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a clear lack of empathy

I have been trying to understand for the longest time why and how the desire to express oneself as a female so early in life becomes sexualized and where the dividing line between transvestism and transsexualism lies. Now that I have divested myself of the emotional weight this issue once held for me, I can examine it and myself more closely in order to glean some understanding of the phenomenon. Because at the end of the day, I have yet to read anywhere a plausible explanation as to how the connection between gender identity and sexuality becomes misaligned.

Harry Benjamin was aware of all this when he treated his numerous patients but he did not overly focus on it because his causal hypothesis rested in biology. If one had this condition from birth then everything that one experienced was a direct result of its existence.

In 1989 Ray Blanchard took the opposite approach in that this so called condition lay in abnormal sexuality which then prompted the creation of a false female identity.

In a Motherboard interview Ray Blanchard stated the following:

“Some activists are trying to sell the public on the idea, “We really are women where it matters–in our brains–and women don’t get sexually excited when they put on their bras and panties, so we don’t either.” And for a lot of them that’s just a lie”

Besides its callousness, what is revealing about that statement is that most transgender people are completely aware that they are not women. What most seek is a resolution to a conflict that can but need not always lead to transition. This is clearly not the same thing.

As I have mentioned many times before here, this type of arrogance was noticeably absent in the work of Benjamin who took the approach that the reality these people were experiencing was rooted in biology and hence how could he assign them blame for how they felt.

Most if not all of the language used by Blanchard hints at blame directed at the transgender person themselves. This goes to the point of accusing his patients of lying when their narratives did not match his hypothesis that this is a sexually fueled mental illness. This not only makes him less of a scientist than Benjamin but even more importantly less of a humanist. What distinguished Benjamin is that he saw suffering he could not possibly relate to and yet was a witness to how deeply it impacted his patients.

The issues of whether one is a woman or not or even whether someone experiences arousal are like arguing about how many camels you can pass through the eye of a needle. In other words they become moot as compared to lessening the grief that transgender people feel when they are left untreated. For the longest time I would have given my eye teeth to find a resolution to something I now accept.

When the science catches up to this subject we will then be in a better position to speak with true conviction as to what is really happening within the brains of transgender people. Until then it's certainly not a sexologist with an agenda who should be allowed to speak for what they are truly experiencing.

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