Transsexuals are not your enemies

I know this is a sign that I am incredibly dumb, but I am always vaguely surprised by neoreactionaries/Dark Enlightenment types who claim to understand human genetics but are openly hostile to transsexuals, transgender, and otherwise trans- folks.

Look, guys. Every trans person I have met has something medically wrong with them–some sort of genetic or hormonal condition interfering with the production/development of normal sex hormones/characteristics. Don’t get distracted by the “gender is a social construct,” nonsense–it’s totally irrelevant. (More on that later.)

So you now how boys are genetically XY, and girls are XY? I have met trans people who are literally XXY. Like Down’s Syndrome, only your genitalia don’t quite develop right due to your body trying to produce male genitalia with way too many female hormones.

Another condition that appears to affect quite a large % of trans people is exposure to massive levels of artificial sex hormones while still in the womb, due to certain medications pregnant women have taken.

Diethylstilbestrol, (or DES,)  is a synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen, synthesized way back in 1938. Between 1940 and 1971, DES was given in large quantities to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages. Unfortunately, it turns out that pumping babies full of unnaturally high levels of estrogen might be bad for them–DES was discontinued as a medication for pregnant women because it gave their daughters cancer, and the sons appear to have high rates of trans and intersex conditions, which is exactly what you’d expect.

And then there are the people I have met whose health histories I am not privy to, but who quite obviously have something hormonal going on–girls who grow up and sprout beards, for example.

Alas, I don’t have data on what is going on with 100% of trans people, but from everything I’ve seen, it looks like we’re really just talking about a few people with rare medical conditions, prenatal hormonal or toxin exposure, etc., not weirdo degenerates who are trying to destroy civilization.

In fact, every trans person I’ve ever met just wanted to live their life without being harassed and be a contributing member of society, like almost everyone else I know.

 

In a nation with 320 million people, and a world with even more,  and the technology to find people with <1/million conditions and put them on TV or find each other on an online forum, it is easy to overestimate the commonness of extremely rare conditions. (Homosexuality comes immediately to mind–gay folks number around 3% of the country, but IIRC, people estimate that about 30% of people are gay.)

Trans people are an even smaller % of the population–even on LGBTetc forums, they complain about being left out and forgotten–because there are just so few of them. 0.3% of the population to be exact, according to Wikipedia. (This number seems consistent with “caused by a variety of rare medical conditions.”)

There are more prisoners in this country than trans people, but I don’t hear people complaining that a convicted criminal might use a public bathroom while they’re in there, even though criminals are way more likely to rape, assault, or kill you than some “chick with a beard.”

So even if I can’t convince you not to hate them, remember that trans people are such a tiny % of the overall population that worrying about them is a total waste of your time.

 

 

But what about all of this business about gender being a social construct?

Look, people throw around a lot of words without knowing what they really mean. Trans people are really the embodiment of the opposite of this principle. If gender were just a social construct, a woman with a beard could just say, “Well, society is wrong to say that beards are a man-thing; I’m going to declare that beards are a woman thing, too!” instead of feeling like there was something really wrong with her. Trans people would not bother with sex-reassignment-surgery (which is expensive, painful, and a pain in the butt;) they would just declare themselves to be whatever they want.

In fact, experiments have been done in which babies with indeterminate genitalia were just assigned a gender, surgically altered, (usually to female, because it is easier to subtract from working tissue than to add to it,) and then raised as their assigned gender, on the assumption that since gender is just a social construct, you can do this.

These experiments went badly. A lot of these kids grew up confused, hit puberty, and realized that they were in fact not the gender they’d been raised as (and that their parents had removed a good chunk of their genitalia.) Gender, in short, has so far resisted our best efforts to make it malleable.

 

In  short, trans people aren’t your enemies. They just want to pee in peace.

 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Transsexuals are not your enemies

  1. Truly genetically or physically intersexed people aside (who rarely seem to come up in transsexual discussions), the key problem with transsexuals is that they often want people to go along with the fantasy that it’s possible for a person born a man to become a woman, which is not possible:

    Transsexuals | West Hunter

    Indeed, this maybe less than helpful to them even:

    Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’

    Like

    • Hey! Thanks for dropping by.

      You may have had very different discussions than I have had, but I don’t think everyone knows or cares to publicly discuss their medical histories. It’s very easy to go online and complain that you never feel like you fit in; it’s harder to go to the doctor and get your hormone levels tested.

      The trans people I have known personally (more people than random chance would suggest,) all have clear, documented medical conditions making them trans. But that’s obviously just anecdote; I really would prefer hard data. Here are a few bits I’ve dug up today:

      “There are an estimated 2 to 3 million DES sons worldwide. Going on what I’ve seen, probably around a third of these people were born with visible intersex-related genital abnormalities, a fairly similar percentage have gone on to develop hypogonadism, and the one study of gender identity in DES sons that’s ever been conducted found that 150 out of 500 identified as women. DES is a substance that’s been shown to cause female development in biological males in a wide range of birds and mammals, and it looks like it does the same in human beings. How do you think the authorities were ever going to react on discovering that they’d inadvertently created between 2 and 3 million biologically male people who’ve partly developed as female?” https://www.facebook.com/notes/442976639138843/ (I know it’s just a FB comment, but this guy has done a ton of research on DES, and I think his research is probably pretty good.)

      Based on 150/500, I calculate about 900 thousand DES-sons who are now trans. Many of those in the US, but some internationally.
      If 0.3% of 320 mill Americans are trans, and half of them are MTF, that gives us 48,000 people. Unless I am mathing wrong.

      Klinefelters affects 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000 people. Let’s go with 0.1% of people. Given that trans people are only 0.3% of Americans, the numbers here (and these are just two conditions, I’m not looking at a variety of other hormonal disorders,) seem likely to explain the vast majority of trans cases.

      So the situation you propose of a person born a man–I assume by “born a man” you mean someone with XY chromosomes, normal fetal brain development, and normal male hormones throughout their life–pursuing SRS to “become a woman” is probably an extremely small % of trans people. (Actually, none of the trans people I know are pursuing SRS, either because they don’t want it or because it’s expensive/a pain in the butt.) Perhaps that very small % of people actually is mentally ill.

      But the majority of these people probably were not “born male” or “born female”, but were born with conditions that caused them to develop a mix of gender traits.

      I have seen West Hunter’s post (I even commented on it,) but he does not cite his sources or really explain how he came to his opinions at all–personal conversation with trans people? Reading studies? Given that we are talking about an extremely rare condition that most people know about primarily from Jerry Springer, I think it important to be careful about sources.

      As for Dr. McHugh,
      “Dr. McHugh … explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.”

      Again, sure, for the small % of people who don’t have a medical condition and actually want SRS, this may be true. But I doubt it is relevant to the majority of cases. The high suicide rates may be no higher than among trans people who don’t pursue SRS–trans folk commit a lot of suicide.

      I am not convinced that any particular treatment is best for trans people (and I don’t believe that people I know personally have all done the best things for their conditions,) but I am pretty sure repeatedly telling someone “You’re crazy!” doesn’t make them listen to you. This is why we tell depressed people they have a “chemical imbalance” rather than, “You’re delusional; your life really isn’t that bad.” It’s probably a good idea to treat people with compassion, after all.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s