Are we crazy?

The American Psychiatric Association is debating whether the diagnostic labels applied to us (not just crossdressers but all members of the “transgender” group) in the DSM should be removed.
Read all about it here.

About Ralph

Male. Straight. Married.
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2 Responses to Are we crazy?

  1. Ralph says:

    It does seem like it would make more sense to claim that you had a disorder BEFORE the surgery, but now that the surgery has corrected the problem you no longer have a disorder.

    One argument I usually see in favor of “God won’t mind if I change my sex” is to treat SRS as no different from laser eye surgery or cochlear implants or prosthetic limbs — God’s design is perfect, yes, but my human body is still defective and needs medical assistance to overcome the limitations placed on me by equipment that was defective at birth.

    I really don’t know how to respond to that. On the one hand, it’s true — if we consider gender dysphoria a handicap that can be treated by surgery just like missing limbs or malfunctioning ears and eyes, then there’s no logical reason one would be offensive to God and the other wouldn’t. But the big difference is that a missing limb or a malfunctioning sense organ can be diagnosed with 100% accuracy; to diagnose “being born in the wrong body” relies entirely on how the patient claims to feel. If I went to the doctor and demanded he take out my kidney because “I have felt all my life that I have the wrong kidney”, I should hope he wouldn’t take my word for it! I suppose that’s the reason most (all?) doctors in the field of transsexuality require some fixed amount of time — months or years — living full time in your desired sex role without surgery, to confirm that this really is a permanent change that will fix you up.

    For all my existing problems dealing with understanding my body and trying (and failing) to do right by God, I’m sure glad that’s one problem I *don’t* have. There but for the grace of God go I…

  2. John says:

    Ralph, nice to see you posting some new stuff. I’ve missed seeing your wisdom and perspective on display.

    I suppose that we might then call it (gender dysphoria) a physical rather than a mental disorder with accompanying stress related mental/emotional issues that are often seen with many physical disorders. Of course, it is more complicated than that as you and Thorin have pointed out. Technology may one day reveal what underlies this issue but for now it is incomplete.

    As I’ve gotten older, I’ve questioned my sexual identity more frequently at times but when I was younger and crossdressed frequently, I was completely certain I was a heterosexual man who liked wearing women’s clothes. As has been discussed by me and others on these blogs here and elsewhere, I’m wondering if it is a combination of lifelong conditioning and maybe reduced testosterone that have contributed to my periods of uncertainty. My testosterone tested normal the last time I had it checked but I didn’t ask whether it was normal for my age or just normal for a male in general. If it was the former, it still would be lower than it was when I was in my 20’s and 30’s.

    In truth, I think I’m a more sensitive man then many and perhaps our culture just makes it hard to be such a man and feel comfortable with that. It is what William Pollack refers to as the “gender straightjacket” in regards to boys and men. Things are changing a bit in society with regard to that but very slowly and many men and women are still very resistant to men behaving too far out of the “norm”. I guess by now I should be confident enough to accept who I am and not let culture affect me, but it is difficult.

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