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Gender and Fantasy

April 11, 2011

The transgender activists have teamed up with gay activists to add “gender identity” to anti-discrimination legislation. Such legislation would give special legal protection to persons who wish to appear in public as something other than the sex they were born.

Today, men and women have the right to dress any way they like, to take hormones or have surgery to change their appearance, and to pretend that they have changed their sex. Making “gender identity” a protected category would force others to go along with what is a fantasy solution to a psychological disorder.

Such legislation would cover a number of different manifestations of disordered gender identity and rebellion against reality.

Transsexuals

Those who wish to change their sex through hormones and surgery are labeled transsexual.  Ethel Person and Lionel Ovesey conducted a psychiatric study of 20 transsexual patients referred to them by Dr. Harry Benjamin and the Erickson Educational Foundation, which were at the time clearing houses of those seeking surgery. Their conclusion:

… all transsexuals in our sample, both primary and secondary, fell diagnostically in the borderline category. They uniformly displayed the clinical manifestations typically found in the borderline syndrome: chronic anxiety, empty depression, sense of void, oral dependency, defective self-identity, and impaired object relations with an absence of trust and withdrawal from intimacy. These manifestations reflect not only unresolved separation anxiety but also the primitive defenses and defective ego functions developmentally associated with it.[1]

It doesn’t  take trained psychiatrists to discern that a man who wants his private parts cut off and believes that to do so will make him a woman has a problem. Those who support the transsexual solution do so not because they believe that sex changes are possible, but because those requesting them refuse psychological treatment. According to Person and Ovesey (a view supported by other therapists[2]):

The rationale for hormonal and surgical sex reassignment rests on the assumption that there is no efficacious mode of psychologic intervention in adult transsexual. The problem of treatment is compounded by the propensity of some of these patients to attempt suicide or self-mutilation of the genital when sex conversion is denied.[3]

Granting special rights to persons with serious psychological problems makes the legislatures who enact such laws participants in what Person calls “The Shared Cultural Fantasy of Transsexualism.”[4]

Giving special rights to persons suffering the transsexual disorder would put a burden on the rest of society, because such persons are prone to narcissistic rage when their fantasy is challenged. They are fighting for the legislation in order to force others to go along with their fantasy, to use feminine pronouns for what is obviously a man, and to allow these men access to women’s facilities. In an article entitled Shame and Narcissistic Rage in Autogynephilic Transsexualism, Anne Lawrence, a post-op transsexual, writes:

…high levels of narcissistic rage are present in at least some nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals.

We can see a graphic example of this rage in the attack conducted by transsexuals on John Michael Bailey. Bailey’s book The Man who would be Queen promoted the theory that men seeking a “sex change” can be divided into homosexual transsexuals and autogynephiles. Homosexual transsexuals experienced gender identity disorder as children and found themselves attracted to very masculine men. Autogynephiles began dressing in their mother’s clothes in adolescents while engaging in masturbation and fantasizing that they were women. The transsexual community was offended by Bailey and initiated a vicious campaign against him and anyone associated with him. This has been documented by Alice Dreger in an article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.[5] Granting transsexuals special rights would give them a powerful weapon to use against anyone who doesn’t share their fantasy.

Transvestites, Drag Queens, and other Cross Dressers

Besides those who want to change sex, there are a number of others who simply want to appear in public as the other sex. They are currently free to do so. If this is simply a whim or a hobby, then there is no reason to grant such persons special rights. In some cases however, compulsive transvestism may be a sign of a psychological disorder. According to Person and Ovessey, transvestism is:

a disorder of the sense of self characterized by a split in the ego into incompatible male and female gender identities.[6]

Such persons get a kick out of tricking others into accepting them as the other sex, but are deeply offended if their masquerade fails. Such legislation would allow them to force others to go along with their deception.

Gender Queer

There is, however, another group that would claim protection under such laws: the “gender queer.” The “genderqueer” are in rebellion against the division of the world into two sexes. While transsexuals, transvestites, drag queens, and cross dressers conform to rigid stereotypes of masculine and feminine, the genderqueer regard fundamental sex differences as stereotypes. In the book Genderqueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary, the authors reject the idea that male and female are the only options:

…gender is primarily a system of symbols and meanings – and the rules, privileges, and punishments pertaining to their use – for power and sexuality … it will be about the rights of some of us not to be men or women.[7]

…gender is the new frontier: the place to rebel, to create new individuality and uniqueness, to defy old, tired, outdated social norms, and, occasionally drive their parents and sundry other authority figures crazy.[8]

The anger of the genderqueer is palpable, and reading their stories perhaps they have cause, however, while people are free to rebel against nature and try to drive their parents crazy, the government does not have to grant them special rights. Doing so will only increase lawsuits and false charges of discrimination and transphobia in what is already a litigious society.


[1] Ethel Person, The Sexual Century, (New Haven CT: Yale U.P., 1999) p. 141.

[2] Robert Stoller, Sex and Gender, (NY: Science House, 1968), Harry Benjamin, The Transsexual Phenomenon (NY: Julian Press, 1966); R. Green, Childhood cross-gender identification, (in Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U.P.  1968); Kenneth Zucker, Susan Bradley, Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents, (NY:Gilford, 1995) pp. 315-318.

[3] Person, p. 142

[4] Person, p. 363

[6] Ethel Person, The Sexual Century, p. 160

[7] Riki Wilchins, Genderqueer: Voices from beyond the sexual binary (Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2002) p.14

[8] Wilchins, p. 13

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kris permalink
    April 12, 2011 5:35 pm

    Is there a way to contact you personally regarding the SSA issue with an adult child? You do not know me, but you do know of me through a mutual person, and I can really use some direction. Thank you.

    Kris Chatfield (krischatfield@bellsouth.net)

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