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The new transparency

I try to focus quite a lot here on the science (or lack thereof) which might explain the transgender condition because it matters more than some of us might like to think.

Even if the newer generations of transgender people are prouder and more transparent about their identity, they might not realize that the scientific and psychiatric communities see them a little differently than they see themselves.

I have not made a secret here of saying that perhaps gender variance may be rooted in mental illness but not in a way that means that the person is not lucid or is crazy. I am making more of a comparison with conditions like chronic depression, OCD or even schizophrenia all of which are rooted in biology but yet form part of technically abnormal conditions of the brain.

I pointed recently to the 2009 Australian study which concluded that there could very well be a genetic tracer to gender variance if the brain were not sufficiently masculinised at birth. This would then technically be a genetic abnormality which would just form part of the myriad of mutations that we observe in nature. If we were to conclusively be able to settle on such an explanation it would go a long way towards further advancing the cause of people who don’t fit the mould when it comes to gender expression and identity.

Right now that science vacuum is allowing people who see this more as self propelled mental illness or even as a lifestyle choice free reign to opine without trepidation. There is enough doubt about the origins of this condition that permits this sort of speculation.

Acceptance by society is coming regardless and there are enough well-spoken and highly intellectual spokespersons for the community that help dispel the idea that this is all rooted in delusion. But then there are other targets that are considerably easier to hit. Just because we share a condition does not mean we are all the same.

People attack what they fear and what makes them feel uncomfortable.

In past decades transsexual women would attempt to go stealth and meld into the background as much as possible but with the new higher visibility and outspoken advocates we are seeing equal bravery on the part of detractors that would see them discredited.

The generation that created Casa Susana is now dead and buried and the former secretive underworld of gender variance has been morphed into the daily transparency of a YouTube posting which is both good and bad.

In an age of instant everything where people post their everyday mundane on the internet, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised.


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