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Two extremes of trans thought

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.



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=24549

Posted by LGBT Weekly on May 17, 2012. Filed under Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Two extremes of trans thought”

  1. Actually, I would say that those who actually do need the surgery, and who have completed it, should have the right to be referred to as simply women, or men as the case may be. I object strongly to having my womanhood denigrated by being referred to as a “trans woman.”

    That said, clearly not everyone needs the surgery, and there are lots of people for whom full sex reassignment surgery would be a tragic mistake. In fact, I am not actually aware of anyone who advocates that all “trans people” have surgery. I would say that those who do not need surgery are not, by definition, transsexual (they are not, after all, changing their sex).

    If one does not actually need the surgery, then one should not have the surgery. I can think of numerous examples of people who had the surgery and either publicly regretted it (there was a rather notorious case in England a few years ago) or where the person has shown behavior after surgery that indicates that it was not a wise choice.

  2. pissed at bs trans hierarchies

    only those who have ovariplasty, utiriplasty and vagionplasty and birth a child should have the right to be refererred to as women. Obviously.

    • So, women who have not had children are men? Or is it just women who are unable to have children? Does one stop being a women if one has a complete hysterectomy?

      As to “trans hierarchies,” these are imaginary, dreamed up by the same sort of mentality that thinks that being a woman is quantifiable (i.e. I am more of a woman than you are…) No, one is either a woman, or one is not.

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