Wednesday, 1 June 2016

a model not meant or designed to help

There’s a simple reason why gender therapists who treat gender dysphoric people don’t wade into the origins of the condition: they are there primarily to help the patient and not to theorize about something we don’t fully understand.

When I was being treated at the Montreal General Hospital Gender Identity Clinic and, presuming they had bought into Blanchard’s toxic work, they could have told someone like me the following:

“You are an Autogynephilic transsexual whose primary driver for transition is that you get turned on by the idea of being a woman”

Or to an androphilic:

“You are a confused homosexual sissy boy who mistakenly thinks he ought to be a woman”

Well of course they wouldn’t and you can imagine that not many patients would see the treatment through if they did.

Gender therapists are there to help relieve the stress and confusion of people who have lived with gender dysphoria in many cases for decades. Their job is to assist them make up their own minds about what is best to improve the quality of their lives.

Blanchard’s theorizing of a two type taxonomy has instead served people with an agenda and these (in no particular order) are:

• Some older androphilic transsexuals who feel their legitimacy is threatened by allowing the possibility that gynephilics can also suffer from gender dysphoria
• Trans-exclusionary radical feminists (no explanation required)
• Truscum who are radical female to male transsexuals
• Conservatives and orthodox religious people who think all gender dysphorics are mentally ill

Who is pushing his work most online? Give you three guesses but the answer is all of the above. It’s not the gender therapists because they don’t have an agenda other than to help the patient.

I have my own proposition in that there is no such thing as a two type model but instead people from both sexes who suffer from gender dysphoria and experience it differently through the prism of sexual orientation. This is closer to the model that Harry Benjamin proposed and more than likely the correct one.

Blanchard’s model (now pushing 30 years of age) loses its universality since he left out female to male transsexuals who are clearly very much a real thing and far more visually present than they were in the late 1980’s. He also left out late-transitioning gay males (think Zagria of Gender Variance Who's Who fame).

As I posted here recently, even Anne Lawrence (one of the strongest and best-known defenders of Blanchard’s work) has rightly questioned its provability in her own writing.

To complicate matters further for Blanchardians, the only way their model can come close to working is that every single woman-loving patient who claimed to have a prepubescent history of gender dysphoria would need to be lying. This does not inspire confidence because I am betting the vast majority told the truth.

I know I certainly did because my naïve belief at the time was that they would be able to cure me.

Instead I eventually settled for self-acceptance.

2 comments:

  1. Joanna,

    Prepubescent dysphoria? Yes, and I'm not lying!
    Homosexual sissy boy? No!
    Turned on by thoughts of being a woman? Yes! But not when I was in pre- and elementary school... :-)

    Indeed, I carried all of the Blanchardian crap with me for decades too. Some of it internally generated as I assumed even in elementary school that it was some sort of compulsion. Later, I was sure I had some shameful fetish and was damaged goods.

    It's hard to unwind all those years of negative programming and conclusions but it can be done. Self-acceptance is a foundation. But more and more I understand why pride became the watchword for gays and lesbians. We need pride, too. I am getting there. From what I can tell you're already there. Bravo!

    Emma

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    1. thanks Emma it did take a long time for me to get there and now I see my blog as partial payback to those who might not yet be and want to know what is behind all this so called "science". I focus on it quite a bit here because I suffered for a long time.

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