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GC2012: TRANSGENDER: The Truth about Gender Identity Disorder

GC2012: TRANSGENDER: The Truth about Gender Identity Disorder


By David W. Virtue
July 9, 2012

This week The Episcopal Church made world news. For the first time ever, "Gender identity and gender expression" were added to the category of protected classes of persons and behavior for a church that has ratified the lifestyles of gays and lesbians, bisexuals and now a small group of men and women who have had sex change operations.

Both houses (HOB/HOD) adopted resolutions D002 and D019 forbidding discrimination in the employment, ordination and the "life, worship, and governance" of trans-gendered or transsexual persons.

The resolutions were motivated by an "increased understanding and practice to respect the human dignity of transgender people - transsexuals, and others who differ from majority societal gender norms," according to its proposers.

"Gender identity (one's inner sense of being male or female) and expression (the way in which one manifests that gender identity in the world) should not be bases for exclusion, in and of themselves, from consideration for participation in the ministries of the Church," the proposers averred.

Transgender is a slang term for a type of gender identity disorder (GID). This diagnosis is in the APA's DSM.

Some years ago, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine stopped doing transgender surgery because they said that it did more harm than good.

Paul McHugh, University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University asks, "Where did they get the idea that our sexual identity ('gender' was the term they preferred) as men or women was in the category of things that could be changed?

"The post-surgical subjects struck me as caricatures of women. They wore high heels, copious makeup, and flamboyant clothing; they spoke about how they found themselves able to give vent to their natural inclinations for peace, domesticity, and gentleness-but their large hands, prominent Adam's apples, and thick facial features were incongruous (and would become more so as they aged).

Women psychiatrists whom I sent to talk with them would intuitively see through the disguise and the exaggerated postures. 'Gals know gals,' one said to me, 'and that's a guy.'" When he became psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, two issues presented themselves as targets for study.

"First, I wanted to test the claim that men who had undergone sex-change surgery found resolution for their many general psychological problems.

Second (and this was more ambitious), I wanted to see whether male infants with ambiguous genitalia who were being surgically transformed into females and raised as girls did, as the theory (again from Hopkins) claimed, settle easily into the sexual identity that was chosen for them.

"We saw the results as demonstrating that just as these men enjoyed cross-dressing as women before the operation so they enjoyed cross-living after it. But they were no better in their psychological integration or any easier to live with. With these facts in hand I concluded that Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness. We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.

"When Hopkins announced that it would stop doing these procedures in adults with sexual dysphoria, many other hospitals followed suit, but some medical centers still carry out this surgery."

Professor McHugh said he has witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment. "The children transformed from their male constitution into female roles suffered prolonged distress and misery as they sensed their natural attitudes.

Their parents usually lived with guilt over their decisions-second-guessing themselves and somewhat ashamed of the fabrication, both surgical and social, they had imposed on their sons. As for the adults who came to us claiming to have discovered their 'true' sexual identity and to have heard about sex-change operations, we psychiatrists have been distracted from studying the causes and natures of their mental misdirections by preparing them for surgery and for a life in the other sex. We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it."

Some people, he said, do recover from sexual confusion, but it is not possible to recover from some genital mutilations. Also, if a doctor mutilates the genitals of someone who is obviously suffering from a known psychiatric disorder, isn't the doctor at fault when the person recovers?

When he became chairperson of the psychiatric department at Johns Hopkins, he ordered the department to conduct follow-up evaluations on as many of their former transsexual patients as possible. When the follow-ups were performed, they found that most of the patients stated that they were happy as members of their target sex, but that their overall level of psychological functioning had not improved. McHugh reasoned that to perform physical gender reassignment was to "cooperate with a mental illness rather than try to cure it."

Johns Hopkins closed its gender clinic and has not performed any sex reassignment surgeries since then.

So, against all the available evidence we have, The Episcopal Church continues its gadarene drive towards the acceptance of multiple sexualities that does nothing to or for the vast majority of Episcopalians, many of whom do not know nor have ever met, nor are ever likely to meet a sexually reassigned man/woman, all the while dumbing down the meaning of deviance and elevating pansexuality to a point that mocks the very gospel many ordinary Episcopalians still proclaim. Will a small congregation of Episcopalians in Tuscaloosa in search of a priest ever meet a transsexual and if they did, would they seriously hire him/her? One doubts it.

The only question now is: at what point for an Episcopal bishop to stand up and shout "enough already." There are not as many sexualities as there are people in the world, and this craziness must end. For God's sake STOP the madness.


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