THE TRANS MOVEMENT IS GROWING IN POPULARITY AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE, but ARE THEY IGNORING SIGNIFICANT HEALTH EFFECTS?
WRITTEN BY AARON GONZALEZ
What originally used to be considered as a mental condition called ‘Gender Dysphoria’ has in the last few years sprouted into a movement that young people are increasingly getting behind and pushing into the mainstream. Transgenderism, gender fluidity. Genderqueer, non-binary; there are now many terms people associate with an individual who is not convinced they are the correct gender that was assigned to them at birth. It is an umbrella category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities which exist as they state “outside the gender binary and cisnormativity.” Genderqueer people may express a combination of masculinity and femininity, or neither, in their gender expression.
Why are the youth of today becoming increasingly supportive of not assigning themselves to a male or female gender role? Or switching to become the opposite gender? We have seen a huge rise in popularity when it comes to gender fluidity that is very prominent among university campuses in the UK and in the United States. Is this a sign of society in collapse? Or is it a sign of a new age in how humans identify each other?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines transgender as
‘denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex’.
This term is relatively new. According to equality-law professor and trans activist Stephen Whittle, the term ‘transvestite’ was first used in 1910 by sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld. He later found the Berlin Institute where the very first sex-change operations took place. ‘Transsexual’ was not coined until 1949; ‘transgender’ not until 1971; and ‘trans’, a very new term, in 1996.
Today, you will find it very difficult to not see a news story based around transgenderism. But what are individuals’ main reasons for wanting to change their gender? I spoke to Christie who wished to keep her last name anonymous, she is a fellow student from University of the Arts London studying at London College of Communication and is ‘transitioning’ from a male to a female. I sat down with her for lunch to discuss her process of transition and the hardships that follow suit.
‘I always felt female and that scared me, I wanted to feel free and my true self’
Christie is looking to undergo medical intervention better known as gender re assignment surgery which in today’s standards would be considered a more traditional transgender case.
“I have felt for a very long time that things weren’t right and aligned with myself and I was extremely relieved when I joined University after leaving home to find a lot of other people who seemed to feel the same way” Christie explains to me with what seemed to be a very newly found confidence. I ask her what she intends to do going forward; “what are you next steps in what you call you transition stage? Are you changing your name and are you looking to seek medical help with this process” She seemed unsure when I asked, almost like she hadn’t spent a lot of time considering this herself; she responds “surgery will be one thing that takes a lot of commitment, it’s a slow process.”
In the 1960s transsexualism was a touchy subject along with its clinical practices towards it, Doctors were opposed largely to the idea. By the early 1980’s thousands of sex change operations have taken place. This was most prominently practiced by Hopkins University in the 70’s. They utilized a method named ‘the single theme’ for deciding whether or not to undergo the surgery. It was dependant on if the patient had an ‘intense conviction to be the opposite sex.’
Negative effects of the surgery soon became apparent which consisted of; demands for reverse surgery, medical complications and attempts to takes one’s own life. Now we have to be clear this could have been for a multi faceted amount of reasons, it could have been due to the ‘single theme method’ the practitioners were carrying out. As a result of this practice, patients were learning the best things they needed to phrase and communicate to the doctor in order to be approved for the surgery.
Hopkins Hospital stopped procedures all together 9 years later in 1979. This came as a result of Mr Jon Meyer conducting a study comparing 29 patients who had the surgery and 21 who didn’t. He concluded those who had the surgery were no more adjusted to society than those who did not have the surgery.
Now this is over thirty years ago, so one would assume things are a lot better for trans people after undergoing surgery, right? Well in fact when we look at the suicide statistics on trans people from a study by The National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released in October 2010. They found a huge 41% of trans people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide whether or not they choose to transition.
To better understand the unique health needs of the LGBT community, physicians and medical professionals must develop a knowledge base in cultural and clinical competency and understand the factors that affect LGBT health. This study also found the assessment of LGBT-related content at medical schools found a median of 5 hours spent on LGBT-related issues over the course of the curriculum.
Does the question need to be asked; when it comes to people suffering from Gender Dysphoria, is the correct approach to agree and go along with the patient’s wishes if it is in their best interests but not necessarily facilitates the best outcomes? Is the best line of action to undergo grueling hormone therapy and surgery in the hope that it will do the job and solve all their problems?
I would argue in a lot of cases where this is the less compassionate approach when dealing with such a complex problem. Is surgery the definite answer for such a complex psychological problem? The individual may simply be best suited with stronger psychological help for a mental condition that many argue has become too normalized by trans activist and LGBTQ+ groups along with the help of super progressive, post modern professors and lecturers in Academia and propagated by leftist liberal media.
Are they getting it wrong? Is there a healthier more reasoned and scientifically sound plan of action to help these people and will also as a result lower the 41% suicide rate of trans people?
Studies show, of those who seriously considered suicide, those with strong support were 82% less likely to attempt suicide than those without support, Transgender people who have experienced gender-based violence are four times more likely to have attempted suicide than transgender people who have not experienced gender-based violence, Among transgender adults, those less than 25 are more likely to report having attempted suicide and Transgender people of color are more likely to have attempted suicide.
If studies show trans people are more likely than non-trans people to be suicidal, it is critical that psychologists, counsellors and doctors understand the reasons for this increased risk. This will allow them to learn how to intervene correctly case by case. If we all truly want what is best for trans people, and we want to help decrease trans people's risk of dying by suicide, then we need to have a more complete picture on what leads trans people attempting to take their own lives and to lessen the amount transgenderism is being normalised without addressing the worrying health effects.