Now that we have covered other people confusing someone’s sex in an earlier post, it’s time to address people who confuse their own sex.  I’m going to say things here that are definitely going to be politically-incorrect and are at-odds with how we’re expected to regard this issue according to modern culture.

Before anyone gets offended, I should draw attention to a couple of facts.  The first is that I am not “transphobic” or whatever the term is.  Nothing I write here should be interpreted in that manner.  The second is that I am writing this post so that we can discuss this issue.  I can be convinced to change my views.  If you think I’m wrong, tell me so and explain how I can be not-wrong, okay?

So, here’s where I have beef with the whole trans thing.  I’m fully tolerant of other people’s lifestyles as long as they don’t harm anyone else or inconvenience me.  But, Trans is something I have a very hard time tolerating because transgendered people want to force me to actively participate in what I see as their own delusions.

This is a complex issue and I’d like to take a moment to provide some background on my attitudes about the LGBTQ community.

About 15 years ago, I used to work as a security guard at a variety of assignments.  My favorite was a gig on Friday and Saturday nights at a restaurant that was next door to a popular gay club.  The assignment was extremely easy.  It was only a four hour shift from midnight until four in the morning.  Trouble was very rare (gay crowds are incredibly well-behaved) and even then, the restaurant manager usually resolved most of the very few, minor conflicts with very little fuss.  All I really had to do was deter problems inside the establishment and occasionally go outside to check the parking lot.  Oh, and I got a free meal at the end of each shift.

I spent most of my time doing crossword puzzles and talking to customers.  Yes, I did get a lot of phone numbers from men, all without me asking.  No, I didn’t have any hookups, and it never went any further than me politely declining the offers.

Instead of hot, gay sex, I gained something more valuable.  Here I was, working at a location I would otherwise never be on my free time.  I couldn’t leave since I was on the clock and couldn’t avoid talking to the gay male customers, who were people I wouldn’t ordinarily have been spending time around, without being rude.

Mind you, I was raised in an extremely tolerant and liberal household.  Homophobia is pretty much unheard-of within my family.  I can genuinely say that I have never felt any animus whatsoever against gays, although I certainly didn’t understand them either.

What I gained from these late night conversations with slightly inebriated gay men was a better understanding of their life experiences and a new perspective on their issues.

You know how a lot of people believe that homosexuality is a choice?  I would challenge them to spend a couple of hours talking to a gay man in his forties who was married to a woman, raised a family, and spent every day of it knowing that he was living a lie.  Hear him describe his fear that his children would stop talking to him and his pain at the thought of hurting his wife when he was making the decision to come out.

Then have similar conversations every weekend for the next several months with different gay men.  Hear them speak about being disowned by their families and suffering a variety of negative consequences for being the person they want to be and then ask yourself if you can truly believe that this is something they choose to have happen to them.

You might still walk away and say that you still think homosexuality is a choice.  Well, I’m not going to argue with you.  You haven’t heard what I’ve heard.   I have had many of these conversations and it affected me and my final determination on the matter of whether or not they were making a choice or “born that way”.   From what I have experienced, I’m convinced it isn’t a choice nor do I think that they’re engaging in sin or any other kind of conduct for which they ought be condemned.

I don’t judge them and I won’t judge you either if you think that they’re sodomites who should go to Hell.  That’s your hangup.  You’re free to be wrong.

That’s not to say I completely “evolved” on the issue.  It took a few more years before I dropped any objections I had with same-sex marriage, for example.  At least I accepted it before Obama publicly did.

Anyway, the main points I’m trying to make here are these:

  1. I’m very friendly and well-disposed toward the LGBT community.
  2. On LGBT issues, I’m willing to reconsider any lingering negative views I may have and am quite persuadable.

Got it?  Great.

Okay, so every Saturday night was when the “drag queens” would show up and have their big weekly event at the club next door.   After the club closed, they too would stop over at the restaurant to eat and sober up.  I didn’t speak with very many of them, but I did learn a few interesting things from the gay customers:

  • Most transvestites aren’t gay.  I did not know that at the time.
  • Most gay men thought that the drag queens were as comically strange as straight people did.  At that time, the “trans” community didn’t enjoy the same level of solidarity with the gay community that it does now.
  • It was considered a matter of good etiquette to always refer to a man dressed as a woman with female pronouns.

On the last point, I will never forget the night that this very, very large man in a dress and a wig entered the restaurant and stood near the front as he waited to be seated.  A waiter asked him, “How many are with you, sir?”

In the loudest, deepest, and most booming black guy voice I ever heard, the drag queen bellowed, “I AIN’T NO MAN!”  All heads turned toward him and silverware stopped clinking for a few seconds.  Profuse apologies were made and much laughter was enjoyed by everyone present, including me.  I still laugh when I think about it.

Yeah, we were all willing to humor that “guy”, but did any of us believe that “he” wasn’t really a man just because “he” was wearing a wig and a prom dress?  Not really, no.

Ah, but at some point in recent years, we all suddenly became expected to indulge “guys” like that in normal and everyday situations.  It has gone from being a courtesy to regard a man who decides to wear a skirt as a “she” to being practically a human rights violation to do otherwise.  Your workplace, public restrooms, and everywhere else are now Saturday night at the gay club and their role-play has become reality.  What happened?

I’m saying it bluntly: In spite of the fact that I have found nothing but acceptance and even no small amount of fond respect for gays from my life experiences, I don’t accept the idea that a man who simply decides to dress and live as a woman is automatically a woman or vice versa.  This is particularly true when that person still retains his or her (or her or his) original genitals.

Now, I don’t treat anyone who is transgendered with any less respect than I would anyone else.  I even address them by their preferred pronouns (or at least I try not to forget).  But that’s also where it becomes a problem for me.  It’s an imposition when I’m asked to play along with bullshit that I know isn’t true.

Am I supposed to tell an anorexic who weighs 90 pounds and looks like she could hide under my couch that she looks “a bit chubby” since that reinforces her belief about herself?  I mean, I don’t have to pretend like I believe that the Bible is literally true when I’m speaking to a fundamentalist Christian nor do any of us have to pretend that Rachel Dolezal is truly a black woman.  It’s only the transgendered who make us do this and I think it’s annoying, really.

So, there it is.  I think transgenderism is delusional.  I mostly blame the “LGB” set for letting this get out of hand by deciding to include the “T” within their larger community in recent years.  They have helped successfully pressured the psychiatric field to downplay the serious mental health issues that many (I’ll be charitable and not say “most” or “all”) transgender people have and encourage them to do this to themselves.  It’s being done in the name of political correctness, not science or even reality.

Too many of these poor people feel anxiety, experience depression, and suffer because they think they’re supposed to be the opposite sex.  So they attempt the impossible: they try to become something they’re not.  The result is that they end up not feeling better after they chop off their winkies or mutilate their va-jay-jays.  Worse, almost half of them attempt suicide or engage in other acts of self-harm because whatever steps they took toward changing their gender identity didn’t solve their real problems.

I fully admit that I could be wrong about everything.

Are there transgender folks who live perfectly satisfactory lives?  I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of them in the US and I wish them well.  It has never been my intention to tell other people how to live their lives.  On the other side of that though, I don’t like being told what I have to think and believe.

All that said, I’m very sympathetic to the transgendered when it comes to public restroom options.  I have seen transgendered “men in skirts” threatened with violence and serious bodily harm for using the women’s restroom with my own two eyes.  It does happen.  I feel they should be able to use the restroom of their choice only after they have fully transitioned as far as medical science can manage.  Prior to that, I have no idea how you can ever reassure people of the safety for women and girls by having them forced to share these facilities with men.

This issue, again, is insanely complex and there aren’t any easy answers.  That’s all the more reason why we should discuss it!

This is a Discourses post.  The goal isn’t so much to prove anyone right or wrong, but to provide a setting where everyone can respectfully speak their minds and try to understand opposing viewpoints.  If you simply think I’m a religious nut or a bigot or both for anything I’ve said above, you’ve come to the wrong place and you don’t read good either.  My views have nothing to do with hatred or contempt for other people.

Instead, you can tell me where I’m wrong and know that I will honestly consider what you say.  You have the rare opportunity to change other peoples’ minds in a forum where you won’t be attacked for saying something they may disagree with.

As always, here are a few questions to consider.  You don’t have to answer any of these questions to participate in the discussion.  Some people just find it useful to have a jumping-off point.

  1. At what point do you believe a man/woman can be considered to have changed into a woman/man?  If the person makes no change to his/her outward appearance but simply claims to be the opposite sex, is that sufficient for you?  Or does he/she have to complete all of the requisite surgeries?  Or is there just never a point at which you think this can happen?  Please explain your reasoning.
  2. As mentioned above, transgender people are far more prone to attempt suicide than the rest of the population and even more so than gays.  Do you think this is more likely because other people refuse to accept their identity or is it because they find that their lives do not improve when they change their identity?  If you say “both”, then break it down for us.  Is it 50/50?  70/30?
  3. The big topical question these days: Which bathroom do you want transgender people to use?  Why?
  4. If you have objections to transgenderism, what do you base those on?  Is it religious, scientific, both, or something else?
  5. Is it possible that any problems those of us might have with transgenderism are limited to those situations in which we can tell that someone is identifying as the opposite sex just by looking at them?  If medical science made a breakthrough and could conduct gender reassignment surgery so well that absolutely nobody could tell that a person was transgendered, would any of this even matter?

I fully expect this discussion to be more contentious than usual, but let’s be nice just the same, okay?  Nobody is going to be open, honest, or fair if they think they’re going to get burned.  However, I do encourage anyone who does identify as “trans” to feel free to blast me with both barrels.

39 comments

  1. I don’t have much of my own personal opinion on the transgender community because I haven’t encountered it that much, even as s resident of Los Angeles for two decades. I can follow the logic from “G” to about half of “L” before I start to be confused about the “T”.

    Now that I’ve been exposed to the gay community through media and geography I believe I have an understanding of the community. Maybe because gay was always the most outwardly acceptable same sex preference it was just exposed to me more but I can wrap my head around the twinks, bears, doms, subs, etc. subcultures inside of the gay lifestyle.

    Lesbians get a little more confusing to me because there’s a distinction that I have not been exposed to enough to refer to in polite conversation. There’s very feminine lesbians, Justin beiber lesbians and then there’s the very, VERY outwardly make lesbians. I’ve never understood is that was a step into the transgender realm or if it was just a very macho expression of the butch image.

    As I said above I’ve almost never really encountered the transgender community in enough of an open setting to understand the finer points of it. As much as I’d like to squeeze it into a myopic “two sex solution” I have just resolved to trust what people who are transgender tell me the etiquette is.

    I really don’t mind accommodating someone who is dressed as a woman, but outwardly visible to me as a man as a Ms. I’d just consider it a polite nuance instead of trying to figure out whether they deserve it or not. It costs me nothing to do and it makes interactions more civil in game.

    As for the restroom thing I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t let men who identify as transgender, or female use the ladies restroom. I don’t feel like there’s a large market of men dressing up as women purely to cruise for women on the throne in the ladies room. I’d take people at their word for the most part, and if they got up, dressed as a woman and left for target that’s probably who they are. I mean, straight men and gay men occupy the same restroom without incident for the most part.

    Maybe we’d need to have a better definition for gym lockerooms, but to me that would purely be for minors and the benefit of parents who haven’t had the conversation yet.

  2. At what point do you believe a man/woman can be considered to have changed into a woman/man?

    Even if a guy cuts off his penis, I still have trouble considering him a woman. Hormone therapy, and all the surgeries in the world don’t change the building blocks of your body (or the soul God gave you if you want to get religious). I think transgender-ism is a mental disorder and that they need professional help, not validation. It’s a very sad situation to be in, and we should help them as best we can. Playing into the fantasy isn’t the way to do that in my opinion.

    On a slightly different but related topic – these parents that have their four year old start living as the opposite sex because the kid said they are the opposite sex need to be thrown in prison for child abuse. My son said he was a tiger when he was four, I didn’t give him a freshly killed antelope to eat. Kids simply cannot be deciding these types of things at that age, and any parent that indulges it shouldn’t be a parent.

    As mentioned above, transgender people are far more prone to attempt suicide than the rest of the population and even more so than gays. Do you think this is more likely because other people refuse to accept their identity or is it because they find that their lives do not improve when they change their identity? If you say “both”, then break it down for us. Is it 50/50? 70/30?

    I’d think it’s both, but I actually don’t know which would be the primary driver – probably varies by situation.

    The big topical question these days: Which bathroom do you want transgender people to use? Why?

    For me, it comes down to protecting children (“Won’t someone think if the children!?”). As long as there are situations like these, then men should not use women’s restrooms or especially locker rooms no matter what they consider themselves. Yes, those are the vast minority of situations, but even one such situation is too many, and unfortunately there are sickos out there who will take advantage of such situations. Parents should be ever vigilant no matter who is using the bathroom.

    If you have objections to transgenderism, what do you base those on? Is it religious, scientific, both, or something else?

    Both, but I’m going to try not to get into the religious side of things because there’s little point.

  3. I still haven’t fully formed my opinions on this, either. However, I do think that “transvestites” and “transsexuals” shouldn’t be lumped together.

    I think that this is my first major filter and needs to be addressed as such.

    A transvestite doesn’t think that they are the opposite sex. If anything, it could be just be considered sexual cosplay. I’m far more stringent on the rights that I afford drag queens but, honestly, I’m not sure that they are asking for much more than a wink to their temporary fantasy. I am happy to oblige them that.

    Transsexuals, on the other hand, get the largest share of my sympathy (at times) and utter confusion (at others). I don’t have any issue with the concept that somebody feels that they were born in the wrong sexual body and want to change their current body to fit, as closely as possible, to what they feel is their true gender. As few people are interested in or tolerant of the idea of dating somebody who “used to be a man” or “used to be a woman”, I find that these poor souls have it even harder than the homosexual men and women that you conversed with. At least a gay man has a pretty large pool of other gay men that would humor the idea of dating them, attraction notwithstanding. But I’m not sure if I could have ever dated a woman who used to be a man. I don’t think I’m alone, either. In fact, I would be curious if any of the men that I know would honestly be able to. Hell, even the women that I know might have a difficult time, if a penis is one of the things about men that they specifically require.

    However, on the other side of the coin, I often hear about “transsexuals” who have no desire to “finish the job”. They want to be accepted as the opposite sex, dress as the opposite sex, loved as the opposite sex, but without the hormone therapy or surgery to approximate a transition to the opposite sex. That confuses me and I have a really difficult time lobbying on behalf of this subset of the trans population.

    To me, in my current headspace, someone must be actively planning, going through, or completed the medical process in order for me to find sincerity in their words.

    One last point:

    Trans is something I have a very hard time tolerating because transgendered people want to force me to actively participate in what I see as their own delusions.

    sounds an awful lot like

    Homosexuality is something I have a very hard time tolerating because homosexual people want to force me to actively participate in what I see as their own delusions.

    The latter quote has been a common argument against the acceptance on homosexuality in our culture so perhaps reading that quote in contrast to yours might give you some pause.

  4. Yes, it does give me pause. I realize that much of what I said rides the very ragged edge of anti-trans bigotry, hence the title of the post. Thing is I think most, if not all, objections to homosexuality are strictly religious rather than scientific.

    The key statement is that it’s hard for me to tolerate trans, but I do tolerate it. I indulge trans people I’ve known and spoken to by using their preferred pronouns, I just think it’s ridiculous. I also want them to be able to live their lives free of any sort of harassment or discrimination for their lifestyle choice, even if I think it’s weird and harmful to themselves in many cases.

    Like you, I don’t understand those who only want to be viewed as the opposite sex without “finishing the job”. Once they do, I don’t care at all.

  5. My main problem is the education agenda. Things like books that try to teach kids that wearing dresses is normal behavior for boys (well, in some cultures it actually is) or that being trans is somehow based on biology rather than choice. Nature makes you who you are. If you want to try and change that when you’re at an age when you can make your own decisions, that’s one thing, but propaganda aimed at kids and encouraged by the educational system is an attack on the rights of parents IMO.

  6. I keep seeing people refer to books that teach kids that wearing dresses is “normal” for a boy but I (as a liberal) have never encountered one. This could absolutely be an artifact of living in the South, but still. This sounds like a problem for an insignificant number of people. Like Thrill, though, change my mind if you have some evidence of a widespread agenda to get boys wearing dresses. Parents should very much be the arbiter of their children’s exposure to such topics.

  7. I have a long time friend that is a trans woman. I first met her as a man 30 years ago where we worked at the time. We did not date or anything, just friends. A group of us hung out quite a bit for a decade or so and my friend moved to Chicago. She (he the time) had very complicated sexual problems and was treated for sex addiction.

    She contacted me about 5-6 years ago on Facebook living as a woman and LBGT activist. She had had the surgery. I am sure that she wanted to rekindle the friendship but I have not found it particularly easy to make the switch. She dropped her FB account a few years ago and I lost touch again. I would happily have a beer with her but I confess that it would be uncomfortable.

    Otherwise I am about as LGBT friendly as anyone can be. I literally don’t give a shit where they go to the bathroom and I wouldn’t care if any of my son’s teachers were LGBT. I think that it is unfortunate that they have found themselves so outside the mainstream through what I think is no fault of their own. I think that it is much worse when they live the lie, get married, etc.

    Thrill, it is obvious that your issue with trans men and women is that you see it as a choice. I have seen TV shows about people that will find quacks to lop off legs/arms that they don’t believe are part of their bodies. It isn’t a stretch to me that a gene or so has mutated and left a person feeling like a woman but possessing the body of a man. Playing dress up at the drag show is not enough and they want to live as women. I have seen some of these women and they don’t belong in the bathroom with men, especially if they have had the surgery. I don’t have to paint a picture here.

    It is too bad I was never able to connect with my friend, because she would have told me anything I wanted to know. I regret that I wasn’t able to do better.

  8. First, to second Kev’s point – don’t confuse drag queens with transvestites with transgender women.
    The whole thing is a spectrum and the edges blur, but as I understand it, these are the three main groups.
    Drag queens are gay men dressed in women’s clothes. They have fun names, go to gay clubs and host bingo. They wear sky high heels and slather on make up. They are not trying to pass as a woman. It’s a caricature of a woman, in a fun way. These are the ladies you met working security.
    There are also transvestites who are not drag queens. Men who dress like women, most of whom identify as straight. They are more subtle with the clothes and make up, they pick regular female names. It can be as simple as that guy in accounting who has on a pink silk thong under his suit. No surgery.
    Transgender women are men who identify as women. They are not ‘dressing up’ or pretending.
    Let me start by saying that I don’t get it, either, since I am not trans, myself, nor am I a medical professional. I don’t know what it feels like to have a disconnect between your self (let’s say, “soul”) and your body. I am also lucky in that my kids seem to fit into their traditional (‘natural,’ right?) gender roles. I won’t have to worry about making the decision to let the boy wear a skirt and delay his puberty (because that’s what actually happens, no one is having surgery as a kid) until he can make a decision as an adult in order to prevent him from killing himself. I try not to judge the parents who do, until I walk a mile in their shoes. I have a lot more patience for parents letting their kid wear a skirt than I do for parents who won’t vaccinate because a Playboy model told them not to or parents who let their 16 year olds have boob jobs. I assume the decision to let your child transition is one you do not take lightly. Clearly there is an age when the kids don’t have the ability to know what they want, but it’s not the same as a kid thinking he is a tiger. And I don’t agree with the parents who say they will let the kid decide their gender (unless the kid is intersex.)
    Here’s what I do know:
    1. Much like homosexuality, this is not a new thing brought on by the amorality of our society. In India, the hijra enjoyed much more respect until the British showed up with their view of morality, for example. http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/30/third-gender-a-short-history/
    2. Like the gay men you talked to who tried to live as straight and were tortured by the disconnect, the (few) true transgender women I know did not make the switch easily or without paying a heavy price. One of my close friends, whom I’ve known for 15+ years came out as trans fairly recently. This was one of the most aggressively hetero men I knew. Wife, two kids, football fan, weight lifter. Mind you, I always knew something was off, because the bravado was clearly a facade and he was thoughtful and gentle in one-on-one interactions. I just assumed he was a closed geek who was forced to act ‘manly’ because of cultural expectations. Turns out, there was a tasteful lacy bra under the Raiders jersey. I’ve watched her struggle with coming out to her family, friends, coworkers. The hormones, the surgeries. I can’t imagine why anyone would do something like this just to play pretend or if there was a choice. (As an aside, hormones and surgeries are not covered by insurance and insanely expensive, so most can’t afford them. Don’t assume that they chose not to transition.) Do I get it? No. Do I believe it to be sincere? Yes. Do I go out of my way to tell her she is pretty? No, the same way I would not lie to an unattractive woman. Do I go out of my way to volunteer this information? No. That’s just basic kindness. The only concession this has required of me is a pronoun switch and a new name. We’ve actually agreed that I am going to keep using the term ‘dude’ for emphasis when drunk and arguing, same as we’ve always done. I am ‘motherfucker’ is also acceptable.
    3. As a woman and the mother of a little girl, trans women in the bathroom are way below shark attacks on my list of shit to worry about. Real trans women are not after little girls anymore than lesbians are. It’s not a concern. For all you men claiming to want to keep us safe, please concentrate on actual threats, like rape and domestic violence. Now, I am sure that every single of the gentlemen here would save a woman from an attack if you saw it happening. However, do you spend the same amount of energy worrying about the rape kit backlog that you do worrying about trans women in bathrooms? Would you support domestic violence legislation as much as you support the bathroom bills?
    One is an actual issue and the other is just something that makes you uncomfortable, because you can’t grok it. This is very much like the worry about Muslim terrorists v. worry about ‘normal’ gun violence in this country. On the one hand ‘even one victim is too many, legislate away.’ On the other ‘well, that’s the way it is and we can’t have any controls without infringing on rights of red blooded American citizens.’
    4. In a society, we have to indulge other people’s beliefs all the time. I don’t freak out every time my mother in law gets the kids presents from Santa or the Easter bunny (and I am an atheist Jew.) I play along when coworkers celebrate any number of religious holidays. Why should I indulge their belief that a virgin gave birth to a god’s baby or that the Red Sea parted or that a woman with four arms was born from the churning of the cosmic ocean of milk? Now, these beliefs affect my life to a much greater degree than a transwoman’s transition affects yours. My office is closed for the “virgin’s baby rose from the dead” holiday for 2 days next month. As a contractor, I have to use my PTO time to cover the hours. Am I going to shout ‘fuck you, what do bunnies and eggs have to do with the this, peeps suck and now I am out thousands of dollars because of your little fairy tale’ to any coworker who wishes me Happy Easter? No, because I am not Bill Maher. If someone says “Christ is Risen!” to me, I reply with “Truly, He is Risen” because my own belief system is not threatened by the beliefs of others.
    I apply the same logic to trans people. It doesn’t hurt me in any way to call my 6+ foot tall coworker Diane or use the same bathroom as her. It clearly means a lot to her since she chose to live a life of rejection, mockery and physical threats. I would no more call her ‘he’ than I would question someone’s religious belief. (Except in phone meetings, that’s super hard, because she didn’t transition until later in life and her voice is super low, you gotta pay close attention to who is talking :))

  9. I’ve heard it and I think it’s just the “they’re poisoning the children” argument. The North Carolina bathroom waste of resources before the court is about the same argument. It’s asking for a duplicitous law to prevent sexual misconduct (which is already a crime) that hasn’t even happened yet.

  10. No, I can’t say I see it as a choice. I think in most cases that it’s an attempt to resolve psychological problems without addressing the actual problems.

  11. Fair enough. I think it may be too easy to indulge what may be a temporary problem. They make them live as a woman for years I believe, before they will consent to perform the surgery. No one should decide over the weekend to chop his yoohoo off. Unfortunately, the only way for the docs to be sure is for the person to live as the opposite sex for a substantial period of time. This requires a leap of faith for those that they encounter.

  12. That’s my approach, for the most part. I think people are confusing their discomfort with the idea to an actual threat from some kind of a mentally unstable pervert.

    My attitude about it is there shouldn’t be a rule unless one is needed. America’s gone through the civil rights acceptance phase at least four or five times now and we should just see how it goes first before we clutch our pearls about the fabric of society unraveling.

    As you said there has been lots of this behavior throughout history and I’m sure it thrived in all judeo-Christian societies. It’s time to let this group out of the shadows and accept it.

    I also feel like this kind of revulsion to all things sexual has to do with this perpetual helicopter parenting we accept these days. You used to get introduced to the adult world at an early age and then you stayed in the adult world with adult situations and conversations the rest of your days. It seems like in an effort to protect children there’s a culture created here to never let them grow up and face adverse ideas.

  13. I think American revulsion with all things sexual has to do with the fact that this country was settled by people who considered Europe in 1600 too fancy-free. Puritanism is not a new thing. People having non-procreational sex have always been punished. This is the one area where the small government folk suddenly develop a strong interest in regulation. Look at sodomy, contraception, abortion.
    Hell, my state still has a no-cohabitation law on the books. Here, since you like citations and I posted my Gorsuch cases way after that thread was put to rest – http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(pbmdget3g3icfez2cto03epd))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-750-335

  14. This is the one area where the small government folk suddenly develop a strong interest in regulation.

    Not all of us. But I would say most who are against abortion today has nothing to do with the historical reasoning of the other two you listed.

  15. You don’t think there is a relationship between people wanting to regulate abortion and those wanting to regulate contraception?

  16. The one point I don’t see above is the question of sports. Should men (by birth) be allowed to compete as women? I just can’t get my head around accepting it. Surgeries and hormone therapy just don’t stop the fact that you were born a man and have an advantage physiologically. This is a point that I don’t think I could be convinced of changing my mind on.

    There are some in the trans crowd that I believe do it for the attention, but I think they are in the minority and don’t pursue it as a lifestyle change. The others have something going on mentally that may always cause them stress. They believe it at the same time they know it is not true. Thus the higher rates of drug use and suicide.

    The military now defines a commitment date for declaring your sex preference and allows people to self-identify. Although this is a nice gesture, why do you offend the 99% for the sake of the 1%? I know not all of the 99% are offended, but it’s not less than 50%. As stated above, I am willing to be nice and polite, but I do want lines drawn somewhere. A dude in a dress is not the same as what Bruce Jenner went through to become Kaitlyn (sp?). My thought is that if you are surgically changed or such a good imposter that people cannot tell, then use the bathroom of your choice. This is based more on the “protect the women and children” concern. Otherwise, abolish mens and womens designations for bathrooms and sports and just let it be.

  17. Yeah, the sports thing is hard. A lot of girls stand to get cheated out of collegiate athletic scholarships if they can simply get blasted out by any guy who likes the feel of lace panties on his junk.

  18. Let me start by saying that I don’t get it, either, since I am not trans, myself, nor am I a medical professional. I don’t know what it feels like to have a disconnect between your self (let’s say, “soul”) and your body.

    You touch on something important there: Empathy. I really do want to try to understand why somebody chooses to swap genders. What do they imagine they’ll find or how could their lives improve by doing it? It eludes me. If I could get that perspective, maybe this would be easier for me to accept. It’s not that I lack for empathy, I just don’t get it. It’s as confusing to me as somebody who has Furry fetish.

    For what it’s worth, I have personally known two transgendered individuals. One was pretty sharp. She was a lesbian before she decided to become a man, so it made sense to me. The other is a complete fucking mess. I fully expect him to attempt suicide within the next year or so.

  19. I had this conversation a little while back, when that wrestler story came out of TX. We decreed that you should have to compete in the harder category. So in most sports all trans people would have to compete in the male divisions. Exception being something like rhythmic gymnastics

  20. I think that’s fair, but I can see a lot of trans people getting upset about it. At some point, they have to be asked to compromise what they want and it can lead to hurt feelings. This is such a tough issue.

    I really don’t want to hurt their feelings, but there’s just no fighting genetics.

  21. I guess the question is – why do you or I have to accept it? It’s none of our business. You can feel the way you feel about it, but that shouldn’t stop these people from living their lives.
    There’s a ton of stuff people do every day that I don’t understand. As long as they don’t do it to me or my kids, it’s not something I feel I am entitled to accept or not: vegans, show dog owners, Furries, Druids at Renaissance Fairs, Civil War reenactors, men who wear Ed Hardy and bedazzled jeans, scrapbookers, dance moms, Cross Fit people.
    As long as you are polite to them in public, don’t rub bacon all over a vegan, just extend the same courtesy to trans people.

  22. Ah, if you’ve ever accidentally referred to someone by the wrong pronoun, it can become clear very quickly why you MUST care. Again, it’s the imposition that bothers me. Otherwise I would not care at all.

  23. I totally have. See the points about Diane’s deep voice and calling my friend ‘dude’ above. Much like trying to speak French when in France, I find that it’s the attempt that counts. As long as you are sincere, and don’t get defensive, mistakes are ok.

  24. So because you don’t conflate the two, no one else does either? There two completely different camps of people who care about the two issues and no overlap?
    Furthermore, are your reasons for believing that first trimester abortion is ‘killing babies’ all that different from their reasons for believing contraception or sodomy is sinful? Your belief that a zygote is a ‘baby’ is purely scientific and has nothing to do with religion?

  25. So because you don’t conflate the two, no one else does either?

    Not to me.

    I know a lot of pro-life people who also don’t care about contraception or sodomy, especially when it comes to laws banning such.

    Furthermore, are your reasons for believing that first trimester abortion is ‘killing babies’ all that different from their reasons for believing contraception or sodomy is sinful?

    Nope. We declare death when the heart stops beating. We should declare life when the heart starts beating (at about three weeks after conception). Seems simple enough. And I’ll leave it at that because I’m certainly not trying to change your mind that a “zygote” is life.

  26. I am not trying to change your mind about what constitutes viable life, either.
    The difference is, you *are* trying to legislate what I can and can’t do based on your beliefs.
    I am not trying to pass laws requiring anyone else to have an abortion based on my beliefs. For example, I consider carrying a baby to term with something like Tay-Sachs, where the baby will suffer horribly and then die, to be unbelievably cruel. But I would never want a law requiring a woman to abort in that situation.
    I just want the government to stay out of the decision.

  27. I don’t have an issue with them being upset to a certain extent. Their rights stop where the rights of others begin.
    I see this sports thing as different from pronoun usage.
    One is an actual infringement on the rights of other people, costing cis people college scholarships, for example and hurting cis people’s feelings.
    The other is a minor white lie, at best. Not being a people person, I am constantly faced with ‘impositions that bother me.’ Telling people their babies are cute, their asses don’t look big in leggings, buying fundraiser crap, looking at boring vacation pictures, saying ‘Merry Christmas,’ smiling at strangers. I see the pronoun thing as part of the same social contract, no more or less an imposition.
    What we are discussing, however, is minor. The real issue is stuff like this: http://www.salon.com/2017/03/25/a-perfect-storm-of-hate-these-republican-bills-in-arkansas-would-make-it-illegal-to-be-transgender/
    If you pass a law that makes it illegal to ever change legal gender designation and then a law saying that you have to use bathrooms of your legal gender, then trans people will always have to use the bathroom on their birth certificate. I don’t want Chaz Bono in my bathroom (I guess I don’t really care, but he would freak my kid out way more than Caitlyn Jenner would. And probably leave the seat up.)

  28. The difference is, you *are* trying to legislate what I can and can’t do based on your beliefs.

    Well, yeah. Murdering an infant (“zygote” if you prefer) is about as far from acceptable in a rational society as you can get in my eyes. If you were supporting euthanizing the elderly because they rely on other people to live, I’d oppose that too.

  29. If the elderly needed to live inside my body, at great risk to my own life, with the expectation that I pay all the medical costs, I would support legislation to let the ‘host’ decide.
    I would not choose to host my mom inside my uterus to keep her alive if it meant that I would die and not be here for my children. Would you force me to? Because that’s the analogy.
    You are comparing apples to oranges. I am not opposed to keeping infants alive with machines. As soon as the baby is viable (even with machines) outside the woman’s body, and even before that, in most cases, abortion is illegal. And I am fully on board with that.
    What I am against is forcing a woman to carry a baby to term when her own life is in danger, when the baby has serious medical defects, in the cases of rape or incest. I personally have never had to have an abortion, but I am pretty sure that I would have chosen to, had I faced any of the above circumstances.

  30. Have you ever sat on a cold, dirty rim half asleep in the middle of the night?
    Don’t judge until you walk a mile in our shoes!!!

  31. And I’ll leave it at that because I’m certainly not trying to change your mind that a “zygote” is life.

  32. One of my guys still uses a potty and the other has not left the seat up since one fateful evening when our then-3 year old went to sit down like a big girl and fell in because the seat was up. He was pretty good about it before, but has been perfect since then.

  33. I’ve found I prefer leaving it down for my own good. Standing steadily in one place right after waking up is too much to bear. Plus I know I’ll find myself on permanent bathroom duty if I leave a mess. Worth it.

  34. I’m so programmed that now I get ticked (pissed?) when I see the seat up in a bathroom.

    I’m the same way. I had two sisters directly older than me in the house. At some point around 6 or 7 they threatened my life, and I’ve always put it down since. I tried to teach that to my own boys, with varying degrees of success, I’m ashamed to say. Goes hand in hand with opening doors and offering seats to women in my mind.

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