This article was published by McMaster’s Silhouette newspaper here.
Last Monday, Hamilton city Councillors approved a new transgender rights protocol. The transgendered can now use bath and change rooms based on their gender identities, a blank write-in box will be added to city forms beneath ‘male’ and ‘female’, and disclosing someone’s gender identity without their consent is – finally – an official form of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Lawyer Nicole Nussbaum called the motion “on the cutting edge of best practice.” She’s right: it is.
Unfortunately, regressive thinking still runs rampant. The following remark, one which you will undoubtedly encounter if you peruse any semi-popular trans-related Facebook status, is a microcosmic encapsulation of the problem: “if you have a dick, you’re male, and if you have a vagina, you’re female.”
That statement erroneously asserts the physical is the only legitimate biological indicator. Corporeal biology is not a dimension we are beholden to, and, evidenced by the mere existence of gender dysphoria (which, after all, originates biologically), it is not a dimension nature is beholden to either. An individual does not ‘choose’ to identify with the opposite biological sex. Viz., nature has destined these individuals to feel a distinction between their gender and their sex.
Indeed, research shows that ‘male’ and ‘female’ encompass more than genitalia. This is why ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ have different definitions: “‘sex’ refers to the biological differences between males and females, such as the genitalia and genetic differences. ‘Gender’ is more difficult to define, but can refer to the role of a male or female in society (gender role), or an individual’s concept of themselves (gender identity).” To restrict gender to biological sex is a stultifying contraction.
Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that the abnormally high suicide rate among the transgendered – 41% vs. 4.6% of the overall U.S. population – is largely a result of their societal rejection. A 2012 study found “57% of transgender youth who did not have supportive parents attempted to commit suicide in the past year, while just 4% of transgender youth with “very supportive” parents did”. Further, a 2014 Williams Institute study found the “prevalence of suicide attempts [among transgender and gender non-conforming people] is elevated among those who disclose to everyone that they are transgender or gender-non-conforming (50%) and among those that report others can tell always (42%) or most of the time (45%) that they are transgender or gender non-conforming even if they don’t tell them”. Clearly, the ostracization and ridicule performed by anti-trans individuals greatly bloats the chance of the trans and non-gender identifying attempting to kill themselves.
Indeed, these startling statistics are proof that we need to work towards inclusively. That involves accepting the transgendered as just that: transgendered. If anyone is so sensitive, so close-minded, that doing so ‘offends’ their limited sensibilities, I suggest they get over it. It’s ironic that supporters of the transgendered are often branded ‘snowflakes,’ while the anti-trans movement consists of those so close-minded and easily triggered that they protest individual expression.
The medical community is also increasingly siding with the pro-trans movement, as reflected in the latest round of updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM, which is used by clinicians, replaced the diagnosis of “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria.” The diagnostic class was also separated from sexual dysfunctions. No, transgenderism is not a mental disorder, and recognizing this imposes no negative societal externality. Okay, you might be exposed to an optically obvious transgendered person in public – but if seeing a transgendered person for whatever reason ‘offends’ you, then look away.
The left is often accused of emotional pandering and prioritizing feeling over fact. In this case, fact is on their side. The troglodytic assertions of the anti-trans movement are rapidly crumbling beneath the weight of evidence reclassifying, and consequently de-stigmatizing, transgenderism. What a shame the trans population’s infantile opponents are blinded by ignorance and obstinacy. Comrades, we must pity those misguided souls, who are eager to imprison themselves in the cage of ignorance. Willfully avoiding fact, either too lazy or too obdurate to confront it, they stomp and drool and whine, barking uninformed falsehoods, reveling in stupidity. Feel not offense at their claims, but sorrow for the obtuseness that has informed them.
I applaud the Hamilton city council for this move. So should you.
Excerpts from this blog were posted on the following Facebook status:
Here are some of the indirect responses it received. (I say indirect because these individuals did not actually respond to any of the blog points, but rather ranted and raved on a separate post.)
Only one person responded directly to the excerpts: