Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Library of Congress Case...

The "transgender" community is thrilled, as well they might be, over the decision handed down by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Diane J. Schroer vs. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. Unfortunately, while this case represents, at least for the moment, a great victory for the transgender, it has the potential to turn out to be a horrible case for those with Harry Benjamin Syndrome.

First off, the case can, and may very likely will, be overturned on appeal. Schroer's case is not a particularly strong one, and the Library of Congress raised some issues that, while perhaps not valid in fact, are not invalid in principle. That is, the LOC can argue that they were not really acting out of prejudice, but out of genuine concern, and a higher court may well accept that reasoning.

Schroer is a classic example of transgender, not HBS. Schroer had a long and successful career as a male. There is no evidence in Schoer's past to show any signs of HBS, or even of gender identity disorder prior to the decision, rather late in life, to transtion. Schroer is another man who has decided to retire as a woman.

Now, not everyone with HBS will transition early in life. Some will, usually because of family or religion, delay transition. For others, it was simply a lack of resources (30 years ago, it was a lot harder to find a qualified therapist if you lived in much of the country). And in many cases, people might well have been mislead by the information that was available to them at the time. I do believe that 30 years in the future, late transition among those with HBS will be almost unheard of. But one thing that is characteristic of those with HBS who transition late is a lifetime of issues related to their condition. They are likely to have led absolutely miserable lives. Someone who is forced, for whatever reason, to endure life with a brain that is at odds with their body is not going to have had a happy existence. And that unhappiness is going to affect all areas of their life.

Unfortunately, when someone like Schroer comes along, it raises troubling questions about what is really going on. By all accounts, Schroer had an outstanding and successful career in the military. And not just the military, but as a member of the Special Forces, i.e. a Green Beret. This is one of the most elite units of the U.S. Army. It should be noted that women have never been allowed to joint the Special Forces. This is an area of the military that is strictly limited to men. Schoer apparently had no trouble fitting into this group, which is notorious for being hard to join. Currently, those wishing to become Green Berets have to go through three levels of training. The first, includes advanced infantry and Airborne. After that, only 35% make it through the second round, and then only 20% of those make it through the third round. That seems to present pretty good evidence that Schroer was not the least bit troubled by the supposed disconnect between his body and his brain.

And that presents the major problem with this case. Here is a person who clearly made a choice to "become" a woman. There is virtually no hope of actually arguing that Schoer suffers from any sort of medical condition that was present from birth. That means that a discrimination case that could easily negatively impact people with HBS, not because it actually involves an HBS person, but because the transgender activists insist on dragging us under their "umbrella," a case which could, quite easily, make it to the Supreme Court, is based on behavior, not an intrinsic trait. And such a case could easily result in a precedent that discrmination based on the "behavior" of being "transgender." which would be broadly, and incorrectly interpreted, becoming the law of the land.

And this is typical of the transgender mindset. They would rather go down in glorious defeat, taking HBS people with them, than actually make some progress for those they claim to include. It is simply not acceptable that people who have had surgery can change their birth certificates. The law must allow anyone to claim to be a different sex. It isn't good enough if a law prevents people for being fired for what they do on their own time, men must be allowed to show up in dresses when the mood strikes them. They push for the ridiculous, and laws that might actually accomplish some good never make it past the point of being a joke.

Some of the reasons the LOC gave for not hiring Schoer are not remotely legitimate. But when they raised the question of how Schoer's transition might affect the ability to testify before Congress, they brought up a legitimate question. And again, this points up a problem with the transgender mindset. Clearly, Schoer does not really want to be a "woman," but desires to be a transgender person instead. Being in such a public situation, where his past would be a major issue, and would lead to the possibility of regular publicity, would be be horrifying for an HBS person. There would be no chance of being taken seriously as a woman. Why anyone would seek such a situation is beyond me.

But such is the world of the transgender.


Jackie said...

Jennifer, I am confused. Are you saying that people with HBS are different from Transgender people. HBS people transition because they have to but Trans people "chose" to transition sometimes without surgery? Is that right? Are you saying that "Transgender" is a false issue?

How can you tell Schore suffered no mental anquish all those years? Thanks.

Just Jennifer said...

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. HBS is not a form of transgender.

For an HBS person, transition and surgery is like any other necessary medical treatment. They might choose to resist treatment, but the consequences of doing so can be quite serious.

For someone who is "transgender" their behavior is a matter of choice. It can range from simple crossdressing to actually making the mistake of seeking surgery, but it is not based on an inherent conflict between the wiring of their brain and the plumbing of the body.

And simply put, Schoer had a rather long and quite successful career in a high stress area of the military. This is not someone who was forced into something against his will, but someone who voluntarily and quite enthusiastically embraced being a man among men.

Jackie said...

Thanks for your answer. Did you watch Transgeration? Gabby couldn't wait until her surgery. She counted the days. While Raci, who was certainly female and I could not see her living her life as a male, was fine with hormone therapy and partial surgery. The choice is about surgery, not wiring it seems to me.
Thanks Jen.

Just Jennifer said...

I saw parts of "Transgeneration." I did not really care for it. Now, I do worry that Gabby made a serious error. That person's behavior after surgery raises serious questions. And Gabby had surgery very easily. Gabby's parents paid the bill as I recall. Time will tell if it was a mistake.

Raci is typical of the sort of pseudo-transsexual that is common in places like the Phillipines. I know several just like Raci. They are basically gay males who deal with being gay by adopting a female persona. They have no desire for full surgery as they are not truly HBS. This is the sort of person that Bailey and Blanchard label a "homosexual transsexual." They take hormones, but make sure that their penis is still functional, and they often engage as a top in sexual relations. Many of them work as prostitutes.

I think that show did a great disservice to those with HBS, and simply promoted the transgender ideal.

Jackie said...

I was troubled also by Gabby's attitude after surgery. I hope she's alright. I thought Transgenration was an amazing show because it let people get close to and learn about what it is to have gender identity issues.
I do believe, no, I absolutely know, that there are a percentage of people who a born wired differently from their physical bodies. But, just as gender is not hard wired with our genitals male or female, how one feels about, copes with and "treats" it is not hard wired either. I do understand what you are saying about HBS, I don't understand the exclusionary attitude (or the animosity) for those who may have a different response to their gender issues. But we can agree to disagree there. I do wonder how those kids on that show are doing?

Megan said...

Well, my first post attempt was seemingly sucked up by the Great Attractor, so here is the condensed version two.

In my mind, people with HBS, myself as an example, do not have "gender issues". We know exactly what gender we are. The problem we have is biological, akin to a heart defect or a cleft palatte. A transgender person has gender issues. They are either confused, or playing around, or just in serious need of mental help. By simple definition, anyone that wants or is comfortable with a penis is a male. I do not care if they are the most beautiful appearing woman on the planet. THEY ARE A MAN! The desire or need to keep a penis is incompatable with being a woman. People that say otherwise are just seriously wrong. Transgender people can cope with a penis, one way or another. So they are not women. Saying they are is like saying an elephant is a moose. Gender is binary. There is male and female. There is no in-between.

If someone with gender issues wants to cope with them in a manner that lets them keep their penis, then they are transgender, and NOT female, nor do they have HBS. Some people with gender issues may end up getting surgery, but to me, they always seem to end up as public activists for the LGBTg and other such groups. Women with HBS, in my experience, want to correct our biological birth defect and then just move on. We are women, and require no special legislation, protection or government classification. We do not want to be activists, we do not champion gay rights, and we do not shove our unahappy pasts in everybodies face. I spent six years in the Marine infantry myself, making history. I went a lot of places and did a lot of things. Exciting things, fun things, things that have affected the world we live in today. But in coming to terms with my HBS, I have left that behind. That was something I did to try and avoid dealing with my real medical problem. I was not good at it. My natural female way of dealing with the world ensured that I could be a successful Marine. But I made it through. And I do not tell my stories, except to certain close friends that know about my past. They are part of my past, and in the past they will stay.

I don't feel military service precludes a diagnosis of HBS. A long-term, successful career does, in my mind, throw serious doubts. An inherently female mind is not going to work well in a totally masculine environment. In my years in the service, there were many signs of my true nature. Frankly, when some of the guys I went to combat with found out, they were not at all surprised.

I have yet to see a TV show that even mentions HBS, or gives a realistic portrayal of a person with HBS. What they tend to show are transgender folk, claiming to be "transsexual", and struggling to fit in as women. To be honest, even being willing to appear on such a show to me is a disqualifier for having HBS.

Keep up the good work Jennifer! I love your essays, and look forward to each new one.

Jackie said...

One thing I know is that human beings cope with situations that are mentally and spiritually anguished while showing no outward signs of their inner turmoil. They deal until they are strong enough or feel that they are safe enough to change or remedy it. This is always a very personal and individual journey. I could never question or judge their journey.

Just Jennifer said...

The website for the show claims that Gabby is doing fine, but it often takes a while for regrets and problems to appear.

Again, I personally did not like it, as I felt it presented a distorted view of what is, and is not "transgender." For example, I do not have gender identity problems. I had a physical problem in that my sex did not match my gender. I have no problem with my gender identity.

I do believe, no, I absolutely know, that there are a percentage of people who a born wired differently from their physical bodies. But, just as gender is not hard wired with our genitals male or female, how one feels about, copes with and "treats" it is not hard wired either. I do understand what you are saying about HBS, I don't understand the exclusionary attitude (or the animosity) for those who may have a different response to their gender issues. But we can agree to disagree there. I do wonder how those kids on that show are doing?

Actually, if you have a true discordance between your brain's sex and your body's sex, you will be driven to correct it. There are a lot of people (far more than those who actually have a true conflict between their brain sex and their genital sex) who, for whatever reason, decide that they want a different gender presentation. In the vast majority of these cases, the person has no desire to physically change their sex. They like having what they were born with. They are properly referred to as transgender. Being transgender is strictly a matter of choice, not biology. If you want to keep what you were born with, but want to change your clothing and/or social role, then you are transgender, not transsexual and certainly not HBS. And if you do not have early childhood memories of a discordance between your internal sense of your gender, and what people expected of you (i.e. you felt like a girl, but everyone expect you to feel like a boy) then you are transgender, even if you later decide you want to change your sex.

Just Jennifer said...

Thanks Megan! And I enjoyed reading your comments as well.

Jackie said...

Thanks Jen, I get it. There are lots of people who are as you describe HBS, but who call themselves Transgender. I have a friend who certainly falls into your definition of HBS, but she refers to herself as Trans. She does not believe she was born in the wrong body or that it was any kind of defect. She believes she was born Transgender, period. She had the physical adjustment s done, but acknowledges that she is a Transwoman, different from bio women but a woman for sure. She never flaunts it or hides it or tries to fool anyone or hide her past. I find this attitude honest and healthy.

Megan said...

You know Jackie, some people just do not get it. 'Transgender' is a recent term, coined by the LGBTg for political reasons. Your friend is certainly confused. Either they were born a male or a female. "Transgender" is not a biological definition. As I stated before, gender is binary.

Saying you are a "trans-woman" is implying that a medical condition is part of your gender. I have never heard of anyone saying they are a "cancer-man", or a "polio-woman". To me, even agreeing with that implies that you buy into the LGBTg agenda, and that you believe in the existence of 'quasi-genders'. People that are not male or female. Sure, your friend may think they fit the medical definition of HBS, but they totally fail the psychological component. She does not believe she is a woman. She is something less, something different. Her internal identity is not female, so really she does not qualify as having HBS. For those of us that have the condition, WE ARE WOMEN. There is no doubts, no half way, no difference. When we finally are able to break through the expectations and socialization that the world puts on us because of our birth defect, the person that springs out is undeniably female. Our femininity is inbuilt. We do not need to take courses or study how to move, walk, talk or act as women. It is built into us. Just as it is with every woman. We may need touchups on the aspects that different cultures instill through childhood socialization, but we do not need to start from scratch and build a female persona.

Saying you are a transwoman is not saying you are a woman for sure. It is saying that you are something OTHER than a woman. If she was a woman for sure, than she would just say she is a woman. So what if she had a different upbringing? Every woman grows up in a different way. Looking at your post again, your friend totally FAILS one of the biggest tests of HBS. They feel they were born in the correct body, with no defect. Since HBS is a birth defect where the brain is female and the body is male, saying that there was no birth defect and that they was born with the correct body says that they were born male. And that they were happy with that. So they do not “certainly fall within” the definition of HBS. Your friend certainly does fall within the weird definition of the mentally troubled that call themselves transgender. If your friend had thoughts of being a different gender as a child, by their own words and self-definition they have shown that it was a mental defect, not a medical condition.

I do not find your friends attitude healthy or honest at all. By their actions and words, they spread the lie that their mental health issue is the same as our medical condition. They distort reality and make the lives of those of us with a real medical issue more difficult. Their actions are selfish and self-righteous. They are seeking to spread the liberal dogma and the LGBTg agenda. By doing that, they are inflicting continued harm on those of us that do have HBS.

Jackie said...

Megan, thanks for your answer. I understand your point. My point is simply that other people may feel differently about the same thing. While you feel that your problem is a physical defect, some women do not. My friend is a woman and always has been from her earliest memories. There is absolutely no doubt about that and she couldn't live any other way. There is no confusion. She simply acknowledges and accepts as part of who she is, the fact that she was born physically a male. It's true, it's honest and it's IMO the only way the public will learn to accept and understand.
Does your doctor know you are HBS? He/she needs to know that, don't they. Why?

The word different does not make you one iota less a woman.

My friend is beautiful and certainly does not wear "I was born with a male body" on her forehead. It's just that although she has NEVER EVER been anything but female, she chooses to be open about her life. It's just another way of feeling about it.

sue_ann_robins said...

Good post Jen, Hope all is going well. Life is good these days.

Take Care

Just Jennifer said...

Simply put, "transgender" is an artificial social/political construct. It has no basis in reality, and is a highly subjective concept. There is really no objective definition. It is so vague that almost anyone can be called "transgender" under someone's defintion.