I worked in a Trans clinic and here is what I learned:
Before I get too far into this, let me state a couple of things upfront. First, I am not an MD or doctor of any kind, so my views are based on my observations and chats with the medical staff. Second, regardless of where a transgendered person may be in their journey, it is their journey, not mine. They deserve the utmost love and respect from us as individuals regardless of our personal views.
I worked in a free clinic that served all homeless in our community and treated a lot of the LGBTQ+ community because it was a place they could come and get care without judgment and with dignity. We provided a valuable service in my opinion.
But when I combine my first-hand experience with what I see in media, I see a big disconnect. Three areas, in particular, stand out to me that we need to get a handle on as a society.
There are no Transgendered People
What I mean here is that even after surgery, the biology that a person was born with is mostly still there. External changes can be made and will allow the person to function as the gender they are comfortable with, but right now surgeries are superficial. One of our doctors told me “I have never met a person who changed gender, there are very feminine males and there are very masculine females, but in the end, they are still the gender they were born with.”
The same doctor went on to share the challenges, especially in the emergency room when someone has transitioned and no one has alerted the ER team that the person was trans before they arrived. The anatomy is different and the appropriate response to an emergency may need to change.
A major milestone for many transgendered is to obtain a new birth certificate or driver’s license showing their new sex. Again, strictly from a medical perspective, this can cause problems if the patient and the medical staff do not have an established relationship in place.
While there is a push in media around transgender rights and being transphobic such as Senator Josh Hawley experienced as the professor had her agenda that got in the way of questioning. At the core of all this, we are still dealing with two sexes biologically and while everyone deserves to be treated with respect, some of the latest thinking loses track of reality as the World Health Organization has recently shown us about what we are in this world.
Our Counseling System is Broken
Changing your sex is a big deal emotionally and physically and should not be entered into lightly. At our clinic, we had dozens of counselors and clinicians that worked with folks to help them through the process. It is meant to ensure that the person truly has Gender dysphoria and has considered all the options. What I see though are clinicians that are so wrapped up in the politics of LGBTQ+ and wanting to ensure that rights are protected that they skip the main issue to be addressed in counseling. Is this the best path forward for the individual?
So often, the very fact that the individual is seeking counseling acts to qualify them for surgery and the majority of the counseling thereafter is all about dealing with the effects of surgery in their lives, not if this is the right direction for them. Many of the clinicians I knew had a strong pro-trans bias because of their own life experiences. The very experiences that make them great counselors also become a bias that they need to check at the door. Articles like this one on WebMD, speak to the growing number of transgendered who regret their choice and point to counseling that let them down.
Common Sense is Missing
While at our clinic, each person’s case was assessed individually and there were no hard rules on age eligibility, yet I would argue that common sense is missing. So often, young people that entered our clinic came from a place of trauma. They had to deal with rejection from their family, friend, society, and organizations that should be there to help them.
Emotions at times like these are running high and I saw counselors encouraging them to be their true selves as a solution to all the chaos around them. Common sense would say that the individual needs to be in a stable situation first, and have had the time to process and look honestly at all options before moving forward with their choices.
Jeff Younger tried to prevent his wife from moving forward with the process for his 9-year-old child, only to be ridiculed and called a Fascist when he speaks in Texas. What is wrong with people? In my mind a 9 year is in no position to make life-altering decisions at that age and parents should not be pushing those decisions either.
When I think of my own kids, even in their mid-teens they were still trying to figure out dating much less their gender. It’s not about the decision, but rather does the individual grasp the enormity of the decision and have the maturity to make that decision?
Places like the clinic I worked at are needed and provide a needed service. The pendulum has swung too far to one side though. We need to interject some more common sense, especially with our young people who are impressionable, often seeking answers and dealing with trauma (often unseen to us). As a society, we need to provide a stable and safer environment than the streets for young people so they can get the help they need and make decisions that are right for them.
Of the people that have transitioned that I know, most are happy with the outcome. They are adults now and have overcome many challenges. Several expressed frustration with a system that just didn’t work well for them. They made it in spite of the system.
I am not against transgendered, I am against the system and the people that push their agenda instead of giving folks the time to evaluate what is best for them on their own timelines and when they are in a stable environment to do that.
The author’s name is withheld by request.