Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right?
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In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into objects of use and degrades the dignity of human sexuality. Sadly, the same spirit of the age fails to recognize the integral unity of the human person, body, soul and spirit, and has turned the human body into a machine with parts which the revolutionaries think can simply be interchanged. Removal of genitals and attachment of artificially constructed ones which are absolutely incapable of ovulation or conception, does not change the structure of reality. The removal constitutes mutilation and the construction of artificial organs with no reproductive function does not alter the gender or sex of the person. Medical science confirms that our identity as male or female affects even our brains. In addition, even the physical appearance must be sustained by massive doses of synthetic hormones.
WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - In an article in the Wall Street Journal published on June 12, 2014, Dr. Paul R. McHugh, wrote about a medical fact, sex change or what is now routinely called "sexual reassignment surgery" is what he called "biologically impossible". He also referred to what is routinely called "transgenderism" as a mental disorder.
Dr McHugh is a distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins and served as their chief psychiatrist for almost three decades. He further opined that those who promote sex change operations are not helping but hurting people with this disorder.
One of the few members of the secular Press with the courage to report on this now politically incorrect topic was Michael W. Chapman. In an article in CNS News entitled Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is 'Mental Disorder;' Sex Change 'Biologically Impossible' Chapman wrote:
"Dr. McHugh, the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, made his remarks in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, where he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a "disorder of 'assumption'" - the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.
"He also reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% "spontaneously lost those feelings."
"While the Obama administration, Hollywood, and major media such as Time magazine promote transgenderism as normal, said Dr. McHugh, these "policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention."
"This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken - it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes."
The transgendered person's disorder, said Dr. McHugh, is in the person's "assumption" that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. It is a disorder similar to a "dangerously thin" person suffering anorexia who looks in the mirror and thinks they are "overweight," said McHugh.
This assumption, that one's gender is only in the mind regardless of anatomical reality, has led some transgendered people to push for social acceptance and affirmation of their own subjective "personal truth," said Dr. McHugh. As a result, some states - California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts - have passed laws barring psychiatrists, "even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor," he said.
The pro-transgender advocates do not want to know, said McHugh, that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings "spontaneously lose those feelings" over time. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were "satisfied" with the operation "but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn't have the surgery."
The former Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry also warned against enabling or encouraging certain subgroups of the transgendered, such as young people "susceptible to suggestion from 'everything is normal' sex education," and the schools' "diversity counselors" who, like "cult leaders," may "encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery."
Dr. McHugh also reported that there are "misguided doctors" who, working with very young children who seem to imitate the opposite sex, will administer "puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous - even though the drugs stunt the children's growth and risk causing sterility."
Such action comes "close to child abuse," said Dr. McHugh, given that close to 80% of those kids will "abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated. 'Sex change' is biologically impossible," said McHugh. "People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder."
I have written on the issues involved in this entire matter frequently. As expected, I have been also pilloried by some involved in a small segment of the homosexual equivalency community who simply will not accept any other opinions other than their own.
However, the facts are the facts and the tragedy which is being unleashed by what is now called the Gender Identity Movement is too dire to not contend for the truth. The words of creation recorded in the Book of Genesis, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Gen 1:27) are being rejected and the consequences are evident in a culture which is spinning out of control.
The proponents of a feigned ability to change the nature of reality claim that changing gender is now another one of those multiplying new-found rights in a society which has nearly lost its mind. Following the pattern of their cultural revolutionary agenda, they have used verbal engineering to prepare the way for social and legal engineering, all intended to foist their ideology on us all.
The proponents of this new cultural order are now well on the way to compelling us to succumb to their brave new world or face the consequences. In an address to the Roman Curia on Thursday, December 21, 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI exposed the falsity and social danger of what is now called gender theory in the circles of the cultural revolutionaries. Here is an excerpt:
"The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper. While up to now we regarded a false understanding of the nature of human freedom as one cause of the crisis of the family, it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being - of what being human really means - is being called into question."
"He quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: "one is not born a woman, one becomes so" (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term "gender" as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society."
"The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, which serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God."
"This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: "male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female - hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will."
"The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man's fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him."
"Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defense of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man."
We live in an age rushing headlong into darkness while it professes to be enlightened. The words of the apostle Paul ring true, our culture is "exchanging the truth of God for a lie" (Romans 1:25). Pope Emeritus Benedict was correct. His insights provide clarity in a cloud of confusion. In a world with no givens we are losing one of the first gifts, the gift of our identity as male or female. As a result we are becoming impoverished and not liberated.
We now regularly read stories of transgender athletes and we are supposed to hail their choice as some sort of act of bravery. We are repeatedly told we must accommodate the idea this idea that people can choose their own gender identity. Children can now choose their gender identity in California. If they are too young to do so, then parents can do it for them.
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In July of 2013 the Washington Post recently featured an article entitled Transgender at 6: For Tyler and his parents, no second thoughts about parents who made such a choice for their little girl, allowing her to act like a little boy. Transgender activism seeks to restructure the social order to reflect the false idea that gender is malleable.
A Reuters news story of March 23, 2011 entitled "Transgender New Yorkers sue over birth certificates" showed how these activists are using the Courts to enforce their cultural agenda:
"A group of transgender residents filed a lawsuit against New York City over what they say are burdensome requirements for them to change the gender on their birth certificates. The city's birth certificate requirements amount to discrimination for transgender residents, said Noah Lewis, an attorney representing the residents in the case. New York's Health Department requires residents to show proof of surgical procedures in order to change the gender status on a birth certificate.
"But the lawsuit, filed by the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund in state Supreme Court on behalf of three residents, said many transgender people cannot afford the surgical procedures. Instead, a note from a doctor verifying someone's transgender status should be sufficient, it said. The requirements mean many transgender people cannot get up-to-date or usable identification, Lewis said."This subjects them to harassment and discrimination. They can be laughed at or turned away doing everyday transactions like going to the DMV (the Department of Motor Vehicles) or applying for jobs," he said.
"One of those suing the city, Joan Prinzivalli, said she would like to get the surgery the city requires to prove she is female but she is unable to for health reasons. "This policy is unfair to me and to other transgender people who just want IDs that match who we are," she said. City attorney Gabriel Taussig said the Health Department would review the group's concerns. "We are very sympathetic to the petitioners' concerns and recognize that this is a complex issue," he said.
"The Health Department must be satisfied that an applicant has completely and permanently transitioned to the acquired gender prior to the issuance of a birth certificate." Birth certificates for transgendered people in New York were an issue earlier this month when the city made an apology to a transgendered couple asked to show birth certificates when getting married because the clerk claimed they did not appear to match the people in their photo IDs. They threatened to sue because state laws do not require couples to show birth certificates when getting married."
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A March, 2011 article in Mercatornet featured an article written by Babette Francis, the National and Overseas Coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc., a pro-life, pro-family NGO which has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. The article, entitled "Gender bending: let me count the ways" revealed that gender identity activists have succeeded in pushing the Australian Human Rights Commission to recognize 23 genders.
"In the beginning there was male and female. Soon there was homosexuality. Later there were lesbians, and much later gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queers. But anyone who thinks LGBTQ is the full count of contemporary sexualities is sadly out of date. For example, the transgendered have for some time been divided into those who are awaiting treatment, those have had hormone treatment, those who have had hormones and surgery, and those who have had hormones and surgery but are not happy and want it all reversed. "
"Enter the Australian Human Rights Commission with some exciting new developments. In an extraordinary document entitled "Protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sex and/or gender identity", the AHRC has come up with a further list of "genders" which they require us to recognize, and on whose behalf they want our federal government to pass anti-discrimination legislation."
"To date (by the time you read this, the AHRC's family of sexualities may have increased and multiplied) these are: transgender, trans, transsexual, intersex, androgynous, agender, cross dresser, drag king, drag queen, genderfluid, genderqueer, intergender, neutrois, pansexual, pan-gendered, third gender, third sex, sistergirl and brotherboy. (No, I don't know what "neutrois" means)."
"So if we add these genders to the LGBTQ list we get 23 in all, not to mention the divisions within the transgendered group. For PR purposes, however, the "gendered" community now identifies itself as LGBTQI (the "I" stands for "intersex".) Rather than abbreviating I think they should add all the other letters of the alphabet, then we would all feel protected and not discriminated against.
"Being Indian by birth and having married an Australian of Anglo-Celtic origin, I am all for diversity, but I am not going to commit to "neutrois" until someone tells me what it means. Once the government passes proposed legislation, presumably businesses will be required to provide designated toilets for each gender, and Equal Opportunity Gender Identity (EOGI) units will ensure compliance with federal legislation."
These articles simply reflect where this is all headed unless we expose it and oppose it. The operative word in all of this is the word gender. Cultural revolutionaries are intent on redefining the word. Then, using the Police Power of the State, they want to insist that people be guaranteed a right to somehow choose their gender and change their mind at whim. In effect, they seek to engage in a cultural revolution.
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Babette Francis mentioned a book in the gender identity movement, "Trans People in Love", co-edited by Katrina Fox, an Australian activist, who "wrote an emotive piece for the Australian Broadcasting Commission recently entitled "Marriage needs redefining." In it she insists that all the "gender boundaries" surrounding marriage must be removed. "A more inclusive option," she begins, "is to allow individuals to get married whatever their sex or gender, including those who identify as having no sex or gender or whose sex may be indeterminate."
We also face an increase of what are wrongly referred to as Sex Change or Gender Reassignment surgeries. Though those who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID) deserve empathy, the facts remain; no such surgery can accomplish a change of gender or sexual identity. In effect, they mutilate the body and destroy the bodily integrity of the person. Every single human cell contains chromosomes which identify whether we are male or female. That cannot be changed. It is a given. In fact, it is a gift.
In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into objects of use and degrades the dignity of human sexuality. Sadly, the same spirit of the age fails to recognize the integral unity of the human person, body, soul and spirit, and has turned the human body into a machine with parts which the revolutionaries think can simply be interchanged.
Removal of genitals and attachment of artificially constructed ones which are absolutely incapable of ovulation or conception, in the case of a transsexual male who tries to be a woman, or the generation of sperm, in the case of a transsexual woman trying to be a man, does not change the structure of reality.
The removal constitutes mutilation and the construction of artificial organs with no reproductive function does not alter the gender or sex of the person. Medical science confirms that our identity as male or female affects even our brains. In addition, even the physical appearance must be sustained by massive doses of synthetic hormones.
In 2002 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Church issued a letter sent without public release to every Bishop. It clearly stated that such surgical procedures do not alter a person's gender and that in no circumstance are baptismal records of such individuals who have undergone them to be altered. Further, the document made clear that no one who has undergone such a surgery is eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter the religious life.
At the time the letter was received from Rome, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., was the President of the U.S. Bishops' conference. He sent a letter to all US Bishops in which he wrote "The altered condition of a member of the faithful under civil law does not change one's canonical condition, which is male or female as determined at the moment of birth." The Bishop was absolutely correct.
The Gender Identity Movement insists upon the recognition in the positive law of a such a so called new-found right to somehow choose one's gender. This is a biological, psychological and ontological impossibility. Yet, the advocates of this movement insist upon laws which accommodate, fund, and enforce this right. Those involved in the activist wing of the movement want to compel the rest of society to recognize their vision of a brave new world or face the Police Power of the State.
Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct, "the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious." Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.
Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate.
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