I have spent the last week exploring Tik Tok. For those of you unfamiliar it is a short-form video platform. Mostly, those making the videos are young people or old people trying to reach a young audience. What I found was video after video of kids (meaning under 18) exploring a few basic topics that all boil down to identity. At that age identity becomes very important to youth. We all have a social identity. Sometimes it is handed to us, such as in our cultures and sometimes we earn it through our activities. For example a doctor isn’t just a profession, it is also a social identity. A person earns this by entering the profession but the culture conveys meaning to it beyond what it means to the individual.
talking about their gender dysphoria and spending a great deal of time making videos about the comments on their other videos with the aim of countering any comment that dare simply not agree that a little girl is somehow a little boy. I will add here that they likely would object to my use of the word “little” but in my ancient platypus eyes, they are just wee children playing at big things they don’t fully understand. The videos I saw, time and time again, were in my eyes the attempt of these children to make sense of it all.
To stake an identity in this world.
Every kid goes through this. Not gender identity, but picking an identity. They don’t understand at that age that who they are today, is not who they will be tomorrow. We so often hear that once an adult, you are who you are, and you are fixed forever. This isn’t true. Children are more agile than adults but adults can change as well on a very deep and substantive level, even later in life. Kids don’t get this because no one has told them. But within human nature is the desire to be someone and these kids pick someone to be. That this happens to be wrapped up with gender is – so obvious a thing to me – the product of the popular trend.
It’s popular to think of gender as fluid. Put on a skirt young man and you are now a girl – or perhaps a guy in a skirt who doesn’t accept that only girls can wear them – or perhaps you are neither a guy or a girl. You are what you want to be. That is empowering to a young person on the verge of adulthood and it is also slightly subversive. Too afraid to enter the world yet, and having real challenges unavailable to them due to the prosperity they live under, they invent something.
A boy wears a skirt to see the reaction, a kid hangs gay pride flags at his grandparents because they are conservative and he wants to see how it goes, they live to shock and push the boundaries for attention. Kids always do this as they approach adulthood and littler children always mimic the older. But for most of these kids, they will “grow out of it” as long as their parents act like parents and don’t encourage them. I saw a video of a dad who said that as long as his son was a child he would not allow him to wear a skirt. Then this same dad gave the counter argument to show he was enlightened and said if he didn’t let his son wear a skirt that it would be the same as telling him he wasn’t good at art. Not the same, but that was his logic. Kids want attention. They will take negative attention (the dad that says do not wear a skirt) or they will take positive attention (the dad who says – I support you son) and run with it. Sometimes, as a parent, the right thing to do is tell your kids “no” and let them feed on the negative attention for a while. Just show them afterward that you love them very much. Saying no to the skirt doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. That is what the world would have you think right now, that love is dependent upon acceptance. It isn’t.
Not all children toying around with their gender fall into this category.
Some have real psychological problems.
The author of the below linked article is someone that often gets brought up in relation to sex change regret. This is because it is a subject he knows first hand having gone through it himself. Because his view is one of caution I’ve noticed that defenders of gender reassignment have taken to automatically rejecting anything this person says. “That’s so-and-so, you can’t trust what they say. They have an agenda.” As if you don’t! Yes, he has an agenda, that agenda is convincing people that his experience transitioning was negative and that their experience is likely to be as well. There are, of course, very compelling reasons for this. First, as he points out, there are co-morbid disorders that go untreated by the surgery. How these play into the body dysphoria is not adequately studied. Second, is the very fact that you cannot actually change someone’s sex, and likely not even the cultural role of gender in their lives.
“Recently, during a radio show on which I appeared as a guest, a caller posed a question I frequently get asked: “Do the administration of cross-gender hormones and genital surgery change a boy into a girl or a girl into a boy?”
The answer is simple: biologically, not at all.
Underneath all the cosmetic procedures, vocal training, and hair growth or hair removal lies a physical reality. Biologically, the person has not changed from a man into a woman or vice versa.
Sex is an indelible fact of a person’s biology. Specifically, it describes one’s biological makeup with respect to its organization for reproduction. As Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh explain in The New Atlantis”
He makes, what to me, is a very clear truth very clear, “A man can mutilate his body, but he can never transform it to be organized as a female—and vice versa for the woman.” This is absolutely true. The only thing they can do is make pretending easier.
Because, “born that way” was the tactic that many used to accept homosexuality people logically applied that same line of reasoning to gender. If someone can be born attracted to the same sex, then why can’t they be born “in the wrong body”? Lest they risk ruining their own argument in favor of homosexuality they have to promote transgenderism. That’s the trap they have laid for themselves.
I have always said that it would have been much better for them if they had simply said, “I want to behave this way” rather than telling everyone they were born that way and couldn’t’ help it. Even if they didn’t believe that was true that choice was a much better argument and less risky. I feel like what we are seeing with the push for transgenders (even in kindergarten) is exactly what was predicted and what one would expect. And yes, we are going to see the arguments for gay marriage used for other forms of marriage. I’m not arguing against those things or a person’s right to pick the path of their own life. I’m simply pointing out the logistics and pitfalls of how we got here. We should always been careful of the arguments we use because they can also be used by others. If the arguments are honest then we have no problem with others using them. If the arguments are not honest then we face our own bad thinking and/or hypocrisy.
People are suffering, getting mutilated, and regretting it badly.
They deserve to have other treatment options explored or at the very least to have their co-morbid disorders attended to properly prior to any hormones or treatments. Not promoting transgenderism is the humane thing to do and the left has twisted that around. It’s important to recognize the harm being done and the very real illness people are suffering.
I have long said that gender dysphoria isn’t the “disease”, it is a symptom. That means something else is wrong. We could spend all day trying to “fix” the dysphoria and it isn’t going to do a thing because that isn’t what is really causing the issue. What is? We don’t know. Meaning there isn’t a single cause for every single person. It takes time and exploration to discover and a willingness on the part of client and therapist to explore. Getting locked into gender as the issue means that a lot of other possibilities aren’t tapped into.
Mental health isn’t the same as physical health.
You might go to your doctor with a broken arm. He can x-ray it and put a cast on it. You might have a wart. He can see that and freeze it off. You might have a parasite, he can test for that and give you medicine to kill it. You cannot do that when it comes to mental health.
The way a lot of mental health gets treated is to treat the symptoms. Many good therapists try to go deeper but others do not. If you went to your doctor with the same broken arm and all your doctor did was say, “that is swollen” then treated the swelling, then you haven’t received good treatment. Same is true when working with the mind. If the therapist says, “you have gender dysphoria” and fails to explore why you have not been well treated. Now imagine, without going deeper, you have surgery! It would be like cutting off that broken arm.
I maintain that the vast majority of mental illnesses spring from trauma that the individual isn’t able to deal with so the mind forms some other schema to either explain the trauma or to shove the trauma to the background where it never needs be addressed. This is what creates the alternate reality that plagues the individual. An alternate reality really is what mental illness boils down to. That could take the form of delusions, or gender issues, or just focusing too much on one thing to exclusion of others. For example on that last one, a person who had terrible parents my create a reality where the focus is on the parents even, often, when the parents are no longer in the picture. Dead parents causing you problems isn’t a reality. It’s an alternate reality.
This is – to be clear – a VERY simplified version of my theory of the mind but when we understand what schema a person is creating and why they have created it we can begin to deconstruct the alternate reality and bring them into cognition of actual reality. We must also be willing to accept that they may have ulterior motives. We need not accept everything they say at face value. Sorting through is the job of a good therapist. Which, sadly, may be very difficult to find now days.
Article that Inspired my post:
Recently, during a radio show on which I appeared as a guest, a caller posed a question I frequently get asked: “Do the administration of cross-gender hormones and genital surgery change a boy into a girl or a girl into a boy? The answer is simple: biologically, not at all.