Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spin Cycle-Change

In which I attempt to satisfy both Sprite's Keeper's meme and talk about transgender issues.  It's Tuesday, right?
My transfriend has had a set back.  He had made an appointment with a endocrinologist to begin hormone therapy but the doctor has told him that she doesn't feel comfortable handling his situation.  Because she's not compentent, she says.  Riiight.  She's not competent to give him a prescription or shots or whatever.  I kinda thought that was part of what an endocrinologist did.  Prescribe hormone therapy when needed.

Oh, I see, that's the problem.  She doesn't think it's a real need.  So her bias against transgender people has delayed an integral part of my friend's transition.

Now we come to the change part.

This, my friends, needs to change.  The medical community needs to accept that being trans is not a psychological disorder.  Do you know, he has to be first "diagnosed" with Gender Dysphoria or Gender Identity Disorder before many insurance companies and many, many doctors will help him.  So, he has to in effect be diagnosed as mentally ill.  This is madness.

Just as homosexuality is not a physchological disorder, even though it was once defined as such, neither is being transgender.  Just because the men in the white coats define the thing they are uncomfortable with as a disease or illness does not make it so.  And just because we don't understand how someone can be male when they were born biologically female does not negate the fact that this is so. 

We cannot divorce the mind from the body.  To do so ignores how each affects the other.  When you start talking about something as nebulous and difficult to define as our sense of self, how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen, you enter a world that is many, many, many shades of grey. 

Male and Female.  These are at essence limiting labels. Within ourselves, we recognize behaviours and outlooks that are both feminine and masculine.  Even the most hyper male man has something that he experiences or feels that skews more feminine.  I remember, and this is really telling my age, when Rosey Greer came out of the needlepoint closet.  This was a former professional football player who had a serious hobby that in the eyes of many at the time brought his sexuality into question.  If the big macho football player can do needlepoint, then I think it's safe to say that we limit ourselves by defining gender roles in a strict male/female dichotomy.

And its time to change that.  Real men do eat quiche.  Some of the most insane football fans I know are women.  They are neither any less a woman or a man because of it.

If you can recognize the masculine in yourselves, ladies, then how can you deny that my trans friend has the right to live his life as he was born. 

Change comes when it must.  When the momentum of history forces it to the forefront of our collective consciousness and we can no longer deny its exisistence, change sweeps through our lives.  We are seeing just such a change in terms of the understanding of homosexuality.  Transgender acceptance is next.  The change in how we perceive ourselves will be radical. 

And we will be better for it.


Sprite's Keeper said...

My husband makes an excellent frittata and sits down for tea with our daughter and dances and sings all her favorite songs. It makes him more of a man in my book, not less of one.
Your friend has enough to deal with while going through this. A doctor who has clearance to move him forward, but chooses not to due to her own moral disputes needs to rethink her career. Good topic and I hope your friend can overcome these obstacles.
You're linked!

Bex said...

that was a bogus excuse on the part of the dr. a better thing to say would be, "i don't want to be your dr. bc i have issues with what you're doing." it might have a stung a little but doesn't everyone appreciate honesty over dishonesty?