Gender Dysphoria and Bathroom Neurosis

Gender Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria. I admit it. I don’t get it. On either side of the equation. I can get why somebody would be attracted to a person of the same sex. I can get why someone would want to dress like a person of the opposite sex. But I don’t get why someone would want to BE a person of the opposite. That piece eludes me.

Off_the_wallMichael Jackson, although he was a very handsome young man, wanted to have the knows of a petite white woman. He had so many surgeries on his nose that eventually there was no cartilage left in his nose. Proving, once again, that just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean that you SHOULD do something.

Sex reassignment surgery has always struck me, at this stage of its development, as more of a mutilation of the body than as something that can really achieve what the patient wants.

But let me be honest, a lot of this is just about the limit of my imagination. I can’t imagine actually wanting to be a woman, and I have a certain amount of discomfort with the topic. I can only imagine how much discomfort the average Joe and Jill in middle America have. And this is the kind of thing that the “politically correct” haters will latch onto: that not everyone needs to approve of something like sex reassignment surgery.

Of course, not approving of something is not the same has discriminating on the basis of it. Having lost the fight against gay marriage, this seems to be the next outpost in the political right’s crusade against social change.

Bathroom Neurosis

If I don’t understand why a man wants to become a woman or a woman wants to become a man, I definitely don’t understand all the hullaballoo about which bathroom a transgendered person uses. Is this really an issue?

The last time I checked, most bathrooms have stalls. I believe that all women’s bathrooms have stalls. Even men’s bathrooms have stalls, although most also have urinals. Obviously. I can tell you, despite what you may have heard, that men don’t generally check out each others wankers while at the urinal. Mostly we’re just concerned with relieving the pressure in our bladders and not drizzling on our pants.

But the political right thinks that somehow our children are going to be in danger of assault from someone who has undergone sex reassignment surgery. North Carolina has responded to this urgent issue (pun intended) by passing House Bill 2. This is, of course, the famous act that among other thing eliminates anti-discrimination protections for gay, transgender and intersex people, and legislates that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.

Sorry America, but our children are more in danger of being sexually assaulted by their priests and their pastors and their Sunday school teachers in out bathrooms then they are from somebody who underwent sex reassignment surgery. This is the classic red herring, one based on no actual foundation in fact.

Currently it’s estimated that about 0.005% to 0.014% of males and 0.002% to 0.003% of females would be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, based on existing diagnostic criteria. Only a small percentage of those ever make it to sex reassignment surgery. In other words, this isn’t a problem. Predatory priests, pastors and Sunday school teachers (not to mention former Speakers of the House): now there’s a problem that needs fixing.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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