendered person, being transgender itself is not a mental disorder and the difficulties transgendered people face are the direct result of dealing with a society or individuals who do not accept them for who they are. This will change though. Society is becoming more and more educated on the subject and laws are changing to offer protections and easier integration for trans individuals. Also the future generation of trans adults will be passing with ease as more transgendered children are receiving support from their parents along with early medical support from qualified doctors.

        It would be easy for me to point the finger at you and call you out as ignorant and opinionated but the truth of the matter is you are the way you are because you were conditioned to think that way. If someone you really cared for like a sister, brother or child, came out to you as trans, you would have to do some soul searching. If you were a good person, you would make an effort to educate yourself and to understand. It’s not an easy thing undoing years of social conditioning but once you break down all the things that you were told were important which really were not important, what you would be left with is the important stuff. If you can learn to accept the things that make us different then you would become a better human being and you would live a happier life.

        • Ok…that’s a new one. Please tell me what a CIS-gendered person is. Every time you open a paper, or see the news, someone has found something else to be confused about.
          For the record, I am well educated. Part of that of course, is the wilingness to call bulllshit when you see it.
          I’m calling it again.
          For the record, I’ve alwasy wanted to be 6 foot five….and henceforth will insist that people look up when they speak to me. True…..I was born much shorter than that, but dammit…I FEEL LIKE I’m 6 foot five, and your insistence in pointing that out hurts my feelings. I will henceforth consider you a small minded bigot for not recognizing my “height identity”
          Nature be damned.

          • Cisgendered: A person who identifies with their biological gender

            Your height analogy is trivial. Your height does not define you. Gender on the other hand, is a integral part of who you are and most definitely defines you.

            I am curious what it matters to you whether or not a person changes their gender? Why does it make YOU feel uncomfortable? Perhaps you should be exploring your own sense of self-security.

          • Cis-Gendered?
            Great….so now, we need to define what NORMAL is.
            Actually, my height analogy is perfectly accurate given what we are dealing with. I am NOT 6 foot five, but feel like I should be. Your refusal to recognize it is cruel, and Un-canadian.
            As to why it matters to me…simple. I think it is intellectually dishonest to say a man, who feels like he is a woman….is a woman. I’m not going to climb on to the bandwagon, just because the “social engineers” find a new fad.
            I’ll ask you the same question I asked JoeC. What about the case of the transgendered “Man” who got pregant, and GAVE BIRTH to a child. Was this person a man, or was this person a female?
            That is the reality we are dealing with. There are folks out there with different chromosome variations, that are not simply XX or XY, and there are true hermaphrodites, but the reality is, is that most people who identify as transgendered are simply gay men or women who for whatever reason, are very confused. There is nothing biological about it….it’s pyschological in nature only.
            YOu are aware, that quite a few of these “transgender” folks have a change of heart after their surgery correct?
            We shouldn’t be enabling people with psychiatric issues to carry on their charade. And certainly not at the expense of the truth.
            If you are still not sure…..see this link.

          • by the way, the prefix “cis-” is not designed to DEFINE the person who does not suffer from gender dysphoria, rather it is employed simply for ease of communication. Let me illustrate.

            “There is no valid reason why we need to legally enforce the cultural tradition that would bar trans women using the restroom alongside women who were born with vaginas.”

            “”There is no valid reason why we need to legally enforce the cultural tradition that would bar trans women using the restroom alongside cis-women”

            Both sentences say the same thing, but the latter is less clumsy – especially when you consider how awkward it would be to say “women who were born with vaginas” every single time you wished to refer to women who were not trans women.

            Ease of communication is a good thing, not an offense against you “normal” people.

          • “You are aware, that quite a few of these “transgender” folks have a change of heart after their surgery correct?”

            Most people do not regret the surgery and in the rare cases that they do, most of those people still do not identify with their biological gender. The regret is that they find it too difficult living as their true gender because society does not accept them.

          • Now see, I replied above respectfully because i thought perhaps you were willing to show some wisdom on the subject – perhaps i was mistaken.

            You claim to be educated, but you make false analogies and offer simplistic reasoning which suggests possibly otherwise. In any case, almost no one who isn’t directly involved in this phenomena is educated ON THIS SUBJECT. The amount of ignorance afield in the general population is staggering to contemplate.

            That said, an educated man should be acquainted with the need for, and the methodology of, clear reasoning. So let me offer you a logical thesis, based only on facts you already know and accept, for why transsexuals are legitimately what they claim to be (for this purpose lets lay aside drag queens and so forth – i speak of people with actual incongruity between their brain and their gonads)

            1. Intersex people exist. this needs little explanation since you acknowledged it earlier, however others may read this so let me briefly elaborate. Babies are born in which we may visibly and scientifically identify that some gender specific characteristics of one sex, and some of the other sex.. what was once referred to as “hermaphrodite” and now is called intersex. birth “defects” can and do affect sex-specific organs in a way which produces a “mismatch”

            2. Babies are born with rare but legitimate conditions which affect their brain in a way which deviates from the statistical norm. for example, autism. Birth “defects” can and do affect the brain.

            3. The human brain is known to be a sex specific organ, which is to say that the make brain is physically and functionally different from the female brain.

            In light of these three firmly established and non-controversial realities, it is not only logically possible, but indeed logically inevitable that some babies, on rare occasions, will be born with birth “defects” which affect the sex-specific construction of their body in those areas of the brain which are sex-specific. in plain terms, a female brain in a male-gonad body, or vice versa.

            We even have some pretty solid hypothesis options for how this happens. Science has demonstrated that every fetus is female from conception, and further that the potentially male fetus is masculinized via hormone “washes” which happen twice during pregnancy, at two separate times, one affecting the brain and one affecting the gonadal sex. It is a perfectly reasonably hypothesis to suspect that something occasionally goes wrong with that process resulting in transsexual conditions. it doesn’t take any sort of wild speculation, or any sort of wishful thinking about some as yet undiscovered gene or combination of genes (albeit genetics may play SOME role) in order to account for the outcomes we see.

            There’s only two major reasons why any of this isn’t considered self-evident common sense by the general population: 1. religious traditions; and 2. the fact that the condition isn’t visible to the naked eye (as likewise not a few other “defects” of the brain are not readily visible) and some folks just refuse to acknowledge anything they cannot see.

            Neither of which are positions which reflect well on one who professes to be educated. I don’t really expect to change the views of the irrationally biased, but i do think the case is strong for those who are interested in truth rather than tradition. I have no idea which side of that line you stand on.

          • Tammy……(or is it Tommy?)
            See an earlier post where I pointed out that I was quite aware of structures in the brain that are consistent with a certain sex.
            My point, is that at one time we had a very simple, very logical, and very accurate description for such folks.
            we called them GAY.
            A Man-to female “transgender” person, is simply a gay man that refuses (for whatever psychological reason) to admit that they are gay. Maybe they were raised in a reigious household, or their dad was a “macho” type who wouldn’t want a gay son….who knows. Maybe a transgender man is just trying to cope with the feelings of guilt or shame his upbringing has caused him.
            again…it’s a psychological issue. There is nothing physically wrong with a gay man with XX chromosomes. If he wants to be “transgender” then I should be able to point out that it’s still just a dude in a dress.

          • “or is it Tommy?”

            Gosh! Aren’t you clever! I’ve never heard that one before, you should get a copyright or something.

            “We called them gay”

            Either you are a gay man who resents the existence of trans women or you simply are not as informed as you profess to be. here’s one simple fact that will take care of your false assumption for you:

            About 3% of the population at large identifies as homosexual, that is, they are a man who is interested in sex and affection with other males. By contrast, some 40-60% of post transition trans women identify as lesbian or asexual. therefore, simple logic demonstrates that the choice of sexual partners does not in any sense correlate with the dysphoria of gender identity. If a transwoman was, in fact, simply a gay man transitioning in order to facilitate a sexual relationship with men – there would be no higher incidence of lesbians in the trans woman population than there is in the general population.

            As for psychological pressure, every single trans woman who ever lived to adulthood before transitioning, who is in fact oriented towards males, first went through the process of saying “Am I just gay?” for many reasons. First, being gay is in fact MORE socially acceptable than being trans. if one were looking for an easy solution they’d go with being gay. Second, a transsexual transition is painful in every possible way – it’s physically very painful to endure hundreds of hours of hair removal, various surgeries, and so forth – it is financially painful unless you are one of the exceedingly lucky few who have the insurance, and it is emotionally painful to be rejected by the vast majority of people whom you thought loved you.

            No, no one EVER committed to transsexual transition as the “lesser of two evils”

            moreover, of those trans women who transitioned, many of them passed through a period of their life when they claimed to be gay men and lived that life and were still deeply unsatisfied because it wasn’t about the sex or the relationships but about the internal identity.

            Basically, you are speaking authoritatively about a subject you have no understanding of or experience with and making assumptions which do not reflect the lived experience of trans people.

            Consider this: If i propose to explain to an autistic person what it’s like to be autistic, and how one should deal with it – not being autistic myself – why should ANYONE respect my assertions, no matter how confidently I stated them? If i walk into the operating theater and begin to instruct the surgeon about how he’s mistaken in the methods he is about to employ – me not having any medical training or experience at all – should he be convinced by my confidence in my views? should anyone else in the room find my advice persuasive?

            Rather, in these examples and in the one you provide for us now – the wise person will respect that the person who has LIVED the thing, who has therefore had cause to study it, learn about the experiences of other similar situated people, even (for the religious) pray and study Scripture about it – that person is pretty obviously better acquainted with the facts and the implications than one looking in from the outside who has none of that experience, training, or study.

            You assume too much, sir.

          • So,
            when some dude (real dude…XY) is being a smart ass and claims he is just a lesbian trapped in a man’s body…….
            He’s actually saying something which turns out to be statistically significant?
            Whodathunk it.
            I will apologize for the cheap shot of calling you Tommy……I’m sorry about that. Regretted it after I hit the post button.

          • When he’s being a smart ass? No. But is it an actual real occurrence? Yes, it is.

          • “”You are aware, that quite a few of these “transgender” folks have a change of heart after their surgery correct?””

            Abject lie. the rate for surgery regret is statistically almost identical to the incidence of surgery regret for any other major procedure.

            Moreover, it goes without say8ing that occasionally someone will screw up. to say that therefore undermines the legitimacy of the procedure is the equivalent of saying that because someone occasionally drives drunk, we should play it safe and ban all cars.

      • I’m transgender MTF and the last thing on my mind for the most part is sex, having said that I do know that I’m a female inside always have been, I don’t why that is, my doctor say’s I’m gender dysphoric, I just think I’m another person on the planet who is much happier now that she takes female hormones, the depression is less, the hating myself for what I am is less and the feeling of having to live in a closet for the rest of my life has gone away, all I ask is that you get to know me, i’m funny, intelligent and I love life, I think you might like me really :)

        • Actually, Lee…….

          I can honestly say that every transgendered person whom I have met, was a pretty nice person; regardless of how they dressed, or how much time they spent talking about their situation.

          I”ve never proclaimed that people who identify as “transgender” should be shunned or mistreated…..I just shared my opinion that taking drugs, dressing up, or having surgery does NOT make a man into a women. It is psychology…..not biology. (except in the rare cases of true Transgender people)

          • Rare cases of true Transgendered people ? not sure what you mean by that, I was clinically diagnosed Transgender by a gender therapist and an Endocrinologist, I don’t think it get’s any truer than that, that is of course unless you have some other fascinating information that will blow the whole Transgender myth out of the water.

          • Transgender Dude…with a beard, a vagina, and a uterous….had a baby.
            Is he a man or woman?
            Spout off on all the “studies” you want……..the truth is obvious.
            (And the fact there is such a thing as a “gender therapist” tells you all you need to know about this garbage)
            Bet the gender therapist was also “transgender” eh?
            It is a PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUE.

          • Having read your earlier post that uses the term “true transgender”, the correct term is inter-sex. Intersex people are born with sexual traits of both genders but they are often ambiguous. For example, some will have female organs visible on the outside but will also have testicles not showing on the inside. There is pressure on the doctors by the parents to pick one gender over the other with the idea that the child would be better off being raised as one gender or the other but parents have a 50% chance of choosing the wrong gender. Why? Because the genitals, fully formed or not, do not determine the child’s gender. Most people have an easy time understanding this. So why is it such a stretch to believe that someone who’s gender is anatomically correct cannot also have a mismatch between the brain and the genitals? Even if you cannot take it on faith, there are studies that have proven this.

          • The question was not about true hermaphrodites or other such afflictions.
            As for the mismatch between the brain and the genitals…….it’s called “BEING GAY”
            All perfectly natural.

          • Use of the term “hermaphrodite” is frowned upon by many in the “intersex” community. “Intersex” is the correct term. Gender identity and sexual orientation are 2 completely different things as has been pointed out already.

          • “I just shared my opinion that taking drugs, dressing up, or having
            surgery does NOT make a man into a women. It is psychology…..not

            Quite so. The person who is born transsexual is, in the case of the male-to-female transition, actually a woman all along who has the unfortunate birth defect of having been cursed with male primary and secondary sexual characteristics. changing the plumbing does not MAKE that person a female, rather it reconciles their body to their true sex ( to the extent medical science is currently able).

            As i explained above – there is a perfectly reasonable biological accounting for how this condition happens.

            Moreover, it is manifestly true that no human who ever lived was unsure of their gender until someone told them “you have a penis, therefore you are a boy.” Examples may be provided which conclusively prove that human beings KNOW (with very rare – even more rare than transsexuals – exceptions) implicitly that they are male or female without the need to consult a mirror. your sex, the maleness that you KNOW is inherently the core of your identity, comes from your brain – not the outdoor plumbing.

            now, ARE there people who, as a result of some mental health issue or other have some issues with their gender situation – a psychological problem that can quite possibly be resolved? SURE. The human mind is capable of all sorts of malfunctions. It can and does happen. but that does not in any way demonstrate that EVERY person born with a penis which says “I am actually a female” is suffering from a mental dysfunction. Science doesn’t remotely support such a conclusion.

            And as for those who recreationally or professionally practice cross-gender behavior – they are irrelevant to this discussion.

          • Cross gender behaviour?
            Hmm…you mean like taking out the garbage, or cutting the firewood?
            Sorry, Tammy…’re just a gay dude in a dress. Nothing wrong with that if it makes you happy….but stop insisting I refer to you as “she”
            I can’t be forced to admit something I know to be intellectually dishonest; regardless of how many theories or “gender therapists” you reference.
            Final note though….differences aside, as I wrote previously, of all the folks I met who identified themselves as Transgendered……they were all very nice people.
            (which I’m sure some will point out……is a group I am rarely included in)

          • No, dear fellow, I do not mean like cutting firewood. don’t be dense please. RuPaul, for example. does not claim to be female and does not WANT to be female. RuPaul is not a transsexual. but then, you knew what i was talking about in the first place because you are NOT that dense, so why not stop with the dance, eh?

            Why do you assume I’m a gay man? How do you know whom i am sexually attracted to? I have interacted with a great many trans women and more of my acqauitnences identfy as lesbian than as straight women. are THEY gay men as well?

            Final thought for you: let us suppose that you are caught up in a horrible auto accident in which, among your many injuries, your penis and testes were completely destroyed. do you therefore cease to be male?

            and before you say “DNA FTW!” – i could offer a separate example in which you receive a bone marrow transplant which would leave you as a person demonstrating XX chromosomes. would you therefore have to be identified as female?

            In either case, if your plumbing or your DNA do not, in fact, define your sex – then why would you impose that standard on anyone else?

          • An accident would not cause me to be a different gender than that I was born with, and neither would surgery, hormones, nor my wardrobe. The same applies to a bone marrow transplant…..
            Anything “added” or deleted after my birth, just changes the nature of my physicality, not my psychogy.
            The very fact that surgery, hormone treatment, and acceptance makes you feel better ….is a pretty clear indication that being “transgender” originates in one’s psychology.

          • the pertinent question remains: does the presence of a penis (at birth) MAKE you a man? If so, how so?

            I would accept that it is a USUALLY reliable indicator, but that’s not the question – the question is whether it is the SOURCE of maleness,

            If it were so, then what would we consider an intersex person to be – male or female? such a person might have a penis and ovaries – male or female? and does it matter what they themselves believe that they are?

            Also, in terms of your apparent dismissal of the concept of brain sex – consider the case of David Remer.


            If sex is not a matter of the brain, how could he have ever known he had not been born female?

    • EmilyOne – this article is about gender identity NOT sexuality. It’s an obvious distinction.

      • You’re welcome.

    • This isn’t about sexuality, it’s about gender identity. Not the same thing.

      • You’re welcome too.

        Now all the sex/gender nazis can go home.

    • Sexuality and gender are two different things. Which one are you talking about?

      • I think following the thread might be a good idea.

        • Why, is that going to make me change my statement?

          • If you’re this dull….probably not.

          • I didn’t realize you were the arbiter of posts here. (insert sarcasm/rolling eye emoticon here).

  3. It’s nice to see compassionate and level-headed coverage of this subject. Hopefully it will help to inform a broader audience about the issues that some people face with things like gender identity, etc.

  4. Canadian aboriginals have had transgendered and gender non-conforming two-spirited individuals, who have been accepted within their communities, for thousands of years. At this point, not accepting gender diversity in this country, would be un-Canadian.

    • great comment

    • Natives had never even heard of transgendered, or gender non-comforming……as they are a recent construct. Two spirited is correct, though, and it was simply to identify gay men and women.

      • Actually, you are both wrong. In that different native cultures had different ideas about sexuality and gender, because Canada is a huge place, and used to have scores of different languages and cultures.

        It would be like saying France and India had the same culture.

  5. A compassionate article yes, but society doesn’t readily accept the issues of gender identity and there is a lot of anger and hostility about it. (I’m not angry, I just see it).

    • I don’t necessarily believe it is “anger” as much as sympathy and the creepy factor. There is also the basic dishonesty of the whole idea……the sex of an individual is present in every cell of your body which contains a nucleus….and denying that basic scientific fact is simply dishonest.
      Case in point: That “transgendered Man”….who got pregnant and had a baby.
      When a man who converts to femalehood can do the same thing without the interference of frankenstein science…….I’ll reconsider my argument.
      Until then…….being transgendered has NOTHING to do with science….it’s psychology.

      • Look up menstruating men. It’s been around for a long time.

        • I don’t want to look it up……why don’t you just share how it affects you?

          • Is this an attempt to offend me? All you’ve done is reveal your attachment to your ignorance. God forbid you inform yourself before you write or say something.

            It’s a subject of scholarly research, though not my own. That is how it affects me.

          • My only attachement is to what is true….regardless of how social engineers try to re-jig the reality of biology.
            Now….care to comment on the “Man” who gave birth? Was He a man, or was HE a women?
            It’s not as easy to cite your “rigourous scientific papers” when the reality hits you in the face in the form of a newborn child.

          • The trans man who gave birth did not do trans people any favors by his choice, but given that ones true sex is the sex of their brain, the person in question was (assuming the was a typical transsexual) a man.

            That said, it is ENTIRELY possible that that individual might have been actually a lesbian with some psychological issues. Such people DO, OF COURSE, exist. the fact that they exist does not in even the slightest way invalidate all the evidence which supports the thesis that legitimately transsexual person do in fact exist.

            So, ya know, have your pregnant man ad cling to that slender reed to support your otherwise ill-informed argument – and you still don’t have any actual support.

          • How does this “man’s” choice to have a baby affect you? Why was he (she) supposed to do you a favour in any event?
            The reason many Trans folks didn’t like hearing the story, is due to the fact it lays waste to the argument that this person was a Man.
            The “man” who gave birth to the child, still considers himself a man…so s/he is still a member of your club, whether you like it or not.
            See what the discussion about “gender fluidity” has created….we now live in a world where people are so confused about the current state of affairs….we have people who are fully capable of DOUBLETHINK when it comes to one’s sex.
            “Guy had a baby…..”
            No sweat…happens all the time.
            I’m more apt to believe a virgin had a kid…….and I”m an athiest.

          • He was not, of course, obliged to do anyone any favors. but in exactly the same sense that Fred Phelps doesn’t do more rational people who believe homosexuality is a sin any favors by his narcissistic insanity, a person who professes to be trans and then provides ammunition to those who argue transsexualism is a mental illness do not do us any favors.

            that said, it does not logically :”lay waste” to anything – it merely provides another irrational argument to those already inclined to question the legitimacy of transsexuals. it is an aberration, which “proves” something about all transsexuals in exactly the same way that Phelps proves anything about all Christians, or the boys who shoot up their school proves that all teenage boys are killers. Still, that the story exists gives those who have problems with logical reasoning ammunition i’d rather they not have because it distracts from actual thoughtful points.

            All that said – so a person professing to be a man arranged to be able to give birth too – what’s it to you? How does it negatively impact you or society at large in any way? Hell, we suffered more harm from Miley Cyrus at the VMAs than we did from the “pregnant man.”

            the reality is, no matter what area of human behavior you turn your attention to, there will ALWAYS be an aberration. Always.

            citing the aberration as proof of anything about the whole is simply vapid reasoning, or an intentional effort to obscure the facts.

          • We actually agree on Fred Phelps…..the man, and his entire clan are simply vile.
            As for the rest…..we differ widely on opinion. And that is allowed.

      • So sex is biologically obvious, no? It’s clearly about chromosomes, which you can tell by looking at what genitals somebody has. But wait! Some people have genitals that don’t match their chromosomes. Not everybody is XX or XY. Some people have the genitals of both sexes.

        So maybe sex is about hormones. Those trying to stop Caster Semenya from competing in the women’s olympics made that argument. Or maybe sex is about brains. There are different patterns in male and female brains (e.g. women have substantially more lateral, i.e. left-right, connections while men have compartmentalized ones. Men have more grey matter than women, etc.).

        I think being trans is about multiple factors, but biology is *not* obvious, nor is sex an obvious binary. Indeed, some research has found that transfolk are substantially more likely to have brains that resembled their preferred sex, rather than their birth sex.

        You are denying people the right to become the people they truly wish to be in the name of science, without thinking deeply about what the science actually says.

        • They have found the same structures in gay men and women as well.
          Gay men, have structures associated with the female brain, and lesbian women have “male” structures.
          That adds nothing to the debate, other than emphasizing my points. Transgendered folks…are just gay folks with some psychological issues.

          • by your own logic, one might conversely argue that gay people are simply trans people in denial and taking the easy way out – since whom you are attracted to is not the whole substance of human existence.

            OR, if one were more thoughtful, one might notice that there is surely some overlap in the brain between the factors which affect gender identity and those which affect sexual orientation and that it wouldn’t be surprising at all to notice there were some biological correlations between the two conditions. In much the same way that some trans people are VERY binary, in that for instance the trans woman might be a total girly-girl, while across town a transwoman might be very much a “tomboy” it stands to reason that the extent to which the “birth defect” might produce an atypical out come could manifest as full blown gender dysphoria, or could be a “milder case” in which only sexual attraction is affected (indeed, there may well be “milder cases” which simply produce a very “butch” hetero woman or the male equivalent)

            Perhaps your boxes are too small and too few?

        • hosertohoosier wrote:
          “You are denying people the right to become the people they truly wish to be in the name of science”
          As I wrote on a previous thread…..we also have had a great many people who think they were Napolean. Does that mean the rest of us have to give him a French Generals uniform from 1810, and call him, “Monsieur”?

          • how many faux Napoleons have you ever met? how many appear in the news? how many trot out mountains of medical professionals testifying “Well, clearly this man IS napoleon and we should respect that”?

            Weak analogy is weak.

          • I’ve not met ANY faux Napoleons………they’re ususally locked up.
            But I have met some Faux “women” who were born male.
            I will grant, there are some men who identify as transgender who can fool you by sight. I was thinking of that contestent for the beauty contest in the US (Canadian Contestant)….or there are a large group of “lady-boys” in Thailand…..
            But the reality is, that people’s first impression is based upon appearances.
            The above transgender poeple described are a rarity, but the reality is that the majority of MTF transgender folks I have seen all look like Tim Currie during his ROCKEY HORROR heyday…..
            One can “feel” they are women all they want, but who are people to believe…..the shrinks and psychologists…or their own lying eyes?

  6. One thing I found interesting lately is the availability of sex reassignment surgery is causing a significant drop in effeminate gay men and butch lesbians. So sexuality and gender identity is at least linked.

    I’m okay with people doing whatever they want to do, but I’m afraid I can’t accept that people have “switched genders”. I just see someone that has mutilated themselves because they couldn’t accept themselves. I understand that hormones, epigenetics, and other factors can make someone much more feminine or masculine, but what’s wrong with being feminine man or a masculine woman? Why do have to enforce gender with surgery until people feel comfortable with themselves?

    I also think that people underestimate free will and environment in how people’s gender and sexual behavior is affected. In ancient greece, homosexual pederasty was the cultural norm. This wasn’t because they were exposed to particular chemicals, or they had a massive gene purge, or anything else. The culture changed, so the sexuality and sexual activity changed.

    I think we base too much of our ideas about what sexuality is based primarily on what left wing anglo-saxons are doing, and then assuming that it is the norm for all humans..

    • I agree. As a female, I am also offended by the idea that a desire to wear sparkles, tutus and heels identifies one as female. If i did that i would feel like a guy in drag! How is growing breasts and cutting off the penis different, aside from cost?

      • physical integrity. Many trans women are quite the tomboy and have no interest in heels or skirts or make-up, but their bodily integrity was still a serious issue. some have likened it to “phantom limb syndrome”

        A person who loses a leg often feels, mentally, like the leg should still be there, and a sense of dyspohoria when they can see that it is not. Similarly, for a trans woman, the simple absence of breast is disturbing not because breasts are in and of themselves significant, but because the brain’s “map” of what the body should be like is at odds with what the external evidence demonstrates.

    • In this case left wing anglo-saxons are worth studying for precisely the fact that prefaces your original point: unprecedented access to sex reassignment surgery. There are certainly historical cases of people that would have changed their sex, had they the option. The Roman emperor Elagabalus, for instance, offered a fortune to whomever could perform such an operation.

      I agree with you that the gender binary is needlessly constrictive. But it’s striking that more and more people are identifying as trans *even* as people become more accepting of the fluidity of gender. And it is worth noting that people are doing so in different ways. Hormone replacement theory is actually probably more critical than SRM, since it impacts a person’s public face. Plenty of transfolk do no seek SRM, or view it as being necessary to their identity. A few can pass without any changes.

      What distinguishes transfolk from say, femme guys, is gender dysphoria. This is a deep sense of malaise, caused by the mismatch between biology and sense of self (though the latter may be partly biological in root – brainscans suggest, for instance, that the brains of transfolk resemble their preferred sex). That isn’t something that can be solved, typically, by wearing eyeliner.

    • “One thing I found interesting lately is the availability of sex
      reassignment surgery is causing a significant drop in effeminate gay men
      and butch lesbians”

      A reasonable hypothesis would be that many (not all!) effeminate gay men and butch lesbians are, in fact, actually transsexuals and have “settled for” the less demanding claim to be homosexual out of fear, or practicality, or social pressure or whatever.

      I have a long time acquaintance who identifies as a gay male who was, in the early 80’s, the very image of the “swishy” effeminate gay male. He did drag shows but otherwise didn’t openly crossdress.

      Now, in his fifties, for the last few years he has crossdressed pretty much full time. I once asked him (because i suspected my own open and well known transition might have given him the mental liberty to do so) if that dressing was an indication that he was an actual transsexual rather than a gay man. He denied it strongly, and i have to respect that. but privately i wonder if he’s not simply resigned himself to the concept that transitioning at his age and financial status is simply unrealistic so he’s going to be content to claim to be a gay man.
      (conversely, it might simply be that his “condition” is stronger than “gay man” but not as strong as “I need to be a woman physically” and he’s found the place where he can be content – nothing wrong with that)

      • Tammy wrote:
        “but privately i wonder if he’s not simply resigned himself to the concept that transitioning at his age and financial status is simply unrealistic so he’s going to be content to claim to be a gay man.”
        Tammy……are you really in a position to be questioning a gay man’s choices?
        He’s just a fellow who is comfortable with who he is. He was born a gay man, and he will die a gay man. And he’s happy with it.

        • I have not questioned his choices. I have given thoughtful consideration to the evidence available for my consideration. questioning his choices would be me involving myself in his life and saying “take it from me, you are clearly trans and not gay and you need to admit that”

          in other words, behaving like you.

          • If behaving like me means, making observations and making conclusions based upon those observations, then yes, you are behaving like me.
            The difference of course, is that I am concered with being honest about the conclusions, without worrying about what the means to anyone’s feelings. I won’t twist the “data” to fit my conclusions……..
            That being said, please note: Tammy, in my earlier posts, I mentioned that I thought TRANS folks were totally preoccupied with their “identity”…and they spend the majority of their lives compulsively sharing their story. I likened it to a compulsion that borders on the obsessive.
            Now consider, these threads at Macleans have been running for quite some time now, and before these stories about TRANS folks appeared….I have NEVER seen you offer an opnion on any other topic. I may be mistaken, and if so, I accept that I am wrong in your case. But please note there are several other folks on these TRANS threads….who seem completely un-interested in any topic that doesn’t pertain to their identity.
            Why is that?

          • simple. I picked up the link from a friend on Facebook. not being a Canadian (albeit, being a longtime Blue Jay fan but still…) I’m not really very likely to be deeply involved in the issues Mclean’s might usually discuss.

            But what you perceive as an obsession is being based on far too small a sample size to draw conclusions. if you own a donuts shop and the same man comes in every day at lunch and buys three donuts, can you therefore infer that his entire diet consists only of donuts? you congratulate yourself on exercising reason – reason suggests that you cannot know how much of my day i spend focused on my gender based on having had ONE ongoing conversation with me.

            I comment on trans related issues for the same reason that a politically active person comments on politics, or a religious person comments on religion, or a sports fan comments on sports. with the added incentive that it’s a subject that stands to affect my quality of life. If trans people are silent when people like you question their legitimacy, then your voice is the only one in the arena and the result will be that people like me are marginalized legally and socially. it’s in my interest to offer a rebuttal, don’t you think?

            The question really ought to be – what is YOUR interest in seeing your view prevail?

          • Fair enough response……
            As for seeing my view “prevail”….not what I’m asking. I just wany my view to be treated the same as your view……
            You want to be seen as a woman…….even though you were born a man.
            I want to be able to point out that I disagree with your view…..and not be seen as a bigot for holding that view.
            Granted…..being called a bigot doesn’t bother me in the least…but you get the idea.
            What is unforgiveable however… being a fan of the Blue Jays.

          • I have no problem with an intellectual disagreement. I think the competition in the arena of ideas is a good thing, in general terms. The difference that we have here is that you don’t have any skin in the game and i do.

            If the law and policies create a landscape in which trans people are acknowledged and respected, not subject to being fired or evicted for instance just for who they are, not under threat of arrest or assault because people are irrational about where we pee, not killing ourselves or attempting too in droves because the people who are supposed to love them the most disown them in shame…all that costs YOU nothing and you can continue to assume you are actually wiser than we all you want.

            On the other hand, if law and policies reflect your views, all those threats to life and limb for trans people are a part of the fabric of our lives. We dare not stand aside quietly, too many of us ended up dead because for too long we hid our face in shame. We have too much to lose.

            You have nothing at all to lose. so it seems to me that a reasonable man ought be able to understand why some of us have a lot to say on the subject.

  7. Been there , done that

  8. Please, please stop adding new jargon! It’s NOT “gender fluidity”! We already have names for this. It’s gender dysphoria.

    • Raven…wait for it.
      Every time someone feels a current “identity” doesn’t fit how they see themselves…they’ll find a new term.
      Pretty soon, we’ll have to invent new letters as the standard alphabet is consumed by psychiatirsts and pyschologists looking to get published.

      • lol Thanks James! I agree 100%. I think it’s really stupid, and some of the terms, like “genderqueer” and “bi-gender” don’t even make sense.
        I would expect therapist would be helping here, but I guess like you say, they want to make a new discovery.

      • lol Yes James! Exactly! It’s really stupid too. Some of these terms like “genderqueer” and “bi-gender” don’t even mean anything. I asked someone to explain it once (just because I wanted to see what the answer would be) and they said you feel a bit like both genders… UMM HELLO?! That’s how most humans are to an extent, and surely even with transsexuals, you might feel you are a girl, but you grew up in a male body. I know I’m this way. We don’t need a new word.

        As long as we just making up stuff, why don’t I just say I’m a unicorn? LGBTU? Helps with heating and cooling! (oh and don’t get me started on why we should not be part of the LGB grouping, since that’s sexual orientation and not gender.)

        I would think therapists would step in and steer these people along on a saner path, but as you say, they want to discover some new quirk in human gender.

        • whatever condition affects a human being, whether straight or gay, you can always rely on some social engineer to put a name on it.
          Actually……one of the best displays of this whole issue was on a retro-grade comedy cartoon. It was ascerbic, unforgiving, and completely accuate.
          All hail SOUTH PARK.
          They also had one on Global Warming……
          PIty… get more realism in a debauched cartoon than any number of pyschologists could muster at an annual convention.
          See how far we’ve sunk.

          • The reason is; People are afraid of offending anyone. The amount of political correctness is at the point of a sickness. So instead of the psychologists telling the patient that they are delusional, and steering them on a better path (or at least getting them to see that they are, or are not a transsexual) they don’t want to make waves. Why have the patient run off with their money to another therapist.

            The makers of South Park are obviously not concerned about possibly offending people, and because of that they can speak the truth. And since it’s in the guise of comedy or satire, it’s not as threatening.

            Also as a trans person myself, I can tell you that many people in the “community” as just as bad. If you don’t validate their sometimes absurd ideas, you are “transphobic” or an “HRC gatekeeper.” Considering who I am, that cracks me up!

          • As I have written on previous posts, I have met people who identify themselves as transgender, and for the most part they are very pleasant; and frankly, more considerate than I am. They do spend an inordinate amount of time conversing about their identity.
            My only request is that they don’t demand I state something I don’t believe to be true simply to make them feel better.

          • Part of the problem is what’s known as “groupthink.” I have been saying for a while that I think the “LGBT” and even “trans*” community sometimes does more harm than good. And it’s very much a “struggle” mentality. Trans people who distance themselves from the group seem to live fairly normal lives. Because for the most part no one knows they are trans.

            If you spend anytime in say an online trans support group or forum, the first thing you notice is the shared jargon. People doing things, and no even realizing why they are doing things, like putting a asterisk at the end of the word trans. Of course it’s a placeholder for “gender” or “sexual.” But people don’t even know that, and do it so they fit in. Then they start using gay and drag queen terms like “coming out,” “clocked,” etc.

            Again, because they see others using it and want to fit in.

            So now we have some dopey made up term like “genderqueer” and of course it must be real because everyone is saying it, and I don’t want to rock the boat.

            Groupthink members always try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. So everyone adopts this same nonsense so as to not make waves.

            I think this habit of letting people know they are trans is borrowed from the gay movement. They do the same thing. Straight people don’t go around with t-shirts saying they are straight. Publicly self identifying shows loyalty to the group. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the “ingroup” produces an “illusion of invulnerability” and keeps out the outsiders, or “outgroup.”

            I have been banned from trans groups for saying challenging things that went against the “feel good” mentality of the group. Oh well!

          • I”ve never been one to succumb to peer pressure………as more often than not, my peers have been wrong. If I hurt someones feelings with my opinion….I really don’g give a flying _uck. Their problem…not mine.
            Good to see someone else with the same view in today’s politically correct atmosphere.
            No one should mind being ostracized by idiots….it just means you keep better company.