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

How Should Christians Respond to the Transgender ?

In June, Christianity Today published an article by Mark Yarhouse, a professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia, on “gender dysphoria.” Gender dysphoria is the APA’s current description of the condition whereby someone perceives one’s “gender” to be other than one’s birth or biological sex. The previous designation in the APA’s diagnostic manual (and in my view still preferable) is “gender identity disorder” (GID).

Yarhouse contends:

1. Church members should address a man who thinks he is a woman by her chosen female name and use feminine pronouns, and a woman who thinks she is a man by her chosen male name and use masculine pronouns.

2. The church should not “treat as synonymous management of gender dysphoria and faithfulness” to Christ. The church should allow those with transgender desires “to identify with aspects of the opposite sex, as a way to manage extreme discomfort.”

3. For the most part, the church should give up on the “culture war” battle on this and other issues. “The church is called to rise above [culture] wars and present a witness to redemption.”

Yarhouse refers to three different lenses for interpreting the issue: Integrity (Yarhouse cites me as a proponent; go here for an online discussion), Disability, and Diversity (full affirmation of transgenderism). Although Yarhouse states that he believes “there are strengths in all three lenses,” he clearly operates with a descending scale with Disability at the top and Diversity at the bottom: “Because I am a psychologist…, I see value in a disability lens.”

Yarhouse doesn’t dump the Integrity lens entirely. “Even as Christians affirm the disability lens, we should also let the integrity lens inform our pastoral care.” He rather sees the disability lens as embracing the Integrity lens but going beyond it and even correcting it, at least at two points. First, “the disability lens also makes room for supportive care and interventions that allow for cross-gender identification in a way the integrity lens does not” (it is this allowance that is the main problem in my view). Second, it “rejects the teaching that gender identity conflicts are the result of willful disobedience or sinful choice.”

This last claim is curious. I for one do not view the mere experience of gender dysphoria as necessarily resulting from active efforts to rebel against God. My approach is not far from Yarhouse on this score: “A person may have choices to make in response to the condition, and those choices have moral and ethical dimensions. But the person is not culpable for having the condition as such.” Where I would qualify Yarhouse is in noting a more complex interplay of nature, nurture, environment, and choices. Incremental choices made in response to impulses may strengthen the same impulses.

Another problem with his “Disability” view is that for the most part people don’t associate a disability with sinful conduct. When people think of disabilities they typically think of such things as physical impairments of mobility, hearing, or sight; intellectual disability or other learning impairments; or health impairments like asthma, epilepsy, or attention deficit disorder. Such non-moral disabilities can be accommodated in all sorts of ways without violating any divine standards.

Even depression and anxiety (cited as parallels to gender dysphoria by Yarhouse) are not as directly or severely related to the desire to sin as a desire to pursue a gender identity at odds with one’s biological sex (and in what sense do we accommodate to depression and anxiety?). My concern is that Yarhouse’s use of the disability label might have the unintended effect of accommodating sinful choices.

Yarhouse further argues that “it is an act of respect, even if we disagree, to let the person determine what they want to be called.” He adds that “redemption is not found by measuring how well a person’s gender identity aligns with their biological sex, but by drawing them to the person and work of Jesus Christ, and to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us into his image.” While I believe Yarhouse’s advice is well intentioned, I respectfully disagree.

First, is this not rather distant from the biblical language on these matters? Cross-dressing is called an “abomination” to God in Deut 22:5. Paul includes “soft men” (malakoi) in the offender list in 1 Cor 6:9-10, which in context designates men who attempt to become women (through dress, mannerisms, makeup, and sometimes castration), often to attract male sex partners. The fact that Paul includes such persons among those who “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” suggests that acting on a desire to become the opposite sex can in fact affect one’s redemption.

Further, what will be the effect of encouraging church members to address persons with GID as the sex that they are not? What will be the result of requiring them to accept whatever manner of transgender display of appearance offenders deem essential to their well-being? For some it will mean silencing a conscience correctly informed by Scripture and science. For others it will further confusion about sex and gender already promoted in the world, undermining the church’s resistance to the bonds of sin.

I have no doubt that Yarhouse is aiming for the redemption of those with gender dysphoria. Yet it may be instructive to reflect on Paul’s concern in 1 Corinthians 5 not only for the sexual offender but also for the offender’s impact on the local church: “a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (v. 6). Although Yarhouse refers obliquely to wise counsel from church leaders, he allows the offender to call the shots. Paul rather recommends temporary remedial discipline for the persistently impenitent in order to minimize the harm done both to the offender and to the church (vv. 4-5, 9-13). The church’s complicity in sexual delusion benefits no one, least of all the offender.

How far should Christians following Yarhouse’s suggestions go? For example, can a man who feels that he is a woman use the church’s restroom for females? Can he expect the church to respect his choice of romantic partner, whether a woman (in a pretend lesbian relationship) or a man (in an actual homosexual relationship)? Can he even compel the pastor’s performance of his marriage ceremony to either sex, claiming that otherwise he will feel estranged from the church? And what if the offender has children distressed and confused by his wrong choices? Denise Schick, director of Help 4 Families Ministry, writes courageously about the added stresses put on her adolescent development by a father obsessed with becoming a woman:

As an adolescent, I had to be careful about how I dressed. I always had to ask myself how he would react to my outfit. Would it make him so envious that he’d “borrow” it (without my consent, of course)? I began to hate my body. It was a constant reminder of what my father wanted to become. When I began to wear makeup, I had to block out the images I had of him applying makeup or eye shadow or lipstick. He was destroying my desire to become a woman.

In allowing those with transgender desires “to identify with aspects of the opposite sex,” even at a church service, won’t the church be contributing to the distress and confusion of their children?

Yarhouse would certainly prefer that persons with gender dysphoria make peace with their biological sex. He thinks counseling should be directed to “how best to manage gender dysphoria in light of the integrity lens” and advising persons with GID to explore their other-sex desires “in the least invasive way possible.” I have no doubt that his desire is to be loving to persons experiencing this distress. Yet it is possible to be sensitive, gentle, and loving without forcing the church to act as if the lie is the truth.

Lastly, should the church abandon the “culture wars”? Should we stop combatting society’s efforts to persuade vulnerable children in the schools that one’s perceived “gender” need not correlate with one’s biological sex? Is it wrong to try to prevent the state from punishing believers who can’t support a transsexual agenda? Is it a societal good to require schools and businesses to permit males who think they are females to use female restrooms? I submit that the church still has a role to play in terms of being salt and light for the culture at large in matters of sexual ethics.

Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics.

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Transgender is: ‘a Mental Disorder’: Psychiatrist

Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’

By Michael W. Chapman | June 2, 2015 | 1:34 PM EDT

Dr. Paul R. McHugh. (Photo:

Johns Hopkins Medicine)

(CNSNews.com) —  Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

Dr. McHugh, the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, made his remarks in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, where he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.

He also reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”

While the Obama administration, Hollywood, and major media such as Time magazine promote transgenderism as normal, said Dr. McHugh, these “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.”

Time magazine, June 9, 2014,

cover story,  The Transgender Tipping Point:

America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier. (Photo: AP)

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

The transgendered person’s disorder, said Dr. McHugh, is in the person’s “assumption” that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. It is a disorder similar to a “dangerously thin” person suffering anorexia who looks in the mirror and thinks they are “overweight,” said McHugh.

This assumption, that one’s gender is only in the mind regardless of anatomical reality, has led some transgendered people to push for social acceptance and affirmation of their own subjective “personal truth,” said Dr. McHugh. As a result, some states – California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – have passed laws barring psychiatrists, “even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor,” he said.

The pro-transgender advocates do not want to know, said McHugh, that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were “satisfied” with the operation “but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.”

Pro-transgender activists. The

Obama administration announced

in May that Medicare will

now cover transgender surgical

procedures. (AP)

“And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs,” said Dr. McHugh.

The former Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry also warned against enabling or encouraging certain subgroups of the transgendered, such as young people “susceptible to suggestion from ‘everything is normal’ sex education,” and the schools’ “diversity counselors” who, like “cult leaders,” may “encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”

Dr. McHugh also reported that there are “misguided doctors” who, working with very young children who seem to imitate the opposite sex, will administer “puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous – even though the drugs stunt the children’s growth and risk causing sterility.”

Such action comes “close to child abuse,” said Dr. McHugh, given that close to 80% of those kids will “abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated ….”

“’Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
source: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change
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Prof. R. A. J. Gagnon on the Bruce Jenner phenomen

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The face of the new anti-somatic Gnosticism: The sick national conspiracy to pretend that Bruce Jenner is a woman because he is mentally confused, has surgically mutilated his male body, and received plastic reconstruction surgery to give him a not entirely successful appearance as a woman, to the fanfare of the twisted leftwing elite and with the financial windfall of a reality TV show. For that he gets an award for “courage”: “Shortly after the cover reveal, ESPN announced that Caitlyn, a former Olympian, will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the EPSY Awards in July.” The man needs help; instead he gets validation for his neurosis. This is not love. This is functional hate.

Continue to respect the stamp of masculine gender that the Creator bestowed on Jenner by using a masculine pronoun of Jenner and his parents’ chosen masculine name for him. “Transgender” is a misnomer.

As if to underscore the complaint and rebellion, “sex reassignment surgery” (SRS)—a benign name for what others might designate intentional mutilation or butchering—is major, painful, and expensive surgery whose results are incomplete at best. One has to go far in an effort to overturn God’s design and even then it is never complete. Typically SRS involves the surgical removal of perfectly healthy internal genitals (testes or ovaries/uterus) and radical alteration of perfectly healthy external genitalia. For male-to-female (MF) transsexuals this involves “vaginoplasty”: gutting the insides of the penis, creating a “vaginal” cavity, and constructing a “clitoris” from the head of the penis…. For MF transsexuals “transformation” also entails painful electrolysis of facial hair and sometimes also electrolysis of body hair, facial plastic surgery, voice surgery, breast implants, and silicone injections in the hips and buttocks.

The superficial character of these attempts at physical reassignment is obvious from the fact that the chromosomal inheritance doesn’t change. Functioning internal genitalia consistent with the new sex cannot be created. The “reassigned” body does not respond by producing its own other-sex hormones (whether testosterone or estrogen). Hormone treatment, through patch, pill, or injection, is lifelong. Fertility is destroyed. For MF transsexuals the new “vagina” must be regularly dilated through the use of dildo-like plastic rods. And even after very expensive and complete procedures most transsexuals still don’t quite look, sound, and act like members of the sex to which they were allegedly reassigned.

Jenner appears to fit the profile of an “autogynephilic transsexual” to a “t.” Autogynephilic transsexuals are, as the name suggests, erotically aroused by the thought or image of themselves as women (auto for “self,” gyne for “woman,” and philic for “loving”; i.e., loving oneself as a woman). They tend to be attracted to women and men, sometimes to one or the other or, if asexual, to neither. Chiefly, however, they are sexually excited by the image of themselves as females with vaginas. As adolescent boys they found sexual gratification through secretly wearing women’s lingerie, looking in a mirror, and masturbating to that image. Since autogynephilic transsexuals as boys engaged in male sports and had male friends, they were not perceived by others to be particularly feminine boys. Typically they have been married to a woman before becoming an overt transsexual, find employment in ‘masculine occupations’ (technology, science, etc.), don’t come out publicly as women until their late thirties or beyond, and have a more difficult time than “homosexual transsexuals” in passing themselves off as women.

Essentially autogynephilic transsexuals are misdirected heterosexuals who have transferred the woman of their desires from outside themselves to within themselves; in short, they are men who are heterosexually oriented to the woman inside them. Anne Lawrence refers to them as “men trapped in men’s bodies” rather than “women trapped in men’s bodies.” For obvious reasons it is not unusual for autogynephilic transsexuals to hide from others the fact that they get sexual thrills from thinking of themselves as a woman.

See further my article, “Transsexuality and Ordination” at http://www.robgagnon.net/artic…/TranssexualityOrdination.pdf

If you want more of this, vote Democratic.

Here she is, Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce Jenner proudly debuted as the woman who she was all along, as she graces the July 2015 issue of Vanity Fair. “Every day you always had a secret. From morning til night. Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets,” she said in b-roll video of the photo shoot. “[As] soon as th…
msn.com

 

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Transgender and Christian: How Caitlyn Jenner challenges the Church

YouTube
Bruce Jenner told Diane Sawyer in an interview that he was now a woman.

On April 24, all-American sporting superstar Bruce Jenner, who won gold for the decathlon in Montreal in 1972, announced that he was transsexual and that for all intents and purposes, “I’m a woman”.

On Monday she revealed that her new name was Caitlyn. The shock was seismic: Jenner is not only a sporting hero but also features in the reality TV series Keeping up with the Kardashians, as until recently she was married to Kris and stepfather to her children.

What really perplexed evangelicals however, was that she was both a Christian and a Republican – neither of which really seemed to fit with her new identity. She said in her interview with Diane Sawyer: “I would sit in church and always wonder, ‘In God’s eyes, how does he see me?'”

Jenner’s revelations made headlines because of who she is. But there are more and more people, and not just in the US, who identify themselves as transsexuals – generally used for people who transition from one sex to another – or transgendered, whose sense of their gender differs from their physical sex. In a sign of how what was once rare is now becoming mainstream, a few days ago the vicar of Lancaster Priory, Rev Chris Newlands, proposed that the General Synod of the Church of England debate a new service to mark people’s transition to a different gender.

For some Christians, helping people to transition from one gender to another is a compassionate response to a deeply-felt need. Others are profoundly uncomfortable about the theological implications of such interventions. So what are the issues, and how should Christians approach them?

The questions arise when someone suffers from a condition known as “gender dysphoria” – simply put, when a person suffers because their physical gender is at odds with what they believe is their real gender. The NHS describes it as “a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity”. So someone might have male genitalia and may even be married and father children – as Jenner did – but still feel that they’re really a woman, and vice versa.

In some cases, the person’s conviction is so deeply rooted that surgery and hormone treatment are judged to be justified in order to transform their appearance as far as possible to fit their chosen gender. In these cases, medical professionals believe that it helps them lead fuller and happier lives. Others choose to live as far as possible according to their felt ‘real’ identity without surgery.

The causes of gender dysphoria are debated. For many years it was believed to be purely psychological in origin. However, more recent studies appear to show that it may have a physiological basis and may be caused by the development of gender identity before birth, with the hormones that control the body and the brain not working in harmony during the development of the foetus in the womb. So hormones might determine that a child has male reproductive organs but a ‘female’ brain.

Treatments for the condition span the full range from counselling to full-scale gender reassignment surgery. People who don’t choose that or aren’t suitable candidates might have speech therapy, hair removal or hormone therapy. If they do want to make a full transition they’d be expected to live in their chosen gender identity for at least a year beforehand. The rigorous process of assessment generally seems to ‘work’: according to the NHS, after surgery most transsexuals are happy with their new sex and feel comfortable with their gender identity. One review of studies carried out over a 20-year period found that 96 per cent of people who had gender reassignment surgery were satisfied (though a 2011 Swedish survey found “considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population”).

However, many evangelical Christians have serious theological doubts about the procedures, and about the increasing normalisation of the ‘transgendered’ identity.

They argue that gender is fixed at birth and just can’t be changed. So leading US conservative commentator Russell Moore says in connection with Jenner: “We should stand for God’s good design, including around what Jesus says has been true ‘from the beginning’ – that we are created male and female, not as self-willed designations but as part of God’s creative act”.

An Evangelical Alliance report in 2000, Transexuality, says: “We affirm God’s love and concern for all humanity, but believe that God creates human beings as either male or female. Authentic change from a person’s given sex is not possible and an ongoing transsexual lifestyle is incompatible with God’s will as revealed in Scripture and in creation. We would oppose recourse to gender reassignment surgery as a normal valid option for people suffering from gender dysphoria on a biblical basis.”

It called for the medical profession to investigate the “root psychological, social, spiritual and physical causes of transsexuality”. While it recommends “gentleness and restraint”, it says that transsexual people need to “reorientate their lifestyle in accordance with biblical principles and orthodox Church teaching”.

One of the report’s authors, EA head of public affairs Dr Don Horrocks, spoke to Christian Today. He’s clear that this is still the formal position of the Alliance and is sceptical of the view that gender dysphoria has a biological basis.

“We would describe it as a psychological condition that ?usually involves someone rejecting themselves in some way. It’s an overwhelming psychological belief that they will feel better and be more able to accept themselves if they were of the opposite sex.”

The causes are complex, he believes, and may include a genetic predisposition. However, he says we should look for explanations in terms of a combination of factors, notably genetic and environmental, together with life experiences, early sexual experiences and environmental factors.

“We object fundamentally to the premise of treating psychological conditions with surgery,” he says.

He believes there is a serious theological problem with accepting that people can change their gender.

“We live in an age where people think they can construct their own identity and demand that the rest of the world goes along with it,” he says. Transgender Christians “construct a mythology” that they are “really, for example, a man trapped in a woman’s body” as a result of an accident of birth. So their ‘real’ identity is what their mind tells them rather than their body – and so the brain is privileged over the body.

Reuters
Racer Dan Gurney shares the Winner’s Circle with Bruce Jenner (R), now Caitlyn Jenner, at the 1982 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, California.

“This is contrary to the Judeo-Christian belief that sexuality is a given, to be blessed and welcomed,” he says. It’s akin to the ancient heresy of Gnosticism, in which the body is effectively despised and what really counts is mind or spirit.

For Horrocks, the key to understanding sexuality is in the Genesis creation stories, where “humanity is created unambiguously binary: gender is not constructed, it’s given”. So the Christian’s approach should be about accepting ourselves as God created us. “How can it be right to disfigure our bodies and do radical and invasive things to them, and spend a lifetime on hormone therapy and other treatments?”

Horrocks believes that gender dysphoric people can be helped through holistic psychotherapy if motivated. He’s adamant that the Church should never reject them but welcome them as they would anyone else, and recounts stories of how he’s helped churches integrate transgendered people into their congregations. “They need to be accepted as they are, though ultimately wise Christian pastoral care would be seeking to help people come to accept themselves as God created them. We can’t expect it to happen overnight. You might have to spend years of showing love and pastoral support, but we hope and pray that the underlying causes of unhappiness and rejection can be addressed pastorally through the restorative power of God.”

Horrocks presents a clear and passionate case against seeing a change of gender as anything like a positive step. However, the EA’s position is not without its critics. The Church of England, for instance, has coped with priests who have ‘transitioned’; the first, Carol Stone – who died last year – in 2000.

Another transgender priest is Rev Rachel Mann. Unsurprisingly, she’s critical of the idea that “someone like me is essentially delusional”. “The Bible is not interested in biology, and modern biology is much more complex than just male and female,” she tells Christian Today.

She is comfortable with her gender as a woman. However, perhaps more surprisingly, she’s wary of the idea that surgery can simply ‘cure’ people with gender dysphoria. “Most medical professionals involved in this area acknowledge that they aren’t seeking to provide cures, but options to enable different situations become more liveable,” she says. These can literally be life-saving: it’s dangerous to be trans, even in our enlightened society. But “receiving support to transition will not take away a person’s problems”, though it might make them feel more at ease with who they are.

She speaks of being in what she calls the “broken middle”. “In a profound sense, I am absolutely a woman. But it would be absurd if I didn’t recognise that part of my history is that I was raised as a boy. I’ve lived most of my life as a woman, but there is still a brokenness there, an absence. For a Christian that’s really important, because there’s something holy about brokenness.”

She’s also aware of the advantages possessed by people like Caitlyn Jenner, who is acceptable because she conforms to the stereotypical image of what a woman looks like. Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in a glamorous pose looking every inch a woman. But not everyone who transitions from male to female can do that. “All of us, trans and non-trans, carry around stereotypes of what a woman is and what a man is,” Mann says.

That’s a point also made by Horrocks, who says that many transgendered people struggle to fit in to their new identify because they simply don’t look the part. For Mann, however, “that can lead to profound questions about what we mean by gender in the first place”. She adds: “I hope we reach the point where someone who’s transitioned doesn’t have to look like a woman.”

There’s no doubt that there is a fundamental divide between Horrocks and Mann and the schools of thought they represent. For Horrocks and many in the wider evangelical world, gender dysphoria is a psychological aberration which needs to be corrected, not encouraged and expressed. It is a caricature of their position to say that it rests on a single proof-text (“Male and female he created them”, Genesis 1:27), but they do claim that the ‘binary’ character of the early chapters of Genesis is not just descriptive, but normative.

For others – including most medical professionals – gender is not prescribed. It is negotiable, and a change of gender – whether aided by surgery or not – to alleviate the extreme mental distress suffered by those with gender dysphoria is entirely appropriate.

The extent of this distress shouldn’t be underestimated. Very few people would actually choose to be transgendered. People with gender dysphoria have higher rates of depression and face bullying, rejection and intimidation. A 2007 study found that 34 per cent had considered suicide – far higher than the general population. It poses an enormous strain on relationships and many marriages just don’t survive the revelation that a spouse feels that s/he is in the wrong body. Christian transgendered people can find themselves rejected by the Church, as well, which adds another weight to what can be an unbearable load.

When all the arguments have been heard – and there is more to say on both sides – there are three things that might cautiously be said. The first is that with all due respect to Horrocks, there doesn’t seem to be a knock-down argument against people seeking to change their gender. In her PhD thesis Changing Sex?: transexuality and Christian theology, Helen Savage writes rather waspishly: “Although such an appeal to biblical truth is complicated by the stark reality that the Bible has nothing whatsoever to say about transsexuality, this does not seem to persuade the Evangelical Alliance and allied groups that they should, perhaps, be a little more tentative in their interpretation of biblical material.”

While the appeal to the ‘binary’ nature of Genesis 1-3 is fair enough, it could very easily be argued that these stories were simply never intended to address such issues and are based on general observed realities; using them to address such a complex question is not really appropriate. Neither does it seem entirely convincing to argue that surgery is never appropriate to treat a psychological condition; someone with a facial disfigurement, for instance, is a prime candidate.

However, it’s also surely right to be concerned about the way changing patterns of sexual relations and sexual identity are becoming normalised and given a validity that owes little if anything to Christian theology or tradition (like polyamory and group marriages). Having said that, though, it may not be wise to make gender dysphoria a test case. It isn’t about libertarianism or self-indulgence, but often about life and death.

Second, Horrocks is surely right to warn against the dangers of believing we have a technological ‘fix’ for everything. There’s something very powerful about believing we can change the world to suit ourselves, but it won’t always be true. Caitlyn Jenner can celebrate her new identity, but most are less fortunately placed. If we lose the sense of our identity as a gift, we’re arguably losing something very precious. Some transgender people might say that the gift is the ultimate poisoned chalice, and that they don’t want it; others might come to a measure of acceptance, particularly if they are in a social context where they’re met with love and understanding. It would be good to think that a church could be that place.

Third, non-transgendered people have to recognise our own difficulties. We’re conditioned to react to people as male or female from the very start of our lives. There’s a whole set of assumptions and expectations that goes along with that and people who don’t fit those pre-set categories throw us completely off-balance. The danger is that we blame them for it. But it’s not their fault if we feel uncomfortable; we need to learn to deal with it.

Both those who believe that gender reassignment therapy can be right and those who believe it’s always wrong agree that transgendered people should be treated with absolute love and compassion. Like everyone else, they are made in the image of God – and for whatever reason, they have a particularly hard road to walk. Theological responses might be widely different; pastoral responses might look surprisingly similar.

Source: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/transgender.and.christian.how.caitlyn.jenner.challenges.the.church/55334.htm

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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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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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