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.

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Judge Dredd, Pro Se

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… Read more »

Zurvan

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… Read more »

kevinmkr

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… Read more »

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.

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.

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… Read more »

mashav

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… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

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.

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.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

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… Read more »

mashav

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

Zurvan

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.

mashav

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

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… Read more »

mashav

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

mashav

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… Read more »

mashav

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.

Zurvan

Not to me. I could care less if people have sex, but I do have problems with killing babies.

mashav

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?

Zurvan

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… Read more »

mashav

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.

mashav

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… Read more »

Zurvan

And probably leave the seat up.

A capital crime!

Zurvan

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.

mashav

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… Read more »

mashav

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!!!

Zurvan

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

Yes, and I check even in the dark. I live with two guys and it works better that way.

mashav

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.

Thrill

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.

santino

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

Zurvan

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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