Two extremes of trans thoughtTrans Progressive Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Commentary: Trans Progressive
Here in the United States, the Department of State recently implemented a relatively new regulation for changing one’s gender marker/one’s recognized sex for one’s passport. The new regulation for changing one’s gender marker/one’s recognized sex, as identified in 7 FAM 1300 – Appendix M: Gender Change, states the following:
“b. Medical Certification Accepted for Gender Change/Transition:
“(1) A full validity U.S. passport will be issued reflecting a new gender upon presentation of a signed original statement, on office letterhead, from a licensed physician who has treated the applicant for his/her gender-related care or reviewed and evaluated the gender-related medical history of the applicant.
“Note: Such licensed physicians include Medical Doctors (M.D.) and Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.). The physicians may specialize in various medical fields, including, but not limited to, internists, endocrinologists, gynecologists, urologists, surgeons, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and family practitioners. Statements from persons who are not licensed physicians, such as psychologists, nurse practitioners, health practitioners, chiropractors, are not acceptable.”
Surgery is very important and very necessary to a quite a number of trans people, who very much need to have these surgeries to align the shape of their genitalia with their gender identities to the maximum extent that medical science can reshape their genitalia. Trans people of all stripes should be supportive of those who need those corrective surgeries to feel comfortable in their own skins. For these trans people, these surgeries aren’t cosmetic or unnecessary, and no doubt all trans people should encourage businesses and/or governments to cover these full alignment surgeries.
That said, I’m quite aware of some trans-identified people who believe trans people of all stripes should never have these surgeries, and instead embrace a gender existence where these surgeries are unnecessary to live their sex and gender truth. These trans folk who are completely unsupportive of those who need those surgeries to align the shape of their genitalia with their gender are trying to apply their own non-need for those surgeries into a universal truth – based pretty much on the idea that their trans experience is (or should be) the universal trans experience.
Somewhere in between the extremes of people who demand no trans people should have surgery, and those who demand all trans people have surgery there is middle ground that recognizes that no group of trans people really should dictate what trans experience is the universal trans experience.
I believe that there’s no right way to transition; there’s no right way to be trans or intersex. Embracing the diversity of sex and gender experience seems to me to be a better path.
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