Assume for a moment that I were to commit a crime of passion - say in true Colombine fashion I were to walk into a shopping mall or a high school carrying a shotgun, and start pumping - or if I were to start playing "Carmageddon" for real. Would I be considered "sane"? What do you think, huh? Would I make a good case for a shrink to make his career with? Would I be justified in making an insanity plea in court?
What do you think my chances are?
Some people like to claim that transsexuality is a "mental disorder" - and as a case in point, while advocacy and human rights organizations and many, many psych professionals around the world are trying to get transsexuality removed from the list of mental disorders, a particularly nasty group of shrinks is trying to entrench us in the next edition of the Manual.
In other words, according to them, I am mentally ill. Yet I am not on any medication, not having any counseling, not locked away in a padded cell - and I live a full, productive and happy life - but am supposedly "mentally ill" just because of being transsexual.
Yet at the same time transsexuals have to go through a strenuous evaluation process to qualify for HRT and surgery - paradoxically to establish that they are in fact NOT mentally ill. That's right, if you manifest signs of bipolar disorder, or personality disorders and in some countries, even severe clinical depression, you are disqualified. So in other words, we are just perfectly sane and healthy enough to know that we want surgery - but just "mentally ill" enough to need it. How does that make me feel? Just peachy, thanks doc. Tell me about your mother, lol.
Is this perhaps because what I am and represent challenges some people's rigid little rules about who fits in which pigeon-hole?
In 1973 homosexuality ceased being viewed by the medical profession as a mental disorder. It has taken all this time, all of thirty six years for this to sink into ordinary society - and even today there are still people who like to claim that a person's natural in-born sexual orientation is somehow a sign of "mental illness". In fact, there is a whole industry founded on this fallacy, telling people they can "pray away" their own nature - and of course, charging them a mint for counseling, courses, membership fees, conferences, workshops and refresher courses. Thirty six years later, transsexuals are still facing this same scenario - along with bearing the social and medical stigma that the homosexual portion of the pink community shed so long ago.
It's not all bad though, most clinics and health services require a medical diagnosis in order for trans patients to be allowed to have feminization surgeries and hormone treatments. So, cool - the health service will pay for my treatment if I consent to being classified as having a "treatable mental disorder". Sounds fair, don't you think? No? Why not?
If you feel the way I do, then your blood is boiling. I know many people would even defend this ridiculous and insulting system, for the simple reason that surgery and medication are not cheap - and were it not for this system, they would not be able to afford to transition and possibly spend the rest of their lives as transvestites or drag queens - to seemingly justify those who get off calling them "perverts" and "deviants".
There is a growing international move to declassify transsexuality as a mental disorder, in fact, France did that last year. Vive' la France.
I have often pointed out that it is surely strange and ironic that "cosmetic surgery" can cure a mental disorder. It is clear that some compromise is in order - and it is in reclassifying transsexuality from a "mental disorder" to a medical condition.
That way, transsexuals would no longer be stigmatized or discriminated against for something equally as natural as sexual orientation - gender identity - and can still receive medical treatment where applicable in terms of regulations covering medical conditions. In short, what is required is not just a change in wording of policies, but a mind shift.
At the same time, there are shrinks who fly in the face of prevailing opinions and actually encourage keeping transsexuals in their manual. They have even developed laughable crackpot theories like "autogynophilia" (LOL) and "HBS", intended to entrench us in there so deeply we will be lucky to ever dig our way out of there. They confuse sexual orientation and gender identity as inseparable issues, when in fact their profession regards them as separate and independent. They divide the transsexual community insultingly into "HBS" or "True transsexuals" who are supposedly straight in orientation, and the rest of us freaks who are just gay men who get a sexual thrill from living as women picturing ourselves as women and actually prefer men.
So once again, outsiders are telling us who we are when we already know - better than them - who we are. They are telling some of us that we are "better" than others like us, or that others like us are the "real deal" and that we are pretenders because of our sexual orientation - and that we belong in a separate category.
This bucket load of horse manure is all about one thing to me - divide, conquer and maintain the status quo. In short, oppression.
Somebody needs to educate these amateurs that 1) we are not mentally ill, 1) Sexual orientation has bugger all to do with gender identity, 3) I am an adult and will sign any surgery consent forms I choose to; and 4) I pay their bills, and as their client they answer to me and I will have their service and their respect.
Why do we have to justify what we feel to others? Why should we have to justify who we love and who we are to others? Why do some people persist in going into a panic if they know I am going into the ladies room as a pre or post op transsexual? Do they think I "whip it out" or stand and pee on the toilet seat like their myopic boyfriends? Oh wait, I forgot - it's because the world will come to an end, isn't it? All because the tranny used the ladies room, sat in a cubicle and did what comes naturally to us all. And yet this simple example proves my point - IGNORANCE.
Do they actually think that males have to stand and urinate? Are they that socially conditioned? Do men have some kind of muscle or nerve connection that prevents them to pee when seated? What in their wildest dreams makes them assume that a trans woman who is in transition or post-op would want to stand and urinate? And yet there is this perpetual fear of transgender people using the ladies room. So many trans people tell me how their biggest obstacle is the rest-room hurdle! Women should be "protected" from these "deviants" and "freaks". Ha! If only all those "real" men (LOL) who I peed next to, standing at the trough in my earlier days, knew what I am now - how they would wish I had been using the ladies room instead!
How many women like to stand and urinate? Do YOU know any? I sure don't. For one thing, even when I was still physically male, even before coming out I used to hate doing that standing up because it was a masculine impulse to me, which I detested. I sat. And even after my surgery, I still sit - for your information, I could stand and pee, just like any woman can - but it would be just as messy, unhygienic and to my mind, plain dirty - and the next person in that cubicle would know all about it. If I were to do what these people accuse me of, they would have a REAL reason to complain, and not have to sit around all day and think crap like this up. But hey, that's just me.
This exemplifies to me the concept of heterosexual and cisgender privilege. Do straight, heteronormative people have to continually justify themselves to doctors, politicians, clergy and their families? Why then, do we?
It seems to me that this nameless, faceless "society" we refer to sets the goals, determines as an absolute the measures to which everyone must match up to, who is in, out, ugly, beautiful, desirable, undesirable, good, bad - and what is the norm and what isn't - and what should be accepted and what not.
It all comes down to the basic principles of society - which sad to say, are still based on the basic principles of organized religion - which is, was and always will be about CONTROL.
So, coming back to my earlier hypothesis, friends - if I blow somebody away - and go to court, does their diagnosis that I have a "mental disorder" for being trans mean that I can make an "insanity" or "reduced mental capacity" plea - and get away with it?
I didn't think so.
Back to the drawing board, Messrs Zucker and Blanchard and Anne Lawrence MD et al.