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A Christian ministry seeking to uphold Biblical values to the transvestite, transsexual and transgendered person.

“Sex Change” Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know

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The dark and troubling history of the contemporary transgender movement, with its enthusiastic approval of gender-reassignment surgery, has left a trail of misery in its wake.

Bruce Jenner and Diane Sawyer could benefit from a history lesson. I know, because I suffered through “sex change” surgery and lived as a woman for eight years. The surgery fixed nothing—it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems.

The beginnings of the transgender movement have gotten lost today in the push for transgender rights, acceptance, and tolerance. If more people were aware of the dark and troubled history of sex-reassignment surgery, perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to push people toward it.

The setting for the first transgender surgeries (mostly male-to-female) was in university-based clinics, starting in the 1950s and progressing through the 1960s and the 1970s. When the researchers tallied the results and found no objective proof that it was successful—and, in fact, evidence that it was harmful—the universities stopped offering sex-reassignment surgery.

Since then, private surgeons have stepped in to take their place. Without any scrutiny or accountability for their results, their practices have grown, leaving shame, regret, and suicide in their wake.

The Founding Fathers of the Transgender Movement

The transgender movement began as the brainchild of three men who shared a common bond: all three were pedophilia activists.

The story starts with the infamous Dr. Alfred Kinsey, a biologist and sexologist whose legacy endures today. Kinsey believed that all sex acts were legitimate—including pedophilia, bestiality, sadomasochism, incest, adultery, prostitution, and group sex. He authorized despicable experiments on infants and toddlers to gather information to justify his view that children of any age enjoyed having sex. Kinsey advocated the normalization of pedophilia and lobbied against laws that would protect innocent children and punish sexual predators.

Transsexualism was added to Kinsey’s repertoire when he was presented with the case of an effeminate boy who wanted to become a girl. Kinsey consulted an acquaintance of his, an endocrinologist by the name of Dr. Harry Benjamin. Transvestites, men who dressed as women, were well-known. Kinsey and Benjamin saw this as an opportunity to change a transvestite physically, way beyond dress and make-up. Kinsey and Benjamin became professional collaborators in the first case of what Benjamin would later call “transsexualism.”

Benjamin asked several psychiatric doctors to evaluate the boy for possible surgical procedures to feminize his appearance. They couldn’t come to a consensus on the appropriateness of feminizing surgery. That didn’t stop Benjamin. On his own, he began offering female hormone therapy to the boy. The boy went to Germany for partial surgery, and Benjamin lost all contact with him, making any long-term follow-up impossible.

The Tragic Story of the Reimer Twins

The third co-founder of today’s transgender movement was psychologist Dr. John Money, a dedicated disciple of Kinsey and a member of a transsexual research team headed by Benjamin.

Money’s first transgender case came in 1967 when he was asked by a Canadian couple, the Reimers, to repair a botched circumcision on their two-year-old son, David. Without any medical justification, Money launched into an experiment to make a name for himself and advance his theories about gender, no matter what the consequences to the child. Money told the distraught parents that the best way to assure David’s happiness was to surgically change his genitalia from male to female and raise him as a girl. As many parents do, the Reimers followed their doctor’s orders, and David was replaced with Brenda. Money assured the parents that Brenda would adapt to being a girl and that she would never know the difference. He told them that they should keep it a secret, so they did—at least for a while.

Activist doctors like Dr. Money always look brilliant at first, especially if they control the information that the media report. Money played a skilled game of “catch me if you can,” reporting the success of the boy’s gender change to the medical and scientific community and building his reputation as a leading expert in the emerging field of gender change. It would be decades before the truth was revealed. In reality, David Reimer’s “adaptation” to being a girl was completely different from the glowing reports concocted by Money for journal articles. By age twelve, David was severely depressed and refused to return to see Money. In desperation, his parents broke their secrecy, and told him the truth of the gender reassignment. At age fourteen, David chose to undo the gender change and live as a boy.

In 2000, at the age of thirty-five, David and his twin brother finally exposed the sexual abuse Dr. Money had inflicted on them in the privacy of his office. The boys told how Dr. Money took naked photos of them when they were just seven years old. But pictures were not enough for Money. The pedophilic doctor also forced the boys to engage in incestuous sexual activities with each other.

The consequences of Money’s abuse were tragic for both boys. In 2003, only three years after going public about their tortured past, David’s twin brother, Brian, died from a self-inflicted overdose. A short while later, David also committed suicide. Money had finally been exposed as a fraud, but that didn’t help the grieving parents whose twin boys were now dead.

The exposure of Money’s fraudulent research results and tendencies came too late for people suffering from gender issues, too. Using surgery had become well-established by then, and no one cared that one of its founders was discredited.

Results from Johns Hopkins: Surgery Gives No Relief

Dr. Money became the co-founder of one of the first university-based gender clinics in the United States at Johns Hopkins University, where gender reassignment surgery was performed. After the clinic had been in operation for several years, Dr. Paul McHugh, the director of psychiatry and behavioral science at Hopkins, wanted more than Money’s assurances of success immediately following surgery. McHugh wanted more evidence. Long-term, were patients any better off after surgery?

McHugh assigned the task of evaluating outcomes to Dr. Jon Meyer, the chairman of the Hopkins gender clinic. Meyer selected fifty subjects from those treated at the Hopkins clinic, both those who had undergone gender reassignment surgery and those who had not had surgery. The results of this study completely refuted Money’s claims about the positive outcomes of sex-change surgery. The objective report showed no medical necessity for surgery.

On August 10, 1979, Dr. Meyer announced his results: “To say this type of surgery cures psychiatric disturbance is incorrect. We now have objective evidence that there is no real difference in the transsexual’s adjustments to life in terms of job, educational attainment, marital adjustment and social stability.”  He later told The New York Times: “My personal feeling is that the surgery is not a proper treatment for a psychiatric disorder, and it’s clear to me these patients have severe psychological problems that don’t go away following surgery.”

Less than six months later, the Johns Hopkins gender clinic closed. Other university-affiliated gender clinics across the country followed suit, completely ceasing to perform gender reassignment surgery. No success was reported anywhere.

Results from Benjamin’s Colleague: Too Many Suicides

It was not just the Hopkins clinic reporting lack of outcomes from surgery. Around the same time, serious questions about the effectiveness of gender change came from Dr. Harry Benjamin’s partner, endocrinologist Charles Ihlenfeld.

Ihlenfeld worked with Benjamin for six years and administered sex hormones to 500 transsexuals. Ihlenfeld shocked Benjamin by publicly announcing that 80 percent of the people who want to change their gender shouldn’t do it. Ihlenfeld said: “There is too much unhappiness among people who have had the surgery…Too many end in suicide.” Ihlenfeld stopped administering hormones to patients experiencing gender dysphoria and switched specialties from endocrinology to psychiatry so he could offer such patients the kind of help he thought they really needed.

In the wake of the Hopkins study, the closure of the flagship Hopkins clinic, and the warning sounded by Ihlenfeld, advocates of sex change surgery needed a new strategy. Benjamin and Money looked to their friend, Paul Walker, PhD, a homosexual and transgender activist they knew shared their passion to provide hormones and surgery. A committee was formed to draft standards of care for transgenders that furthered their agenda, with Paul Walker at the helm. The committee included a psychiatrist, a pedophilia activist, two plastic surgeons, and a urologist, all of whom would financially benefit from keeping gender reassignment surgery available for anyone who wanted it. The “Harry Benjamin International Standards of Care” were published in 1979 and gave fresh life to gender surgery.

My Experience with Dr. Walker

I myself suffered greatly to come to terms with my gender. In 1981, I sought out Dr. Walker to ask him, the man who wrote the standards of care, for help. Walker said I was suffering from gender dysphoria. A mere two years after both the Hopkins study and the public statements of Ihlenfeld drew attention to the increased suicide risk associated with gender change, Walker, even though he was completely aware of both reports, signed my approval letter for hormones and surgery.

Under his guidance, I underwent gender reassignment surgery and lived for eight years as Laura Jensen, female. Eventually, I gathered the courage to admit that the surgery had fixed nothing—it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems.The deception and lack of transparency I experienced in the 1980s still surround gender change surgery today. For the sake of others who struggle with gender dysphoria, I cannot remain silent.

It is intellectually dishonest to ignore the facts that surgery never has been a medically necessary procedure for treating gender dysphoria and that taking cross-gender hormones can be harmful.  Modern transgender activists, the descendants of Kinsey, Benjamin, and John Money, keep alive the practice of medically unnecessary gender-change surgery by controlling the flow of published information and by squelching research and personal stories that tell of the regret, unhappiness, and suicide experienced by those who undergo such surgery. Negative outcomes are only acknowledged as a way to blame society for its transphobia.

Transgender clients who regret having taken this path are often full of shame and remorse. Those who regret their decision have few places to turn in a world of pro-transgender activism. For me, it took years to muster the courage to stand up and speak out about the regret.

I only wish Dr. Paul Walker had been required to tell me about both reports when I consulted him: the Hopkins study showing surgery did not alleviate severe psychological problems, and Ihlenfeld’s observation of the continuing transgender unhappiness and high incidence of suicide after hormones and surgery. This information might not have stopped me from making that disastrous decision—but at least I would have known the dangers and pain that lay ahead.

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker with a passion to help others who regret gender change. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about the incidence of regret and the tragic consequences suffered as a result. Heyer’s story can be read in novel form in Kid Dakota and The Secret at Grandma’s House and in his autobiography, A Transgender’s Faith. Heyer’s other books include Paper Genders and Gender, Lies and Suicide.

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Bruce Jenner’s ‘coming out’!

Bruce Jenner’s transgender ‘coming out': He’s not alone, but is it in the genes?

| April 23, 2015 |

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Bruce-Jenner-Transformation

“Transgender.” Just a few years ago, one hardly ever heard or saw that word in the news media. Now, hardly a week goes by without encountering at least one mainstream news story on this peculiar subject.

In early 2015, stories about the gender transition of Bruce Jenner, the 65-year-old former Olympian, were all over the news. Most of these stories focused on salacious rumors about Jenner’s transition, paparazzi photographs showing his painted fingernails or signs of breast growth beneath his shirt, or concerns within the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community about the “spectacle” of it all.

It did indeed seem like an out-of-control media spectacle in the days leading up to Jenner’s highly anticipated public “coming out” TV extravaganza, marked by appearances on Good Morning America and capped by a two-hour interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s 20/20 on April 24, 2015. ABC has released teasing promo blurbs of the interview suggesting that Jenner would reveal bruce-jenner-dress-star-calls-cops-paps-snap-photos-03personal info about “the journey, the decisions, the future”; the Kardashian clan was reported to be worried about how Jenner’s comments might affect the reality-TV family’s reputation; and the first photo secretly obtained of Jenner wearing a dress was pasted across the Internet.

One thing I did not see in any of these breathless stories about Jenner was a serious, scientific discussion about the possible causes of transgenderism, including genetic influences.

As a 55-year-old individual who has struggled with my gender identity for more than 40 years—still without completely resolving the struggle or conflict—I have long been curious about the causes of transgenderism. My curiosity stands in contrast to most of my transgender friends—many of whom have fully transitioned (unlike myself). They generally show no interest in what caused them to be the way they are, and they tell me that I should stop worrying about causes and simply accept it and be happy about it. But I can’t do that.JESSICA-AL-041515

Perhaps it is my background in science that makes me need to ask, “Why do I have these feminine feelings? Why do I like to wear women’s clothes? Why do I sometimes live as a woman, and why do I sometimes want to become fully female?”

Media incuriosity or fear?

With the increasing media attention being given to the T in LGBT, one would think such answers would be fairly easy to find these days. But that would be an incorrect assumption. Like my transgender friends, almost all media reports on this matter simply acknowledge how wonderful it is for transgender people to express themselves, and how wrong it is for transgender people to be discriminated against. I agree with those sentiments. But where is the scientific curiosity about the gender identity issue?

As with homosexuality, media reports about transgenderism almost never ask “Why?” Why are some people homosexual or transgendered? Might it be related in some way to certain experiences while growing up? Is it something in their genes? If so, what exactly? It is considered politically incorrect—a sign of intolerance and bigotry—to ask such questions. That’s what I have been told by a number of people who work in both journalism and science. And whenever I have raised such questions in LGBT online discussion boards, I have been shot down with angry comments, such as “There is no such research!” “Stop asking those stupid questions!” “Who cares anyway?” “What are you, a troll bigot?”

Geez! That kind of ignorant, willingly blind attitude drives me crazy! (Also driving me crazy is the way the media lumps together all forms of transgenderism as a single, monolithic issue. News flash: “Transgender” can mean a wide variety of things. For example, a transvestite and a transsexual are both transgender, but they are very different. One enjoys dressing like a woman but considers himself male; the other actually wants to be a woman and considers himself female. And there are some people, like me, who are caught somewhere between the two—not exactly sure which one best applies to us.)

Personally, I tend to agree with Lady Gaga that LGBT people were “born this way.” I suspect that certain gene mutations or other congenital factors (such as certain unusual conditions in the womb) result in tendencies toward various types of transgenderism or homosexuality. Nevertheless, I still want to know what the latest science says about this matter. But reports of such science are rarely encountered in the mass media, such as television or newspapers.

Every now and then, however, one does hear or see stories about scientific findings regarding LGBT issues. The best chance of finding these stories is through the use of carefully targeted Internet searches.

Gay and transgender genes?

In 2014, several media outlets carried reports of an interesting study of 409 pairs of homosexual brothers. (This study was formally published in the May 2015 issue of Psychological Medicine.) The researchers found evidence that sexual orientation in men is influenced by certain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 8 and the X chromosome. This study was described by New Scientist in November 2014 as “the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay.”

But even New Scientist, though it properly covered the research findings, felt the need to editorialize: “Ultimately, what causes homosexuality doesn’t matter as much as the fact that homosexual people exist, and have always existed, in every society on earth. In the words of the activists: some people are gay. Get over it.

Is it necessary to add such aggressive, activist, off-putting commentary to a science story? I think not. I also think it is wrong for an allegedly scientific publication to proclaim that a scientific finding on any subject “doesn’t matter.”

Regarding my personal interest in LGBT matters, Rolling Stone ran a brief, although welcomed, article in July 2014 titled “The Science of Transgender: Understanding The Causes of Being Transgender.” Writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely noted:

…a growing body of research is pointing to biological origins. The 2008 discovery by Australian researchers of a genetic variation in transgender women—their receptor gene for the sex hormone testosterone was longer, making it less efficient at communicating signals—set off speculation that insufficient uptake of male hormones in utero contributed to a “more feminised brain.” And the brains of trans people do look different. Recent Spanish imaging studies have shown that the white matter of untreated trans men look much like those of biological males, and that the patterns of trans women’s white matter fell about halfway between those of biological male and female control groups.

Erdely also noted that the role of genetics in shaping transgender identity remains very much unknown, noting, “a recent survey of identical twins found that only in 20 percent of cases did both twins turn out transgender, despite having identical DNA.”

Such media reports are refreshing, because they at least indicate to the public that science is trying to figure out a subject that is usually discussed in only political or social terms. Even if the science is currently too complex for even scientists to understand—with unknown interactions of genetic and environmental influences—it is important that writers in the media honestly convey that information to the public. Why keep it a secret? Any kind of information based on scientific evidence is always good to share.

LGBT objections

Unfortunately, some people in the LGBT community object to studies that investigate the genetic roots of gender or sexual identity. Perhaps that is why these kinds of studies get so little coverage in the mainstream media—and maybe also why there are so few such studies to begin with. Look at some of the seemingly fearful, who-cares-about-science comments in reaction to a November 2014 Huffington Post story about the Psychological Medicine gay brothers study:

  • “On the question of whether being gay is a choice or not, does it matter? Do people really need to validate their actions and lives in the eyes of others?”
  • “Born this way – now leave em alone.”
  •  “So, are there genes that cause heterosexuality? I find this entire inquiry strange: Why not look for genes that affect sexuality, instead of homosexuality? It’s like white people trying to explain black people by looking for a gene that made them different/black. (implying that one would be normal and everything else is deviation from the norm.)”
  • “But…so what? Why does it matter why a person is gay or not? What possible use could this info have other than something that I shudder to contemplate?”

Such public comments are disheartening. Scientific knowledge should always matter—to everyone. And it should never be feared—for any reason. To quote renowned psychologist and author Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature quoting Chekhov, “Man will become better when you show him what he is like.”

We need much more scientific research into the causes—genetic and otherwise—of homosexual and transgender behaviors, as well as all other forms of human behavior and sexuality. Why? Because knowledge about human behavior and sexuality is essential to understanding what being human is all about. And investigating what it means to be human is one of the noblest quests of science. Then, after the science, we need honest media reports about this research—free from political agendas, advocacy, or fear mongering.

In a story about the Psychological Medicine gay brothers study in February 2014, The Guardian included insightful comments by Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King’s College London:

“This is not controversial or surprising and is nothing people should worry about. All human psychological traits are heritable, that is, they have a genetic component,” he said. “Genetic factors explain 30 to 40% of the variation between people’s sexual orientation. However, we don’t know where these genetic factors are located in the genome. So we need to do ‘gene finding’ studies, like this one by Sanders, Bailey and others, to have a better idea where potential genes for sexual orientation may lie.”

Rahman rejected the idea that genetics research could be used to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. “I don’t see how genetics would contribute more to the persecution, discrimination and stigmatisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people any more than social, cultural or learning explanations. Historically, the persecution and awful treatment of LGBT groups has been because politicians, religious leaders and societies have viewed sexual orientation as ‘choice’ or due to poor upbringing.”

I would go a bit further, by offering my own version of FDR’s famous proclamation: “…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear of science itself.”

A. J. Smuskiewicz is a freelance writer specializing in science and medicine, including issues of human sexuality and gender. He can be contacted at: ajsmuskie@gmail.com.

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Here’s What Parents Of Transgender Kids Need To Know

Walt Heyer

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First, do not panic. Studies are showing that kids are not born with this disorder. A2014 study shows no specific chromosome aberration associated with MtF (male to female) transsexualism. A 2013 study looking for molecular mutations in the genes involved in sexual differentiation found none. Your child was not born in the wrong body.

Transgender Children Typically Need Treatment for Other Disorders

Studies indicate that two-thirds of transgenders suffer from multiple disorders at the same time, or comorbidity. The top three disorders evidenced in transgenders are depression (33 percent), specific phobia (20 percent) and adjustment disorder (15 percent). A child who states a desire to identify as the opposite sex has a two-thirds chance of having a co-existing disorder.

Without effective psychiatric intervention or sound psychotherapy for the underlying depression, the risk of suicide will remain high.

Let’s look at the one at the top of the list: depression. Depression is a leading cause of suicide. A survey of over 6,000 transgenders revealed that 41 percent reported having attempted suicide at some time in their lives. Without effective psychiatric intervention or sound psychotherapy for the underlying depression, the risk of suicide will remain high. As a parent, it is important to look for depression and treat it if it is present.

Your child needs psychiatric or psychological help, not a change of wardrobe or hairstyle. Anyone working with a transgender needs to look for, and treat, comorbid disorders. Biologically, it is impossible for a doctor to change a boy into a girl, no matter how much surgery is performed or how many hormones are administered. I know; they tried it on me.

I came into this world a boy. Starting in early childhood, I frequently cross-dressed as a girl. I thought I was born in the wrong body. A nationally-prominent PhD diagnosed me as a transgender with gender dysphoria. Eventually, I underwent the full recommended hormone therapy and the gender reassignment surgery and became the female Laura Jensen. I lived and worked successfully as a female transgender in San Francisco for several years until I was diagnosed with my own comorbid disorder.

With proper diagnosis and treatment with psychotherapy, I found the sanity and healing gender change could not provide. Trangenderism was my outward expression of an undiagnosed comorbid disorder, and gender-change surgery was never necessary. I detransitioned and returned to my male gender, like so many others do who regret changing genders.

What Causes the Comorbid Disorders that Exist in So Many Transgenders?

After receiving hundreds of emails over the last several years, it became evident to me that comorbid disorders develop in childhood. Some of the stresses people with gender dysphoria have reported are:

  • An unstable unsafe home environment, real or perceived
  • Separation from a parent by death or other events
  • Serious illness among the family or child
  • Domestic violence in the home
  • Neglect, perceived or real
  • Sexual, physical, or verbal abuse
  • A strong opposition disorder from social norms

The key for parents to helping young transgenders is to work with a professional to identify the cause of the stress the child faces and correctly diagnose any comorbid disorder that exists concurrently with the gender dysphoria. Parents are in the best position to identify the cause of the stress the child faces.

A caution about the choice of medical professional: parents need to find medical professionals who are not advocates for gender change, and who will look beyond the surface of gender dysphoria symptoms for the comorbid disorders, fetishes, phobias, and adjustment disorders common among the transgender population. Only then can an effective treatment plan be devised that truly targets the child’s needs.

As a child transgender myself, I can tell you I needed help. I did not need to dress as a girl at home and at school, with all the stress that would have brought. There is no doubt in my mind that if I would have been encouraged to go off to school dressed up as a female it would have escalated my anxiety and deepened my depression and my desire to commit suicide.

Ignoring the possibility of comorbidity and giving kids the freedom to change gender is, I suggest, killing too many of them.

I understand some parents might dismiss the idea of comorbid disorders. They might feel strongly that they need to allow their child the freedom to change genders or experiment with gender. They may think that will help reduce the child’s depression because the child seems happier under these conditions. I know—I seemed happier, too, after my gender change, until the novelty wore off and it no longer provided a distraction from my troubles. Happiness turned to despair when the surgery didn’t work as treatment and my despair led to attempted suicide. Ignoring the possibility of comorbidity and giving kids the freedom to change gender is, I suggest, killing too many of them.

My web site, www.sexchangeregret.com, has many real-life examples of the results of changing genders taken from the headlines and from the letters I receive on a steady basis from gender change regretters.

I can suggest two books to help you as parents better understand your transgender child: my research book, “Paper Genders,” and a novel by C.J. James titled “Kid Dakota and the Secret at Grandma’s House.”

Walt Heyer is an accomplished author and public speaker with a passion for mentoring individuals whose lives have been torn apart by unnecessary gender-change surgery.
Read article: http://thefederalist.com/2015/01/09/heres-what-parents-of-transgender-kids-need-to-know/
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Gym Declares Itself Unfit By Allowing Transgender Man Into Ladies Locker Room

  • http://www.christianpost.com/news/plant-fitness-gym-declares-itself-unfit-by-allowing-transgender-man-into-ladies-locker-room-135354/
BY MICHAEL BROWN , CP OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
March 9, 2015|9:19 am
  • Michael Brown
    Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.

I would love to go a month – or even a week – without having to address this, but the cycle of social madness continues unabated, all centered on the “T” of LGBT, namely, transgender.

To repeat what I have said many times before, I have compassion for those who struggle with their gender identity, and we should do whatever we can to help them find wholeness from the inside out (in other words, working to help them be at home in their bodies without having to undergo radical surgery and be on hormones for life).

At the same time, we cannot impose the struggles of an extremely tiny minority (estimated at 3 per 1,000 people) on society as a whole.

Yet that is exactly what happened at a Planet Fitness gym in Midland, Michigan.

The basic story is not disputed. A woman named Yvette Cormier was in the locker room when a man, dressed as a woman, entered the locker room. This shocked Cormier, who reported it to the front desk and was told that the person in question was allowed to be in that locker room, since he identified as a woman.

According to local ABC News, “Cormier, who had been a Planet Fitness member for two months, said she went to the front desk immediately. The man at the desk told her that Planet Fitness policy is ‘whatever gender you feel you are, that’s the locker room you’re allowed to go in,’ she said.

“And then he said, ‘We’ve had lots of complaints about him but we told him to go change in a stall,'” Cormier said.

“He said, ‘if you’re uncomfortable with that you can wait until he’s done in there,'” she said. “I stood back and said, ‘How about he waits until I’m done in the women’s locker room. Or get a unisex bathroom.’ He asked if I would like to talk to the manager and I said, ‘I’m calling corporate.'”

When she persisted in voicing her complaint (which, according to Planet Fitness, she did inappropriately), her membership was revoked, since she was in violation of the company’s “Judgment Free Zone” policy. (If I wanted to make something up, I would not make up something this absurd.)

Now the transgender individual has identified himself as Carlotta Sklodowska, and he states that Planet Fitness told him, “You can use the locker room that corresponds with how you are dressed.”

Sklodowska did understand, of course, why Cormier would think he was not a woman. As explained in The Daily Mail without a hint of irony, “She added that she understood why Cormier would see her body structure as masculine, because many people tell her she looks like a man.”

Could it be that many people tell “her” that “she looks like a man” because she is a man?

Again, I mean no harm to this individual, who may be a very gentle soul and who surely suffers enough rejection already. I’m simply drawing attention to what seems obvious: Carlotta Sklodowska is a biological male, and as such, his presence in a women’s locker room, however innocent, is rightly considered inappropriate.

Cormier, for her part, claimed that “she wasn’t complaining because the person was transsexual, but because she thought there was a man in the women’s room.

“‘This is very unprofessional,’ she said. ‘This is very scary.'”

To be sure, we have no idea at this point whether the way she presented her complaint was appropriate, but we do know that Planet Fitness is sticking with its policy.

According to an official statement, “Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members,” apparently failing to ask if the presence of an obviously biological male in the ladies’ locker room might be intimidating and non-welcoming to all their female customers.

The statement continued: “Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”

In other words, there is no test that is given (or can be given), no way to see if the person might be a heterosexual male voyeur (or worse) dressed up as a woman (this has happened in other states and venues), no method to determine whether the individual might be suffering some kind of mental disorder (as some former transsexuals now argue).

Not a chance. Instead, in whatever way the person self reports and self identifies, that’s how they are treated, to the point of sharing a locker room with people of the opposite sex.

And while in most cases, it would be assumed that a biological male who identifies as a female would want to disrobe and shower privately, that doesn’t mean that the discomfort experienced by the other females would be any less acute, nor does it mean that some “transgender women” would have any problem displaying their male genitalia around other women. (For an infamous example of this, see here.)

Cormier subsequently went back to the gym and reported that every woman in the locker room she talked to about this was “appalled.”

But rather than Planet Fitness revisiting their policy, which is what was getting people upset, they blamed her for making people upset by talking about this.

Since the gym claims to take the concerns of its members seriously, I would encourage all of you who are members of Planet Fitness to speak to your local gym about this, asking them to inform their corporate offices, politely requesting that they only allow biological males to use the men’s locker room and biological females to use the women’s locker room.

Should they feel it is crucial that they accommodate self-identified transgender members, they can build additional changing rooms for them.

Until then, they have an obligation to limit men’s rooms to men and women’s rooms to women. This is not “transphobic.” This is basic common sense and fundamental social sanity.

If they can’t do something this simple, they don’t deserve your membership.

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, including Can You Be Gay and Christian, and he hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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The girl in the tuxedo

The Girl in the Tuxedo: Two Variations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

by Jean Lloyd

within Culture, Marriage
Feb 05, 2015 07:00 am http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14388

I came across a photo the other day of a fifteen-year-old girl dressed in a tuxedo, complete with red bow tie and tails, standing in front of a Christmas tree. She was heading for her high school’s Christmas dance, and her parents had taken pictures beforehand.

Why the tux? She had recently heard of a “gender bending” prom at a nearby school, one where all the girls had worn tuxes along with their dates. She was immediately drawn to the idea. However, at her school, she was the only one in on the twist. In the photo, she is attempting to look cool and smug, but her eyes betray sadness. The sexual identity struggles and confusion that had been quietly welling up within her since middle school were finally emerging for all to see.

The photo is from many years ago. I know because I am the girl in the picture. As I think back to that night, I can’t help but wonder how that girl’s life—my life—would have been different if the dance had taken place in 2015 instead of 1985.

I can’t help imagining the scenario that teenagers struggling with their sexuality face today . . .

2015: The Girl in the Tuxedo Goes to the Dance

After the pictures at home are taken, it’s time to head to the dance. Once she arrives, the girl in the tuxedo attracts attention for her bold choice to subvert gender stereotypes through her choice of attire. Members of her high school’s LGBTQ-Straight Alliance applaud her. Later, when she opens up about the confusion she’s been wrestling with surrounding her feelings toward other girls and her own identity, the “Q” (for “Questioning”) component of such clubs is happy to welcome her and inform her about gay sex and identity.

If she resists embracing a lesbian identity, she is encouraged to come out of denial and accept herself for who she is. If she seeks counseling, her therapist hews to a strict, professionally mandated protocol to affirm and validate her identity as homosexual. The counselor tells her that being lesbian is an unchangeable and good part of who she is, even though the girl is experiencing significant distress over the intense emotional and physical draw she feels toward other girls and women.

While she is in therapy, if she mentions wishing to resist these attractions and wonders whether she might develop heterosexually—or at least not identify as gay—it is considered unethical for the counselor to discuss this possibility with her. In some states, such as California and New Jersey, it is even against the law.

If she speaks of her religion and says there are faith convictions at stake that matter deeply to her, the therapist tries to help her overcome her “homophobic” values and free her from the “false consciousness” and oppression to which she is clearly subject.

And if she finally discusses the still unrevealed secret of sexual abuse—the fifty-year-old uncle and the summer six years ago? Exploring its possible connection with her same-sex attraction is forbidden. Any such discussion or treatment must still affirm her same-sex orientation and disassociate the abuse from her sexual development. She is, after all, only fifteen, and must be protected from dangerous ideas that might depress her further and chip away at her fragile self-esteem.

Through social and therapeutic efforts, our fifteen-year-old’s same-sex attractions are reified as central to her very being and personhood. Alleviating her distress about them and encouraging her to accept herself as lesbian is the only option presented to her. She may even be told that she was “born this way,” evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

Since she wore the tux to the dance and is seeking a more masculine gender expression, a discussion of possible transgenderism is in order. If she is interested or agrees, a conversation about public restrooms and her right to privilege her “inner sense of gender” may be needed. With her consent, her therapist is legally permitted and professionally encouraged to help her begin socially transitioning from female to male. Eventual sex reassignment surgery is an option, depending on insurance coverage and personal resources.

Now there is no therapeutic imperative to help her accept herself as she is because she was “born this way,” as there would be regarding her same-sex attraction. For biological sex is not sacrosanct, as inner sensibilities or attractions are (faith or moral sensibilities excepted, of course). The subjective trumps the objective.

In 2015, sexual orientation redirection efforts are precluded from discussion, even if she explicitly asks for them. However, if she senses she is transgender, her right to redirection must be honored. If she wishes, she can quickly begin the process of “transitioning” to become a male. This path will involve intensive gender re-socialization, hormone therapy, and if she wants, irreversible amputative and reconstructive surgeries. This is an arduous and painful journey, with many risks and harms, irremediable loss and regret among them. But it is considered worth these risks and pain. She is, after all, only fifteen, and it would be unfair at such an age to limit the horizon of her possible identity paths and the options available to her.

All except one option, that is.

Should she one day desire children—as a lifestyle choice—they can be obtained through adoption or third-party reproduction. Whether the child ever has another social parent is up to her. It’s her child, after all.

And at long last, she—become he—will have what she wanted. Or, if not exactlywhat she wanted, at least what those initial counselors, affirmations, and “freedoms” had left open to her younger self, in flagrant disregard of the long-term possibilities and options they had foreclosed.

1985: The Girl in the Tuxedo Begins a Journey

I was that fifteen-year-old girl in the tuxedo, but my experience was very different from the one promoted by the social values of 2015. What ensued thereafter was a long and sometimes arduous and painful journey of becoming, working out my sexual identity from the cauldron of confusion that surrounded my development.

I have written a little about this journey, wherein I embraced and then renounced an active lesbian life to follow the God who made me and called me by name into His love. I began to trust the One who knew the truth of my identity more than I did, who wrote His image into my being and body as female, and who designed sexuality and set boundaries upon it for my good. I spent well over a decade as a celibate single person. During this time, I felt a wholeness in body, a growing wholeness in my soul, and a greater peace than I could ever have imagined at the age of fifteen. This was more than enough transformation for me, and I was deeply content. However, fifteen years after my tuxedo debut, to my utter surprise, a flicker of heterosexual desire emerged. As I approached forty, I certainly never dreamed I would marry. But now, as I write, I struggle to finish because my youngest child is tugging at my arm. My beloved husband, my children’s father, will soon be home from work.

How grateful I am that the photograph is from 1985, not 2015.

Jean Lloyd, PhD, is a teacher and a happily married mother of two young children.

 

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Transgenders have Untreated Mental Disorders

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Transsexual tradgedy

Leelah“No, of course,
What really matters is the blame,
S
omebody to blame
Fine, if that’s the thing you enjoy,
Placing the blame,
If that’s the aim,
Give me the blame.”
-from ‘Into the Woods’ by Stephen Sondheim’

There’s a time for mourning and a time for finger pointing, and generally they shouldn’t mingle.

Case in point: The recent and well publicized suicide of 17 year old Joshua Alcorn, a high school transsexual going by the name “Leelah”, who posted a farewell message  via Tumblr on December 28, deliberately timed to be displayed after his death. Then  he stepped in front of a tractor trailer near his home in Kingsville, Ohio, horribly ending his young life, decimating his family, and igniting yet another national debate over who’s to blame when young lesbian, gay, or transsexual teens kill themselves.

In answer to the blame question, Joshua’s Christian parents have already become targets of widespread vilification. Browse the net for stories about this and you’ll find headlines like “Conservative Christian Parents Trigger Suicide of Transgender Teen”, “Transsexual Teen Commits Suicide, Blames Fundamentalist Christian Parents”  or “CNN Links Transgender Suicide to Religion of Teen’s Parents”.

Joshua’s own last words are, at least in part, fueling the blame. His note describes his Christian upbringing, and his parents reaction when, at age 14, he told them he was transsexual, feeling like a female trapped in a male body. His mother answered that it was probably just a phase, that God didn’t make mistakes, and that a male becoming a female was an impossibility. Joshua saw these words as damaging, imploring other parents to take a different approach: “If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids”, he pleaded in his message, claiming those words only caused him to hate himself.

He further describes his depression over his parents refusal to allow him to live as a female, their insistence on him seeing Christian counselors who didn’t affirm transsexualism, their objections to his “coming out” at school, their subsequent removal of him from public school, and their confiscation of his computer and cell phone when they disapproved of his friends and his behavior. Taking a direct swing at Mr. and Mrs. Alcorn he posted, in a separate message appearing alongside his suicide note, “Mom and Dad, f — you. You can’t just control other people like that. That’s messed up.”

And the Finger Pointing Begins

Predictably, all of this has triggered the wrath of notable voices already convinced that conservative Christians hold destructive views about homosexuality and gender issues, views which should be silenced and the view-holders punished. Columnist and gay activist Dan Savage, for example, says of Joshua’s parents: “They threw him in front of the truck”, “Example needs to be made of them”, and “Charges should be brought (against them).”

And whereas at one time the notion of sex-change was shocking, in a time when culture is shifting towards approval of sex-change surgery, and the notion that gender can be chosen and modified, the visibility of well-known transsexuals makes disapproval of transsexualism, not transsexualism itself, the shocker. After all, if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie seem comfortable with their 8 year old daughter claiming a male identity,  and if Cher’s daughter Chastity Bono transitioned with Cher’s full support to become Mr. Chaz Bono   and if no less an icon than Olympian Bruce Jenner is now in the process of assuming a fully female identity  then what’s the problem?

All of which paints Mr. and Mrs. Alcorn, already devastated by their loss, in a villainous role. And, by extension, all of us who believe the sex assigned us at birth is our intended sex – a non-negotiable endowed by our Creator – are likewise the bad guys if, in fact, this precious youth killed himself because of our beliefs.

All Have Spinned

But did he? Despite the widespread spin indicting conservative Christian beliefs, there’s another option for blame placing. Clearly Joshua was angry at his parents, his last words to them unmistakable proof. But a reading of his suicide message in its entirety also indicts his peers, perhaps even more than his parents, as the “last straw.” On this point let’s allow him to speak for himself. Describing life after his parents allowed him to return to public school, he notes:

I was excited, I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn’t actually give a s–t about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week.

And noting the cause of his final despair, he says:

I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say ‘it gets better’ but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse. That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself.

Hold on here. “I’ll never transition successfully from male to female”; “I’ll never be happy with the way I look”; “I’ll never have a man’s love; I’ll never have enough friends”; “That’s why I’m killing myself” – where is the parent’s guilt in all of that?

In fact, when the Alcorns restricted him from his friends, Joshua didn’t even attempt suicide. Only after re-connecting with those he thought were friends, and finding them disinterested or unavailable, did he begin contemplating death. And when describing the bleakness of his future, nowhere did he state, “My parents will never approve of me so I’d rather die.” Instead he cited loneliness, lack of true friends, fear of never being loved, and fear that the very sex-change operation he said he wanted might never solve the problem. Those were the last straws, none of which cast any reasonable doubt over Mr. and Mrs. Alcorn.

“Still a Man Hears What He Wants to Hear and Disregards the Rest” (Simon and Garfunkel)

Scratch a tragedy’s surface and you’ll often find the blamers assigning unfair and inaccurate blame. (Matthew Shepherd’s grisly murder in 1998 comes to mind, a case in which a young homosexual was beaten to death and pundits began blaming Christian disapproval of homosexuality for the murderous behavior of Shepherd’s killers, none of whom went to church or identified as Christians.) As often happens, Biblically based beliefs are assigned the villain’s role in tragedies far more complex than this age of sound bites and political agendas are willing to recognize.

Joshua Alcorn, aka Leelah, would soon have become an adult. The future was wide open; he was free to pursue life on his own terms, male or female identity, homosexual or heterosexual relations. He refused, and we all lose when someone makes such a horrendous and needless choice. But by his own admission, it was the prospect of a hopeless future, not a parentally influenced present, which drove him over the edge.

“Of All Sad Words of Tongue and Pen, The Saddest Are These: ‘It Might Have Been!’ ” (John Greenleaf Whittier)

But could it all have played differently? I think so, and in both a better church and a better world, here’s how.

Mr. and Mrs. Alcorn would have been taught long ago through their church, Christian books, and Christian media, that homosexuality or gender identity problems were issues many Christian families face. They’d have been prepared with Biblically based materials (because such materials were widely available) so they could respond if, in fact, such an issue arose in their own home. They would have realized perhaps it was more than a phase, but they would have also exercised their parental authority (as indeed they did and, to my thinking, properly) by insisting their son associate with peers they approved of, and that he behave in a manner they condoned. Had he refused, they would rightfully impose needed restrictions (which they also in fact did) and the question of seeing a Christian counselor would be settled by their son’s desire for such counseling. They would reassure him of their love, which they also seem to have done.

But at that age the love and support of peers is a primary need, so at their church Joshua would have found friends his own age who’d accept him as he was, welcoming him into their ranks as a brother without trying to make him more stereotypically masculine, but also without encouraging him to embrace any identity other than male and Christian. He would have known he was loved by his Christian friends, who themselves would, through their Junior and Senior High School church curriculums, have been taught how to respond to a friend struggling with homosexuality or gender related problems.

They’d have realized we all struggle with something, and would have viewed Joshua as a fellow disciple bearing his unique cross while they bore theirs. And he, in turn, would have felt that yes, he was perhaps different. But also definitely and strongly loved; a young man who belonged.

And what do I know? Maybe all of that was in place, and he simply refused it.

We Can Do Better

But sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t. Modern Christians are still woefully ill-equipped to deal with these issues in our own ranks, so we’re losing way too many individuals affected by these issues, who find more tangible answers (albeit the wrong ones) in the world than they do in the Church.

Joshua stated in his suicide note that he wanted his death to count for something. But his life already counted for something, and perhaps the worst part of this nightmare is that he didn’t seem to know it. He said he wanted a better world in which transsexuals are treated like humans, and there we all agree. He also wanted people to legitimize the desire to change sexes, a request we can’t comply with.

But while it’s true that the accusations leveled against his parents and the Church by both he and numerous commentators are unfair, it’s also true that we can do better. There, and perhaps only there, do I find strong agreement with a heartbroken boy who believed he was a girl and saw no hope. May he be the last of such boys, and may we all learn what needs to be learned from Joshua Alcorn’s life and death.

For a copy of my books on Homosexuality and Gender Identity click here

 

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The Transgender Con? Many “Transgender” People Regret Switch

The Transgender Con? Many “Transgender” People Regret Switch

Written by 

“You fundamentally can’t change sex…. Transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists.” These are not the words of a conservative organization or a fundamentalist preacher, but of former “transsexual” Alan Finch.

Having decided to “transition from male to female” at age 19, the Australian man later regretted the life-rending move and chose to once again live as his true sex approximately 15 years later. And he’s not alone. A growing number of “transgender” people, though once sure they wanted to live as the opposite sex, now wish they’d never had their bodies surgically altered.

Exploring this phenomenon just today, the Federalist’s Stella Morabito writes:

 Everyone has regrets. Some of us have big regrets. Most everyone has some place to go to get help dealing with them.

Except for, say, a guy who had sex-change surgery and now would like to have his penis back. (The one God gave him.)

Morabito goes on to cite a poll showing that even 65 percent of people who’ve had cosmetic surgery — which is relatively minor body alteration — later regret the decision. As she writes, quoting Courtney Love on her lip enhancement procedure, “I just want the mouth God gave me back.”

Yet many regretful “transsexuals” are afraid to open their mouths. Writing about how the scope of “transgender” de-transition desires is hidden, Morabito writes, “The transgender lobby actively polices and suppresses discussion of sex-change regret, and claims it’s rare (no more than “5 percent.”) [sic]. However, if you do decide to ‘de-transition’ to once again identify with the sex in your DNA, talking about it will get you targeted by trans activists.” This is reminiscent of how the homosexual lobby has viciously attacked grown children of same-sex couples all because these people now oppose same-sex child-rearing, which The New American reported on earlier this month.

Some de-transitioning “transsexuals” are speaking out, however. Starting with Finch, he told The Guardian in 2004:

Transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists.… You fundamentally can’t change sex…. The surgery doesn’t alter you genetically. It’s genital mutilation. My “vagina” was just the bag of my scrotum. It’s like a pouch, like a kangaroo. What’s scary is you still feel like you have a penis when you’re sexually aroused. It’s like phantom limb syndrome. It’s all been a terrible misadventure. I’ve never been a woman, just Alan.

In fact, there even is a website entitled SexChangeRegret.com, which features the stories of people such as Finch. Another such individual is Matthew Attonley, 30, who underwent genital mutilation seven years ago and had since been living under the name “Chelsea” Attonley, but now wants to de-transition. The Daily Mail quoted him as saying last month:

It is exhausting putting on make-up and wearing heels all the time. Even then I don’t feel I look like a proper woman.

I suffered from depression and anxiety as a result of the hormones too.

I have realised it would be easier to stop fighting the way I look naturally and accept that I was born a man physically.

And given that opponents of genital-mutilation surgery are often accused of trying to force people to live a lie, something Attonley said was quite interesting: “I have always longed to be a woman, but no amount of surgery can give me an actual female body and I feel like I am living a lie,” reports the Mail.

Are these people outliers, as “transgender” activists would say? Not according to research. As The Guardian also wrote in 2004:

There is no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals, with many people remaining severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation, according to a medical review conducted exclusively for Guardian Weekend tomorrow.

The review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals by the University of Birmingham’s aggressive research intelligence facility (Arif) found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.

… Chris Hyde, the director of Arif, said: … “There’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatized — often to the point of committing suicide.”

Morabito cites as a good example of this late Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Penner. After announcing in 2007 that he would return from a vacation as “Christine Daniels” and then becoming a “transgender” activist, he decided to de-transition the next year and reclaim his old Penner byline. But he could not reclaim his sanity.

He committed suicide in 2009.

Interestingly, Morabito reports that all “blog posts and bylines by Christine Daniels were mysteriously scrubbed from the LA Timeswebsite,” and his funeral “was strictly private to keep out media.” But even in death, he wasn’t allowed to leave the “transgender” fold. As Morabito put it, “The LGBT community had their own memorial service, but only for ‘Christine Daniels,’ not Mike Penner.”

An even sadder story is that of Belgian Nancy Verhelst, who was distraught after genital-mutilation surgery, saying she felt more a “monster” than a man. But her government had a solution for her cheaper and quicker than de-transitioning. At her request, they murdered her under Belgium’s euthanasia laws.

Morabito cites another such individual who lamented, “I am grieving at how I have mutilated my body,” but there are too many cases to mention here. And this is no surprise given the criteria for recommending an individual for genital-mutilation surgery.

“Gender dysphoria” (GD), we’re told, is a condition in which a person’s body doesn’t match his true “gender.” But there is no blood test for it. There is no identifiable genetic marker. There is no medical exam at all. Rather, the diagnosis is made based on, as PsychCentral.com puts it, “strong and persistent cross-gender identification”; in other words, strong and persistent feelings that you actually are a member of the opposite sex.

Yet such a diagnostic standard would constitute malpractice in any other branch of medicine. Could you imagine a patient telling a cardiologist that he has a strong and persistent feeling he has heart disease and the doctor, on that basis alone, performing bypass surgery? The point is that whatever one thinks of the soundness of the “gender dysphoria” diagnosis, the basis on which it’s made certainly is not medically sound.

No one has to tell this to Alan Finch. He said in no uncertain terms, “The analogy I use about giving surgery to someone desperate to change sex is it’s a bit like offering liposuction to an anorexic.” The phenomenon also could be analogized to “Body Integrity Identity Disorder” (BIID), the sense that a body part — an arm, leg, etc. — doesn’t belong on your body. As with GD sufferers, those with BIID have strong and persistent feelings that their body doesn’t match their mind, and they likewise desire surgical alteration (amputation). Yet while virtually everyone reflexively assumes that BIID is a psychological problem and that the solution is to change the mind, it’s politically correct with GD to insist that the remedy is to change the body. Is this double standard really driven by medical imperatives — or political ones?

Yet “transgender” dogma is so unquestioned today that even very young children are allowed to choose their “gender.” An example is six-year-old girl Ryland, who Parent 24’s Tamar Cloete bills as the “world’s youngest transgender child.” Calling her parents’ decision to allow her to live as a boy “brave,” Cloete writes that this “may be a phase or it might not, but that is all up to the kid to decide.”

Absolutely striking. We would agree that a six-year-old is far too young to decide his own diet, educational program, or bedtime. But we’re to believe he’s mature enough to decide to “live as the opposite sex”?

Cloete says that Ryland’s parents “learnt about a higher suicide/suicide attempt rate among transgender people” and don’t want to lose their child, indicating they’re unaware that “the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people,” as CNS News reported in August. They also are unlikely to know that 70 to 80 percent of children with their daughter’s feelings spontaneously lose them.

Sadly, the consequences of this ignorance can be irreparable. Just ask Paul Rowe, who now regrets his 1989 genital-mutilation surgery. Feeling stuck in limbo, he’d like to be his old self again but says it’s fruitless. “I can never become a complete man again,” he laments. “There’s no turning back.”

And no one knows this better than the original poster boy for ground-breaking “transgenderism,” tennis player Dr. Richard Raskind. Better known by the name he assumed after genital-mutilation surgery in 1975, “Renee Richards,” the physician is quoted as saying in “The Liaison Legacy,” Tennis Magazine, March 1999, “I get a lot of inquiries from would-be transsexuals, but I don’t want anyone to hold me out as an example to follow.… As far as being fulfilled as a woman, I’m not as fulfilled as I dreamed of being. I get a lot of letters from people who are considering having this operation … and I discourage them all.”

Obviously, surgery or not, sexually confused individuals have a cross to bear. But they very well might be happier if they consider the counsel of former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. Paul McHugh. “‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” he says. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women.” And that’s why he concluded long ago, “We psychiatrists … would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.”

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Becoming Transsexual: Getting The Facts On Sex Reassignment Surgery

The Grapevine

Becoming Transsexual: Getting The Facts On Sex Reassignment Surgery

transgender
By some estimates, sex reassignment surgery (SRS) transforms up to 25,000 individuals worldwide each year. Reuters

Worldwide some people believe with the firmest conviction that they are not what they appear. Born into the wrong body, they feel themselves to be a boy held hostage within a girl’s body, a girl within a boy’s body. When self-perception (gender identity) and body do not match, a person must adjust either their minds to their bodies or their bodies to their minds. For many, changing their body to fit their minds, a process requiring great effort and resources, is easier to achieve than the reverse. Perhaps this says everything about the strength of our minds and the power of our self-perception.

Specifically, what is required to align the body with the mind is sex reassignment surgery (SRS), where the genitals are transformed into those of the opposite sex. More than surgery, though, is necessary to achieve and maintain the alternate gender identity. In their standards of care, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) recommend one year of hormone treatment before SRS. Pre-operative hormone treatments tip a patient’s internal chemical balance in favor of the gender they aspire to be and, according to WPATH, it takes about two years before a patient achieves maximum results. While less obviously dramatic than surgery, hormones are crucial to the process of gender reassignment and some people argue they may be dangerous, even beyond the fact that their physical and medical effects are unknown (there is no published data from randomized clinical trials).

Hormonal Regret?

For instance, at least one regret-filled transsexual suggests pre-surgery hormones may be overly persuasive. As the only (known) case of someone who underwent both types of SRS, Charles Kane, formerly Sam Hashimi, offers a unique perspective on gender and some surprising insights. After divorcing his wife, this businessman and father of two began a phase of so-called experimentation with forays into a nightlife scene, which included many transsexuals. Fascinated by this alternative lifestyle, he made his original decision in 1997 to change his gender and become Samantha Kane. However, after seven years of living as a glamorous blonde (including a broken engagement to a successful businessman, much like her former self), Samantha decided she was not really a woman after all and had another surgery to turn herself back into a man, now known as Charles Kane.

According to Kane, he felt Samantha, his female identity, was simply playing a part, and she would never feel like (or be accepted as) a real woman. Worse, Kane feels he made the decision hastily under the influence of the female hormones, which he feels “pushed him” into the surgery. “I don’t think there’s anyone born transsexual. Areas of their human brain get altered by female hormones,” Kane told Nightline. “It really is like brain washing someone into a way of life.”

As intriguing as Kane’s insights may be, he does not appear to be representative when viewed in light of a recent Swedish study. Looking at SRS over a 50-year period ending in 2010, the researchers found a “2.2 percent regret rate for both sexes,” according to the authors, who also noted “a significant decline of regrets over the time period.” Overall, in Sweden, a total of 767 people (289 natal females and 478 natal males) applied for legal and surgical sex reassignment. and of these 89 percent, comprised of 252 female-to-male transitions (FM) and 429 male-to-female transitions (MF) underwent the procedures. If in Sweden, most transsexuals do not regret their transformation. In all likelihood, they may not feel their hormone treatments pushed them into surgery.

How Many Surgeries Are Performed Each Year?

The long-term implications of transsexual surgeries may be difficult to grasp on a global basis. One reason is it is nearly impossible to calculate the number of SRSes performed each year, since private facilities are not subject to reporting requirements. Nevertheless, theSurgery Encyclopedia estimates the number of gender reassignment procedures conducted in the United States each year at between 100 and 500, while the global number may be two to five times larger than that, and these figures include surgeries performed on children born with intersex genitalia. However, in a more recent report, Lynn Conway suggests surgeons perform between 800 and 1,000 MF operations each year — it is unclear whether Conway includes surgeries performed on intersex children — with as many or more performed on American patients overseas.

In Thailand, sometimes referred to as the gender reassignment capital of the world, SRSes allegedly cost about one-third the price of those performed in the U.S. Meanwhile, the hormones necessary for transitioning are sold, like aspirin and NyQuil, as over-the-counter medications. Many believe Thailand has one of the largest transgender populations in the world and, concurrently, one of the most accepting cultures. Unlike most Western countries, which pathologize the condition as gender identity disorder (GID), or gender dysphoria, Thailand shows tolerance for a wider range of gender identity, including the effeminate men referred to as kathoey.

However, in 2009, Thailand began to require two psychological evaluations and a one-year waiting period for patients wishing to undergo sex reassignment surgery in accordance with the guidelines issued by WPATH. In keeping with Thai culture, though, these rules often may go unenforced, especially for the medical tourists arriving from America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and the Middle East for less expensive surgeries.

One of the premier sex reassignment surgery centers in Bangkok, Preecha Aesthetic Institute (PAI) indicates on its website that it has performed 4,259 plastic and reconstructive surgery operations for MF reassignment. Worldwide, MF surgeries are more common than FM surgeries as female to male surgery is less successful for two reasons. According to the Surgery Encyclopedia, construction of a penis is not feasible less than a year after the surgery to remove the female organs, plus, it is difficult to create a functioning penis from much more limited clitoral tissue.

This YouTube video discusses the techniques of MF transition:

By comparison, this YouTube video reveals the surgeries for a transition from female to male:

While the surgery from male to female may be easier, the resulting lifestyle of those who transition may be more difficult (though not for the reasons suggested by Kane). In thisarticle, a sociologist who has interviewed dozens of transmen (FM transsexuals) notes how many believe they are taken more seriously in their careers now that they are men. By contrast, Joan Roughgarden, a biologist who transitioned in the opposite direction, suggests the opposite effect may have occurred in her life. Judging from personal experience, she now believes “men are assumed to be competent until proven otherwise, whereas a woman is assumed to be incompetent until she proves otherwise.” Gender identity may be more fluid today due to SRS and hormones, but in many ways it remains very much a solid trait, with the power to influence our daily experience of life.

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Houston transgender debate ignores scientific claim that transsexuality is a ‘mental disorder’

Houston transgender debate ignores scientific claim that transsexuality is a ‘mental disorder’

by Will Hall | 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Christian Examiner) — Much of the reporting about the Houston ordinance that grants transgender rights has been about the city’s issuance and subsequent withdrawal of subpoenas demanding materials from five area pastors. Or, it has focused on the lawsuit petitioners filed against the mayor for failing to comply with the city charter and accept City Secretary Anna Russell’s validation of signatures seeking a city-wide vote on the transgender ordinance.

But largely lost in the debate about rights and politics is the science that suggests the Houston ordinance may cause more harm than help for persons with transgender identities.

“Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder,” according to Paul R. McHugh in an editorial published June 12 in the Wall Street Journal.

McHugh, a venerated psychiatrist, researcher and educator, is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, and served as Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1975–2001.

He was addressing what he called a movement that was in “overdrive” in “advancing the transgender cause,” and specifically named three instances as evidence: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ determination that Medicare can pay for “reassignment” surgery; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s stated openness to lifting a ban on transgenders serving in the military; and a Time magazine cover story, “The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier.”

But the controversial Houston city ordinance also was in national headlines at the same time.

Mayor Annise Parker – the first openly lesbian mayor of a major U.S. city – who crafted the ordinance that passed May 28, acknowledged the ordinance included a “gay and transgender section” but argued that it is a “comprehensive ordinance” because it also included protected classes already in federal laws.

McHugh said policy makers and the media “are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.”

“‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” he said. And he strongly criticized efforts to legalize what he described as the subjective “feeling of gender” that “being in one’s mind, cannot be questioned by others.”

“The individual often seeks not just society’s tolerance of this ‘personal truth’ but affirmation of it,” he wrote. The end result is a demand for “transgender equality” including government payment for medical and surgical treatments, “and for access to all sex-based public roles and privileges.”

Proponents for the controversial ordinance, which initially contained a provision allowing biological males to use women’s restrooms, did press on these very points.

“Transgender people didn’t choose to be transgendered,” said James Quinn, described May 15 by freepresshouston.com as “a gay man who came to speak about his experiences with discrimination.”

“Religious people chose to be religious” Quinn added. “Why don’t we protect what is a part of somebody rather than what somebody chooses?”

“Shouldn’t we make our city welcoming to all citizens?” he asked.

The article also called for “the little protections” such as the right to use any public restroom, saying fear of using the restroom caused many transgender individuals to resort to “keeping buckets under their desk at work” or just not going at all.

Despite the loss of that provision with an amended ordinance, the article celebrated that “Parker kept gender identity and orientation protection for hiring, firing, and housing.”

McHugh cited science, not political or social views to support his conclusions about transsexuality.

“When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings. Some 25% did have persisting feelings; what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned,” he said.

Moreover, he described the policy change at Johns Hopkins University in 1979 after tracking transgender people who had surgery with those who did not. He said most of the surgical patients described themselves as “satisfied” but that their “psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.”

On those results, Johns Hopkins Hospital stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, “since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs,” he wrote.

Recent research by the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden appears to vindicate the decision.

In a long-term study that followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery, researchers found transgender individuals began to experience increasing mental difficulties about 10 years after having the surgery. Notably, this cohort experienced a suicide mortality rate almost 20 times more than the nontransgender population.

McHugh’s conclusion is “The high suicide rate certainly challenges the surgery prescription.”

The lawsuit to force Houston to allow a city-wide ballot initiative was filed by two pastors, a physician, and the former chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, and, was filed in the Harris County District Court on August 4.

Max Miller, pastor of Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church; F.N. Wilams Sr., pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; Steven Hotze, founder and CEO of Hotze Health & Wellness, Hotze Vitamins and Hotze Pharmacy; and, Jared Woodfill, candidate for chairman of the Texas Republican Party, sought an immediate injunction to allow Houstonians to vote to keep or reject the ordinance.

Having missed the Aug. 18 deadline for calling a November vote, the plaintiffs now must wait to see if the District Court will allow any of their requests to: suspend enforcement of the ordinance, force reconsideration by the city council, or call for an election on whether to repeal it. The case is set for January 2015.

Read more: http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/houston.transgender.debate.ignores.science.that.transsexuality.is.a.mental.disorder/47554.htm#ixzz3IidHafZe

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