Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ethics and Late Transition

The New York Times Magazine has a column called The Ethicist and he was asked the question "Should I Become a Woman and Risk Causing Pain to My Wife and Children?"  His response was very reasonable.  He said:
So the question you really need to ask yourself is this: Is your psychological damage from gender dysphoria greater than the psychological damage that its restoration will inflict upon the lives of any (or all) of your children? If the answer is yes, proceed. If the answer is no, don’t do it. Your sadness is tragic, but at least it’s confined to yourself. This advice might seem reactionary, but it’s not a position on whether transitioning is ethical in and of itself. There’s no inherent ethical problem with that decision. It’s about the possibility of improving one life at a greater cost to three others who might lack the intellectual and emotional maturity to comprehend what’s really happening.
Of course, this will not sit well with the transgender extremists who will insist that he should transition without regrets or apologies.  At least a couple have already objected to the advice given., here and here.

But, the columnist raises some good points.  This person has a happy married life, and a satisfying career.  This is not a person who has been tormented all of his life by gender issues.  It is almost certainly yet another aging crossdresser who wants to increase the thrills.  

I made my second, and final major transition a bit later in life.  My first ended because of stress over issues that were not directly related to transition.  My life improved greatly, and I maintain a good relationship with my ex and my child.  But they understood my need.  It was not easy for them, and there were periods of strain, and there are still occasional issues, but they do understand that it helped me.

Sadly, this is not always the case, but the kooks keep pushing people to move forward.


Robyn Messy Elliot said...

I can only guess what goes on in other people's minds; what they really feel. I was really very privileged (spoiled) and cannot judge other people's transitions or corrective surgery. I have a hard time imagining someone just starting to BEGIN(!?!) transition DECADES(!!) after testosterone-shaping has any REAL concept what they are getting into. Let alone the effects on those who love them. I just do not know, but I feel bad for them and their loved ones. It seems really tragic with no happy ending for any of them.

Just Jennifer said...

It can be devastating on a spouse and children. I have known of one case where the wife was very manipulative and used "approval" to control the person who wanted to transition. I lost contact, and have no idea how it worked out.

Some stay together, but I can't see where that is healthy for either person.