Gender Identity Discrimination
The UN and the Obama administration are working to add “gender identity” to the categories protected from discrimination. What exactly would that mean? Who would receive protection?
“Gender Identity” refers to the sex a person identifies with: their actual biological sex or the other sex. While the media may publicize “sex change operations,” no one can change their sex. All that can be changed is appearance. Our sex is written on every cell of our bodies. Adding “gender identity” to anti-discrimination legislation would grant virtually unrestricted rights to people who do not want to be the sex they are.
This would include rebels against authority, sexual anarchists, the “gender queer,” the tattooed, cross-dressing in-betweens, the Goths, those who just want to stick it to “the man”. They could use “gender identity” to claim the right to outrageous behavior. Employers, educational, institutions, even the military would lose any ability to create or enforce a dress code.
Also included would be those suffering from a transsexual delusion, that is the belief that they were born in the wrong body, that they have the brain of one sex and the body of the other. Some people suffering from a transsexual delusion actually believe they have internal sexual organs of the other sex.
In some cases, a transsexual delusion is a side effect of another mental disorder such as schizophrenia. When the underlying disorder is treated, the delusion may disappear. In other cases, the transsexual delusion is the main disorder. The person may be able to function adequately in other areas of life, but persists in believing that he or she is really the other sex. Persons with a transsexual delusion believe that nature has made a mistake and surgery to create the appearance of the other sex and hormone treatment are necessary to “fix” the mistake. Adding gender identity to anti-discrimination legislation would force the government to fund multiple surgeries and life-long hormone treatments – essentially surrendering to the delusion.
Not all those who want to present themselves as the other sex suffer from a delusion even though many may express their desire to be the other sex in those terms. They may have studied up on the issue and discovered that claiming to be in the wrong body is the way to gain acceptance into a surgery program. Those who suffer from persistent gender identity disorder (a failure to feel like the sex they are or a desire to be the other sex) or gender dysphoria. (deep unhappiness at being the sex they are) know which sex they are, but want to present themselves as the other sex. Some have suggested that there is a biological cause for these feelings – that they were born that way. There is no evidence for a genetic, hormonal, or congenital cause. While some children may be more vulnerable to stress, the causes lie in childhood experiences not biology.
Three categories of those who desire surgery and hormones have been identified:
1) Homosexual Transsexuals – These are males who as small boys did not identity with their father or male peers, instead they identified with older women. They wanted to dress up in women’s clothing, had affected speech, and disliked typical boy play. While this behavior is labeled effeminate or girlish, in fact it is a caricature of adult female behavior rather than an imitation of the behavior of girls of the same age. These boys are rigid, anxious, and fearful, whereas girls are more flexible, able to enjoy a range of activities. Girls may enjoy dressing up, but not be phobic about wearing jeans and sweatshirts. When these boys are referred to a therapist, they are diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, which is a treatable condition. Most young boys who express a desire to be girls grow out of it, although without positive intervention many grow up to have same-sex attractions. For some the desire to be women persists. They are attracted to males, but not to other men with same-sex attraction.
2) Autogynephiles – Literally men who are in love with the image of themselves as a woman. Most autogynephiles begin as insecure adolescent boys but with normal male interests and no external evidence of imitating female behavior. These boys dealt with adolescent anxiety by dressing in their mother’s clothing and masturbating, imagining themselves as women. This developed into paraphilic transvestite fetishism. A person with a paraphilia is sexually aroused by an inanimate object or something other than another person. In this case a man with a transvestite fetish is sexual aroused by dressing in women’s clothing. This may be accompanied by other paraphilias. Many of these men keep their proclivities secret, marry, have children, and masculine careers. They use their secret cross-dressing to sooth tension. Some later in life, perhaps while under stress, decide they want to go further, they want to create the complete image of women. To the surprise of family and friends, they announce that they are going to have surgery.
3) Lesbian Transsexuals – Some girls who fail to identify with their mothers and other women may express a desire to be a boy. However, most grow out of it. Some do however grow up to see themselves as “butch lesbians.” It should be noted that a significant percentage of girls who come out as lesbian in adolescence experienced sexual abuse as children. While the percentage of women seeking surgery and hormones in the past was far less than the percentage of men, the number is increasing.
The therapists who promote surgery as a treatment for gender dysphoria do so because, even though surgery does not actually resolve the underlying problems, therapy is rarely successful. However, therapy doesn’t work because the gender dysphoric don’t cooperate. They don’t cooperate because they know if they can prove to the therapist that therapy doesn’t work they will be accepted for surgery. The clients are, therefore, unintentionally encouraged to resist therapy and to dramatize their suffering.
The proposed legal protections would also cover those who wish to present themselves as the other sex without having surgery or who have only had top surgery (breast implants for males, breast removal for females) and not bottom surgery. Such legal protection could include the right to present one’s self in public as the other sex, the right to have one’s birth certificate and drivers license changed to the desired sex, the right to use restrooms and locker rooms of the other sex, the right to marry a person of the same biological sex. Such legal changes would include allow those who have been surgically altered to deceive potential sexual or marriage partners as to their true sexual identity.
While we can have sympathy for people who suffer from such problems, particularly those who have been surgically mutilated, the law should not be twisted in order to normalize delusion, deception, and twisted desire.
The following is a Jan. 21, 2009 letter from Rachel Kaprielian, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
“The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has amended its policy to enable transgendered individuals to more easily change the gender designation on their licenses and identity cards. Under this new policy, it is no longer necessary to submit medical proof of sex reassignment surgery. The agency understands that this requirement is often very difficult, if not impossible, for many individuals to satisfy. Under the new policy, an individual who wishes to change the gender marker will submit an updated application together with a Gender Designation Change Form, signed by him or her and a medical provider attesting to the gender that the individual considers himself or herself to be.
“In addition, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will no longer require an individual to provide an amended birth certificate in support of the new gender designation marker. I believe these changes are fair, reasonable and sensible. The next edition of the Registry of Motor Vehicles Driver’s manual will reflect the agency’s policy amendments.