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This National Review article illustrates perfectly the obtuseness of the political right. As I have said before, they don't do subtle or nuance and cannot see beyond their own nose. They get very hung up on biology as determining how transitioned people should be addressed .

Of course, few will be stupid enough to follow them and one can imagine a transgender girl in one's own family transitioning at age 20 and being the only conservative knucklehead insisting on calling her "him". You wouldn't be popular or invited to more family dinners.

In general, normal people are much more malleable and kind when their brains haven't been soiled by extremist dogma and these people will ultimately lose the fight.

Although it is well written, this piece pains to disguise its bedrock in religious intolerant dogma. For evidence, simply take a peek at where the author works.

Le plus ca change...


  1. "If the transgender man or woman really is 'held' or 'trapped' or 'born' in the wrong body, let us say so and accept the cultural and medical consequences. But if the central transgender assertion is a lie — if it derives from the same fantasy that says a man can float like a soap bubble — then God forgive us if we utter a word in its favor."

    I've been giving speeches about the above misconception within my profession. The "woman trapped in a man's body" is a metaphor. (Actually, originally, it was just a simile, as I remember people in the TV characters in the 80s saying, "It *was like* I was a woman trapped in a man's body.") Moreover, it's not merely a metaphor, it's a cisgender narrative introduced as a remedial introduction to the trans experience. To the extent that it's still a useful metaphor, I agree with Natalie from Contrapoints, that sometimes there's just no other way to get through to people who really believe their dogs go to heaven.

    For even the slightest of more sophisticated people, though, let the following be known: Nature makes male humans, female humans, and *everything in between*. When the crossover appears observably in the reproductive system or chromosomal karyotyping, we call it Intersex. When the crossover appears within the mind, we call it Transgender. And all that an Intersex or Transgender individual would like the freedom to do is *manifest their sense of self.*

    That's it. That's the essence. You don't have to to believe anything literal about female souls in male bodies. You just have to acknowledge that the only person who has subjective access to that which answers to the name of "me" is ME. YOU don't get a say in what feels authentically ME. We've all had this experience in one way or another. We've all rejected *something* on the basis of, "This just doesn't feel like ME." An outfit. A pair of glasses. Membership in a club. It only makes a portion of our society feel threatened when it comes to a person's sex and/or gender.

    And, I have to add, thus far, giving the speeches I've been giving, this approach actually goes over pretty well.

    1. Completely agree Caryn except for the Ben Shapiro literalist crowd that "feel" doesn't wash. Now I don't care what they think as long as they dont help stir up violence against us which I think is happening now with the alt-right extremism we are seeing

  2. Ha Ha! Ben Shapiro. Oh, that poor, confused kid. I don't have much antipathy toward him, since he doesn't strike me as a hostile or even mean person. He just seems to me to have the kind of unjustified confidence in his own intellect and ability to reason and figure out life, the universe and everything that I did when I was a teenager. Frankly, I agree that "facts don't care about your feelings." To wit:

    FACT: That my sense of self resonates authentically as a woman does not mean I do not recognize objective, physical reality; if it did, I wouldn't call myself trans.

    FACT: Ben Shapiro is objectively wrong when he asserts that male and female are, and always have been, defined by chromosomal patterns, which were not even discovered until the early 20th Century.

    FACT: The more we learn about genetics, the more we are surprised, including not only that mosaicism exists (i.e. that no, not each and every cell in a human body necessarily has the same genome/DNA), but that sexual mosaicism exists (i.e. that one human body can have some cells with XX chromosomes and others with XY).

    FACT: While we do not fully understand it scientifically, there is some relationship between mind and chemical arrangement of physical matter. (Skeptics are welcome to introduce a bottle of vodka or a tab of LSD into the chemistry of their own body to observe what happens to their subjectivities.)

    Ben and his fans can still insist on their rigid application of their understandings of male and female if it makes them comfortable, but the facts don't care about their feelings. ☺

    I'm poking a little fun here, but, in all seriousness, in the approach I'm taking in publicly educating my profession about transgender people, I have had members of the facts-over-feelings crowd come up and thank me for helping them understand what had, until my lecture, not quite made sense to them. It's been quite gratifying. As for the rabid bigots? *They* are not reachable; never have been, never will be, and we will always have to be on guard and ready to defend ourselves when they come after us.

    1. The rabid bigots are indeed beyond reach but I just concerned about their spreading of misinformation. The saving grace is that most are reasonable and can be educated as you have done to change their minds. Echo chambers make it so that this battle has become more difficult which then makes our coming out even more pertinent. If people know us they will be less inclined to believe the propaganda from the right 😉

    2. Indeed! Which is why I am more and more "out" professionally these days. When people decades from now (knock on wood we'll be around) "What did you do when fascism crept into your country?" the way people once asked of German citizens who knew what HitIer was up to, sure, I can talk about some of my political activism and protesting. But l have decided I'm going to risk a little more. I am daily mistaken for Cis. I could run. I could hide. Instead, I'm putting myself "out" there, and speaking publicly, letting fellow professionals get to know me and my trans status. Educating some minds. Blowing others. l would like to think it matters. Like the rock in the ocean that sends ripples as for as it can.


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